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Cream Cheese Brownies

Next to the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, there are few combinations that I love more than chocolate and cream cheese. Whether it’s in the form of a cheesecake, or something like these brownies, I swoon. I love how the richness of the chocolate is cut with the cool creaminess of the cream cheese. I have been wanted to find a perfect cream cheese brownie recipe for the longest time, and finally made it my mission this week to get it done. These brownies are an amazing blend of rich brownie and perfectly creamy cheesecake. In fact, there are very much the exact inverse of the Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake. Instead of a cheesecake with chunks of brownie in it, here we have brownies with swirls of cheesecake. Such a lovely little ying and yang.

This is a basic brownie recipe that is layered with a cream cheese filling, and then marbled to create layers and swirls of cheesecake within the brownie. It’s the prettiest version of this type of brownie that I think I’ve seen. I love them!

A word of caution: be very careful not to overbake these. I would recommend checking them about 5 minutes before they were supposed to be done. I usually do that, but got a little sidetracked, so these baked for the minimum time (50 minutes) and they were a little too done – the toothpick test came out clean, when ideally it comes out with moist crumbs when you’re dealing with brownies. So just a head’s up that you may want to check on them a little early. Otherwise, enjoy every sinful bite of decadence!

One year ago: How to Make Perfect Homemade Popcorn
Two years ago: Brown Sugar Bacon Buttermilk Waffles
Four years ago: Perfectly Chocolate Cake & Frosting

Cream Cheese Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 to 60 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Brownies:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk

Directions:

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Fold two 16-inch pieces of foil lengthwise to measure 8 inches wide. Fit 1 seet in the bottom of the greased pan, pushing it into the corners and up the sides of the pan (the overhang will help in removal of the baked brownies). Fit the second sheet in the pan the same way, perpendicular to the first. Butter the foil; set aside.

2. Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the chocolate and butter. Microwave in 30-second increments at 50% power, stirring after each, until completely melted and smooth. Whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract; allow the mixture to cool slightly. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Continue whisking until the mixture is completely smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just incorporated.

4. Make the cream cheese filling by beating the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk together in a small bowl until evenly blended.

5. Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan, spreading it in an even layer. drop half the cream cheese mixture, by spoonfuls, over the batter. Repeat, layering the remaining brownie batter and cream cheese filling. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the brownie batter and cream cheese filling, creating a marbled effect.

6. Bake until the edges of the brownies have puffed slightly, the center feels not quite firm when touched lightly, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out with several moist, fudgy crumbs adhering to it, 50 to 60 minutes.

7. Cool the brownies in a pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove the brownies from the pan using the foil handles. Place the brownies on a wire rack; allow them to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours. Cut into squares and serve. The brownies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerate for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated)

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52 Responses to “Cream Cheese Brownies”

  1. Jen of My Tiny Oven on August 4, 2011 at 12:34 am

    I swear I have gained 15 pounds since I started reading your blog!! It is so worth it! These look divine!!

    Reply

  2. Kathleen on August 4, 2011 at 12:49 am

    Amazing! Just Amazing!!!

    Reply

  3. Katrina on August 4, 2011 at 4:08 am

    I also love chocolate and cream cheese! This is such a yummy looking recipe. Awesome.

    Reply

  4. Sasha (The Procrastobaker) on August 4, 2011 at 4:19 am

    I made something very similar a few months back so know how good these are! So very rich though, i couldnt eat much more than one and for a sweet toothed person like myself thats saying a lot! I too overbaked mine slightly, still yummy but would have been better if i whipped em out a little earlier. Lovely photos indeedy and im tempted to give your slightly different version a go as they do look rather good… :)

    Reply

  5. Valerie on August 4, 2011 at 4:47 am

    I love those brownies, they’re amazing! Look beautiful too ;)

    Reply

  6. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on August 4, 2011 at 6:29 am

    I love cream cheese brownies and really love that you have two separate cream cheese layers!

    Reply

  7. bakingblonde on August 4, 2011 at 7:07 am

    I love cream cheese swirled brownies (though I prefer PB cream cheese swirl), I am looking for a new brownie recipe to try, bookmarking this one.

    Reply

  8. Heather (Heather's Dish) on August 4, 2011 at 7:58 am

    cream cheese brownies are my favorite…i love love LOVE the slight tang from the cream cheese with the richness of the chocolate!

