For the Cream Cheese Swirl

85g cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons butter, room temperature

1/4 cup caster sugar

1 large egg, room temperature

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

For The Brownie Base

1 cup pecan nuts, chopped

1 1/4 cups cake flour

1/2 teaspoon kitchen salt

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

170g unsweetened chocolate, chopped

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

2 1/4 cups caster sugar

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position, heat oven to 325°F. Line a 13×9 inch pan with aluminum foil.
  • Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray. Beat cream cheese and butter till light and fluffy.
  • Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar and beat until well blended. Beat in egg. Mix in one tablespoon flour.

  • Spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant for about 5-8 minutes.
  • Set aside to cool. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of almost-simmering water.

  • Stir occasionally, until smooth. When mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan.
  • Gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until well combined.
  • Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions until the batter is smooth and homogeneous.

  • Transfer half of batter to prepared pan. Spread batter into corners of pan and smooth the surface.
  • Pour cream cheese mixture over, then second half of brownie batter. Swirl with the tip of a knife.
  • Sprinkle toasted nuts evenly over batter. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, being careful not to overcook.

  • A toothpick inserted into the center of brownies should come out with few moist crumbs attached.
  • Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove from pan by lifting overhang.
  • Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. Store them in airtight container at room temperature.

 Cream Cheese Brownies by Smitten Kitchen