If’ you’ve visited this recipe for the amazingly fudgy, tart, and creamy raspberry swirl cheesecake brownies before, you may have noticed that I have REWRITTEN this blog post. Whaaaat? Why, you ask? Since making these bars more on the regular AND adding them to my wedding dessert table menu, I’ve got some updated tips on how to make these brownies and make them more adaptable.
This is a super decadent dessert that is chocolaty, creamy and fresh all at the same time. The raspberry jam is sweet-tart, and fruity while the chocolate brownies are fudgy and intensely chocolaty. The cheesecake swirl is creamy and tangy and balances the raspberry and chocolate flavors. While there are a few components to making this recipe, they’re easy to prepare in advance, if you wanted to, and you can assemble the brownies before baking.
This raspberry swirl cheesecake brownie recipe starts by making a quick and simple raspberry jam. Berries, fresh or frozen work here. Berries are at their peak ripest in the summer months and I buy them in large quantities. There is never a time in the summer months when you won’t find a variety of berries stocked up in my refrigerator. Berries for jams, snacking, smoothies, and of course, baked goods and desserts. I also freeze loads of them. Berry ALL the things. For this recipe, I’m using raspberries because of their sweet-tart flavor and of how perfect they go with chocolate but you can use any berries you like.
A couple things to keep in mind, if you are using strawberries. Strawberries have a lot of water in them, so it might take a bit longer to reduce the jam. Additionally, I don’t recommend placing cut up fresh or frozen strawberries on top as this will make your batter watery. For an extra pop of strawberry, use freeze dried and sprinkle them on after the brownies are baked so they don’t burn in the oven. But, don’t be afraid to swirl in a curd if you’re not feeling berries or they’re not in season. Orange and blood orange curd would be amazing in these. Feeling boozy? Add some liquor to your jam to reduce as the berries reduce.
To make the jam, combine sugar and raspberries into a saucepan with a bit of lemon juice. The juice will help retain the bright pink raspberry color and add a pop of freshness to the jam. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it reduce, stirring occasionally. That’s literally it. The raspberry jam will be thickened and super concentrated in flavor. After straining out the seeds and pulp, pop in the fridge to cool and thicken up further. Not only is this jam fabulous in these brownies but it’s also great for drizzling on ice cream, mixing into butter creams, spreading on scones and even for mimosas.
While the raspberry jam is cooling down in the fridge, prepare the cheesecake batter. I highly suggest using Philadelphia brand cream cheese as I find that it produces the best results in baking and frostings. Once the cheesecake batter is mixed until completely smooth, set aside and prepare the brownie batter. If you’re assembling your brownies later, cover the bowl and pop the the cheesecake mixture into the fridge
This brownie recipe is dense and intensely chocolatey. No cakey brownie here. It’s my absolute favorite and I use this brownie recipe all the time. Be sure to use higher quality chocolate here because the chocolate flavor is everything in these brownies.
To achieve the swirls, start by spreading the brownie mixture evenly into the pan. Using a small-ish ice cream scoop, scoop out equal portions of the cheesecake mixture onto the brownie batter. Spoon about a teaspoon of jam over each cheesecake scoop. With a knife, create swirls in the batters until the cheesecake mixture and jam are well distributed and swirled. Pop in some fresh raspberries and off to the oven it goes.
You will want allow the raspberry swirl cheesecake bars to cool fully before cutting into them. You can rush this process a bit by popping them into the fridge.
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment in the comment area below. Be sure to snap a photo and tag it #littlevintagebaking on Instagram. I love seeing your Little Vintage Baking creations!
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Brownies
For the raspberry jam:
- 1 1/2 cups (12oz) fresh raspberries, frozen works well too
- 2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
For the cream cheese filling:
- 1 block (8oz) Philadelphia cream cheese
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the brownies:
- 3/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
- 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line an 8x8 square pan with parchment paper.
- Make the raspberry jam first to allow time to cool. In a saucepan, heat the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
- Reduce raspberry mixture until thickened, to about 3/4 cup. Strain mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Place into the refrigerator to chill.
- Make the cheesecake batter. Combine the softened cream cheese, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer or a whisk until smooth. Set aside.
- Make the brownie batter. In small bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder and salt to combine. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan, over the lowest heat setting, melt the butter with the espresso powder.
- Once melted, remove the pan from heat and stir in the chocolate chips until completely melted.
- Add in both the granulated and brown sugars and stir until combined. The mixture should now be room temperature.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time, stirring just to combine after each addition.
- Stir in the vanilla extract.
- Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.
- Pour the brownie mixture into the pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the cheesecake mixture onto the brownies in nine even spots.
- Spoon a teaspoon of the raspberry jam over the cheesecake scoops.
- Using a butter knife, create swirls in the batter until the jam and the cheesecake are well distributed. Press a few fresh raspberries into the batter.
- Place into preheated oven to bake for 38-45 minutes. This time could be a bit longer, or it could be less. Insert a toothpick into the center to check for doneness. There shouldn't be uncooked cheesecake batter. The edges should be visibly cooked, pale brown and the brownies shouldn't jiggle or look wet.
- Once baked, set on wire rack to cool. To speed up the cooling process, pop into the fridge after cooling down from the oven for 15 minutes.
- Once cool, cut into even bars and serve.