Deliciously fudgy swirled CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES. These are a *little* bit lightened up compared to your traditional brownie recipe, but the fudge factor is on point!
Are you ready for some seriously fudgy CREAM CHEESE BROWNIES. Yeah, me too.
Sometimes I feel a little funny, for lack of a better word, sharing such an indulgent treat with you all. Because I’ve labeled myself as a “healthy” food blogger, I end up shying away from sharing certain recipes here on the blog. Back when I first started my blog I was in the “clean-eating” mindset where I told myself I wouldn’t share anything on the blog that wasn’t considered “clean”. But then I was seriously confusing myself because what I share on the blog is a reflection of what I also eat so I wasn’t feeling very true to myself. Every blogger does it differently, but what I like to share recipes from my heart and my kitchen <3
As my mindset around food has shifted over the past couple of years, so have some of the recipes I’ve shared on the blog. I’m giving myself a little more wiggle room because… well, to be frank, it is my blog and I make the rules 😀 Of course I always strive to bring you a balance of baked goods and wholesome meals, because I truly want everyone to find that happy balance too.
Despite the fact these cream cheese brownies are made with whole grain flour, I am not trying to pass them off as healthy. The thing is, healthy people like treats too! And treats don’t ALWAYS have to be turned around upside down and modified so you can say it is healthy. Do I like doing that sometimes with recipes? Sure! But when fudgy cream cheese brownies are involved, you don’t want to make so many changes that they no longer taste the way they were meant to taste. Read: a deliciously fudgy cream cheese concoction.
I’ll tell you what I did do: I cut back on the sugar and butter a little bit. Not enough where you can tell a difference. But when I was referencing a several traditional brownie recipes and seeing that most recipes called for more than a cup of granulated sugar and almost 3/4 cup of butter, I figured we didn’t necessarily need ALL of it. Well, turns out we don’t. 🙂 These brownies still turned out quite delectable, if I do say so myself. Getting through the photo shoot and only eating one square could be considered a miracle.
what you need
quality dark chocolate
granulated sugar (or coconut sugar)
whole wheat pastry flour*
unsweetened cacao or cocoa powder
How to make the cream cheese swirl
Once you’ve lined your pan with parchment paper you’ll pour in about 2/3 of the brownie batter into the bottom of the baking pan – reserve 1/3 cup of the brownie batter.
Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture onto the brownie batter, leaving space between. Then cover with the remaining brownie batter.
Gently swirl a butter knife through the batter back and forth, in a zigzag motion. That’s it!
I like to leave large clumps of cream cheese sitting on top because those are my favorite 🙂 Be careful not to over-mix thought or you’ll those delicious creamy bites!
Be sure to let me know if you make this recipe! I always love seeing your creations <3
for the brownies:
- 6oz quality dark chocolate
- 6 TBS unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar (dry sweetener of choice)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 TBS milk or creamer (room temperature)
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa or cacao powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
for the cream cheese swirl:
- 6oz cream cheese, softened (low fat or regular)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar (I used beet, but any granulated sugar should work)
- 1 large egg
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×9 or 8×8 baking pan (or line with parchment for easy removal), set aside.
2. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat melt together butter and chocolate. Stir frequently until fully melted and combined. Remove from heat to cool for 10-15 minutes (you can transfer to fridge for 5 minutes to speed up process).
3. Once the chocolate butter mixture has cooled, add in the 3/4 cup of granulated sugar, stirring until dissolved. Add in eggs, whisking in one at a time until smooth. Stir in vanilla extract and milk or creamer.
4. Sift in flour, cocoa and salt to avoid lumps in batter. Use spatula to gently combine until batter is smooth. Set sauce pan aside while you make your cream cheese layer.
5. Make the cream cheese layer: In a medium bowl using electric mixer or paddle attachment of stand mixer, beat together softened cream cheese until fluffy. Add in egg yolk and sugar beating again until fully combined. Set aside.
6. Transfer brownie batter to prepared baking pan, reserving 1/3 cup of batter.
7. Next drop in spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. See picture in post. Cover with the remaining brownie batter, then use butter knife to gently create swirls, moving the knife in a zigzag motion.
8. Bake brownies for 25-35 minutes, until inserted toothpick into center of pan comes out with little to no crumbs. If brownies start to crack after 22 minutes but middle is not done, cover pan with foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes. Make sure your brownies aren’t over-baked! Once brownies have finished baking, allow to cool in pan at room temperature for one hour, before transferring to fridge to cool for an additional 2-4 hours.
9. Gently remove brownies from pan once chilled, placing on cutting mat. Use large sharp knife to cut the brownies into 16 squares. Brownies will be deliciously fudgy since they’ve chilled. Store leftovers in container in fridge, up to 1 week. Enjoy!
*Whole wheat white flour may be subbed. You can also do half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat flour (6 TBS each). I have not tested this with a gluten-free all-purpose 1:1 flour, but let me know if you do 🙂
Time does not include additional chill time. Brownies can be made a day in advance, chilling the brownies overnight if you wish.
- Serving Size: 1 bar
- Calories: 201
- Sugar: 17g
- Sodium: 139mg
- Fat: 28g
- Saturated Fat: 7g
- Unsaturated Fat: 3g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 24g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 3g
- Cholesterol: 57mg