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Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Sometimes, red velvet cakes are known more for their brilliant coloring than they are for their flavor because it is easier to simply make the cake look fancy than put together a great recipe. Flavor is unquestionably the most important thing for a baked good to have, but it sure doesn’t hurt to have a “wow” factor on top of that. These Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies definitely have an impressive look and a delicious combination of flavors to back it up.

Red velvet cake usually has a hint of both cocoa and buttermilk flavors to it and gets most of its color from the addition of red food coloring. For these brownies, I opted to leave out the buttermilk to keep a fudgy, brownie-like texture and add just enough food coloring to give these normally chocolate-colored brownies a deep red hue. The brownie batter is made with dark chocolate and you definitely get a much bigger chocolate hit from these than you might from a slice of red velvet cake. That said, the chocolate flavor is less intense than it is for some other brownie recipes – for instance, I usually add cocoa powder into my brownies as well – so you still get a little lightness to that chocolate flavor in a nod to the cake. The brownie itself is very fudgy and tender.

Red velvet cake is also usually topped off with a cream cheese frosting. It adds a contrasting color to the deep red cake and a lot of flavor. That cream cheese frosting appears here has a cream cheese swirl that is baked right into a cheesecake layer right on top of the brownie batter. The cheesecake is creamy and rich tasting, a great contrast to the brownie base. Take the time to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the brownie batter with a butter knife, rather than just simply pouring it on top, to get the best look from your finished brownies.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp red food coloring
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8- or 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. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth. Batter should be red. If a brighter red is desired, add an additional 1/2 tsp food coloring. Add flour and salt into the bowl and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Prepare cheesecake mixture. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, 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 should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.
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 or 24 smaller brownies


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  • Lauren at KeepItSweet
    December 20, 2010

    definitely saving this recipe! these look terrific

  • Erin
    December 20, 2010

    I made these from Baked Perfection a couple weeks ago. They came out a little cakey and I prefer dense brownies. Although your ingredients are not drastically different, they look denser. I may need to try these next time!

  • Mackenzie @ The Caramel Cookie
    December 20, 2010

    Oh my! These look wonderful–so beautiful and delicious!

  • Erin Ward
    December 20, 2010

    Yum! The things you post always end up being my favorite recipes!

  • Valerie
    December 20, 2010

    These look amazing. The moistness of the brownies and cheesecake really makes for a rich, rich red. Bookmarked!

  • Ryan
    December 20, 2010

    These look beautiful! 🙂 Will definitely be making them soon!

  • Heidi
    December 20, 2010

    Can’t wait to make these for my red-velvet-loving friend!

  • Erica
    December 20, 2010

    I love red velvet cake! I recently made a layer cake that I found on Bakerella’s blog that was fantastic. I now need to make these brownies.

  • Anna
    December 20, 2010

    These look amazing–and Christmas-y. Definitely trying these soon. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Caley
    December 21, 2010

    Absolutely beautiful! I’m not a red velvet fan, but I might fake it just to make these! 🙂

  • Rosi G.
    December 21, 2010

    After seeing these pictures, am I supposed to do anything other than DROOL on my keyboard today????

    I found your blog yesterday and have been drooling ever since. Thanks for sharing such wonderful recipes. I can’t wait to try some of these this week!

  • briarrose
    December 21, 2010

    Beautiful color!

  • Sharron Clemons
    December 21, 2010

    Absolutely beautiful! I’m not a red velvet fan, but I might fake it just to make these! 🙂

  • Tiffany @ Conor & Bella
    December 22, 2010

    Those look lovely!

  • soren
    December 22, 2010

    Looks very yummy and beautiful!

  • Amy
    December 22, 2010

    Oh wow!
    I’ve been trying to find the perfect recipe to get me started with baking, and this might just be it! Not only does it look gorgeous, but it seems relatively easy to make as well!
    I might give it a go for Christmas – wish me luck!

  • Jacqueline
    December 23, 2010

    Wow, these are wonderful! I made them today and colored the cheesecake component green so they are extra festive. These really are red velvet-y. Great job on these!

  • Tess Danesi
    December 23, 2010

    Just made these and they look and taste amazing. Thanks for the recipe and inspiration, Nicole.

    Now, we’re onto your Chai Snickerdoodles. Everyone LOVES those.

  • Jazmin Cuevas
    December 23, 2010

    I have these baking in the oven right now! well see how they taste 🙂

  • Amanda
    December 26, 2010

    Fantastic recipe… well done!! It is truly beautiful too!

  • Jenn@eatcakefordinner
    December 26, 2010

    These definitely have that WOW factor. I just made some red velvet brownies, but used a boxed mix. I bet yours are a million times better since they are from scratch.

  • Nicole
    December 27, 2010

    These are amazing! Gorgeous and delicious. I made some last week and they have been a huge hit at work and with the family at Christmas dinner. Mine didn’t turn out quite as vibrant though and I like the fewer swirls that you did. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

  • Michelle
    December 29, 2010

    This is such an awesome, creative idea! Thanks for posting. I made these over Christmas weekend, and my family loved them, though my swirling didn’t look as pretty as yours. I found that they tasted better after refrigerating them awhile, but that might just be me.

  • debbie
    December 30, 2010

    Just made these & can I just say, Nicole – that I love you? your recipes are always spot on and reliable. 🙂 thank you!!

  • Kelsey
    January 1, 2011


  • Kimberly
    January 21, 2011


  • lauren
    January 24, 2011

    these came out great! i only baked for 30 minutes and it was more than enough time.

  • lauren
    February 5, 2011

    I made these for my in-laws Christmas Eve party and they were delicious! I overbaked them too – turned off the oven and left them in for “a minute” which turned into a lot more with all the Christmas prep distractions. People still loved them! I think I’m going to make them for a Super Bowl party tomorrow and try not to overbake them 🙂

  • mindy
    February 5, 2011

    I made these for friends and they were amazing!! They did not last long…Thanks for sharing!!

  • Anna-Karin
    February 15, 2011

    Tried these yesterday, and no surprise they tasted great 🙂 But despite extra colorant they didn’t even come close to being as lovely red as the original 🙁 Maybe the Swedish color is too weak…

  • Jessica
    February 17, 2011

    I made this the other day. It was easy and it came out delicious. I used Hershey Special Dark chocolate. Will be making it again but im doubling the recipie to bring to work

  • longtimecoming
    February 23, 2011

    OMG these were a huge hit at my office. i put them in a heart tin and made them for Valentine’s Day. thank you so much for your recipes i had people BEGGING for more!

  • Lizz
    February 24, 2011

    I’ve got them in the oven!! They smell SO good!!

  • Hannah at FleurDeLicious
    February 28, 2011

    made these this weekend, and they were perfect! i brough them to a bridal shower, and they got rave reviews!

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