The best of all desserts.
These mocha cheesecake brownies are every bit as decadent and rich as they appear. They’re incredibly dense with a thick layer of sweet cheesecake and plenty of mocha flavor. If you love coffee, if you love chocolate, if you love brownies, if you love cheesecake, and—heck! if you love dessert—you must whip up a batch.
We’ll begin with the brownie layer. Now, I’m not going to try to convince you that my homemade brownies are better than box brownies (they are) but I AM going to tell you that my homemade brownies recipe is one of the most popular recipes on my blog. And homemade brownies really aren’t that difficult to make.
To make homemade brownies, you have to start with really quality ingredients. My brownie recipe has butter, pure chocolate (key to the best flavor!), sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and a little salt. About the chocolate? I’m talking about pure chocolate, not chocolate chips. Pure chocolate sold in bar form in the baking aisle. For the sugar? Sometimes I use brown and white granulated sugar, but since this brownie recipe has a sweet cheesecake layer, I only use white granulated sugar and I slightly reduced the amount.
I don’t like to use too much flour in my homemade brownies because I like to keep them as dense and fudgy as possible. More flour equals a cakey brownie. A little bit of cocoa powder intensifies the chocolate flavor. Don’t leave it out. You can use natural unsweetened or dutched cocoa. Espresso powder gives the brownies their mocha flavor. You can find espresso powder in most major grocery stores in the coffee aisle or purchase it online. If you pick up a new jar, know that you’ll use it often your baking. It’s fantastic in recipes like chocolate cake, mocha blondies, and Guinness chocolate cupcakes. Here are all of my recipes using espresso powder if you need ideas.
Notice how there is no leavening agent in these brownies? I do not add baking powder or soda to my brownies because I prefer them as dense (not airy or cakey!) as possible.
And, finally. The eggs. Eggs are crucial to making the very best brownies. I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times… eggs do hundreds of things in baking. From binding, to adding richness, to tenderizing, to providing structure and lift. My homemade brownie recipe uses 3 large high-quality eggs, which give the brownies a tight crumb, rich flavor, and the ultimate fudge-like texture.
Think a chocolate truffle meets chocolate fudge. That’s the texture of the homemade brownie layer.
The cheesecake layer! Super simple here: just cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg, and vanilla extract. I also add a fun secret ingredient: white chocolate chips. The white chocolate chips melt in the cheesecake layer as the brownies bake. And it tastes absolutely divine. They give the layer that little something extra. I added them at the last minute and, as it turns out, it was the best brownie decision ever.
The cheesecake layer is spread between two layers of brownies. So, you’ll spread half of the brownie batter into the pan, followed by the cheesecake, then the remaining brownie batter. Halving the brownie batter for the layers doesn’t have to be exact. It’s ok if there isn’t as much batter for the top layer—just do your best to spread it around on top of the cheesecake layer. It’ll taste good no matter how you layer it.
A sprinkle of mini chocolate chips on top of everything seals the deal: the amount of chocolate in these brownies is OUT OF CONTROL.
Moist, rich, and fudgy with coffee flavor and an absurd amount of chocolate… these mocha cheesecake brownies are the QUEEN of dessert.
Try my nutella swirl cheesecake bars or coconut cheesecake brownies next. You are welcome.Print
Mocha Cheesecake Brownies
- Prep Time: 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Total Time: 4 hours
- Yield: 16 brownies
- Category: Brownies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Indulgently rich and fudgy homemade mocha brownies are layered with white chocolate chip-studded cheesecake. They’re moist, rich, and fudgy with coffee flavor and lots of chocolate!
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
- 8 ounces (228g) coarsely chopped quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons (78g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 Tablespoons (10g) natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- optional: 1/2 cup (90g) mini or regular size semi-sweet chocolate chips (for topping)
- 8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (180g) white chocolate chips
- Make the brownie batter: Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave. Remove from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment, leaving an overhang on all sides to easily lift the brownies out of the pan when cool. Set aside.
- Whisk the granulated sugar into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition. Whisk in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Make the cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Reduce to medium-high speed and beat in the sugar until combined. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until combined. Finally, fold in the white chocolate chips with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Set aside.
- Spread about half of the brownie batter into the prepared baking pan. The batter is thick, so do your best to spread it to every corner making 1 even layer. Top with all of the cheesecake batter. Spread this in a thick, even layer. Layer on the rest of the thick brownie batter, spreading as best you can. If some cheesecake swirls out on top or if you can’t quite cover the corners with brownie batter, that’s ok! Sprinkle the optional chocolate chips on top.
