Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Valentine’s Day baking with red food coloring, anyone?

close up on the cheesecake

Cream cheese is absolutely the most wonderful invention. Cheesecake has always been my favorite dessert in the whole world, and when I started baking I was elated to discover that cream cheese can be made into so many amazing desserts and pastries, and also, don’t forget, sushi. Cream cheese in sushi is genius. But, back to desserts….

This dessert takes two of my favorite things, brownies and cheesecake, and plays them together with the added twist for those that love red velvet. I have to admit I’ve never jumped on the red velvet bandwagon, because at the risk of being accused of being a heretic…it doesn’t really taste like much to me! But paired with cream cheese frosting it’s genius, and when turned into a brownie…well…what else do you want?

brownies with matching lappa

These are perfect desserts for Valentine’s Day, or really any day, because again, cream cheese. So have fun making these, and enjoy!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Adapted from Food Network

For the brownies:
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
For the cheesecake layer:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit / 178 degrees celsius.

Butter an 8 by 8-inch baking pan, and set aside.

First, the brownie layer! Add the melted butter to a large bowl and then add the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, in that order, mixing between each additional ingredient. In a separate small bowl, whisk the eggs and then stir into the butter mix. Stir in the flour all at once, and continue mixing until just combined.

Removing 1/4 cup of batter, pour the remaining amount into the prepared pan.

Now, the cream cheese layer! Using a hand mixer with a medium sized bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Using a spatula, gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer. Using a skewer or the sharp tip of a knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern, or any pattern that you love.

Place the brownies in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30 minutes. Once the brownies are done, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. The brownies can be served warm and should be cooled before cutting, and leftovers can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

red velvet cheesecake brownie close up

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