Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

from 26 votes

Two dessert favorites join forces in a top-rated recipe for swirled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies.

The best Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies sliced into perfect squares

It’s not officially February in my mind until I roll out the red velvet desserts. From Red Velvet Cinnamon Rolls to Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies, nothing says “Valentine’s Day” like a confection that’s the color of love.

I’ve rolled two (or possible even three) desserts into one beloved sweet that swirls fudgy red velvet brownies with tangy cheesecake filling. The result is a brownie beloved by many, with all the 5-star reviews to prove it!

A clear bowl containing red velvet brownie batter

How to Make Cheesecake Brownies

Everywhere red velvet goes, cream cheese frosting is sure to follow. I’ve swapped the traditional frosting for a tangy cheesecake filling that’s luscious, creamy and not too sweet. It also provides the perfect contrasting color to deep-red velvet brownie batter.

A hand beater in a clear bowl containing cheesecake mixture

How to Swirl Cheesecake Brownies

There is definitely a technique to swirling the two batters together so that you get the perfect marbled effect with a little bit of brownie and a little bit of cheesecake in every single bite.

Dollops of batter ready to be swirled into cheesecake layer

Start by topping a portion of the brownie batter with the cheesecake filling, then add dollops of the remaining brownie batter on top. Finally, use a toothpick or skewer (anything with a thin, sharp point) to swirl the two batters together.

A top-down view of a parchment paper-lined baking pan with swirled cheesecake brownie batter

It’s easy to go overboard during the swirling phase, but try to stop yourself when you get somewhere like the above, which is a good blend of the two batters without overdoing it.

A top-down view of baked red velvet brownies in a parchment paper-lined pan

All that’s left to do is pop these beauties into the oven and then sustain the long wait time of letting them cool completely before slicing them into squares and digging in.

A close-up view of Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Looking for more brownie inspiration? Check out my favorite recipes below:

Sliced cheesecake-swirled brownies

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Dessert

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Two dessert favorites join forces for the ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies.
Author: Kelly Senyei
4.70 from 26 votes
The best Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies sliced into perfect squares
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 12 servings

Ingredients 

For the red velvet brownies:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing pan
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake filling:

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  • Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and grease it with butter.
  • In a large bowl, combine the melted 8 tablespoons butter with the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, food coloring and salt, stirring to combine. Then stir in the white vinegar.
  • Whisk together the eggs in a small bowl, and then stir them into the brownie batter. Fold in the flour, just until combined, then pour the batter into the prepared pan, reserving ¼ cup of the batter for the topping.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or using a handheld electric mixer), blend together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until well combined. Spread the cream cheese mixture in an even layer over the brownie batter then top the cream cheese with dollops of the remaining brownie batter. Using a sharp knife or toothpick, swirl the cream cheese together with the dollops of brownie batter.
  • Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely before lifting the parchment out of the pan then slicing and serving.

Kelly’s Notes:

  • Brownies often taste better the second day after they’re baked, so feel free to make the brownies in advance and store them in an airtight container.
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don't forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 61mg, Sodium: 41mg, Potassium: 50mg, Sugar: 19g, Vitamin A: 295IU, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 0.8mg

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Recipe adapted from Sunny Anderson.


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Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Recipe was easy to make. I did not include the food coloring. However, the cooking time was not sufficient. I even added another 15 minutes and it was still liquid-y in the center. Unfortunate. Maybe the brownie layer needs to cook and get set first?

  2. 5 stars
    Super easy to make and delicious. I brought them into work and everyone loved them. I’m baking another batch this weekend for my husband.

  3. I’m baking these as I type. I doubled the recipe for 24 servings and used a 9×13 pan. Should I have used a larger pan or is the 9×13 okay?

  4. Hi! I’m curious if you think I should make any adjustments if cooking with gluten free flour. Even if you’re unfamiliar, you probably know more than I do! :) last time I tried a similar recipe I remember burning the top of the cream cheese because gluten free sometimes takes longer to bake. Maybe lower temp and for longer? Thank you!

