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Cream Cheese Brownies

5 from 46 votes
Published on 05/01/2024 by Umamiology
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These Cream Cheese Brownies are rich, thick and incredibly fudgy. They have the chocolatey goodness you’d expect from perfectly moist and chewy brownies, with an irresistible layer of a sweet and creamy cheesecake filling on top.

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There is nothing better than freshly baked brownies – especially these brownies topped with a delectable cream cheese topping. And while these cream cheese brownies may look fancy – they are incredibly simple to make.

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This cream cheese chocolate brownie recipe adds a creamy cheesecake layer to an already chocolatey brownie base, that combines to become a uniquely delightful dessert for anyone that loves brownies or cheesecake!

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The Key Elements To Perfect Cream Cheese Brownies

  • Bread Flour: For that extra chewy brownie texture vs all-purpose flour
  • Canola Oil & Unsalted Butter: This combination yields the most moist & chewy brownies, from my experience.
  • Kanu Instant Korean Coffee: Include instant coffee, for that slightly earthy after-taste that adds another dimension to your brownies

What Is The Best Flour To Use For Brownies?

Bread flour is the best flour to use for brownies because it yields a chewier result than all purpose flour. This is due to the fact that bread flour typically has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, allowing it to create more gluten when mixed.

Should I Use Dark or Milk Chocolate For These Cream Cheese Brownies?

In this recipe, we’ll be using 60% dark chocolate because it provides a richer, heartier brownie taste. You can alternatively use milk chocolate but you’ll end up with a lighter and sweeter flavor – which is totally fine, if that’s what you’re going for.

Add Instant Coffee For a Hint of Earthy Aftertaste

Umamiology-Dalgona-Coffee-Kanu
Kanu Instant Korean Coffee

If you add a pinch of instant coffee to your brownie batter, you’ll get just a hint of an earthy coffee aftertaste that brings about a unique flavor dimension to your brownies. If you’ve never tried this before, it’s definitely worth giving it a shot – you’ll be surprised at how much it enhances the brownie flavor.

The Ingredients for Cream Cheese Brownies

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The Equipment Needed

How To Make Cream Cheese Brownies

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Making cream cheese brownies (or also known as swirled cheesecake brownies) is an easy 3 step process.

First, you make your brownie batter. Then you craft your cream cheese topping and layer that on top of your brownie batter.

Then, with a knife, you swirl the cream cheese into the brownie batter just before baking. This results in a beautiful ripple pattern that also incorporates the cream cheese into the brownie mixture.

Lastly, bake at 350°F until it is fully cooked.

Create Your Chocolate Brownie Batter

Start by taking your dark chocolate bar and chopping it into fine strips.

Next, create a double boiler by taking a heat proof bowl and placing it on top of a small pot with gently boiling water inside. This creates the perfect environment to melt your chocolate strips.

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Combine your canola oil, butter and dark chocolate strips into the heat proof bowl and give it an occasional gentle stir for about 3-4 minutes, or until all of the chocolate has melted and combined with the oil & butter.

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Afterwards, set your melted chocolate aside while you take a separate bowl and combine your egg mixture.

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In a separate bowl, add in your eggs, powdered sugar & brown sugar and beat with your hand mixer until the the mixture becomes frothy.

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Then, add in your melted chocolate mixture into your egg mixture – whisking continuously as you combine them.

Following that, sift in all of your dry ingredients (bread flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and Kanu instant coffee).

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Whisk or use your hand mixer once more to integrate the dry ingredients into your wet brownie mixture.

Once fully mixed, set aside as you create your cream cheese mixture.

Craft Your Cream Cheese Mixture

Start with a room temperature block of cream cheese.

Combine the cream cheese, vanilla extract and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with your hand mixer until the mixture becomes creamy.

Add in one egg and continue beating until everything is evenly blended. Give it a quick taste and adjust vanilla and sugar as needed.

Bake Your Swirled Cream Cheese Brownies

Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.

Gently pour your brownie batter into your pan and rock it until it all of the batter settles evenly into the baking pan and the surface of the batter levels out.

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Let the batter sit for just a couple minutes, then gently & carefully pour (or spoon) your cream cheese mixture on top so that dollops of the cream sit as a layer on top of the brownie batter (as opposed to mixing with the batter).

Then, using a thin chopstick (or butter knife), gently create swirls or lined stripes – by running the chopstick through the batter mixture.

Once you’re satisfied with the pattern of the swirls, place the baking pan in the oven at 350°F and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick that’s poked in the middle of the brownies can emerge with only a few crumbs attached.

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Pro Tip: If you brownie is almost done baking, but you’re not sure exactly when to pull them out, keep in mind that it’s always better to remove them from the oven slightly earlier, than slightly later.

