Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies are made from scratch but so easy! A rich, red velvet brownie topped with a creamy cheesecake topping – swirled together for a dessert that is as pretty as it is delicious!
Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
Brownies are my love language but I had never made a red velvet brownie before. Red velvet cookies, sure, but I hadn’t transformed brownies yet.
Or just a random Tuesday because they’re delicious and you don’t need a reason to have brownies.
You start with an easy, from scratch brownie base that has vinegar to react with the cocoa powder for that traditional red velvet effect (read more about the science of red velvet here), but then I amped up the color with red dye.
Then you top it with a simple, four ingredient tangy cheesecake topping and swirl in some red velvet batter.
Why you’ll love these Red Velvet Brownies
- They are creamy and decadent.
- They’re easy! They’re made with pantry staples, nothing fancy, but they look fancy.
- Perfect for Valentine’s Day. The bright red is perfect for celebrating. Pair them with some Valentine’s Day jello shots!
- Kids and adults love them.
Cookies for Kids’ Cancer
If you remember, for the last several years I have worked with Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to raise awareness and fight against pediatric cancer by sharing Valentine themed desserts (last year I did Double Chocolate M&M Cookies, the year before I did Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookie Bars…).
Cancer is the #1 cause of death of children by disease in the U.S. There are 40,000 U.S. children actively battling cancer right now. The National Cancer Institute’s budget for childhood cancer is less than 4%, which is disheartening.
Our goal is to raise at least $3,000 because OXO, Mediavine and Dixie Crystals have each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to that amount. That means when we raise $1, it turns into $4!
You can help make a difference by donating to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer! We’re well on our way to the goal so even $1 will help.
>> DONATE HERE TODAY <<
Now, let’s be a good cookie and bake some brownies.
Equipment needed to make Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
- Mixing Bowls – I like standard glass bowls because they’re microwave safe and dishwasher safe.
- Hand Mixer – You’ll want to mix the cream cheese layer with a hand mixer to ensure it is smooth.
- Spatulas – I use these silicone spatulas for everything. They’re perfect for mixing brownie batter.
- Food Coloring – To get the vibrant red color, you’ll need to use food coloring. This is my go-to kit.
Ingredients for Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Below is a list of ingredients to help you prep. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.
- Butter – Unsalted butter, or if you’re using salted, omit the additional salt.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar for both the brownie layer and the cheesecake layer.
- Vanilla Extract – Use a high quality vanilla extract, not imitation, for the best flavor. I buy in bulk from Sam’s Club or Costco but you can also make homemade vanilla.
- Cocoa Powder – I use Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder.
- Salt – Again, if you’re using salted butter, you can skip the additional salt.
- Food Coloring – Red food coloring really makes the red velvet layer and swirls vibrant. I know people have mixed feelings about food coloring but I use it so infrequently that I’m ok with it.
- Vinegar – A staple in red velvet, vinegar reacts with the cocoa powder.
- Eggs – You’ll need three eggs at room temperature – two beaten for the brownie layer, and one for the cheesecake layer.
- Flour – All purpose white flour.
- Cream Cheese – Can’t have cheesecake without cream cheese! Start with room temperature cream cheese so it mixes smoothly, without lumps.
How to make Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
- STEP ONE: Make the brownie layer. First, to a large microwave safe mixing bowl, melt the butter (alternatively, you can do this in a saucepan over low heat). To the melted butter, add the sugar and stir until dissolved, then add the vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl then stir them into the batter. Fold in the flour until fully combined and then reserve 1/4 cup of the batter and set aside. Spread the remaining batter into an 8×8 pan that has either been lined with parchment paper or lightly sprayed with non-stick spray.
- STEP TWO: Make the cheesecake layer. To a medium mixing bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat with a hand mixer on medium until smooth and creamy. Gently spread the cream cheese layer over the red velvet layer.
- STEP THREE: Make the swirls. Carefully dollop the reserved red velvet brownie batter onto the cheesecake layer and gently swirl with a wooden skewer.
- STEP FOUR: Bake. Finally, bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes. The center should be firm and not jiggly. Remove from oven and let cool completely before slicing.
How to store Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Cheesecake Swirl Brownies need to be refrigerated. Leftovers should be stored covered in the fridge for up to a week.
How long do cream cheese brownies last?
Stored wrapped in the fridge so they don’t dry out, cream cheese brownies will last up to a week.
Can I freeze red velvet brownies?
Yes, these brownies will freeze well. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap then place in a freezer bag. They will keep in the freezer for up to a month. Move them to the fridge to thaw when you’re ready to enjoy them
Need more red velvet recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of dessert recipes.
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Be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in the Valentine’s Day event and check out their recipes!Heart Shaped Thumbprint Cookies from Julie of The Little Kitchen
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