These chocolate brownies with cream cheese frosting are very fudgy, chewy, gooey, decadent and bursting with chocolate flavor. The thick layer of frosting on the top is creamy, velvety and silky. The combination of chocolate brownie with a thick layer of cream cheese frosting is just heavenly. This is the ultimate sweet treat that you will crave and bake again and again.
Table of Contents
why this recipe works?
- This recipe is super easy to bake.
- You need a few ingredients and 25 minutes to bake them.
- These brownies are ooey-gooey, delicious and decadent.
- Take these to a brunch or serve at a lunch or enjoy at home with a cup of coffee or tea.
- The tanginess of the cream cheese blends in and compliments the chocolate flavor of these brownies.
ingredients & substitutions for brownies with cream cheese frosting
Pro Tip # 1
Always use room temperature ingredients for baking (unless otherwise specified) as they incorporate better and give perfect baked treats.
- All-purpose flour: gives structure to these brownies with cream cheese forsting.
- Unsweetened Cocoa powder: I use Dutch cocoa powder for a rich chocolate flavor. You can use the regular cocoa powder in 1:1 ratio instead of the Dutch cocoa powder.
- Castor sugar: adds sweetness to the brownies.
- Eggs: Binds the ingredients together in the brownies batter.
- Chocolate chips: helps to provide the decadent chocolate flavor of these brownies. Replace the sweet chocolate chips with the dark chocolate chunks in 1:1 ratio in these brownies. Add any sort of chocolate for these brownies.
- Butter: adds the nutty flavor and gives moist crumb in the brownies.
- Salt: balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor.
- Vanilla extract: adds aroma to these brownies.
- Butter: use butter at room temperature.
- Softened Cream cheese: the hero ingredient of this frosting. Use full fat cream cheese.
- Powdered/Confectioners sugar: the sweet element of this frosting.
- Salt: enhances the overall flavor of this frosting.
- Vanilla extract: adds to the aroma of this frosting.
Pro Tip # 2
Always use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients for perfect results. Scooping it out directly using cups may result in uneven amount of dry ingredients and dense bakes.
- Red Velvet Brownies: Want to turn these brownies into red velvet brownies? Add 1 tablespoon of red food coloring in the wet ingredients of the batter. You may add more red food color in case you want an intense red shade.
- Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting: Once you have beaten the butter and cream cheese, add ¼ cup of Dutch cocoa powder (sifted) and beat until combined. Follow the rest of the recipe as instructed in the instructions section above.
how to make brownies with cream cheese frosting
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Combine the all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and salt together. Set aside.
2. Take a microwave-safe bowl and add butter and chocolate chips to it.
3. Melt the chocolate in a microwave in 30 seconds intervals and mix after each cycle. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
4. Add the eggs to the chocolate batter one by one and beat after each addition.
5. Add the vanilla extract.
6. Add the castor sugar and mix.
7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
8. Fold in the ingredients until combined.
9. Do not overmix the batter.
10. Pour the batter in the 8-inch square pan and bake. Let the brownies cool completely.
11. Apply the cream cheese frosting on the baked brownies.
12. Cut the brownies in 9 pieces after applying the frosting.
cream cheese frosting
1. Take a large bowl and beat butter and cream cheese together until smooth.
2. Add in the vanilla extract and beat one more time.
3. Add the powdered sugar in two intervals and mix after each addition.
4. Beat until the frosting is smooth and silky.
Cool the Brownies Completely: Once the brownies are out of the oven, let them cool completely before applying the cream cheese frosting. If the brownies are warm the cream cheese icing will melt and will not set properly.
Line the Cake Pan: You want to line the cake pan properly to get the best results for these brownies. Use a baking spray that has flour in it and coat a thick layer of the spray on the cake pan before pouring the brownie batter to it. You may also use a parchment paper layer to the cake pan. I used the parchment paper. Just cut the parchment paper of the size of the pan, leaving 2 - 3 inches on the sides so that it is easy to slide out the baked brownies out of the pan later.
Do Not Overbake: Keep an eye on the brownies while they are baking. You want to take them out while they are still a little liquid-y. The easy way is to take out the brownies once the edge start to pull away slightly from the pan and also when a tooth pick inserted in the middle comes out with few moist crumbs on it.
Sift the Powdered Sugar before adding to the frosting. This is to ensure the frosting has a smooth texture and not a grainy one.
Tips to Gooey Brownies: I like to keep the brownies gooey and that means it will be slightly under-baked. You can achieve it by checking the internal temperature of the brownies by inserting an instant-read thermometer. The brownies should give you a reading anywhere between 180 F - 190 F and you'll get perfectly ooey-gooey brownies.
To get the crackly top of the brownies beat the eggs very well before adding the sugar. The eggs will give lift to the brownies and also give the crackly top that we all love.
I am not sure about it as I have never used it that way. If you have given it a try, please do let me know about the taste and results.
Keep an eye on the cake pan and see the signs of the brownie edges slightly leave the pan. It is a sign brownies are ready. Inserting a toothpick will give you a moist crumb instead of a clean one like in cakes.
Yes, double the recipe and bake them in a 9 x 13 pan and keep an eye on the baking time. You may need to bake them for 35 minutes. Also, double the quantity of cream cheese frosting.
I would not recommend it because the chocolate may burn when it comes in direct contact with the heat. In case you are using stove top, use a double-boiler to melt the chocolate.
how to store
- Store the brownies (without frosting) in an airtight container over the counter for upto 3 days.
- These brownies with frosting will stay good in the fridge upto 5 days.
- Let the brownies cool completely before freezing. The best way is to freeze them without frosting and make fresh frosting when you want to serve. Place the brownies in a baking tray and freeze until hard. Wrap each brownies in a plastic wrap further add a layer of foil and place them in an airtight container or a ziplock bag. Store these brownies for upto 3 months.
- When you want to serve the brownies, let them sit in the fridge overnight and serve the next day. You may serve them cold or at room temperature.
related brownies and chocolate recipes
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Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup chocolate chips (6 oz)
- 1 cup castor sugar (200 g)
- ½ cup butter (113 g)
- 3 eggs room temeprature
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (7.5 ml)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour (60 g)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder (25 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¼ cup butter (57 g) room temperature
- 4 oz cream cheese (113 g) room temperature
- 2 cup confectioners sugar (227 g)
- ½ tablespoon milk (7.5 ml)
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract (3 ml)
- Preheat the oven at 350 F. Line an 8-inch square pan with a parchment paper or spray it with a nonstick baking spray.
- In a medium sized bowl and add all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk and set aside.
- Place the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe oven bowl. Melt the chocolate in a microwave in 30 seconds intervals and mixing after each cycle. Mine took about 90 seconds. It may take around 90 - 120 seconds depending on your microwave. Once melted, whisk the chocolate and let it sit for about 10 minutes to cool.
- After the chocolate has reached room temperature add eggs one by one and mix after each addition using a whisk or electric mixer for about 2 - 3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla extract and beat again for 2 more minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture. Fold with a light hand until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the lined baking pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. The brownies should be a little moist in the middle and the toothpick inserted in the center will come out a little wet (and not clean like in cakes). Let the brownies cool for 30 minutes. Take out of the pan and place on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until they are soft and smooth.
- Add in the powdered sugar and continue to mix on a low speed for about a minute. Add in the milk and vanilla extract and mix until it is smooth.
- Apply a layer of cream cheese frosting to the cooled brownies.