My Cheesecake Brownies recipe is made with a quick and easy, fudgy, chocolate-chip-studded brownie layer and is topped off with a thick layer of real, rich cheesecake! Recipe includes a how-to video!
Creamy, Fudgy, Cheesecake Brownies
One of the oldest recipes on the blog gets a makeover today! This cheesecake brownie recipe has been a favorite of mine for decades, and yet I’d almost forgotten about it as it was slowly buried under newer recipes.
But today I’m bringing back this shining example of dessert perfection. It’s the perfect hybrid of my beloved homemade brownies and my award-winning cheesecake, baked together in a single pan and drizzled with chocolate.
While other recipes often have a dry brownie layer topped with a scant swirl of cream cheese, these cheesecake brownies are the real deal. The brownie layer is fudgy, chocolatey, and studded with chocolate chips. It’s easy to make from-scratch, just one bowl and no mixer needed. The cheesecake layer is authentic, tangy, and rich. Let’s get to it.
What You’ll Need For Cheesecake Brownies
All of the ingredients we’re using today should be familiar and easy to find, but let’s talk about a few of them before we begin.
- Chocolate. This makes our brownie layer fudgy and flavorful. I like to use a semi-sweet or dark chocolate baking bar, but in a pinch you can substitute chocolate chips.
- Cocoa Powder. I use unsweetened cocoa powder and have not tested this recipe with Dutch-processed, though I believe it would work fine here.
- Instant coffee. While this is optional, it intensifies the chocolate flavor of the brownies and makes the cheesecake brownies more flavorful overall.
- Eggs. Two go into our brownie layer and two into our topping. While my original brownie recipe also uses an egg yolk, I felt that I was already asking you to use enough eggs with this recipe and after a lot of testing I felt comfortable using just two whole eggs (I don’t recommend leaving it out when just making my brownies, though!).
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips. Adding chocolate chips is optional, but I like the added pops of chocolate and the firm texture they add to every bite. You could leave them out entirely, or swap for white chocolate chips.
- Cream Cheese. Use full-fat cream cheese (sold in a block) and not the low-fat or spreadable kind in a tub. Spreadable cream cheese has other ingredients added to it that can keep it from setting up properly and can alter the final taste and texture.
- Sour cream. In my opinion, sour cream is a must for cheesecake, and the top layer of my cheesecake brownies is no exception. It adds a subtle tang and rich flavor that you won’t find in many other recipes (aren’t you glad you ended up here!?).
This is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why I chose them. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Cheesecake Brownies
- Prepare your brownie batter first. Fortunately, this can all be made in a single bowl. Melt chocolate and butter, then add in the remaining ingredients. If using chocolate chips, add those as well.
- Prepare a baking pan by lining with parchment paper, so that once the cheesecake brownies have baked and cooled you can simply lift them out of the pan and easily cut into squares.Evenly spread the batter into your prepared baking pan (the parchment can make things a bit tricky since the batter is so stiff, but it’s worth it in the end). These brownies will go in the oven, but they’re only going to bake for 13 minutes or so, enough for the top to be set.
- Make your cheesecake batter by creaming together cream cheese and sugar, then stirring in sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract. This batter should be nice and smooth when finished.
- Right about now your brownies should have finished their first stint in the oven. Carefully spoon the cheesecake mixture overtop and return to the oven to bake completely. This two-step baking process ensures that the brownies are baked all the way through but remain incredibly fudgy rather than crumbly and dry.
These cheesecake brownies are pretty rich, so in “real life” I usually cut them about half the size of the squares in these pictures (and then inevitably go back for seconds, so maybe don’t cut them in half, and save yourself the trip).
Frequently Asked Questions
They should not sit out at room temperature for more than an hour or two. Since the top layer is real cheesecake, it should be kept refrigerated.
These would be perfect topped with whipped cream, strawberry sauce, or salted caramel sauce. I’ve also made them by swirling a bit of dulce de leche into the top layer. Get creative and add whatever topping you think will taste best!
While I don’t think it would be a problem with this recipe, I haven’t tested it and so can’t say for sure. For best flavor and results I recommend making the recipe as written, but if you experiment please leave me a comment and let me know how it turned out for you (including the brand name of the box-mix you tried).
