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Cheesecake chocolate brownie recipe

If you want to see a normally unflappable Parisian go into a little bit of a crazed frenzy, you don’t need to watch their reaction to me mercilessly butcher their beautiful language. One just needs to utter a single word — cheesecake. As soon as I took the cream cheese out of the refrigerator this morning, my French other-half started circling the kitchen counter, to see what was up.

Cheesecake chocolate brownie recipe

I’ve never met a French person whose face didn’t soften and melt at the mere utterance of the word, and le cheesecake is always spoken of with a reverence normally reserved for the finest French cheeses and most exclusive wines.

Cheesecake chocolate brownie recipe

Just as popular as cheesecake has become in France, cream cheese is equally popular and is now widely available, called fromage à tartiner – or “spreading cheese.” I decide to combine the two with another popular baked good on both sides of the Atlantic, brownies, wanting to show how marvelously the creamy topping melded with rich, deep-dark brownies, in one luscious, swirly bar.

Cheesecake chocolate brownie recipe

These were a big hit and I had trouble keeping them around. Thankfully I stored a few in the freezer for myself, so I have a stash for the future. Am not sure if French people are ready to enjoy brownies straight out of the freezer, but that’s okay, because I won’t feel so bad about not sharing all of them.

Cheesecake chocolate brownie recipe

Cheesecake Brownies

Adapted from Ready for Dessert (Ten Speed) For those of you who like higher brownies, use an 8-inch (20cm) pan.

For the brownies

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 4 ounces (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup (130g) sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (70g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (80g) chocolate chips

For the cheesecake topping

  • 8 ounces (225g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 5 tablespoons (75g) sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Line a 9-inch (23cm) or 8-inch (20cm) square pan with foil, making sure it goes up all four sides. Use two sheets if necessary. Mist with non-stick spray or grease lightly.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180C).
  • In a medium saucepan, to make the brownie batter, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the 2/3 cup (130g) sugar, then the eggs.
  • Mix in the flour, cocoa powder and salt, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the prepared pan.
  • In a separate bowl for the cheesecake topping, beat together the cream cheese, the yolk, 5 tablespoons (75g) of sugar, and vanilla until smooth.
  • Distribute the cream cheese mixture in eight dollops across the top of the brownie mixture, then take a dull knife or spatula and swirl the cream cheese mixture with the chocolate batter. Rap the pan on a countertop a few times to let the batter and swirl settle together.
  • Bake until the batter in the center of the pan feels just set, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Let cool, then lift the brownies out holding the foil and peel it away. Cut the brownies into squares.


Storage: These cheesecake brownies will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. They also freeze well for up to two months. I recommend freezing them individually so you can remove them one at a time.


    • Dana Mccauley

    How interesting that two desserts that I usually categorize as North American favs, are so popular in France. I’d think they’d be in rapture about their own delectable pastry classics.

    Great looking brownies by the way!

    • Rosa

    Your Cheesecake Brownies look great! Yes, here (Switzerland) cream cheese is expensive like hell (28 CHF for a cheesecake)! Incredible!



    • Arabella

    Have a great trip, and let us know when the Bizarre Foods episode airs …

    ciao, arabella

    • Erin

    Those brownies look too delectable not to make!
    Where do you stock up on American food in Paris?

    Thanks for all of the great posts and inspiration, have a safe trip.


    Erin: Check out my post: American Baking in Paris for tips! And, of course, I stock up during trips back, too : ) -dl

    • Michelle

    I believe petit suisse can substitute for cream cheese in cake recipes. Also, it is fairly affordable in the European Francophone region. The petit suisse is fairly comparable in fat content to American cream cheese.

    • De in D.C.

    Do Ricotta cheesecakes go over as well in France as the American-style cream cheese ones? I’d think ricotta cheese would be more affordable, and while the texture is different, might satisfy a cheesecake craving.

    Have a fabulous trip!

    • Maureen

    Great looking brownies. i am always on the look out for a new brownie recipe as my kids all love to eat em.
    I have a catering and american baked goods business here in Paris and cheesecake is in high demand. I have tried everything and have very good results using Carre Frais (Elle&Vire). The fat content is the same as philidelphia and the taste is almost the same. Not quite as silky as its American counterpart but close.

    Your baking and creativity inspires me. I love your writing and pictures.
    Thanks David!

    • Sara

    These brownies look amazing, I love cheesecake and chocolate!

    • David

    Michelle: That’s a good idea, except I think I’d eat all the Petit Suisse I bought first!

    Maureen: I’ve used the Franprix brand with decent results. But it’s funny that Philly is so expensive in France. It’s much cheaper in Italy and Belgium, and it’s even made in Europe (I think.) I guess it’s supply & demand?

