Chocolate cheesecake brownie bars- fudgy better-than-boxed brownies with creamy chocolate cheesecake layered on top. The cheesecake bars are topped with a silky chocolate ganache, white chocolate drizzle, and crushed pecans. These brownie bars are very rich and look so elegant for any party.
What Makes These Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars The BEST Ever?
The 3 layers of fudgy, creamy, and silky chocolate makes these brownie bars taste divine. The key is to bake each layer on a lower oven temperature and bake it for a longer time. That gives them that very creamy texture.
These chocolate cheesecake brownie bars are incredibly rich and almost taste like a truffle. Why? The fudgy brownies plus creamy chocolate cheesecake makes these bars crazy rich. They are worth every single bite!
It does seriously remind me of eating a truffle, but in brownie bar form. Not only is the texture beautiful, but the rich chocolate flavor is so powerful.
The brownie layer has melted butter, oil, extra egg yolk, and 3 types of chocolate chips. All of those combined make an extra fudgy brownie layer.
The chocolate cheesecake layer has extra sour cream and heavy cream to make this the creamiest cheesecake yet.
The brownie bars are topped with a silky chocolate ganache, white chocoalte drizzle and crushed pecans. Now this is what I call a dessert!
How To Make Fudgy Better-Than-Boxed Brownie Layer
To start, you need a 9X13 pan. Usually brownies are baked in a 8X8 pan, so you can get thick and chewy brownies, but in this recipe we want a thinner layer.
I used this pan and sprayed it with baking spray. I also put parchment paper on one side of the pan. This is to help get the cheesecake bars out of the pan easily.
For this brownie layer you won't need a mixer! First, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch together in a medium bowl.
Next, in a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar together and heat in the microwave for 1 minute. The butter will be all melted inside all of the sugar.
Add you your melted butter/combo and add it to a medium bowl and whisk it until it is all combined. Next, add in the eggs and egg yolk. Make sure the eggs are cold because it helps with making your brownies extra fudgy. (The extra egg yolk also helps with this). Then, add in the oil and vanilla.
Slowly add in your dry ingredients into the wet mixture. It will be very wet and chocolaty when you are all done. Now add in the best part, the chocolate chips! You are going to be left with yummy and rich brownie batter!
For the last step, add the brownie batter into the pan. Spread the batter evenly (get the corners!) in the bottom of the pan. It will be a thin layer, but it will puff up in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes in the oven. My better-than-boxed fudgy brownies recipe has more tips and tricks for the best brownies.
How To Get The CREAMIEST Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars
Making cheesecake is a lot easier than it may seem! If you like this recipe for the chocolate cheesecake, you are going to have to check out all my other cheesecake recipes.
What makes this cheesecake so creamy? The addition of sour cream and heavy cream is key to get the creamiest cheesecake. Want to know another secret, too? I super mix my cheesecake on high to get rid of all cream cheese lumps to get a silky cheesecake.
While air in a cheesecake is usually a bad thing, (the dreaded cracks in the cheesecake!) it only counts when adding the eggs.
You can beat as much air as you want while beating the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder, sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. That is why I beat it on medium-high to high speed to get it very smooth and creamy.
However, the moment you introduce air with the eggs it creates air pockets. Those pockets will pop while baking and that is when your cheesecake will crack in the oven. During this step, I will mix it on low and stop mixing as soon as its combined.
How To Prepare Chocolate Cheesecake Batter
While the brownie layer is baking, start the chocolate cheesecake batter. I like to use my stand mixer because it has plenty of power to get the cheesecake to be creamy.
Start by beating the cream cheese on high for 2 minutes. Beating it for 2 straight minutes will help to beat out a lot of the cream cheese chunks. Then, add in the white sugar and beat again for 1 minute. Next, add in the cocoa powder.
While doing this process, make sure you scrape the bowl a lot. This helps to get any chunks of cream cheese mixed back into the batter. Only smooth cheesecake here!
Next, add in the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat the batter again for another minute. This will help to get rid of any sour cream chunks and incorporate all of the ingredients together.
Finally, add in the eggs one at a time. Turn the mixer on low, and mix only until combined.
When the brownie layer is done baking, pour the cheesecake batter on top and spread until smooth. Then bake for 35-40 minutes.
When Does The Chocolate Cheesecake Finish Baking?
The best way to tell it is done baking is when the edges are set and the middle has a slight jiggle. If it has a bigger jiggle, then bake for another 5 minutes and test again.
The cheesecake has to chill in the fridge for 6 hours ( or overnight) before you can add the chocolate ganache. If it doesn't chill for long enough, it will have a runny texture and it isn't the same.
When the chocolate cheesecake has fully cooled, place the pan in the fridge to chill. I like to make this dessert a day before I need it.
How To Make A Silky Chocolate Ganache
To make a silky chocoalte ganache you only need 2 ingredients.
- Heavy cream
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips.
That is all you need! It is super simple to make! Start by placing the chocolate chips in a small bowl and set it aside.
Next, heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Heat the heavy cream until it is steaming. This won't take very long, so keep your eye on your heavy cream.
