If you’re like me then you love a good brownie. In fact I’m pretty picky about how I like them since I’m always looking for the deepest, richest chocolate flavor. If given the choice I’ll take a fudge-y, dark chocolate brownie over a light and cake-y one any day of the week. And this recipe for dark chocolate cream cheese brownies delivers that and more.
This recipe starts out with a box brownie mix for simplicity, but you can make your own brownie mix from scratch if you prefer (find that recipe here). But, don’t be fooled into thinking these are just any run of the mill brownies.
These treats get a boost to the chocolate flavor from the addition of chopped, dark chocolate as well as some instant coffee. Both of these enhance the brownie flavor and add layers of dark complexity. The instant coffee trick is an old one that’s been used for generations to deepen the taste of baked goods. The small amount won’t turn these into mocha brownies, but it will add a certain something to the flavor profile.
This deep flavor is the perfect compliment to the smooth, vanilla cream cheese layer. The pairing of these tastes is a whole experience, as you’ll know if you’ve ever had a cheesecake with a dark chocolate crust or topping. It’s the same concept here.
The best part of this recipe is that it’s really simple to make. For the topping you just cream together the sugar and cream cheese, then add in 1 tablespoon of flour along with 1 egg white and some vanilla.
Then make the brownie mix to the package directions, adding in 1 egg yolk and coffee crystals as you mix and then folding in the chopped, dark chocolate. For a smoother brownie texture you can chop the chocolate more finely, or leave it chunkier for a texture you can see and feel.
Pour most of the brownie batter into a greased pan and then top with the cream cheese mix. Add in the rest of the brownie batter on top and then this is ready to bake. Some people like to do a fancy design with this type of 2-tone brownie, but I find that the simple and easy way of just using a random “pattern” works well and looks great.
Once these are done you’ve got a rich and creamy pan of brownies that will satisfy that craving for the darkest chocolate treat. As long as you love chocolate you really can’t go wrong with this recipe.
Dark Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownies
Makes 9 large brownies or 16 small brownies
20m prep time
32m cook time
- 4 oz (1/2 an 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 egg white
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 16-oz box brownie mix
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp instant coffee
- 1 4-oz bar (1/2 cup) dark chocolate, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9”x9” baking pan. Cream together cream cheese and sugar. Add in flour, egg white, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Prepare brownie mix to package instructions, adding in egg yolk and coffee as well as other ingredients listed on the package. Fold in chopped chocolate. Reserve 1/2 cup of the batter.
- Pour majority of brownie batter into pan. Spoon cream cheese topping on brownie batter and gently spread it around the surface. Pour remaining brownie batter over the top.
- Bake for 28-32 minutes or until knife inserted at least 2 inches from the edges comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting into squares. Store uneaten portions in the refrigerator.
Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker.