Swirled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies are a rich, cheesecake brownie recipe that is perfect for the holidays and ALL year long!

You get THREE delicious desserts in one in this out-of-this-world Homemade Brownie Recipe! They’re a marriage of red velvet, brownies, and cheesecake! Plus their vibrant colors make for a stunning treat!

3 swirled red velvet cheesecake brownies stacked on a white tear drop shaped plate.

Why You Must Make

  • Because of their festive color, red velvet desserts are perfect for the holidays. For Christmas a few years back, I whipped up some red velvet fudge that wowed the family. This year I moved on to red velvet brownies!
  • I was hoping these amped-up, swirled red velvet cheesecake brownies would get the same reaction from my friends and family. Katie, my biggest red velvet fan (and my harshest critic!), sang her praises for these red velvet brownies.
  • As a non-professional “swirler,” I often cross my fingers and toes when running a knife through the batter! But, thankfully, the results were stunning. I use a knife tip to swirl, but if you like even more swirls, use a toothpick or wooden skewer.

Reader Endorsement

From the comments: These were devoured in our house! We are big fans of cheesecake AND brownies and are always looking for unique recipes. These brownies were the perfect solution! The best of both worlds. They turned out perfect and I can’t wait to find an excuse to make them again!

red velvet cheesecake brownies on a square white dessert plate

Ingredient Notes

  • Kitchen Staples – Butter, Sugar, Flour
  • Vanilla – Use real vanilla extract, not imitation
  • Cocoa Powder – Regular, not Dutch Process 
  • Red Food Coloring – Usually there is 1 tablespoon per bottle
  • Eggs – Have them at room temperature
  • Cream Cheese – Have it at room temperature for easier blending

Recipe Tips

  • Having your eggs and cream cheese at room temperature will allow for easier incorporation.
  • With both the cheesecake and brownie batters, you do not want to overmix and incorporate air into the mixtures.
  • Using an offset spatula to spread the layers helps make them level.
  • Use whatever tool you are comfortable with to swirl the red velvet batter into the topping—an offset spatula, the tip of a knife or a skewer will all work.
  • It can be difficult to tell when brownies are done. You should smell a delicious aroma coming from your oven and if you insert a toothpick into the brownies, there shouldn’t be any batter on it when it’s removed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Red Velvet?

A traditional red velvet dessert is made with natural cocoa powder containing anthocyanin which provides the red color when combined with an acid such as vinegar. Modern red velvet desserts often contain red food coloring.

Is Red Velvet a Chocolate Cake?

Red velvet cakes contain cocoa powder, but not enough to give it a rich chocolate flavor. If you ask my husband, he’d say it’s definitely not a chocolate cake.

What is Ermine Frosting?

The original red velvet cakes called for ermine frosting which is a boiled milk frosting made of milk, flour, butter, and sugar. Cream cheese frosting is the go-to red velvet frosting of late and this cheesecake topping was inspired by it.

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red velvet cheesecake brownies on a square white dessert plate

Swirled Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 16

Red Velvet Brownies with a scrumptious swirled cheesecake topping!



  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour

Cheesecake Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 º. Line an 8x8-inch pan with nonstick foil and set aside.
  2. To make the brownies, add the melted butter to a large bowl and mix in the sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, and food coloring.
  3. Whisk in the eggs.
  4. Fold in the flour until combined. Spread in the pan and reserve ¼ cup of the batter for the swirl.
  5. To make the cream cheese layer, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  6. Gently spread the cream cheese layer on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Dollop the remaining brownie batter over the cream cheese layer.
  7. Using the tip of a table knife, drag the tip through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.
  8. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely. Chill and then cut into bars.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 bar

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 202Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 104mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 0gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g


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