If you haven’t already guessed from my collection of recipes, I tend to be partial to chocolate as well as cheesecake when it comes to desserts. So it only made sense that I’d pair them together to create a rich, chocolate brownie with sweet cream cheese filling like these red velvet cream cheese brownies.
I do love regular brownies but there’s something special about red velvet. The cocoa powder gives it that deep chocolate flavor and the red color just makes it the prettiest of desserts — especially against the backdrop of the tangy cheesecake filling in this brownie.
Whether you’re trying to make Valentine’s Day special for your partner or kiddos, or you want to impress guests at parties or during the holidays, these brownies are always a show-stopper. Plus, since nearly everyone loves brownies, who would turn down this upgraded version?
The next time you’re looking to take your brownie game up a notch, look to these. Even though they look and taste extra special, they don’t actually require much more time or effort than your standard brownies — and that’s as winning a formula as cheesecake and chocolate!
Common Questions about Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
Why use vinegar in red velvet brownies?
The vinegar adds brightness that is perfect against the backdrop of the rich chocolate flavor. Plus, the vinegar gives these the classic “red velvet flavor” we all know and love.
How else can I add the red color without food dye?
If you don’t want to use food coloring you can use the ingredients that gave the first red velvet cakes their bright red color — beet juice or beet puree.
Why melt the butter ahead of time in this recipe?
Melting the butter when making brownies helps to create a chewier brownie that’s more moist than others. Some brownies are cake-like but these are fudgy brownies thanks, in part, to the melted butter.
Making Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies Ahead of Time
You can make the cheesecake mixture ahead and leave it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Bring it closer to room temperature before trying to add it to the top of the brownie batter.
More Great Red Velvet Recipes
- Red Velvet Cake Mix Cookies
- Chocolate Chip Red Velvet Mini Loaves
- Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Red Velvet Cookie Dough
- Frostbitten Red Velvet Brownie Bites
- Red Velvet Bundt Cake
- Red Velvet Crinkle Cookies
- Easy Red Velvet Cake Mix Crinkle Cookies
- Red Velvet White Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Red Velvet Fudge
- Valentine Red Velvet Brownies
- 3-Layer Red Velvet Cake
Since this red velvet brownie recipe contains cream cheese, the brownies need to be kept chilled when they’re not being served.
Refrigerator: Store baked brownies in the refrigerator in an airtight container or ziploc bag for up to 1 week. You can also individually wrap them in plastic wrap.
Freezing: You can store baked goods in the freezer for up to 3 months. However, the cream cheese layer of these brownies may not retain its original texture.
Tips For The Best Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
These decadent red velvet brownies are the best already, but here’s a couple tips to make sure they are the very best they can be.
- Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature before you begin making the recipe. Not only does it help to make the mixing process easier, it also ensures a better end result.
- Resist the temptation to open the oven door. Wait until the brownies are close to being ready to be removed before checking their doneness — it’s important for baked goods to have an even temperature while baking.
It may look like a long list, but most of these ingredients are pantry staples so you may not even have to hit up the grocery store.
- Butter (unsalted – melted and cooled)
- Granulated sugar
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Liquid red food coloring
- Distilled white vinegar
- Vanilla extract
- Large eggs (room temperature)
- All-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Layer
- Cream cheese (softened)
- Granulated sugar
- Large egg (room temperature)
- Vanilla extract
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
- 8×8 baking pan
- Microwave-safe bowl or cup
- Small bowl
- Large bowl
- Stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or hand mixer)
- Medium bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Butter knife or wooden skewer
- Small spoon or tablespoon
How to Make Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
Making these beautiful brownies is far easier than your guests will think.
- Place butter in a microwave-safe bowl or cup and heat until melted.
- Once the butter has come to room temperature, add it to a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer (or use an electric mixer).
- Pour the sugar, cocoa powder, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla extract, and salt into the bowl with the butter.
- Starting on low speed, mix the ingredients. Once the cocoa and sugar are somewhat incorporated, increase the mixer to high speed and beat the mixture until it is smooth.
- Next, crack the eggs into a small bowl.
- Whisk the eggs until the egg yolk is completely combined with the whites.
- Pour the eggs into the chocolate mixture.
