Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Behold, a gorgeous four-part cheesecake in all of its glory:

Oreo crumb crust.
Creamy cheesecake.
Fudgy brownies.
Chocolate ganache glaze.

WOW. Now, many of you know I am a self-professed Queen of Cheesecake. No,  I’m not tooting my own horn about how fabulous my own cheesecakes always turn out, but cheesecake is by far my very favorite dessert. I’ll eat it before anything else laid in front of me. And so when I saw this cheesecake featured on Smitten Kitchen, there was no turning back. I had to make it. Immediately. And with no good reason whatsoever other than I wanted it. No company, no dinner party, no celebration. Just because it looked THAT good.

Although the cheesecake is comprised of four components, it wasn’t complicated at all to put together, so please don’t be intimidated! The recipe for one bowl brownies is ridiculously quick and can be thrown together in less than 15 minutes. You can make the brownies a day ahead and pop them into the fridge – they are easier to slice through when cold anyway!

We need to talk about the crust. Deb is a genius. DOUBLE THE CRUST! Doh! ::smacks self on forehead:: For someone who is ALL about the crust (be it cheesecakes, pies, pizza, anything that has crust), it never occurred to me to just go ahead and double the crust recipe. Simply brilliant, for sure. The original recipe calls for either chocolate wafer cookies or Teddy Grahams to use for the crust,  but I used Oreos because, well, I just adore them. Oreo cheesecake is by far my favorite variety, so if I’m not going to have Oreos IN my cheesecake, I’ll definitely settle for them being my crust!

The cheesecake itself has the perfect texture – wonderfully creamy and melts in your mouth. Pair that with the double crust, a bite of fudgy brownie in every other forkful and a layer of rich, bittersweet chocolate ganache and really – cheesecake (or life, for that matter) does not get much better than that.

Craving more cheesecake? Some of my favorites:
Oreo Cheesecake
Chocolate Rum Cheesecake
Hidden Berry Cream Cheese Torte
Cheesecake Truffles
Coffee-and-Espresso Layered Cheesecake

One year ago: Hearty Beef Stew with Sweet Dinner Rolls

Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake

Yield: 12 to 16 servings

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes


For the Brownies:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

For the Crumb Crust:
1½ cups or 5 ounces (3 cups or 10 ounces to double) finely ground Oreos, or other chocolate cookie
5 tablespoons (10 tablespoons to double) unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup (2/3 cup to double) granulated sugar
1/8 teaspooon (¼ teaspoon to double) salt

For the Cheesecake:
3 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Ganache Glaze:
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon powdered sugar


1. To make the Brownies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil.

2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles.

4. Cool brownies, then cut them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake (I used a pizza cutter, per Deb's recommendation). You will have more than the two cups of cubes, loosely measured, than you will need, and I'm sorry, you're just going to have to decide for yourself what to do with the extra. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.

5. To make the Crumb Crust: Stir together the Crumb Crust ingredients and press into bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 10" springform pan. Fill right away or chill for up to 2 hours.

6. To make the Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350°F.

7. Beat together cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

8. Fold brownie cubes in very gently. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and place on a rimmed baking sheet (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.

9. When completely cool, top with following glaze.

10. To make the Ganache Glaze: Place finely chopped chocolate in a medium size mixing bowl. Scald the butter and cream together in a saucepan (or in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute). Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in vanilla and then whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve.

(Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)


139 Responses to “Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake”

Comment Pages 1 2 3
  1. Amber on October 11, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Wow, hellllllo beautiful!! This looks absolutely amazing. I am definitely going to have to give this a try.


  2. Megan on October 11, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    I saw that on Smitten Kitchen, and another blog recently made it as well. I can’t wait to try it, it looks AMAZING! Cheesecake is awesome, and with all the additions, well – just over the top!!


  3. Jenn's Baking Chamber on October 11, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Wow! brownies inside of a cheesecake! its like a dream! kinda reminds me of a blizzard but better!!!!!


  4. Erin on October 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    I made this about a month ago, and I agree that it’s the best cheesecake ever. I have never been a big cheesecake fan, but this cheesecake is a totally different story. It’s my husband’s favorite as well, so it was a huge hit for us!


