Cheesecake Swirl Brownies (from scratch)

These homemade brownies with a creamy cheesecake swirled topping are a delightful treat! These indulgent brownies are made completely from scratch unlike the cream cheese swirl brownies we made growing up using a boxed brownie mix (also delicious with this cheesecake filling in a pinch). This homemade brownie recipe includes tips for getting the brownies nice and fudgy or even cakey if that is more your jam (or brownie), and the taste of homemade brownies is even better than boxed brownies in my opinion! If you love all things brownie, be sure to checkout my recipes for S’mores brownies and Reese’s peanut butter swirl brownies.

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Cheesecake swirl brownies

Cheesecake swirl brownies

marilynpeight
Indulgent, gooey brownies topped with a delicious cheesecake swirl. These brownies with a cheesecake swirl are a dessert match made in brownie heaven!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 9 by 13 inch baking dish (linked below)
  • Parchment paper (linked below)
  • Mixing bowls (linked below)
  • Spatula (linked below)

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup flour leveled *see note
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder unsweetened
  • 1 teaspoon salt scant
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar *see note
  • 4 large eggs *see note
  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips melted

Cheesecake filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips optional

Instructions
 

Preheat oven to 350:

  • Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate chips separately, then whisk together until combined and allow to cool slightly. Beat the eggs and sugar together until well combined and creamy (if the eggs and sugar are well beaten until the sugar is dissolved, it helps to create a more fudgy brownie). Add the remaining wet ingredients and mix well, then fold into the dry ingredients. Mix the wet and dry ingredients just until combined, do not overmix.
  • In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth, then mix in the egg until the mixture is thick enough to spread onto the brownie batter.
  • Pour all but 1/2 cup of the brownie batter into a greased or parchment lined, 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter, then dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese mixture and swirl with a skewer.
  • Bake the cheesecake swirled brownies in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, checking for doneness as soon as the sides are set and the center is no longer jiggly. Check the brownies by inserting a toothpick into the center, if a moist crumb remains, the brownies are done. Be sure to check the brownies frequently at this stage, because once the toothpick comes out clean with no crumb, then the brownies will be drier and more cakey instead of fudgy and gooey. Allow to cool for around 1-2 hours before cutting, unless you wish to serve them warm.

Notes

For brownies that are more cakey, you can omit the 1/4 cup of milk added to the batter, add 1/4 cup more flour and add an extra egg to give more of a cakey texture. 
We prefer our brownies less sweet than some, but if you prefer a sweeter tasting brownie, feel free to add more sugar or sub in some brown sugar to the batter. Additional notes on adding sugar below. 
Additional notes and step by step photos below. 
Keyword Brownies, cheesecake, swirl, cream cheese brownies, from scratch, 9×13 inch brownies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Equipment needed for these cheesecake swirl brownies:

  • 9 by 13 inch baking dish A 9 by 13 inch baking dish is needed for the amount of brownies this recipe produces. If you wish to halve the recipe, the brownies can be made in an 8 by 8 inch or 9 inch baking dish.
  • Parchment paper Using parchment paper is my preference for lining the baking dish with, it makes removing the brownies for cutting so much easier.
  • Mixing bowls I prefer to use stainless steel mixing bowls for mixing up the brownie batter and the cheesecake filling. Stainless steel bowls are easier to clean than plastic mixing bowls and are also dish washer friendly!
  • Spatula A spatula is needed to scrape the brownie batter and cheesecake fillings from the bowl, as well as spreading them evenly into the baking dish.

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Ingredients needed for these cheesecake swirl brownies: Butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, chocolate chips, cocoa powder, salt, flour, eggs (for cakier brownies, you can use 5 eggs plus one for the cream cheese filling, but for fudgy brownies you will only need 4 eggs for the brownie batter and 1 egg for the cream cheese filling) and granulated sugar. For fudgy brownies, you will also need 1/4 cup of whole milk.

Can I use brown sugar in these brownies?

Yes, you can. Brown sugar will change the texture of the brownies slightly, because of the molasses in the sugar, but you can swap out 1/2 cup (or so) of white sugar for brown sugar. Brown sugar will help the brownie texture to be even more soft and moist. Feel free to play with the ratios to get the brownie texture you desire.

Step 1: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Melt the butter and chocolate chips separately, then whisk together until combined. Beat the eggs and sugar together until well combined and creamy (if the eggs and sugar are well beaten until the sugar is dissolved, it helps to create a more fudgy brownie). Add the remaining wet ingredients to the egg and sugar mixture, then fold the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined, do not overmix.

Why should I not overmix the brownie batter?

Just like muffins, cupcakes and more, overmixed brownie batter will lead to brownies that have a tougher texture. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until there are no streaks of flour left. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps remaining, they will bake out into the oven. Just be sure to combine your dry ingredients and wet ingredients well, separately, before mixing them together.

Step 2: In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth, then mix in the egg until the mixture is thick enough to spread onto the brownie batter.

Step 3: Pour all but 1/2 cup of the brownie batter into a greased or parchment lined, 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Spread the cream cheese over the brownie batter, then dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese and swirl with a skewer. (Pictured is half a batch of cheesecake swirled brownies, in a 9 inch baking dish.)

Cheesecake swirl brownies

Step 4: Bake the cheesecake swirled brownies in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, checking for doneness as soon as the sides are set and the center is no longer jiggly. Check the brownies by inserting a toothpick into the center, if a moist crumb remains, the brownies are done. Be sure to check the brownies frequently at this stage, because once the toothpick comes out clean with no crumb, then the brownies will be drier instead of fudgy and gooey. Allow to cool for around 1-2 hours before cutting, unless you wish to serve them warm.

Storage for these cheesecake swirled brownies:

Brownies are always best when fresh, but they can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you wish to keep the brownies fresh for even longer, you can freeze them in an airtight container or tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.

Feel free to pin this recipe for later, and be sure to tag me on Instagram to show off a photo of your own creation of these cheesecake swirl brownies! Thank you for your support.

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