Recipe | Red velvet swirl brownies (with cheesecake layer!)

Red velvet cake, chocolate brownie and cheesecake in a single traybake. It must be Christmas!


No, I haven’t messed with the colour in these photos. The red is just that red!

After the success of last week’s red velvet mini bundt cakes, I was keen to continue the red velvet theme. I came across this recipe for red velvet swirl brownies here on the Food Network website. I’ve made a few little tweaks to the recipe and converted all the amounts for UK readers and other bakers who don’t follow the US cup measuring system.


For the red velvet brownie base:

  • 115 g/ 4 oz / 1 stick butter or margarine (plus a little extra for greasing your brownie tin)
  • 200 g / 6 oz / 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 30 g/ 1 oz / 0.25 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon red food colouring (I’ve had success with Sugarflair’s Extra Red colouring. The normal red colouring you can get in the supermarket just doesn’t get the mixture red enough!)
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar (you can use any white vinegar in red velvet cake, just don’t use dark!)
  • 2 eggs
  • 105 g / 3.5 oz /0.75 cups plain flour

The original recipe also contain 30 g/ 1 oz / 0.25 cup chopped nuts of your choice. I omitted these, but do put them in if you want.

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 225 g / 8 oz cream cheese (aka soft cheese)
  • 50 g/ 1.5 oz/ 0.25 cup caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 0.5 teaspoon vanilla extract


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350 degrees F. Grease and line your brownie tin. My baking tin measures 20 – 25 cm and is fairly shallow. I’ve put a picture of it here below with a teaspoon in the middle so you get an idea of the size. The original recipe recommends using am 8-inch square brownie pan. My brownies did come out rather thin. If you want fatter brownies, use a smaller tin.


Melt the butter in a large bowl. You can do this in a pan over a low heat or, like me, use the microwave. Heat the butter using short bursts (30 seconds at a time), stopping and stirring between bursts until all the butter has melted.

To the melted butter, add the following ingredients in this order, stirring the mixture between each addition:

  • sugar
  • vanilla
  • cocoa powder
  • red food colouring
  • vinegar.

I used my food mixer, but you can also use a hand-held electric mixer or mix by hand.


In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then add them to the rest of your mixture. Fold in the flour gently until all the ingredients are combined in a smooth batter. If you’re going to include nuts, add them now.

Pour about 90% of your mixture into your brownie pan and spread out until it forms a smooth, even layer. Put the remaining 10% red velvet brownie mixture to one side while you make your cheesecake layer.


Mix together the cream cheese, egg, sugar and vanilla extract until combined. Spread this white mixture over your red velvet brownie layer. If your cream cheese mix is still fairly stiff, it’s best to drop “blobs” of the cream cheese mixture around the surface of the red velvet layer before spreading out to form an unbroken top white layer. If, like me, your cream cheese mix is runny, just pour it slowly over the red velvet layer, making sure you get it into the edges of the tin.

Get your reserved red velvet brownie mixture. Spoon drops of the red mixture on top of the white layer then use a skewer or knife to swirl the red mixture through the white cream cheese layer.





Bake the red velvet swirl brownies for about 30 minutes. Remember that brownies, unlike cake, can still be a little gooey when you take them out of the oven. I waited until the edges of the cream cheese layer started to brown before taking the brownies out.


Leave you red velvet swirl brownies to cool in the tin. When fully cooled, slice and serve!


These are so moreish it’s impossible to eat just one slice!


If you’re looking for more brownie recipes, try:

Jaffa Cake chocolate orange brownies recipe

Jaffa Cake chocolate orange brownies.

Chocolate cheesecake brownies with snowflake christmas decorations 2

Chocolate cheesecake brownies.

After Eight mint chocolate brownies 1

After Eight mint chocolate brownies.

Claire Huston / Art and Soul

30 thoughts on “Recipe | Red velvet swirl brownies (with cheesecake layer!)

  1. The dining halls at my school make these for dessert sometimes and they are SO GOOD. And now I have a recipe and can still have them after I graduate hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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  3. ant to warn you that one of your conversions to American units is wrong – it’s not 4 cups of flour, because two is too much. The cream cheese layer and underbaking counteracted that, and it still tastes good, but I wanted to make sure you knew that it was listed wrong in case there are any other American-based bakers looking at this.
    Otherwise, they are very good and I will have to try them again at a later date!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Recipe | Snickers no bake cheesecake | Art and Soul

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