Coconut Cheesecake Brownies

These coconut cheesecake brownies combine an easy homemade brownie batter with a coconut cream cheese swirl. What a combination! I like adding a little oil to the brownie batter to keep the baked brownies extra soft and moist. These fudge-like brownies are a wonderful contrast to the creamy, tangy, and sweet pockets of coconut cheesecake. They’re the perfect choice if you need a fun & crowd-pleasing brownie recipe! 

coconut cheesecake brownies

This recipe yields a 9-inch square pan of cheesecake brownies. Imagine biting into coconut cream pie, brownies, and cheesecake all at once– that’s what you’ll get here. Unapologetically rich and totally unforgettable!

Tell Me About These Coconut Cheesecake Brownies

  • Flavor: I’ve made a lot of from-scratch brownie recipes before, but I really enjoy this one because the brownies remain soft, don’t dry out, and are intensely chocolatey. (We can thank the cocoa powder and vegetable oil/butter combination for all that!) We’ll use sweetened shredded coconut in the cheesecake swirl. The chocolate flavor is intense and can overpower the coconut, so I recommend adding some coconut extract too. Let’s make sure we can taste both the chocolate AND coconut.
  • Texture: If you crave texture, you’ll enjoy these coconut cheesecake brownies because each bite has a bit of everything– soft, dense, chewy, creamy, and a little crackle on those shiny brownie tops.
  • Ease: This is an easy recipe that bakers of any skill level can accomplish. Obviously these aren’t plain brownies, so set aside some time to prepare the cheesecake batter. Swirling the two batters together is nothing more than spooning, spreading, and swirling each together. There’s truly nothing complicated, so don’t overthink it!

chocolate brownies with coconut cheesecake swirl

Making the Coconut Cheesecake Batter

Grab a large mixing bowl and electric mixer for this part of the recipe. The coconut cheesecake swirl isn’t only cream cheese, sugar, and coconut– I like adding a little softened butter to keep the cheesecake creamy. Butter obviously thins out the cheesecake batter, so let’s add a little flour and egg to thicken it back up. The printable recipe below gives us a creamy cheesecake batter that still maintains structure around the heavy brownies. That’s important!

For the coconut extract, you can usually find this with the vanilla extract or other flavor extracts (like almond) in the baking aisle. I use and recommend coconut extract for coconut cake and coconut cream pie, too.


Making the Brownie Batter

Use another large mixing bowl and grab a whisk for this part of the recipe. I recommend making the cheesecake batter first because the brownie batter thickens as it sits. And the thicker it is, the more difficult it is to swirl with the cheesecake.

I always love how vegetable oil keeps chocolate cake soft and moist, so I added some to this brownie batter. I don’t think I’ll ever turn back! In fact, I bet you could replace a couple Tablespoons of melted butter with the same amount of vegetable oil in these regular homemade brownies— you’d have even softer brownies. I also love that all of the chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder, so you don’t need baking chocolate like other brownie recipes. Baking chocolate adds wonderful chocolate flavor to brownies, but you may not always have it on hand. Cocoa powder is usually a more common and convenient ingredient.

(Side note: I do add chocolate chips, but you could easily leave those out. Did you know that adding chocolate chips to brownie batter helps achieve those shiny crackly tops? If you love that iconic shine, don’t skip the chocolate chips.) 

You will LOVE these brownies even without the cheesecake swirl. If you want to skip the cheesecake, see recipe note below.

coconut mixture and brownie batter

Assembling Coconut Cheesecake Brownies

Like I mention above, do not overthink this step! Here’s what I do:

Spread about 1/3 of the brownie batter over the bottom of your lined pan. This makes a good base for the brownies. Drop spoonfuls of cheesecake batter randomly on top. Use your spoon or grab a knife to gently swirl together. Spoon about 1/3 more of the brownie batter on top. Do the same with more cheesecake batter. Gently swirl. Finish spooning remaining batters on top and gently swirl. 

assembling coconut brownies with cheesecake swirl

coconut brownies before and after baking

coconut flavored cheesecake brownies

chocolate brownie with coconut cheesecake swirl

More Favorite Brownie Recipes

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chocolate brownie with coconut cheesecake swirl

Coconut Cheesecake Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 16 brownies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These rich and fudge-like coconut cheesecake brownies combine an easy homemade brownie batter with a coconut cream cheese swirl. I recommend making the cheesecake batter first because the brownie batter thickens as it sits. And the thicker it is, the more difficult it is to swirl with the cheesecake. 


