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Red Velvet Brownies

2011 May 23
by Leah Bergman

This weekend I temporarily lost my baking mojo. I burnt a batch of caramel, ruined shortbread and my pizza dough was a disaster. What was happening? Why did my favorite past time turn on me? …Sunday night rolled around and I felt the need to redeem myself with one last recipe for Red Velvet Cream Cheese brownies. I crossed my fingers, said a little prayer and made a batch. (Insert magic fairy dust noise here) Success! This recipe was so easy-peasy, moist and delicious and best yet, it’s safe to make when your baking mojo has decided to take the day off!

photo by Freutcake

Red Velvet Cream Cheese Brownies

Red Velvet:
1 stick unsalted butter, (8 Tbsp) melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Pinch salt
1 tablespoon red food coloring
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all purpose flour

Cream Cheese:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 x 8 inch pan. {I used glass}

Brownie layer: Add melted butter to a large bowl and add sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar, mixing after each addition. Whisk the eggs into the cocoa mix. Mix in the flour until lightly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, saving 1/3 to 1/4 cup of the batter for the cream cheese layer.

Cream cheese layer: Blend together cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in a medium mixing bowl. Spread the cream cheese on top of the brownie batter in the pan. Put the remaining cocoa batter over the cream cheese layer. Using the tip of a knife, swirl through the cream cheese mixture to create a swirl pattern. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow them to cool completely before cutting.

To store: wrap remaining brownies in saran wrap and keep in fridge.

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Leah Bergman

Editor at Freutcake
Designer, blogger, cocktail shaker. Classic with a bit of sparkle. Founder & Editor of Freutcake.

Latest posts by Leah Bergman (see all)

94 Responses
  1. May 23, 2011

    Lucky me, I just started the damn clean program today. So these are going into my ridiculously long list of “things to eat in 20 days”.

  2. michele prata permalink
    May 23, 2011

    Oh Freutcake!

    I am going to make these today to serve with my champagne toast for my Birthday tomorrow! Thanks for posting such a great inspiration! Sounds like Heaven!


  3. May 26, 2011

    Oh cream cheese heaven! What a tasty and beautiful dessert 🙂

  4. June 2, 2011


  5. September 30, 2011

    Did you use liquid or gel food coloring for these? I’m planning to make these for the Dexter premiere this Sunday and I want to make sure I get a super vibrant red like your lovely brownies!

    • September 30, 2011

      Hi Amy! I used liquid red food coloring and they turned out very red! Also, try not to “swirl” them too much when you run your knife through because this will mix the batter and cream cheese and make a muddy looking brownie. Hope you enjoy them and have fun!

  6. Cole permalink
    October 11, 2011

    They are a little too cake like and not enough brownie like for our family 🙁

    • October 11, 2011

      So sorry to hear that! They were very fudgy when I made them. 🙁

  7. Kelsey permalink
    October 13, 2011

    This may be a completeyly noob question… When you say melted butter, do you mean softened outside the fridge for a bit or completely melted in the microwave? I never know which one to do…

    • October 13, 2011

      Hi Kelsey, you can either melt butter in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl or melt over low in a small sauce pan. Either way works fine. If you use the microwave check after 30 seconds and stir.

  8. October 13, 2011

    I would love to make these. Did you use self rising, all purpose or cake flour. Looking forward to a reply so that I can bake them. Yummy!

    • October 13, 2011

      Hi Tammy, thanks for the question! I used all-purpose flour for this recipe.

  9. November 10, 2011

    These brownies look amazing. I can’t wait to try this recipe.

  10. Drina Murphy permalink
    November 11, 2011

    These look absolutely fab! I will put these on my never ending dessert recipe list;)

  11. Janet Brown permalink
    November 11, 2011

    I can’t wait to try this.

  12. Janet Brown permalink
    November 11, 2011

    I can’t wait to try this recipe love red velvet cake also.

  13. Diamond Oak permalink
    November 11, 2011

    I makecram cheese brownis all the time never thought about red velvet. this is going to be a great addition to my collection

  14. November 13, 2011

    I’ve been dying to make red velvet brownies lately!
    Can’t wait to try these…the cream cheese swirl looks amazing!