    De: I’ve never seen a ricotta cheesecake here. But I don’t think they’d go over as well. I like ricotta cheesecakes, but they’re usually not smooth and unctuous, and swoon-worthy. Which the French are attracted to…and me too!

    • Phil

    FYI, Philadelphia cream cheese is widely available in the UK. You could bring back a rucksack-full on the Eurostar if you wanted.

    • Susan

    I’ve been making the Mascarpone Brownies lately..they are SO good, but not much like a typical brownie..the texture is so tender. I imagine mascarpone cheese is more plentiful there; Yes/No? My favorite cheesecake is made with I imagine I could use it in this application. These look great.

    Have a great trip and a real hamburger!

    • Randi

    Its expensive in Canada too, 3.49 for one bar. Rarely it goes on sale for 1.99. I pick up bars in MI for 1.25 when I go. they keep for months.

    • Eileen

    The cheesecake brownies look fabulous! I suppose, whenever I’m wishing I owned a little stone hut in Provence, I should remind myself that I could not buy cream cheese.

    • amanda

    Ha! Philadelphia cream cheese seems oh-so unclassy (ugh, those Canadian tv commercials with the angels make me want to punch someone…uncharitable, perhaps, but I can’t help it!) until you attempt to bake a cheesecake and suddenly appreciate that it costs a million dollars.

    I opt for the local cheese shops where you can buy housemade cream cheese from a big pail–it looks like pure heck, but they’ll weigh out the amount you need, there’s no wrapper to throw in the trash, and there is a lower water content, so the cake takes a shorter time to dry and turn firm, and rarely cracks when cooling.

    But I’m good with *any* excuse to take a dessert and make it into a brownie version! I therefore fully support this recipe and from now on, will pretend it is too pricey to make straight-up cheesecake, too.

    • amanda

    Ha! Philadelphia cream cheese seems oh-so unclassy (ugh, those Canadian tv commercials with the angels make me want to punch someone…uncharitable, perhaps, but I can’t help it!) until you attempt to bake a cheesecake and suddenly appreciate that it costs a million dollars.

    I opt for the local cheese shops where you can buy housemade cream cheese from a big pail–it looks like pure heck, but they’ll weigh out the amount you need, there’s no wrapper to throw in the trash, and there is a lower water content, so the cake takes a shorter time to dry and turn firm, and rarely cracks when cooling.

    But I’m good with *any* excuse to take a dessert and make it into a brownie version! I therefore fully support this recipe and from now on, will pretend it is too pricey to make straight-up cheesecake, too.

    • Cyndi

    “Holy mother of Bristol Palin!”

    OMG you are too funny, David! And those brownies……be sure to bring a double batch here to Central CA while you are visiting ;)

    • elra

    Brownies and cheesecake are not really my type of dessert, but after reading your recipe and saw how many different type of chocolate that you’ve put in the recipe, I think I would consider of trying it.

    • Kim

    Before I came to visit you today, I was over at Chocolate & Zucchini, reading about “fromage blanc” and “gateau a fromage blanc”, which sounds like Cheesecake Lite.

    I live in Small Town, Florida, nowhere near a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or the like. What would you (or your readers) suggest as a substitute for ‘fromage blanc’ if I wanted it to make a Tarte Flambe?

    I can’t wait to try this recipe for my sons, both big fans of cheesecake and brownies. Just days ago we had a chocolate fondue with cubes of cheesecake for dipping (and marshmallows and pretzels, mais oui!)

    • Kira

    Hi David!
    These look amazing! Does it matter whether the cocoa powder is dutch-process or not? I’m always confused on that one…

    • Babeth

    Alalalalala !!! Where can I order on of those online ? :-)

    • Marie

    Seeing these lovely cheesecake brownies just knocked me over with a big wave of nostalgia. Growing up, I adored a less classy version of these treats at the cookie shop at the mall food court (you know, with the gigantic cookie cakes)? Anyway, it’s been ages since I’ve frequented the mall for dessert, but your post took me right back to scrunchies and En Vogue. :) Thanks!

    • Barbara

    Fabulous photos! Of course I printed out the recipe…these will be perfect for a get together I’m planning for next weekend….and somehow the printer went crazy and printed 3 copies instead of one….but I’ll bet my friends will ask for the recipe, so I’m prepared!

    And for that last line, I think you meant to say they’ll FREEZE well.

    • Laetitia

    It looks so decadent… Wow!
    Do let us know indeed when the Bizarre Food episode will air, ok? Where will it be located?

    • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    to Kim:
    I would suggest you use sour cream, but the real thing, OK?, not the fat-free sour cream or other such non-sense. How can it be cream if it’s fat free?

