Though my boyfriend is not a big fan of cheese or chocolate, my two favorite foods, he absolutely LOVES desserts based on the two things. He inhales cheesecake and brownies, even though I find them to be two of the richest desserts on the plane! Can anyone else relate?
This recipe is one that I worked out as a hybrid of his two favorite sweets- cheesecake swirl brownies that are sweet, fudgy, and tangy all at the same time. The best part about this recipe is that I get to kill two birds with one stone-that is, make a dessert that satisfies both cravings without doing twice the work!
I have to admit, I started making these for my boyfriend originally but now they’ve become one of my favorite desserts.
You’re going to love how easy it is to whip up these gorgeous, decadent brownies. They’re not only delicious but picture-perfect and guaranteed to impress at any potluck or party.
Seriously, though, make sure to grab one before the crowd swarms and they disappear.
Before You Get Started
- Take the refrigerated ingredients (eggs, butter, and cream cheese) out of the fridge at least 30 minutes prior to bake time so that they’re at room temperature when you need them. This ensures that your batter has the right consistency so the brownies bake with the perfect texture.
- Gather the rest of your ingredients and all tools or equipment before starting so that they’re on-hand for quick preparation.
- For this recipe, you will need a 8” x 8” baking pan. Also, you will need an electric hand mixer, a rubber spatula, a wire cooling rack, 1 medium mixing bowl, and a large microwave-safe mixing bowl.
- 8” x 8” square baking dish
- Electric hand mixer
- A rubber spatula
- Wire cooling rack
- 1 Medium mixing bowl
- 1 large microwave-safe mixing bowl
Recipe Cook Time and Yield
- Recipe Yield: 16 servings
- Prep Time: 24 minutes
- Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
- Total Time: about 1 hour
Ingredients (for the Brownies)
- 3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 4 ounces chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate (semi-sweet or dark)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
Ingredients (for the Cheesecake Swirl)
- 8 ounces regular cream cheese
- 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line a 8” x 8” square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil then grease with butter or non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, combine the chocolate and softened butter. With the microwave on medium power, heat the ingredients at 30 second intervals, stirring each time to evenly distribute the heat and prevent burning. Do this until the chocolate has melted and is smooth and stirrable.
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs to the mixing bowl and mix the ingredients well. Next, fold in the flour and salt gently, stirring only until everything is fully combined. Stop mixing the batter once it’s evenly combined, or else you’ll end up with dense, tough brownies!
- To make the cheesecake layer, use your electric hand mixer to beat together the eggs, cream cheese, sugar, and salt until creamy. Doing this on medium speed, it should take between 2-3 minutes.
- Scoop 1⁄2 cup of the brownie batter out of the mixing bowl and set aside. Pour the batter from the mixing bowl into the baking pan and spread it to form an even layer using a rubber spatula.
- Distribute the cheesecake filling onto the layer of brownie batter in the baking dish with spoonful-dollops. Spread the cheesecake layer gently across the pan to form a layer as best you can.
- Do the same thing now with the 1⁄2 cup of brownie batter that remains, dolloping it onto the cheesecake layer in different spots. To create a gorgeous swirling effect, use a butter knife, chopstick, or toothpick to swirl around the cheesecake and brownie layers at the top of the dish. Your goal is to create a nice marbled effect.
- Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick shoved into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Let the baking dish rest on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before you dig in. Don’t cut the brownies until after they have cooled completely!
Brownie Baking Tips and Tricks
- For optimal baking and perfect brownie texture, keep the oven door closed during the cooking time and center the baking tin on the middle rack.
- These cheesecake brownies will keep for up to 4 days if stored at room temperature in an airtight bag or container.
- These brownies will keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let the frozen brownies thaw overnight in the refrigerator then take them out 30 minutes before serving.
- If using salted butter instead of unsalted, use 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt in the batter instead of the 1⁄2 listed in the recipe.
- If you’re really in a crunch for time, you can make this recipe with store-bought brownie mix. The only part you’d have to make from scratch is the cheesecake swirl cream! Follow the other instructions as described.
Fun Twists on This Recipe
- For red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies, omit the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate and change the amount of unsweetened cocoa powder to 1⁄4 cup. Also, add in 1 tablespoon of red food coloring and 3⁄4 teaspoon of white vinegar along with the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract when making the brownie batter. These last two ingredients will give your brownies a gorgeous red color that contrasts beautifully with the white cheesecake swirl.