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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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

  7. I followed the directions completely. The brownie mix came out perfect but the cheesecake filling was rather thick. What did you do to get it like the pictures?

  8. Thank you for your fast response

    do you have a substitution for Baking Cocoa? Beauce in My Country We’re not familiar about Baking Cocoa, we just know Cocoa Powder. Can i use Cocoa Powder?

    This recipe use 2 1/4 cups sugar it means 431 grams, i think that’s a lot. Are you sure thats not sweetness?

    looking forward to hear from you soon

  9. Can you freeze these and for how long? And how do you thaw them? I make mini brownies all the time cant wait to try these. LOVE THE WAY YOUR MIND WORKS :)

    1. Hi Al! I’ve never tried freezing these so I can’t say for certain how the texture would be after you defrost them. Let me know if you give it a shot!

  10. Hi, I found delicious recipe on Pinterest and would love to invite you to share this, and any other posts, on my Creative Thursday Link Party at http://www.mrkooldrink.com. our site is dedicated to publishing the best cookie recipes.

  11. i was wondering, can you use frozen cream cheese that has been thawed for the cheesecake filling?
    thanks!

  12. Hi kelly! These look delicious I was wondering if I could use my own brownie recipe and the same cheesecake recipe :)

  13. Hi, these are sooo good! I made them, the first time with espresso and the 2nd time without so my baby can eat them. She loves it. Both times i used regular size muffin tin and i just added an extra 10 minutes baking time! They were perfect!

  14. Hello Kelly, Can I skip the espresso powder? I am really not crazy about the coffee flavor on my desserts. Thanks,

  15. Just made these in normal cupcake pans! The cheesecake part tastes kind of strange but I haven’t had cheese in a while. The brownie mixture baked fine, but was hard to scoop.

  16. i had this pinned for ages for finally decided to give this recipe a try when i realized i totally forgot to wish my manager a happy birthday.
    recipe & steps worked like a charm – i ate two to make sure it was at least edible, & can i say i had to try really really hard to stop at two! absolutely yummy!
    only “downfall” is how guilty i felt when adding the 2¼ cups of sugar into the brownie batter lol

  17. Just made these for our New Years Eve party. They’re scrumptious! I wasn’t sure about the brownie batter as it is very thick but they’re very rich and choclatey. It makes more than 30 too. Which is a good thing. I keep “testing” them! Thanks for a great recipe :)

  18. Hi, great recipes. I’m thinking of making these to give as a Christmas gift to my cousin. Do you know about how long they’ll stay good at room temperature in an air-tight container?

    1. I’ve never used a cake pop-maker, but I would think that as long as you adjust the baking time, it should work out great. Enjoy!

  19. To avoid chocolate cake from sticking to a greased cake pan I quite often dust the inside of the pan with unsweetened cocoa powder just as one might dust with flour. Using cocoa instead of the flour prevents that white snowy look on the sides of the cake. I haven’t made the cheesecake bites yet, but it seems to me that it might work with them as well. Just a suggestion. The bites look absolutely amazing!!! Will be trying them soon.

    1. Absolutely YES! Just make sure to wrap them very securely in an air-tight container with plastic wrap. I’d estimate they will be fresh for about a week. I hope that’s enough time!

  20. Just stumbled onto this recipe via pintrest! Made these and they were FANTASTIC! However, they didn’t seem to have quite the cheesecake to brownie ratio that yours do in the picture, much more brownie than cheesecake…do you have some brownie batter left over? And any tips on where to find the espresso powder?

  21. Do you put these in the fridge when done b/c they have the cream cheese in them or do you store them on the counter like any other cupcake/brownie/muffin?

  22. Hey dear it luks so delicious …. i dont have oven….. i have a convection microwave oven….. can i make these lovly bites in my convection microwave???

  23. I loved these growing up! We called them Black Bottom Cupcakes. The mini bite size portions were always my favorite!!!

  24. Too cute! I’ve been making cheesecake cups for years, but I always make them normal size. Not sure why because the minis make much more sense. I’m going to have to try your version.

  25. Hi!!! These look amezing!! I’m very eager to prove it but I have a doubt, the baking cocoa… what is it? I’m from Spain and don’t understand it, it’s cocoa powder? cocoa without sugar? I need your help! Thank you!!!

  26. I made these and they turned out great! The first batch didn’t look very attractive but the second one looked better and I think I just used too much batter in each tin and needed to use something different to add the cheesecake part. Still…I got rave reviews, zero complaints, and many thank yous from those who ate them. Great recipe!

    I blogged it here: Cheesecake Brownie Bites

  27. First of all, these look amazing! Second, Im going to make these tomorrow but I don’t have a mini muffin pan, only a regular size. How long do you think I should leave them in the oven for since they will be slightly bigger than the recipe calls for?

    1. Thanks, Merv! I unfortunately can’t recommend a specific baking time, as ovens/pans/amount of batter are too many variables to control! My best advice is to just continue checking them (using the toothpick method). Keep in mind that larger brownies in this shape will be much more dense. Enjoy!

  28. I made these for a cookout and they were fabulous. Everyone loved them! I was told these are a must now at every cookout. As info I made some in mini muffin pans and some in regular muffin pans filled halfway due to being short on time and both turned out great. Yummy recipe!

  29. They came out really good! the only thing is that they really stuck to the mini pan, even after spraying the pan. The knife didn’t help enough so now I have little saucer like brownies. They’re still good, don’t look too bad, still serving them! :)

    1. Did you use a non-stick mini-muffin tin? If it wasn’t non-stick they would’ve stuck more, but hopefully they’re still delicious nonetheless!