    Good luck with tart flambee. It’s easy and yummy. Make sure you cook the onions on slow for a long time!

    • naomi

    I’ve been lurking here for a while, but never commenting. Then, this. In my 20’s, there was a shop near me called The Dessert Place, in Atlanta. A craving for the cream cheese brownie would get me on my bike riding 20 blocks for one. Record time. They closed unexpectedly, overnight, too fast for me to get the recipe. I’ll try this one and see if it can match a memory. I do make a cheesecake recipe I got years ago out of Gourmet, and take it to my local wineshop here in New Orleans. It’s amazing with wine, as it is cream cheese with Stilton.

    Enjoy that trip home; wish I was returning to France with you.

    • Alex

    These look absolutely gorgeous. Now if only I could figure out how to make just two at a time, so I didn’t feel compelled to eat the whole batch…

    (Seriously, any tips? I got approval to go to Buenos Aires on exchange for the Summer, and thus I want to be able to fit back into my bikini before December. Brownies aren’t conducive to this!)

    Et bon voyage!

    • Kerrie

    I had a serious problem today. There was no dessert at my house. Then this post came up. I love cheesecake brownies. I love David Lebovitz recipes. I see a solution to my problem.

    • delphine

    Hi David, this is a really random question but I don’t know who else to ask. Do you know of any websites where I can download French music (that have a broader selection than itunes) without needing a French credit card? Neither French itunes nor fnac will let me buy music and I don’t know where else to look.

    • Zelda

    Speaking of expensive…. many years ago someone working at the German embassy in Tokyo going back home wanted to make tiramisu for her colleagues and went shopping for some mascarpone – she got mascarpone but paid 72 German marks = 54,– US$ for the stuff….

    Anyway, I can’t say I am wild about chocolate and I always ignore recipes containing any of it – and of course I never made any brownies…… BUT there is obviously something about this recipe and the way you put it that makes me wanna try them out!!! So as soon as stores are open again around here I am going to get some cream cheese and make them brownies :)

    Have a great time in S.F. and sorroundings… terrific spot on this planet!!!!
    Of course Paris, France is also nice…..

    • Tracy

    Can’t wait to try this recipe…of course that lonely egg white will come in handy for the banana cake recipe.

    • Amynah

    What a lovely coincidence! I just found a cheap source of Philly cheese in Germany (I’m in Strasbourg), and was looking for just this kind of recipe. I’m a big fan of your site! Thanks for the great recipes.

    • Sarah

    Oh WOW!!!!!!!

    • Jackie

    Brownie + Cheesecake! I love this combi. Both are my favs. Now mine is baking in the oven. I think mine will be gone before it went to the container. Just love your recipes!!! Thank you.

    • Mona

    THANK YOU for this wonderful recipe! I made them last night, along with Shephards Pie for dinner, and they are amazingly wonderful! So thick and fudgey and rich. Beward, a small piece is more than enough (even for this chocoholic!)

    Have fun on your trip, David!

    • Katia

    I’ve been promising a cheesecake to my french colleagues for years now, but the price tag on all that philly cream cheese has stopped me from doing it. But I am going to try these out on them next week and will be sure to report back. Brilliant!

    • Jeanne

    Hang on – I’m just getting on the Eurostar now to come over for coffee and brownies… Watching you butcher the French language will be a wonderful optional extra :)

    If I send you the forwarding address where I’ll be in Chicago for the next two weeks, will you send me a batch of brownies? Pretty please??

    As for holy mother of Bristol Palin, this is why I realyl read this blog – for the witty and insightful political commentary :)

    • Sounita

    I love this entry ! That is so true, my boyfriend is french, and last year I introduced him to cheesecake and he now gets constant cravings for it, he absolutely LOVES it. Those look so good ! Bon voyage and have a great time in San Francisco !

    • oakjoan

    That brownie cheesecake/cheesecake brownies reminded me of the recipe in The Rose Bakery Cookbook. It’s also very good, but I mixed the batters too much the first time and got a sort-of beige finished product. Do you like Rose Bakery? I’ve never seen it mentioned here. It’s one of my top 10 cookbooks of all time.

    • Colleen

    Hy heef har sruk ih hy shreen…………oooh thats better, i lost control of myself for a moment there…….almost bit right through my monitor screen. Lordie these are my total favourites. Thanx David. These are my signature dish…I have them as my avatar on my blog. Happy travelling :) xxx

    • David

    Hi Folks: I arrived in SF (relatively) intact, and just in time for a Chinese noodle feast.

