Brownie Bottom Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Bars

Sweet Girl Treats
by Sweet Girl Treats
24 bars
1 hr 30 min

These rich cheesecake bars are swirled with dulce de leche and set atop a brownie layer. The flavor combo is perfect, and you won’t be able to eat just one!

For this recipe I used canned dulce de leche (linked here). You can typically find it at your local grocery store with the other baking ingredients or in the aisle with the Mexican food. You can also easily make your own dulce de leche by heating a can of sweetened condensed milk. The process is linked here! The process of making your own takes a little more time, but is an easy option if you cannot find canned dulce de leche.

Using caramel is also an option for the swirls, but I prefer to use dulce de leche since it’s richer and creamier. What’s the difference between the two? Caramel is made using sugar and water and dulce de leche is made from milk and sugar. It sounds simple, but making both from scratch can be tricky! For ease of this recipe, I recommend going the canned/jarred route for both.

Brownie Bottom Dulce De Leche Cheesecake Bars
Recipe details
  • 24  bars
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 1 Hours Total time: 1 hr 30 min
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For the brownie bottom
  • ½ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • ⅓ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
For the cheesecake
  • 32 ounces cream cheese 4 bricks, softened1
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 14 ounces dulce de leche canned
To make the brownie bottom
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
Add in dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt). Mix until combined.
Add melted chocolate. Mix until combined,
Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease the foil.
Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out partially clean (no wet batter, but with crumbs attached).
Remove from oven, set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.
To make the cheesecake
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Scrape down the bowl once complete.
Add sugar, sour cream, vanilla extract, flour and salt. Beat on medium until smooth. Do not over beat. Scrape down the bowl once complete.
Add in eggs, one at a time, beating on low after each addition until just combined. Do not over beat.
Remove the dulce de leche from the can and place in a medium-sized bowl. Heat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, or until the consistency matches that of the cheesecake batter. Stir well.
Add ½-¾ cup of cheesecake batter to the softened dulce de leche. Mix until combined.
Pour the remaining cheesecake batter over the brownie bottom and spread evenly.
Evenly spoon the dulce de leche mixture over the cheesecake batter (evenly space 12-16 spoonfuls, or until you have used all of the mixture).
Use a fork or the end of a spoon/fork to swirl the batter together.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center has just a slight jiggle. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours – overnight before serving.
  • Line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. This provides an easy way to remove the bars from the pan to cut, and helps prevent sticking. I prefer aluminum foil, since it hugs the edges of the pan creates a smoother bake on the corners.
  • Do not over beat the cheesecake filling! While you want the cream cheese to be smooth, over beating (before or after adding the eggs) can cause the final texture to be too crumbly.
  • Pour the dulce de leche to a medium microwave-safe bowl and lightly heat it in the microwave until it matches the consistency of the cheesecake batter (make sure it’s not too hot).
  • Mix about 1/2 cup of cheesecake batter with the can of dulce de leche prior to creating the swirls in your cheesecake. This helps ensure that the texture of the two elements match, and helps the swirls from over-baking and crisping.
  • Chill the bars in the refrigerator overnight to get the best consistency in the cheesecake.
Sweet Girl Treats
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  • Dpl27534263 Dpl27534263 on Mar 13, 2021

    What is dulce de Leche?

    • See 2 previous
    • Sweet Girl Treats Sweet Girl Treats on Mar 13, 2021

      Hi there! It’s basically a caramel made from milk instead of water. I gave more detail in the paragraphs above! ☺️

  • Jas Jas on May 21, 2021

    Wow. This makes one huge cheesecake. I had a brownie mix so used that rather than make the brownie from scratch. I plopped the Dulce de Leche onto the cheesecake but it did not mix in well with a knife but rather sank into the cheesecake mixture. So I did not get that nicer look and when you cut it, there were sections of just the Dulce de Leche. feeds a large crowd.