Ingredients

Cheesecake Batter

  • one 8-ounce block (225g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 and 1/4 cups (100gsweetened shredded coconut*

Brownie Batter

  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (62g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the brownies after cooling. Set aside.
  2. Make the cheesecake batter first: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, granulated sugar, egg, and coconut extract and beat until fully combined. Finally, beat in the shredded coconut on low speed until combined. Set aside at room temperature.
  3. Make the brownie batter: Slice the butter into Tablespoon-size pieces and melt in the microwave in a large heat-proof bowl or in a small saucepan on the stove. (Transfer melted butter to a large bowl if using the stove.) Whisk the oil and granulated sugar into the melted butter. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes to slightly cool. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add the cocoa powder, flour, and salt and whisk until combined. Batter will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  4. Assemble: (This step does NOT have to be exact or perfect. Do not overthink it– just spoon and swirl.) Spoon about 1/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread it all over the bottom as best you can. Take about 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and drop spoonfuls of it on top of the brownie batter. Use your spoon or a knife to gently swirl together. Use another 1/3 of the brownie batter and drop spoonfuls of it on top. Use another 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and drop spoonfuls of it on top. Gently swirl together. Repeat spooning remaining brownie and cheesecake batters. Gently swirl together.
  5. Bake for 40-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. I recommend tenting the brownies with aluminum foil after about 25 minutes to protect the top from over-browning. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Cool brownies completely.
  6. Lift the brownies out using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Cut into squares.
  7. Cover leftover brownies and store at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze cut brownies in single layers between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Sweetened Shredded Coconut: I strongly recommend using sweetened shredded coconut because it’s moister than unsweetened and that makes a big difference in the cheesecake swirl’s texture. Knowing the texture and flavor will change, you can use unsweetened coconut flakes if that’s all you have. Give them a rough chop before using.
  3. Plain Brownies: For plain brownies, skip the entire cheesecake batter. Spread brownie batter into prepared 9-inch square pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
  4. Plain Cheesecake: For plain cheesecake brownies, leave out the coconut extract and coconut.
  5. 9×13 Inch Pan: I have not tested it, but this recipe should double easily for a 9×13 inch size pan. I’m unsure of the best bake time.

Keywords: coconut cheesecake brownies

53 Comments

  1. can i give these a go with desiccated coconut? love the idea of the flavour combo!!

    1. Absolutely.

  2. Can I replace the sweetened shredded coconut with freshly grated coconut?

    1. Hi Carol, I haven’t tried that so I can’t be sure. If you do, I would reduce the amount down to 3/4 cup.

  3. Charlotte Moore says:

    Oh my!!! Chocolate and coconut in a brownie. Has to be delicious.

  4. Hi! Can I substitute vegetable oil with Canola Oil? Thank you!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mariana, absolutely. Same amount.

      1. I just took mine out of the oven and the house smell wonderful. I can’t wait to cut into it. The idea of adding coconut into a brownie/ cheesecake mix was my lure to try this recipe today,plus I had all of the ingredients at hand.

        Another hit Sally, thanks alot for all of the effort place in your recipes.

      2. This is unbelievably delicious!
        Replaced sugar with erythritol and used wholegrain flour, everything worked just fine

        Except mine still seems uncooked in the center, sadly. But maybe that’s because of my oven.

        Worth it 100%

  5. Cannot wait to make this! How necessary is it to use coconut extract?

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Ali! The chocolate flavor is intense and can overpower the coconut, so we recommend adding some coconut extract too. Without it, the coconut flavor can be lacking. You can usually find this with the vanilla extract or other flavor extracts (like almond) in the baking aisle.

  6. I just realized that I still had some coconut I needed to use up. Perfect timing! Looking forward to making those today!

  7. Cannot wait to make this!! What can I substitute to make it eggless?
    Thanks!!

    1. Hi Anusha! I’m unsure. I haven’t tested any eggless brownies before, but let me know if you do!

    2. Anishnabek, you can use unsweetened apple sauce or ground flax seeds.

  8. excellent. Not too sweet or gooey, just right! Tasted best after a brief refrigeration. I omitted the choc chips and they were still amazing!

  9. Debra Heater says:

    Hi Sally,

    I can’t find a square baking pan here in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. I have a 9×13 and a 10×5 glass Pyrex dishes and (3) spring form pans 9.5”; 10.25”; and 11.25” round. Which one do I use, and so I need to change recipe amounts.
    Also, no coconut extract ..is this ok to eliminate?
    Thanks so much,
    Debbie

    1. Hi Debra, I recommend the springform pan. The bake time will be similar. You can leave out the coconut extract if you don’t have any.

      1. Which size of the springform pan shall I choose?
        Thanks

      2. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        Hi Debra, we’d recommend either the 9.5 inch or 10.25 inch — the thickness and bake time will vary depending on which you choose.

  10. I saw this recipe in a morning email and immediately knew I’d be making it that night. Love the flavor combo of rich chocolate and coconut. Definitely use the coconut extract if you’ve got it otherwise the chocolate flavor will overpower the cheesecake batter. Also pay attention when Sally says to GENTLY swirl the batters together! I overmixed them. While still delicious, I feel like the brownies are better when you bite into a big chunk of cheesecake at once, instead of thinly spread throughout. Darn, guess I’ll have to make these again real soon!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Thanks so much for giving these brownies a try, Megan — we’re glad you enjoyed them!

  11. Jo-Ann Driedger-Kinash says:

    do you have any idea of the calorie content in an average size piece

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jo-Ann, We don’t usually include nutrition information as it can vary between different brands of the same ingredients. Plus, many recipes have ingredient substitutions or optional ingredients listed. However, there are many handy online calculators where you can plug in and customize your exact ingredients/brands. Readers have found this one especially helpful: https://www.verywellfit.com/recipe-nutrition-analyzer-4157076

  12. Hi!

    Will this recipe work in an 8x8x2.5in pan? I’m having trouble getting a 9×9. Thank you!! Looks amazing!

