Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies.

Decadent red velvet brownies swirled with cheesecake.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. Decadent, moist, & indulgent! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today was the first time I’ve ever made a red velvet dessert before. Actually, my first time was on Friday. I’ve made these brownies twice in the past 3 days.

Yes, they’re that good.

Truth be told, the first time I’ve ever really loved a red velvet a dessert was last year at my friend’s wedding. Before then, I’ve never really been too impressed. It’s hard to do red velvet just right and it just never really appealed to me before. Red velvet can be an unappetizing brownish red color, too scary looking with a creepy red color, or just taste sort of bland. I’d rather eat my calories in the form of funfetti!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. Decadent, moist, & indulgent! sallysbakingaddiction.com

But at my friend’s wedding last year, I was converted.  I was stuffed to the brim with chocolate chip cannolis, king crab legs, and multiple visits to a sushi bar (!!!), that I hardly had any room for a piece of red velvet wedding cake. But I knew I’d regret not tasting it.

Bite after bite, I fell in love. Deep red cake that wasn’t quite chocolate and not quite vanilla, with each crumb enveloped with a thick layer of sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting… it was pure heaven. :)

After months and months deciding what kind of homemade red velvet recipe would be my first, I finally settled on a swirly brownie recipe. I found the recipe on the Food Network. Since I’ve never made a red velvet dessert before, it would have been nearly impossible to develop one myself.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. Decadent, moist, & indulgent! sallysbakingaddiction.com

For those unfamiliar with red velvet, let me take you through a quick briefing about what this gorgeous little dessert flavor is like. Traditional red velvet desserts aren’t vanilla flavored or chocolate flavored. They are a combination of the two with a slightly tart tang from the buttermilk used in most recipes. Red velvet cake is sort of like a dense buttery vanilla cake with a mild chocolate flavor. And when it’s done right, it’s darn good.

Today’s brownies are basically a fudgy chocolate brownie with lots of buttery vanilla flavors; I wasn’t up for making a lavish red velvet cake just yet. The brownie batter is red, dyed with red food coloring and a touch of white vinegar to make the red stand out against all the cocoa powder. They are beautifully swirled with sweet cream cheese and are quite dense like a typical brownie.

Chocolate, vanilla, and cream cheese swirls… no wonder I’ve made these twice in 3 days!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. Decadent, moist, & indulgent! sallysbakingaddiction.com

These brownies are so easy to make and are the perfect recipe for red velvet beginners.  First, melt 1 stick of butter in the microwave.  Combine it with white sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, red food coloring, white vinegar, and 2 eggs.  Stir everything together by hand.

You will use 1 full Tablespoon of red food coloring in these brownies. The butter and cocoa powder mixed together are quite a dark brown, so it’s imperative to use quite a bit of liquid or gel food coloring to dye the batter the right shade of red.  White vinegar is used to enhance the red color against all the brown. You’ll smell the vinegar as you add it, but you will not taste it at all. In fact, I even lowered the amount called for in the recipe just to be sure.

I am not a fan of brownish red velvet desserts (so unappetizing!), so I was pleased to see just how vibrant red the batter was in this step.  *Be sure to wash your dishes immediately after mixing the batter together to avoid staining.

Mix in 3/4 cup of flour into the brownie batter. Remember, the more flour used in a brownie recipe, the more cake-like the brownie texture will be. I like to use as little flour as possible because I like my brownies quite dense and fudgy.  If I want a cake-like brownie, I will just eat a piece of chocolate cake!  Lots of melted butter, 2 eggs, and very little flour is a recipe for a successful fudgy brownie.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. Decadent, moist, & indulgent! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Next up is the cream cheese swirl. Isn’t it just gorgeous against the red brownie?  Red velvet and cream cheese go hand in hand. Typical red velvet cakes are frosted with tangy, sweet cream cheese frosting.  We’re recreating the same idea with these brownies.

The cream cheese swirl is SO simple to make.  Whip out your hand-held electric mixer and beat one 8-oz package of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar, 1 egg yolk, and vanilla extract.  Beat everything together until completely smooth.

