Fudgy brownie, tangy cheesecake and a swirl of fresh raspberries make these brownies to die for. Perfect for Valentine’s Day or whenever you want a decadent brownie recipe.
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
I may have discovered the perfect brownie recipe with these raspberry cheesecake brownies. They have a brownie base that’s fudgy, a little gooey and perfectly rich. The richness of the brownie is balanced out perfectly by the creamy, tangy cheesecake layer. Then a swirl of fresh raspberry puree on top add just the right amount of sweetness, along with a beautiful red color.
The brownies don’t end up tasting overly sweet, but they’re definitely a decadent dessert recipe.
Making the Brownies
Because they’re 3 parts to these brownies, the recipe can look a little onerous. However, it’s not overly difficult.
I make the raspberry puree first so that it’s done and out of the way. You’ll simply puree your fresh raspberries in a food processor or blender until smooth, then strain out the seeds using a metal sifter. The puree is boiled down until it’s about ½ the volume it was originally. This is to remove any excess liquid so that the puree is more concentrated. More concentrated = more raspberry flavor.
Pro Tip: If you want to save time, you can use raspberry preserves/jam instead and skip the puree-ing and boiling down. I prefer to use seedless preserves. You’ll need about 3-4 tablespoons. Simply warm the puree in the microwave first so it’s more liquidy.
Then it’s time to get on with making the brownies. This recipe is made with melted dark chocolate for a recipe that’s fudgy. I like to use 60-70% dark chocolate for this recipe, but for a sweeter brownie, you could use semi-sweet chocolate too.
Then you’ll make the cheesecake layer that goes on top. Make sure you’re using full-fat, brick-style cream cheese instead of anything that comes from a tub or is low-fat. I like to use a little sour cream in my cheesecake recipes too because it make it extra smooth. For the perfect cheesecake – make sure that the cream cheese, sour cream and egg are all room temperature before getting started.
Assembling the Layers
- You’ll first pour the brownie batter into the bottom of your prepared pan (lined with tinfoil and lightly greased).
- Then carefully spoon the cheesecake batter overtop and smooth it into an even layer. Be careful not to quickly pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter layer, otherwise it can disturb the brownie batter.
- Then spoon/drop the raspberry puree on top of the cheesecake batter. I did this in even lines, but it doesn’t really matter.
- Taking a toothpick or wooden skewer (like what you’d use for making kebabs on the BBQ), run the toothpick through the dots of raspberry puree to connect the dots and create a swirl. I’m not great at swirling, but you can see what I mean.
Baking & Cooling the Brownies
The brownies will need to bake for about 30 minutes at 325F degrees. If your oven allows you, make sure the top element is turned off so that the top doesn’t get overly brown. When your brownies are done baking, the top should look just set, except for perhaps in the very middle.
You’ll need to cool the brownies fully (at least 3 hours), and then chill them in the fridge for at least 4 hours before slicing and enjoying. Cheesecake recipes need to chill in the fridge for the cheesecake to properly set. And because these are cheesecake brownies, I definitely recommend doing the same thing.
Then when you’re ready to slice, simply lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang of the foil and place on a cutting board to slice.
Pro Tip: For Clean cuts, wipe off your knife in between each cut that you make. Use a sharp knife, as opposed to a table knife, and try not to “saw” back and forth when slicing.
If you love these raspberry cheesecake brownies, make sure to try:
- White Chocolate Cheesecake
- Chocolate Raspberry Sandwich Cookies – these are like a homemade Oreo cookie with cream cheese raspberry frosting in the middle
- Chocolate Cheesecake
- Red Velvet Cheesecake
Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
- 1 cup raspberries fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon white sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 4 ounces 50-70% dark chocolate* finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces full-fat, brick-style cream cheese room temperature
- ⅓ cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons sour cream room temperature
- 1 large egg room temperature
- Line an 8x8 inch (20x20 cm) pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang around the sides. Lightly grease with non-stick cooking spray.
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
- Add the raspberries to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth.
- Pour the puree through a metal sifter to remove the seeds. You will need to use the back of a spoon or rubber spatula to push the puree through.
- Transfer the puree (without seeds) to a small saucepan over low/medium heat along with the sugar. Boil the mixture down while gently stirring for about 5 minutes, or until it's about ½ the volume of when you started. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Add the butter and chopped chocolate to a large, heat-proof bowl. Microwave on medium heat for 45-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until smooth.
- Whisk in the sugar and vanilla extract (the batter will be thick).
- Then whisk in the eggs. Ensure the batter isn't hot when the eggs are mixed in, otherwise they can scramble.
- Gently stir in the flour. Set aside, as you make the cheesecake layer.
- In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
- Beat in the sour cream until smooth.
- With the mixer on low speed, mix in the egg until just combined
Assembling & Baking the Brownies
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
- Carefully spoon the cheesecake layer over top and smooth the top. Be careful not to pour the batter over the brownie layer quickly, otherwise you can disturb the brownie layer.
- Drop small spoonfulls of the raspberry puree on top of the cheesecake layer. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer, connect the dots of the raspberry puree to create a swirl pattern.
- Bake the brownies in the preheated oven (325F degrees) for about 27-33 minutes, or until the top looks just set. If you give the pan a nudge, the cheesecake should no longer seem liquidy. It may start to rise around the edges, but I find they typically fall as the cheesecake cools.
- Turn off the oven and open the oven door. Let the bars cool in the oven for about 30 minutes, then remove from the oven and continue cooling until the bars reach room temperature.
- Cover the pan and place the brownies in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours before slicing. When ready to slice, lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang of the aluminum foil. Place on a cutting board and slice using a sharp knife. Wipe the knife in between each cut for clean slices. Store brownies in the fridge.
- Because the bars will need to cool and then chill for 4 hours, I typically make these the day before I plan to serve them.
- To save time, instead of making the raspberry puree, feel free to skip those steps and use raspberry preserves/jam instead. I prefer to use seedless. You'll need about 3-4 tablespoons in total. Simply heat the preserves in the microwave and stir before using so that it's thinner and easier to swirl.
- For sweeter brownies, feel free to use semi-sweet baking chocolate instead.
- Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style (AKA block) cream cheese. Do not use anything from a tub or that's labelled spreadable, lite or low-fat.
- I typically use sour cream that's 14% MF. Make sure it's from a tub.
- This recipe can be doubled and made in an 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) pan. The bake time will be closer to 35 minutes.
- Store brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 brownie, assuming the bars are sliced into 9 equal-sized, very large brownies.