A fudgy brownie base topped with a smooth and creamy cheesecake layer and a raspberry swirl. These Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies make a beautiful dessert for any occasion!
Say hello to one of the most decadent and delicious desserts of all times – cheesecake brownies. If you adore super fudgy brownies and cheesecake, I think you’re going to love these tasty bars. And how could you not with that pretty raspberry swirl on top?
While these bars take a little more effort than your normal brownies or cheesecake, they’re still fairly easy to make since a lot of the ingredients repeat themselves.
The base of this recipe starts with my favorite homemade fudgy brownie recipe. I actually halved the recipe and cut down on the sugar just a bit, since these bars are topped with a cheesecake layer too.
If you’ve never made brownies from scratch before, I promise you they’re just as easy as a box mix. My brownie recipe uses just one bowl and 7 ingredients, including the salt and vanilla extract! You’ll honestly feel like you’re doing something wrong because they’re so easy. I’ve even had readers tell me they’ve ditched the box mixes since coming across my recipe too! <– something that I love to hear!
You do want to bake the brownies base for about 20-25 minutes before you add the cheesecake layer. And if you’re wondering if they’ll taste overbaked, the answer is no. Because of the layer of cheesecake on top and since these need to be refrigerated, the brownie layer stays incredibly fudgy. Cakey brownie lovers look away now, I’m so sorry.
To save on time, you can prepare the raspberry swirl and cheesecake filling while the brownie layer bakes. The raspberry swirl is just a simple mixture of fresh raspberries and a little bit of sugar. If you don’t have fresh berries, them some raspberry jam will work great for the swirl too.
For the cheesecake layer you’ll be using some cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, an egg, and a touch of vanilla extract. It’s actually the same cheesecake recipe from these mini oreo cheesecakes (minus the oreos, of course) and it works perfectly for these bars! Since you’re baking the cheesecake layer too, there’s no need to wait for the brownies to cool. Once you take the brownies out of the oven, pour the cheesecake mixture on top, add the raspberry puree, swirl it, then pop it back into the oven.
baking tips for raspberry cheesecake brownies
- Make sure to sift your dry ingredients for the brownie batter to avoid any lumps of cocoa powder in your brownies.
- For the cheesecake layer, make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. This will ensure a super smooth and creamy cheesecake filling.
- Don’t have fresh raspberries? Use 1/4 cup of jam to swirl into the cheesecake layer. I suggest microwaving the jam for 20-30 seconds to make it easier to swirl. Or just leave it out and enjoy some cheesecake brownies instead!
- If you don’t like raspberries, you can use another berry like blackberries or blueberries instead.
The bars will need to cool completely and be refrigerated so the cheesecake layer can set up properly. I love to make these the night before and refrigerate them overnight like all of my other cheesecake recipes. Plus, it makes it so easy to have dessert ready the next day.
To be honest, I really couldn’t get over how fudgy and delicious these bars turned out. Just try not to eat the whole batch at once. You’ve been warned!
- For the brownie base:
- ½ cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- ½ cup (40 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (65 grams) fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon (8 grams) granulated sugar
- 12 ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¼ cup (60 grams) sour cream, room temperature
- ⅓ cup (65 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8-inch square 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 for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the brownies are just set. Remove from the oven and set aside. Keep oven temperature at 350°F.
- While the brownie base is baking, make the raspberry swirl. Add the raspberries and sugar to a small food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove all of the seeds into a small bowl and set aside.
- While the brownie base is baking, make the cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in the egg on low speed until just combined.
- Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the brownie layer and spread it into one even layer.
- Take the raspberry puree and use a spoon to drop small dots of the puree onto the cheesecake layer. Use a knife to gently swirl the raspberry mixture into the cheesecake.
- Return to the oven and bake 350°F for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake is set. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack, then cover tightly and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or until the bars are completely chilled. Cut into slices, serve, and enjoy!
Bars will keep in the refrigerator covered tightly for 2-3 days. Bars may also be frozen for up to 3 months, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.