Pour almost all of the red velvet batter into the baking pan, leaving a few Tablespoons behind.  Dollop with the cream cheese mixture, then scoop the last couple of Tablespoons of brownie batter on top.  Note: I topped the cream cheese mounds with more red velvet brownie batter because I was afraid so much cream cheese on top would brown in the oven. The picture below is before I covered with more red velvet batter FYI!

Swirl it all together with a knife.  Now wasn’t that easy?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies by sallysbakingaddiction.com

Bake time!  The brownies take about 30 minutes in the oven at 350F.

The hardest part about today’s recipe? Waiting for the brownies to cool before digging in!  Smelling them as they bake and then waiting to eat one is pure torture, I tell ya.

The whole recipe is so easy to throw together, taking about 10 minutes for the entire process before putting them into the oven.  I was actually shocked how little time they took to make and wondered if I did something wrong.  No worries, they are supposed to be easy!  I also love that they make a small batch – only 16 brownies in an 8×8 baking pan.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies. Decadent, moist, & indulgent! sallysbakingaddiction.com

Having made these brownies twice in 3 days, one would think I would be all red-velveted out, but that’s certainly not the case. I am now in love with red velvet and can’t wait to make more homemade recipes with this distinctive color and flavor.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Chewy, moist, decadent red velvet brownies swirled with cheesecake.

Yield: 16 brownies

Ingredients:

Red Velvet Brownies

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid or gel red food coloring
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (95g) all-purpose flour

Cheesecake Swirl

  • 8 ounces (224g) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Make the brownie layer first. In a small bowl, beat the 2 eggs together. Set aside. Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted. Stir in 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar. Mix each of those ingredients into the batter in that order. Whisk in the eggs, then fold in the flour until completely incorporated. Do not overmix. Pour the brownie batter into prepared baking pan, leaving about 3-4 Tablespoons for the top.

Make the cheesecake swirl. With a hand-held mixer on medium speed, beat the softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, egg yolk, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl until completely smooth - about 1 minute. Dollop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the prepared brownie batter. Cover with the last few Tablespoons of brownie batter. Glide a knife through the layers, creating a swirl pattern.

Bake the brownies for 28-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares. Cover brownies and store at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Brownies will freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

*To double the recipe for a large batch, simply double all the ingredients and bake in a 9x13 pan for around 45 minutes - give or take. Same oven temperature.

Adapted from Food Network, with a few changes.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

 

A few similar brownie/bar recipe you’ll just love:

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Skinny Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies by sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

Caramel Snickers 7 Layer Bars

Snickers 7 Layer Bars-2

 

Triple Chocolate Pretzel Brownies

Double Fudge Pretzel Brownies

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

Mint Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies

 

See more brownie & bar recipes.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

 

 

   

283 Responses to “Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies.”

  1. #
    121
    Chaposted February 3, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Hi Sally! I really want to try this recipe of yours but I bother if this recipe doesn’t really call for buttermilk? :) isn’t that one of the main ingredients of red velvet?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 3rd, 2014 at 8:52 am

      Hey Cha! You are most certainly right that red velvet cakes and cupcakes typically require buttermilk. However, these are brownies. And I do not add milk to dense, fudgy brownie recipes.

      Reply

  2. #
    122
    Angelicposted February 11, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    I did this recipe today and It came out GREAT!!!

    Reply

  3. #
    123
    Samposted February 11, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Could you just use the cheesecake part of the recipe to spice up the boxed brownie mix? Or add a little red food coloring to boxed brownie mix and swirl in the cream cheese to that?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 12th, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Definitely! If you do not wish to make them from scratch.

      Reply

  4. #
    124
    aimeeposted February 12, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    I’ve been searching for the best Valentines day treat to bring to work, and these look by far the best! Since I work with a large group of people, I was planning on using a 13×18 jelly roll pan. Do you suggest tripling or quadrupling your recipe? I want them to be thinner (about an inch thick) so I can cut small hearts out of them and they won’t be too tall.

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 12th, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Hey Aimee, I’m unsure. I’ve really only baked these brownies in a 9×13 (doubled the recipe) or an 8×8 as shown here. I’ve never triple or quadrupled the recipe and I’m unsure how that would turn out in a jelly roll pan. I’m sure it would be ok, but I can’t say without trying it myself.

