Super Simple, Yet Decadent Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

I’ve never come across a canned brownie that I didn’t like. No matter how you mix it, their texture is always perfect, they stay fresh for a long time, and those boxed brownie edges are a real beauty. I’m a baker but never thought I’d come across a homemade brownie that I would prefer to a boxed brownie in my entire life.

But then I encountered cocoa brownies. Cocoa brownies are made with cocoa powder, plus the usual eggs, butter, and sugar, instead of melted chocolate. They are chewier with a deeper chocolate flavor. In my opinion, they are more like the texture of the boxed version. And you can make cocoa brownies in one pan. Just melt the butter and sugar together and stir in the rest. Brownies that contain melted chocolate are denser and sweeter and less chocolatey. While both are nice, the cocoa brownies are perfectly hidden under a layer of very rich cheesecake. The contrast makes them exceptional.

This recipe takes the boxed brownie vibe to the next layer, but if cheesecake isn’t your thing, multiply the brownie recipe by 1.5 and bake it solo. You will not be disappointed. The cheesecake layer is customizable too! Instead of raspberry jam, try dulce de leche, chocolate hazelnut spread, or even citrus curd.

A word of warning: don’t overcook these guys. Watch the cheesecake for your baking cue. It will be lightly browned but still a bit jiggly. The brownie underneath might still be a little soft, but in this case it better be overcooked. Nobody wants a dry brownie. — Samantha Seneviratne

Watch the recipe

Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies

Ingredients

For the brownies:

  • 8 tablespoons (113 grams) unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (71 grams) cocoa powder, Dutch or natural
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For garnish :

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of raspberry jam

directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, letting 2 inches overhang on both sides.
  2. Prepare the brownie layer: In a medium saucepan, combine butter and sugar and heat over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk vigorously until well blended.
  3. Once the mixture has cooled down a bit, add the eggs one by one. Whisk in the vanilla. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, and stir to combine.
  4. Prepare the cheese mixture: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese, egg, sugar and flour.
  5. Spread the brownie batter in an even layer in the pan. Top with balls of cheese mixture and swirl with a butter knife to create a decorative pattern. Top with small spoonfuls of jam and stir again.
  6. Bake until top appears dry and set, 20 to 22 minutes. Do not overcook. Gooey is always better than dry.