These Cream Cheese Brownies are a decadent twist on classic brownies that are ready with just 15 minutes of prep! Moist and fudgy brownies are swirled with rich and creamy cheesecake then baked until perfectly gooey!
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I know that it’s hard to believe that anything can be better than standard chocolate brownies, but there is something so fun and decadent about cream cheese brownies.
They’re made up of a simple brownie batter that’s swirled with a four-ingredient cheesecake. The result is a rich, moist, fudgy, and creamy dessert you’ll be sneaking a bite of every time you walk by the fridge.
Ingredients needed for cream cheese brownies:
- Unsalted Butter: melted before being incorporated into the brownie batter for a fudgier texture. You can also use salted butter and omit the salt.
- Granulated Sugar: gives the brownie layer just the right amount of sweetness.
- Vanilla: adds flavor depth.
- Eggs: the binder that helps the brownies hold their shape.
- All-Purpose Flour: gives the brownies their structure. You can substitute this with whole wheat flour and I promise no one will notice!
- Cocoa: the MVP of chocolate brownies! Use good quality cocoa powder for the best flavor.
- Salt: cuts the sweetness and enhances flavor.
- Cheesecake Batter: we’re making a super simple cheesecake batter to swirl into the brownies. It’s made of cream cheese, granulated sugar, egg, and vanilla.
How to make cream cheese brownies
These delicious cheesecake brownies take just 15 minutes to prep!
- Make the brownie batter: In a large bowl, mix butter, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add in the eggs and mix, then stir in flour, cocoa, and salt.
- Make the cheesecake layer: In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth then add in sugar, egg, and vanilla.
- Layer the brownies: Transfer ¾ of the brownie batter to a lined and greased 9×13″ baking pan. Spread the cream cheese mixture over top, then top that with spoonfuls of the remaining brownie batter. Swirl carefully.
- Bake: Bake the assembled brownies at 350ºF for 30-40 minutes — you want them mostly set but still a little fudgy. Cool to room temp then slice and serve!
FAQs for cream cheese brownies
To get the perfect slice, run a sharp knife under hot water. Dry it thoroughly, then use the warm knife to slice the brownies. For the best results, rinse and dry the knife between each slice! Refrigerating the brownies overnight before slicing will also help.
These cheesecake brownies will last in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. You can enjoy them cold or bring them to room temperature for serving.
You can! To freeze these cream cheese brownies, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, then place them into a freezer-safe bag. Store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready to enjoy, thaw in the fridge or warm in the microwave.
Tips and tricks
- Use full-fat cream cheese. For the best results use full-fat bricks of cream cheese. It’s richer and creamier!
- Grease the pan. I always line the pan with parchment paper and then grease the paper with non-stick cooking spray. If you want to skip the parchment paper you can, greasing the pan is a must for removing the brownies
- Don’t over-bake. The key to fudgy brownies is to take them out while the center is still slightly jiggly.
- If you do prefer less fudgy brownies, bake them until the center is completely set.
- Cool the brownies. If the brownies are cooled to room temperature or refrigerated, they’re easier to slice.
You can even sprinkle on a few chocolate chips or chopped nuts before baking.
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Cream Cheese Brownies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 ½ cups granulated sugar (500 grams)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour about 195g
- 1 cup cocoa about 80g
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature (250 grams)
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and vanilla with a whisk until smooth.
- Whisk in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in flour, cocoa and salt until combined.
- Line a 9×13″ pan with parchment and spray with non-stick spray (you can skip the parchment if you want but don’t skip the spray!)
- Spread ¾ of the brownie batter in the pan.
- In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
- Add sugar, egg and vanilla and beat on low speed until combined.
- Spread cream cheese mixture over brownie batter in pan. Top with spoonfuls of reserved brownie batter and swirl gently.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until mostly set in the center (if you give it a wiggle, it shouldn’t have much give) If you want your brownies less fudgy, bake until completely set..
- Set aside to cool to room temperature before slicing.
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