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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

These brownies combine two of my favorite velvet and cheesecake :) The vibrant color-contrast between the cream cheese and red velvet is especially gorgeous when swirled together on the top layer, making these bars a show stopper dessert perfect for entertaining. Typical cheesecake can be a lengthy and tricky process, but these cheesecake bars are a lot simpler. I did my research while creating this recipe, and most of what are available online have almost identical brownie ingredients. I tried those recipes and although the end result is yummy, I always felt like the brownie layer alone was sickeningly sweet and didn't taste amazing. The use of butter didn't contribute much to the base flavor of the brownies, and using oil like I do in my recipe will produce moist brownies and cut back on the saturated fat.

Not that these bars are healthy by any means...this is definitely a special occasion dessert...preferably to be shared immediately and without saving any at home ;)  The first time I baked these they were gone within the hour and I thought of them everyday until I made them again...

Makes 24 brownies

-1 cup oil
-1 1/2 cups sugar
-1 tablespoon vanilla
-2 tablespoons red food coloring
-2 teaspoons white vinegar
-4 eggs
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1 1/2 cups flour
-1/3 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

-16 ounces cream cheese (I used 1/3 reduced fat)
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 teaspoon lemon juice
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-dash of salt
-2 eggs

To make
-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-In a bowl, cream together oil and sugar, then add vanilla, food coloring, vinegar and eggs in the order listed. Add salt and cocoa powder and mix well. Add flour and mix with a spatula (by hand, not using an electric mixer at this point) just until combined. Place about 1 cup of the batter aside.
-Line a 9x13 pan with foil, pushing it into the grooves of the edges completely and letting 2 inches of foil extend over each end (this is so you can easily remove the brownies after they have baked). Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then gently spread the brownie batter into the pan (minus the 1 cup batter that is placed aside).
-Sprinkle the brownie batter with optional white chocolate chips.
-Wash your mixing bowl and dry. Using the whisk attachment of a mixer, blend the cream cheese to avoid lumping. Add the vanilla, sugar, lemon juice and salt and continue whisking. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix just until well blended.
-Spread the cheesecake filling over the brownie batter until it smoothly and evenly covers the surface. Spoon the reserved brownie batter in sections over the cheesecake filling and using a butter knife, carefully make swirls in the batter to combine the cheesecake and brownie. Be careful not to go all the way down to the bottom layer of brownie batter.
-Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (I took mine out at 33 minutes) or until a toothpick in the middle comes out slightly wet. This can be tricky because the cheesecake layer will firm up as it cools and you do not want it to be completely set while baking otherwise your brownies will be dry.
-Refrigerate until cool and then cut into bars and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge.

*This recipe can easily be halved by cutting all the measurements in half and baking in a 8x8 pan for about 20 minutes

It was so hard to wait for these to cool!
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  1. I made these the day you posted the recipe and again during the weekend because WE LOVED THEM SO MUCH. The brownie flavor is amazing and the cheesecake is perfection. The first time I made it I made the whole recipe and the second time I did half the measurements and both were absolutely sinful. I was able to save a few small pieces in the fridge for a few days and wooooooaaaaahhhhhh they were good.

  2. How do u think of this genius stuff? Please don't ever stop, I love everything I've tried on here :))))))))