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Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

Elevate your brownie game with this decadent cream cheese brownies recipe.

How can you beat a layer of rich, fudgy brownies topped with sweetened cream cheese?

Trick question – you can’t!

So, whether you’re a fan of brownies, cheesecake, or both, give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.

A stack of homemade cream cheese brownies sitting in a white plate
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Why You’ll Love These Cream Cheese Brownies

Once cooled and sliced, these bad boys reveal a gorgeous swirled interior. And every bite offers the perfect balance of chocolate and cheesecake flavors.

They’re fantastic for potlucks, bake sales, or simply as a treat to enjoy with family and friends.

But that’s not all there is to love:

Two for One Indulgence: Can’t decide between brownies and cheesecake? Make both! They’re guaranteed to please everyone.

Customizable Recipe: Throw in chocolate chips, Nutella, nuts, sprinkles, marshmallows – the sky’s the limit.

Make-Ahead Marvel: These need to chill for the cleanest slices. So they’re just what you need for a make-ahead party dessert!

Instagram-Worthy Goodies: These babies looked incredible. So they’re perfect for the ‘gram. You can even wrap them up and give them as gifts for birthdays, holidays, or to simply brighten someone’s day.

Sweet and fudgy homemade cream cheese brownie in a parchment paper

Ingredients

My favorite part of this recipe is how the cream cheese adds a subtle tang and creaminess to contrast the decadent, fudgy brownies.

But as impressive as they are, you don’t need anything special to whip them up!

  • Semisweet Chocolate Chips: I use Ghirardelli for the best flavor and texture. But you can use whatever brand you prefer (or chocolate bars chopped up).
  • Unsalted Butter: Melted with chocolate for ultimate decadence and fiudgiest finish.
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness and helps create that shiny, crackly brownie top we all know and love.
  • Light Brown Sugar: Provides a hint of caramel flavor and extra moisture for a gooey texture.
  • Large Eggs + Yolk: Binds the batter and adds structure. The yolk makes the cream cheese layer extra rich.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the chocolate flavor and adds a subtle floral note.
  • All-Purpose Flour: Provides structure to the brownies.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Double chocolate power! Intensifies the chocolate flavor and adds depth.
  • Salt: A little goes a long way in balancing the sweetness.
  • Full-Fat Cream Cheese: Tangy and creamy, be sure to get the kind in a block for the best texture.
Several squares of cream cheese brownies with chocolate swirls

How to Make Cream Cheese Brownies

The beautiful marbling of cheesecake against the dark chocolate brownie makes these an attractive, gourmet-looking treat that’s sure to impress guests.

But making them is a simple matter of mixing and swirling:

1. PREP. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.

2. BROWNIES. Microwave the chocolate and butter in 30-second intervals, stirring well, until melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar, followed by the eggs and vanilla. Then, gently stir in the dry ingredients and set aside.

3. CHEESECAKE. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the egg yolk and vanilla and whisk to combine.

4. SWIRL. Pour 3/4 of the brownie batter into the pan. Spoon the cheesecake over the top and dollop the rest of the brownie batter over that. Swirl the batters gently with a skewer or sharp knife.

5. BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.

6. COOL. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then slice, serve, and enjoy!

Tips For the Best Cream Cheese Brownies

I’m a sucker for freshly baked brownies. Which is why I have so many different brownie recipes – I’m always on the hunt for the best.

And since I’ve made so many, I have a bunch of handy tips:

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  • Use room temperature ingredients. Softened cream cheese will blend so much easier, and it’s the key to lump-free batter.
  • Quality chocolate. I promise, it makes all the difference. Chips are great, but chopped chocolate bars are even better!
  • Careful swirling. Use a sharp knife or skewer to swirl the batters without over-mixing. Swirl in a figure-8 or S-shape motion for distinct marbling – but don’t go crazy. One pass along the top is all this needs.
  • Don’t overbake. Err on the side of underbaking to ensure fudgy, moist brownies. The center should be mostly set but still slightly jiggly.
  • Cool completely. This is tough, but they’ll taste and slice better once they’re fully chilled.
  • Easy slicing. Run the knife under hot water, then wipe dry with a paper towel for the cleanest cuts. Repeat for each slice.
  • Variations. Add 1-2 teaspoons of citrus zest, matcha powder, or freeze-dried raspberry powder to the cream cheese. For added flavor, you can also add peanut butter chips or chopped nuts to the brownie batter.
Sweet homemade cream cheese brownie squares sitting in a white plate on a white marble table

How to Store

Yes, these brownies can be made in advance and they actually taste better after chilling in the fridge.

Here’s how to store them:

To Store: Wrap the tray in plastic or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

To Freeze: Wrap cold cream cheese brownies in two layers of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil. Place in a freezer-safe container or resealable bag for up to 3 months.

Thaw frozen brownies in the fridge overnight. Allow chilled brownies to come to room temperature before serving for the best texture and flavor.

More Brownie Recipes You’ll Love

Pecan Pie Brownies
Chocolate Brownies
Banana Bread Brownies
Strawberry Brownies

Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

377

kcal

Elevate your brownie game with these decadent cream cheese brownies. From the rich, fudgy base to the sweetened cheesecake-like filling, it’s pure bliss!

Ingredients

  • Brownie Batter
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter

  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Cream Cheese Mixture
  • 8 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temp

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 large egg yolk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring well between each spin, until the mixture is melted and smooth. (Stop heating when most of the chocolate is melted and use the residual heat to finish melting.)
  • Pour the chocolate and butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and whisk until well blended. Then, whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Then, slowly add the mixture to the chocolate and butter and gently stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not overmix. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the sugar, and beat again until well combined. Finally, add the egg yolk and vanilla and whisk until just combined.
  • Pour about 3/4 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Spoon the cream cheese filling over the top, then dollop the remaining brownies batter over that. Use a knife or skewer to gently swirl the batters together, then bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  • Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack for about 2 hours. Then, use the parchment overhang to lift the brownies out of the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Slice with a sharp knife, serve, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use high-quality chocolate chips, such as Ghirardelli, for the best flavor.
  • Start checking the brownies for doneness after 20 minutes and err on the side of underbaking for the fudgiest texture.
  • Refrigerate the brownies for cleaner slices.

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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