- Stir the batter until the eggs are completely incorporated.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour incrementally until it’s just combined and moist.
- Set aside the reserve batter.
- Then, pour the red velvet batter that is remaining into the bowl into the prepared pan in an even layer.
Cream cheese filling
- Add the cream cheese and sugar to a medium size bowl of a standing mixer (or use an electric hand mixer).
- Mix at medium speed until combined.
- Once smooth, pour the egg and vanilla into the bowl and beat at high speed until all ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides to ensure that all ingredients are incorporated evenly.
Assembling and baking the brownies
- Using the rubber spatula, spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie layer in the pan and spread it evenly.
- Use a small spoon or tablespoon to drop the reserved brownie batter on top of the cream cheese. Do not spread the top layer of brownie batter.
- Use a butter knife or wooden skewer to gently incorporate the brownie batter with the cheesecake layer in a swirl pattern.
- Bake the brownies until they pass the toothpick tests (toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
- Once the brownies have been removed from the oven, allow the pan to cool on a wire rack.
- Once at room temperature, use the edges of the aluminum foil to remove the entire contents of the pan.
- Slice the brownies and serve immediately or store in an airtight container.
What to Serve With Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
These delicious brownies are an indulgent sweet and creamy treat on their own, but you can serve them with other goodies, too.
- Ice cream – Top a brownie with your favorite flavor of ice cream (or sorbet or gelato).
- Whipped cream – Serve these brownies in a bowl and top them with whipped cream.
- Fruit – Garnish the top of the brownies with bright red fresh fruit like raspberries or sliced strawberries. You can also add maraschino cherries.
- Coffee or tea – A bright black tea or a bold brew both pair perfectly with these rich brownies.
- Cocktails – Try an espresso martini or a spiked coffee or eggnog to wash down this sweet treat.
Why You Should Make This Recipe
Red velvet is a classic and is always a delicious dessert but here are a few other reasons to try this treat.
- Special occasion – Brownies are always tasty, but red velvet somehow always signals there’s a celebration whether it’s a holiday like Valentine’s Day or Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary.
- Decadent – With the creamy filling and rich chocolate this is a dessert to savor.
- Impressive – Even though it actually doesn’t take all that much time to prepare these brownies, they are sure to impress either guests or a special someone that you made them for.
Variations and Add-ins
While red velvet brownies are a show-stopper already, there are some things you can add to elevate them or make them your own.
- Fruit – Slice up maraschino cherries, raspberries, or other red fruits and gently fold them into the cream cheese mixture so that they dot the filling with bright redness.
- Sweet cream cheese – Use a flavored variety of cream cheese with honey or fruit.
- White chocolate – Add white chocolate chips to the brownie batter to speckle the brownies and add a different flavor profile.
- Nuts – Top the brownies with crushed nuts or mix them into the batter for some crunch.
- Extracts – Choose a seasonal extract or just a flavor you enjoy to change the flavor profile. Coffee extract and almond extract would both work well.
- Kahlua – Add some Kahlua to the batter for some coffee liqueur flavor.
If you love this easy Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies recipe, you’re going to love these other bar recipes too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Handheld Desserts
If you love this recipe for Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies as much as I do, please write a five-star review, and be sure to help me share on Facebook and Pinterest!
Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies
- ½ cup butter 1 stick – unsalted – melted and cooled plus more for coating pan
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon liquid red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Layer
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a square 8×8 baking pan with foil, leaving extra on the sides to lift the brownies out, then coat it with butter.
- In a microwave safe bowl or cup, heat ½ cup of the butter until melted, allow to cool.
- Add the cooled butter to a large mixing bowl.
- Beat in the sugar, cocoa powder, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla extract, and salt, until well combined.
- In a small bowl whisk the eggs.
- Add the eggs to the brownie mixture and stir until well combined.
- Gradually fold in the flour until just combined.
- Reserve ¼ cup of the batter and pour the remaining batter into the prepared baking pan.
- In a medium bowl beat together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until smooth.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of brownie batter in the pan.
- Spoon on the remaining brownie batter using a tablespoon, do not spread out.
- Using a knife, swirl the cream cheese layer into the brownie batter on top, creating a swirl pattern.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack.
- Cut and serve.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.