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 14, 2011

      The secret to the big, beautiful “swirls” is to not over mix the layers when you run your knife through. Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  15. November 13, 2011

    I’m not a fan of brownies, but Red Velvet is our family’s favorite. I’m going to make these for Thanksgiving!!! Thanks for sharing 😉

  16. November 14, 2011

    Mmmmm that has my name written all over it and that would be so pretty to make for Christmas.

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 15, 2011

      Hi Cat! You’re right..these would be perfect for Christmas! 🙂

  17. Alison permalink
    November 16, 2011

    I’d like this recipe better without the eggs,there’s virtually no use for the eggs.

  18. CaraRsoe permalink
    November 17, 2011

    Would these work just as well in a 9×13 pan or would the middle not cook as well? How long should I cook them for?

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 17, 2011

      I wouldn’t use a pan larger than 8×8. These are a layered brownie and the amount of batter is perfect for an 8×8. It would be too thin in a larger pan. Hope that helps!

      • CaraRsoe permalink
        November 17, 2011

        What if I double the ingredients?

        • freutcake permalink*
          November 17, 2011

          I am not sure how doubling this recipe would work, please let me know how it turns out!

          • CaraRsoe permalink
            November 18, 2011

            i doubled the recipe and cooked it for 45 minutes. came out PERFECT!!!! thanks for the fabulous recipe, the bars were so pretty and so delicious!

          • freutcake permalink*
            November 18, 2011

            Yay! Thank you so much for testing that out! Plus…who wouldn’t want a double batch of red velvet brownies! The more the merrier. 🙂 Have a great weekend.

  19. November 18, 2011

    These look wonderful!

  20. November 19, 2011

    Made these two days ago for my mom’s birthday, and they so were amazing I had to come back and rave about them. They were better than I had dared hope. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 19, 2011

      Happy Birthday to your Mom. Thank you so much for the sweet comment! I am so glad that you and your Mom liked them. 🙂

  21. kaylee permalink
    November 21, 2011

    shouldn’t the sugar in the cream cheese mixture be confectioners sugar?

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 21, 2011

      Hi Kaylee- In this recipe the sugar used in the cream cheese mixture is just regular granulated sugar.

  22. Bianca permalink
    November 27, 2011

    Just made these. They were great! I didn’t read these comments til I’d finished, but next time I’ll know to be more careful when making the swirls to make them bigger (mine ended up being a little muddy looking) but they still tasted delicious!

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 27, 2011

      So glad you liked them! 🙂 Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment.

  23. November 30, 2011

    Could you use just a brownie mix and add the red food coloring? Would they turn out the same?

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 30, 2011

      No, I wouldn’t use brownie mix. Red Velvet really doesn’t have that much chocolate in it. In fact this recipe only calls for 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and brownie mix is much more chocolatey.

  24. November 30, 2011

    Ah, very true! Can’t wait to try these! Thank you!

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 30, 2011

      Hope you like them! 🙂

  25. Kate permalink
    December 5, 2011

    I made these last night and they didn’t work! There was soon much butter – when you say a stick do you mean a pound or a half pound stick?

    • freutcake permalink*
      December 5, 2011

      Kate- One stick of butter should only be 4 OZ. or 1/2 cup, 8 Tbsp.

  26. Stephanie permalink
    December 7, 2011

    I know this sounds crazy but in some places you don’t buy sticks of butter the way we do in the states… packaging can be different… I wonder if that is what happened to the previous reply…

  27. Jessica permalink
    December 17, 2011

    These look absolutely DIVINE! I am going to make them for a work holiday party. I’m sure they will be delicious!

  28. Mander permalink
    December 20, 2011

    I stumbled upon this recipe, and I decided to try it out for my Christmas dinner.
    I added green food colouring to the cream cheese mix, and not only are they festive, but they are delicious! Thanks so much for putting this recipe online! 🙂

    • freutcake permalink*
      December 20, 2011

      What a great idea! Thanks for coming back and sharing. 🙂 Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  29. kim0612 permalink
    December 21, 2011

    I made these for thanksgiving….they turned out amazing..thank you, they were a big hit!!

  30. Amanda permalink
    December 30, 2011

    I can’t wait to try these, I think they will be a hit at the New Years Eve party this weekend! YAY!

