Red Velvet Swirl Brownies

If your sweet tooth is going through withdrawal after the onslaught of Valentine’s Day, I have a treat for you.

Red velvet.

But not cake.


I know.

I’ve been known from time to time to just browse through recipe websites looking for inspiration and this week it was the Food Network. Sunny Anderson, you’re my hero.

I found that I had most of the ingredients already stocked in my pantry with the exception of the red food coloring. A quick trip to the grocery store remedied that situation and in seemingly no time, these were on my table last night.

These are a bit oily from the cream cheese layer, but absolutely delicious. It’s your favorite red velvet + cream cheese combination in the form of a brownie (or a reddie?) and I can’t help but love it. The red layer is dense and tastes just like red velvet, complemented well by the lighter cream cheese layer on top. And who can resist a beautiful swirl? Not I.

Perhaps a bit mistimed, should these have been our Valentine’s Day treats? But the timing can’t take away from the yum. These were well received by all.

This Week I Ate.. Valentine’s edition!

  • Pioneer Woman’s Roasted Beef Tenderloin from her cookbook. OH MY WORD this was phenomenal. So juice and tender. We had to cook it a little bit more than she recommended because the thing was basically mooing coming out of the oven but no matter. Still wonderful.
  • Mashed potatoes. I make them with Russet potatoes, boil until fork tender, drain, then return to the pot over a low flame to take off some excess steam. This time I added some butter, some cream cheese, some whole milk (leftovers), and added salt and pepper. One of my best batches yet!
  • Spinach. We just wilted up the spinach with some olive oil and garlic. Perfect combination.

Red Velvet Swirl Brownies
adapted from Food Network’s Sunny Anderson

Makes 1 8×8″ pan.


For red velvet layer:

  • 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c all-purpose flour

For cream cheese layer:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare 8×8″ baking pan with foil or by coating with butter.

For red velvet layer, melt butter in a saucepan on the stove. Pour into a large bowl and add in sugar, extract, cocoa, salt, coloring, and vinegar one at a time, mixing after each addition with a wooden spoon. Whisk the eggs lightly in a separate bowl and add to batter. Fold in flour until just disappeared and pour into prepared pan, reserving 1/4 cup of batter.

For cream cheese layer, using an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, and extract until well mixed. Carefully pour over brownie layer in the pan.

Dollop the remaining red batter over the top of the cream cheese layer and swirl using the tip of a knife. Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool before cutting (with a plastic knife!) and serving.

Have you thought out of the box lately?


  1. Mandy Said:

    They look so yummy Sharlene! Hope you had a good Vday with Nelson 🙂

  2. Maren Said:

    Holy yum. And they’re so pretty too. Any dessert with swirls is exciting.

  3. Sharlene, these brownies look so incredibly decadent! I would have never thought to use the red velvet flavor in brownies… So creative, and mouthwatering! I’ll have to try this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  4. briarrose Said:

    Love these! An awesome brownie flavor.

  5. Jihane Said:

    woooo! brownies are my favorite and red velvet cake is my second favorite. this is genius!

    i would never allow myself to make this because I’d eat it all by myself and NOT share.—which is not only gluttonous, but super selfish. I’m trying to be a better person this year…sigh.

  6. Jessica Said:

    These sound AMAZING!

  7. Oooh great combination. Reminds me a little of the red velvet cake with a “filling” of cheesecake between 2 layers of regular red velvet cake that I’ve seen on a few blogs.

  8. Joanne Said:

    How I know you and I were meant to be together. Part 5,000. I came THISCLOSE to making these for V-Day. I’m so glad to hear they were good. Now I will definitely be making them at some point.

  9. Darina Said:

    These look amazing. Never would have thought of it. I love swirls, and red swirls in particular.

  10. Red velvet brownies!? I am sold! Love it.

  11. Oh MY! Red velvet brownie?!?! With cream cheese!! *DROOL*

    I’m bookmarking!

  12. Can you believe I’ve never made red velvet anything?? I’ve been wary of it every since watching steel magnolias and the armadillo cake. But these look wonderful 🙂

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