These irresistible cheesecake brownies are my favorite chocolate brownies with a layer of creamy cheesecake swirled in! The sweet-tangy, chocolatey flavors are what dessert dreams are made of. Plus, they’re easy to whip up in about an hour.

I love mashing up my favorite treats, like these chewy brookies (brownie cookies) and my extra indulgent buckeye brownies. Just like these cheesecake brownies, it’s the perfect way to satisfy two cravings in one.

Two cheesecake brownies stacked on a lined wire rack.

Fudgy Cheesecake Brownies

Dessert mash-ups are the best! Today, we’re combining two of my favorites: chocolate brownies and cheesecake. In a nutshell, we’re making a thick fudgy brownie batter and swirling in a creamy cheesecake filling. It doesn’t get much better than this! Both batters use easy ingredients and come together in a snap. You’ll have to dirty a couple of bowls for this dessert, but I promise, it’s worth it once you take the first bite.

Why I Love This Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

  • Two desserts in one. If you ever find yourself craving cheesecake and chocolate brownies at the same time (I can’t be the only one), cheesecake chocolate brownies are the answer. Not only do you get the satisfaction of baking up a batch of the best brownies, but they’re swirled with the most incredible, easy cheesecake layer.
  • Simple ingredients. Make this double-decker brownie recipe with basic fridge and pantry ingredients. If you’re pressed for time or for ingredients, you can even use a boxed brownie mix! I definitely urge you to try my homemade brownies, though, because they’re truly something special.
  • Extra decadent. There aren’t many desserts more indulgent than a gooey brownie or a slice of soft, melt-in-your-mouth vanilla cheesecake. Now, I get to enjoy both, all in one bite!
Side view of rows of cheesecake brownies.

Ingredient Notes

These cheesecake brownies are a dessert recipe in two acts: a layer of rich homemade brownie batter, topped with a cheesecake batter swirl. Below are some quick notes on the important ingredients you’ll need for both. Scroll down to the recipe card after the post, where you’ll find a printable ingredients list.

Brownie Layer

  • Chocolate – I make my brownies with melted dark chocolate, but you can use milk chocolate if you’d like. I recommend using chocolate bars, though, and not baking chips, since bars will melt down more smoothly.
  • Butter – Unsalted butter, melted before you start. If you use salted butter, consider skipping the added salt that comes later in the recipe.
  • Eggs – You’ll need whole eggs, plus one egg yolk. The extra yolk makes the brownies extra chewy.
  • Cocoa Powder – Any type of cocoa powder works here. I love the Dutch-processed cocoa powder from Rodelle. I also have a handy guide on the differences between cocoa powder with more details.
  • Chocolate Chips – Because no brownies are complete without decadent, melty pockets of semisweet chocolate. Chocolate chips are an optional add-in, but I think they give the brownie layer a little extra somethin’ somethin’.

Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream Cheese – For the best, creamiest cheesecake texture, you’ll want to use a brick of full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature. Avoid the bagel shmear cream cheese that comes in tubs.
  • Vanilla – Make sure to use real vanilla extract or vanilla paste here, and not the artificial kind!
Three cheesecake brownies stacked on a lined wire rack.

How to Make Cheesecake Chocolate Brownies

Just three simple steps and these brownies are off to the oven. Prepare the brownie batter, layer the cheesecake batter, and bake! Below is a quick and easy breakdown of the recipe. Scroll to the recipe card for printable instructions.

Mix the Brownie Batter

  • Melt the chocolate and butter. Start by melting chopped chocolate in the microwave at half power. Melt the butter separately, and then cream this with granulated sugar.
  • Combine. Beat the eggs into the butter and sugar, followed by the vanilla and melted chocolate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, and mix those into the batter. Lastly, fold in the chocolate chips.

Make the Cheesecake Batter

  • Combine the ingredients. Beat softened cream cheese with granulated sugar until there are no more lumps. Then, beat in the eggs and vanilla until you have a smooth batter.

Before You Begin, Do This…

Take your cream cheese out of the fridge 30 minutes to 1 hour ahead of when you’ll use it. The cheesecake batter will be easier to mix if your cream cheese is at room temperature. If you forget, you can pop the cream cheese into microwave for 10-15 seconds or so (just make sure it doesn’t melt completely!).

Assemble and Bake

  • Start with the brownie layer. Spread about 2/3 of the brownie batter into the bottom of a greased and lined 8″ baking pan.
  • Swirl in the cheesecake batter. Next, spoon 2/3 of the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter. Using a knife, gently swirl the cheesecake batter into the brownie layer.
  • Swirl again. Dollop the remaining brownie batter and cheesecake batter over top, and use your knife to give everything one more swirl.
  • Bake. Bake your cheesecake brownies at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Allow them to cool completely before slicing.