  31. January 4, 2012

    My sister made these for our family Christmas… There are no words to describe how amazing they were!! Thanks for sharing this sinful recipe!

    • freutcake permalink*
      January 4, 2012

      Oh good! Thanks so much for coming back and letting me know that you liked them. 🙂

  32. Anthony permalink
    January 4, 2012

    Oh dear god these look good! Definitely giving these a shot, i baked for the first time around thanks giving (pumpkin chocolate chip brownies) and they came out a bit more like a really rich cake than a brownie, maybe trying these will help me fix that 😀

  33. January 4, 2012

    this was amazing 🙂 thank you so much.

  34. Anthony permalink
    January 8, 2012

    i think i overcooked them, they came out mostly correctly (though they were a bit darker than they look in this pic), but they didn’t taste very sweet, definitely think i overcooked them :'(

    • freutcake permalink*
      January 8, 2012

      Aw, sorry to hear that!

  35. Sarah permalink
    January 12, 2012

    These look delicious! I want to make them tonight. How many does this batch serve? Theres roughly 30 people going, is this enough?

    • freutcake permalink*
      January 12, 2012

      Hi Sarah, this only make one square 8×8″ which I usually cut 4×4 so it makes 16 small brownie squares. Because it is rich you can cut them rather small. If you are serving 30 people you will want to make two batches!

  36. Julia permalink
    January 30, 2012

    I am planning on making these this weekend, they look so good! However, I don’t have apple cider vinegar. Can I substitute white vinegar or something else?

    • freutcake permalink*
      January 30, 2012

      Yes, you can substitute the same amount of white vinegar.

  37. Karen permalink
    February 1, 2012

    I made dinner for my roomates JUST so I could use this recipe! These brownies are AMAZING!!!! So moist and fudgy! My pregnant roomie loves red velvet so it was a special treat to her! We all loved them!

  38. Emily permalink
    April 7, 2012

    I just tried this recipe and did it by the book… And it turned out like a cake. 🙁

  39. April 7, 2012

    Greetings from Enid Jones Photography! Thanks for sharing! I think this is going to be made soon! Oh and thank you for being honest! I am not an AMAZING baker….but I think I do a good job. When I come to sites where the food is ALWAYS as it should be….amazing….It makes me want to just order stuff instead of make it. But knowing even the amazing ones out there have down days…makes me feel a little more confident to keep going! 🙂 Hope your Baking Mojo stays around though! Good stuff!

  40. May 9, 2012

    these were so yummy:) i made them for a friends wake and they were great, cream cheese with red velvet is a perfect combo.i hope you dont mind that ive blogged about them! (with a link to you of course) thanks for the recipe! great pic too!

    • freutcake permalink*
      May 10, 2012

      So sorry to hear that you had to make them for a friends wake however I’m glad you enjoyed them! And yes, I love that you blogged about them. Thank you for sharing the love.

  41. Kayla permalink
    May 19, 2012

    Ive had mine in the oven for a while, and the batter directly under the cream cheese is still runny. I don’t know what happened!

  42. Cindy permalink
    June 12, 2012

    I made these for our Relay For Life bake-off and won the champion dessert 🙂

  43. Kayla permalink
    July 20, 2012

    *sad sigh* I’m on a no sugar (ok, maybe a little, but this MUCH sugar would kill me!) detox right now and pintrest is making life so much harder. Needless to say, when this is all over I will be making these!!!

  44. July 28, 2012

    I made these because they looked like the best dessert I’ve ever seen in my life…however I honestly was a little disappointed in them 🙁 The Cream Cheese layer blows your mind but the red velvet seemed a little bitter? I know some people were worried about too much sugar but I still put the exact amount and ended up feeling like it could’ve tasted better. I’m waiting for them to cool off some more and I’ll try them again cold but so far not that great 🙁 I hate leaving negative comments, so sorry!

  45. Mrs. Stacy Hobson permalink
    August 6, 2012

    Yay!!! I made this recipe into cupcakes! I loved it and so did my grandma, sister, dad, mom, brother and husband!! I prob left them in a little longer than the recipe calls for (it was midnight…I was sleepy) but they were still fab!! I just need to work on my swirling skills because mine looked a little muddy…

  46. Patricia permalink
    August 11, 2012

    Just made these and they were delicious!! Very moist and tasty. I always used boxed recipes so this was a first for me. Thank you!!