    Re the Bizarre Foods episode: Follow the link on my Schedule page. I don’t know when the show airs in various regions, but the link takes you to the site which I hope will say when it’ll be shown.

    • Jackie

    Hi David,

    My first tray is gone and my kids are asking for more. Now baking my second one. All give me a thumb up for this!!! Thank you.

    • Joan Pan

    Ah ~ probably my favorite American classic. My friend and I used to bake brownies like this all the time while we were still in school. My chef and the rest of the students loved it.

    Happy travels in Sunny CA! Tell D&P I said Hello.

    • David

    Barbara: Oops! That’s what happens when I try to update blog while racing for a plane!

    Kira: You can use either here. The extra bit of cocoa powder is to boost the chocolate flavor.

    Mona: Glad you liked them : )

    • Hélène

    I made Cheesecake Brownies, couple weeks ago, and we loved them. Beautiful pictures of your brownies.

    • Esther B

    Wow!! les photos sont super:))

    J’adore les brownies…. Il faudra que j’essaie ça à tout prix!!

    Ici au Québec, le fromage Philadelphia est un produit très répandu!!

    • Pia

    Have you ever considered making your own cream cheese with yogurt? It is so easy,

    • sarah

    my mom makes a super delicious cheesecake with the german Quark and a bit of creme fraiche and sour cream or whipped cream. try it. amazing!

    • Jeni

    Beautiful! Sounds really scrumpcious…something that I’ll be making sometime soon! Your pictures are beautiful, by the way!

    • biochemist


    Why do you, with all your culinary talent, not make cream cheese at home?? Why do you rely on “Philadelpia” to make cream cheese full of gums and binders when making cream cheese at home is so easy, cheap and very tasty. Anything you buy in the market can easily be made at home and taste leagues better. Trust me with cream cheese….I’ve made cream cheese a few times…cow’s milk and goat’s milk. I learned the technique in Dairy Lab at Oregon State Univ. as part of the Food Science and Technology program. You need a good thermometer, fresh milk and a buttermilk or yogurt culture. This is a good challenge for you. From blanc recipes work well too.

    Your sly remark regarding Bridgette Palin make me laugh….you should team up with Berkeley Breathed, the pen behind “Opus”. Only an american will get your wry comments.

    • David

    Pia and biochemist: I did make my own Homemade Cottage Cheese a while back, and would love to give cream cheese a try. When I get home, I’ll look up a recipe for it and try to find the ingredients in Paris.

    I did a taste-test for a publication once on Philly vs. “natural” style cream cheese in cheesecake. The natural one got high marks on flavor, but folks preferred the smoothness of the regular cream cheese. Maybe my homemade will be the best of both worlds?

    • Samantha

    Do you have any friends who own a restaurant?

    Philadelphia is not cheap in Singapore either, but when my dad is baking up a cheesecake storm (we used to be New Yorkers it happens that way sometimes) he calls up a friend of his here who owns a restaurant. His friend orders the Philly wholesale from a distributor and only charges my dad at cost.

    I know storing a case of cream cheese could be tricky in a Parisian sized apartment, but if you ever had a good reason to make multiple cakes it could work well. My dad never makes less than three at a time because they freeze so well, but I imagine your freezer is already full.

    • La Rêveuse

    I made these, and have to caution, they are very, very rich, and very sweet. Almost like fudge rich and sweet. A bit more than I usually like, actually, so I am cutting them in very small pieces. They are too much for my husband, so they are all mine.

    I blame you for my jeans size, David. ;)

    • Mimi

    David! I am at the Marceau Bastille right this minute! Send some over!


    (I’m kidding! Or am I?)

    • Allie Hall

    Wow this looks like bakery grade stuff that makes your sweet tooth ache and shocked that there was one left over. Can I add this to my site Our visitors will definitely enjoy this great recipe.

    • jennifer

    can not wait to come back from a wedding i’m going to tomorrow so I can make these and throw that stupid diet out the window!

    • roberta

    questo dolce è magnifico!!

    • zena

    I just made them and really liked them. Not to sweet at all, fudgy AND yet still cheesecakey. Will definitely make them again. I was just too lazy to make really good swirls so some parts were cheesecake on top of fudge brownies. =)

    • David

    zena & la rêveuse: I’m not a fan of overly sweet desserts either. Rêveuse; You might want to make sure to use a fairly bitter chocolate. I tend to use one that’s around 50-55% cacao for testing since that’s around the norm.

    You could decrease the sugar in the cheesecake mixture to 1/4 cup, although when I tested that, I thought it might be too tangy or ‘cheesy’ for most tastes. You could also decrease the sugar in the brownie batter by a few tablespoons, although they won’t be as moist.

