Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake Brownies

These Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies are made with a homemade blackberry syrup swirled into a cheesecake layer that floats atop a fudgy brownie. Add a scoop of ice cream, and you have a decadent dessert that’s not hard to make.

Do you love brownies and cheesecake and want a dessert to impress your friends without a lot of work? This is the recipe for you.

a single blackberry swirl cheesecake brownie and pan of brownies.
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Ingredients

a measuring cup full of blackberries

 

The origin of these blackberry cheesecake brownies are a story about blackberries, so feel free to Jump to Recipe. There was one summer that neighbors invited us to pick over their blackberry vines. So for months, we had pounds of blackberries in the freezer.

So when I was planning desserts for company, it needed to have blackberries. But when we went to the store, the only flavors they had in the brand we love were orange creamsicle and mocha oreo. And, if you know me and my family, you know there was only one choice.

But it took me forever to figure out what to make with mocha oreo ice cream. And then it hit me. Blackberry swirl cheesecake brownies.

If you too are stuck with too many blackberries, check out some of my other blackberry and summer berry recipes like:

Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.

Variations and substitutions

  • In place of the blackberry syrup in these cheesecake brownies, you could swirl in some store-bought jam or jelly, thinned with a bit of water and strained if it has seeds.
  • Raspberries and strawberries could both work with this cheesecake brownie recipe.
  • Just make brownies! The base of these cheesecake brownies are my favorite, fudgiest brownies. If you make them alone, consider tossing in a half cup of chocolate chips at the end. Or make these salted caramel espresso brownies instead.
  • Make Oreo cheesecake brownies.

Recipe tips and tricks

The base layer of these blackberry brownies are the fudgy brownies from the Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook, only very slightly adapted (Panel #1 below). Next, you spoon or pour the cheesecake layer atop the unbaked brownie layer (Panel #2) and then spread it roughly evenly.

four panels showing steps in making blackberry swirl cheesecake brownies.

Spoon the blackberry syrup on top (Panel #3 above) and swirl it in using a knife (Panel #4), being careful not to go into the brownie layer.

The most challenging part of this recipe is trying to figure out when the two layers of these cheesecake brownies are fully cooked. If you have to choose, I would err on the side of under-baking.

When they are done, the cheesecake layer will be puffed and set, but the blackberry syrup will still look moist. If you stick a toothpick into the brownie center, you should still get a few crumbs.

a pan of blackberry swirl cheesecake brownies.

Recipe FAQs

Why do you line the baking pan with parchment?

For this blackberry cheesecake brownie recipe you can either butter your baking pan or line your pan with parchment paper to prevent your brownies from sticking to the pan. Lining the pan with parchment paper just allows you to lift out and cut baked brownies without scratching your pan. Lining the pan also helps if you’re trying to preserve the top of something like in this Nutella banana bread.

What can I do with extra blackberry syrup?

The blackberry syrup is beautiful in yogurt or over pancakes or waffles, added to lemonade, or to replace the blackberry simple syrup in your favorite cocktail.

Can I freeze these blackberry cheesecake brownies?

Yes, brownies freeze very well. You’ll want to double-wrap them tightly in individual portions and then place them in a freezer bag for 3 to 6 months.

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.

Recipe

Blackberry Cheesecake Brownies

5 from 1 vote
Category: Dessert
Cuisine: Unspecified
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 9
Calories: 525kcal
These blackberry cheesecake brownies are made with fudgy brownies topped with a cheesecake layer swirled with blackberry syrup
Print Recipe

Equipment

  • 8 or 9 inch square baking pan
  • Stand or hand mixer

Ingredients

Blackberry syrup

  • ½ cup fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar plus more or less as desired

Brownie layer

  • 5 ounces (141 grams) bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 ounces (57 grams) unsweetened chocolate
  • 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (4.4 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (0.7 ounces or 20 grams) cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • cup (8.8 ounces or 250 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or vanilla extract

Cheesecake layer

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (1.8 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • teaspoon salt

Instructions

Blackberry syrup

  • Put the blackberries and tablespoon of sugar into a small saucepan with enough water to just cover the bottom of the pan.
    ½ cup fresh or frozen blackberries, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • Cook on medium low until the blackberries have broken down, stirring and mashing occasionally.
  • Pass the blackberries through a sieve over another small saucepan to strain the seeds out from the juice. Use a spatula to mash the blackberries in the sieve to get as much blackberry juice as you can.
  • Heat the blackberry juice over medium-low heat until it starts to thicken to a maple syrup consistency. Turn off the heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Brownie layer

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8 inch or 9 inch square baking pan, or line with foil or parchment paper.
  • Melt the bittersweet chocolate, unsweetened chocolate, and butter together in a double boiler. Set aside to let cool slightly so it does not cook the eggs when added.
    5 ounces (141 grams) bittersweet chocolate, 2 ounces (57 grams) unsweetened chocolate, 8 tablespoons (4 ounces or 113 grams) unsalted butter
  • Into a small bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
    1 cup (4.4 ounces or 125 grams) all-purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup (0.7 ounces or 20 grams) cocoa powder
  • Put the 1¼ cup of sugar and 3 eggs for the brownie layer into the bowl of your stand mixer or a medium bowl if you are using a hand mixer. Beat the sugar and eggs together until lightened in color.
    1¼ cup (8.8 ounces or 250 grams) granulated sugar, 3 eggs
  • Beat in the Grand Marnier or vanilla extract.
    1 teaspoon Grand Marnier or vanilla extract
  • Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture and mix.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, and salt) by hand.
  • Pour or spoon into the prepared pan and smooth. Set aside.

Cheesecake layer

  • Clean your mixing bowl and beaters.
  • Add the cream cheese and ¼ cup of sugar to the bowl and beat for a couple of minutes until soft.
    8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, softened, ¼ cup (1.8 ounces or 50 grams) granulated sugar
  • Add the egg and vanilla and beat for an additional minute.
    1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Add the tablespoon of flour and salt and beat on low or stir by hand.
    1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • Spoon the cheesecake layer on top of the brownie layer and even it out in the pan, being careful not to dig into the brownie layer.

Blackberry swirl

  • Add spoonfuls of blackberry syrup across the top of the cheesecake layer. You will likely have excess, so don't feel like you have to use it all.
  • Use a knife to carefully swirl the syrup into the cheesecake layer without going into the brownie layer.
  • Bake on a rack in the middle of the oven for 45 to 55 minutes. The cheesecake layer will look puffed and set but still moist, and a toothpick inserted down into the brownie layer should come out with just a few crumbs.
  • Let cool for at least an hour prior to cutting.
  • Because of the cheesecake layer, these brownies need to be stored, covered, in the refrigerator. They can also be double-wrapped and stored in the freezer for 3 to 6 months.

Notes

The most challenging part of this blackberry cheesecake brownie recipe is trying to figure out when the two layers of these cheesecake brownies are fully cooked. If you have to choose, I would err on the side of underbaking.

Nutrition

Calories: 525kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 128mg | Sodium: 211mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 63mg | Iron: 4mg
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