Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

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If you're a chocolate covered cherry lover, these Cherry Cheesecake Brownies will make your day! They start with a fudgy brownie crust, followed by creamy cheesecake that's swirled with cherry pie filling. 

Perfect for a special occasion, holiday parties or an afternoon snack!

bite of cherry cheesecake brownies with more in the background.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

There's nothing more delicious than chocolate and cherries swirled together. This combination creates a decadent dessert, even though it's really easy to make

Cheesecake bars also create a beautiful presentation when served on a wooden board or simple tray. The taste of tart cherries mingles with dark chocolate to make a luscious cheesecake swirl.

By using a tried and true brownie mix combined with cherry pie filling, you'll be whipping up these scrumptious cheesecake brownies in minutes. It's the perfect recipe to take to church potlucks, family gatherings and holiday parties!

If you love cheesecake desserts, you might also like Nutella Cheesecake Brownies and Baileys Streusel Cheesecake Cups

rows of cherry cheesecake brownies on a brown cutting board.

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make Cherry Cheesecake BrowniesSee recipe card for quantities. 

  • boxed brownie mix - I use Ghirardelli brand
  • cherry pie filling - make sure it's pie filling and not cherries in syrup
  • cream cheese- the main ingredient in cheesecake
  • large eggs - binds the cheesecake and brownies together 
  • canola oil - can use vegetable oil if preferred
  • sugar - only use a small amount for best results
  • almond extract - provides a surprise flavor in the batter

Equipment

  • mixing bowl
  • hand mixer or stand mixer (ad)
  • spoons
  • whisk
  • 13 x 9 inch baking dish
ingredients needed to make cherry cheesecake brownies.

How to Make Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

1 - Make brownie mix as directed on package using oil, egg and water.

brownie mix with egg, water and oil in a clear bowl with whisk.

2 - Pour brownie mix into the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch pan or baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

brownie batter in baking dish.

3 - In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add sugar, eggs and almond extract. Mix well and carefully place spoonfuls of the cheesecake batter over top of the brownie batter. Spread slowly with a knife or back of a spoon until brownie base is covered. 

cheesecake batter being spread on brownie batter.

4 - Add spoonfuls of cherry pie filling on top of the cheesecake batter in rows. Swirl with a butter knife to make a cherry swirl design. 

knife swirling cherries into cheesecake.

5 - Be careful not to dip into the brownie layer. Only the first two layers of cheesecake and cherries should be swirled.

swirled cheesecake on top of brownie batter.

6 - Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cheesecake is done and slightly brown on the edges.

brownies after being baked and sliced.

Note: When you take these brownies out of the oven, the middle will jiggle quite a bit. It sets after cooling. Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before slicing into squares. 

Santa beside brownies on a white platter.
Santa loves Cherry Cheesecake Brownies!

Recipe FAQS

Can I use a brownie recipe instead of a box mix?

Absolutely! If you have a favorite brownie recipe you love to make, feel free to substitute it instead of a boxed mix.

Is there a substitute for cherry pie filling?

You could try to make your own pie pilling with cherries, sugar and cornstarch. But, you would need to make sure it was thick enough to set after baking. Cherry pie filling works perfectly, or you can substitute other flavors like strawberry or blueberry.

Should the brownie be gooey after baking?

Yes, the brownie will be soft and chewy once baked. It will not rise like it would if you were cooking it by itself. Make sure you store it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to ensure it's ready to slice into squares.

bite of brownie on white plate.

Variations

  • Experiment with different flavors of pie filling such as blueberry and strawberry.
  • Use a favorite brownie recipe instead of a box brownie mix.
  • Add a cup of chocolate chips to the brownie batter for more gooey brownies.
  • Take it to the next level by changing the color of the cheesecake layer. Add green food coloring for Christmas or pink for Valentine's Day.

Top Tips

  • The hardest part is spreading the cream cheese mixture over the brownie mixture. Go slowly when spreading the cheesecake mixture over the brownies to avoid mixing them together.
  • Use the tip of a butter knife to swirl the top two layers of cheesecake and cherry pie filling. 
  • Baking the cheesecake at a lower temperature avoids cracks in the surface. 

Freezing & Storage

This cherry cheesecake brownies recipe must be refrigerated since it contains a cream cheese layer. If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, be sure to wrap them tightly and store brownies in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cherry Cheesecake Bars can be frozen after baking for up to 3 months. Simply wrap them tightly and store in an airtight container. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or on a kitchen counter at room temperature. 

Serving Ideas

This is one of the most delicious desserts you'll ever make. Serve these gourmet brownies at holiday events like July 4thValentine's Day and Christmas. The red and white hue makes them a versatile dessert for entertaining! 

Try these other recipes at your next event...

 

Recipe Card

up close photo of cherry cheesecake brownie bars on a white cake plate.

