Roasted strawberry cheesecake brownies. Basically the perfect dessert in my book. Nothing better than a summer strawberry – well except when you roast them to concentrate that sweetness, then swirl them into cheesecake batter and pour all of that on top of brownies that are just the right balance between cakey and fudgy. Anyone besides me drooling just thinking about them?
Ok let’s just cut right to the chase and say I am verrrrrry into this recipe. I made it five times in order to perfect it. ~Perks of food blogging.~ They were good every time. (Except the time I forgot to put sugar in the brownies. Whoops.) But now, they aren’t just good – they’re perfection. Oh, and you don’t even have to get your stand mixer out!
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How to Make Roasted Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies
Roasted Strawberry Jam
For the jam, start out by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice off the stem of a pint of strawberries and then slice each strawberry in half. You can leave the small ones whole. Sprinkle the strawberries with about 2 TBSP of sugar, toss and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.
Let the roasted strawberries cool enough to handle, then pulse them up in your blender or food processor. Add the blended strawberries along with the juice of one lemon and 1/4 C of granulated sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the jam has thickened slightly. It will thicken even more as it cools. Set aside.
The most important thing when making any cheesecake is to make sure that the cream cheese is extremely soft. I always let mine hang out on the counter for AT LEAST 3 hours. If the cream cheese isn’t completely room temperature and soft, you will get a lumpy cheesecake every time. Also, just splurge on the Philadelphia Cream Cheese – it really does make a difference.
To make the batter, start by beating the cream cheese on medium speed until it is light and fluffy – at least 3 minutes. I just used my hand mixer for this because it is such a small amount of batter – it’s easier to make sure everything gets incorporated. If I were to use my stand mixer, I’d spend a lot of time scraping down the sides of the bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients – egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla – and mix to combine. You want to mix long enough so that the egg whites get fully incorporated, but no longer that that. Set aside.
Start out by melting the butter. I just do this in the large bowl I’m using to make the brownies in the microwave in 20 second increments until it’s melted. Add in the chopped chocolate and whisk until all the chocolate has melted into the butter and it’s smooth. Add in the sugar and whisk until the sugar has dissolved. It really helps to have all the ingredients measured out beforehand – you want to add the sugar while the chocolate/butter mixture is still warm, as this will help the sugar dissolve.
Allow the mixture to cool slightly, because you are going to add the eggs next, and a hot butter mixture will get you scrambled eggs real quick. Once the bowl has cooled down enough that you are able to hold it on the bottom without your hand getting uncomfortably hot, you’re good to go.
Add the eggs and egg yolk and whisk. Whisk some more. Then whisk some more. Yes, your arm is going to get a workout – but you’re also going to get a thick brownie so it ‘s worth it. What you’re doing is incorporating air into the eggs, which is what is making the brownies rise since this recipe doesn’t use any baking powder or baking soda. Try to whisk for 3-5 minutes. You can do it!
Add the vanilla and salt and whisk – trying to make sure it’s evenly incorporated. Then add the flour and cocoa powder. Whisk until it is incorporated and there are no streaks of flour.
Assembling and Baking
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9X9 baking pan by lining it with parchment paper. I always like to leave a little overhang so that the finished dessert is easily lifted from the pan.
First pour in the brownie batter and spread it evenly in the pan using a rubber spatula. I love this one from Chrissy Teigen’s target collection. Then pour the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter and spread evenly. Finally, dollop the roasted strawberry jam all over the cheesecake batter and use a toothpick (or butter knife) to swirl the jam throughout the cheesecake. The key here is to not overdo it. Too much swirling and you’ll just have a red cheesecake batter instead of the pretty swirls.
Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. I like to err on the side of under-baking whenever it comes to brownies. They will continue to bake in the hot pan after you take them out of the oven, and if they still seem under baked after cooling, you can firm them up by putting them in the fridge. Also, there’s really no recovering from an overbaked brownie so let’s just avoid that shall we?
Slicing and Best of All – Eating
I will admit that I have dug into quite a few batches of brownies before they are cooled – but if you want them to slice up into perfect little squares – cooling them completely is a must. I would recommend letting them sit on the counter for at least an hour.
I sliced these into 16 small squares. I think subconsciously I do this because if they’re small, I don’t feel as guilty eating two. Or three. Slice them down the middle, then slice each half down the middle lengthwise again – so that you have 4 long strips. Then turn them and do the same thing down the other side. Wiping down your knife between each cut will get you those clean edges.
These are great at room temperature, and even better chilled from the fridge. I also imagine they’re awesome with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and I’m so bummed I didn’t think of this before they all disappeared.
Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag me when you make these!! I love seeing my recipes come to life in your kitchens! You can also find me on Pinterest so you can save my recipes for later!Print
Rich chocolate brownies topped with tangy vanilla cheesecake and swirled with roasted strawberry jam.
Roasted Strawberry Jam
- 1 Lb Fresh Strawberries
- ¼ C Granulated Sugar (+ more for sprinkling)
- 2 TBSP Water
- 2 TBSP Lemon Juice ((about ½ a lemon))
- 8 Oz (1 Block) Cream Cheese (Room Temperature)
- 1 Lg Egg (Room Temperature)
- ¼ C Granulated Sugar
- ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
- 1 pinch Salt
- 10 TBSP Unsalted Butter
- 4 Oz (1 Bar) Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Chopped)
- 1 C Granulated Sugar
- 2 Lg Eggs (+1 Yolk, Room Temperature )
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¾ C All Purpose Flour
- ¼ C Cocoa Powder
Roasted Strawberry Jam
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Slice off the stems of the strawberries and then slice the berries in half.
- Toss strawberries with 2 TBSP of sugar, then spread in an even layer on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Roast for 15 minutes. Cool.
- Puree strawberries in a blender or food processor. You can strain the seeds if you want – I didn't.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 C of the strawberry puree, water, sugar, and lemon juice.
- Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, or until it starts to thicken. It will continue to thicken as it cools. Set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese with a hand mixer for 3 minutes, or until it is light and fluffy.
- Add the remaining ingredients – egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla – mix to combine. Set aside.
Brownie Batter & Assembly
- Melt the butter in a large bowl.
- Add in the chopped chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool slightly (3 minutes)
- Add the eggs and whisk for 3-5 minutes – until batter is smooth and shiny.
- Add vanilla and salt. Whisk.
- Add flour and cocoa powder. Whisk until no streaks of flour remain.
- Pour into a 9X9 baking dish lined with parchment paper. Spread batter evenly with a rubber spatula.
- Top with cheesecake batter. Spread cheesecake batter evenly.
- Dollop strawberry jam all over and swirl with a toothpick or butter knife.
- Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes. Or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
- Allow to cool completely. Slice and enjoy!
These three components are soooo yummy together – but they are also great on their own. You can bake up the brownie batter on it’s own for delicious traditional brownies that really hit that sweet spot between cakey and fudgy thanks to the use of chocolate AND cocoa powder.
And the cheesecake batter – say hello to the perfect small batch cheesecake. I like to take two mason jars and press some crushed graham crackers with melted butter into the bottom of each jar. Then divide the cheesecake batter into both jars and bake for 25-30 minutes for the perfect cheesecake dessert for two! This might actually deserve it’s own post. Stay tuned.
And maybe my favorite part – the roasted strawberry jam. Honestly endless possibilities here. You could sub this out for the blueberry jam in my Homemade No Churn Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream, stuff it in homemade pop tarts, swirl it in your morning yogurt. Yummmm!