baking · Dessert · holiday

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

For the longest time I thought red velvet was a special kind of cake batter. Like Dr. Pepper, I wasn’t sure what was in it but I knew it was different. Imagine my surprise when I learned it was just chocolate with red food coloring.

How is that possible? It tastes different than just plain chocolate.

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Nope. It’s just plain ol’ chocolate. I was almost more disappointed in finding out that culinary truth than I was finding out Santa wasn’t real. The hype surrounding red velvet made it seem more than it really was.

Don’t get me wrong, I love red velvet. It’s fun and pretty and delicious, especially in cupcake form. I had never made it before, and now I know why: red food coloring is a beast.

I got that stuff everywhere. It stained my counters, made my white shirt look like the shark from Jaws had gotten ahold of me, and dyed my fingertips a light fuschia color. How do people handle his stuff daily?! Maybe they’re just not as clumsy as I am.

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My red food coloring christening happened because of this recipe. I had a handful of chocolate chips lingering in my pantry and just enough cocoa powder to make brownies. Brownies were just what I needed to get me through the weekend! I mean, it’s not like there isn’t three pounds of sweets lounging in every corner of my house right now…

Red velvet brownies weren’t enough. No. I needed to add an extra layer of awesome, so I went with a cheesecake layer. Voila! Red velvet cheesecake brownies made the crimson pigmentation of my kitchen worth it.

I used parchment paper in the bottom of my square baking dish to make the brownies easy to get out of the pan, but it was kind of a pain in the butt. I couldn’t pour the batter in there evenly and it splattered up the sides. So, I recommend a well greased square pan instead. That way you (maybe) won’t have a burgundy invasion all over your pan and counters.

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Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print

Crispy, dense chocolatey red velvet brownies with a cheesecake layer inside.

Ingredients

  • 8 TBS (1 stick) salted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 TBS. red food coloring
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 TBS. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg yolk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 8×8 inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter with sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and food coloring until well combined and slightly smooth. Stir in vinegar.
  2. Whisk together 2 eggs and then pour them into batter. Add chocolate chips and flour. Stir until well combined and batter is smooth.
  3. In a large stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour most of the chocolate batter into the pan, reserving 1/4 for the top. Smooth batter out with a spatula. Spoon cheesecake filling on top of batter and smooth out. Dollop reserved chocolate batter on top. Using a toothpick, swirl batter with cheesecake filling.
  5. Bake brownies for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool in pan fully before transferring to a plate.

Step-By-Step Instructions

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and 8×8 inch glass baking dish. In a large bowl, stir together melted butter with sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, and food coloring until well combined and slightly smooth. Stir in vinegar.

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Whisk together 2 eggs and then pour them into batter. Add chocolate chips and flour. Stir until well combined and batter is smooth.

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Nice and red and smooth red velvet batter! In a large stand mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk until smooth and creamy.

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Pour most of the chocolate batter into the pan, reserving 1/4 for the top. Smooth batter out with a spatula. Spoon cheesecake filling on top of batter and smooth out. Dollop reserved chocolate batter on top.

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Using a toothpick, swirl batter with cheesecake filling. Bake brownies for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Let cool in pan fully before transferring to a plate.

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7 thoughts on “Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

    1. Probably wise! I don’t know how I’m going to get the red dye off of my counters. My shirt is a goner, too, but it’s been a goner for a while…a tasty experiment but it didn’t come without consequences! 🤣

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