Cream Cheese Brownies

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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!

A propped-up square of fudgy cream cheese brownies

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How to Make Cream Cheese Brownies


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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.

A corner piece of cream cheese brownies

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.

Using a knife to swirl cheesecake batter through brownie batter for cream cheese brownies

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!

Fudgy cheesecake swirled brownies with a bite missing

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!

A propped-up square of fudgy cream cheese swirled brownies
Print Recipe
4 from 4 votes
Servings: 20 brownies
CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES
Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
 
Author: Samantha
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cream cheese brownies
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!
Ingredients
Brownies*
  • 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter cut into Tablespoon-sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Cheesecake Swirl
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 7×11 pan with baking spray.
  2. Combine butter and chocolate chips in a large, microwave-safe bowl.
  3. 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.
  4. Add cocoa powder and stir well.
  5. Add sugars, stir until completely combined.
  6. Add eggs and then egg yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.
  7. Add vanilla extract and salt and stir to combine.
  8. Add flour and stir until completely combined.
  9. Reserve 1/4 cup of the batter and spread the rest of the batter evenly into prepared pan. Prepare your cheesecake topping.
Cheesecake
  1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until creamy.
  2. Stir in egg and vanilla extract. Stir until well-combined.
  3. Pour cheesecake over prepared brownie batter. Take your reserved 1/4 cup brownie batter (if it has become stiff just stir it with a spoon) and drop/drizzle over cheesecake.
  4. Use a knife to swirl brownie batter and cheesecake together.
  5. Bake on 350F 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.
  6. Allow to cool COMPLETELY before cutting and serving.
Nutrition Information

(Nutriton information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

 

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These Cream Cheese Brownies are rich, chocolatey fudgy brownies with a cheesecake ripple!  You can use the from-scratch brownie recipe included below, or this recipe will also work with your favorite box mix! #spendwithpennies #brownies #cheesecake #dessert #chocolate #recipe #easyrecipe
These Cream Cheese Brownies are rich, chocolatey fudgy brownies with a cheesecake ripple!  You can use the from-scratch brownie recipe included below, or this recipe will also work with your favorite box mix! #spendwithpennies #brownies #cheesecake #dessert #chocolate #recipe #easyrecipe

Samantha

Samantha is the creator behind the dessert blog “Sugar Spun Run”, a website she began as an excuse to appease her insatiable sweet tooth. Here she shares original, from-scratch desserts, usually of the chocolate variety. If she’s not in her kitchen (more likely than not coated in a fine dusting of powdered sugar), you’ll probably find her hanging out with her husband and their two dogs, Penny and (Princess) Leia.

22 comments on “Cream Cheese Brownies”

  1. I made these Tonight and they came out great!! Family loved them!!

  2. Is it powdered sugar or regular sugar we’re using?

  3. Fabulously delicious!!! I made this exactly as directed and it came out perfect. Thank you so much for the recipe!

  4. I just made some tonight and cream cheese was brown so took out but middle was raw.

    • Hi Cindy! I’m so sorry to hear that they didn’t seem to cook in the middle for you. Did you happen to use a box mix or did you use the recipe as written? I just made these again this morning as written to test them and they came out fine, so I’m not sure what went wrong. It sounds like your brownies may have just needed a few more minutes in the oven, even if the cream cheese was browning. I always recommend using the toothpick test to check that they are done. I’m also wondering if it’s possible that your oven temperature is running higher than it says? That could explain it cooking faster on the top but still being raw in the middle.
      Sorry these weren’t a hit for you!

  5. This was a complete fail for me. I followed the recipe verbatim and it was very mushy and the brownie portion didn’t really cook. I have no idea what went wrong :(

    • Hi Clara! I’m so sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out for you. Did you happen to use a box mix or did you make the brownie recipe as written? I just made these again this morning as written to test them and they came out fine, it sounds like your brownies may have just needed a few more minutes in the oven.

  6. The brownie’s center never cooked for me! I even cut it in half, rebaked it and it was still mush. So disappointed -had to run out and buy a dessert for my family Easter dinner instead! Something was wrong with the consistency. 

    • Oh no, I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out for you! Was it the brownie portion or the cheesecake swirls that didn’t seem to finish cooking? I’m wondering if it maybe had cooked completely but just needed to cool? These cheesecake ripple is really soft until it cools but it should be set and spring back to the touch. If you were able to cut it in half I’m wondering if maybe that was the issue, because both the brownies and cheesecake would be quite soft until they’ve cooled.

  7. I am craving your cream cheese brownies now! I am otherwise not into sweets and avoid desserts completely, but these look like a real treat worth trying.

  8. Brownies are my favourite baked goods, but this cheesecake topping. YUM!

  9. Wow two favorites in one bite, cheese and chocolate! Lovely idea perfect dessert for Easter too. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. I’m not a huge brownie person— that is until you add cream cheese then I’m in love!! These look amazing!

  11. Just pinned this recipe to try! Cream cheese brownies are one of my faves, but for some reason I haven’t made them at home yet!

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