Caramel Swirl Brownie Squares

Guys, I can take a hint. I get it. I was a jerk. Almost a month ago I previewed a recipe on my Instagram and Facebook (which you should follow if you don't already) for my new Caramel Swirl Cake Squares. Then I politely told you all to "stay tuned" before I basically shoved them off into a black whole in the universe. I received some polite "can't wait for these" reminders before my girl Kirsten just flat out said she couldn't stay tuned any longer and (I quote) "when is this B gonna broadcast?" Needless to say, I owe you guys an explanation.

I anticipated posting the recipe the following week, but received a question from a follower asking if the recipe was egg-free/AIP friendly. For those of you that aren't familiar with AIP, it stands for Auto-Immune Protocol which is a specific set of guidelines that individuals with Autoimmune Disease follow. They can't consume foods like eggs, dairy, chocolate, nightshade vegetables and more. The way my recipe was done, it didn't meet the guidelines. I wanted to make sure this recipe was versatile enough for as many people as possible, so I pushed back the release to develop AIP friendly substitutions. I endured many dumped attempts and a slight emotional breakdown (it happens, ok?) before I FINALLY got it right!

So, for those of you who stayed tuned, muted the station, DVR'd this, whatever...this one's for you!

Caramel Swirl Brownie Squares

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Servings: 9

Cake Squares:
½ cup Otto's Cassava Flour
⅓ cup cocoa/carob powder
½ cup coconut or date sugar
½ cup butter or ghee
2 tbs coconut milk
3 eggs, whisked
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp aluminum-free baking powder

Egg-Free/AIP Cake Squares:
¾ cup + 1 tbs Otto's Cassava Flour
¼ cup tapioca starch or arrowroot
⅓ cup cocoa/carob powder
½ cup coconut or date sugar
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
¼ cup coconut or nut milk
½ cup filtered water
½ tsp apple cider vinegar
Caramel Ingredients:
½ cup coconut sugar
½ cup nut or coconut milk
¼ cup filtered water
½ tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1 tbs tapioca or arrowroot
  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Lightly grease 8x8 bakeware.
  3. Combine all caramel ingredients, except for tapioca/arrowroot, in a small or medium saucepan on the stove on med-low. Whisk well to combine.
  4. Bring the caramel to a boil, reduce temperature and allow to simmer and reduce for 15-20 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
  5. While your caramel is reducing, in a large bowl add in dry cake square ingredients and mix.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients (milk, water, ACV, butter/ghee/oil, egg as needed).
  7. Form a divit in the middle of the dry ingredients. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the hole.
  8. Slowly stir the wet ingredients in and combine until clump free. (Note: If doing AIP/Egg-free version, allow to rest for 3-4 minutes to activate the baking soda/powder. Mix again before moving on to next step.)
  9. Pour cake square mix into the bakeware and spread evenly with a spatula.
  10. When caramel is done simmering, remove from heat and whisk in the arrowroot/tapioca. Allow to rest for 3-4 minutes while the caramel thickens.
  11. Either (a) use a spoon to drizzle caramel in 4 straight lines across the cake squares, then use a knife to briefly swirl it in to the batter or (b) place the cake squares in the oven to bake and drizzle warm caramel over top before serving.
  12. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  13. Let rest and cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting to serve. Top with additional warm caramel sauce if desired.

Note: The original version of this recipe will result in cake-like brownies.  The AIP/Egg-free, will be denser and will not rise as much, so it will be more like a fudgy brownie. This makes it more difficult to swirl the caramel in, although it is possible. I recommend you cook it and then drizzle the caramel on top when serving. 

Note 2: Store any leftover caramel sauce (there will be some!) airtight in the fridge. Or in your mouth, transported by spoon.

AIP Version updated 03/03/2016