Cheesecake Brownie Bites

from 8 votes

A classic lunchbox treat is reimagined with rich chocolate swirled with creamy cheesecake. Cheesecake Brownie Bites are an easy bite-sized dessert perfect for snacking.

Cheesecake brownie bites are stacked on a marble counter, with a mini muffin pan in the background.

I have the fondest memories of brownie bites as a child. Pulling apart the velcro on my turquoise lunchbox, I’d search for the white and blue Hostess bag before tearing it apart with my teeth. And by “teeth,” I mean “some combination of the braces and/or twin-clock retainers” (remember those?) I wore for seven sexy years. I’d then fish out brownie after brownie until reaching the last bite, at which point I’d reach back into the bag and touch disappointment with my finger tips. Emptiness.

To this day, I still wonder how anyone could’ve rationalized so few brownie bites constituted a single serving. They’re miniature to begin with, why minimize the amount in the bag? My culinary angst finally ended when I decided it was high time I ditched the single servings and take matters into my own hands.

Cream cheese, much like pancetta and Parmesan and sour cream, makes any dish better, so it was a natural addition. Best of all, you can leave disappointment in the dust because this recipe yields 30 of the two-bite treats. Thirty. That’s like two whole servings.

But why stop here? If you’re like me and this brownie bites recipe is channeling some serious nostalgia for a favorite lunchbox treat, check out my recipes for Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Bites, German Chocolate Brownie Bites and Raspberry Cheesecake Brownie Bites

What You’ll Love

  • The perfect size. These mini brownie cheesecake cupcakes are satisfaction in two bites.
  • Ready in 22 minutes. No judgment here if you don’t even wait for them to cool before digging in.
  • Great balance of flavor. The tangy swirl of cheesecake offsets the richness of the chocolate brownie.

Ingredients

This recipe is a bite-sized twist on a classic brownie recipe and uses many of the same ingredients as my homemade brownies with cocoa powder.

Clear glass bowls are filled with the ingredients for cheesecake brownie bikes, including sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, flour, salt, espresso powder, baking powder, butter, eggs and cocoa powder.

For the brownie batter you’ll need:

  • Eggs: For best results, bring the eggs to room temperature before making the batter. They’ll mix more easily into the other ingredients and will rise better.
  • Baking cocoa: I used natural baking cocoa (also called cocoa powder) in this recipe, but Dutch-processed cocoa powder would also work since baking powder does not require the acidity of natural cocoa powder to activate.
  • Salt: Table salt or fine sea salt works best in baking recipes so it mixes thoroughly into the batter.
  • Baking powder: To make sure your baking powder is still active, stir a little into a few tablespoons of warm water. It should fizz. If there’s no reaction, it’s time to get a new package.
  • Instant espresso powder: These concentrated espresso granules will intensify the chocolate flavor. You can omit it from the recipe, substitute instant coffee for a milder flavor, or use two tablespoons of brewed and cooled coffee.
  • Vanilla extract: Homemade vanilla extract works great in this recipe.
  • Sugar: Regular granulated sugar sweetens the brownies. You’ll use some in the cheesecake filling, too.
  • Butter: Always use unsalted butter when possible, to control the salt content of a recipe.
  • Flour: Accurately measure flour by scooping the flour into the measuring cup and sweeping the excess off the top with the back of a knife.

For the cheesecake filling you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese for maximum richness and creamy texture.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar sweetens the creamy filling.
  • Egg yolk: Save the egg white to use in another recipe, such as chewy chocolate brownie bark, or whisk it with whole eggs to lighten scrambled eggs.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Making these swirled brownie bites looks complicated, but it’s not. For this recipe, you’ll need a mini muffin pan (preferably nonstick). All the ingredients can be mixed together by hand, or you can use a stand mixer.

  1. Whisk together the ingredients. Combine the eggs, baking cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso mixed with water and vanilla. 
  2. Combine the sugar and butter. A stiff rubber spatula is the best tool to mix the ingredients together thoroughly. Mix the sugar mixture into the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Make the cream cheese filling. Using a spatula or an electric mixer, stir together the cream cheese, sugar and egg yolk until smooth. Spoon it into a pastry bag or a plastic bag.
  1. Fill the muffin cups. Spoon brownie batter, alternating with a layer of cheesecake filling, into the cups of a greased mini muffin pan. You can use a toothpick or a skewer to swirl the layers together if desired.
  1. Bake for 12 minutes in a 350˚F oven. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let brownies cool for 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a cooling rack.
Baked cheesecake brownie bites are in a mini muffin pan.

Pro Tip: Using a silicone mini muffin pans makes it easy to pop the muffins out, but keep in mind that baking time may be a few minutes longer.

Kelly’s Recipe Tips

  • When measuring flour and cocoa powder, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level it with a knife. Scooping the cup into the flour can pack the dry ingredients and cause you to use more than the recipe intends.
  • Use a mini ice cream scoop or cookie scoop as an easy and efficient way to scoop the brownie batter into the prepared cups.
  • For a marbled effect, use a toothpick or a skewer to swirl the cheesecake mixture into the brownie mixture.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut around the edges of the brownies to release them if they’re sticking to the pan. 

