Get ready to taste the magic of cheesecake brownies, the perfect blend of super yummy chocolate brownie and creamy, silky cheesecake, all decorated with an extra chocolate swirl on top. It’s tough to describe just how delicious these treats are!
Don’t worry, making these fantastic goodies is actually very easy. All you need are some everyday ingredients and our easy-to-follow instructions. Your friends and family will be amazed when they try these awesome treats. So let’s dive in and start baking!
What are cheesecake brownies?
These delights begin with a rich, fudgy brownie layer. The brownie batter is then smoothed into a baking dish, before welcoming a second layer of pleasure – the creamy cheesecake swirl, which features cream cheese, sweetened and whipped into an incredibly silky texture. The cheesecake batter is then dolloped with additional brownie batter and swirled together in a beautiful dance of decadence atop the fudgy brownie layer. Oh. My. Goodness!
Ingredients and Equipment
A Kitchen Aid or stand mixer is ideal for making the cheesecake layer. But, if you don’t own a stand mixer, you can indeed mix with a hand mixer.
The ingredient list is quite basic too: Flour, sugar, vanilla extract, butter, salt and cocoa powder are all ingredients you likely have on hand. To this, we’ll add chocolate chips, cream cheese, and some eggs. Is that really all? You bet it is. You know I like to keep things simple and we’re gonna get the absolute best brownies with these simple ingredients.
Why Use Room Temperature Eggs?
You see it often in baking recipe: ingredients such as eggs or dairy at “room temperature”. You might wonder, how important is this?
Basically, room temperature eggs help with emulsification.
When you bake, you often have to mix ingredients like butter, which is fat-based, and ingredients like milk or other dairy, which is water-based. Normally, fat and water don’t mix well together.
Eggs, especially the yolks, contain substances that can bind with both fat and water, helping them to blend together smoothly. This process is called emulsification.
But here’s the key: eggs are better at this job when they’re at room temperature. Imagine trying to do a complicated task in a really cold room; you could still do it, but it’s a bit harder, right? In the same way, eggs can still cause emulsification when they’re cold, but they do it more efficiently at room temperature. That’s why many baking recipes call for room temperature eggs.
Preheat oven to 350°F and line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. The parchment makes cleanup much easier and really helps when removing the very soft, cooked brownies from the baking dish.
We’ll be making 2 layers for our brownies, as described above: a traditional chocolate brownie layer and then a cheesecake layer.
The cheesecake layer is made first by mixing room-temperature cream cheese with ¼ cup of sugar and 1 room-temperature egg. This is perfect for a stand mixer set to medium speed for 3-4 minutes. You’ll probably need to stop and stir up the bottom with a spatula to get what’s missed by the mixing paddle. Mix until everything is well incorporated and smooth. Then set the cheesecake batter aside. The batter will be on the thin side and pourable. It will cook up nicely when it’s in the oven though.
To make the brownie batter, you’ll mix the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl. Next, melt the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Do this in 1-minute increments, stirring after each one. It usually just takes 2-3 minutes to get it all melted. Mix it well, then let it cool for about 5 minutes before adding the egg and vanilla. We let it cool so that the hot mixture doesn’t cook the egg.
Now it’s time to add the chocolate mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Use a silicone spatula and fold it all together. Add 1 tablespoon of water to thin the batter out a bit. You don’t need a mixer for this step. In fact, you don’t want to overmix it by hand either. Just fold it all together until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Then, take ¼ cup of that batter and set aside. We’ll be using it shortly.
Take the bowl of brownie batter and dump it into the parchment-lined baking dish. Use the silicone spatula to spread it out and smooth it out. Now, pour the cheesecake layer right on top of the brownie batter. It will sit right on top. Spread it around by moving the dish around or use the spatula to gently spread it out. Now, take that ¼ cup of brownie batter which we set aside and add another tablespoon of water to it and mix it to thin it out further. Take a spoon and add about 6 dollops of the mix to the cheesecake layer. Basically, we’ll have 6 batter spots dropped in. Now it’s time to swirl these dollops of the batter with the cheesecake. Use a toothpick or the tip of a knife and gently swirl those dollops around the cheesecake layer. There’s really no right or wrong way to do this, we just want to swirl about. If’s it uneven or anything like that, don’t worry about it at all. Let’s just get it in the oven.
Bake at 350° for 30 minutes, then let cool
The brownies go into the preheated oven at 350°F for 30-35 minutes. When they’re done, the edges should rise a bit start to crust up and the top should have a golden look to it. Insert a toothpick in the center and pull it out. If it’s wet with batter, give them another 5 minutes.
And now it’s time for a little patience, my friends. We have to let the brownies cool before we can enjoy them. And I mean really cool down. Let them sit out for at least an hour before attempting anything at all. In fact, your best bet is to let them cool on the countertop for an hour, then place them in the fridge for a couple of hours. Here’s why: if you cut them after 1 hour of cooling, they’re gonna be real gooey (awesome, but gooey) and difficult to work with. But if they spend some time in the fridge, they’ll become oh so much better. The cheesecake layer, especially, will get that nice cool, silky texture that cheesecake is known for, while the brownie layer takes form even better. They will be much easier to cut and enjoy this way.
How to Store?
I find the very best way to store the cheesecake brownies is in the refrigerator. Put them on a plate covered with plastic wrap or in a plasticware container. They’ll keep in the fridge for about 1 week.
You can freeze them too! Wrap each brownie individually with plastic wrap and store in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 3 months.
The brownies can also be kept at room temperature for a couple of days. Again, you’ll want to keep them in an airtight container.