Cream Cheese Brownies {a.k.a. Cheesecake Brownies}

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 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 the perfect cream cheese brownies, 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 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 brownies 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 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 cream cheese brownies and get a nap, please, for the sake of my jealousy, don’t come back and brag about it.)

Cream Cheese 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!}

One Year Ago: Chicken Shepherd’s Pie with Garlic-Kale Mash
Two Years Ago: No-Bake Thin Mint Cheesecakes
Three Years Ago: Light and Fluffy Yellow Cupcakes

Cream Cheese {Cheesecake} Brownies

Yield: 9X13-inch pan of brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Cream Cheese Cheesecake Brownies


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


  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).


Chocolate: 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). 

Extra Chocolate Chips: 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.

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Recipe Source: cream cheese brownies 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)