Did I get you at the title? I mean seriously, there are 3 distinct wins in this description alone: red velvet, cheesecake, & brownie. OMG, with a name like that it HAS to be delicious and quite honestly it is, but it’s also a gorgeous dessert too, especially this time of year with all your red holiday decor.
You don’t have to be a crazy fan of red velvet cake to like this one either, it’s just a great chewy bite in every way. They are rich, so they can be cut smaller for extra portions. They make great bite size pieces too, and are perfect for party trays any time of year. For family gatherings, I like to quarter cut them and place them in pretty cupcake papers on a tiered server for easy grabbing.
So here’s my tried and true recipe – straight from my bakery recipe book – so you KNOW it’s got street cred.
Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownie Bars
RED VELVET BROWNIE LAYER:
- Butter (melted) – 6 ounces
- Sugar – 1 ½ Cups
- Brown Sugar – ½ Cup
- Vanilla – 1 ½ teaspoon
- Dutch Cocoa Powder – 1/3 Cup
- Flour – 1 1/8 Cup
- Eggs (large) – 3 Each
- Vinegar – 1 ½ teaspoon
- Red Color – to your preference (I use about 1 1/2 -2 teaspoon super red gel color from the bakery supply)
CREAM CHEESE LAYER:
- Cream Cheese – 16 ounces
- Sugar – 1/3 Cup + 1 Tablespoon
- Eggs (large) – 2 each
- Vanilla – ¾ teaspoon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and spray will cooking spray. The parchment paper is going to help you get this one out of the pan without messing it up. You can lift the whole thing out without disturbing the swirl on the top!
For the Red Velvet Brownie layer:
- Start with your melted butter in a large bowl and add the following one at a time, mixing after each addition to the bowl: sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, vinegar and food coloring.
- Add your eggs and mix until well combined.
- Mix in the flour just until combined – do not over mix.
- Set aside 1/2 cup of the velvet batter (to use with cream cheese layer).
- Pour the remaining batter into the prepared baking pan.
- Smooth out the top and shake your pan for an even layer.
For the Cream Cheese layer:
- Mix together the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Mix until smooth.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Don’t pour it or glob it on top or you will lose your layered look. Spread it.
- Put the remaining velvet batter over the cream cheese layer using a piping bag and small round tip (or put in a baggie and snip the corner). Make a rough pattern back and forth across the pan.
- With a toothpick, drag your pick through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern.
Bake the brownie bars for 24 minutes (rotating after 12 mins). The cream cheese layer will start to “golden” a bit. This is normal. You don’t want a soggy red mess underneath if it’s undercooked. Ovens may vary so keep watch the last 5 mins or so, and increase as necessary.
Allow to cool completely – in open air – before removing and cutting. I like to take the whole thing out of the pan and cut it on a cutting board. If you use enough parchment to leave the edges of the paper exposed, you can carefully lift it right out of the pan.
To store: Cool before covering to prevent condensation & color bleed. Wrap in saran wrap and/or an airtight container & keep in the fridge. Serve slightly chilled or at room temp.
P.S. Don’t forget to stop in a visit my Vintage Wednesdays link-up party tomorrow!