    1. Hi Katelyn! I haven’t tried this recipe with GF flour so I’m not sure what subs would need to be made. Sorry!

  5. 5 stars
    Made two batches to pass out for Valentine’s Day. They were a huge hit! I added chopped pieces of Theo brand sea salt dark chocolate and raspberry dark chocolate bar chunks into the batter… next level

    1. 4 stars
      I baked them about 10 minutes longer. They were delicious, but the texture was a little “different”- not really cake-like; almost a bit mushy.

  6. 5 stars
    Didn’t last a day they were so good. Finished the last two myself. I will definitely be using this recipe again. Incredible.

    1. That should work, Destiny! I haven’t used that size pan with this recipe so I’m not sure what the bake time would be. I’d recommend checking the brownies frequently while they’re in the oven. Let me know how they turn out! :)

    1. Hi Esther! I haven’t tried freezing these brownies so I’m not sure what the texture would be like once defrosted.

  7. Hi, can I add the 1 whole egg (egg white and yolk) for the cheesecake filling? If yes, is there any negative effect? Thank you

    1. Hi Diah! A whole egg should work (I’ve never tried it) but I wanted to keep the cheesecake mixture pretty classic :) Let me know if you give it a shot!

  8. This is a great recipe, have made it so many times that my page is dotted with red food colouring. (Canadian way of spelling colored)

    Thank you

  9. Why is white vinegar needed? Will anything drastic happen if I leave it out? White vinegar is not something I would use in my kitchen.

    I’m planning on baking your brownies for our volunteers helping out at Tuesday’s election but some people might be put off by the red food coloring. Can I leave it out without affecting the taste?

    Much obliged for your response. Thank you.

  10. 4 stars
    I LOVE these brownies they taste amazing!! I have tried doubling the recipe and it turned out good, but the cream cheese filling has this weird tangy taste to it. I was wondering if you had any tips about that? Thank you and again amazing recipe ❤️❤️

    1. I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe, Mubeenah! And I’ve never experienced that with the cream cheese filling. Was your cream cheese fresh?

  11. If I wanted to make these in a larger pan, what would measurements be? Like more of a rectangular baking dish!

    1. Hi Melissa – You could double the recipe and use a 9×13 pan. However, I haven’t used that size pan with this recipe so I’m not sure what the bake time would be. I’d recommend checking the brownies frequently while they’re in the oven.

    1. Hi Michelle – I haven’t used that size pan with this recipe so I’m not sure what the bake time would be but you’ll definitely need to increase it. I’d recommend checking the brownies frequently while they’re in the oven.

  12. These brownies are the most requested dessert for family gatherings! I’ve repeatedly shared the recipe and have received nothing but amazing reviews from everyone that makes them. Everyone assumes they are complex to make and it totally blows my image once they see how simple it is! Thanks so much for this amazing dessert!

  13. 5 stars
    Just wanted to say I found this recipe 5 years ago and I make these anytime there is a potluck for work or get together with friends and they are such a hit! they are amazing!!

    for the past year I have been trying to live a low carb life and was wondering have you tried using this recipe but with substitutes? ( like Almond flour or Coconut Flour, and sugar substitutes?) Or if you have a similar recipe that is low carb friendly I would love to try it out! ❤️

    1. I’m SO thrilled you’ve been enjoying the recipe, Sasha! Unfortunately, I’ve never tried any flour or sugar substitutes in this recipe so I can’t provide any insight as to what the results would be. Let me know if you try any!

    1. Hi there, JD! I wouldn’t recommend that as such a considerable difference in pan size will result in very thin brownies. You could, however, double the recipe and use your 9×13 pan.

  14. 3 stars
    Greetings! I followed the recipe but had little brown flakes in the brownie batter – Any idea what I did wrong there? Also, had to bake for 40min for center to cook thru. It came out a little dry and on the dense side. Also, I refrigerated it overnight, and it hardened up a bit the next day. Any suggestions as to how I could make it less dry and dense? It was very good, and I would make it for my Halloween party in a couple of weeks if I could tweak it a bit. Thx for the recipe and any suggestions.

    1. Hi Lisa! I’m not sure what could have caused brown flakes in your brownie batter. Was your cocoa powder fresh? As for having to bake them longer, there are several factors that may have attributed to this such as how the heat circulated in your oven, the type of baking pan you used and whether or not you used parchment paper.

