Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

I might really be outing myself here by saying this, but I’m really not a red velvet fan.

In the world of food blogging, that’s probably a pretty big faux pas, but I’m just trying to keep it real.

Also, I married into a family that doesn’t like dessert (is that even a real thing??).  However, the one dessert my father-in-law will actually eat is red velvet, so I thought it might be good to have a decent recipe or two in my repertoire.

But I just can’t get excited about plain ol’ red velvet cake.  In the past, it’s left me totally underwhelmed…I’ve never made my own, but every one I’ve ever tasted has been dry and crumbly and boring.

And if I’m going to spend calories on a dessert, it’s not going to be boring.

Well, these red velvet cheesecake swirled brownies are anything but boring.

They are dense and chewy–almost fudge like in consistency.

Plus, they have a cheesecake layer.


Then I decided to jazz a few up by using a cookie cutter to make them into Christmas shapes.  Totally unneccessary, but also kind of fun.

Not boring at all, right?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
For the brownie layer:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, (8 tablespoons) melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup all purpose flour
For the cheesecake layer:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8x8 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine melted butter sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing after each addition. Whisk the eggs into the cocoa mix. Mix in the flour until lightly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving ⅓ to ¼ cup of the batter for the cream cheese layer.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth. Spread the cream cheese on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Put the remaining cocoa batter over the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife, swirl through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.
  4. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.
recipe from Freutcake

If you’re interested in participating in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, stop by Brenda’s blog to sign up!

And if you missed them, here’s what I made over the last few weeks:

{Week One}: Apple Pie Bread
{Week Two}: Double Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
{Week Three}: Melting Snowmen {Chocolate Mint} Cookies

Have a great Thursday, and be sure to check out the other yummy treats below!


I’m linked up at these great parties this week: Crazy Sweet Tuesdays, Trick or Treat Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays, Totally Tasty Tuesdays, Cast Party Wednesday, Whip it Up Wednesdays, Watcha’ Whipped Up Wednesdays, Eat, Pray {Read}, Love, Sweet Treats Thursday, Mrs. Fox’s Sweets, Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons, Itsy Bitsy Paper, Crumbs and Chaos, I’m Lovin’ It Fridays, Weekend Potluck, and Six Sister’s Stuff!




  1. Kim

    My daughter doesn’t like red velvet either. Maybe this will be the recipe that convinces her otherwise. They would be pretty on a cookie tray for the holidays! I’m always looking for something with color. Thanks!
    Kim recently posted..Fine DiningMy Profile

  2. Shirley

    But remember those red velvet cookies you had last year at holiday time??? Those were over the moon and I’ve been thinking about those lately. YUMMMMMM

  3. Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen

    Omg!!!!! So amazing!!!! I want some!!! I never knew u didn’t like red velvet. Well this looks like the most yummy dish
    Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen recently posted..Peppermint Fudge CookiesMy Profile

  4. Louanne

    Another non-fan of red velvet. Pretty? Yes. Tasty? Not so much. But these are brownies and cheesecake, so win-win! Pinned for our family Christmas party.

  5. Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

    Have no fear–you’re not alone. I actually haaaaaate red velvet (I don’t get why people like it!) but I could definitely go for one or five of these cheesecake brownies. You had me at cheesecake 🙂 they’re beautiful!
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted..Dirt CupcakesMy Profile

  6. Nancy

    I want some of this! It sounds beyond fabulous. I am making it for Christmas.

  7. Trisha

    These brownies really make a pretty picture. Can u believe I’ve never tried a red velvet anything yet – the sheer thought of that much food color puts me off. Though I like the idea of a cheesecake layer with it. It sounds like u’ve found a good treat and if I do try anything red velvet, I know this will be it. Thanks for sharing.
    Trisha recently posted..Week 4 of 12WOCT: Chocolate Pistachio BiscottiMy Profile

    • Ashley

      Thank you so much!

  8. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust

    Holy wow Ashley! These are (1) stunning and (2) ohmygodsogood. I think what I like best about red velvet cake is the frosting, lol. I love everything about these!
    Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust recently posted..Whatever FridayMy Profile

  9. Lindsey W

    I made these for our company baking contest!! Do they need to be refrigerated?

    • Ashley

      Lindsey–hope I’m not too late in responding. I think these will keep just fine at room temp. 🙂

  10. Candy

    Just put it in the oven…looking good so far….:)

  11. Brittni

    I just had to try these and I must say they did not disappoint!!! They are AWESOME! Thanks for the recipe =)

    • Ashley

      Oh, I’m so glad you loved them, Brittni! Thanks for stopping by!

  12. Adrienne Swift

    Made this tonight along with some other things to send off to my family and friends for Christmas! IT IS SOOOOOOO GOOD! It’s everything I thought it would be, and was really easy and fun to make 🙂 One thing I did that was different (not because it needed it, but because I wanted to personalize it) was I cut them into bite sized squares….with a tube of white icing I put a dot of icing in the middle, and then took a pinch of green sprinkles and dropped them on the dot of icing 🙂
    Thank you so much for this recipe, lovely lady!! 🙂

    • Ashley

      Oh, so glad you liked these, Adrienne! And what a great, festive idea to use the green sprinkles and icing – love it! Thank you so much for stopping by – have a wonderful holiday!

  13. Paola Poncio

    Can I leave out the food coloring? I don’t have any on hand:(

    • Ashley

      Sure. It’s just for color; the taste won’t be affected if you leave it out. =)

  14. heidi

    I made these last night., they look beautiful but they had absolutely NO taste to them. I followed the recipe exactly, i wish i would have doubled or even tripled the amount of coco in it.

  15. Jessica Jenkins

    I whipped these up last night and they were a big hit! I’m glad you stated at the beginning that they were almost fudge-like in consistency or I would have thought I did something wrong. I love that they aren’t rot-out-your-teeth sweet.

  16. Laura

    I made this recipe today. It was absolutely AWESOME!!!!! Everyone raved about it. This recipe is definately a keeper in my book. Thank you Ashley!

    • Ashley

      Oh, sooooo glad you liked them! Thank you so much for letting me know!

  17. Carla

    Can these brownies be mailed???



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Hello There!

Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking.  In fact, I informed my mother on multiple occasions that I was not getting an advanced education so I could spend my evenings preparing meals.

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