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The BEST Cheesecake Brownies

Warm, fudgy brownies with a swirled layer of cheesecake – easy desserts don’t get much better than this. If you’ve never tried cheesecake brownies before, you’re in for a real treat!

a closeup of batch of cheesecake brownies on a sheet of parchment paper with a cutting knife

We’re serious brownie lovers around here. It’s not uncommon for me to be “done” for the day, relaxing, then realizing I’m having a craving for brownies.

They’re so easy to make which is why they’re my go-to dessert, especially when I’m in the mood for chocolate. Sometimes I add the cheesecake layer, sometimes I skip it and just go for a scoop of ice cream – it all depends on my mood.

two cheesecake brownies leaning against each other

And sometimes I just whip out a box mix if I’m super tired. As long as I ultimately get my hands (or my mouth, haha) on a warm, gooey brownie at the end of it, I’m a happy woman!

But my favorite is definitely this marbled cheesecake brownies recipe. That swirl of cheesecake that’s baked with the brownie layer is just so decadent. It’s tough to resist its rich chocolate flavor. It really only takes a couple of extra minutes to add it and the end result is so worth it!

a closeup of a cheesecake brownie

How do you make Cheesecake Brownies from scratch?

Making cream cheese brownies is just like making regular brownies, except that you’ll make a quick cheesecake batter that you’ll swirl through the brownie batter before baking. They’re very easy to make, have just 30 minutes bake time, and the cheesecake layer makes them even more delicious! They also look much prettier than regular brownies. It takes just 45 minutes total time to make a batch from start to finish.

Ingredients for these fudgy Cheesecake Brownies:

Here are all of the ingredients you’ll need for this ultimate Cheesecake Brownies recipe!

  • unsalted butter
  • semisweet chocolate chips
  • granulated sugar
  • eggs
  • vanilla extract
  • all-purpose flour
  • cocoa powder
  • salt
  • cooking spray
  • cream cheese

Variations of Cheesecake Brownies

  • Add a teaspoon or two of espresso powder to the brownie batter for a mocha flavor
  • Just before swirling the layers together, drizzle on a few tablespoons of caramel sauce, then swirl it all together.
  • Drop small spoonfuls of raspberry jam onto the batter just before swirling, about 1/4 cup total. Swirl it all together and bake.
  • Try using mint chips in place of the semi-sweet (the ones you melt for the batter should stay semi-sweet; just replace the ones that you stir into the brownie batter).
  • Crush some Oreos and sprinkle them on top of the batter before baking
  • Stir in peanut butter to the cheesecake layer before swirling.
a batch of cheesecake brownies on a sheet of parchment paper with a cutting knife

Tips for making Cheesecake Brownies

  • Use high-quality chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli. This makes a BIG difference in the end result.
  • Want to make these as easy as possible? Use a boxed brownie mix, make the cheesecake layer and swirl them together. I don’t think they’re quite as good when made this way, but I’ve done it when I just want some sweet and I want it fast, and it definitely scratches that itch.
  • To get clean cuts and no fudgy brownie sticking to the knife, wipe your knife clean between cuts. It’s also important to wait to cut the cheesecake brownies until they’re completely cooled.
a plate of cheesecake brownies next to two jars of milk

Can you freeze brownies?

Yes, brownies can be frozen, both regular and cheesecake. It works best if you freeze each brownie individually. I usually wrap each one in plastic wrap then place them in a freezer bag. Let them thaw at room temperature before enjoying. After they’re thawed I like to pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm them up – it’s heavenly!

a closeup of a cheesecake brownie

Cheesecake Brownies

Yield: 12 brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

Warm, fudgy brownies with a swirled layer of cheesecake - easy desserts don't get much better than this. If you've never tried cheesecake brownies before, you're in for a real treat!

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • cooking spray

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Line an 8-inch baking dish with parchment paper, large enough to leave some hanging over the sides. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray.
For the brownies: Place the butter and 1 1/3 cups of chocolate chips into a large bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave another 30 seconds, stir again. Continue just until there are a few pieces of chocolate left, then whisk vigorously until it's completely melted and smooth.
Whisk in the sugar until it's completely combined. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until it's mixed completely.
Remove a quarter of the batter and place it in a separate bowl. Set this aside for later.
Stir the remaining chocolate chips into the larger amount of the brownie batter, then pour it into the baking dish over the parchment paper, and gently spread it to the edge.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until it's smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and the vanilla extract, then mix it until it's smooth.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter in the baking dish. Gently spread it to the edges.
Drop spoonfuls of the reserved brownie batter over the cheesecake evenly in rows. Place a butter knife into the batter and pull it through one row, then back up through the next, continuing until the brownie batter is swirled through the cheesecake layer. Repeat in the opposite direction if you prefer more swirl (this is just for looks and is personal preference).
Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out almost clean with just a few crumbs.
Once the brownies have cooled to room temperature, carefully lift the brownies from the baking pan using the overhanging parchment paper as handles. Cut the cheesecake brownies into 12 squares.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 358Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 130mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix.

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Kristy Bernardo
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