Decadent red velvet brownies swirled with cheesecake.
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.
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 ounce brick 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.
Chewy, moist, decadent red velvet brownies swirled with cheesecake.
Red Velvet Brownies
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons red gel food coloring*
- 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
- 3/4 cup (94g) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 8 ounces (226g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- 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.
- Make the cheesecake swirl: With a handheld 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.
- 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.
- Freezing Instructions: Brownies will freeze well, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): Electric Mixer (Handheld or Stand) | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | 8-Inch Square Pan
- Double Batch: Simply double all the ingredients and bake in a 9×13 pan for around 45 minutes – give or take. Same oven temperature.
- Red Food Coloring: I prefer using gel food coloring, but liquid food coloring will work, too. If using liquid red food coloring, increase to 1 Tablespoon.
- Adapted from Food Network, with a few changes.
Keywords: red velvet cheesecake brownies