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Decadent Cream Cheese Brownies: A Perfect Blend of Rich Chocolate and Creamy Cheesecake

Are you craving a dessert that combines the richness of chocolate with the creamy texture of cheesecake? Look no further! These Cream Cheese Brownies are the perfect treat for any occasion. Made from scratch with a fudgy chocolate base and a luscious cheesecake swirl, these brownies are sure to impress.

Ingredients for Delicious Cream Cheese Brownies

Brownie Layer

  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • 1 ½ tablespoons water

Cream Cheese Mixture

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (warmed to room temperature for 40 minutes)
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions for the Perfect Cream Cheese Brownies

Step 1: Prepare Your Baking Dish

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 11×7 inch baking dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides for easy removal of the brownies.

Step 2: Make the Brownie Batter

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and the chocolate chips in the microwave at 1-minute intervals at 50% power until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder until fully dissolved. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla extract, and flour to the chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Spread ¾ of the batter evenly in the prepared baking dish.

Step 3: Prepare the Cream Cheese Mixture

Using a stand mixer or a hand mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until creamy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg and vanilla extract, mixing until fully combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter using an offset spatula.

Step 4: Add the Swirl

Stir 1 ½ tablespoons of cold water into the remaining brownie batter. Drop rounded spoonfuls of this mixture onto the cream cheese layer, spacing them evenly. Using a knife or chopstick, create swirls by dragging the utensil through the brownie and cream cheese mixtures. Be careful not to over-swirl or reach too deep into the brownie base.

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Step 5: Bake

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. A toothpick inserted near the edges should come out fairly clean, while a toothpick inserted in the center should come out slightly gooey. This ensures the brownies are perfectly fudgy.

Step 6: Cool and Serve

Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan before lifting them out using the foil or parchment overhang. Cut into squares and enjoy!

Tips for the Best Cream Cheese Brownies

  • Pan Size Options: This recipe can also be made in an 8×8 or 9×9 inch pan. Adjust the baking time slightly if using a different pan size.
  • Cocoa Choices: Both natural and Dutch-process cocoa powder work well in this recipe, so use your favorite.
  • Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, transfer them to the refrigerator for up to 5 additional days.
  • Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the brownies in a sturdy freezer container or heavy-duty freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.


Can I use low-fat cream cheese for this recipe?

While you can use low-fat cream cheese, it might affect the texture and richness of the cream cheese swirl. Full-fat cream cheese provides the best results.

How do I know when the brownies are done?

The edges should be set and a toothpick inserted near the edges should come out fairly clean. The center should be slightly gooey for that perfect fudgy texture.

Can I add nuts to the brownie batter?

Yes, chopped nuts such as walnuts or pecans can be added to the brownie batter for extra crunch and flavor.

Can I use white chocolate chips instead of semisweet?

You can, but it will significantly change the flavor profile of the brownies. Semisweet chocolate chips balance the sweetness of the brownies.

How can I make the brownies more chocolatey?

To enhance the chocolate flavor, you can add a teaspoon of instant espresso powder to the brownie batter.

Enjoy making these always delicious Cream Cheese Brownies from scratch, and impress your friends and family with a dessert that perfectly combines rich, fudgy chocolate with creamy cheesecake swirls!