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Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fudgy, chewy brownies are delicious enough on their own, but the addition of tangy, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting really takes this decadent dessert to a new level. You may be surprised how easy it is to make this show-stopping dessert at home!

Bite taken out of a fudgy, rich brownie topped with a thick addition of cream cheese frosting.

There are few things better than gooey, chocolatey, warm homemade brownies, but once you try those same delicious brownies topped with cream cheese frosting, you just can’t go back.

Something about the tang of the cream cheese perfectly balances out the richness of the chocolate brownies. The light, fluffy frosting is a perfect compliment to the dense fudge. It all just works in perfect harmony.

If you are someone who only dares to make brownies from a box, I promise once you make them from scratch you won’t go back. It’s not difficult to mix up the batter (if you love brownie batter, try my Brownie Batter Dip!) and the taste is incomparable. 

So if you’re ready for a treat that is easy, delicious and just a little bit fancy, these brownies with cream cheese frosting are a must-try!

Why Should You Make This Recipe

  1. Simple Ingredients: There’s nothing out of the ordinary in these brownies. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry!
  2. Easily Shareable: These brownies are the perfect treat to share with a crowd. You can make a big batch and cut them into beautiful squares–or enjoy them all by yourself. No judgment.
  3. Perfect Flavor: Truly, the chocolate and cream cheese combo cannot be beat. These brownies give you all that flavor in the perfect gooey, chewy texture.

What Do You Need to Make These Brownies

Brownie Ingredients  

Ingredients shown are used to prepare fudgy brownies.
  1. Unsalted Butter: You can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand but I would recommend not adding any additional salt. For this recipe you want your butter melted.
  2. Brown Sugar: Light or dark will work fine. 
  3. Granulated Sugar: The sugar mixed with the melted butter is what gives your brownies the perfect crinkly top.
  4. Eggs: Eggs help bind and solidify your ingredients together.
  5. Vanilla Extract: Vanilla helps balance the chocolate flavor.
  6. Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: You can use Dutch-processed cocoa powder or regular cocoa powder, just make sure that it is unsweetened.
  7. All Purpose Flour: Do not substitute with cake flour, bread flour, etc. You can substitute 1:1 Gluten Free Flour for a gluten-free option! 
  8. Baking Powder: This gives your brownies a little bit of a chewier texture. If you want to make brownies without Baking Powder, check out my Brownie Recipe without Baking Powder.
  9. Chocolate Chips or Chunks: These are optional but I love the added texture and chocolate. Use leftover chocolate chips in these Potato Chip Cookies or Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Frosting Ingredients 

Ingredients shown are used to prepare cream cheese frosting.
  1. Unsalted Butter: For frosting, I like to use unsalted butter to give you a little more control over your salt. Be sure and allow your butter to soften to room temperature. Room-temperature butter is perfect when it reaches an internal temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cream Cheese: Full-fat cream cheese will give you the best texture and flavor which is exactly what you want for this recipe. Cream cheese should also be softened to room temperature
  3. Vanilla: Vanilla extract boosts the flavor of your frosting
  4. Powdered Sugar: This provides the base for your frosting. You may want to sift it to make sure there are no lumps in your frosting. Feel free to add more or less depending on the texture you want for your frosting. 

Tools

  1. Electric Mixer: An electric mixer helps the frosting come together in just minutes but you could whip it by hand if you don’t have one.
  2. 8×8 Baking Dish

How to Make This Recipe

Step One: Bake your Brownies

Melted butter and sugar added to a mixing bowl to make brownies.
Eggs added to the sugar mixture for brownies.
Brownie batter in a mixing bowl.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add the melted butter with the brown sugar and granulated sugar. Mix with an electric hand mixer (or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer) until well combined

Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 

Add the vanilla extract and mix again

Sift in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix again until well combined. Add the chocolate chips into the batter and mix by hand until evenly distributed. 

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread it evenly. 

Bake the brownies in the oven for 30 minutes until the edges are set and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. 

Step Two: Prepare your frosting

Cream cheese frosting ingredients whipped together for a creamy mixture to top the brownies.

While your brownies are cooling, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and softened cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy 

Add in the powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.

Add in the vanilla extract and salt and mix again.

Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes

Step Three: Combine

Once your brownies are cooled completely, spread the frosting over the top of the brownies and then cut into squares. Enjoy! 

Cooling Your Brownies

Cocoa powder in a small retro sifter laying beside a parchment paper covered in square cut cream cheese frosted fudgy brownies.

You MUST wait until the brownies are cooled before frosting them. Yes, it takes patience. Yes, it is worth it. If you try to frost your brownies too soon your frosting will melt and you will end up with a soggy mess. Let them cool! 

They also need to be cooled completely before you can cut into them. For perfect, beautiful squares, let the brownies cool.

You can either allow them to cool at room temperature, which may take a few hours. Or you can put the pan in the fridge, which will help them to cool down faster. 

For a super fast option, pop the pan in the freezer! Make sure to set a timer so that you don’t come back to rock-solid brownies. 

Expert Tips

Top view of cocoa powder in a small sifter with several squares of cream cheese frosted brownies with chocolate chips laying around them.
  • Brownies may appear a bit gooey in the middle when you pull them out of the oven. They will continue to bake and solidify as they cool. 
  • One trick to try for cutting fudgy brownies is using a plastic knife. I’m not sure the science behind it but plastic knives don’t stick as much as metal. Give it a try!
  • For perfect frosting, start with room temperature ingredients. It makes the entire process so much easier!
  • Parchment paper is a great tool for keeping brownies from sticking to the pan. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and you can easily pull the brownies out to cut once cooled.

