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.
How To Make These Cheesecake Brownies
To make these bars, you’ll start out with the easy brownie base which is just a simple mixture of melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and salt. Here’s a little breakdown on how to make the brownie layer:
- Line a 9×13 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 5-10 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.
- 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.
- Eggs & Vanilla: For structure and flavor.
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 25-30 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 3-4 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. These bars will also freeze really well so you can prep them ahead of time for a girl’s night or any occasion!
- 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.
- I highly recommend using bricks of PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese for a smoother, creamier cheesecake layer.
- Make sure to let your cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs come to room temperature before making the cheesecake layer.
- Want to make these ahead of time to make it even easier? 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.
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.