Recipe: Dried cranberry cheesecake brownies – AKA pure gluttony

Magdalen Christie 27 May 2015

Picture this: a rich, fudgy brownie base, topped with a cooling cheesecake swirl and the occasional tart-yet-sweet jewel of cranberry.

The perfect balance of flavours, these brownies walk that precarious fine line between too rich and ‘get in my belly’ (as voiced by a friend). Fear not, these will take your brownie experience to a new level. Would I lie to you?

When I originally created these for a friend, I used sour cherries, which work equally as well, if not better. However, they do cost the earth, and we are students, so cranberries are a more affordable option. Use the darkest chocolate you can find so you really get the balance of flavour.

So, get these in your belly and bake them, go on…


Ingredients – Makes around 16 (depending on size)

85g unsalted butter, cubed

115g dark chocolate (70% cocoa of more), chopped

130g soft light brown or muscavado sugar

2 eggs, whisked

A drop of vanilla essence

70g plain flour

1tbsp cocoa powder (preferably organic)

A pinch of salt

30g chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate

200g cream cheese (or mixture with crème fraiche), room temperature

1 egg yolk

3tbsp golden caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla essence

A handful of dried cranberries


1. Grease & line a 20cm square baking pan with parchment. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. In a bowl over a pan of water, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and beat in the sugar.

3. Once cooled slightly, beat in the whisked eggs (beat as hard as possible and make sure the chocolate isn’t too hot or else you’ll end up with chocolate scrambled eggs).

4. Sieve the flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and fold together. Then fold through the vanilla essence and extra chocolate, mixing until just combined. Pour into prepared pan.

5. In another bowl, beat cream cheese, egg yolk, caster sugar and vanilla together. Add nearly all the cranberries, reserving a few to sprinkle on top, and mix again.

6. Dollop 6 spoonfuls of the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie mixture in the pan then take a clean knife and swirl the two mixtures together. Sprinkle on reserved dried cranberries.

7. Bake for around 35 minutes, it should be just set in the centre. Allow them to cool completely in the tray, then slice with a clean sharp knife.