Take a break from all the candy and indulge in these cream cheese swirled brownies in traditional Halloween colors. These Halloween Cream Cheese Brownies come together quickly, they're super chewy and moist and will surely get you in the Halloween spirit!
Thank you to Domino® Sugar for sponsoring this post! I was compensated for providing this recipe and blog post, however all opinions are my own.
Let’s Celebrate Halloween with Brownies
Halloween is no longer just about the candy, friends! Let’s jazz up this fun holiday with more sweets in the form of baked goods, like these easy-to-prepare, fun to decorate and even more fun to eat Cream Cheese Brownies.
These brownies would be perfect for any Halloween party or as a special non-candy treat for the big day to, you know, give your kids energy before they run around the neighborhood begging for candy.
In all seriousness, these brownies are fun and festive but they are also made with Domino® Golden Sugar, which is made from pure cane sugar. It’s a less-processed, great-tasting sugar that works cup-for-cup like any white granulated sugar. The brownies are just perfect with this sugar in both the brownie batter and the cream cheese swirl, helping to keep them chewy and moist and just perfect.
Ingredients needed to make Cream Cheese Swirled Brownies
Making cream cheese brownies for Halloween couldn't be easier. If you do any baking at all, you likely have the majority of these ingredients already in your pantry. Here's a list of ingredients you'll need:
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: does not need to be Dutch-processed. Just straight up unsweetened cocoa powder, which can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores if you don't already have some handy
- Semisweet Chocolate Chips: your standard chocolate chips, nothing fancy here! The combination of cocoa powder and chocolate chips, which you will be melting with some hot water to make a thick fudge, make these brownies super moist and chocolatey. Exactly what we're going for!
- Unsalted Butter: for once, it does not need to be room temperature! Cuz you're just gonna melt it anyway, so no thinking ahead (at least on this ingredient). You can certainly use salted butter instead of unsalted if that's what you have on hand. Just reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe by half
- Vegetable Oil: if you do not have vegetable oil, use any neutral-flavored oil such as grapeseed oil or even avocado oil. Do not use olive oil, as the taste is strong and will come through in the finished brownie
- Eggs and Egg yolks: You'll need two of each for the brownie batter plus another whole egg for the cream cheese filling. I use standard US-size large eggs. These do need to be room temperature to allow for them to be evenly incorporated into the batter. Cold eggs, simply put, don't combine well with other wet ingredients. If you forgot to leave your eggs out on the counter, stick them in a bowl of warm (not hot or boiling) water for 10-15 minutes to take the chill out of them
- Vanilla Extract: go for the pure kind, not imitation. It just tastes way better. This is my absolute favorite kind - click here.
- Domino® Golden Sugar: Domino® Golden Sugar is made from pure cane sugar. It’s a less-processed, great-tasting sugar that works cup-for-cup like any white granulated sugar. It also has a hint of molasses that adds depth to any recipe
- All-Purpose Flour: Your standard pantry staple flour. I recommend using unbleached flour to avoid unnecessary chemicals, however, use whatever you have in your pantry and whatever brand you prefer. I tend to use King Arthur Flour or Trader Joe's brand
- Kosher Salt: Okay, so salt comes in lots of varieties (kosher, table, Himalayan, sea salt, etc) and some are more salty than others. I use kosher salt in almost all my recipes and the amount called for in the recipe is based on this variety. If you like less salt in your baked goods, use less. If you have a variety that is a bit saltier, cut down on the amount. Go with your gut on this one, the amount of salt will not alter the outcome of the recipe in terms of how the brownies bake
- Cream cheese: use the kind that comes in a brick, not whipped cream cheese. Be sure to leave it out on the counter for at least 30 minutes, preferably 60 or more, before using in this recipe. Cold cream cheese will not blend well and you'll wind up with lumps in your cream cheese filling which is no bueno
- Orange gel food coloring: a few drops are used to bring the Halloween colors to life in this recipe. I prefer to use gel food coloring vs water-based or liquid food coloring, as those varieties can alter the texture of the batter
- Optional: candy eyeballs, Halloween sprinkles and a bit of frosting or decorating icing to glue them on. These can be found on Amazon or in most craft stores in the baking aisle
Can I freeze these brownies?
Yes leftover baked brownies can certainly be frozen. I recommend wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap and placing in a freezer-safe plastic bag. They’ll keep in the freezer for about 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or, better yet, place in the microwave at 50% power for about 2 minutes until warm and gooey.
Can I make these cream cheese brownies gluten-free?
I have not tried this recipe with any other ingredients besides those that are listed. However, I have had much success with substituting gluten-free baking flour one-for-one with all-purpose flour in many baking recipes, therefore, I would deduce that gluten-free flour would work just fine in this recipe as well.
Tips for Making Cream Cheese Brownies
- I recommend using a metal baking pan vs a glass pan. Glass retains heat very well and the brownies will continue baking in the pan for a while after they are removed from the oven, potentially leading to overbaking. If using a glass baking dish, remove the brownies from the oven 5 minutes before the bake time called for in the recipe
- Start out with adding just a few drops of orange food coloring and add more, 1-2 drops at a time, until the desired color is reached. Adding too much at once could result in an undesirable color and there’s no going back
- Be careful not to overbake your brownies. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick directly in the center. There should be just a few crumbs stuck to the toothpick and no raw batter. Overbaking will lead to cakey or rubbery brownies vs chewy brownies
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Looking for more Halloween recipes? Give these a try:
15 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories392
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 14.2g 71%
- Cholesterol 85.2mg 29%
- Sodium 146.9mg 7%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1.2g 5%
- Sugars 36.2g
- Protein 4.7g 10%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
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Thank you for Domino® Sugar for sponsoring this post!