Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Cookies
Closely adapted from Lisa Yockelson.
  • For the cream cheese swirl:
  • 6 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup vanilla sugar (or ⅓ cup sugar plus 1 t ground vanilla beans)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • pinch of salt (2 pinches if tiny fingers are helping!)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • ⅓ cup miniature chocolate chips
  • For the brownie batter:
  • ⅔ cup plus 2 T AP flour
  • 1 T Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • ¼ t salt
  • ¼ t baking powder
  • 6 T (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup vanilla sugar (or 1 cup sugar plus 1 t ground vanilla beans)
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 T heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8 X 8 X 2 baking pan with parchment paper. You can also use a 9x9x2 pan and the brownies will just be a bit thinner.
  2. For the cream cheese swirl: Beat cream cheese and vanilla scented sugar (or sugar and ground vanilla beans) on medium speed for 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then add the egg yolks, salt and vanilla. Beat to combine but no longer. Fold in the chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. For the brownie batter: Measure the flour and then sift the cocoa powder into the bowl (cocoa almost always needs sifting as it forms lumps easily). Add the baking powder and salt, then whisk all of them together. Set aside.
  4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (you could also use a double boiler) for 45 seconds at half power. Add the butter and return to the microwave, melt for 30 seconds at half power and then stir—repeat until the butter and chocolate are melted. Whisk together. Set aside to cool a little.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla sugar (or sugar and ground vanilla beans) together for 45 seconds, or until combined. Slowly drizzle the butter-chocolate mixture into the eggs-sugar mixture, whisking the whole time. Use a spatula to get all of the chocolate and butter. Mix the flour mixture into the butter-chocolate-egg mixture gently with a rubber spatula. . Mix until the flour is totally absorbed, but no longer. Mix in the heavy cream.
  6. Assembling the brownies: Scrape the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Smooth the top with the spatula. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in several large dollops (I took about 5). Using an offset spatula swirl the 2 mixtures together, using an up and over motion. Do not overdo it or it will just get muddy looking. Shake the pan vigorously from side to side 2-3 times to level the top—do not use a spatula as this will muddy your swirl.
  7. Bake the brownies in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until set. If your oven does not cook evenly be sure to rotate the pan halfway through. Let brownies cool completely on a cooling rack for 2 hours. (Your children will not approve of this step). Carefully using the parchment, remove the brownies from the pan and set on a cutting board. Cut into the size of your choice. Any brownies that are not eaten within 2 hours should be refrigerated.
Recipe by The Spiced Life at