Let the brownies cool for about 10-15 minutes, then cut into squares and enjoy!

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What Do You Serve With Cream Cheese Brownies?

These cream cheese brownies are great with a large dollop of vanilla ice cream – as a fantastic after-dinner dessert, or you can enjoy them alongside a tall glass of Dalgona Coffee (Korean Whipped Coffee) for sweet & simple breakfast!

How Do You Store Cream Cheese Brownies?

Store these brownies in an air tight container for 2-3 days on the counter or freeze for up to 2 months, for long term storage.

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Cream Cheese Brownies

5 from 46 votes
These Cream Cheese Brownies are rich, thick and incredibly fudgy. They have the chocolatey goodness you'd expect from perfectly moist and chewy brownies, with an irresistible layer of a sweet and creamy cheesecake filling on top.
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 8
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
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Equipment

Ingredients 

Brownie Batter (Wet Ingredients)

Brownie Batter (Dry Ingredients)

Cream Cheese Swirl

Instructions 

How To Make Cream Cheese Brownies

  • Making cream cheese brownies (or also known as swirled cheesecake brownies) is an easy 3 step process.
  • First, you make your brownie batter. Then you craft your cream cheese topping and layer that on top of your brownie batter.
  • Then, with a knife, you swirl the cream cheese into the brownie batter just before baking. This results in a beautiful ripple pattern that also incorporates the cream cheese into the brownie mixture.
  • Lastly, bake at 350°F until it is fully cooked.

Create Your Chocolate Brownie Batter

  • Start by taking your dark chocolate bar and chopping it into fine strips.
  • Next, create a double boiler by taking a heat proof bowl and placing it on top of a small pot with gently boiling water inside. This creates the perfect environment to melt your chocolate strips.
  • Combine your canola oil, butter and dark chocolate strips into the heat proof bowl and give it an occasional gentle stir for about 3-4 minutes, or until all of the chocolate has melted and combined with the oil & butter.
  • Afterwards, set your melted chocolate aside while you take a separate bowl and combine your egg mixture.
  • In a separate bowl, add in your eggs, powdered sugar & brown sugar and beat with your hand mixer until the the mixture becomes frothy.
  • Then, add in your melted chocolate mixture into your egg mixture – whisking continuously as you combine them.
  • Following that, sift in all of your dry ingredients (bread flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, cocoa powder and Kanu instant coffee).
  • Whisk or use your hand mixer once more to integrate the dry ingredients into your wet brownie mixture.
  • Once fully mixed, set aside as you create your cream cheese mixture.

Craft Your Cream Cheese Mixture

  • Start with a room temperature block of cream cheese.
  • Combine the cream cheese, vanilla extract and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat with your hand mixer until the mixture becomes creamy.
  • Add in one egg and continue beating until everything is evenly blended. Give it a quick taste and adjust vanilla and sugar as needed.

Bake Your Swirled Cream Cheese Brownies

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350°F.
  • Gently pour your brownie batter into your pan and rock it until it all of the batter settles evenly into the baking pan and the surface of the batter levels out.
  • Let the batter sit for just a couple minutes, then gently & carefully pour (or spoon) your cream cheese mixture on top so that dollops of the cream sit as a layer on top of the brownie batter (as opposed to mixing with the batter).
  • Then, using a thin chopstick (or butter knife), gently create swirls or lined stripes – by running the chopstick through the batter mixture.
  • Once you're satisfied with the pattern of the swirls, place the baking pan in the oven at 350°F and bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick that's poked in the middle of the brownies can emerge with only a few crumbs attached.
  • Pro Tip: If you brownie is almost done baking, but you're not sure exactly when to pull them out, keep in mind that it's always better to remove them from the oven slightly earlier, than slightly later.
  • Let the brownies cool for about 10-15 minutes, then cut into squares and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 481kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 8gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 15gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 215mgPotassium: 192mgFiber: 5gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 587IUCalcium: 56mgIron: 2mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

Can you leave cream cheese brownies out overnight?

You can keep these brownies in an air tight container for 2-3 days on the counter or freeze for up to 2 months, for long term storage.

What do you serve with cream cheese brownies?

These cream cheese brownies are great with a large dollop of vanilla ice cream – as a fantastic after-dinner dessert, or you can enjoy them alongside a tall glass of Dalgona Coffee (Korean Whipped Coffee) for sweet & simple breakfast!

Should I use dark or milk chocolate for cream cheese brownies?

In my recipe, we’ll be using 60% dark chocolate because it provides a richer, heartier brownie taste. You can alternatively use milk chocolate but you’ll end up with a lighter and sweeter flavor – which is totally fine, if that’s what you’re going for.

Share this recipe!