Rich and indulgent, these cream cheese brownies combine rich, chocolatey fudge brownies with a creamy, sweet and tangy cheesecake swirl! This dessert is the best of both desserts in one delightful bite.
Just like my brookies, these cream cheese brownies are the best fusion of two desserts in one! Fudgy brownies are swirled with cheesecake and it’s the ultimate sweet treat!
They are easy to make brownies with cream cheese, ready within an hour and have a rich chocolate flavor from using both butter and semi-sweet chocolate, plus the cream cheese swirl never fails to impress!
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love These Cheesecake Brownies
- Two-in-one decadent treat: Satisfy your craving for both brownies and cheesecake in one dessert!
- Flavorful: Rich chocolate brownie taste with a slightly tart cream cheese swirl is the best sweet treat that will satisfy any chocolate lover!
- Perfect for any occasion: From weeknight desserts to dinner parties, birthday and bake sales, these chocolate brownies with a cream cheese filling are crowd-pleasing.
Ingredients Needed for Cream Cheese Brownies
- Butter: Salted or unsalted butter can be used in this cheesecake brownies recipe and added salt adjusted accordingly.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: The best brownies use real semi-sweet chocolate instead of Dutch cocoa powder.
- Granulated sugar: I love just granulated sugar in my brownies, but you could use half white sugar and half brown sugar if you would like.
- Eggs: Two large eggs bind ingredients together.
- Hot water: Helps thin the batter.
- Baking staples: All-purposes flour for structure, baking soda for rise and vanilla extract for rich flavor. Add a pinch of salt if needed.
- Walnuts: Chopped walnuts add a small amount of crunch.
- Cheesecake swirl: Softened cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract.
How to Make Cream Cheese Brownies
Make cheesecake filling: In a small bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla together until smooth. Set the bowl aside.
Melt chocolate: In a medium saucepan add butter and semi-sweet chocolate pieces and heat over low heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the eggs, sugar, water and vanilla..
Make brownie batter: To the melted chocolate, add the flour, baking soda and salt then stir well and then fold in walnuts to the fudge brownie batter.
Spread in pan: Spread half the chocolate brownie batter evenly in prepared pan, top with cream cheese mixture and spread evenly again. Drop spoonfuls of the reserved brownie batter on top of the cream cheese filling as evenly as possible.
Swirl: Using a knife gently swirl the brownie layer and cheesecake layer to marble.
Bake: Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. For a chewy brownie they should be set yet still gooey in the middle. Let brownies cool in the pan, refrigerate if desired then cut into squares and serve.
Substitutions and Variations to Make the Best Cream Cheese Brownies
- Chocolate chips: Add some chocolate chips if you would like into the brownie batter like I do in my chocolate chip brownies.
- Hot coffee: For an intense chocolate taste, replace the hot water with hot coffee.
- Omit the nuts: I love the added crunch of walnuts in these easy cream cheese brownies, but it is okay if you don’t! Just omit them.
- Serving suggestion: These fudgy cheesecake brownies, while great on their own, serving them warm with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and hot fudge sauce is amazing!
Expert Tips for Cream Cheese Brownies
- Room temperature ingredients: Cream cheese and eggs need to be at room temperature to incorporate into the homemade brownies batter more fully.
- Swirl: Less is more! When you swirl the batter less, the pattern of cheesecake will be thicker and more noticeable.
- Avoid overbaking: Nothing is worse than a dry overcooked brownie! Start checking your brownies around 20 minutes and when the edges are set or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done!
- Lining your pan: Line your pan with foil or parchment paper to avoid sticking and you can also then easily lift the brownies out of the pan to cut into serving sizes.
- Size of pan: I used an 8-inch square baking pan but a 9-inch square baking pan will work, too. A metal pan is preferred over glass to bake this cream cheese swirl brownies recipe.
Can I use a boxed brownie mix?
While I have not tested this, you might be able to for an easy cream cheese brownie! I would check the store-bought brownie mix directions to see how it can be adapted with a cream cheese swirl.
How do you get cleanly cut brownies?
First, allow your cream cheese brownies to cool completely and then for the cleanest cuts, chill your brownies for a few hours. Then using a warm sharp chef’s knife (run under hot water then wipe dry) cut your brownies into squares. Wipe your knife clean in between cuts.
You may also have good luck cutting brownies with a pizza cutter or plastic knife!
How to store cheesecake brownies?
Since these brownies have cream cheese, they will need to be stored in the refrigerator. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Do these brownies freeze well?
Cream cheese often changes in texture when frozen so I would not freeze these chocolate cream cheese brownies but you could try to freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container if you don’t mind that.
More Chocolate Recipes
- Simple Chocolate Water Cake
- Chocolate Baked Donuts
- Chocolate Cream Spread
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie
- Chocolate Oreo Quick Bread
The Best Cream Cheese Brownies
- ¼ cup Butter
- 1 cup Semisweet chocolate
- ½ cup Granulated sugar
- 2 large Eggs
- 2 tablespoons Hot water
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- ¾ cups All purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 pinch Salt
- ½ cup Walnuts – chopped
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces Cream cheese – room temperature
- ½ cup Sugar
- 1 large Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- Start by preparing the cream cheese filling. In a small bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla together until smooth. Set the bowl aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C) and grease and cover with parchment paper an 8 inch square baking pan. Next, make the brownie batter. In a medium saucepan add the butter and chocolate pieces and heat over low heat until melted and smooth, stirring constantly.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs, sugar, water and vanilla until combined. Add the flour, baking soda and salt, stirring well and fold in the walnuts.
- Spread half the chocolate batter evenly in the prepared pan, top with cream cheese filling spreading evenly again. Drop spoonfuls or remaining chocolate batter on top of the cream cheese filling spreading as evenly as possible with a knife, then swirl the knife gently through the batter to marble.
- Bake approximately 30-35 minutes. Do not over bake. Brownies should be gooey in the middle. Let the brownies cool in the pan. When cool, cut into squares and serve. Enjoy!