Kick a perfect homemade chocolate-y, fudgy brownie up a notch with swirls of sweetened cream cheese! These cream cheese brownies are rich and decadent and sure to put smile on your face!

Sundays are really the only days I remember my family making dessert. I’m always a little taken aback when a friend or reader mentions making dessert mid-week. Is this a thing? We do occasionally if I’m testing dessert recipes, but otherwise we stick pretty closely to dessert only on a weekend. And a Sunday is in fact when I first had a cream cheese brownie.

A picture of a pan of cream cheese brownies. The brownies are cut into squares. You can see the chocolate brownie swirled with cream cheese.

There was a show about Superman growing up, Louis Lane and Clark Kent. We loved it! Mom and Dad would tape it on Sunday night for us to watch on Monday. While it was taping on the ol’ VCR (which seems archaic now) we would make and enjoy dessert. This was the first time I had ever “marbled” anything and that satisfying swoosh and swirl sold me forever on this classic dessert.

What is it about the swirl that makes a dessert so beautiful? If a dessert is swirled, then I have to eat it. I just know it’s going to be heaven and cannot resist it. Have you tried our swirled raspberry lemon cheesecake bars? Angels sing when you bite into one of those bars!

A cream cheese brownie on a dessert plate.

What Ingredients Go in Cream Cheese Brownies?

But I digress! Back to these cream cheese brownies. You’re going to need a few things for the cream cheese filling and then a few more things for the brownies. Here is your grocery list:

Cream Cheese Filling

  • Cream Cheese
  • Sour Cream
  • Sugar
  • Egg Yolk


  • Butter
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate
  • Cocoa
  • Sugar
  • Brown Sugar
  • Vanilla
  • Salt
  • Eggs
  • Flour

The measurements for each ingredient can be found in the recipe card below.

A cream cheese brownie on a dessert plate. The chocolate brownie is swirled with cream cheese.

How to Make Cream Cheese Brownies

All you have to do to elevate these brownies to the next level is to make the brownies from scratch and then add a simple cream cheese filling that you swirl on the top. It’s so simple!

  1. Preheat the oven.
  2. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment and nonstick spray.
  3. Make the cream cheese filling and set it aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate and pour it over the butter. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Add the sugar and whisk to combine. Let cool.
  6. Whisk in the rest of the wet ingredients.
  7. Add the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Don’t overmix. Reserve some batter for later.
  8. Pour into prepared baking dish. Put dollops of cream cheese on to the top, and then dollop the reserved brownie batter between the cream cheese dollops.
  9. Swirl the batter with a knife.
  10. Bake for 25 minutes, then pull it out and slam it a few times on the counter. Then finish the baking time.
  11. Allow to cool on counter top and fridge before serving.

All the details can be found in the recipe card below.

A close up of cheesecake brownies. They are cut into squares and have cheesecake swirled through them.

Why Do Brownies Crumble?

Mixing brownies for too long will make them crumble. Also, baking brownies too long will make them crumble. Brownies should be mixed just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it.

Can Brownies Be Frozen?

Cool brownies completely and then wrap in plastic and foil or place in a heavy duty freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

A piece of cream cheese brownie on a plate. You can see the chocolate swirled with the cream cheese.

How Long Will Brownies Keep?

Brownies are best when eaten within 2 days.

However, if they are wrapped tightly in plastic, and store in the fridge, they will keep for up to 4 days.

Can Cream Cheese Brownies Be Left Out?

Technically, you can leave cream cheese brownies out at room temperature for a couple of days. I prefer just to keep it extra safe and I always store them in the fridge. I like the text better when they are cold.

A piece of cream cheese brownie on a dessert plate. The chocolate brownies has a swirl of cream cheese in it.

Swirled to gorgeous and delicious perfection, these cream cheese brownies are so fudgy and irresistible! I might need to break my “desserts on weekends only” rule for this recipe!

More BROWNIES Recipes You’ll Love:

Cream Cheese Brownies

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Servings: 9
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
cool: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes


Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz. Cream cheese, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg Yolk


  • 5 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate, chopped
  • 11 Tablespoons Butter, unsalted, softened and cubed
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs plus an egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 6 Tablespoons Cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt


  • Heat the oven to 325 degrees. 
  • Prepare an 8” square baking dish with parchment by spraying with nonstick spray then pressing the parchment into place, grease the parchment. 

For The Filling

  • Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar and yolk and beat until smooth and set aside. 
    8 oz. Cream cheese, 1/2 Cup Sour Cream, 1/3 Cup Sugar, 1 Egg Yolk

For The Brownies

  • In a heatproof bowl, add the chocolate and set over a pot of simmering water on the stove. Stir constantly until the mixture is smooth.
    5 oz. Semi Sweet Chocolate
  • Immediately pour the chocolate over the butter and let sit for 2 minutes,The melted butter and chocolate is what gives a shiny top to the brownies so this is important. Now whisk until smooth. 
    11 Tablespoons Butter
  • Pour in the sugars and whisk until combined. Set aside to cool for about 5-10 minutes.
    1 Cup Sugar, 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla until completely smooth and shiny, about 1 minute. 
    2 Large Eggs plus an egg yolk, 1 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Remove 1/2 cup of the batter to the bowl used for the melted chocolate.
    1 Cup Flour, 6 Tablespoons Cocoa, 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • Spread remaining batter into the baking pan then dollop by spoonfuls the cream cheese filling over the batter. Add the leftover brownie batter in between the cream cheese dollops with a spoon.
  • Using a knife, swirl the batter through the filling to make a marbled pattern. It’s best to leave 1/2 at the border to keep things even. Bake for 25 minute mark and then remove the pan and slam it 2-3 times on the counter to remove any air bubbles thus making a more condensed, fudgey brownie. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour then transfer to the fridge for a few hours before serving.


Note- store leftover brownies in the refrigerator


Serving: 1gCalories: 543kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 7gFat: 33gSaturated Fat: 19gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 130mgSodium: 362mgPotassium: 237mgFiber: 3gSugar: 43gVitamin A: 935IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 73mgIron: 3mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 Best Brownies and Bars Recipes
Cuisine: American

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A cream cheese brownie on a dessert plate.