I don’t bake a lot, but I’ve really been in a baking kind of mood lately. Maybe it’s that amazing French bread I made last week. It came out so nice that I wanted to bake something else, but what? I have pinned plenty of recipes over the years, so I grabbed some tea and started scrolling through my dessert recipe board. It took a while, but I finally found today’s recipe: Cream Cheese Brownies. How yummy do they sound? I’ve made brownies swirled with blackberry but never cream cheese swirls. Let’s find out if this recipe is as easy as the author claims.
These Cream Cheese Brownies come together so easily! Made with a one-bowl brownie batter and then marbled with a cream cheese mixture, you’re likely to be won over by these cheesecake brownies for a regular brownie!
The nice thing about brownies from scratch is they only have a few ingredients. Did I mention they’re all kitchen staples? Well, they are, so finding anything you don’t have should be super easy.
That’s what happened to me. I usually have everything but the cream cheese on hand, but not this time. I was running out of flour, butter, and sugar, but every grocery store ever has those. Everything else was in my pantry and refrigerator.
I want to tell you that this recipe was a delicious Pinterest success, but that’s only half true. Delicious, yes, but not exactly a Pinterest success the first time I made them. Here’s what happened.
My First Try
I started by setting the cream cheese and butter on the counter when I made breakfast. They both need to be softened, and they were by midday when I was ready to bake.
The instructions were easy to follow, and things went smoothly. I made the brownie batter, cleaned my stand mixer’s bowl, and made the cream cheese swirl. After working it into the brownie batter, it was into a preheated oven for 25 minutes.
The center was a little jiggly when I removed the oven, and I let the pan sit for a good hour before covering it. I wanted to make extra sure the brownies were set, so I left them on the counter overnight.
The next day, I cut them up and removed an edge piece, shown below. It wasn’t even close to set! I didn’t want to waste the tray, so I heated the oven up and baked them until the center was set. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 17 minutes to prep
- 25 minutes to bake
- 35 minutes to bake (checked at 15-, 10-, and 10-minute intervals)
- 1 hour 17 minutes total (not including cooling overnight)
I had to stop once I noticed the cream cheese was turning golden—no one likes burned cream cheese. This time, the edges were pretty done, and the center had a soft, fudgy texture.
Cream Cheese Brownies: Take-Two
It always bothers me when a recipe doesn’t work out. Was it me? Was it the recipe? A little of both? These Cream Cheese Brownies mostly worked out with a little extra help, but I felt like I needed to give them another try.
This time I planned to make sure the center was set before removing them from the oven. I also decided to use a metal baking pan instead of ceramic. They were both supposed to be 9″x13″ pans, but the metal pan seemed bigger. I also increased the baking time to 35 minutes and let the cooled pan chill overnight in the refrigerator instead of on the kitchen counter.
I’m pleased to say that this batch came out perfectly! The photo below shows an edge piece (top) and a middle piece (bottom). You can see the edges were a little crispy, but the brownies were chewy and fudgy in the middle. The tops also didn’t brown like the first batch, so the cream cheese was softer. I liked it both ways, and neither batch lasted very long.