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 166 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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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About the author

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.
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Comments

  1. Someone suggested doubling the cheesecake as if this wasn’t decadent enough!
    I messed up when separating the fourth egg yolk while putting in the egg white so I put in the whole egg. It didn’t seem to make much of a difference. It is kind of amazing how quick and thick the filling becomes.
    Does chilling the bowl and beaters hasten making meringue? I once read somewhere to do that.5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed this recipe, Simon. As for meringue, chilling the bowl helps to keep the meringue rigid and stable while mixing but we prefer to mix the ingredients at room temperature. Check out our pavlova recipe for some great meringue tips!

  2. I made this recipe as written, in a 9×9 pan (I didn’t have a 7×11 and the post said you can use a 9×9). I needed to cook it for 40-45 minutes before a toothpick came out clean. It ended up both fudgey and crumbly, with a firm bottom crust that mimicked the edge pieces everyone always wants from brownies. I used food coloring to make the cheesecake portion orange and piped the reserved brownie batter on in stripes after sitting the cheesecake to make a tiger pattern for Chinese New Year (year of the tiger). It looked great, but the cheesecake portion separated off the top once pieces were cut, so the swirling with a knife is probably necessary to keep bind it together. If I were to make it again, I’d double the cheesecake portion- the chocolate from the brownie was too overpowering for the cheesecake and a different ratio would be a better balance. Otherwise quite good!5 stars

    1. Hi Kim, I have never tried this recipe in that type of pan but I would check it around 20-25 minutes with a toothpick inserted in the center of a few to see if it is fully cooked and adjust from there. We would love to hear how it turns out for you!

    1. Yes Elena, these can be frozen. Wrap the brownies well and store in an airtight container up to a couple of months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  3. Super scrummy brownies but never trust “lightly grease your tin ” to get these bad boys out in one go. Baking parchment next time!4 stars

  4. Amazing!
    I was shocked by the amount of butter in this recipe, so I tweaked it a bit. Used 1 stick (8 tbsps) of butter instead and 3 whole eggs instead of 2 eggs + 1 yolk. I have to admit I have not tried the unaltered recipe, but I am sticking with the tweaks as it was delish. Thanks for this amazing recipe!5 stars

  5. I made these at the last minute to go alongside other desserts I had already prepared for Easter. I’m so happy I stumbled across this recipe. Followed the recipe as written and added 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder to the brownie batter. WOW!!
    They were amazing. Prepared in a 9×9 pan and came out great. Enjoyed by all my guest. Definitely a keeper recipe. Already have requests for more.5 stars

  6. What a fantastic recipe! These brownies were everything I thought they would be. I cooked mine in a 9×9” pan for about 40 mins. (I like mine thicker) I also used Dutch cocoa powder. The taste was wonderful and my family loved them. This recipe is a keeper for sure! The only thing I would do different next time is reserve at least a half a cup of chocolate batter for the swirling. Great job, thanks for sharing!5 stars

  7. Just made these and and am enjoying every bite! Baked in an 8×8 for 40 mins and they came out perfect. Thank you for the great recipe!5 stars

  8. I accidentally added a whole cup of cocoa powder and was wondering why the batter was so thick. The brownies still turned out great though, even with all the extra cocoa. I did have to bake for about 33 minutes to have a toothpick come mostly clean.