Let’s bake together! Make sure to check out the how-to VIDEO in the recipe card!
- 12 Tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces
- 4 oz (113 g) semisweet or dark chocolate baking bar¹ coarsely chopped
- ½ cup (50 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon instant coffee optional, see note
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 large eggs room temperature preferred
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup (150 g) semisweet chocolate chips optional
- 16 oz (453 g) cream cheese softened, use brick-style full-fat cream cheese only
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (65 g) full-fat sour cream
- 2 large eggs lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350F (175C) and line a 9×9” (23x23cm) baking pan with parchment paper (use enough so that parchment is hanging over two sides of the pan.
- Combine butter and chopped chocolate in a large, microwave safe bowl. Heat in 25-second intervals, stirring well in between, until both chocolate and butter are melted and mixture is smooth.12 Tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, 4 oz (113 g) semisweet or dark chocolate baking bar¹
- Immediately add cocoa powder and instant coffee (if using) and stir until combined.½ cup (50 g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon instant coffee
- Add sugars and stir well.1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar, firmly packed
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir very well.2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sprinkle salt and flour over the batter and stir until completely combined. Add chocolate chips, if using, and stir well.½ teaspoon salt, 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour, ¾ cup (150 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan (see note if you intend to do a chocolate brownie swirl on top) and transfer to 350F (175C) oven and bake for 13-15 minutes (the surface of the brownies should be beginning to set, but note that the brownies will not be cooked completely during this time!). While brownies are baking, prepare your cheesecake layer:
- Cream together cream cheese and sugar until completely smooth and well combined (scrape sides and bottom of bowl to make sure there are no lumps hiding).16 oz (453 g) cream cheese, ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- Stir in sour cream.¼ cup (65 g) full-fat sour cream
- Add eggs and vanilla extract and stir until combined.2 large eggs, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Once brownie batter is out of the oven, carefully and evenly pour cheesecake layer over the surface.
- Return to 350F (175C) oven and bake another 25-28 minutes or until cheesecake is set (center will still be jiggly if jostled). Edges may be slightly puffed or even slightly golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature until no longer warm. Transfer to refrigerator and chill 3-4 hours before slicing and serving. If desired, drizzle sliced cheesecake brownies with additional melted chocolate chips before serving.
ChocolateYou may substitute chocolate chips for the chocolate baking bar. You will not need to chop them.
Instant CoffeeThis won’t make your brownies taste like coffee so much as it will enhance their rich chocolate flavor.
Chocolate Brownie SwirlI don’t love doing a brownie swirl on the surface of my cheesecake brownies. It rarely works well for me, but many people asked me how to do it so: You will simply reserve ¼ cup of brownie batter, then once you’ve layered your cheesecake over the brownies, stir the brownie batter really well (pop it in the microwave for 5 seconds if it’s stiff and not spreadable) and dollop over the cheesecake batter. Use a knife to swirl through the batter and cheesecake. Baking time will not change. I demonstrate this (and my inability to make it look good!) in the video.
StoringStore in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Cheesecake brownies may also be frozen. Wrap well then store in an airtight container in the freezer for several months. The best way to thaw is to allow them to sit overnight in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This recipe was originally published 01/16/2017. Photos and recipe have been updated and a how-to video has been added!
Can I double this recipeand put it in a 9×13 pan? Also I get eggs from my friends chickens that she has. Sometimes the eggs are small. Would adding an extra egg be ok to measure up to a large egg?
Hi Stacey! To make this is a 9 x13 you’d want to just increase the recipe by 50%. As for the eggs, it really depends on how small they are. If they are small eggs I think it could work, but I haven’t tried it to say for sure. 🙂
Easy to follow recipe but the brownie is more of a dense, stick to your teeth, type fudge than what I was hoping for. A small piece is overwhelming sweet. Also my butter separated out of the brownie layer a bit. It solidified after cooling… but I’ll probably look for another recipe in the future. The cheese layer was great. It looked really undercooked but set up well by the next day.
I made these cheesecake brownies for my daughter’s birthday, and they turned out perfectly! I was not able to make the swirl! batter. I made my own dulce de leche from sweetened condensed milk (it was fantastic!), warming it and the brownie batter, but I only got clumps! Great recipe. RE
Love this recipe! By the way, your hair is beautiful. Thank you for sharing such amazing recipes. You are gifted!