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies

Cherry Cheesecake Brownies start with a fudgy brownie crust, followed by creamy cheesecake that is swirled with cherry pie filling! 
5 from 12 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Refrigeration: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings12
Calories: 294kcal

*See notes in blog post for detailed tips, photos and instructions.

Equipment

  • 13 x 9 inch baking dish
  • mixing bowl and spoon
  • butter knife

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix (18 ounces)
  • cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 large egg (for brownies)
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs (for cheesecake)
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling

Instructions

  • In a bowl, blend brownie mix with oil, water and egg as directed on box. Follow your brownie box instructions if they are different than the ingredients shown here. 
    1 box brownie mix, ⅓ cup canola oil, ¼ cup water, 1 large egg
  • Pour unbaked brownie batter into the bottom of a greased 13 x 9 inch pan or baking dish.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add sugar, eggs and almond extract. Mix gently until large lumps are gone. Small lumps will remain. 
    3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, ½ cup sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Carefully spoon cheesecake batter over brownie layer. Spread slowly with the back of a spoon or a butter knife until brownie mixture is covered.
  • Add spoonfuls of cherry pie filling on top of the cheesecake batter. Swirl with a butter knife. Be careful not to dip into the brownie layer. Only the first two layers of cheesecake and cherries should be swirled.
    1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes OR until cheesecake is done and lightly browned on the edges. Watch carefully to make sure it doesn't get too brown or start cracking. 
  • Let brownies sit on the counter for 30 minutes at room temperature, then transfer to refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set. The longer the brownies are refrigerated, the better the brownie crust will be.
  • Slice into 12 squares. 

Notes

  • Brownies will be gooey and fudgy. Refrigeration helps them set. Slice after refrigerating. 
  • PLEASE READ: Different brownie mixes produce different results. If you prefer cake-like brownies and don't want them to be gooey, use a mix or recipe that doesn't have chocolate chips or fudge in it. Otherwise, your brownie layer will not set as much as you may like. 
  • When the cheesecake comes out of the oven, it will jiggle quite a bit. Make sure it is firm to the touch. It sets after cooling in the refrigerator. 
  • Go slowly when spreading the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter to avoid mixing them together.
  • Use the tip of a butter knife to swirl the top two layers of cheesecake and cherry pie filling.
  • Baking the cheesecake at a lower temperature will avoid cracks in the surface.
  • You won't need the entire can of cherry pie filling if you drop it by spoonfuls. If you pour it over the brownies, they may not set or swirl properly, so be sure to drop it by teaspoons. 
  • Follow your brownie box instructions if they are different than the ones shown here.
  • Store in the refrigerator after baking. 
  • View the Google Web Story for this recipe!

Nutrition

Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 143mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.001g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin C: 0.003mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition info is an auto generated estimate.

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19 Comments

  1. Quick question: we also love the Ghirardelli brownie mix, but the directions state to either use an 8x8 or 9x9 pan. Do you use 2 boxes to spread in the 9x13 or is it just a very thin brownie layer? Thanks!

    1. Hi Missy. It's a very thin brownie layer to allow it to cook with the cheesecake on top, so just use 1 box. It will still be very fudgy, but once you refrigerate the entire dish it sets and hardens. Thanks for asking!

  2. The picture has 2 packages of cream cheese, but the recipe calls for 3 packages of cream cheese.

    1. Hi Lynn. Yes, the recipe is correct. I didn't get all of the cream cheese in the picture because I had already put some of it in the mixer. Sorry!

  3. 5 stars
    You have checked off all that I need, Cherries and cheesecake. Looking so delicious.

  4. 5 stars
    I didnt find the cheese layer very sweet ... it was cheesy though ... can more sugar be added to cheese mixture?

    1. Sure, you can add more sugar without any issues. I prefer it to be less sweet to offset the sugar in the brownies, but it's a personal preference.

  5. 5 stars
    I really love this recipe. The brownies are gooey, but that's what makes them so good! They're full of chocolate chips, so if you don't want them to be gooey, you could buy a brownie mix without chocolate added. The key is to refrigerate them until they set. Thanks for all the great tips! Love the cheesecake and cherry swirled together.

  6. 5 stars
    I was wondering if the brownie should set for a bit before spooning and spreading the cheesecake mixture on top of it?

  7. 5 stars
    My aunt has shared a couple of your dessert dishes with our family during the holidays. Such tasty treats.

  8. 5 stars
    Hi Debi - My wife is allergic to almonds. Could you suggest a good substitution for the almond extract? Thank you for sharing this - I can' t wait to make it for my family over the Holidays!

    1. Hi Bill. You can definitely use vanilla extract instead and it will still taste amazing! 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I was just wondering what cheesecake mixed with cherries would taste like! This looks like a great recipe.

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