These Cheesecake Brownies are ultra fudgy with an irresistibly creamy layer of orange colored cream cheese. Pockets of melted chocolate and a topping of chocolate chips make Halloween brownies extra tasty — they’re the ultimate treats for spooky season!!
As much as I love holiday desserts, I don’t love the ones that just pile on colorful icing to create a theme. They end up overly sweet and really don’t taste very good at all.
But these Halloween brownies are totally different!! They’re not crazy sweet, but they’re still so fun and colorful.
They’re simple cheesecake topped brownies – but with a festive twist! If you’re serving them at a Halloween party, plan to make at least two batches because they’ll go quick!
In addition to Halloween brownie recipes, I have a lot of other festive treats and dessert recipes you can enjoy during this spookiest season of the year!
Creepy candy corn pops, adorable meringue ghosts, cake pops, and even pumpkin milkshakes!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Cream Cheese – Let your block come to room temperature before mixing the cream cheese layer. Otherwise, you’ll end up with lumps!
- Orange Gel Food Coloring – A little goes a long way, so start with a drop or two. Add more as you need to, until the orange is as dark as you’d like it to be.
- Unsalted Butter – If using salted butter, then leave out the additional salt in this Halloween brownies recipe.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Bar and Chocolate Chips – Adding chocolate chunks makes the brownies so rich and decadent.
Feel free to swap in white or dark chocolate!
- Eggs – You’ll need three for this cheesecake brownies recipe: two whole eggs, and then one extra egg yolk.
Using just the yolk adds some extra fat — just what you need for an ultra fudgy brownie!
Add-Ins and Topping Ideas for Halloween Brownies
Easily elevate this cheesecake brownies recipe with flavored extracts, extra ingredients, or festive decorations!
Chopped nuts are an easy way to add texture. But since it’s Halloween, try caramel bits, candy corn, or broken pretzels instead.
And wouldn’t it be fun if your orange layer actually tasted like oranges? A bit of orange extract would taste amazing with the chocolate and cheesecake flavors!
You can also use vanilla icing to draw spider webs or ghosts on top, or use coconut shavings on top to make your cheesecake brownies look like mummies!
Kitchen Tools You’ll Need
- 8×8 Baking Pan – Hosting a party? Simply double this Halloween brownies recipe and use a 9×13 pan instead!
- Stand mixer or large mixing bowl with hand mixer for making the cream cheese layer for cheesecake brownies.
- A sturdy silicone spatula can be used for scraping, stirring, and smoothing and is easy to clean too!
Cheesecake Brownies Recipe FAQ
These cheesecake topped brownies are definitely on the fudgy side, and that’s because we use a lot of fatty ingredients: cream cheese in the cheesecake layer, and a combination of eggs and butter in the brownie batter.
For chewier brownies, you need high-moisture ingredients. Brown sugar in place of white sugar usually has this effect, as does oil in place of butter.
This is a bit tricky because we’re making layered brownies. The cheesecake layer should be set and slightly puffed up.
You’ll also notice cheesecake topped brownies pulling away from the edges of the pan just a bit.
You should do so after baking, and only after they’ve had time to cool completely. Otherwise, all of your decorations will melt and run right off the brownies.
While my Halloween brownies recipe doesn’t include frosting or other toppings, feel free to top yours however you’d like!
Storing and Freezing Cheesecake Topped Brownies
Due to the cream cheese layer, these Halloween brownies need to be stored in the fridge.
Keep them in an airtight container and they should stay good for up to a week!
Fortunately, cheesecake brownies freeze beautifully. I recommend wrapping them individually in plastic wrap so you can thaw the exact amount of treats you need.
With love, from our simple kitchen to yours.
Other Fun Homemade Halloween Treats
Fun Cheesecake Brownies for Halloween
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon orange gel food coloring
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and warm
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate bar, chopped
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water, room temperature
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish or pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Start with the cream cheese layer. In a medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer on high speed to beat together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and flour until smooth.
- Add the egg, vanilla, and orange food coloring, and continue beating until smooth and well-combined. Set the mixture aside.
- Make the brownie batter. To a large mixing bowl, add the warm melted butter and chopped chocolate. Stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until smooth. (The warm butter should melt the chocolate, but if it’s resisting, heat the chocolate in the microwave for 30-second increments. Or, if the bowl is glass, you can place it over a pot of simmering water and stir.)
- Stir in the cocoa powder until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla, and continue stirring until combined.
- Pour in the flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir. The batter will be thick, but it should be pretty smooth.
- Reserve one half cup of brownie batter, then pour the remaining batter into the 8×8 dish. Smooth it out evenly with a spatula or spoon.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture over the brownie batter and use a silicone spatula to smooth into an even layer.
- Stir 2 tablespoons of water into the reserved brownie batter to thin it out slightly, then drop tablespoonfuls on top of the cream cheese layer.
- Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.
- Use a toothpick or wooden skewer to swirl the cream cheese and brownie batter together.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the edges are baked but the center is slightly wobbly.
- Rest brownies in the pan, on the counter or a metal cooling rack, for 30-45 minutes, then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or until you are ready to serve.
- You can serve the brownies chilled, at room temperature, or warm.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published September 2022, updated and republished September 2023
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