  15. 5 stars
    Hi Kelly!
    Just now baking the brownies and I’m super excited. Recipe sounded amazing. I have tried a lot of different recipes online so far and they all have turned out amazing. My husband’s job is always looking forward to my new recipes lol so I’ll let ya know the verdict!

  16. My fiance is dying to try these so I’m going to make them for his work. Do they need to be stored in the refrigerator overnight or can they be left out on the counter in an airtight container? Thank you for your help!

  17. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe! So delicious! Just curious why only egg yolk for the cream cheese? What happens if I used whole egg? ( was going to experiment but figured I’ll ask you first) :)

    1. Hi Linda! A whole egg should work (I’ve never tried it) but I wanted to keep the cheesecake mixture pretty classic :)

    2. 5 stars
      Hello I had put my egg your in first and was like what am I going to do with 1 egg white so I dumped it in. It’s my first time making this recipe so I don’t have only egg your to compare it to but it tasted great even my husband who is not much of a cake lover couldn’t stopped eating it the whole egg was fine to me.

  18. 5 stars
    These were so perfect. Easy to make but absolutely delicious! I doubled the cheesecake and made them in a 9×9. They didn’t last 24 hours before my boyfriend devoured them.

  19. 2 stars
    Followed recipe as directed they came out like cakes instead of brownies. Had to take them out 5 mins early. Disappointed they didn’t turn out. Not sure what went wrong.

    1. Hi CJ – A 9×9 pan is the better option, however, I haven’t used that size pan with this recipe so I’m not sure what the bake time would be.

  20. I have made these two times this week for Valentine’s events, and they are absolutely amazing! A huge hit at both events! I will definitely be making these again soon. (:

  21. Just finished this recipe to share with coworkers for valentines day. Ate my first bite and OMG, they were great. I need to stop myself from eating them all before tomorrow.

    Thank you for sharing!

  22. They are in the oven now but 1) the batter was far too dark because of the cacao powder to be able to turn red and 2) I couldn’t spread the layer of cream cheese on top of the batter without already entirely mixing it in. What am I doing wrong?

    1. Hi there Eleanor! What type of cocoa powder did you use? And the cheesecake part is added on top of the brownie batter and is easiest to spread with an offset spatula.

  23. Love them!! I made them tonight for a bake sale and they turned out great. Super, super easy to make, but they look impressive, and they’re delicious! I used a toothpick to make a marble pattern on the top and they look awesome. I think they’ll be a hit at the bake sale. Will definitely be making these again. Thank you! :)

    1. Hi Lena! You could try using a gluten-free flour such as Cup4Cup that’s a 1:1 ratio as regular flour. I’ve never tried this so I’m not sure what the result would be. Let me know if you give it a shot!

    1. Hi Heather – Oven temperatures can vary, which means if your oven is running slightly cooler you may need to increase the bake time. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs.

  24. Just made them and they are absolutely fantastic, even my super picky sister said they were delicious, I’m so excited about this recipe!

  25. Made these last week and they came out perfect…hubby really loved them .am def gonna make these again❤

  26. I love these! I made them for a picnic once and now am not allowed to go anywhere without my friends requesting I bake and bring these. Definitely better after a day, but so delicious with the right amount of sweetness and creamy richness. I’m actually going to bake some for our Christmas day celebrations- with some green food dye in the cream cheese to increase the festiveness! Thank you, Kelly :)

  27. I made these last year and they were a hit! Just one question, how long will the keep if store in an air tight container in the fridge or outside the fridge? Or even freezer!? Thanks!

    1. Hi Kayla! I’d recommend storing them in the fridge just to be safe. They should still be tasting great up to 5 days after making them. And I think freezing them would cause the texture/taste to change, so I wouldn’t recommend it. So glad you’re enjoying the recipe!

  28. I don’t see a leavened in your recipe. Do the eggs act as a leavened or is it unnecessary since they are cream cheese brownies? I can’t wait to try this recipe. Thanks!

  29. I’m not well trained chef, so I made these wrong. It said to use parchment paper and butter. Then I was scrolling through the reviews and see where you were suppose to butter the pan then put in the paper. I’m confused? So I guess mine will not turn out in 5 minutes left. Uh oh.

