Small Batch Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
Dessert doesn’t get more decadent than Cherry Cheesecake Brownies. Made from scratch, these fudgy brownies are studded with cherry pie filling and creamy cheesecake for a swirl of both in every bite. If you like your brownies layered with flavor, you’ll love this simple, small-batch recipe.
Cherry pie filling is the devil. I even have a hypothesis based on alternate facts and questionable scientific observations to prove it. The theory goes like this: if cherry pie filling is so bad that it makes fruit unhealthy, yet tastes damn good at the same time it must derive from Lucifer himself.
Here’s my evidence: 1) Cherry pie filling comes in a can which, right off the bat, qualifies it as crap. 2) It’s a processed food so it’s crammed full of high fructose corn syrup and sodium. 3) It’s loaded with red dye, an ew-worthy byproduct of petroleum production. 4) It’s the most luscious thing I’ve ever tasted.
If I go to hell for being a canned cherry hypocrite, so be it. Yes, I’ve smack-talked cherry pie filling in previous blog posts, but if I tasted my words before I spat them out they probably would’ve tasted like sweet, syrupy cherries. So what if they’re packed in a steel canister with bright red food coloring and BPA chemicals? At least I’ll die happy if they kill me.
Speaking of my demise, the Cherry Cheesecake Brownies that came out of my oven today are to die for. Simple to make, these fudgy brownies are studded with puddles of cherry pie filling then swirled with a layer of creamy cheesecake. These flavors belong together, so go buy a can of cherry pie filling and make this showstopper dessert without shame.
Small Batch Cherry Cheesecake Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla pure
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 100% cacao
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour unbleached
- 1/4 tsp sea salt fine
- 6 ounces full fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla pure
Cherry Pie Filling
- 2/3 cup cherry pie filling plus extra if desired
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8 x 8 metal baking pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until combined.
- Add vanilla and eggs, whisking until smooth.
- In a separate bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour and salt.
- Add dry ingredients to wet, stirring with a wooden spoon until just combined. Note: batter will be thick.
- Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and lump free, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed.
- Reserve 1/2 cup of brownie batter and set aside. Place remaining brownie batter into prepared baking pan and smooth with a spatula until even.
- Pour cheesecake mixture over the brownie batter in the baking pan.
- Spoon cherry pie filling onto cheesecake mixture in an even distribution.
- Dollop reserved brownie batter onto cheesecake mixture.
- Using a sharp knife, gently swirl together cheesecake, cherry pie filling and brownie batter dollops.
- If desired, top with additional cherries.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Brownies are done when a tester inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
- Remove from oven and place brownie pan on a baking rack to cool completely at room temperature, approximately 1 hour.
- Cover brownie pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours until set.
- Gently remove aluminum foil then cut brownies into squares and serve.
- Store brownies covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days.
- I always bake with unbleached all-purpose flour. That’s because bleach should only be added to brownies for cheating boyfriends, not brownies you’re eating yourself.
- For best results (and to avoid lumps), cream cheese and egg must be at room temperature before preparing cheesecake.
- Always bake brownies in a shiny metal pan. I do not recommend glass or stoneware pans for brownies due to their prolonged bake times.
- Remove brownies from the oven when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. If the batter is still wet then continue baking and check again in one minute increments. Take care to avoid overbaking.