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emilee, You can bake these in an 8×8. The brownies will just be super thick and may take longer to bake. Use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  13. Michael Sheriff says:

    Hi is there a recipe just for a coconut cheesecake without the Brownie

    1. Michelle @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Michael, We don’t have a coconut cheesecake and haven’t tried adding coconut to our classic cheesecake, but you could certainly try our Classic Cheesecake Recipe with coconut extract. You might also love our Homemade Coconut Cream Pie.

    2. Hi. I have used s recipe by “all I dream about is food” for coconut cheesecake. Regular sugar, Graham crust. Was amazing.

  14. These were so yummy and kinda gave me magic cookie bar vibes!!

  15. Oh, Sally – you cheeky monkey. These are the BOMB! I usually don’t make brownies from scratch, just because there’s some really good box mixes (gasp!) out there. But I love coconut and the recipe made them sound like a Mounds bar, so I decided to give them a whirl. So glad I did. To me they taste closer to fudge than a brownie – in the best possible way. I think the coconut extract was brilliant. The only change I made was adding just a smidge of espresso powder to the brownie batter. When making again, I think I will layer the batter in 1/3’s as described, but wait to swirl until the end just for a better visual effect. Swirling after each layer made my end result a little too homogenized. After cooling, I stored them in the fridge which only improved these devilish treats. I’m filing this recipe in my “too good to share” file because I could eat the entire batch myself. Thank you.

    1. Sue–I LOVE this comment!! Cheeky monkey, devilish treats 🙂 !!

  16. These are really delicious! Very rich and indulgent and definitely a crowd pleaser!!

  17. Loved the flavors but even after baking 45 minutes mine were still too gooey in the middle. “Perimeter” pieces were fine. Not sure the problem as my oven cooks true to temp. I took them out so as not to over-bake the edges, but was disappointed in the middle section. I’m tried not to swirl the batters too much but perhaps that was the issue. I love your recipes, Sally, and have had success with many others. I will say the pieces we had that were cooked “correctly” were delicious!

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Mindy, thanks so much for giving these a try! It’s normal for the centers of brownies to be gooier than the edges, but for next time if you find the edges baking more quickly than the center, you can tent the edges with foil so that they don’t get too crispy while the center continues to bake.

  18. Hi, just wanted to say I was raised on box mix brownies and cakes. Thanks to your endless time in the kitchen, I have made wonderful bakes! Was always told the iconic shine crack on brownies was the result of your arm cramp from mixing! Never had a box mix with chips make that built in frosting

  19. May I refrigerate them to speed up the cooling process??

    1. Absolutely!

  20. I don’t know if anyone else had a problem but my parchment is very light weight, and when I tried to spread the batter the paper slid around and made it very difficult, plus very messy! I will use binder clips on the paper next time. Delicious!

    1. Happens to me too! I usually hold the parchment in place as best I can with one hand and spread with the other.

      1. Whenever I use parchment paper, I grease the pan first so it stays in place. I made these brownies using gluten free flour mix and they were wonderful. I didn’t see that it said a 9″ pan and I used the 8″ so it was even better because they were sooo thick and chocolaty.

  21. Hey! Can I substitute vegetable oil for sunflower oil? Thanks!

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      We haven’t tested it, but that swap should be OK – let us know if you try it!

  22. Do I have to use parchment paper or can I use a non stick pan or Pam?

    1. Hi Mercedes, you can use nonstick spray if needed.

  23. Hi! Which brand of coconut extract do you use? I read all the reviews on Amazon and my head is spinning Going to make it anyway, without, for boating with the girls…. But I’m sure it would be better with.

    1. Lexi @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Kirsten, we enjoy using McCormick brand (not sponsored, just genuine fans!). Hope the brownies are a hit.

      1. Hi Lexi, Is it the McCormick extract you are referring to the ‘coconut imitation extract/coconut extract with other natural flavors’?

        This is what I’m seeing on the bottle so just wanted to check. Thank you!

      2. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

        That’s the one!

  24. I was suggest not doubling the recipe and do them in separate batches it was unsuccessful in a 9 x 13 pan for me. ☹️

  25. The measurements for the brownie mix must be misprinted, because there’s no way to get three layers in a 9×9 pan. I measured everything to the gram before I started. Half the brownie mix will barely cover the bottom of the pan. Next time I will add a tsp of baking powder to the brownies, omit the chocolate chips, and try it in an 8×8 pan.

    1. Hi JD, it’s a very thin layer on the bottom. Thanks for trying the recipe!

  26. Just made these brownies tonight for my husband because he loves coconut. He hasn’t tried them yet but I did and they were absolutely delicious!! Will give some to my granddaughter tomorrow as she is also a coconut lover. They were so rich and tasty. The bottom layer was hard to spread but I persevered and it worked out and I baked them for 40 minutes. Thanks for such a great recipe. Tried many of your recipes and very happy that I have.

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