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Home » Desserts » Cookies and Bars » Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Brownies with cream cheese frosting are a match made in dessert heaven. The rich and smooth creaminess of the frosting pairs perfectly with the fudgy, chocolatey brownies. This simple recipe is an easy baking project, whether you’re looking to satisfy your chocolate craving or you’re baking for a special occasion.

A stack of brownies with cream cheese frosting.

A generous layer of frosting is one of the easiest ways to take a pan of brownies to the next level. And cream cheese frosting is especially tasty served these decadent brownies.

The rich, tanginess of the cream cheese compliments the chocolate flavor so well. It’s the perfect finishing touch!

Why This Recipe Works

Cream cheese and chocolate are a heavenly pair. We’ve used the combination in our chocolate chip cookie cake and our Chocolate Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

And now, we’re taking classic homemade brownies and transforming them with a luscious and sweet cream cheese frosting. The end result is a decadent dessert! You could add the frosting to any brownie, including a box mix. But we think homemade is better.

Delicious cream cheese frosting is a great way to elevate an extra chocolatey brownie. Fancy brownies for the win.

Brownies with cream cheese frosting are:

  • simple– this is an easy brownie recipe for any occasion
  • incredibly rich and decadent– gooey brownies topped with a creamy, tangy frosting might just make these the best brownies ever
  • perfect in every way– from the chocolatey flavor to the chewy texture

Fudgy frosting covered brownies are also great for special occasions. Add a touch of red food coloring to turn the frosting a bright red color for Valentine’s Day or go with a splash of green for a fun St. Patrick’s Day treat.

The options are endless! And of course, when there is frosting on brownies, it begs for your favorite sprinkles. 😉

Several brownies on a plate.

The Ingredients for Brownies with Frosting

To make fudge brownies with cream cheese frosting, you will need:

  • Butter (for the frosting and brownies).
  • Chocolate. You can use chocolate chips or chop a couple of bars of chocolate. In the ingredient photo below, we used a combination of milk chocolate and dark chocolate chips.
  • Eggs
  • Sugar. Use granulated sugar for the brownies and powdered sugar (or confectioner’s sugar) for the frosting.
  • Vanilla extract (for the frosting and brownies)
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cocoa powder. Use unsweetened cocoa powder (not sweetened hot cocoa mix for drinks).
  • Salt (for the frosting and brownies)
  • Cream cheese. Use full-fat, block-style cream cheese.

Chocolate chips, vanilla extract, salt, sugar, flour, butter, eggs, cocoa powder.

Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Below is a quick summary of the process, but make sure to check out the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Before you begin: preheat the oven and line a 13 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper (or grease the baking pan well).

Melting butter and chocolate in a bowl.

Melt the butter and chocolate, then set it aside to cool slightly.

Beating eggs and sugar until pale yellow in color.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until pale yellow and thick.

Adding melted chocolate to the egg mixture, then stirring it into the batter.

Stir the melted chocolate into the egg mixture.

Sifting the dry ingredients over the batter, then mixing with a spatula.

Sift the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients and stir.

Spreading brownie batter in a 13x9 inch pan.

Pour the brownie batter into the pan and spread it evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula. Pop it in the oven to bake.

When the brownies are done baking, place the pan on a cooling rack and let them cool for at least 2 hours.

Making cream cheese frosting and spreading it on brownies.

Make the cream cheese frosting while the brownies cool, then spread the frosting over the top.

A brownie covered in cream cheese buttercream frosting.

Tips for the Best Results

  • The center of the brownies will appear slightly under-baked. However, the brownies will set up when they are completely cool. You can check the internal temperature of the brownies with an instant-read thermometer.

    They’re done baking when the temperature reads between 180°F to 198°F (I like my brownies on the gooey side, so I usually shoot for 180°F to 185°F.
  • Before making the frosting, let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. It will be difficult to get a smooth, creamy frosting if the ingredients are cold. 
  • Use brick-style cream cheese for the frosting (not the whipped cream cheese or any other type that comes in a tub). 
  • These brownies are incredibly rich and decadent so slice them into small squares for serving.

  Substitutions and Variations

  Storage and Reheating

Store leftover brownies in an airtight container (or covered with plastic wrap) in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

You can also freeze these brownies for three months. Let them thaw overnight in the fridge.

⭐️ Helpful Tools

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More Recipes You Will Love:

If you’re looking for a fudgy, extra chocolate-y homemade brownie recipe, these triple chocolate brownies are always a good idea! And our miso brownie bites are a great twist on a classic.

This chocolate raspberry tart combines the perfect blend of flavors! A rich chocolate ganache filling with a subtle, sweet raspberry flavor. Topped with fresh, whole raspberries and set in a shortbread pastry crust, this is a dreamy dessert for any occasion.

Our heart-shaped chocolate chip cookies are thick and chewy with a brownie-like texture. Enjoy them plain or top them with peanut butter, frosting, creamy dulce de leche or your favorite sprinkles! They are a tasty treat for any occasion, but are especially perfect for Valentine’s Day or anniversaries.

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A stack of three brownies with cream cheese frosting.

Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 24 to 30 brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 32 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 52 minutes

Cream cheese frosting is the perfect topping for rich, fudgy brownies. The smooth, sweet creaminess pairs perfectly with the chocolatey goodness of the brownies.

These brownies are incredibly rich and decadent, so slice them into at least 24 squares (I usually slice them into 30 servings).

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 12 tablespoons butter (170 grams)
  • 8 ounces chocolate, chopped** (227 grams) (or 1-⅓ cups chocolate chips)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-⅔ cups sugar (333 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (120 grams)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (40 grams)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (block style)

Instructions

For the Brownies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. (If you want to skip the parchment paper, ensure you grease the pan well). 
  2. Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Melt it in the microwave using 10-second bursts, stirring in between bursts. Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in a double boiler (set a heatproof dish over a pan of gently simmering water). 
  3. When the chocolate and butter are completely melted, set it aside to cool slightly,
  4. Add the eggs to a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla extract. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes until it is pale yellow in color and slightly thickened (this step will give the brownies a fudgier texture).
  5. Stir the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt over the egg mixture and stir it until well combined. 
  6. Pour the brownie batter into the pan and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon.
  7. Bake for 18 to 24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  8. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let them cool in the pan for at least 2 hours. In the meantime, make the frosting. 

Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Add the butter and powdered sugar to a mixing bowl. Start the mixer on low speed, then increase the speed to medium high. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix well.
  2. Add the cream cheese frosting and beat on medium-high speed until well blended.
  3. When the brownies are completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting over the top.

Notes

  • The center of the brownies will appear slightly underbaked but it will set up when it is completely cool. 
  • If you have an instant-read thermometer, the brownies will be done baking when the internal temperature reads between 180°F to 198°F. They will be a bit gooey at 180°F.
  • Let the cream cheese and butter come to room temperature. It will be difficult to get a smooth, creamy frosting if they are too cold. 
  • Use brick-style cream cheese for the frosting (not the type that comes in a tub). 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 30 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 212Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 171mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 1gSugar: 16gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandson or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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