- Bake for 35–38 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on them after 30 minutes and use the toothpick test to see when yours are finished.
- Allow the brownies to cool in the pan set on a wire rack for 45 minutes. Then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. The cheesecake layer must be cold before cutting into squares.
- Once chilled, lift the foil out of the pan using the overhang on the sides and cut into squares. For neat squares, I use a very sharp knife and wipe it clean with a paper towel after each cut.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer storage, freeze the brownies for up to 2–3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
- Espresso Powder: You can leave the espresso powder out to make regular cheesecake brownies. If you can’t find espresso powder, use 1 heaping Tablespoon of instant coffee (not ground coffee).
- Adapted from my chewy brownies recipe.
Keywords: mocha cheesecake brownies, cheesecake brownies, mocha brownies
Reader Comments & Reviews
Hi Sally , loved the recipe . Wanted to ask you if I am going to make the half of the recipe , what size of pan I should take for baking ? Does it affect the cooking time too ? Let me know plz . Thank you
Hi Shivani, we haven’t tried it ourselves, but we’d start by trying a 9×5 inch baking pan for half a recipe. We’re unsure of the exact bake time. Let us know what you try!
I would like to use King Arthur gluten free ultimate brownie mix and then add the cheesecake portion. Do i need to change any of the cream cheese or add espresso powder to brownie mix?.
My friend is gluten free so i would luke to make these special brownies for her birthday.
Is there anything else i should adjust? do you think they will turn out okay?
Hi Denise, you can use your box mix here. Feel free to add the espresso powder to the brownie mix if you’d like, and no changes needed to the cheesecake batter. Hope your friend enjoys them!
Amazing! I left out the white chocolate chips from the cheesecake layer and mixed in a cup of shredded coconut instead. I layered the pan with brownie, then coconut cheesecake mix, then a sprinkled layer of pitted and quartered cherries, then a layer of brownie, then a sprinkle of chocolate chips. This recipe is definitely a keeper! It’s going in the book!
Yum! Sounds fantastic, Samantha – like you combined this recipe with our coconut cheesecake brownies. So glad you enjoyed them!
Got any tips for using a gluten free flour for this recipe? Think a 1-to-1 would work?
Hi Kat! We haevn’t tested these muffins with gluten free flour, but a 1:1 GF flour substitute would be your best bet. Let us know if you give it a try!
What if I only have an 8×8 square baking dish? How do I adjust the recipe and baking time?
Hi Jacklyn, 8-inch is simply too small for this layered brownie. Without changing the entire recipe (you can try if you want, and use this cake pan size and conversions page to help), your best bet may be to spread thin layers of each layer, and use any leftover to make a few brownie cupcakes/muffins on the side.
Made this last week and it tastes amazing! Do you have any tips on how to remove it easier and cleaner from aluminum foil? It removes from the pan easy enough but removing the brownies from the foil leaves so much on and it’s such a waste of good brownies!
Hi Grae, letting the brownies cool completely before removing may help, but to totally avoid sticking, we do recommend using parchment paper instead!
Reynolds Wrap makes a nonstick foil. Works great!
This was so yummy!! The combo of brownie and cheesecake was so good, it was finished within 2 hours. The cheesecake layer was quite thin but I didn’t add white chocolate chips. If I want a thicker cheesecake layer, will making two batches of cheesecake (and keeping the brownie ingredients and the pan size the same) work?
Hi Annie, We suggest making the batter and other layers TWICE (not doubling) and combining them for each layer. You can use a 9×13 inch pan for extra thick bars. I’m unsure of the exact bake time you will need.
Best brownies ever!!! Made this recipe so many times and it comes out perfectly every time! Thank you so much for always sharing your terrific recipes. Your are amazing!
Your picture shows the chocolate chips on top of the brownies and they are still solid…I want mine to look like that, but won’t they just melt in the oven? Should I sprinkle the chips on top after they are done baking?
If you sprinkle them on top before baking they will stay intact! But you can add more after baking if you prefer – they may just not stick.
When you say there should only e moist crumbs on the toothpick when you check it, do you mean all the way through all the layers or just if you stick it through the top brownie layer?
All the way through!
This recipe looks amazing! I live in the UK and we only have soft cream cheese that comes in tubs – would that be ok to use or will it make my cheesecake layer too thin?
Thank you 🙂
Hi Fiona, In the U.S. block cream cheese is very different than the tubs and is the only cream cheese that will work. However, we have been told by readers outside the U.S. that cream cheese in a tub is different from ours and can work, but we have not tested it. Please let us know if you try!
