Red Velvet Brownies

If you love red velvet cake, but don’t really want to take the time to bake, cool, layer and frost a whole cake…. then this is the brownie version of your dreams! It’s much simpler, quick and just as aesthetically appealing (Look at those trippy swirls!) These are inspired by red velvet brownies that I first tasted at Theobroma patisserie in Khar and have always wanted to replicate at home.

What makes them special? First off, a red velvet cake is simply a chocolate cake with red food coloring. (I’ve tried making them all natural, with beetroot; and nope it did not work!) So, getting the chocolaty flavor right is essential element number one. This recipe uses both cocoa powder and chocolate chunks for a deep, chocolaty flavor. The second and probably most defining aspect of a red velvet cake is its tangy cream cheese frosting! (mmmm…) These doubled-deckered brownies have a cheese cake layer on the top to stand in for that tangy, delicious frosting. 

Recipe: Red Velvet Brownies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 16 square pieces


  • An oven (the Oven Toaster Grill kind)


For the Brownie Layer

  • ¾ cup Butter
  • ¾ cup Caster Sugar
  • ½ cup All Purpose Flour
  • cup Cocoa Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • ½ tsp Baking Soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
  • Red Food Colouring [as needed]
  • 100 gms Chocolate Chips / Chunks

For the Cheesecake Layer

  • ¾ cup Cream Cheese
  • 3 tsps Icing Sugar
  • 3 tsps Lime / Lemon Juice
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Essence


  • Pre-heat the oven to 175° C.
  • To make the brownie batter, melt the butter over gentle heat in a saucepan.
  • Add the caster sugar and stir until its well dissolved.
  • Next, sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Stir with a wooden spoon or spatula until well combined. It should form a dry-ish mass.
  • Beat two eggs with a tsp of vanilla essence and add it to the flour mixture. It should return to a liquid state at this stage.
  • Now add the red food colouring1 and mix so that the batter is uniformly coloured. Reserve about 4 tsps of this red batter in a separate little bowl.
  • The final addition to the brownie batter is a hundred gms of chocolate chips or chunks. Stir these in gently with a spatula.
  • Line an 8-inch square baking tin with aluminum foil and pour the red batter in. Use a spatula to distribute and level the batter.
  • To make the cream cheese layer, whisk together the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, half a tsp of vanilla essence and an egg until it forms a smooth batter.
  • Here's what the cheese cake batter should look like once adequately whipped.
  • Pour the cream cheese mix over the brownie batter and level with a spatula or the back of a butter knife.
  • Its now time to use the red batter that you reserved! Use a small spoon to dollop blobs of red batter on top of the cream cheese later. You can place them at random,but just make sure they are evenly spaced out.
  • Drag a toothpick / skewer or a sharp knife across the surface of the batter to form swirls.
  • Place the caketin into the oven and bake at 175° C for 25 – 30 mins3, or until a toothpick when inserted in the middle of the cake tin comes out clean.
  • Cool completely and then store in the fridge for about 20 mins before slicing4.
Keyword Chilled Dessert, Cream Cheese Brownies, Cream Cheese Dessert, Quick Dessert, Red Velvet, Red Velvet Brownies, Swirl Brownies

Recipe notes:

1 Start with 2 – 3 drops, then mix; add more colour and repeat until your batter is the desired shade of red.

2Make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature, or it won’t breakdown into a creamy consistency.

3Your oven might run slightly hotter or colder than mine; start with 25 mins of baking, check and then bake for an added 5 – 10 mins as required.

4The cream cheese layer is quite delicate and disintegrates quickly when warm; its best to store the whole slab in the refrigerator until right before you cut it into squares.

Give these red velvet brownies a shot the next time you want to make a dessert to impress; and as always let me know in the comments below if you need any added instructions 🖖

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