Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe

It's no secret that brownies are one of the tastiest desserts to ever exist. The rich, dense, chocolatey treat is an absolute staple when it comes to desserts that you can make at home, and it's pretty easy to customize them, too. You could add chocolate chips for some extra chocolatey goodness, or perhaps some walnuts for a satisfying crunch. You could top them off with sprinkles or a layer of frosting — the possibilities are truly endless when it comes to brownies!

Recipe developer Kate Shungu knows a thing or two about customizing brownies, and her cream cheese brownie recipe is proof of that. Not only is there an irresistible swirl of cream cheese within the brownies, but they're also topped off with a rich chocolate frosting. "Brownies are just better with frosting, and this brownie is no exception," Shungu explains of her recipe. "It adds the perfect amount of sweetness that complements the brownie portion nicely." Of course, we can't overlook the cream cheese element: "The cream cheese adds a subtle tanginess to the brownies, so these brownies are sweet without being overly sweet," Shungu explains, noting that this layer also adds a "pretty marble look" to the dish. Tasty and pretty? Let's hop right into this wonderful recipe!

Gather the ingredients to make cream cheese brownies

Before you can begin making these cream cheese brownies, you'll want to make sure that you have the right ingredients. Like many recipes for baked goods, this one calls for some pretty standard baking items. You'll need sugar, all-purpose flour, eggs, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, unsweetened chocolate, softened butter, softened cream cheese, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and milk. There are two components to this dish — the cream cheese brownies and the chocolate frosting — so many of the aforementioned ingredients will be divided throughout the recipe.

Start by making the brownie batter

It's time to get started on making these brownies! First things first, preheat the oven to 325 F and spray a 13x9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Then, grab a large mixing bowl and add in 3 of the eggs, whisking them until they're fluffy. Add 1 cup sugar and stir until it's combined with the eggs. Now, place 8 tablespoons of butter and the unsweetened chocolate into a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave until just melted. Stir the butter and chocolate into the eggs and sugar, then fold in 1 cup flour, the baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

Make the cream cheese mixture and layer it onto the brownies

Grab a separate large bowl and add in the cream cheese, 6 tablespoons of butter, ⅓ cup of sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat these ingredients with an electric mixer until combined. Now, grab your prepared 13x9-inch baking dish, and pour in half of your brownie batter. Pour all of the cream cheese mixture on top, then dollop the remaining half of the brownie batter across the cream cheese layer. Use a knife to swirl the layers together, creating a nice marbled effect. Pop the dish into the oven and allow the brownies to bake for 35 minutes. 

Frost the brownies and serve

As the brownies are baking, you can focus on making the frosting. Combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat these ingredients until a cohesive frosting forms. Once the brownies are done baking, allow them to cool, then frost them, serve, and enjoy! "A steaming mug of coffee or tea would pair perfectly with these brownies," Shungu suggests, though they're also perfectly enjoyable on their own. And, if you have leftovers, you can store them in the fridge for up to a week. We hope you enjoy this sweet, decadent treat.

Cream Cheese Brownies Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
Try a fresh twist on the standard brownies recipe by trying this easy, from-scratch cream cheese brownies recipe. It's sure to hit the spot.
Prep Time
Cook Time
two brownies on plate
Total time: 50 minutes
  • For the brownie batter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the cream cheese layer
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • For the chocolate frosting
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Spray a 13x9-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Whisk 3 eggs together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add 1 cup sugar and stir.
  3. Place 8 tablespoons butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until just melted. Stir into the sugar mixture. Then, fold in 1 cup flour, baking powder, salt, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  4. In another large bowl, combine the cream cheese, 6 tablespoons butter, ⅓ cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until combined.
  5. Pour half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan. Top with the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Dollop the remaining brownie mixture in tablespoon-sized pieces on top of the cream cheese mixture. Swirl with a knife.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool.
  8. For the frosting, combine 3 tablespoons butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, milk, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat on high with an electric mixer until smooth.
  9. Frost the cooled brownies with the frosting. Cut into squares and serve.
Calories per Serving 367
Total Fat 21.8 g
Saturated Fat 13.0 g
Trans Fat 0.5 g
Cholesterol 104.8 mg
Total Carbohydrates 39.4 g
Dietary Fiber 1.1 g
Total Sugars 30.3 g
Sodium 181.6 mg
Protein 4.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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