These were SO good! My oldest daughter needed a recipe with a couple dairy ingredients for 4-H for the county fair. She loves cheesecake, so this recipe was perfect. The looked and tasted delicious and she got an award of merit on them! Thank you for sharing!
Baker In The Kitchen
I must first start off by saying, I love Sugar Spun Run’s recipes. However, this one was a miss for me. As stated, the cheesecake topping IS the best part of this recipe. While the cheesecake part was scrumptious, I didn’t care for the brownie part. It was more like fudge than brownie; and I am not a fan of fudge. I eat brownies all the time because they are my favorite chocolate dessert. Therefore, I can say I know a thing or two about how they should taste along with their texture. These were just too much of a tougher fudgelike consistency. If that is your thing, then this is a great recipe for you. It just didn’t cut it for me. I will keep the cheesecake recipe, however, I will stick to my own brownie recipe. Thanks for the share!
Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it! Yes they are a quite fudgy brownie!
I have a few questions. I’d like to make this for a church function. I need to make bars (like in a jelly rol pan)? Is this a good recipe I could use? If so what is the difference I’d have to make in ingredients and cooking times? Thank you. I love your recipes
Emily @ Sugar Spun Run
Hi Rita! We haven’t tried it, but this recipe should work as is in an 11 by 7 inch pan. Keep an eye on it while it’s baking, as it may take less time in a pan that size. You might also consider trying our Oreo Cheesecake Bars or our Chocolate Cheesecake Bars. We hope whatever you make is a hit at your event! ❤️
Sam I have yet to try a recipe of yours that I have not loved! I am a cook/baker taught by mom and grandma I have always been arrogant when it comes to my cooking because I know it’s delicious. I never ever open a cook book or look at recipes NEVER. I know by nature how to make the best pies you ever tasted, cookies cakes, curries you name it. But you have literally changed me. Your explanations of ingredients, substitutions etc have opened my eyes and renewed my loved for baking. I have made this cheesecake brownie recipe more than I care to admit. My family prefers that brownie swirl and I have played with it a bit I have had to withhold about a cup of the cheesecake batter to make it work perfectly. I literally use the rest of the batter by dropping an Oreo cookie in a muffin tin and dumping the batter in and baking them into little cheesecakes. And girl that worse chocolate cookie chip recipe! DISGRACEFUL. Your right they are dangerous! I cannot wait til your new ones come out through the week!!! Thank you for your time and effort. If I love you the new bakers most be bowing to you! I have no problem sayjng your a wayyyyy better baker than me!
Thank you so much, Tina! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed everything so much. 🙂
Oh my God…Sam…!! This was drool worthy. The different textures, the brownie, the cheesecake…it was fantabulous 👌🏽👌🏽👌🏽. The only issue I had was the granulated sugar hadn’t melted so u could actually feel a slight crunch….but thinking it could be because my butter chocolate mix had cooled down too much before I added sugars. But trust me no one complained…I was the only person who actually noticed it…🤣🤣🤣. Thank u for a fantastic recipe.
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it so much! 🙂
Hi! I tried out your recipe today and just pulled the brownies out of the oven – can’t wait for them to set and cool!
I poured the cheesecake filling onto the brownies right after pulling them out of the oven, and noticed that the heat of the brownies reacted in some way to cause some oil/moisture to rise to the top. Even after baking, there’s still a bit of oil/moisture around the edges. Should I have left the brownies to cool a bit more before adding the cheesecake layer on top?
Hmmm this isn’t anything I’ve ever experienced. Did you happen to grease the pan with butter? I’m wondering if that could be an issue.
No, I didn’t grease the pan. Well, after letting the brownies cool, they look and taste totally fine, so I’ll stop wondering about it (: thanks for sharing a great recipe!
Is it possible to make this in a 9 inch spring from pan so it is cheesecake shaped?
Hi Abbie! It may make a little too much batter for the 9 inch spring form pan, but as long as you don’t overfill it that will work just fine. Your bake time will vary, but I haven’t tried it to give you a definite time. 🙂
Hi! Just curious if you’ve had experience doing this in a 8×8 pan or a 11×7 and how to adjust? Thanks!! I love your recipes so far and am just trying to figure out how to not buy another pan!