  30. Hi. I’m making these this morning for a party tonight. How do I store them for the day, on the counter, in the fridge? Thanks!

    1. Hi Michele! After the brownie bites have cooled completely, store them in an airtight container on the counter (in the shade). Enjoy!

  31. These look AMAZING and I plan to make them for a bake sale fundraiser in a few weeks. I was wondering, could I also use a red velvet cake mix and make red velvet cheesecake bites? This would help to give me some variety for my bake sale treats. Thanks and keep sending great recipes our way! lol

    1. Thanks so much, Rachera! You could definitely sub in red velvet cake mix for the brownie batter (love that idea). Let me know how they turn out!

  32. These taste wonderful (I substituted instant coffee granules for the espresso since I keep it on hand for my favorite cookie)! However, I found that the amount of brownie batter called for made my brownie bites flat on top making it very difficult to get them out whole (the tops extended so far over the edges of the mini muffin cups that getting a knife in there caused them to break). I’ll definitely make these again, but using less batter per cup — which turns out okay, since I’ll get more out of the recipe. As it was, I got 36 with a little batter left over.

  33. I just wanted to say I stumbled upon your site via pinterest and I cannot wait to make these! Great site, I will definitely be checking back

  34. Clearly, I must make these for my daughter’s lunch next school year! And, if I double the batch and freeze some… yeah, right, I’ma gonna have brownie and cheesecake on my nose from licking the bowl! schllluuuurrrrp!

  35. i made a cheesecake brownie recently too, but it didn’t come out as pretty as yours. smart idea at using a small ice cream scoop to layer the brownie and cheesecake batter!

  36. My family loves these! Ok…So, I made a recipe much simpler inspired by these. I used Pilsbury Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix as directed and Filled the Muffin tins almost full with alittle space for Cheesecake Topping. Also, I made Full size Muffin/Brownies instead of minis…then put the Cheesecake Filling as directed and Bake! So, much easier…Everyone will love! Thanks*

  37. I make a very similar brownie…but I add a chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture…double delicious for the chocolate lovers!!

  38. Just made these for a party – they are fabulous! Used instant coffee in place of espresso for a more subtle taste.

  39. Can you cheat and use box brownie batter? These look like the perfect addition to a shower I’m hosting but have so many time consuming things already…trying to take shortcuts some places….

    Thanks!

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

  40. I can not wait to make these for a party. I was wondering if I could make them a week ahead and freeze them until the day before the party. Also, Have you ever made them in paper liners?

    1. Thanks, Ann! I’ve never tried freezing them, but I wouldn’t recommend it, only because the texture will change. If you can find mini-muffin paper cups, absolutely go for it!

  41. Should I omit the espresso or do you have a substitution since I cannot have coffee of any kind?

  42. haha just tried it and forgot to add brownie butter on top. they are just freaking out and making very very big bubbles like you put cheese in the oven.

    but anyway it’s very tasty! thanks xxx

  43. I found this recipe delicious! I ended up with 48 mini brownies. One question…there was no way I could wisk 4 eggs with 1 1/4 cup cocoa. I had to add the butter just to stir the mixture. Should I have gradually added the chocolate? I also had to bake them an extra three minutes. I had never used expresso powder before. It really kicked up the chocolate. Thanks for posting this recipe.

    1. Thanks so much, Kathy! You can gradually add in the chocolate, but four large eggs should provide enough liquid for stirring. It’s also entirely possible you had to bake them an additional 3 minutes, as every oven can vary in temperature (if not using a free-standing oven thermometer!). So glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  44. hey, those look delicious. I assume the espresso you used is the instant one? As I don’t tend to use the instant one, do you think I could make some espresso coffee and use it instead?

    1. hanks so much, Tanja! Yes, it’s instant espresso, and I’ve added a note to the recipe to clarify. You could definitely use already brewed espresso as well. Hope this helps!

  45. These are cooling as I typing this!! They smell so rich and good. Can’t wait to try one. And who would have thought that I use to never be a big fan of cream cheese anything? What was I thinking right?

  46. Wow, these are perfect and the contrast is beautiful. I’m so impressed with how these turned out, no real bleed between the colors… I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…

  47. These look wonderful! Two questions: I have never used unsalted butter. Why do you use this instead of regular salted butter? Also, do you think these would work in a cupcake tin or would it just be too much? Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thank you, Kathy! You should always bake with unsalted butter because it allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe. Otherwise, the result could end up overly salty. I haven’t tested this recipe in regular-sized cupcake tins, so I’m not 100 percent positive, but I think it would still work! Just make sure to adjust the baking time as necessary. Please let me know how they turn out!

  48. I saw this photo on Pinterest and said “I MUST MAKE THESE!” Sorry to shout but they look delicious and who doesn’t love brownies…and cheesecake? I also seem to mess up both of them when I bake full size ones, but these look like they can’t go wrong. All I need to do is buy myself a mini muffin pan. Yum.

    1. Haha! Thank you, Claire! Please do shout all you want. I was shouting while shoving the 19th one into my mouth. Yes, they are that good :)

    1. Hi Oscar! Espresso powder is a very finely ground coffee that easily dissolves into water. You can find it in all major grocery stores, but you can also just substitute instant coffee, which is a little bit less intense in flavor. Hope this helps!

  49. Chocolate and cream cheese swirled together in tiny miniature bites? I think my heart just skipped a beat. Everything is adorable in miniature – especially baked goods. haha

  50. Oh goodness, this is my husband’s dream come true. His two favorite desserts are brownies and cheesecake. I can’t wait to surprise him with these!