  5. kayte on October 11, 2008 at 7:27 pm this looks incredible chelle! i’m actually having a hard time coming up with words here. i’m totally on my way over to help you eat this 😉


  6. Bunny on October 11, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    I’m definetly making this, it’s already bookmarked!


  7. Jaime on October 11, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    wow!! i think i also saw this on erin’s blog?? it looks fabulous. what’s not to love? :)


  8. Aubri on October 11, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    I share your love for cheesecake. I just made the Brown Sugar Apple Cheesecake (TWD) that I found on your site…and yum! This looks just as divine and I can’t wait to make it! Thanks!


  9. Cristine on October 12, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Goodness gracious… I must have this NOW!!!!! Looks amazing!


  10. Jenny on October 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Oh my. I am trying to eat better, less sweets and such, and this is just calling to me…… Oh such a test of my willpower!


  11. Shaheen on October 12, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Looks delicious! So want to try this now.


  12. Emily on October 12, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Wow, this looks fantastic. I already have a great cheesecake with cookie crust recipe that I found this past summer. I can’t even imagine how amazing it’ll taste with brownies and chocolate glaze. I’ll definitely be making this!


  13. Kate on October 12, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    One of my coworkers asked me to make an oreo cheesecake for her birthday…but maybe I’ll try this instead.


  14. Annie on October 12, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    Looks just as yummy as I know it was :) Great pick, I and my friends all thank you for it!


  15. megan on October 12, 2008 at 7:43 pm

    this is the ultimate chocolate dessert! brownies + oreos + cheesecake = the winning combination! YUM!


  16. Erin on October 12, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    That looks so freaking good! I could never make it just to have around the house, though, because my willpower is zero and I would eat way too much! I like bringing desserts to other peoples houses, so I can enjoy some and leave the leftovers there :)


  17. Nicole on October 12, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    Cheesecake combined with chocolate! Well does it get much better than that?


  18. Katie on October 13, 2008 at 7:14 am

    WOW!! Looks like every girl’s DREAM! mmm…..


  19. ingrid on October 13, 2008 at 10:07 am

    I’m not fond of chocolate but for some reason I keep coming back to your photos especially that first one. Your cheesecake looks just SO GOOD!


  20. allie on October 13, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Yummy!!!! Looks delicious and love how detailed the photos are. May I add the recipe to


  21. ResilientHeart on October 14, 2008 at 1:06 am

    Oh! My! Gosh! That looks absolutely divine – the upclose shots are incredible, thank you so much for sharing.

    Never met a cheesecake I didn’t like! The texture on this is superb.


    (The photos look so good, we should all be able to reach out and grab that fork…yum!) :-)


  22. andy abraham on October 15, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    Your brownies look amazing… What a cool idea for brownies… I am a member of a social networks site… and we recieved a post on Brownies and wanted to hear you opinions of it …I stumpled upon your post…and thought you would be a good sounding board.. we have a bake sale coming up…and want it to turn out good for our daughter… please advise…thanks


  23. Cameron on October 16, 2008 at 6:38 am

    This is a DEFINITE.

    AHHHHH I love cooking and i’m so inspired.


  24. HoneyB on October 16, 2008 at 7:57 am

    This looks sooo delicious!


  25. TeaLady on October 16, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    I only have one word to describe this cheesecake — WOWIE!!! I have GOT to try this. Fantastic!


  26. Joy the Baker on October 17, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    So much goodness! All in one slice! What a gorgeous gorgeous overload!


  27. Adelle on October 24, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    mmmm, you have the same very basic, very five star cheesecake recipe that I use: cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, and sugar. It is the foundation for what looks like an amazing variation on a luscious theme. I will be giving this a try! slurp!


  28. Jeanine on November 1, 2008 at 9:30 pm

    Made this today, took it to a family members house and got rave reviews. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!


  29. Fruit Salad Recipes on November 6, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Cheese cakes are the best….


  30. Ashley on November 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Yummmmmmmmmmmm! I saw this cheesecake on Smitten Kitchen a long time ago and said one day I’ll make it. Thanks for reminding me. It looks so good. I’m all about the crust too.