Hi Karen! This will fit in an 8 x 8 it will just need to bake a little bit longer. I haven’t tried to put it in an 11 x 7, but as long as you have enough batter you should be fine. They will probably be thinner and require less baking time just be sure to keep an eye on them. 🙂
Thanks so much! Trying with the 8×8 pan this afternoon!
Loved this recipe!!!!! I actually did end up using a boxed brownie mi. I used the Ghirardelli Triple Fudge one. It had chocolate chips and a packet of fudge. It was so amazing with the cheesecake!!!!! My husband cannot stop eating them. I think they will be a new family favorite!!!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them so much, Amanda! 🙂
Did you bake the brownies and then the brownies with the cheesecake for the same time explained in the recipe?
Hello, I was thinking about making them with the Ghirardelli boxed brownie mix as well. Can you tell me if you cooked them fully or partially before you put the cheesecake on, please? Also, how long did you cook them after you put the cheesecake on?
Hi Sam! I LOVE your recipes and have made about a billion of them, and they’re all SO good! I actually donated a few of my baking cookbooks to the library because your recipes beat everyone else’s, every time. I’m so excited to try this one. Quick question: on your other recipes that use instant coffee, you usually recommend using water (at least, I think you do). For this one, do I just dump the coffee grounds in directly? Or make a hot cup of coffee and dump that in? Thank you!
Thank you so much, Kristin! I’m so glad you have enjoyed everything so much! Normally I do have you add the coffee to some warm water to the instant coffee, but it’s not needed here. We don’t add any extra liquid here so just put it in with the dry ingredients. It will still have the same result. 🙂
I cannot believe how beautiful these brownies are! I made them. I decided to purposefully omit the sour cream I make cheesecakes all the time and didn’t want the tanginess . BUT LET ME TELL YOU! They are gorgeous and delicious! I have attempted cheesecake brownies many times always disappointed I never liked the swirl either. I did the drizzle on the top and I am loving this recipe! So far we are 3 for 3! I have to tell you I don’t follow recipes this is a far stretch for me and your recipes are making it worth it!
I am so glad you enjoyed them so much, Tina! 🙂
can i replace sour cream with something else?
Hi Amy! You can leave it out or substitute plain Greek yogurt. Enjoy!
I have watched you prepare your recipes many times but am always distracted by your hair hanging over the bowls. I am a food editor for a major magazine and that would never pass in our test kitchens
Hi Annie, I am baking in my home kitchen, testing and providing recipes to you and others for free, and so I wear my hair how I am most comfortable. I am alright with not being invited to your test kitchens, mine is working just fine for me.
Mary Elizabeth Salas
Good for you Sam! And thank you for all the recipes you share. Delicious!
I am so glad you have been enjoying the recipes, Mary! <3
Hi Sam! You are an absolute pleasure to watch and I am so happy I found your website. Keep doing what you are doing and I am looking forward to trying your new cheesecake brownie recipe this weekend!
You are so sweet, Laurie! Thank you so much for following along and for trying my recipes! I hope you love this one! 🙂
Sam, unfortunately when you are on social media people search for reasons to be negative. I don’t see any chefs on TV or any other cooking shows wrapping their hair. I cannot believe someone took the time to make that ridiculous comment! I can’t imagine how y’all deal with negative comments when you are kind enough to take your time to share your love of cooking with people like me! Your appreciated! We all look for comments on the recipes to learn.
Loves your reply to Annie the food editor:)
This is the kind of comment that screams that this person isn’t actually who they claim to be. Imagine leaving a comment like this for someone who is baking from their home and not charging a subscription fee as many publications do. The audacity. Next, they’ll be yelling at Alison Roman for wearing chunky rings while squeezing tomatoes. Another thing to imagine would be a food editor that doesn’t edit their own comments for grammatical mistakes. Fraudulent. If not, it’s time to reassess some motives there, my dude.
On topic though, I have been SCOURING for something to use for a crust to try your cheesecake, Sam and brownie feels right. My corn allergy has been a menace and I can’t have graham crackers which are a diet staple.