Swirling Tip

The brownie batter is much thicker than the cheesecake batter, and this can make it tricky to swirl them together. You may need to run a knife or a spoon through the batter a couple of times (or more) to create the swirl.

Recipe Tips

  • Use the right chocolate. The brownie batter calls for melted chocolate. As mentioned, I recommed chocolate bars for the melting chocolate. Not to be confused with the chocolate chips that are added to the finished batter!
  • Line the pan. I like to line the bottom of my square pan with parchment paper. It helps a lot with sticking, plus it makes clean-up easier.
  • Keep the cheesecake from burning. The cheesecake layer tends to bake more quickly than the brownie layer. If you find that the cheesecake top is browning too much, cover the pan with foil while it finishes baking.
  • Allow the brownies to cool before slicing. I get it, everyone loves a warm, gooey brownie! However, you want to let these cheesecake brownies cool completely before you slice and serve. The cheesecake layer needs a chance to set.
  • For clean slices, use a warm knife (I run mine under hot water for a few seconds) and clean it after every slice. Also, since these are some extra-decadent brownies, I find that I can easily get 12 squares out of one batch instead of the usual 9.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know when cheesecake brownies are done?

The brownies should still be somewhat gooey in the center when they come out of the oven. They’re done when a toothpick stuck into the center comes out damp (not wet), with a few crumbs.

Can I make these in a 9-inch pan?

If you make this recipe in a 9″ baking pan, you’ll need to reduce the baking time by 5-10 minutes. Check on the brownies after the first 20 minutes, and check them every 5 minutes after that.

Close up of a cheesecake brownie with a bite missing, with a glass of milk in the background.

How to Store

Store these cheesecake brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days. Longer than that, and I recommend moving them to the fridge. If you know you’ll be keeping your brownies in the fridge, I recommend only slicing them only once you’re ready to serve, to keep the edges from drying out.

More Brownie Recipes

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Two cheesecake brownies stacked on a lined wire rack.

Cheesecake Brownies

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 38 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 8 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Irresistible cheesecake brownies are the fudgiest homemade brownies swirled with a layer of creamy cheesecake batter. Bite into two indulgent desserts in one!


Ingredients

Brownies

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (70g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (55g) Rodelle cocoa powder, sifted (see notes)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake filling

  • 8 ounces (226g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup (96g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces and melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for approximately 2 minutes at 50% power. Stir every 30 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
  3. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and combine with the granulated sugar; beat together until well combined.
  4. Next add the egg and egg yolk and beat for 60-90 seconds at a higher speed until the batter is fluffy (texture resembling a cake batter). Then add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat until combined.
  5. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Set aside.

Cheesecake filling

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well combined and free of any lumps, scraping down the bowl as needed.
  2. Next beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until well combined and completely smooth. Set aside.

To assemble:

  1. Spread the 2/3 of the brownie batter in the prepared pan. Then spoon 2/3 of the cheesecake batter over the brownies. Finally, spoon the remaining brownie batter and cheesecake batter and swirl with a knife.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 35-40 minutes. Toothpick should still be somewhat gooey but not wet in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool prior to cutting. Store in an airtight container.


Notes

  • The brownie batter is quite thick, and the cheesecake batter is quite thin, so it won’t be easy to swirl them together, but run a knife or spoon through it a couple times to create a swirl.
  • This recipe is decadent, I recommend slicing for 12 servings instead of 9
  • Chocolate: you can use milk or dark chocolate, but I recommend using a chocolate bar, not chocolate chips for the 4 ounces of melted chocolate in the brownies
  • Cocoa powder: You can use any type of cocoa powder, but my favorite for these brownies is Rodelle, which is a dutch processed cocoa powder.
  • 9-inch pan: You can make these in a 9-inch pan, and reduce the baking time by 5-10 minutes. I recommend baking for 20 minutes and then checking every 5 or so minutes after that. 
  • Storing and serving: These are best served at room temperature. Store them in an airtight container for 2 days, otherwise refrigerate. If refrigerated, the edges will dry out therefore then I recommend not slicing them until you’re ready to eat them.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 bar
  • Calories: 396
  • Sugar: 35.9
  • Sodium: 226mg
  • Fat: 23g
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 2.8g
  • Protein: 5.6g
  • Cholesterol: 101mg

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