    1. Hi Becki! First line your baking pan with parchment paper, then grease it with butter. Hope that helps to clarify!

  30. I don’t have parchment paper..do I need it? :) so excited to make this, my husband loves red velevt!!

  31. I have made these several times for office parties and social parties alike. They are always a huge hit. They do tend to be a bit undercooked in the center if you don’t watch them, but I like those parts. This is a fabulous recipe!

  32. Hi there! I’m going to make these brownies tomorrow but I’m planning on using an aluminum foil baking pan since I’m taking them to a party. Is it necessary to grease the pan and add parchment paper?

      1. Hi I am going to be trying this recipe . Want to know is there a recipe to make it eggless and what is the shelf life of the brownie

      2. Hi there! I’ve never tried this recipe without the eggs so I’m unable to provide a recommended substitute.

  33. I made these last week and they were amazing! I’m planning on making them again for a little get together. but I’m going to have to double or maybe even triple the recipe. If I just double it and use a bigger pan, does that mean that I also have to double the cooking time? Or should I just keep checking after the 30 min mark?

    1. Hi Becca – You wouldn’t want to double the baking time, but you’ll definitely need to increase it. I’d recommend checking the brownies frequently while they’re in the oven.

  34. Hi! I’m planning on making these tomorrow but I have a question about the parchment paper and butter. This might be a little dumb but I just want to double check;
    1. do I have to line the pan with the parchment and then grease it with butter and afterwards just add the batter.
    2. Or do I grease the pan with butter and THEN line it with parchment?

    I’m an amateur baker so I really want to get it right :)

  35. I was cautious going in to making this recipe. I was reading all the comments seeing any downfalls that could happen but never really found one. I’d like to say they turned out great! When I was making it I was worried it wouldn’t be enough batter,but turns out there was.If you have any cautions,don’t. They turned out great and very good!

  36. I know this is an old recipe, but where can I get the cost breakdown to the ingredients make this recipe.

  37. Saw this on Pinterest and made it right away. Turned out so delicious! I had all the ingredients on hand and the recipe itself was also very easy to follow/make. I did not have the patience to wait for it to cool down, so I popped it in the fridge after waiting for a bit. I cut them into squares before I put the brownies in the fridge, and I noticed some bits in the middle were not entirely cooked. I might just keep them in the oven a bit longer next time to avoid that. I’m hoping that by putting them in the fridge that this issue will somewhat resolve.

  38. These look divine! I’ve made red velvet cheesecakes but I never swirled the two layers together. Next time, I just might do that!

    1. Hi Elisha! You’ll need the little bit of acidity to react with the cocoa powder and give it a red tinge. You could substitute it for lemon juice, if that works better for you. Enjoy!

  39. My boyfriend’s favorite dessert are brownies, mine are red velvet & cream cheese cupcakes or cake. I think I now found that one dessert we’ll agree with! =)) Thank you, Kelly!

  40. Hello I would like to ask once more if it would be okay to use the red velvet cake mix instead of doing the whole red velvet ingredients??? Thank you once more..

  41. I’m sure they are but can you confirm these are US sized measurements and not ones used in UK?

  42. Yes and just make the cheese frosting and use the box of red velvet cake mix?.. Would that be ok or would it be preferred to do the red velvet mix??

  43. Im not too sure if the amount of cocoa needs to be cut back, or if I should be using different food colouring – but they did not turn out red. Any advice?

    1. Hi Ashley – All food coloring brands vary in the depth of color they provide. I use gel-based food coloring, which is more concentrated.

  44. These are deeeeelicious! I made them last night. The edges came out a bit spongy, though. Does anybody know how to get the brownie part to be fudgier? The cream cheese filling is fantastic, and the color is beautiful for the Valentine’s Day animal shelter bake sale for which I am planning to make a few pans. Thank you for the great recipe!

  45. Made these tonight with my husband and they are delicious! Can’t wait to eat another one tomorrow after they have set up better over night! :)

  46. I made these brownies over the weekend and with in an hour, the entire batch was gone.. They were just too delicious and yum!! Will soon share this recipe in my blog , ofcourse with a link back to ur blog:) ty for a great recipe..

  47. Could you tell me which kind of food coloring you’re using? I tried once a red velvet cake and used paste color but the cake lost it’s color while baking. Is it better to use liquid color?

    1. You can keep them out, Kristen, but if they’re going to be left out overnight, I’d recommend storing them in the fridge, just to be safe. Enjoy!