  47. Joe permalink
    August 11, 2012

    I just made these tonight. Wonderful! great texture, beautiful color….only thing i would do is up the sugar just a bit. in the cream cheese, I’d go from 1/4 to 1/3 cup, and for the brownie, if you just wanted to, I’d go for just a little over a cup…..omg they are delicious as is, though! LOL

  48. August 16, 2012

    It doesn’t get much better than this. Luuuurrve it!

  49. September 25, 2012

    awe man, my brownies came out muddy.. read that comment too late.. but they still tasted great! Also, I think it’s my oven, it took an hour to cook and the center wasn’t cooked all the way. But I’m now convinced it’s my oven, that’s the 4th time it did that. I thought maybe it was me, but it isn’t. It’s my oven.. >sad face<

    • freutcake permalink*
      September 25, 2012

      Aw, so sorry to hear you had trouble! 🙁 Glad they still tasted good.

  50. JJLester permalink
    October 1, 2012

    OMG! I found this page a few days ago and could not wait to try them. I just finished baking them and I must say, super yum! I didn’t have any red food colouring (because a certain 6 year old decided to try to make fake blood) so instead I used blue. So it was blue velvet. And it was a huge hit! Thanks for sharing this recipe. ^_^

    • freutcake permalink*
      October 3, 2012

      So glad you found my site! Blue velvet cream cheese brownies sound just as tasty! 😉

  51. October 6, 2012

    I made these a few months back but never left a comment,today I am going to make them again! I must say just how amazing your recipe is. It came out perfect,moist,dense,fudgy,red-velvety,I LOVE it! I think some could taste bitterness due to the food coloring they used,I used red liquid food coloring and its tasteless. This recipe is a keeper and yup fun to play around with other colors too! One thing though,is it necessary to add a few tablespoons of buttermilk? Just wondering! Thanks for posting this! 🙂

  52. ali permalink
    October 25, 2012

    very quick and easy recipe! however, i had to bake them for about 35 mins. unfortunately they turned out a light brown color, not as red as i would have liked! they turned out very well, taste awesome!

    • freutcake permalink*
      October 25, 2012

      Hi Ali. If they weren’t quite as red as you would have liked, you might try gel food coloring next time. This will give you a much brighter color!

  53. November 9, 2012

    I’ll make these for grown daughter’s birthday party this weekend along with Italian Cream Cake, which she asked for. Yum, Yum

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 9, 2012

      Hope she enjoys them! 🙂 Happy birthday to your daughter!

  54. Nicole permalink
    November 13, 2012

    These are baking in the oven as we speak. Can’t wait to try them!!

  55. Crystal permalink
    November 21, 2012

    Do you need to sift the flour

    • freutcake permalink*
      November 21, 2012

      No, sifting is not necessary.

  56. Liz permalink
    December 21, 2012

    Just made these tonight for a holiday party I’m going to tomorrow. Of course I had to try them and they turned out amaaaazing! Can’t wait to make them again! Hubs and I are trying not to have more otherwise there won’t be any left for the party! Thanks for sharing this recipe! 🙂

  57. January 10, 2013

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I dont bake much and have never made homemade brownies but these might be the best ive ever had! Followed your instructions exactly and they turned out perfect. 🙂

    • freutcake permalink*
      January 10, 2013

      I’m so happy you enjoyed them! Thank you so much for coming back and letting me know how they turned out. 🙂

  58. Miranda Mcloughlin permalink
    February 7, 2013

    I want to make these for part of my boyfriend’s Valentine’s Day gift, but I don’t want to have to make the brownies from scratch. Could I just add the red food coloring to pre made brownie mix?

    • freutcake permalink*
      February 7, 2013

      Hi Miranda. I think that adding red food coloring to a boxed mix would be interesting to try but I don’t think you will get the same result. This recipe only calls for a small amount of chocolate and apple cider vinegar which gives it the red velvet flavor. Red velvet is not a super chocolatey flavor. I hope you will try this recipe from scratch; I promise it is easy!

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