Adaptations

You can easily make these brownies and top them with a different flavor of cream cheese frosting instead! 

Some delicious options include Raspberry Cream Cheese Frosting, Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting, Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting, or Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting

FAQs

Close up of a rich, fudgy brownie topped with thick cream cheese frosting over the top and chocolate chips garnished around it.
How to Store Leftovers

These brownies can be kept at room temperature for a couple hours but it’s a good idea to move them to the refrigerator after that. 

I recommend putting them in the refrigerator in slices for about thirty minutes, then moving them to an airtight container or wrapping each piece in plastic wrap. That will give the frosting time to solidify so it doesn’t become too much of a mess.

These brownies do freeze well. I would recommend freezing individual pieces in tin foil or plastic wrap for up to two months. Allow them to thaw at room temperature before eating.

How to Get Fudgy Brownies

If you want truly fudgy, moist brownies the key is to not overbake them. When you pull your brownies out of the oven you should do a toothpick test.

Place a toothpick in the center of the brownies and pull it out. If it comes out clean, your brownies may actually be overbaked. You want just a few moist crumbs to stick to your toothpick.

Can I Double This Recipe?

Absolutely you can double this recipe. Be sure and use a larger pan to bake the brownies and adjust your baking time for more batter.

Did you enjoy this recipe for Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting? If so, make sure to check out these other recipes I picked out just for you: 

Thick cream cheese frosting topped on fudgy brownies with a bite taken out of it.

Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Fudgy, chewy brownies are delicious enough on their own, but the addition of tangy, not-too-sweet cream cheese frosting really takes this decadent dessert to a new level. You may be surprised how easy it is to make this show-stopping dessert at home!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brownies with cream cheese frosting
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16
Calories: 265kcal

Equipment

  • 8×8 Baking Dish
  • Electric Mixer

Ingredients

Brownie Ingredients

  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter, melted, 8 Tbsp
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup chocolate chips or chunks, optional

Frosting Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ¾ tsp vanilla
  • tsp salt

Instructions

Brownie Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease an 8×8 inch baking pan or line it with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup melted butter with the 1/4 cup brown sugar and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Mix with an electric hand mixer (or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer) until well combined.
  • Add 2 large eggs in one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Add the 1 tsp vanilla extract and mix again.
  • Sift in the 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 tsp baking powder, and 1/4 tsp salt, and mix again until well combined.
  • Finally, add the 1/2 cup chocolate chips into the batter and mix by hand until evenly distributed.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and spread it evenly.
  • Bake the brownies in the oven for 30 minutes until the edges are set and a toothpick in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  • All the brownies to cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the 1/4 cup butter and 4 oz softened cream cheese on high speed until smooth and creamy
  • Add in the 2 cups powdered sugar about 1 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until just combined.
  • Add in the 3/4 tsp vanilla extract and 1/8 tsp salt and mix again.
  • Beat on low speed for 30 seconds to combine, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Once your brownies are cooled completely, spread the frosting over the top of the brownies and then cut into squares. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe Copyright The Domestic Spoon. For educational or personal use only.
  • Brownie Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter: You can use salted butter if that’s what you have on hand but I would recommend not adding any additional salt. For this recipe you want your butter melted.
  • Brown Sugar: Light or dark will work fine.
  • Granulated Sugar: The sugar mixed with the melted butter is what gives your brownies the perfect crinkly top.
  • Eggs: Eggs help bind and solidify your ingredients together.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla helps balance the chocolate flavor.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: You can use Dutch-processed cocoa powder or regular cocoa powder, just make sure that it is unsweetened.
  • All Purpose Flour: Do not substitute with cake flour, bread flour, etc. You can substitute 1:1 Gluten Free Flour for a gluten-free option!
  • Baking Powder: This gives your brownies a little bit of a chewier texture. If you want to make brownies without Baking Powder, check out my Brownie Recipe without Baking Powder.
  • Chocolate Chips or Chunks: These are optional but I love the added texture and chocolate. Use leftover chocolate chips in these Potato Chip Cookies or Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies.
  • Frosting Ingredients
  • Unsalted Butter: For frosting, I like to use unsalted butter to give you a little more control over your salt. Be sure and allow your butter to soften to room temperature. Room-temperature butter is perfect when it reaches an internal temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cream Cheese: Full fat cream cheese will give you the best texture and flavor which is exactly what you want for this recipe. Cream cheese should also be softened to room temperature
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract boosts the flavor of your frosting
  • Powdered Sugar: This provides the base for your frosting. You may want to sift it to make sure there are no lumps in your frosting. Feel free to add more or less depending on the texture you want for your frosting.
  • Brownies may appear a bit gooey in the middle when you pull them out of the oven. They will continue to bake and solidify as they cool.
  • One trick to try for cutting fudgy brownies is using a plastic knife. I’m not sure the science behind it but plastic knives don’t stick as much as metal. Give it a try!
  • For perfect frosting, start with room temperature ingredients. It makes the entire process so much easier!
  • Parchment paper is a great tool for keeping brownies from sticking to the pan. Line your baking pan with parchment paper and you can easily pull the brownies out to cut once cooled.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 265kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 53mg | Sodium: 95mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 395IU | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
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