Decadent chocolate brownie batter and fluffy cheesecake filling are swirled together making the ultimate cream cheese brownie! These cream cheese brownies {a.k.a. cheesecake brownies} are perfection.

Cream Cheese Cheesecake Brownies

Mondays are meant for brownies!

And naps.

But mostly brownies.

Because if your life is like mine, the chances of you actually getting a nap are slim to never going to happen.

That’s ok. The day is wasting, and these cream cheese brownies aren’t going to make themselves.

If you’ve been looking for a perfect cream cheese brownie recipe, this is the one.

It’s simple and uncomplicated with the perfect proportion of rich, decadent brownie batter and fluffy cream cheese filling.

Cream Cheese Cheesecake Brownies

I have an old, old cheesecake brownie recipe in the archives of my site. These Black and White Cheesecake Squares.

They are yummy. And a huge favorite (still) of mine, but the method and recipe are fairly different from today’s cream cheese brownie recipe.

So I consider them each existing in a land of their own. I love them both.

The cream cheese brownie recipe I’m sharing with you today is definitely more classic in terms of cheesecake brownie flavor – and it’s a little simpler to prepare (no refrigerating the batter).

It’s the ultimate in brownies + cheesecake.

The flavor is spot on: the brownie batter perfectly chocolatey and rich and the cheesecake batter deliciously tangy and creamy.

Cream Cheese Cheesecake Brownies

One quick glance at the recipe, and you’ll see my pictures validate how rebellious I am in real life (ha!).

I have made these brownies many times; half the time I grab a knife and swirl the brownie and cheesecake batter together in a very artistic manner.

And half the time, I don’t (and apparently, that’s when I choose to take pictures of them).

It’s really up to you. I will say that swirling the batters together gives you a more even cheesecake-to-brownie batter look and feel.

But honestly, if someone is going to turn away a brownie because it isn’t swirled properly, that person is no friend of mine.

Happy Monday! (And if you manage to make these brownies and get a nap, please, for the sake of my jealousy, don’t come back and brag about it.)

Cream Cheese Cheesecake Brownies

A quick note about some of my favorite brownie-making equipment:

-This is the 9X13-inch pan I use for all my brownies and cookie bars. It’s my fave (I have two of them, actually); the lid is just icing on the cake and super nice to have around.

-I can’t emphasize enough how much I use my small offset spatula(s) when I make brownie recipes like this – makes spreading those brownie and cheesecake layers easy as can be.

{Amazon affiliate links included above for products I’ve bought there; feel free to shop around for the best deal!}

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Two Years Ago: No-Bake Thin Mint Cheesecakes
Three Years Ago: Light and Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes

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Cream Cheese {Cheesecake} Brownies

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 9X13-inch pan of brownies

For the chocolate in the brownie batter, you can use baking bar chocolate (usually found above or near the chocolate chips) or you can melt chocolate chips, keeping in mind that not all chocolate chips melt well. I've had the best luck using Ghirardelli or Guittard chocolate chips when melting them in brownie recipes like this. Also, using bittersweet chocolate/chocolate chips will obviously result in a slightly darker chocolate and less sweet brownie, so keep that in mind if using (my preference is bittersweet chocolate, but I like the rich, dark taste). 

Also, I definitely won't be mad at you if you want to sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips over the top of the swirled brownies before baking.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Brownie Batter:

  • 9 ounces (about 1 1/2 cups) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (see note above)
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 8 ounces) butter
  • 2 cups (15 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cup (6.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, lightly grease the foil with cooking spray, and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), whip the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar, and flour. Mix on medium speed until well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Set aside.
  3. For the brownie batter, combine the chocolate and butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1-minute intervals at 50% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth (don't overheat). 
  4. Stir in the sugar, eggs and vanilla, and whisk until well-combined. 
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined, just until no dry streaks remain. 
  6. Spread 1/2 of the batter evenly into the prepared pan; it will be a thin layer. 
  7. Dollop the cream cheese batter in large spoonfuls over the brownie batter. Spread into a somewhat even layer (doesn't have to be perfect). 
  8. Microwave the reserved batter for 10-15 seconds. Give it a good stir and drizzle or dollop it over the cream cheese layer. 
  9. If desired, use a knife to swirl the brownie batter through the cream cheese filling, leaving a thin border around the edges (I don't always swirl; sometimes I just leave it in dollops, but swirling will give a more even cheesecake to brownie texture). 
  10. Bake the brownies for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. 
  11. Let cool completely in the pan and then refrigerate until chilled, 2-3 hours, for easier cutting. Gently lift the brownies out of the pan with the foil overhang, cut into squares and serve (or refrigerate cut brownies until ready to serve). 

Recipe Source: adapted from America’s Test Kitchen (increased quantities for 9X13-inch pan instead of 8X8-inch, used semisweet/bittersweet instead of unsweetened chocolate, changed other quantities of ingredients)


17 Responses to Cream Cheese Brownies {a.k.a. Cheesecake Brownies}

  1. Joan says:

    This is one delicious brownie. Especially since chocolate and cream cheese are the best flavor combination in the history of ever. (Sounds like what someone else I know likes to say!) The only way to improve it, possibly, is to figure out how to throw a ribbon of peanut butter in there, too. Possibly. But they are great the way they are!

  2. Laura says:

    These look so delicious — I’m going to try them for book group. My question is why do you use foil instead of parchment paper to line the pan? Is there an advantage to one over the other? I have both – I’m just curious! Thanks for all your help!

  3. A says:

    These were a hit at home and at work. Thanks for another winner!!

  4. Anne says:

    Wow, these were rich and delicious. I could not stop eating them. I cooked them the full time and they were a little gooey, but ok after refrigerating. It’s just hard to wait that long to eat them! I used Ghirardelli semisweet chocolate chips. Thanks!

  5. Elizabeth says:

    I made these this week and WOW! Delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  6. Alli says:

    Not sure whether to thank you or hate you right now, but WOW! This pregnant is one happy lady, even if it means gaining a few extra pounds by eating at least half the pan by myself. SOme of the best cheesecake brownies. Rich and delicious!

  7. Amy says:

    I only have unsweetened chcoclate bars. Will this work? Do I need to increase the sugar?

  8. Sharon says:

    In the snowstorm, we made these! Yummy! Thanks Mel!

  9. Bella says:

    It looks delicious! And the recipe is just perfect! I need the miracle pan now!

  10. Heather bell says:

    Brooke has been asking to make brownies and since my cream cheese brownie recipe has been failing my recently this is it.

  11. Paige says:

    These brownies look amazing! My husband is gone on a business trip and I think I’ll eat my sorrows in these tonight!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  12. Julie says:

    This looks SO good! Going to make them this week.

  13. Andrea says:

    Seriously the most diabolical combination since I don’t know what… my husband’s co-workers get the benefit. It’s just the 2 of us and I lack will power and self control so I make stuff, get my modest fill and send the rest to work. 😀 Some are more painful than others. I think these would be painful to send away. lol

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