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.
- 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 (100g) sweetened shredded coconut*
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Lift the brownies out using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Cut into squares.
- Cover leftover brownies and store at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Plain Cheesecake: For plain cheesecake brownies, leave out the coconut extract and coconut.
- 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