Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

My sister loves red velvet.  Me, I never cared for it.  I’m not sure why – it’s basically chocolate, gussied up with a little food coloring to make it prettier.

Whose idea was that?  I mean, the adding of the food coloring?

It serves no real purpose really, purely aesthetics.

So perhaps I never cared for red velvet based on its mediocre attempts at being pretty versus tasty.


I’m getting over it, thanks to these brownies.


No joke, I will be using this recipe from here on out.  I may never search for another variation, ever.  It will be the base for every brownie in my future, unless someone can convince me otherwise.

Think chewy.  Moist.  Decadent.  Fudgey. I’ll be perfectly honest here – I left the brownies sitting out, all night, uncovered.  UNCOVERED.  I just cut a piece to eat (okay, slab), and it is STILL as moist as ever.

I am in LOVE.

And hence, the red.  Ideal dessert for Valentine’s Day, which is just around the corner. (How’d THAT happen? Wasn’t it just Halloween??)  Leave out the red, add it, or go green, blue, whatever…pick your poison.  Just make them.

Do it.  I promise you won’t be sorry.


Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 16-20 Brownies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies


  • 10 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Red Food Coloring (I used Wilton No-Taste Red)
  • 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • For the Cheesecake Layer
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper long enough to hang over on two sides, making it easier to remove from pan once baked. Spray pan and paper.
  2. In small saucepot over medium heat, or in the microwave, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, vanilla and red food coloring with the sugar. Slowly add in chocolate mixture until well combined.
  4. In small bowl, sift together cocoa, salt and flour. Add mixture to rest of batter. Do not overmix.
  5. Pour batter into prepared baking pan.
  6. For the Cheesecake Layer
  7. Beat ingredients together until smooth. Pour over brownie batter. Use sharp knife to swirl together.
  8. Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, or until just set and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool. Enjoy!


One of the secrets to these brownies is the QUALITY of chocolate being used.  There are lots of options on the market, but I tend to use Scharffen Berger.  I love the flavor, the availability in stores, and the range of product.  For this recipe, I chose to use the Semisweet Baking Chunks, but an even darker chocolate would have been just as good or better.  The Scharffen Berger Semisweet, though, is a great percentage to transition between kids and adults (kids like sweeter, adults a little darker, on average) – so it’s a favorite here at our house.  I also used Scharffen Berger Cocoa in this recipe.

No, I was not paid to say this.  Not a word of it.  I just love it, and want to share the things I love with you!


Speaking of sharing, how would you like to win an assortment of Scharffen Berger Chocolates?  Lucky for you, I can make that happen.  Just help me out by sharing this post with your friends, either on Twitter, on Pinterest, or on Facebook.  You can so that, right?  I mean, it’s my birthday week, after all!

So, leave me a comment, letting me know how you shared.  If you shared it on multiple sites, leave a separate comment for each and every share.

If you’d like another chance to win, I’m SURE Scharffen Berger would like a new fan, so go join them on Facebook!  Be sure to return here, and leave me a separate comment, letting me know you did.

We’ll also be Twittering with Scharffen Berger next month, sharing chocolaty recipes in time for Valentine’s Day, so now would be a great time to join them on Twitter.  Again, once you do, return here to leave a separate comment.

Good luck, have a great day, and be sure to come back often, as I’ll be hosting a LOT of great giveaways over the next couple of weeks…like I said, it’s my birthday this week and I want everyone to celebrate a little!


  1. Carol Ann says:

    These look great! Must try them soon! I always thought (not sure why) that beetroot was used in red velvet during WWII. I know I have seen lots of recipes for it with beetroot in the recipe.

  2. I cannot wait to make this recipe but for some reason unbeknownst to me, I do not understand how much of the food coloring you have used. The entire 1 oz or was it the smaller 4 oz?! I love the gels but was wondering if you had more of an exact on that! Thanks!

    • doughmesstic says:

      Use as little or as much coloring as you want – if it looks too light, ass more. Or, use none at all, they just won’t be red. Up to you!

  3. I tried to make these but the cream cheese layer never fully cooked. I had to cook it forever and of course by then the cream cheese layer was pretty dark by then I hae never had a problem cooking anything. I am so shocked and disappointed. I think I mixed the cream cheese layer too long because it was not softened and I had to mix it for a long time with a hand mixer. I think the egg in it wanted to rise I really want to try it again. The mix uncooked tasted delicious so I know that it is a good recipe. Any ideas on what I could have done wrong?