    Reply

  9. Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray on August 4, 2011 at 9:03 am

    My favorite type of brownie! And this mouth-watering post just miiiight push me to make the effort and actually bake ‘em up…

    Reply

  10. Lucia on August 4, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Wow!!! Golosissimi!

    Reply

  11. joan on August 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Wow! You are the Brownie Queen, Michelle. I have been trying to bake my way through your Top 10 brownie recipes this summer. I’ve done about 7 of them so far, plus the cookie dough brownies ( I topped those with ganache). I just cut up the mint brownies (fabulous)….but my favorite so far is the peanut butter crunch brownies. They are all really wonderful! Now I will have to add this one to the list. Luckily, it has cooled off enough here to bake (Boston).

    Reply

  12. Margarita@ Pinoy Kitchenette on August 4, 2011 at 10:37 am

    WOW! your baked goodies are so yummy! I’ve been browsing your posts and everything becomes my favorite. Now i really have to learn to bake… thanks to you! you make it more exciting.and your photos, they look absolutely delicious.

    Reply

  13. sue on August 4, 2011 at 10:39 am

    i have been making a similar recipe for many years. my older son calls these “zebra” brownies. they have always been his requested snack to bring to school on his birthday, and they are always a big hit. i enjoy your blog…you are my “go to” site for recipe ideas!

    Reply

  14. Curt on August 4, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Oh my! What more needs to be said?

    I have to agree with your comment on the combination of chocolate and cream cheese. Almost as good as chocolate and peanut butter.

    Awesome recipe!

    Reply

  15. Jeannie on August 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Indeed these brownies are really pretty and looks so delicious too! I don’t think I could stop at one piece lol!

    Reply

  16. ZC on August 4, 2011 at 11:16 am

    YUUUUUUUUM!!! This is gonna be my next cake. Can’t wait to try it.

    Reply

  17. Jackie on August 4, 2011 at 12:13 pm

    Beautiful, cream cheese goes so well with EVERYTHING! and I love the photos.

    Reply

  18. CouponClippingCook on August 4, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    ok…this recipe sounds so good…I love the combination of rich chocolate and cream cheese. Seriously, I could eat these for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    Reply

  19. Angie on August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    i lov Cream Cheese Brownies!!! Great job on them!

    Reply

  20. Angie on August 4, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    i lov Cream Cheese Brownies!!! Great job on them!

    Reply

  21. CatherineH on August 4, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Wow.. just woww… I’ve probably looked through every single brownie recipe you have posted here and I think it’s time I finally make these. Staring at these pictures is making me drool here on my laptop. The brownies look that good, and they probably taste ten times better. Thanks for another great recipe!! :)

    Catherine

    Reply

  22. Sandra on August 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    Thanks for the heads up, wouldn’t want to ruin anything this tasty.

    Reply

  23. Dayana on August 4, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    You will be the end of me!!! I adore your recipes!

    Reply

  24. jen @ the baked life on August 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    love, love, love creamcheese brownies. Thnkfully, the husband doesn’t like cream cheese (what the hell right?), so I can make these and eat them all to myself.

    Reply

  25. The Chocolate Priestess on August 4, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    You did a great marbling job, they look beautiful!

    Reply

  26. Becki's Whole Life on August 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    These sounds wonderful! I was looking for something like this a week ago or so. I love that there is a middle cream cheese layer in there!

    Reply

  27. Ally on August 4, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    These look so incredibly yummy. I’d like to try them with some raspberry in the cheesecake mix!
    xo
    http://allykayler.blogspot.com

    Reply

  28. Ann on August 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Oh, fabulous! I love cheesecake and brownies….and these are so pretty!

    Reply

  29. Mackenzie@The Caramel Cookie on August 5, 2011 at 8:26 am

    Cheesecake brownies are one of my favorite types of brownies! Yum!

    Reply

  30. Christina @ This Woman Cooks! on August 5, 2011 at 10:53 am

    Must make now!

    Reply

  31. Amy on August 5, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Just baked a batch and they turned out divine – the final product: http://goo.gl/hzwsN

    They are extremely decadent so I cut them into smaller bite-sized ones thereby producing more than double the original serving amount. Delicioso…

    Reply

  32. Christina @ Sweet Peas Kitchen on August 5, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Mmmm…these brownies look incredible! I LOVE cheesecake brownies…they combine two of my favorite recipes! :)

    Reply

  33. Rebecca on August 5, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I made cream cheese brownies from David Lebovitz’s new cookbook recently and they were divine. You should try them! I will put these on my list for comparison.

