Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

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These Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies might look fancy but they come together in under 30 minutes! They’re rich, fudgy and SO decadent!

Cream cheese swirl brownies on a wire rack

Maybe I’m biased but you really can’t go wrong with cream cheese and chocolate. For this recipe I used my Ultra Fudgy Brownies as a base then added an incredibly silky smooth cream cheese swirl on top and they do not disappoint. They’re easy to make, perfectly fudgy and a total showstopper!

What Makes A Brownie Fudgy?

  • Use melted butter instead of softened butter – creaming softened butter incorporates too much air into the batter which makes brownies cakey.
  • Brown sugar – brown sugar adds extra moisture.
  • No leavening agents – the lack of baking powder/soda prevents them from rising and keeps them dense.
  • Small amount of flour – using too much flour results in brownies with a cakey texture.
  • Shorter baking time – brownies should still be a little gooey when you take them out of the oven.

Ingredient Breakdown

Butter – provides flavor and texture. I always recommend using unsalted butter but salted butter works if that’s all you have on hand, just be sure to omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

Granulated sugar and brown sugar – both sugars are necessary for sweetness and texture.

Cocoa powder – gives the brownies their chocolate flavor! I always use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

Eggs – binds the ingredients and provides structure.

Vanilla extract and salt – enhances flavor. Always use pure vanilla extract instead of imitation for best flavor.

All-purpose flour – just a bit of flour gives the brownies structure while still keeping them fudgy.

Close up of a cream cheese swirl brownie slice

How To Make Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

1. Make the brownie batter: melt butter in a small pot over low heat. While still on heat, add both sugars. Once they’re dissolved, whisk in cocoa powder. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk the sugar mixture into the egg mixture until very smooth.

3. Fold in flour until almost combined leaving a few streaks of flour. Fold in chocolate chips until just combined and pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.

Cream cheese swirl brownie batter

4. Make the cream cheese batter: using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened cream cheese and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla then mix until just combined.

5. Pour cream cheese batter on top of the brownie batter then use a knife or toothpick to swirl. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature or chill before slicing for cleanest cuts. Store Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.

Cream cheese swirl brownie in an 8x8 inch pan before and after baking

Pro Tips For Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate; baking is a science after all!
  • Don’t over mix the batter after adding the flour. There should still be streaks of flour when you add the chocolate chips.
  • Don’t be tempted to over bake these. They will still be a little gooey when you remove them from the oven but they’ll continue to bake as they cool.
  • Use a metal pan! Glass pans retain heat for longer resulting in unevenly baked brownies.
  • Make sure your parchment paper hangs over the sides of the pan for easy removal after baking!
  • Make sure the cream cheese is softened and NOT cold otherwise the cream cheese batter will be lumpy.

If you try this recipe then please leave a rating/comment below to let me know how you liked it and feel free to ask any recipe questions you may have! 🙂

Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Maria Azzarelli
These Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies might look fancy but they come together in under 30 minutes! They're rich, fudgy and SO decadent!
5 from 1 vote
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Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 large brownies
Calories 407 kcal

Equipment

  • 8×8 inch pan
  • Stand mixer or hand mixer

Ingredients
  

Brownie Batter

  • 113 g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 g (3/4 cup) granulated sugar
  • 75 g (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) brown sugar
  • 60 g (3/4 cup) cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 60 g (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 160 g (3/4 cup) mini chocolate chips

Cream Cheese Batter

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Brownie Batter

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8 pan and line with parchment paper.
  • Melt butter in a small pot over low heat. While still on heat stir in the granulated and brown sugars until dissolved. Whisk in the cocoa powder then remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and salt.
  • Whisk the sugar mixture into the egg mixture until very smooth.
  • Fold in flour until almost combined then fold in the chocolate chips. Do not over mix.
  • Fold in chocolate chips until just combined and pour batter into prepared pan. Set aside.

Cream Cheese Batter

  • Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened cream cheese and granulated sugar. Add egg and vanilla then mix until just combined.
  • Pour cream cheese batter on top of the brownie batter then use a knife or toothpick to swirl. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Cool to room temperature or chill before slicing for cleanest cuts.

Notes

  • Weigh your ingredients using a kitchen scale! Measuring ingredients by volume is not accurate.
 
  • Butter: I recommend using unsalted butter. You can use salted butter, just be sure to omit the 1/4 tsp salt from the brownie batter
 
  • Store Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies in an airtight container for up to a week in the fridge.
 
  • Nutrition: the provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Please read my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.
Calories: 407kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 9gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 280mgPotassium: 215mgFiber: 3gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 446IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 137mgIron: 2mg
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