After testing these cheesecake swirled brownies several times, I’ve finally nailed it. These brownies are super easy to make, and they are so good. They’re basically fudge brownies with a bit of cake-y goodness … (so, the best of both worlds). 🙂
The key here is baking the brownies a little bit longer than your typical recipe calls for, that way the cheesecake filling also cooks through. Allow these brownies to fully rise as they bake, indicating that all layers are fully cooked through. The cheesecake filling is forgiving, and works really well with the brownies to make sure the edges don’t get too crispy. Personally, I’m a big “middle square” fan, so the crispy edges aren’t my favorite. 🙂
I love adding mini chocolate chip cookies to brownies because they almost melt entirely while baking. The extra chocolate flavor and texture is unbeatable, and totally delivers every time.
I always add espresso powder to brownies, too. It has to be extra fine, because the point is for it to heighten the chocolate flavor of the brownies without being a detectable texture variant. Adding the espresso powder into the melted butter and cocoa lets it blend smoothly into the chocolate. I promise you won’t detect any coffee flavor in these brownies; it just makes them taste more chocolate-y!
Be sure to tag me on Instagram the second you get to make these cheesecake swirled brownies! I have shared these with friends and colleagues a few times, and always get awesome rave reviews. I can’t wait to see how beautiful yours turn out, too! As always, never hesitate to reach out to me via email if you have any specific questions, or just leave a comment below!
cheesecake swirled brownies
for the brownie batter:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder Dutch processed
- 1 tsp. finely ground espresso powder or instant coffee
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. salt (I use Diamond Kosher, so I use 1 tsp.)
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- flaky sea salt for topping
for the cheesecake mix:
- 4 ounces room temperature cream cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with foil, then lightly spray the foil with baking spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over very low heat. Whisk in the cocoa and espresso powder, then remove from heat.
- Stir in sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until fully blended. Check that the batter has cooled to at least room temperature, then whisk in eggs one at a time.
- Stir in salt and vanilla until completely blended.
- Add flour and baking powder, and mix until fully combined. Stir in chocolate chips, and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sour cream, egg yolk, sugar, and vanilla until completely smooth and blended.
- Pour half of the brownie mixture into the pan with greased foil. Spread it to coat the entire bottom surface of the pan. Pour in half of the cheesecake mixture, and use a knife to gently blend the cheesecake into the brownie batter.
- Repeat with remaining brownie batter, followed by remaining cheesecake mixture. Use the knife again to blend the cheesecake into the brownie batter, creating a swirled pattern on the top of the batter.
- Bake at 350 F for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is no longer "jiggly" when gently shaken. Remove from the oven, top with flaky sea salt, and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the brownies to a rack, and allow to cool for another 5 minutes. Cut into sixteen squares, and serve warm!