    Reply

  34. Paula on August 6, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I love the look of this brownie. No doubt it tastes a enticing as it appears to be.

    Reply

  35. jaclyn@todayslady on August 6, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Oh my word! These look amazing!!!! I love the cream cheese-chocolate combo too :)

    Reply

  36. Pecan Pie on August 9, 2011 at 9:56 pm

    Really nice photos. Love chocolate cheesecake, bet these are delicious. Love the foil handle trick! Nice recipe. Well written post. ~ thanks, tom

    Reply

  37. John Dude on August 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    It looks so delicious, Even i showed this blog to my mum and she promised me that she will prepare pizza for me from this browni recipe. And i love to have it.

    Reply

  38. Sarah on August 14, 2011 at 9:05 am

    I am a college student about to go into my senior year. I realized this summer that I know nothing about baking or cooking. So in order to fix that I embarked on a mission to learn. These brownies are so delicious! I just made them last night! My first attempt at making brownies that have a bit more to them than chocolate. I absolutely love your website! I can no wait to make more. I also make your white sangria rescipe on a daily basis its that delicious! I can’t wait to make more things on your website! (New Jersey)

    Reply

  39. ren on August 14, 2011 at 9:29 am

    Question for you – I made these yesterday and they came out a little too cakey for my liking. They taste awesome, I just like my brownies really fudgy. Next time I want to only add one egg but I dont know how that will affect the cream cheese? What do you think?

    Reply

    • Michelle on August 14th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Ren, I think you would be okay only using one egg. Or you could try integrating the cream cheese filling into another favorite fudgy brownie recipe.

      Reply

  40. Dianna on August 16, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    I love this recipe!!! I always had this desert at a local restaurant (wamed with a scoop of ice cream). Always wanted the recipe and here it is . Thank you so much . Your blog is one of my favorites and your recipes are GREAT! Keep up the good work.

    Reply

  41. Ally on August 17, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I made this recipe but tweaked it a tad – like adding seedless raspberry jam! Turned out deliciously.

    xo

    Find the recipe here: http://allykayler.blogspot.com/2011/08/43.html

    Reply

  42. Sonya M on September 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    This is the second recipe of yours I’ve used and it’s another success!!! My husband and brother-in-law polished off half of the batch already and the brownies were supposed to be for a party tomorrow! Might have to just whip up another batch in the morning, since they were so incredibly simple :)

    Reply

  43. Xisca on January 2, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I made your Cream Cheese Brownies for New Year’s Day lunch and it was a successful dessert: everybody loved it!!! :heart:
    Your blog is just amazing & I really appreciate your work!!! :D
    Wish you all the best for 2013!!! :)

    Xisca from Paris (France).

    Reply

  44. House of Twirls on March 4, 2013 at 12:21 pm

    We have made these no less than twenty times and they are still our favorite! My only change is 1teaspoon of almond extract in BOTH the brownies and the cream cheese mixture….. To die for! Thanks again Brown eyed baker!

    Reply

  45. Ana on March 18, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Can i double the recipe, and put it in a 11 x 7 pan?

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 26th, 2013 at 12:04 am

      Hi Ana, If you double the recipe an 11×7 pan will be too small; you’ll need to use a 9×13.

      Reply

  46. Vanessa on March 17, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    I neglected to heed your tip about checking these five minutes before the 50-minute mark and when I removed them at 50, they already seemed “well done”: there were no crumbs on the toothpick at all. Is this the reason they turned out dense and kind of dry? Otherwise, they were very tasty! A very good use for my leftover cream cheese.

    Reply

    • Michelle on March 18th, 2014 at 9:56 am

      Hi Vanessa, If they were dry, they were probably over baked a bit. I’m glad you enjoyed them, though!

      Reply

  47. Laura on April 14, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    I just made these yesterday and I am so glad I found your recipe! I have been depriving my taste buds all my life by using boxed brownie mixes. They turned out perfect! I was a bit shocked by how amazing the flavor was.

    Reply

  48. Andrea on May 9, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Are these more cake like brownies? Can I leave out an egg to make them more fudge like?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 12th, 2014 at 11:04 am

      Hi Andrea, They are a little more cakey than fudgy. I haven’t tried playing around with this particular recipe, but you could try eliminating an egg, or reducing the flour.

      Reply

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