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The Ultimate: Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

I was whipping up a batch of these last week (a much-needed treat after a particularly grueling couple days), when I realised that despite all the sweet things I’ve written about here- all the cookies, cakes, tarts and other treats- that I’ve never shared this go-to brownie recipe before. If I’m honest, brownies aren’t my favourite indulgence- Andrew is the chocolate fiend in this household. But if I’m gonna have them, they’ve got to be good.

When it comes to brownies, the word “ultimate” is vastly overused. As are “best”, “superior”, “most delicious”, “incredible” and so on. And no, I’m not about to insist that this brownie recipe really is the ultimate one- everyone has different criteria for judging a brownie’s worth, after all. I will say that if you, like me, enjoy a really dense, fudgey brownie, if you like a double chocolate hit in the form of melted chocolate and cocoa powder, if the idea of a brownie made incredibly moist with the addition of cream cheese sounds good to you, then there’s a good chance that this brownie recipe will become your ultimate one, too.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

One thing I especially like about this recipe (besides everything above, obviously) is how adaptable it is. The basic version is delicious, but the possibilities for additions are truly limitless- chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, swirls of various composition. It’s the latter I went for this time- a mix of peanut butter and cream cheese for a sweet but salty cheesecake swirl. And you’ve got to admit- that really does sound like the ultimate indulgence, doesn’t it?

Note: Since I prefer bake in weight (grams), that’s how I’ve shown the recipe below. If you prefer ounces or volume measures, follow the link to the original recipe- Rose includes all three!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownies

  • Ele’s Ultimate Brownies (Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl optional!)
  • adapted from Rose Levy Berenbaum‘s Brownie Puddle Tart
  • makes 16 large brownies
  • Brownies
    200g unsalted butter
    85g dark baking chocolate (I try to use 70%+ cocoa solids), chopped
    50g cocoa powder
    225g caster sugar
    3 large eggs
    85g cream cheese
    1 tsp. vanilla extract
    70g plain flour
    1/4 tsp. salt

    Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl
    115g cream cheese
    85g peanut butter
    3 Tbs. caster sugar
    1 egg yolk
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F. Prepare a 8 x 8″ baking pan by buttering the sides, and lining the bottom and two sides with parchment paper.

    2. In a large bowl or medium saucepan, melt together the butter and chocolate. When it’s smooth, remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and cream cheese. Finally, stir in the vanilla, flour and salt. Spread the mixture into the prepared baking tin, and set aside while you prepare the cheesecake swirl (if using).

    3. For the peanut butter cheesecake swirl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Spread over the top of the brownie batter, and using a spoon or small spatula, swirl the two mixtures together.

    4. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until set and springy in the middle. Allow brownies to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Brownies are best after 24 hours, and get even fudgier if kept in the fridge.

10 comments

  1. Hilary says:

    Be still my heart! These look amazing! I know they’ve got to be good because the brownie tart they’re based on is insane.

  2. Chris says:

    Man these look good.. I was drooling after reading the title of the post…

    Question, how do you convert a recipe to grams? I usually only see them in cups and such…

  3. Love the swirls on that cheesecake!

  4. This is amazing!! ou made brownies even better!

  5. Dana says:

    Oh my. Those look amazing! Brownies are definitely the one treat I can’t say no to, so I don’t think I’ll be making these any time soon. :)

  6. Ele says:

    Hil- That brownie tart is one of my favourite things ever. Sometimes I make these brownies just like it, with a ganache “puddle” in the centre of each one.

    Chris- Follow the link to the original recipe, the writer has put the amounts in grams, ounces and volume. For just any old recipe? A lot of googling. I tend to just use (and re-post here) whatever units the original recipe is in- that way there are fewer mistakes.

    chocolate shavings- Thanks :) I didn’t swirl “into” the brownies that much, so it’s really just pretty on top.

    pigspigscorner- Unbelievable but true! You should try this recipe- it’s the best brownie ever.

    Dana- I understand. Luckily I can say no to them, so I make these very occasionally. There are lots of things I can’t say no to, though!

  7. maya says:

    this looks so awesome. i’m not that really a chocolate person, but i’m definitely a PB person so i will try these out ASAP.

    BTW, i found a nice trick for making the swirls look neater. i pour about 3/4 of the brownie mixture, and over that, spread the cheesecake mixture. i dot the top with the remaining brownie batter and swirl them together. this makes for a much more balanced and neat swirl!

  8. Ele says:

    Maya- Oh yes, I’ve done that too! The cheesecake layer here is a really just thin topping; Andrew likes a high chocolate-to-anything-else ratio, and I really make the brownies for him!

    If you really like peanut butter, I’d suggest doubling the quantities for that part (you could use one whole egg, instead of two yolks) and layering some of it into the brownies, like you said. I bet it would be so good!

  9. Aubrie says:

    I made these with Nutella in place of the peanut butter, and decreased the sugar in the cheesecake filling. They were incredible. SO chocolately and rich, but amazingly delicious! Thanks for the awesome recipe!