  31. Beverly on March 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    Just amazing how many cheesecake blogs that I come across! This cheese cake looks awesome!


  32. Chris on April 6, 2009 at 6:43 am

    Everybody loves this cake ! Cheesecake, brownies, and oreos- a combo that can’t miss. The kids at youth group made it vanish and my daughter loved the leftover brownies.


  33. choccycake on July 4, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Mmmmm, I want some of that please!


  34. BQ on September 7, 2009 at 7:52 am

    I’m halfway thru this. The brownies are BOMB!!! I don’t even know if I’m a make it to the cheesecake. Good thing there’s plenty brownies left over. Where I am it’s hard to get a hold of unsweetened chocolate, I used their version of bittersweet ( taste that way anyway, 40% cocoa) from this store called Hofa, and used 1 cup sugar. BOMB!!!!


  35. Jeannie on December 4, 2009 at 11:54 pm

    I am so drooling over this! Your cheesecake looks so delicious!


  36. evelyn on February 10, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    i want to try this, but im nervous that the brownies will sink to the bottom. how come they wont sink?


  37. Michelle on February 16, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Hi Evelyn,

    You will LOVE this cheesecake, and I definitely encourage you to make it! Unfortunately I don’t have a good answer for you as to why the brownies won’t sink to the bottom, but they don’t – I’ll call it baking magic :)


  38. Kaitlin on April 12, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    I made this for my birthday on Saturday. DELICIOUS. :] I used two nine-inch round cake pans instead of the springform pan and doubled the crust and the ganache (before I doubled the ganache it looked thin; that’s probably because my cake pans had basically the same diameter as the springform pan so I was trying to spread half of a ganache intended for a ten-inch pan into a nine-inch pan). Everyone who’s tried it loves it. YUM. :]


  39. Jen @ How To: Simplify on April 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    Cheesecake is my absolute favorite dessert. This recipe would definitely satisfy my unbelievable cheesecake cravings!


  40. LilSis on April 26, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Wow! I’m not a huge sweet eater, but cheesecake is hard for me to resist. This looks fantastic!


  41. maggy on April 26, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Who could say no to this?!? YUM! Love brownies, loooooove cheesecake.


  42. fruit salad recipes on May 19, 2010 at 2:42 am

    Who could say no to this?!? YUM! Love brownies, loooooove cheesecake.


  43. Katie on August 23, 2010 at 9:34 am

    I haven’t commented here before but I have been loving this site for awhile now lol. I made this yesterday but changed some things. I made a completely different brownie recpie (an 8×8 with butter and cocoa powder- needed about 1/2 the pan, a little less actually), used an oreo crust (2 cups oreo crumbs, 5 tbs butter, scant 1/3 cup sugar), 9 in pan, and different ganache (4 oz 72 % dark chocolate with 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 tsp vanilla). BUT it was still the same cheesecake part and still the same idea. I was worried about the temp, 350 is higher than i have ever used for cheesecake and it did look too dark on the edges and raw in the middle, I turned it off and left it in there, which made it appear cracked, dark and overcooked. But after I put the topping on and chilled it for 4 hours it was SO GOOD. looked great, tasted better.


  44. Heidi on August 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I have made this cheescake now 3 times and it is by far the best cheesecake I have ever had. It is so good!!! It’s a must try.


  45. kikat on September 1, 2010 at 6:59 am

    I super love this one, tried it right away after seeing the pictures, taste so awesome! Thank you


  46. thebarb on October 24, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I baked this yesterday and chilled overnight. Just had a tiny sliver for breakfast because I have no willpower – delicious with my coffee. Incredibly rich, creamy, crunchy – pure decadence!


    • Michelle on October 24th, 2010 at 7:25 pm

      Isn’t it fabulous?! I really need to make this again soon! It’s one of my very favorite recipes on the site.


  47. Sara on December 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I made this as a birthday cake for co-workers. I used the extra brownies as “garnish” and to hold the cake in place on the tray.


  48. Jamie on December 27, 2010 at 5:56 am

    I made this cheesecake for Christmas and it was a HUGE success! It was beautiful and delicious! Thanks!

    *fellow Pittsburgher


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