These Nutella Cheesecake Brownies have a fudgy Nutella Brownie base that is topped with a creamy cheesecake layer swirled with additional Nutella on top.
If you really love brownies you will want to try these Sweetened Condensed Milk Brownies, these Nutella Brownie Cookies, these Creme Brulee Brownies, these Nutella Raspberry Brownies or these Fresh Mint Brownies.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- These brownies are basically two desserts in one, a rich fudgy hazelnut brownie and creamy cheesecake with a Nutella swirl.
- These brownies are easy to make and don't require any fancy ingredients.
- You can mix this brownie batter by hand. No need to get out an electric mixer.
- They also store really well. In fact I think they taste even better and are fudgier the next day.
All you need are a few simple ingredients to make these rich and fudgy Nutella Cheesecake Brownies.
Butter: When baking I prefer to use unsalted butter and add salt to the recipe. That way I can control the saltiness of the final recipe.
Bringing the butter to room temperature isn't necessary since we will be browning it before adding it to the cookie recipe.
Melting the butter also stops air bubbles from forming when it is mixed with sugar. Adding additional air to the brownie will make them fluffy, which we don't want.
Nutella: In this recipe, we are using Nutella and just Nutella no additional chocolate is necessary. I really wanted the hazelnut flavor in these brownies to be strong. Nutella's already smooth and creamy texture adds to the brownie's gooeyness.
Brown and White Sugar: Both brown and white sugar are used. Brown sugar adds moisture along with some delicious caramel notes. White sugar ensures a crunch shiny crust on top.
Whole Large Eggs + an Extra Egg Yolk: Eggs act as a binding agent and also add structure and leavening. There are no chemical leaveners in these brownies ensuring that they remain thick and fudgy rather than cakey. The extra fat from the additional egg yolk adds extra richness to the brownie.
Save the extra egg white to make this Lemon Swiss Meringue.
Hazelnut Liqueur: The hazelnut liqueur helps to intensify the hazelnut flavor. Who doesn't like a slightly boozy brownie?
All-Purpose Flour: There isn't much flour in these brownies and all-purpose flour adds just enough structure. For accuracy, the best way to measure the flour is by using a digital kitchen scale.
Tip: If you don't have a digital scale, spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it with the back of a butter knife. Try not to compress the flour into the measuring cup. Too much flour creates dense cookies.
Salt: I add at least a pinch of salt to all of my recipes. Salt complements and intensifies the other flavors. For all of my recipes, I use Morton Kosher Salt which packs more densely than Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you are using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt you will want to double the amount of salt you add.
Cream Cheese: I recommend using full-fat cream cheese and it needs to be at room temperature so that when you cream it together with the sugar it will be nice and smooth with no lumps.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
Hazelnut Liquor: If you prefer to cook without alcohol you can substitute 2 teaspoons of vanilla or almond extract. Use a smaller amount. Extracts tend to have a stronger flavor.
Add two tablespoons of espresso powder to the batter along with the dry ingredients to make mocha brownies.
Mix-Ins: Add a few mix-ins like chocolate chips or nuts to change up the flavor.
If you don't have a 9x9 pan you can bake these brownies in an 8x8 pan. The brownies will be thicker so the bake time will be a bit longer.
Add a sprinkle of flaky sea salt to the top of these brownies to bring out the chocolate flavor!
Step by Step Directions
Step 1: Slice the butter into pieces and melt it in a light-colored skillet over medium heat stirring or whisking constantly. (Image 1) Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. (Image 2)
Continue stirring/whisking for about 5-7 minutes, the foam will begin to subside and the melted butter will darken to a deep amber color. (Images 3 & 4) Remove the browned butter from the heat, and pour it into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 30 minutes.
Tip: Using a light-colored pan makes it easier to monitor the color of the butter as it browns.
If you still have questions about how to brown butter, check out this video on how to brown butter from America's Test Kitchen.
Browned butter makes everything more delicious. Try one of these other recipes made with browned butter: Sage Chicken Meatballs, Brown Butter Pecan Scones, Sourdough Snickerdoodles, One-Bowl Banana Bread, Nutella Brownie Cookies, Pumpkin Pecan Cobbler, and Sourdough Oatmeal Cookies.
Step 2: Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper allowing the ends to extend over two of the sides. Grease the pan with cooking spray. (Image 5)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
Step 3: In a large bowl, mix the butter, brown and white sugar, eggs, egg yolk, hazelnut liquor, and Nutella until combined. (Image 6)
Step 4: Add the flour and salt and stir until just combined. (Image 7)
Step 5: Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. (Image 8)
Step 6: In a medium bowl whisk the cream cheese, sugar, and salt together until smooth. An electric mixer and softened cream cheese will make this step easier.
Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract until well combined. (Image 9)
Step 7: Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter. (Image 10)
Step 8: Heat the Nutella in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Drizzle the Nutella over the cheesecake batter. (Image 11)
Step 9: Use a butter knife to swirl the two together. (Image 12)
Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with very moist crumbs clinging to it. Remember the brownies will continue to bake as they cool.
Cool completely before using the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and cut them into squares.
Tip: Make these brownies even better by serving them with a scoop of your favorite ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge. Try this Peanut Butter Swirl Chocolate Ice Cream.
Storage and Freezing Instructions
If you are planning to store the brownies rather than eating them right away it is best to wait to cut them until you are ready to eat them. Cutting the brownies exposes them to air causing them to dry out more quickly.
Tightly wrap the brownies in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container.
Because these brownies contain cream cheese they should be stored in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for at least 3-4 days.
Tip: The brownie will have a better flavor if you allow it to return to room temperature before eating it.
To freeze brownies: Wrap the brownies tightly in plastic wrap and then place them in a zip-top bag. Label the bag with the date and contents. Frozen brownies will stay fresh for up to three months.
Allow the brownies to thaw at room temperature before eating.
Light-colored metal pans make the best brownies. Glass or dark-colored metal pans heat unevenly and can cause the edges to overbake or even burn.
If a glass or dark pan is all you have, reduce the oven temperature by 25°F (4°C) and keep an eye on the brownies as they bake.
Always grease the pan thoroughly with shortening, softened butter, or cooking spray. To make brownie removal easy, after greasing the pan, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Cut the pieces longer than the pan so that the sides hang over the edge of the pan creating a sling. Grease the lining to make sure it will easily peel away from the brownies.
When fully baked the brownies will puff slightly, and have a shiny slightly cracked top. Insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies. When you remove the toothpick there should only be a few crumbs clinging to the toothpick.
If you have an instant-read thermometer the center of the brownies should be cooked to 165°F (74°C).
Always grease the pan thoroughly with shortening, softened butter, or cooking spray. To make brownie removal easy, after greasing the pan, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
Cut the pieces longer than the pan so that the sides hang over the edge of the pan creating a sling. Grease the lining to make sure it will easily peel away from the brownies.
For neater slices, allow the brownies to cool for at least an hour before cutting. This will allow the chocolate and fat to set. Use a large serrated knife to easily cut even pieces. Clean the knife between each cut to minimize sticking.
- For accuracy, use a kitchen scale and measure ingredients in grams. Weight measurements are more accurate than volume measurements and will give you the most consistent results. This is my favorite kitchen scale because the display pulls out so that it is easy to view when measuring in large bowls.
- Use room temperature ingredients. They are easier to incorporate.
- Do not overbeat the batter once the flour has been added. Over mixing traps more air creating a lighter less fudgy brownie.
- Bake the brownies on the middle rack.
- Err on the side of under-baked brownies rather than over-baked brownies. Brownies will continue to bake even after they have been pulled out of the oven. After they have cooled for about 15 minutes use the ends of the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan and place them on a cooling rack to continue cooling down.
- Do not slice the brownies until they have cooled completely. These brownies can be sticky so allowing them to cool before cutting will create neater slices.
Comment below and let me know do you prefer fudgy or cakey brownies?
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Nutella Cheesecake Brownies
- medium sauce pan
- mixing bowl
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup Nutella
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tablespoon hazelnut liquor
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese softened
- ⅓ cup granulated white sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 eggs room-temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup Nutella
- Slice the ⅓ cup unsalted butter into pieces and melt it in a light-colored skillet over medium heat stirring or whisking constantly. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Continue stirring/whisking for about 5-7 minutes, the butter will become a deep amber color. Remove the browned butter from the heat, and pour it into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 30 minutes.
- Line a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper allowing the ends to extend over two of the sides. Grease pan with cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- In a large bowl, mix the butter, 1 cup Nutella, ¼ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup granulated white sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 egg yolk, and 2 tablespoon hazelnut liquoruntil combined.
- Add the ½ cup all-purpose flour and ½ teaspoon kosher salt and stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- In a medium bowl whisk the 2 8 oz packages of cream cheese, ⅓ cup granulated white sugar and ½ teaspoon kosher salt together until smooth. An electric mixer and softened cream cheese will make this step easier.
- Stir in the 2 eggs and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract until well combined.
- Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie batter.
- Heat the Nutella in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Drizzle the ½ cup Nutella over the cheesecake batter and use a butter knife to swirl the two together.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with very moist crumbs clinging to it. Remember the brownies will continue to bake as they cool.
- Cool completely before using the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan and cut them into squares.