    Samantha: Ever since I discovered the store-brand pâte à tartiner in France, I use that instead of Philadelphia. Also the Jewish grocers in the Marais carry cream cheese as well. But I did have a friend who brought me over a #5 brick of Philadelphia shortly after I moved to Paris, which was a great (but rich!) gift.

    • Murasaki Shikibu

    I made it and it was delicious, David. Thank you!!!

    My cheese mixture turned a bit soft though so although I got it to look marbled it looked more like lines of chocolate swirling around in the cheese cake. -_-

    I guess I’m just a bad baker.

    • Alex

    Hi David,

    Me again, with a novice question. When you say the brownies freeze well, do you mean cooked or uncooked?

    If it’s cooked, how do you thaw them?

    If it’s uncooked, do you thaw them before baking?

    I’ve never frozen baked goods, so I figure I’ll try it. (Saves me eating the entire batch so they don’t go off.)

    Thank you!

    The brownies should be frozen after they’re baked. To thaw, let stand at room temperature, still wrapped, a few hours prior to serving…although they’re pretty delicious eaten straight from the freezer, too! : ) -dl

    • Alex

    David, you’re a star, thank you! :D

    • charlotte

    I don’t often comment on people’s blogs, but I must admit, I couldn’t resist. As a young francophile who likes to cook, your blog is inspiring, informative, and fun. I just made chouquettes for the first time last week. I’m looking forward to future posts. Keep living the sweet life!

    ps-Have you tried Stumptown coffee? You should, if you haven’t. If you like coffee, that is!

    • Nicole

    Well now I know why I swoon when I hear cheesecake! I am only 1/8 French but apparently that gene was passed on. ;-)

    These brownies are the most amazing thing I have seen in weeks!

    • Annie

    Oh my word, these are amazing. I am amking them as soon as I can get to the store for the goods! Merci!

    • SleeplessInKL

    OMG! two of my weaknesses in one delectable package. i *must* make these this weekend. it so happens that i have a brick of philadelphia cream cheese waiting in my fridge ;)

    • kathy

    David, just got home from a month in Paris. I met you at the Richard Lenoir market in Regis’ booth on the Sunday you helped him out. What a nice guy that Regis! He shared this Cheesecake Brownie with me and it was delicious. Gotta try this one!

    • nyc/caribbean ragazza

    Love this!

    Philly Cream Cheese is pretty reasonable in Italy. I don’t know why and there are commercials for it on TV all the time.

    • Toby

    I made this for the Yom Kippur break fast. My friends and family enjoyed them immensely. Thanks for the recipe….it’s a keeper!

    • Annie

    Holy Carp! These were fantastic! They turned out woderful. Thanks for the recipe!

    • UK Foodie

    They look delicious, will definately be trying the recipe.

    • Sunshinemom

    Gorgeous!! It is Childrens’ Day today in India and I hope to make a vegetarian version without eggs of this one. I am sure the kids will love this!! Thank you:)

    • Julie

    Just got around to making these – they were delicious. I’m not much of a baker, but this recipe was easy enough that the brownies were a huge hit with all who tried them. Thanks for the great recipe; I’ll definitely be using it again.

    • Charlotte

    David, you are a great writer and and I so happy I found your blog – recommended by Heidi Swanson who also has a way with words – and recipes)
    You make me laugh out loud.
    And your recipes are great too.

    • Karen

    These brownies are totally awesome! They were such a hit at Thanksgiving today. Thank you for another fabulous recipe. This was easy and just so rich and delicious. They are all gone now!

    • Cher

    These sound and look wonderful!

    • Don

    Love the combo; I used milk chocolate chips & a Cuiziel 67%. Plus, drizzled with milk chocolate. Over the top. But next time will cut the sugar in half……….just tooooo sweet…………

    • robynn

    absolutely delicious and I used chocolate with 70% cacao…..

    thank you for the great recipe!

    • Rashmi

    Hi David,
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. To chime into the cream cheese discussion, I ended up using “Frischkäse Fass” from Aldi here in Germany. It worked perfectly! At least the cheesecake portion of these brownies. For some reason, my brownies were still runny in the middle, although I left them in the oven for almost an hour! I used a convection oven at 190 Celsius. Could the problem be that I used an 8×8 pan instead of a 9×9 pan? Please help, as I am really puzzled.


    • Jeena

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I just finished making them and had the first bite–I tell you, it was a bit of a religious experience. Mmmmm!

    I just hope I can resist the rest, as these are for a friend’s dinner tonight.

    Also currently, there is a can of sweetened condensed milk, recklessly boiling away on my stove top because I am going to make your Dulce de Leches brownies next for a party on Sunday!

