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 swirled brownies

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.

Cream cheese brownie square with chocolate chips

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.

Raw Cream cheese brownies being swirled with a knife

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!

Cream cheese brownies with a bite taken out

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
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Cream Cheese Brownies

These Cream Cheese Brownies are rich, chocolatey fudgy brownies with a cheesecake ripple! 
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 20 brownies
Author Samantha

Ingredients  

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

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • 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.

Cheesecake

  • 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.
4.91 from 284 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 232 | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 107mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 400IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 1.1mg

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

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

 

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. These are by far my family’s favorite brownie. Yes it takes more like 45 to 50 minutes to cook through, but they are so good. I have even made then Gluten Free for a friend, and they were still the favorite for everyone, no one even guessed they were GF5 stars

  2. I made a batch and half in a 9×13 pan. Baked for about 35 mins and turned out perfectly! Will be saving for the future!5 stars

  3. Love this recipe. I made it in heart shaped muffin pan. Dyed the cream cheese red for Valentines party. Switched out non-dairy butter and cream cheese. It turned out well.5 stars

  4. Used a 9X9 metal pan and baked for 40-45min. Used the toothpick method as suggested and it worked out perfectly. Absolutely delicious 5 stars

  5. This has been the best recipe I’ve tried so far!! I put less sugar and I baked it for an extra 15 mins.
    Thank you for this great recipe, it was delicious!!! plz ignore the mean comments ❤️5 stars

  6. What a disappointment – as some other comments stated, I followed the recipe exactly (even bought a 7×11 glass baking dish), baked for 25 minutes and the whole thing was still gooey. Baked for another 10 minutes, the middle was still gooey. Baked for another 15, for a total of 50 mins, and still gooey in the middle. Won’t try this recipe again.1 star

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry this happened to you, Amy. I’m not sure what could have gone wrong, I have never had this problem.

      1. I had this very EXACT same thing happen to me. After 50 minutes, i took them out because my cream cheese topping was browning too much. I let them cool completely, and then U decided to cut through them to see exactly what the inside looked like. It was a mixture of cakey and fudgy, but delicious nonetheless, so my family still gives it 5 stars. We just moved into a new house and I was wondering if our oven temperature was off. It could still be, but it’s interesting that others have had the same problem. ‍♀️5 stars

  7. this recipe is awful. I followed the recipe to a t and am currently on about 50 minutes and the brownie is still very under done

  8. Your recipes are AMAZING, let me just say! I’d like to try a few things with this recipe and would like your advice please.
    I’d like to double the recipe to a 9×13 pan – what would be the increased baking time for doing that?
    I’d also like to try to use a mix. I realize you’ve advised against it, but I’d like to try it. I am familiar with Ghiradelli’s mix, but will be trying Trader Joe’s Truffle brownie mix instead.
    Lastly, if I go with a mix, I assume doing so would cover your steps 1-9 of the recipe above? (ie: I’d use the mix but add the 2 eggs and butter into the mix). The mix calls for 8 Tbs butter – do you suggest I go with that, or with your 12 Tbs of butter?
    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Hi Christine, in a 9×13 I would worry that the outer brownies would overcook before the center ones are fully done. If you can make it in two pans that might be best. I am not familiar with that brownies mix so I can’t say how much butter would be best to use but I would most likely prepare it according to package instructions (replacing steps 1-8 in our recipe) and then follow the remaining instructions to prepare it in a pan with the cream cheese mixture. I would love to hear how it turns out for you!

  9. I have my own brownie recipe for 8×8 trays. Can I make the cheesecake swirl the same way as above and just swirl it into that? Or should I half the amount made?

    1. You would probably need just over half of the cream cheese mixture. But we would love to hear how it turns out if you attempt it!

  10. I love this recipe! Made them for the first time and it’s my new go-to! How do you recommend storing them? Should they be refrigerated or can they be left out?

    1. Hi Tanya, I would store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Or you can wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and freeze them for up to a few months.

  11. Worst brownie recipe ever!! The brownie layer was very thick and after baking for an extra 12 minutes the brownies basically came out like they weren’t bake at all. The cream cheese was baked and had turned a light tan. What an expensive waste of ingredients and time.1 star

      1. I had the same experience and it was very frustrating. The recipe being complete after a 25 min bake is an absolute joke. If someone can bake them in 25 mins, that person’s oven must be insanely hot.

        I looked up other some other recipes and they are recommending around 32-37mins for a similar recipe.

        The brownies turned out delicious, which is why I rated them a three. I would also reduce the sugar in the recipe as I don’t like my desserts so so sweet.

        I’m going to try these again, yet I’m going to adjust the brownie layer. The top layer is cooking much faster than the thick bottom layer, which means you need to overbake the cheesecake in order to get your brownie to cook below. The cook times will definitely need to be perfected, yet it’s worth another try for a recipe that tastes so good.3 stars

  12. Just made this recipe and followed it to a T. The batter was unbelievably thick and hardened rather quickly. The cream cheese topping was rather thin. Impossible to get a swirling effect so I’m crossing my fingers. Also, I’m a pretty good baker and cook so I’m scratching my head about how the batter was so dense. I see a few other reviews with the same issue. Wish me luck!

  13. Wow, made these today and they are fabulous!! Didn’t have a 7×11 pan, so used a 9×9 and they were done in 40 minutes. Everyone wanted the recipe! May make them tomorrow!!