These brownies with cream cheese frosting are perfect for the chocolate lover in your life! These extra fudgy brownies are full of chocolate flavor thanks to melted chocolate and cocoa powder, while the cream cheese frosting is so decadent and creamy.
For me, a brownie always has to be fudgy and gooey - no cakey brownies here! These indulgent brownies with cream cheese cheese frosting are based off of my peanut butter brownie recipe. I took that brownie base recipe and added a super dreamy whipped cream cheese frosting on top (and of course, sprinkles!).
These brownies make the perfect treat for bake sales or birthdays! If you're looking for more of a cheesecake brownie vibe, check out my marbled cheesecake brownies.
Why you'll love this recipe
- Simple Ingredients - this brownies with cream cheese frosting recipe uses simple pantry ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen.
- No Mixer for the Brownies - usually I recommend using a hand held mixer to make brownies to get that crinkly top, but since the brownies are going to be covered in frosting you can just make the brownies by hand!
- Can Be Made Ahead - you can make the brownies the day before, which I actually recommend as that will give them time to set and become super fudgy.
- Cocoa Powder: I'm using dutch processed cocoa powder which is very rich and chocolatey, but if you only have natural unsweetened cocoa powder you can use that instead.
- Espresso Powder: this won't make your brownies taste like coffee, but it will really enhance the chocolate flavor! Feel free to leave it out though if you don't have it on hand.
- Chocolate: I'm using dark chocolate here(about 60% cocoa), you can use semi-sweet chocolate. You can use chocolate chips or a chopped up chocolate bar.
- Cream Cheese: if you're in Europe and your cream cheese comes in tubs, make sure to pat it dry before using! Cream cheese in Europe has a higher moisture content.
- Oil: be sure to use a neutral oil, like vegetable oil or canola oil, rather than one with a strong flavor (like olive oil).
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1: In a large bowl, whisk the salt and flour together. Set aside. Place another mixing bowl in the fridge (this is for the frosting later!)
Step 2: In another bowl or in a jug, whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, oil, sugar, vanilla extract and espresso powder until smooth.
Step 3: Melt the butter in a microwave. Once melted, add in your chopped chocolate or chocolate chips. Let this sit for a few minutes to melt the chocolate, then whisk until smooth.
Step 4: Add the cocoa powder to this melted butter mixture, whisking once more until smooth.
Step 5: Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Finally, pour the flour and salt mixture in and use a rubber spatula to fold everything together until there are no more pockets of flour left.
Step 6: Pour the brownie batter into an 8x8 baking pan that has been greased and lined. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°Fahrenheit/175°Celsius for 25-30 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan.
Step 7: Take out the cold bowl from the fridge and use a hand held mixer to beat the cold cream cheese until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes.
Step 8: While the mixer is on, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Turn the speed up to high and whisk for 1-2 minutes until you have stiff peaks. Stop the mixer. Take the cooled brownies out of the baking pan and cover them with frosting. Enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Tricks
- Weighing scale - I highly recommend using a weighing scale to make this recipe as it's the most accurate way to bake!
- Let the brownies cool - make sure the brownies are completely cool before you take them out of the pan and cover them in the cream cheese frosting. If they're still too warm the brownies might fall apart and also melt the frosting.
- Keep the frosting ingredients cold - usually I say to use room temperature ingredients, but for this cream cheese frosting recipe you want the cream cheese and the heavy cream to be cold!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you're using a low-fat cream cheese the frosting will be runny and won't firm up. If you're using cream cheese that comes in a tub, then it has more moisture and could also make the frosting runny. I recommend patting the cream cheese dry before using if it comes in a tub!
Cakey brownies are either a result of too much flour or being overbaked. Make sure you're measuring the correct amount of flour and cocoa powder, and don't overbake the brownies.
Yes, just note that the brownies will be much thinner and will need less time in the oven.
Try these brownies and blondies next!
Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8" square pan
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 egg yolk room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 ½ ounces unsalted butter
- ¼ cup cocoa powder dutch process cocoa
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 ounces dark chocolate chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 oz cream cheese cold
- 5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup heavy cream cold
- pinch salt
- Place the mixing bowl and whisk attachment for the frosting in the fridge while you make the brownies.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease an 8×8 pan and line it with parchment paper, making sure it overhangs the sides.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.½ cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a large jug or bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolk, sugars, oil, espresso powder and vanilla extract until smooth.2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract, ½ cup light brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, ¼ cup vegetable oil, ¼ teaspoon espresso powder
- Melt the butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Add the chopped chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn't melted you can microwave for 10 second increments until melted.4 ounces dark chocolate, 5 ½ ounces unsalted butter
- Add the cocoa powder to the chocolate mixture nd whisk until smooth¼ cup cocoa powder
- Pour the sugar mixture into the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.
- Add the flour mixture and fold, making sure there are no air pockets. I recommend using a rubber spatula for thise.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes, a toothpick inserted will have a few crumbs. Let cool completely in the pan.
- Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese in the (cold!) bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand mixer until smooth.3 oz cream cheese
- Add the confectioners' sugar, pinch of salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth.5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, pinch salt
- Slowly pour in the cold heavy cream while you mix on low speed. Turn the speed up to high and whip until you have stiff peaks (about 1-2 minutes). Don't over mix this as it will become liquidy! To check if it's stiff enough, take the whisk attachment off of the mixer and dip into the frosting - the peaks on the whisk should stay firm and not lose shape.½ cup heavy cream
- Place the bowl of frosting in the fridge for about 30 minutes to firm up.
- Take the brownies out of the baking pan and spread the frosting over the brownies. Slice and serve!