    Merci, merci, merci!!

    • Sharon

    I made these brownies last weekend, and they were unbelievable. My fiance was very impressed. The cheesecake and brownie combination is delectable. Thank you so much for the recipe! I will definitely make these again. (NJ, USA) (I used Neufchatel cheese – 1/3 the calories of regular cream cheese)

    • Tina

    Yummie! I made these for a huge French chocolate fanatic a week or so ago and they went over splendidly. I’m going to make them again for a dinner amongst friends this weekend. Can’t wait! By the way, I used the St. Moret from my local Monoprix, Dutch processed cocoa powder, and nearly 200g of chocolate, because chocolate chips are rather elusive in these parts.

    • Brownie Junkie

    Wow, made these bad boys last night! They were delicious!

    Can I add this to my site

    Our users will definitely enjoy this great recipe.

    Am glad you liked the recipe but I’d prefer to keep the recipe here, as it’s part of the site. -dl

    • Janice

    My dad used to make cheesecake brownies when i was little.. he doesn’t remember ever making them. but i do =) he made 2 big pans once and my mom brought one to school (she worked at my school) and i remember getting so upset because i wanted them for myself. when i noticed that your recipe only makes a 9 inch pan’s worth i was like.. “only?! I’m *Soo doubling that up” lol

    but yea.. thank you for posting this.. it doesn’t look exactly like dads, but I’m sure it’s just as awesome.. I’m going to make them tomorrow..

    Cheers! =)

    • Jurie

    Thanks for the recipe David.

    I made these last night and while people enjoyed them, I didn’t get the nice marbling you got. The top was basically splodgy dark brown. Should I have turned off the heat coming from above, or put it lower inside the oven?

    • David

    It’s hard to say since so every oven is different. Some have intense heat on the top, others on the bottom.

    It sounds like yours is hot on top, so that was likely the problem.

    • Melanie

    This is by far the best cream cheese brownie recipe I’ve tried. I brought them to a get-together and were a huge hit. Who knew cream cheese was so expensive overseas? I bought 3 eight ounce packages for $1.

    • princessmisia

    david! hi! seriously! this looks like heaven! tx for sharing!!!

    • donelda

    hi david the recipe for the cheesecake brownies look so easy not to mention delicious i am giving them a try today hope they come out as good as they look.many thanks for the recipe. donelda

    • natalie

    this was a great recipe. i made them exactly according to recipe and they were perfect for a sweet tooth chocolate lover such as myself. I cut them up into small squares as someone had suggested and they were perfect b/c i’d just eat one when wanting just a quick chocolate pick me up, or 3-4 small cubes for dessert after dinner. thanks for the great recipe and the awesome pics to go with! I’ve already printed the recipe out to make more for the family very soon.

    • ella

    hi david,
    my mom (cough, cough, cough) is a big fan of cheese cake and a big fan of coffee, do you have a recipe for a coffee cheese???


    • hannah

    are these sweet? or just right? i’d love to try these

    • Pille @ Nami-Nami

    David, if I cannot get chocolate chips (yes, not available in Estonia, imagine:)), shall I just used chopped semi-sweet milk chocolate instead?

    • David

    Hi Pille; Yes, you can used chopped chocolate, but you might want to reduce the amount since chocolate chips don’t melt that well and chopped chocolate will melt slightly when baked this way.

    You might want to see if there is a restaurant or baking supply store where you live. Most bakeries have access to chocolate chips (like in Paris) but they’re hard to get in stores. I buy mine for €7/kg at G. Detou, which is a good price.

    • Vicky

    Just made these yesterday. Looking at your photo, mine came out with a much more cheesecake-y texture than a brownie texture–very fudgy. I baked until set on top, but perhaps next time I’ll bake a wee bit longer, or maybe I got over zealous with the swirling! I used 60% chocolate and they were perfect (for those who are worrying that they are too sweet).

    • jaedy

    ohhh david,………..

    you have truly won me over this looks amazing; as my friend says orgasmic

    well done

    • choccycake

    Just made a batch of these and they’ve all gone already, family loved them – thanks for sharing!

    • Rick

    These are yummy. OK, they’re still in the oven, but it was yummy before I spread it in the pan. Since I ate about 10% of it before it went in the pan, I’ll knock 10% off the cooking time. Thanks for the recipe.

    • Becks

    Holy crap these are SO GOOD. I have made them for various events now and I keep getting asked to bring them because they are just amazing. In fact, there is a bakery where I live that is really good and I have always enjoyed their cream cheese brownies, but these are 100x better than theirs. Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe! (No seriously, I now know that I won’t be single forever – these brownies have brought me suitors!)


    • Julie

    Just stopping back by this post to let you know, David, that these are my go-to brownies and have many, many, many fans. Thanks again for posting them!

    • Mrs zeeshan

    Hello David..I am really excited to try these brownies for the up coming event.
    but i am confused a little as there is no baking powder in the ingrediants..
    why is that so ?

    and secondly if i dont get semi sweet chocolate.. then what should i do..? cut down a lil bit of the amount of sugar in the recipe?

    • david

    Mrs. zeeshan: I’ve not made or seen many recipe for brownies that call for baking powder. And am not sure what to suggest if you can’t get chocolate since that’s an imperative component of the recipe.

    • Mrs zeeshan

    oh so it doesnt make any difference ritoo ? without baking powder.
    thnx 4 replyingme… nop i Got the chocolate but its not semi sweet ..i mean its normal Dark chocolate with al the sugar stuff in it.. so i was just asking if i cut down some sugar in the brownie mixture so would that work ? as i am planning to make these after 2 days for the eid occasion

    • sam

    Hey david! The ingredients list lists only 1 egg yolk. How many eggs should go into the chocolate mixture? Thanks!:)

    • David

    There are 2 large eggs, which are the 4th ingredient listed, which go into the chocolate mixture in Step #3.

    • Helen


    I was looking at this recipe and your devil’s food cake recipe as a possible base for a raspberry blanc-manger. Initially I considered a flourless chocolate cake (for the difference in texture and the crazy decadence), but the problem lies in how the chocolate base will survive out of the fridge and not at room temperature. Can you suggest anything? I’m going a little nuts and I’m running out of time. Thanks!

    • David

    Helen: You could certainly try this as a base, although since I haven’t used it myself, I can’t advise for sure. If you do try it, please let us know how it works out.

    • Helen

    Hi again,

    This is sort of off topic now because in the end I made Chocolate Idiot’s Cake and a separate blanc-manger. I resisted the urge to layer the two and trotted them both to our friends’ house. Your words about the French being purists re: dessert kept floating through my mind, but baking is my new hobby and I’m Canadian so I compromised ;D. The cake was served at room temperature with a thin sliver of blanc-manger and raspberry sauce on the side.

    Your cake was amazing, super rich but so dreamy that we could still further stuff ourselves after Thanksgiving dinner! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I can’t wait until “Ready for Dessert” comes out next year. Hope you have a fabulous Thanksgiving in November.

    • Petra

    OMG, this is a seriously good recipe… I´m taking couple of pieces tomorrow to my office and I´m more than sure that my colleagues will love it.
    By the way, Philadelphia cheese is quite cheap in my country (Czech republic)… Something like 1 Euro per 125 grams.

    • 7tourvercors

    Merci beaucoup pour cette terrific recette !!
    Je l’ai essayée ce matin et c’est un franc (et américain) succès !

    • Sil

    Saw it, made it, love it! Great blog. Tx.

    • Smiling Cougar

    Mmmmmm!!! I’m serving these up at the company Christmas party…topped with fresh raspberries.

    • Rachel

    These look yummy! What’s the best way to reheat them if I freeze after baking? Although I think it would be highly unlikely that there would be any left over to freeze :)

    • Mary A

    I’ve made these 3 times so far, and made it part of my Christmas Goodie gifts to neighbors. They are roll your eyes food frenzy good!

    • Litmad

    Have come back on a number of occasions to drool over these brownies and finally decided to make them last weekend. When they came out the oven they were inspected by the family who screwed up their noses, exclaiming “what are those?”. Told them to shut up and eat them. All I can say is when Monday came around there were only crumbs left in the box. Delicious!

    • Rosemarie

    I have to vent a serious pet peeve here. After reading the comments on several recipes, I just can’t hold back. I sincerely wish people would not comment on a recipe they have not tried to make themselves. Asking a question about the recipe is fine but why do people post comments stating how good something looks? We all can see how good it looks.

    Thankfully, most of the posts on this recipe in particular are from those of us who have actually made the brownies. Speaking of which, I made these last night. They were good but I have never been a big cheesecake fan. I have to agree with the purists and keep my brownies pure only adding walnuts or pecans.

    • Eva

    David and your world wide fans,

    I came across your website by accident browsing for some desert recipes online. Already by cooking once your cheesecake brownies and oatmeal raisin cookies was enough for me to stick to your cooking. Forget and David, your work is amazing!!!! Thank you for the wounderful recipes.