      Reply

      • aimeereplied on February 14th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

        Okay, so I doubled the recipe and baked it in my 13x18x1 jelly roll pan for ~35 minutes, rotating it 180 degrees halfway through. It turned out great! the brownies were thinner (about 3/4 in thick), but that was perfect height for the tiny heart cutter I used. There was a bit more room in the pan, so if one wanted slightly thicker brownies, I’m sure that they could triple the recipe and it would turn out okay. Just a tip though, if using a jelly roll pan, line it with parchment or foil. It gives a little insurance against spills, and makes it easier to remove the brownies from the pan. :)

      • Maddiereplied on October 15th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

        Would a 9 by 13 glass pan be fine ?

        • Sallyreplied on October 15th, 2014 at 7:14 pm

          Yes – 45 minutes bake time, give or take.

  5. #
    125
    Samanthaposted February 13, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    These look amazing! Quick question – what about adding semisweet chocolate chips? Have you ever tried that and would you just add that to the brownie batter or the cream cheese mixture? Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 13th, 2014 at 6:19 pm

      Whichever you prefer, Samantha. Maybe go with about 1/2 cup of them into either the brownie batter or cream cheese mixture. Enjoy!

      Reply

  6. #
    126
    Rachelposted February 13, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    I just made these and the batter will not harden it is as liquidy as when I first put it in the oven. I was wondering if you had any ideas on what may have gone wrong. I would like to try and make them again tomorrow.

    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 13th, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Is your oven working properly? I’m not sure why the brownies are not baking…

      Reply

      • Rachelreplied on February 16th, 2014 at 10:30 am

        As far as I know it is. To be honest though, we just moved here and I haven’t really used the oven very often. I’ll check that out.

  7. #
    127
    Lolaposted February 13, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I saw the picture on Twitter & I was just DYING to have them! I sent the picture to my fiance & asked if he would make them… Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day & we are going to the grocery store tomorrow to get the ingredients! Thank you so much!! Thanks to you I will finally get him to eat chocolate *fist bumps the air* AHAH! :)

    Reply

  8. #
    128
    Shaniseposted February 14, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Hi! I noticed you doubled the vanilla from the food network recipe. Have you tried it with the lesser amount of vanilla? I’m nervous lol!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 14th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      No I haven’t. I like a pronounced vanilla flavor.

      Reply

  9. #
    129
    Marziaposted February 16, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I tried the recipe and it turned out amazing!!!! Everyone loved them I am 10 years old and a baker in the making I hope I can try other brownie recipes from you!!!

    Reply

  10. #
    130
    Linnyposted February 16, 2014 at 9:20 am

    I made these for Valentine’s Day, and they were wonderful! The only problem I had was that after baking them for a full 30 minutes, they were still nowhere near being done. I had to continue baking them for twenty more minutes. I’m not sure if my oven temperature isn’t calibrated correctly or why that happened. Regardless, they turned out to be the perfect combination of sweet brownie and tangy cream cheese. They were so good that I think I’ll make them for a family Easter gathering in a few months. Thank you for these wonderful recipes!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 16th, 2014 at 9:35 am

      Happy these brownies were enjoyed, Linny! I would perhaps purchase an oven thermometer. All ovens are different. My oven temperature dial is way off and I’m able to control it with the thermometer. They’re quite inexpensive!

      Reply

  11. #
    131
    Sherriposted February 24, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    I made this for my niece for her birthday. She is not a cake lover but does like red velvet and cheesecake. She LOVED IT! I actually made it double layered and iced it with a cream cheese icing. There were a few other desserts there as well, but only one person DIDN’T have the “Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Cake”…… it was THAT good!! Thank you for sharing this recipe! I will DEFINITELY bake this again!

    Reply

    • Sherrireplied on February 24th, 2014 at 8:37 pm

      Next one I am going to try is the “Mint Chocolate Chip” one
      :-)

      Reply

  12. #
    132
    Rachelleposted March 8, 2014 at 11:12 am

    And how long did you bake them when you doubled the recipe and baked them in a 9×13 pan? Thanks again!!:)

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 8th, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      If I remember correctly about 45 minutes, give or take.

