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Decadent red velvet brownies swirled with cheesecake.

red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

stack of red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

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 unbelievably good.

Today’s brownies are basically a fudge chocolate brownie with lots of buttery vanilla flavors. The brownie batter is red, tinted 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.

overhead image of red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

These brownies are pretty easy to make and are the perfect recipe for red velvet beginners. The cream cheese swirl is equally simple. 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.

Now, let’s swirl. 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.

Swirl it all together with a knife as best you can– both layers are quite thick.

red velvet brownie batter with cheesecake mixture on top in a glass baking pan before swirling

stack of red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

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red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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



Red Velvet Brownies

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon liquid red food coloring*
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)

Cheesecake Swirl

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


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray 8×8 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 as best you can (both layers are pretty thick), creating a swirl pattern.
  4. 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.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Brownies will freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Double Batch: Simply double all the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan for around 45 minutes – give or take. Same oven temperature.
  3. If using gel food coloring, reduce to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.
  4. Adapted from Food Network, with a few changes.

Keywords: red velvet cheesecake brownies

3 images of red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these for Valentine’s Day and they turned out great! Thank you for all the awesome recipes!

  2. Hey Sally,

    I just baked these and they were delicious. However, the color was not red at all, I added a full table spoon of red food colouring but it remained brown-ish. Would you suggest just simply adding more until it is the desired colour? Or adding more vinegar? And what brand food colouring did you use?


    1. Hi Elke, I use McCormick brand. I would add enough until you are pleased with the color of the dough.

  3. Hey Sally! I have made this recipe about 5 times and people LOVE it. I am about to make it again tonight but I have a couple questions for you. 1) my cheesecake swirl always ends up a little yellow from the egg yolk and a little browned from the oven, any advice? Thank you!! 🙂 

    1. Cover the brownies loosely with aluminum foil– will prevent it from browning too much.

  4. I made these for an event at the high school and they were fabulous!  This recipe is a keeper.  I’ll be using it over and over and over.  They came out perfect.

  5. Loved your recipe! If I’d to make the cheesecake batter ahead of time by keeping it in the refregerator, can I use it straight for baking while it was still cold? Do I need to ensure the cheesecake batter is at room temperature before use?

  6. Made these yesterday and wow, they were brilliant. We didn’t add as much red food colouring as we should have so they were a very more maroon than red but the recipe was so deliciously moist and perfectly flavoured, not too sweet, not too plain and the cream cheese swirl! I need to try this with every brownie recipe 10/10 for sure. 🙂

  7. Made these tonight for a church Christmas party for our teens and they were AMAZING! Cakey and fudgey at the same time (is that even possible???). So “m word” (moist) as my friend says and great flavor. THANK YOU!!

  8. Hi Sally! I’d like to make half of this recipe. How long should I bake it? And should I stick to the same temperature? Thank you!

    1. If you cut this in half you can try making it in a loaf pan. The baking time would be shorter but I’m unsure of the exact time.

  9. Hi Sally,

    If I want it to be chocolate (without using a chocolate bar) and not red velvet, could I decrease the vanilla to 1tsp, increase the cocoa to 1/3 or 1/2 cup & add 2 tbsps of water to make up for the liquid from the vinegar and food colouring?

  10. Love this recipe! I make it at least once a month (dont judge!) It always turns out perfectly!

  11. Hi Sally, can i bake this in a 9″ pan? Would it be too thin? Or should i just make an adjustment to the ingredients?

  12. Your recipes are AMAZINGGG!!!
    Tried the red velvet with cheesecake swirled brownies and they turned out sooo good ❤️

  13. These taste nice and look cute but they are not as beautiful as Sally’s – I wasn’t able to get a clean marble look. I think I might not have left enough red brownie batter to swirl with the cheese cake, so it was sort of difficult to swirl in a clean way. I think I might make these again for Christmas, they’re beautiful even after I mucked it up a bit, and I think they’ll look better if I leave more batter to swirl next time. They were SO easy to make anyway, took about 10 minutes to make and cleanup was very, very easy.

  14. Hi Sally thanks for your great baking recipes! I just have a question related to all cooking recipes I don’t have an oven instead I use solardom so should the degree change?

    1. Hi Armina, Unfortunately we don’t have one to test out so we have never tried it. Does it use convection heat? If so the general rule of thumb is to reduce the temperature by 25°F and keep you eye on your baked goods as the bake time may still be shorter.

  15. I made this recipe yesterday and it’s so yummy. Easy to make as well.

  16. Hi Sally, I really loved the ease of this recipe but for some reason it didn’t cook through even after 35 minutes. The edges were cooked but the center still had some gooey red velvet, any idea why?

    1. Hi Mara, did you use an 8×8 pan? You can continue baking until the brownies are set or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  17. I enjoyed making these brownies, I added pecans to it. It was delicious, will have to double it next time though. Thank you for sharing.

  18. Great recipe! They are SO moist, and the cream cheese swirl with that chewy red velvet… perfect! Go make them!!!

      1. Hi Sharmeen, any full-fat block cream cheese will work best here.

  19. I doubled this recipe to give the brownies to my daughter and son-in-law for Valentine’s Day, saving a few for myself. Because I had read a comment from one person stating that the cream cheese filling had become too brown in the oven, I covered the pan loosely with foil when baking.

    They came out looking beautifully red and white marbled, and were absolutely delicious. I know that my family members devoured all of them within three days. I plan at some time to make them (without doubling) just for myself! A real keeper recipe.

  20. Ihi Sally I bake most of your brownies and they are so delicious,
    May I know if I were to double this on to a 12×12 tray how long should I bake? Thank you very much

    1. Hi Sabrina, we’re unsure of the exact bake time for a 12×12 pan. Keep a close eye on them and use a toothpick to test for doneness. So glad to hear you enjoy them!

  21. Hi Sally! Is it possible to use beet powder to give the red colour instead of the red gel?

    1. Hi Shirley, absolutely! You may wish to use a combination of water and beet powder to get the one tablespoon needed for these brownies.

  22. I loved this recipe a lot and so did the spouse. However, I have a question. Should the texture be fairly fudgey? My brownies were a softer and chewier than I expected. I had to bake a little longer than the time indicated and I worry they were still a little underdone even with the time. The toothpick came out clean, so I am just curious if the texture is right if it is more fudgey than cakey? No matter what, it’s now in the roster!

    1. Hi Bridgett, yes, these are a fudgey brownie so it sounds like you did everything right — glad you both enjoyed them!

  23. Im curious on the last persons comment….
    I actually would like mine to be slightly more cakey instead. Any suggestions. I want to make it this weekend 🙂

  24. This has become my go-to brownie recipe. Made it twice this week alone. So good!

    Pro tip: if your brownies look more maroon than red, try using pink gel food coloring instead. Comes out as bright red against the dark cocoa power.

  25. I love this recipe I’ve made it so many times, but I just prepped everything and realised I don’t have red food colouring- hope it turns out okay without it.

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