Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies are a basic brownies recipe that is layered with a cream cheese batter and then marbled to create those beautiful swirls on top.
Who would have guessed that the combination of cheesecake and brownies could come together to create such a scrumptious flavor combination? These Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies are exactly what happens when those two wildly different tastes come together into one dish. The bottom is rich and fudgy chocolate brownie topped with a layer of sweet and tangy cream cheese. They are surprisingly compatible and the flavors work so well together.
Tips for Making Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
1. Bloom Cocoa Powder
If you have baked with cocoa powder much, you may notice a trend calling for the hot liquid to be poured into the cocoa powder before adding it to a recipe. This is the process of blooming the cocoa powder. It makes the cocoa powder dissolves easily and gives a more intense chocolate flavor to the finished baked good. In this recipe, I add my chopped chocolate and cocoa powder into the hot melted butter at the same time to melt the chocolate and bloom the cocoa powder.
2. Tap the bottom of the pan
Once you have transferred the batter to your prepared cake pan, tap the bottom of the pan on the kitchen counter to eliminate the remaining air bubbles in the batter and even out the surface.
3. Soften the cream cheese
I really love the thick layer of cream cheese on top of my chocolate brownies because I love going back from eating from sweet to savory and so on. Cold cream cheese could be lumpy so you need to set out the cream cheese a couple of hours before making this recipe. It is important to use room temperature cream cheese and beat it until smooth and silky with an electric beater.
4. How to swirl the brownies
These Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies definitely win a point for their beautiful appearance. The problem is the swirl part can easily become an undefined mess.
Firstly, you need to pour the chocolate brownies batter into the prepared pan, leaving about 3-4 tbsp of the batter for the swirl. Cover the chocolate brownies batter with a cream cheese layer on top evenly. Then, drop the remaining chocolate batter into small dollops all over the top of the cream cheese layer. Use a chopstick to create a cool marbled effect through small circular movements, and into the oven they go. One big tip from me, don’t go over the already made swirl or it will make a cloudy and messy pattern.
5. Cool completely before removing from the pan
Definitely allow the Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies to cool completely before removing them from the pan because they are extremely tender when they are still warm. Do not forget to line the baking pan with parchment paper so that once the brownies have cooled down completely, you can simply lift them out of the pan.
6. How to cut the brownies prettily
Cutting a cake can be stressful, especially for this dessert. For a neat and clean-cut, I recommend refrigerating the brownies for several hours to allow them to fully set or there will be a lot of gooey crumbs clinging to the blade. Before you begin cutting, briefly soak the blade of your knife in a container of warm water. Then, wipe off the excess water with a towel. This will help with cutting into your cake more neatly and easily. It is important to properly clean your blade in between each cut. Not only does this preserve the finished appearance of the brownies, but it also makes it easier to make each cut.
I know that it is pretty tedious. However, if you want beautiful cuts to present them for a party or gift to your friends, these are the best way to get them. Cutting your brownies right after removing them from the pan is definitely okay. I really love eating the fresh-baked brownies because they are so tender while the refrigerated brownies taste much heavier and richer.
More Brownies Recipes
If you don’t know, I have tons of brownies recipes on my blog.
- Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
- Nutella Brownies
- Brown Butter Fudgy Brownies
- Strawberry Matcha Brownies with White Chocolate