      Reply

      • Rachellereplied on March 9th, 2014 at 4:30 pm

        Thanks for responding! I think my last comment .. is white vinegar the same as the distilled white vinegar? And will it make a difference if I use Dutch process cocoa powder..
        I’m a reader from the Philippines, btw. More power to your blog, your book and everything!

  13. #
    133
    marianposted March 20, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Is it okay to use Dutch processed Cocoa? Thanks

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 20th, 2014 at 10:39 am

      No, you must use natural unsweetened.

      Reply

  14. #
    134
    barbaraposted March 28, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Sally. I’m a big fan of your work. I’m wondering how you get those clean edges on your brownies. How do you cut them? Thanks

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 28th, 2014 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Barbara! With a very, very sharp knife that I wipe clean between each cut.

      Reply

  15. #
    135
    Mapleposted April 16, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    I was so excited when I saw this recipe; all my favourite desserts rolled into one! Relieved to see a recipe which doesn’t call for buttermilk too; we never have any in the house! I baked these for my family (although I had to use 3% fat Philadelphia, all we had in the fridge) and I was not disappointed; they were delicious, fudgy and gone within a few hours! Thank you very much for the recipe!

    Reply

  16. #
    136
    Nkamaniposted April 30, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    I’ve made these over and over again. They are a HUUUUUUUGE hit with everyone who has tasted them. Thank you so much for this recipe!!

    Reply

  17. #
    137
    Vivianposted May 4, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    these were so good! i doubled the recipe and baked it in a 9×13 pan and they turned out perfect
    thanks!

    Reply

  18. #
    138
    Shrutika Murthyposted May 27, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Hey Sally! :D

    I’m a huge fan of your work, baked these wonderful brownies today and they were a hit (all thanks to you)! I’ll probably just go and indulge myself in another piece.

    P.S. – Let me tell you, you have a huge fan base back here in India! :)

    Reply

  19. #
    139
    Angelaposted June 13, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    For the cream cheese filling, do you use granulated of powdered sugar?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on June 13th, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      granulated – enjoy Angela!

      Reply

  20. #
    140
    Amberposted June 25, 2014 at 6:40 am

    Hi! I’m making these for Canada day but I need more brownies than 16. If I double it do I just double everything in the recipe?
    Thank you! :)

    Reply

  21. #
    141
    Taraposted June 29, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Hi Sally! I have made these 3 times this month! Everyone is going crazy over them! I am making a double batch for my cousin’s baby shower, one of her biggest cravings has been red velvet, she ate almost the whole pan the other day!
    Thank you for your recipes, you are the best!!

    Reply

  22. #
    142
    Mahamposted August 28, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Hello Sally!! I’m a huge fan if yours and although I’m 13 I’ve made almost all your recipes and they always turn out great and I have a question please that if I don’t want to add the cheesecake swirl than can I simply remove it? Thanks I just love your website

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 28th, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      Hi Maham – yep, you may leave the cheesecake swirl out. Happy you enjoy my blog!

      Reply

  23. #
    143
    Breeposted September 2, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hi Sally, huge fan of your recipes and this one is great! I was wondering whether these cheesecake brownies can be made in cupcake cups in a muffin tin and whether the same method/timing would apply? Thanks!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on September 3rd, 2014 at 8:26 am

      Definitely, Bree. That’s such a good idea. I am unsure of the bake time though. Same oven temperature.

      Reply

  24. #
    144
    Edposted September 3, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Hi Sally! I have tried this recipe plus your chocolate chip cookie and s’mores brownie pie and they were all phenomenal.

    i consider all your recipes to be go to recipes. When all others fail, i know i can rely on your recipes.

    Thank you for sharing them with us.

    Reply

  25. #
    145
    lanaposted October 13, 2014 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I really want to try this recipe but I only have a 9X9 inch pan I can’t find 8X8, will that work? And if yes what should I do to make sure it come’s out perfect?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on October 13th, 2014 at 6:43 pm

      That’s completely fine Lana. Oven temperature is the same, however the bake time may be slightly less- only by a few minutes.

      Reply

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