The best of all desserts.
Why, hello beautiful.
I’m talking to the brownies. But you’re beautiful too!
Today I’m sharing recipe #4 in my annual cookie palooza. And even though brownies are not technically cookies, they can still sneak onto a holiday cookie tray. So I’m including them in the cookie bonanza. Speaking of– have you made any of the new cookie recipes so far this week?!
Back to today’s brownies. Look at these. They’re 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 freakin’ love dessert- you have to try these mocha cheesecake brownies. Like, right now. (Is it 8am when you’re reading this? WHO CARES. Do it. I mean, they are flavored like coffee. Soooo yeah.)
Let’s talk about the amazing ridiculousness that is this recipe. 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 brownie recipe is one of the most popular recipes on my blog. And homemade brownies really aren’t that difficult to make. And they don’t have any artificial flavors or weird ingredients.
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- I use about 2 teaspoons total in the brownie batter. Cheers to that!
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!) 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 recipes uses 3 large high quality Eggland’s Best 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.
Not all eggs are created the same– and my preferred choice has always been Eggland’s Best because I find they create the richest baked goods.
The cheesecake layer! Super simple here: just cream cheese, sugar, 1 Eggland’s Best 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 enough batter for the top layer– do your best spreading 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.
Warning: may ruin your diet.
Mocha Cheesecake Brownies
Indulgently rich and fudgy homemade mocha brownies layered with white chocolate chip-studded cheesecake!
- 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 (80g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 Tablespoons (11g) natural unsweetened or dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons espresso powder1
- 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 Eggland's Best 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 tip: 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.
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 chewy fudgy homemade brownies.
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Try my Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars next. You are welcome.