  48. This recipe turned out amazing so so so yummy! Only variations I made were 3/4 cup sugar in batter & 1/4 cup sugar in the cream cheese mixture, instead of the quantities listed! Also I used over one tbsp of food colouring but it still wasn’t red, it was only brown/ chocolatety colour, but were still delicious! In my convection oven they only took 25 mins to bake.

  49. Has anyone tried using a heart shaped cookie cutter with this recipe? Does it hold up or crumble apart? How did it turn out? Any pics? Thanks?

    1. I haven’t tried using a cookie cutter, Joanna, but they’re very moist brownies, so there shouldn’t be any problem. Enjoy!

  50. These sound really good. We have always been a huge fan of Red Velvet Cake (in fact RV cupcakes were just requested this past Sun for my 40+ year old son’s b’day dinner) and I am looking forward to trying these as soon as I get my oven fixed. My step-mother spoiled us for many years and always brought a RV cake whenever she came to visit. I use to have her recipe but after moving for years with the Air Force I have lost it. The big problem is I can’t find the real icing recipe that she used. It is a cooked icing which is far superior than the Cream Cheese recipe that everyone seems to use now-a-days. She was from Kansas City and the original recipe started in a restaurant there. It is so important to have the proper icing for this great cake. I’ve checked many places with no luck. Do you happen to have this cooked recipe for the icing? If so, would you please share it with me?

  51. I gotta be honest, I clicked on this coz I thought it was cool how they look like little squares of raw meat. Maybe that’s just me.

  52. I just made these last night and only adjusted the recipe a teensy bit. I doubled it and decided to put less sugar in the cheesecake layer so it would be nice and tangy. They are great but I think I left them in the oven a bit too long. I would recommend checking them after 20 minutes because mine got at little too dark on the bottom and the cheesecake parts on the top got a tiny bit brown. Even though they are slightly dried out (because of the extra oven time) they are still amazing and I can’t wait to show them off at work!

  53. Can’t wait to make this. Looks and sound delicious. My grandkids love Red Velvet anything and brownies, so this should be a real treat for them. Thanks for the recipe.

  54. Thank you so much for this recipe! Im making them for the fifth time tonight to take to a work party tomorrow! Simply fabulous :-)

  55. I made a batch of these beauties last night and they were delicious, not to rich and not to bland. I did use small dollop’s of the cheese cake batter and it made deep, luxurious ribbons of white, which contrasted beautifully with the red. My husband adored them and was pretty upset when he found out that I took a few to work for my co-workers! Great recipe Kelly!

  56. This looks amazing!

    But please can someone help me? how much is one cup? I have always baked with dls and mls and I am unfamiliar with cups. Seems like there are different measurements for UK/Australian/American cups.

    Thank you already:)

  57. Wow! I made these the other day and like all your desserts these were amazing. Thanks for the recipe!

  58. Ahhh…my mouth is watering…This will make for a nice weekend treat. Hehehe, I try to limit myself or else I’ll be in big trouble!

  59. I made those for V-Day and they were absolutely amazing!

    though my recepie did not turn out quite as red as yours! (mine was dark red really) how did you get suck a vibrant red in your mixture? :)

  60. Kelly, they’re beautiful! I can almost taste the layers…the richness of them, the flavor, the whole thing. Mmmm, delish!

  61. What a great idea and you are right – where there is red velvet there must be cream cheese icing! Happy for Valentine’s Day :)

  62. Kelly, these look absolutely fabulous – and such a gorgeous presentation! I would love to make these!

  63. These are stunning, Kelly! We are big brownie fans around here, now I want some red velvet brownies!

  64. Wow – these look phenomenal! Definitely going on my must-make list for Valentine’s Day. These sounds like dessert perfection. Love your photos as well!

  65. Kelly. You are my idol. Seriously! I’ve been wanting to make red velvet cheesecake brownies for ages and have never found the right recipe! These are everything I’ve been searching for! And they are so stunning. I’d love to make them this weekend. My valentine and I thank you for the recipe!!

  66. Oh I love this idea, Kelly – you’ve managed to fit all of my favorite things into one pan! Can’t wait to try this out. Beautiful pictures too – that first shot totally got me!