Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

My housemate really enjoys red velvet cheesecake. I was trying to figure out a way to capture the essence without actually having to make an actual cheesecake, since I didn’t have a pan. I thought maybe red velvet cheesecake in brownie form would do just that. The recipe is adapted from a couple of sources, but any recipe should be fine.

Ingredients

Red Velvet Portion

1 1/2 cups of flour

4 large eggs

2 tsp of lemon juice

Red food coloring (gel form) [you can substitute with concentrated beet juice also]

3/8 cup cocoa

2 sticks room temperature butter

2 cups of sugar

1 pinch of salt

1 tbsp of vanilla

Cheesecake Portion

2 8-oz (16 oz) of cream cheese (can substitute with Neufchatel but might be mildly grainy)

1 1/2 cup sugar (can make sweeter/less sweet if preferred)

1 tbsp vanilla

2 large eggs

Instructions

Phase 1

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 * 13 baking dish, and line with parchment paper (for easy cleanup).

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Cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffly. Once fluffy, add two eggs at a time. I attempted to use a whisk for the creaming thinking that I would save time on cleanup, but please use a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment on a standmixer.

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Once the eggs are incorporated, add the cocoa and salt. Follow up with the red food coloring and lemon juice.

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The batter will be slightly red; you can make the batter redder if you would like it to be more red. Once done incorporating the color, fold in the flour. At this point, overmixing can hurt your batter. When you cannot see any white, take out 1/4 of the batter and save for later. Pour the batter into the baking dish. When this is done, move onto the next phase – cheesecake portion.

Phase 2

Mix the cream cheese with the sugar. Add the vanilla and eggs. My mixture was kind of chunky, but it turned out alright in the final product.

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When done, spread cream cheese layer over the red velvet layer. When even, dollop reserved red velvet all over the cream cheese layer. Take a knife or toothpick and curve through the red velvet and cream cheese to create swirls.

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My swirls were horrible, so it might be better if you do very deliberate motions. When you feel happy with your swirls, place into the middle rack of your oven and bake for 45 minutes (might take a little longer or shorter depending on your oven).

The final product turned out pretty well, and the parchment allows for quick removal and cleanup. I hope your enjoy them! They were definitely not as finnicky as an actual cheesecake.

Final product with a chunk taken out.
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