    Mother of 4.

    • doughmesstic says:

      The recipe works,(my fat toosh know, I make it too often!) but you have figured out your problem…if the cream cheese is too cold, it won’t mix properly, and unless it incorporates into the egg, that egg is going to bake without the cream cheese. Let it soften, then give it another go. It’s worth it!

  4. I tried this recipe last night, mixed emotions regarding this recipe. After 30 minutes of baking, I checked it and it was already burnt! Are you sure it requires to bake for 1 hour?

    • doughmesstic says:

      May I ask what size pan you baked in? That makes a huge difference. Also, watch for hot spots in your oven. Top rack, middle, bottom? All ovens run a little different. I keep a temp gauge in my oven at all times, and know it well. I’ve never had any brownie (even from a box) be done in 30 minutes. I’d love to hear what you use though!

  5. I made these brownies twice and they are very delicious but I had the problem with cheese layer.It browned a lot the first time i made it,then the second time I reduced baking time and it was slightly better but brown again. Then I checked other recipes on the internet and found one with the same measures and ingredients but baking time was 30 min. I will definitely make this one again but next time after 30 min they are coming out of the oven.

  6. I have to say that I did not get the results that I was expecting. Although they taste “ok”, they are more like a “cakelike brownie”. The cheesecake layer browned and I started checking for doneness after 30 minutes. I did have to bake it around an hour in order to get it done. Any suggestions???

    • doughmesstic says:

      Hmmm- strange. I use this recipe time and time again. Not sure which pan size you are using, but that does make a difference. I also swirl mine quite a bit, and haven’t ever gotten a browned cheesecake layer. I guess what I am trying to say is – all ovens are different? Cakelike is a naughty word around here, so I wouldn’t still be making them if I had those results! :) Thanks for the feedback, but I do hope you’ll try again!

  7. I made these tonight and they are AMAZING! I followed the recipe exactly. If something went wrong for you, be sure you use an 8X8 baking dish like the recipe says. I used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips. My baking time was about an hour and they are perfect! I cut them ino little bite-sized pieces! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  8. Ok, so I made these last night for a valentines party I’m having today and mine also got real brown on top, took em out after an hour but with that being said these are probably the best tasting brownies I’ve ever made! And I must say, they were anything but “cake-like!” These were the most dense, moist and chewy brownies EVER! I’ve found my new go too recipe! Thank you!!!!!

    • doughmesstic says:

      That may be the nicest comment ever! Thank you so much! With everyone’s oven being different, you never know EXACTLY what kind of results you’ll get with baking times, but I am thrilled you stuck with the recipe and loved it! Keep in touch!

  9. I definitely will, can’t wait to try more of your recipes! I’m a baking addict!

  10. Does anyone know how many servings this makes? I need to know in order to find out how many weight watchers points this will be before attempting to make it. Thanks

  11. I made these and I, too, ended up with a browned cheesecake-swirl layer due to a longer-than expected cooking time. My cream cheese was well softened and incorporated with the other ingredients, so I’m not quite sure why that happened. HOWEVER, beyond the issue of aesthetics, these brownies are quite tasty and I will certainly make them again. Great recipe ;)

  12. Debbie Hansen says:

    I can’t wait to make these! Shared on FB.

  13. Debbie Hansen says:

    Following SB on Twitter

  14. Debbie Hansen says:

    Shared recipe on Pinterest. I know my friends are going to love these!

  15. Debbie Hansen says:

    Liked SB on Facebook

  16. I just made these tonight, and they were incredible! I followed the recipe to the T, and everything went smoothly. I love to bake, and do so often. These may be my most favorite thing I’ve ever made! Seriously, perfect! Thank you!

  17. I had the same problem with the light browning on the top. That being said, WOW these tasted so good! I could eat the whole pan by myself, too bad I have to share with the hubby when he gets home :-(

  18. I made these for my sister because she loves red velvet cake but recently she has become more of a health freak because of her kids. So I skipped out on the food coloring and used organic ingredients, plus wheat flour but I followed the instructions perfectly. I only cooked for 50 minutes because they started to brown very fast but they tasted perfect at that time. These brownies are delicious I would recommend this recipe to anyone and I will definitely make them again. Thank you.


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