Thank you for this recipe. It was absolutely delicious! Has the right amount of sugar and not too sweet as one would expect it to be. However, my cheesecake layer was quite thick and I was unable to spread it evenly, and ended up marbling parts of it. It still tasted good though. Is there anything I could do about this? I did not add the white choc chips as well, as I’m not a fan of white chocolate. I also used instant coffee granules instead of espresso powder, and I think it’s best to powder it or mix it with water before adding to the mixture as I found individual granules that tasted bitter in the mouth in some bites.
Thanks again for this great recipe!
Hi Piyumi, we’re so glad you enjoyed these brownies! For next time, make sure your cream cheese is softened to room temperature and the other ingredients completely mixed for the smoothest possible filling. Without the white chocolate chips, you can expect a slightly thinner layer, too. Hope this helps!
Comes put closer to fudge than brownies IMO. That was perfectly fine by me. Everyone loved them. If you’re worried about the espresso flavor, just cut back on it.
I followed the recipe and these turned out perfect. They were an absolute hit. Extremely yummy.
I was interested in trying the brownies with some fruit (perhaps frozen strawberries) mixed into the cheesecake. Has this been tried? Any adjustments I would need to make? Thanks!
Hi Kels, for a fruit-flavored cream cheese brownie recipe, we’d recommend following our Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies recipe instead. If you want the mocha flavor there, you can try adding the 2 teaspoons of espresso powder to that brownie batter. Let us know if you give it a try!
I as with all your recipes, this looks awesome! I only have bitter chocolate bars, how can I adjust it to use for this recipe.
Hi Monikka, you can use the bittersweet bars and follow the recipe as is for a deeper chocolate brownie.
I tried this today, I followed everything to the T except for adding the chocolate chips. I weighed everything too. My browniw batter is somewhat runny? What did I do wrong?
Hi Sophie, The brownie batter shouldn’t be super thick. How did they turn out after you baked them?
Hi! Can I use semi sweet chocolate chips instead of a baking bar in the brownies?
Hi Ava, we strongly recommend using chopped baking chocolate if possible. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers that prevent them from fully melting properly. If you do, make sure the chocolate chips are high quality. Hope you enjoy the brownies!
can I skip white chocolate chips?
Absolutely! You can leave out the white chocolate chips.
Tried this recipe and it was a hit. Thank you for the recipe!
Just one thing though. My baked brownie didn’t have distinct layers. I got sort of zebra texture. The consistency of the brownie was thick but the cream cheese layer was somewhat watery. Thats why I believe the top layer may have sunk in (not completely though).
Any guess what I might be doing wrong. I weighed the ingredients to make sure I get it right.
Hi Sanam! What kind of cream cheese did you use? You need block style for this recipe for a thick and creamy cheesecake layer.
Mine too. My house is only 75, but “room temperature” is too hot to keep this layer thick. Next time I will only let the cream cheese sit out for about 10 minutes and use a cooler egg. I see this a lot on the comments – probably would be helpful to mention in the recipe or tips section.
Absolutely love these! The combination of cheesecake and the brownie is amazing. I omitted the mocha and they still tasted great.
OMG these are out of this world. I just can’t stop eating them. I never thought I’d love one of your recipes more than your red velvet cupcakes & cake, but this might take the #1 spot.
I didn’t add the white chocolate chips & I baked it in 9-inch round spring form pan & the bake time was the same.
I was wondering if I can double the cheesecake layer, or maybe do one and a half of it, or will it be too much?
And how about doubling the recipe & baking in bigger pan, what size of pan maybe I should use & the bake time, what do you think? Just approximate size & time would be great if you think it might come out great in bigger pan would be wonderful.
Thank you so much!!!
Hi Aleksandra, We suggest making the batter and other layers TWICE (not doubling) and combining them for each layer. You can use a 9×13 inch pan for extra thick bars. I’m unsure of the exact bake time you will need.
I tried this today and my cheesecake batter was so runny! The Brownie batter was node and thick! But layering it was of course a nightmare a hahhahahha as it swirled away with the runny cheesecake batter!! Bake time also took forever! Am wondering where I went wrong cause I followed the recipe to the T!! Is the cheesecake batter meant to be runny or where did I go wrong!! It’s cooking right now but am scared to even go check on it please lemme know if anyone else had the same issue!!
I need to try it again and perfect it
Hi GP, The cheesecake layer should be pretty thick! Make sure you used full-fat brick style cream cheese and that it’s softened to room temperature, but not at all melted.