Vanilla Custard Brownies

I found a recipe for non-vegan cheesecake brownies through tastespotting, and it didn’t take me long to veganize it. I used my trusted brownie recipe and added a topping made with silken tofu, oat cream, and agave syrup, and the end result was really just deliciously decadent. The topping is more like a creamy custard than a cheesecake filling, hence the title of this post – I think I actually prefer the lighter texture of a custard to complement the rich brownie layer underneath!

The agave syrup in the custard caramelized around the edges, which gave it a very nice burnt sweetness.

The Custard Topping:

  • 175 g (half a package Mori-Nu) silken tofu
  • 2 dl oat cream (or soy creamer, or any other vegan cream)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
  • 4 tablespoons agave syrup
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • pinch of salt

I combined all the ingredients and blended until completely smooth.

The Brownie Batter:

  • 70 g vegan chocolate (semi dark)
  • 60 g margarine
  • 1 dl plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 dl dark cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 dl plain, unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 1 and 1/2 dl raw cane sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar

First, I preheated the oven to 175 degrees Celsius, and melted the chocolate and the margarine in a water bath. Once melted, I let them cool down while preparing the other ingredients.

I mixed the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder in a small bowl. Then I placed the soy yogurt, the soy milk, vanilla sugar, and raw cane sugar in another bowl, and whisked them for about 3 minutes. I wanted the sugar to dissolve, so at this point I took the time to prepare my baking dish.

I covered my baking dish (26 X 18 cm) with parchment paper. Then, I whisked the cooled down chocolate-margarine mixture together with the other wet ingredients, and then added the dry ingredients in the bowl. I stirred with a wooden fork to combine, and poured the batter to the baking pan, spreading it evenly.

Then I spread the custard topping over the brownie batter. The original recipe advices to swirl the brownie with a knife for a marbled effect, and that’s what I did. However, since these vegan brownies are leavened with baking powder, the end result is very different – well, if you look at the picture you see what I mean! But I think our brownies came out pretty too, especially after I decorated them with some cocoa powder, and this way you get nice custardy caves in the brownie layer.

I baked the brownies in 175 degrees Celsius, on the lower rack of the oven, for about 35 minutes, when a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake came out cleanish (with only some custard topping stuck to it). Then we let the brownies come to room temperature and refrigerated them for a few hours before eating.

Well, actually we had a little bite before refrigerating, but I strongly suggest serving these fridge-cold – it improves the texture immensely!


  1. Posted December 2, 2008 at 21:39 | Permalink

    This is the most decadent, amazing, chocolaty thing I’ve ever seen in my life!

  2. Sina
    Posted December 3, 2008 at 00:10 | Permalink

    Yum, these brownies look really tempting!
    Fortunately, I haven’t got any silken tofu or soy yoghurt around right now – I’m already eating too many christmas cookies. I’ll give them a try afterwards.

  3. Posted December 3, 2008 at 08:50 | Permalink

    Where did you buy agave syrup in Finland? Also what do you recommend to replace tapioca starch with?

  4. Anni
    Posted December 3, 2008 at 09:32 | Permalink

    Shelby & Sina – decadent and tempting are the exact right words, thanks for the comments!

    Monaka – agave I buy in the S-market by the railway station in Helsinki, and sometimes in the organic groceries where it’s a bit more expensive. And tapioca starch I get from the Asian market, but potato starch is a great substitute!

  5. Posted December 3, 2008 at 09:51 | Permalink

    Custard filling is my favorite! how did you know?! I need to go buy silken tofu again!

  6. Posted December 3, 2008 at 18:27 | Permalink

    Holy shit!This looks amazing!!

  7. Posted December 3, 2008 at 21:42 | Permalink

    Those look mouthwatering, I will definitely have to try making them. I absolutely love custard but haven’t made on since becoming vegan. Hopefully this will hit the spot!

  8. Ceci
    Posted December 4, 2008 at 02:01 | Permalink

    I absolutetly love this blog. I would love to have one like this. Congrats!

  9. Posted December 4, 2008 at 21:12 | Permalink

    I should definitely show these to and bake them for my family for Christmas. They look beautiful and sound amazing.

  10. Anni
    Posted December 5, 2008 at 14:22 | Permalink

    Thanks for all the sweet comments!

    Especially to you Ceci – go ahead, start your own blog, and make sure to tell us when you do!

    Mihl – a wonderful idea. If you like cardamom and cinnamon with chocolate, I think a pinch of both would give the brownie layer a holiday-ish feel?

  11. Posted December 6, 2008 at 07:12 | Permalink

    Beautiful. I will have to try this recipe soon.

  12. Posted December 7, 2008 at 22:41 | Permalink

    Ooooh, that looks delicious! I love the idea of a custard-topped brownie – best of both worlds!

  13. Lauren Elysia
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 22:39 | Permalink

    Wow! I am in the process of making these for family christmas gifts. I can’t thank you enough for such a wonderful recipe! They are so beautiful!

  14. Kelly-
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 09:34 | Permalink

    Do you think you that the custard filling culd be addapted into a savoury topping to use on a winter tart/pizza. Maybe mixed with caramelised onions, pumkin and fresh herbs? I’m wondering if it would simulate an egg pie. Thank you so much for your wonderful reciepes. I have a friend with many food allergies and your blog is fantastic!!!
    Regards Kelly from New Zealand.

  15. Anni
    Posted April 13, 2009 at 10:04 | Permalink

    Hi Kelly, welcome to our blog! A fun idea and I’m sure it would work – I have baked savoury pies with silken tofu before and they’ve turned out well. For a tart or a pie filling, you could maybe use a whole package of tofu for an “eggier” texture, and add a pinch of turmeric for color. Let me know how it turns out!

  16. sandra
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 18:10 | Permalink

    these look amazing! im not vegan, but i have silken tofu so im looking for a way to use it. i dont have Avage or tapioca starch; what could i use instead?
    also- does the lime juice making it taste limey?

  17. Anni
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 19:45 | Permalink

    sandra – thanks! You can use any sweetener instead of agave, just add about one tablespoon more since agave has a lot of sweetness. And corn starch instead of tapioca should work fine.

  18. Anni
    Posted January 20, 2010 at 19:47 | Permalink

    Oh I forgot to add about the lime – it’s there for the acidity, and the taste isn’t really limey. You could use lemon juice as well.

  19. sandra
    Posted January 22, 2010 at 02:47 | Permalink

    these were great thanks! i found there was like 3 times too much custard topping for a 8×8 inch pan though.

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