These Cream Cheese Brownies are rich, chocolatey fudgy brownies with a cheesecake ripple!
This recipe is made with a simple and fudgy one-bowl brownie batter, then swirled with a foolproof 4-ingredient cheesecake batter!
Nothing beats a classic, fudgy chocolate brownie… except maybe one that’s swirled with cheesecake! These cream cheese brownies are the ultimate sweet treat, made with ripples of cheesecake and whorls of rich chocolate. They’re also incredibly easy to make, with a one-bowl brownie recipe and a simple 4-ingredient cheesecake swirl.
The brownie portion of these cheesecake swirled brownies is adapted from my favorite brownie recipe (which you may also recognize from these Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies!). While I always prefer to make my desserts from scratch (especially if they’re as easy to make as this one), I have also made these using Ghirardelli’s Classic chocolate brownies with great success! If you’ve been asking yourself what desserts can you make with brownie mix, Cream Cheese Brownies are a fantastic option!
These brownies work best in a 7×11 pan, but you could also make a 9×9 pan work, I’ve found that a 9×13 pan makes the brownies much thinner than I like them to be.
How to Make Cream Cheese Brownies:
To make cheesecake swirled brownies, you’ll need a fudgy brownie batter and then, of course, a small batch of cheesecake!
To make the cheesecake swirl, you’ll need to combine cream cheese, sugar, an egg, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. For best results, you’ll want to start with room-temperature cream cheese, and I also recommend using an electric mixer to beat your ingredients together so that the cheesecake is completely lump-free. Then you’ll drizzle this over the chocolate brownie batter and swirl with a knife before baking.
Can you add chocolate chips to brownie mix?
Yes, stir them into the batter last, just before spreading into the baking pan. The average batch of brownie batter can handle having about 1 cup of chocolate chips added.
How do you cut brownies cleanly?
Allow the brownies to cool completely before attempting to cut. For a very clean cut, refrigerate the brownies for several hours, use a warm knife (the best way to warm a knife is to run it under hot water and then dry it off just before cutting), and wipe the knife clean between cuts.
I recommend lining your baking pan with parchment paper so that once the cream cheese brownies have cooled completely you can simply lift them out of the pan and place them on a cutting board to cut them that way — much easier and neater than trying to cut directly in the pan!
What do you serve with brownies?
These cream cheese brownies taste great on their own, or they also are wonderful when served warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or chocolate syrup! Walnuts, pecans, and sprinkles are some other great options!
*NOTE: I originally suggested that you could use your favorite box mix as a substitute for the from-scratch brownie batter, but after a few people had difficulty with the recipes I no longer recommend using a box mix. I have had success using Ghirardelli’s Classic Chocolate brownie mix, but outside of that I can’t vouch for the success of this recipe using a box mix!
Cream Cheese Brownies
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into tablespoon-sized pieces
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup natural cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar light or dark, packed
- 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 7×11 pan with baking spray.
- Combine butter and chocolate chips in a large, microwave-safe bowl.
- Microwave for 30 seconds. Stir well and microwave again for another 15 seconds and then stir well again. Repeat in 15 second intervals until chocolate and butter are completely melted and well-combined.
- Add cocoa powder and stir well.
- Add sugars, stir until completely combined.
- Add eggs and then egg yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and stir to combine.
- Add flour and stir until completely combined.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the batter and spread the rest of the batter evenly into prepared pan. Prepare your cheesecake topping.
- Combine cream cheese and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until creamy.
- Stir in egg and vanilla extract. Stir until well-combined.
- Pour cheesecake over prepared brownie batter. Take your reserved ¼ cup brownie batter (if it has become stiff just stir it with a spoon) and drop/drizzle over cheesecake.
- Use a knife to swirl brownie batter and cheesecake together.
- Bake on 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with a few fudgy crumbs.
- Allow to cool COMPLETELY before cutting and serving.
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