These Cheesecake Brownies are made with a fudgy brownie layer and a super smooth, creamy cheesecake layer. The perfect easy recipe for girl’s night or any occasion!
This post is sponsored by PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. As always, all opinions are mine.
Want to know what’s better than a brownie? A brownie that’s topped with a creamy layer of cheesecake right on top. And let me tell you, these cheesecake brownies do not disappoint! Even though they’re made with two layers of deliciousness, they’re pretty easy to make.
The brownie base for these cheesecake brownies is incredibly chocolatey and fudgy and the cheesecake layer is super smooth too. I drizzled these bars with some melted chocolate, but you could easily top them with something else like strawberry sauce, salted caramel sauce, or homemade whipped cream.
These bars would also be a fantastic option for a girl’s night, Mother’s Day, baby showers, or just about any holiday! This is a fabulous recipe that’s perfect to keep on hand and enjoy year-round.
Despite being a two-layer dessert, these cream cheese brownies have a short ingredient list. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe:
- Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter so that you can control the amount of salt in these bars. If using salted butter, reduce the salt by 1/4 teaspoon per stick of butter in the recipe.
- All-purpose flour: Be sure to spoon and level the flour when measuring it so your brownies don’t turn out cakey.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: Makes the brownies rich and chocolatey.
- Salt: Balances out the sweetness of the batter and enhances the chocolate flavor.
- PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese: The star ingredient of these cheesecake brownies! When it comes to creating a good cheesecake, you need to use a quality cream cheese. I love using the bricks of PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese because they create a smooth and creamy cheesecake. I’ve used PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese for years now and absolutely love it!
- Sour cream: The sour cream helps to create a lighter cheesecake layer that’s not too thick.
- Granulated Sugar: To help sweeten the cheesecake and brownie layers.
- Eggs & Vanilla: For structure and flavor.
How to Make These Cheesecake Brownies
To make these bars, you’ll start out with the easy brownie base. Here’s a little breakdown on how to make the brownie layer:
- Line a 9×13-inch pan with parchment paper or foil: I recommend leaving some overhang to make it easier to remove the bars from the pan. This will also make for easier cleanup too!
- Whisk together melted butter and sugar: It’s best to let your butter cool slightly before whisking it with the sugar. This will also ensure that the eggs don’t end up scrambled when you mix them in.
- Whisk in the eggs and vanilla: You’ll be using 4 large room temperature eggs and a little pure vanilla extract for flavor.
- Sift in the dry ingredients: I suggest sifting in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt to prevent any large lumps in your batter.
- Pre-bake the brownie layer: You’ll pre-bake the brownie base until the top is just set, I find that 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time.
Once the brownie layer is baked, set it aside to cool for 5 to 10 minutes while you prepare the cheesecake layer. For the cheesecake layer, we’ll be using five simple ingredients: PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, sour cream, granulated sugar, eggs, and pure vanilla extract.
To make the cheesecake layer, you’ll simply mix together the PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and sour cream until they’re well combined, then mix in your sugar, and vanilla extract. I recommend mixing your eggs in at the end, one at a time, on low speed until just combined. This will help to prevent any excess air from getting into your cheesecake batter and prevent cracks.
Then, just pour the cheesecake batter right over the pre-baked brownie layer and return it to the oven for another 25 to 30 minutes. Easy, right?
You’ll know the bars are done when the edges are set, but the center is still a little jiggly. I recommend letting the bars cool completely for about 2 hours at room temperature then cover them and let them chill for 3 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
Once the bars are completely chilled, you can remove them from the pan, slice them up, and drizzle them with a little melted chocolate.
How to Store Cream Cheese Brownies
Store bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Can I Freeze Them?
Yes! These bars will freeze really well so you can prep them ahead of time! Simply freeze the bars in a freezer bag/container, thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and drizzle with melted chocolate the day you plan to serve them.
What Type of Cream Cheese Should I Use?
I highly recommend using bricks of cream cheese for a smoother, creamier cheesecake layer. Full-fat cream cheese will deliver the best flavor.
- Make sure to sift your dry ingredients for the brownies, this will help to prevent any large lumps of flour or cocoa powder in your batter.
- Only pre-bake the brownie layer until the top is just set. A toothpick inserted into the brownie layer may come out with a little bit of batter, but this is okay.
- Make sure to let your cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs come to room temperature before making the cheesecake layer.
More Easy Brownie Recipes to Try!
- Classic Homemade Brownies
- Salted Caramel Brownie Bites
- Brownie Cookies
- Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
- Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
For the brownie layer:
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter , melted and slightly cooled
- 2 cups (400 grams) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the cheesecake layer:
- 3 packages (8-ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Original Cream Cheese , softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) sour cream , room temperature
- 2/3 cup (135 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Optional: 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate , melted
To make the brownie layer:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9x13 baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the melted butter and granulated sugar until well combined. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until fully combined. Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and mix until just combined.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out into one even layer. Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 20-22 minutes or until the top of the brownies are just set.
- Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the cheesecake layer. Keep oven temperature at 350°F (177°C).
To make the cheesecake layer:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese and sour cream together until smooth.
- Then mix in the sugar and vanilla until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Mix in the eggs, one at a time, on low speed until each one is just combined.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the brownie layer and spread it into one even layer.
- Return to the oven and bake 350°F (177°C) for 25-30 minutes or until the edges of the cheesecake are set, but still slightly jiggly in the center.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, then cover tightly and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until the bars are completely chilled.
- Cut into squares, drizzle with the melted chocolate, and place back in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes or until the chocolate is firm, then serve and enjoy.
Looks amazing! Will be making these brownies/cheesecakes soon☺
Thank you, Lillian! Hope you enjoy the cheesecake brownies if you try them!
This looks so good! I was wondering is spreadable cream cheese could be used cause I can’t seem to find bricks where I live.
I wouldn’t suggest a spreadable cream cheese, since it has extra ingredients added to it and it will likely make the cheesecake layer too soft. If you can find a cream cheese that’s not spreadable and thicker, that would work best.
These Cheesecake Brownies look delicious and I would love to try them, but I can’t eat bread for the next 40 days, but once the 40 days are over I will for sure make them. Also do we need to let them cool for 6 hours or can it be less?
Thank you, Yadira! The bars do need to cool completely and chill for a few hours to set up correctly. You could speed up the process once they’ve cooled off some and just place them in the refrigerator sooner. I actually prefer to make them the night before and just let them chill overnight so it’s a bit easier.
Can I make brownies only in this recipe without cheesecake.. coz my kids n hubby don’t luv cheesecake. And I luv all ur recipes…I tried few recipes n all came out well.. Thnx Danielle
Yes, absolutely! If you’re just making the brownie layer, you’ll want to increase the baking time slightly so that they’re fully done. If I’m just baking the brownie layer, I bake it for 26-30 minutes.
What can I use to replace the butter? Would coconut oil work?
It may work, but I honestly haven’t tried it so I’m not sure how it would affect the recipe.
Hihi.. Tried baking this recipe but the cheesecake layer cracked around the top sides and sunk in alittle in the middle. What went wrong?
Hi, Trina! If it cracked around the sides, it may have been a little over baked. It’s normal for the cheesecake layer to sink just slightly when it comes out of the oven. If it sank quite a bit, it may have been that the eggs were over mixed into the cheesecake batter. If you make them again, you can try reducing the baking time slightly and mixing the eggs in until just combined. You can also try adding a pan with warm water on a lower rack in the oven, it will add moisture to the oven and prevent cracking as well as help the cheesecake bake more evenly. Hope that helps!
Is there a way to make this with box brownie mix? I want to try it but have no cocoa powder right now. How much time should I take off for baking if I did use a box brownie mix
I think it would be fine, but you will need enough box mix for a 9×13 pan. I’m not sure how much you’ll need to adjust the baking time, but I would only bake the brownie layer until it’s just set.
Hi your cream cheese is 8oz each – 3 packages? What does it mean? Can i use just 1 block of that = 250g cream cheese? Can i not use sour cream?
The cream cheese I use comes in 8-ounce (226 gram) blocks and I use 3 of them. You can use the same amount of brick style cream cheese, but you will need 680 grams total. I don’t recommend leaving out the sour cream, you can replace it with plain Greek yogurt.
Danielle, this recipe was fantastic. I made it last week for my family’s Christmas afternoon tea and it was perfectly indulgent. I think the hardest part was waiting for everything to come to room temperature haha. Thanks for sharing!
So happy you enjoyed the recipe, Jasmine!
Puedo usar crema dulce en vez de sour cream ?
You do need the sour cream for this recipe. You can replace it with plain Greek yogurt though.
These brownies turned out so good my kids and husband loved them thanks for sharing this great recipe.
This is an excellent recipe. I’ve made them a few times and my husband just requested them for his birthday dessert. A new favorite, thanks for a great recipe!
I need to make a small batch, can you help me half this recipe safely please?
You can use this recipe and just omit the raspberry swirl.
I love this recipe. First time I made it out was gone before the day was over….. Made it again but this time I only used one brick of cream cheese and 2 of the strawberry cream cheese…also was out of vanilla so I used brandy as a substitute….. Came out delicious….
Putting the brownies in the oven for potentially a total of 52+ mins seems a lot. Will they not burn or dry out ? Do I need to adjust the temperature for a fan oven ?
No, it won’t. You don’t fully bake the brownie layer before adding the cheesecake filling. The cheesecake layer on top prevents it from burning or drying out too. If you’re using convection, I do recommend either reducing the oven temperature by 25°F or the baking time by a few minutes.
This looks so amazing and I’m looking forward to making these. However I’m wondering if I could freeze them to help cool them since my refrigerator is not that big and is already overflowing with food lol
Yes, you can freeze them and thaw them overnight in the fridge.