Cheesecake swirled brownies are one of my favorite types of brownies. That isn’t to say that a fudgy, rich chocolaty brownie can’t stand on its own – but there is something special about it when it is topped off with a layer of creamy cheesecake. Cream cheese adds a slightly tangy note to the dessert that makes the brownies seem even darker and more chocolatey than before. Typically, I use a plain vanilla cheesecake topping for cheesecake brownies, but I’ve made a few flavor variations in the past. This one is for chocolate lovers.
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies are fudgy brownies topped off with a layer of chocolate cheesecake. They don’t have the same visual impact as the classic black and white cheesecake brownies do, but they make up for that in flavor. The cheesecake is not too sweet, but has a good chocolate flavor to it that contrasts well with the deeper flavor of the brownies. If you want even more chocolate, add some chocolate chips to the cheesecake mixture before layering it on to the brownies.
You can either spread the cheesecake in a layer on top of the brownie batter when making these because the brownie batter is fairly thick and this is not difficult to do. I prefer to dollop the cheesecake mixture onto the brownies and give everything a quick swirl with a knife. It gives the brownies a more attractive look and gives you a little more variety, with some pieces having slightly more brownie and others having slightly more cheesecake.
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8 or 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Stir in cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined.
Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder, egg and vanilla extract until smooth.
Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Gently swirl two batters with a butter knife.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture will come out clean.
Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.
Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.
Makes 16 large brownies.