Can Cheesecake Brownies Be Left Out?

When it comes to foods that contain cream cheese, like cheesecake brownies, I like to err on the side of caution and store them in the refrigerator. They’ll typically last in the refrigerator for about 3 to 5 days when stored in an airtight container or tightly wrapped with plastic wrap. I recommend placing parchment or wax paper between the layers to prevent them from sticking to each other.

Freezing these brownie cheesecake bites is not recommended, as freezing can affect the texture of the cheesecake content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a boxed brownie mix?

Absolutely! Using your favorite brownie mix is a great shortcut. Follow the directions on the package to make the brownie batter. Mix the cheesecake filling ingredients according to the recipe and follow the instructions to fill the pan.

How do you keep brownie bites from sticking to the pan?

For best results, use a nonstick pan and grease it well with cooking spray or softened butter. A silicone baking pan works well too, but the cooking time may be longer.

Can I omit the espresso powder from the recipe?

Yes! The espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor but if you’re sensitive to caffeine (or if you don’t have espresso powder on hand), you can leave it out. Regular instant coffee granules can also be substituted, or two tablespoons of brewed and cooled coffee can be used in place of the instant coffee and water.

Can these be made in a regular muffin pans?

Don’t have a mini muffin pan? These cheesecake brownies can be made in regular-sized muffin pans. Allow 5 to 10 minutes additional cooking time.

A hand holds a mini brownie bite swirled with cheesecake.

More Bite-Sized Desserts You’ll Love

Good things come in small packages! Here are some of my favorite diminutive desserts.

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Dessert

Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Can't decide between cheesecake and brownies? Enjoy the best of both worlds with Cheesecake Brownie Bites!
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.88 from 8 votes
Cheesecake brownie bites are stacked on a marble counter, with a mini muffin pan in the background.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 30 brownie bites

Ingredients 

For the brownie batter:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups baking cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, baking cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso mixed with water, and vanilla until well combined.
  • Stir in the sugar and melted butter until well combined, then stir in the flour. (A firm rubber spatula works best.) Set brownie batter aside.
  • In a separate bowl, prepare the cheesecake filling by stirring together the cream cheese, sugar and egg yolk until well combined. Transfer the mixture to a pastry bag or plastic bag.
  • Grease a non-stick mini-muffin pan with cooking spray or butter and then spoon a tablespoon of brownie batter into the greased cups. Pipe a generous amount of cheesecake filling atop the brownie batter, and then top off each cup with an additional teaspoon of brownie batter.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Let the brownie bites cool for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a cooling rack to continue cooling, or enjoy warm.

Kelly’s Notes

  • The espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor but if you’re sensitive to caffeine (or if you don’t have espresso powder on hand), you can leave it out.
  • A mini-ice cream scoop is an easy and efficient way to scoop the brownie batter into the prepared cups.
  • Feel free to swirl the cheesecake mixture with the brownie mixture once scooped into the muffin cups to create a marbled effect.
  • If the brownie bites aren’t easily releasing from the pan, use a sharp knife to cut around the edges to release them.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 43mg, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 92mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 16g, Vitamin A: 230IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.9mg

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Brownie batter recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour.


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4.88 from 8 votes (1 rating without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very tasty, turned out beautifully. Needs a good non stick mini muffin pan ( or use paper liners). These freeze well too!

  2. 5 stars
    These are WONDERFUL! The espresso powder really puts the chocolate flavor over the top. This is a quick and easy way to satisfy your chocolate AND cheesecake cravings without all the extra time and effort. OMGosh! Thank you, Kelly.

  3. I made them and after 12 minutes they weren’t cooked. I have used silicone muffins molts, would it be the reason?

    1. Hi Sierra – Absolutely :) You can use box brownie batter and follow the rest of the recipe the exact same. Enjoy!

    1. Hi Kelli! The espresso powder isn’t necessary. It enhances the flavor of the brownies but they’ll still taste great without it :)

    1. Hi Bev – It’s very intensely dark and concentrated instant coffee crystals that dissolve quickly in liquid. You can usually find it in the coffee aisle of most major supermarkets.

  4. I’ve done this in a regular muffin tin and they were delicious! They turned out great, just bigger bites, that’s all! They were so good!

  5. I used 99g cocoa powder ( that was all I had), 240.50g all purpose flour, reduced the sugar to 360 gram of caster sugar. Turned out okay in terms of sweetness.

  6. I have a question about storing these. I want to make a lot for my sisters wedding reception. Do I need to store them in the refrigerator since they are half cheesecake? How long can I make them in advance? Is a week too long? Thanks for the help! They look amazing!

    1. Yes, I’d recommend storing them in the fridge just to be safe and I’d make them a maximum of 3 days in advance.

    2. 4 stars
      Delicious little treats and easy to make. My only comment would be the number of bites made from this recipe. I made 48. Making 30 would’ve way overfilled each cup. Not sure if all mini muffin tins are the same size, but I think they are pretty standard

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