When the heavy cream is hot, pour over the chocolate chips and let it sit for 1 minute and 30 seconds. ( Set a timer!) Then, use a rubber spatula and mix continulously until it becomes smooth and glossy. It will appear a little curdled and a weird texture, but keep stiring!
Before you pour the chocolate ganache, take a knife around the edges of the cold cheesecake brownie bars. This will help get the cheesecake out of the pan later. Trust me, you will thank me later!
Next, pour the chocolate ganache on top of the chocolate cheesecake. Smooth out the chocolate using an icing spatula. Place the cheesecake back into the fridge for over an hour before cutting and decorating.
How To Get Smooth Looking Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars
My best tip? Clean your knife with hot water every single time you make a cut. Every single time!!
Every time you cut into the bars, the creamy cheesecake will stick to the knife. If you make a second cut with the leftover cheesecake bits still stuck to the knife, it will spread on to the second slice. It will result in messy looking bars. If you put in all this effort for these bars, you want to make sure it looks nice!
While it is tedious, rinse your knife with hot water between every cut and you will have smooth looking bars.
Decorating The Cheesecake Bars
While you could leave them plain, it looks so much better with white chocolate on top!
I used Ghirardelli white chocolate candy melts for the drizzle. I like using them because it is easy to melt. It also hardens quickly and you get a good snap with the chocolate.
The easiest way to drizzle the white chocolate is to use a regular piping bag. I will fill it with white chocolate and snip a small hole and quickly run it over the tops of the cheesecake bars to get that beautiful drizzle look.
I also added the crushed pecans on top of the bars because I liked the texture and the crunch it added. This step is optional, but it makes the bars look so pretty!
Storing The Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars
I ended up cutting up the bars and placing them in a bigger pan. Then I covered it in aluminum foil and stored it in the fridge.
When I cut the bars, I couldn't get them to nicely fit back into the original pan, so I put it in a larger pan so none of the bars got squished.
Other Recipes To Try
- Fudgy Brownies and Cookie Dough Sandwiches
- Triple Chocolate Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet
- Easy Creamy Nutella Cheesecake
Chocolate Cheesecake Brownie Bars
- 5 tablespoon Unsalted butter
- 1 ⅓ cups White granulated sugar
- 2 Large eggs cold
- 1 Egg yolk
- ⅓ cup Oil vegetable or canola
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup All-purpose flour
- ¾ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- 1 tablespoon Cornstarch
- ½ cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup Milk chocolate chips
- ¼ cup Mini chocolate chips
- 16 oz Cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup Sour cream room temperature
- ¼ cup Heavy cream room temperature
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup Heavy cream
- 1 ½ cups Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¼ cup White chocolate candy melts ghirardelli is a great one!
- ¼ cup Crushed Pecans optional
Fudgy Brownie Layer
- Preheat oven to 325F. Spray a 9X13 pan with a baking non stick spray. Link one side with parchment paper so it is easy to take the cheesecake out of the pan.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cornstarch.
- Place butter and sugar in a microwave safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute. Place in a medium bowl and use a whisk to mix it thoroughly. Add in eggs and egg yolk one at a time and whisk into mix.
- Add in oil and vanilla and whisk together. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix together. Switch to a rubber spatula. Add in all chocolate chips and gently fold in the chocolate chips into brownie batter.
- Pour batter into the pan. Spread evenly throughout the pan. Make sure to get the corners!
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- While the brownie layer is baking, start the chocolate cheesecake layer.
- Using a stand mixer on medium-high, add in room temperature cream cheese and beat for 2 minutes. After the 2 minutes, scrape the bowl and add in sugar and beat for 30 seconds.
- Add in cocoa powder and beat on medium-high for 1 minute. Scrape the bowl several times to make sure it gets thoroughly mixed.
- Add in sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla. Beat for another minute until silky and smooth.
- Add in eggs one at a time and mix on low. Stop mixing as soon as it's combined. Pour cheesecake batter on top of brownie layer. Spread evenly and make sure to get the corners.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes. The edges should be set and the middle should have a slight jiggle. Allow to cool completely. Cover in aluminum foil and place in fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Pour chocolate chips in a small bowl and set aside. Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan on medium-low. Heat the cream until it starts to steam. Pour hot cream on top of chocolate chips.
- Let the cream sit on the chocolate chips for 1 minute and 30 seconds. Then take a rubber spatula and continuously stir until chocolate is smooth and glossy.
- Before pouring the ganache on top of cheesecake bars, use a knife around the edges to cut the cheesecake away from the sides of the pan. Then, pour the chocolate ganache on top of the cheesecake. Use an icing spatula to smooth out the ganache.
- Place back in the fridge for over an hour so the ganache has time to set.
- Cut the cheesecake bars into squares. Melt the white chocolate candy melts in the microwave. Use a piping bag and drizzle white chocolate on top of the chocolate ganache.
- Optional- scatter crushed pecans on top of the cheesecake bars for a bit of a crunch texture. Serve immediately or put back in the fridge until ready to serve.