Red Velvet Cheesecake Marble Brownies

I know, I know. V-Day was so last weekend.

Well, call me a rebel but red velvet can be made and eaten all the time, whenever, wherever. No special occasion needed, but if you’re in a pinch for a bridal shower or a birthday party, make something with red velvet. There’s just something about that vibrant red color that easily transforms any classic dessert and elevates it to another level.

Gah, I looove that color! And I don’t even really like the color red on anything else. Yes, it’s totally baffling.

Back in college, there was a period of time when I was obsessed with red velvet anything. I didn’t care if it was red velvet cakes, bars, or cookies – I loved them all. To this day, I don’t know if it’s because I loved the food coloring or the fact that the name “red velvet” sounded so pleasing to my ears. I guess that will remain a mystery. What I do know is that making these red velvet brownies elicited a lot of nostalgic feelings. Gah college days, I kind of miss you. Sorta. 

Speaking of the past, do you ever go through phases in what you like eating and drinking? I totally do. For example, I used to passionately LOVE boba milk tea with pudding (or if you’re on the east coast, I’m talking about bubble tea), and now I can’t stand the taste of it. Just like boba, I got over my red velvet obsession after college. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve made a red velvet dessert since then. Yikes, that was ages ago.

I have Sally’s Baking Addiction to thank for bringing me back to my love of red velvet. I was browsing her site when I stumbled upon her recipe for this. One glance at her photos and I was hooked. Hooked as in I-want-to-make-this-right-now kind of hooked. Sigh, instant gratification at its finest.

You might be wondering why you don’t see loads of cream cheese oozing out from these brownies. Well, I have this weird relationship with cream cheese. I love them on my bagels, but when it comes to incorporating them into my desserts, it’s a whole ‘nother story. When I’m in the mood, sometimes I want a lot of it and sometimes none of it. I know red velvet and cream cheese frosting are a match made in heaven (some would even say that cream cheese is absolutely essential to red velvet), kind of like peanut butter and jelly, but it was one of those days when my palette was being overly picky. Hence, I opted to scale down the cream cheese by half than what was called for.

The result? Still delicious. You get a little cream cheese that’s definitely not overpowering, not to mention the results still reveal a beautiful red brownie with little swirls of white, which was what I was going for. While this brownie isn’t very sweet compared to traditional, store-bought ones, or even in comparison to many other brownie recipes that I’ve tried, it was sweet enough for me and my human guinea pigs family.

Totally making this again soon.

Adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Red Velvet Cheesecake Marble Brownies

  • Servings: 24
  • Print

You will need a 9×13 baking pan.


Brownie Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar* (see notes below)
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons liquid red food coloring
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white vinegar

Thin Cheesecake Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 package), softened at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For a thicker cheesecake layer, double the recipe.


Preheat the oven to 350°F and butter a 9×13 baking pan.

For the brownie layer:

  1. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and set aside. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over the stove or in a small microwave-safe bowl (check every 30 seconds) until fully melted.
  2. Then transfer the butter into a large mixing bowl and stir in the sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Sift the cocoa powder and salt over the wet mixture. Then stir in the food coloring and white vinegar.
  4. Whisk in the eggs then gently fold in the sifted flour. Make sure that the flour is well incorporated but be careful not to over-mix.
  5. Pour the mixture over the greased baking pan and save about 4 tablespoons to top the cheesecake layer.

For the cheesecake layer:

  1. Using an electric hand mixer on low speed, beat the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract. Beat until the cream cheese mixture is smooth, which will take about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Spoon dollops of cream cheese over the brownie layer. Then on top of the dollops of cream cheese, spoon the rest of the brownie batter over it.
  3. Using a butter knife, create a swirl pattern.

Bake the brownie at 350°F for about 30-35 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.

Notes: If you want a sweeter brownie, feel free to add between 1.5 to 2 cups of granulated sugar. I was quite conservative on the sugar for this recipe. Just a personal preference.

Written by

All photos taken by Persevering Joy.


    • endorap says:

      Whaaat. I totally go through food phases all the time. I guess it’s cause when I’m “obsessed” with it, I over-indulge on it like crazy and then I get sick of it. I am my own worst enemy….


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