    Regarding the cream cheese brownies. I don’t understand what is the fuss in these comments about cream cheese. People, KRAFT is a world wide company and their Philadelphia is great for this recipe. The only thing I would suggest to the readers is to pay attention to the type of cholocate you add. David in his recipe mentions bitter sweet chocolate. The cooking chocolate I found here in Switzerland said “dark cooking chocolate”, was 46% cacao. The brownies were milk cholocolate color and not as dark as on the picture. I guess that next time I will look for chocolate with min. 70% cacoa.

    Tasty cooking to all!

    • Marlowe

    “Mist with non-stick spray” ….

    I’m wondering what this is called in France and where one might find it (“Le Pam”)?

    • David

    I’m not sure what it’s called in French, but in Paris, once can buy it at G. Detou. If unavailable, one can grease the foil using a brush.

    • Marlowe

    Thank you, sir!

    • Jenn

    Lovely and ever-so bittersweet. Made these today on a whim, I do so love my whims, and they came out perfect. Now I just need some cornish vanilla ice cream and we are talking! Thanks for the recipe.

    p.s I so wish that shop G. Detou was online as I would order the stuff for delivery here in the UK.

    • Michelle

    Hi David,
    Thank you very much for the recipe. The cheesecake top came out perfect but my brownie was very fudgy, almost like truffles. I used Sharffen Berger’s 99% Unsweetened Chocolate. Could this be the problem? Please advise.

    • flora

    I would like to double the recipe. Which size pan should i use?

    • David

    I’ve not done that, but would suggest baking it in two pans, following the instructions.

    • Sarah

    Hi David,

    Thanks for the recipe! I felt my brownies are a tad dry..not moist. Anything I did wrongly that may caused that? Any tips on what I should do if I want a bit more moist in my brownie?

    • David

    If they are dry, they were likely cooked too long. To make them moister, in the future, you can add a few additional egg yolks to the chocolate batter.

    • Annie

    This is such a wonderful recipe. I’ve made it many times now and it always disappears lightning fast…Sometimes before I even have a chance to serve it to guests! Thank you for sharing it!

    • Michelle

    Hi David,
    My brownie came out very moist and fudgy. I baked it for as long as the recipe called for. What could I have done wrong?

    The brownies are supposed to be moist & fudgy; that’s what make them so appealing. They’re not intended to be cake-like brownies. -dl

    • Jen

    I have my own personal brownie recipe that I never stray from, however after finding this one I decided to give it a shot, and it is just as good if not better than my usual one! Absolutely delicious! In regards to the last post – I LOVE moist and fudgy brownies over cake-like ones. Thanks so much for the interesting recipe.

    • zaphia

    Pure genius: brownies and cheesecake together! Mine are baking in the oven :)

    • zaphia

    They’re done and fab :) the brownie is very soft and my swirls weren’t as distinct as yours. Delicious. I’m going to take it with me to a dinner I have been invited to tomorrow. Thanks again for sharing your lovely recipes.

    • Pilar

    Thanks David! another wonderful recipe, I made the brownies with and without the cheese part and I’m saying goodbye to my 15 year old brownie recipe because this one is so much better, love it!

    • Sommer J

    Looks so delicious. Going to bake these this weekend. My husband is on a diet so more for me!

    • christine

    As an American living in Germany, I thought this would be a great way to bring two American classics to my German friends. They all loved it and requested the recipe. It was so simple and I definitely recommend trying it.

    Tomorrow I will bake them again, but without the cream cheese because the birthday boy doesn’t like cheesecake — hope it turns out just as tasty :)

    • Jules

    Would neuchatel (think this is the spelling) be an affordable switch for Philly. Neuchatel is low fat too.

    • Chrizza

    I just made these and the brownies didn’t come out as dark as the picture above but mine wasn’t that sweet. I used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate bar (60%) and Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips. Is it because of the kind of chocolate I used?

    • David
    David Lebovitz

    Jules: I don’t know if neufchatel is much more affordable than regular cream cheese, but if you give it a go, please let me know how it works out.

    Chrizza: I use Valrhona cocoa powder, a Dutch-process cocoa, which is indeed darker than Hershey’s cocoa powder. You can read more at my Cocoa Powder FAQs

    • Tiffany L.


    The brownie portion of this recipe seems to use the same type of method as “Robert’s Absolute Best Brownies” that you write about here:

    However, your recipe does not include the stirring vigorously for 1 minute after incorporating the flour. Does this make a difference? Is it not necessary because of the cheesecake topping? If I did it anyway, would it hurt?

    • Maria

    My batch of these brownies are in the oven. !!!! I used black cocoa powder that I had on hand, and put in orange extract. They smell amazing, and I can’t wait to try them. Thank you for all of your recipes, they’re fantastic!

    • Karin

    I made these for the first time last week and loved them. One question: will there be a marked difference between using original cream cheese and light cream cheese?


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