Cheesecake Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Ganache

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Somehow the gods of time have managed to speed us straight through October. In less than two weeks, I’ll be flying to Florida to compete in the World Food Championships–and you know it’s official because my completely un-glam face and bio have somehow been plastered on their website.

Watch out, WFC: your competition is about to get a whole lot derpier.

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As folks around me can attest, I have been baking a LOT lately. My friends, who have graciously volunteered to be guinea pigs help me taste-test my recipes over the past few weeks, are keeping me on track and–more importantly–helping keep me within the boundaries of sanity. Between writing and teaching and researching and emoting, the last thing I honestly want to do at the end of a long day is try recipes by myself, so thankfully these lovely folks are around to make the trial-and-error process a little less arduous.

My pants and the scale, on the other hand, are less happy campers.

Another downfall of all this prep is that I’ve temporarily suspended my no-added-sugar regimen in favor of the opposite: complete and reckless sugary abandon. My kitchen, which I’ve been too tired and too lazy to clean properly (why bother when it will just be coated in flour again the next day?), is now an artistic landfill of granulated sugar and egg splatters worthy of being transported to a modern art museum. The one upshot is that I’m also inclined to bake as much as I can during this interim period, which means that I’ll occasionally produce gems like these glorious cheesecake brownies with fudgy chocolate ganache and not even bat an eye as I photograph and devour the entire stack.

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Somehow I managed to salvage enough of these brownies from my ravenous maw to bring them to campus a couple of weeks back, which is how I know that they are some of the best brownies in the world. With an intensely rich brownie base, a creamy layer of cheesecake, and the fudgiest chocolate ganache you ever did see, these brownies are not for the weak. They are not for the faint of heart. And they certainly are not for the individual without a glass of milk.

They are, however, for those folks who want to make and eat what is possibly the best brownie I have ever tasted. You can see how I distract myself from the impending prospect of being in a food competition!

Well. Very, very well.

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I’ll still be posting regularly through next week, but we’ve been amping up the amount of time we’re dedicating to research and teaching lately, so there won’t be many more WFC updates until after the event happens on Thursday, November 5th. I’m not expecting much beyond having a fun time, but feel free to send awesome vibes my way if you have them to spare!

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Cheesecake Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Ganache

Cheesecake Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Ganache

Possibly the best brownies ever! A rich layer of brownies topped with no-bake cheesecake and a fudgy chocolate ganache. This brownie is not for the faint of heart--but it might just be YOUR new favorite!


For the brownies:

  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the no-bake cheesecake layer:

  • 1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk (I used soy milk)

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream


For the brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, cocoa powder, and sugar until smooth. Mix in eggs and vanilla. Fold in flour and salt.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20-23 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out mostly clean with moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake--doing so will result in a much cakier brownie! Your brownie should be fudgy and very moist.
  4. Allow to cool completely before layering on cheesecake and ganache (recipes below).

For the cheesecake:

  1. Beat together all ingredients until no lumps remain. Spread evenly over cooled brownies, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour before topping with ganache (recipe below).

For the chocolate ganache:

  1. Place chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl.
  2. Pour cream into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off heat, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly before pouring over cheesecake layer. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving.




13 Replies to “Cheesecake Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Ganache”

  1. First of all, congrats!!! You are definitely my odds-on favorite to win! And secondly, THESE BROWNIES!!!!! OH. MY. GOODNESS. Have fun, Ala!!

    1. Daww, you are undoubtedly the best, Kate! If I could send you a bajillion of these brownies RIGHT NOW, you can bet I would!

  2. You’ll have fun at the WFC. Good luck! And good luck to anyone trying to eat just one of these. Need two at least, I’d say. 😉 Really good — thanks.

    1. Thanks so much, John!

  3. Chelsea Madren says: Reply

    Hope to see you in Kissimmee!

    1. Yes! Let’s connect before the big week.

  4. Heaven help me – these look fabulous! THOSE layers!!! Brownies are fabulous on their own – but you combined them with cheesecake and ganache! Oh swoon!
    Good luck at the World Food Championships, Ala!!! You are so gonna rock!

  5. You know I’m your biggest fan, right? Go Ala! Go Ala! I’m rooting for you and go get that cash and crown. Meanwhile, let me enjoy this cheesecake brownies because it is so damn good!

    1. Thank you sooooo much, Linda!!! <3

  6. […]  Look at these decadent Cheesecake Brownies with Fudgy Chocolate Ganache! I can’t even. I need this in my life. […]

  7. Haha… I am hitting my inbox up in all kinds of weird and wonderful ways this morning. 🙂
    CONGRATS again on your win at the World Food Championships. You are my foodie hero.
    Now to this gorgeous dessert, it’d prob kill me with all the things I am not allowed to eat, but…. maybe worth it. Drooling all over my keyboard.

    1. hahahaha I’m so glad you’re catching up–THANK YOU, girl! I’m waiting for this holiday break so I can finally catch up on your latest awesome life news.

  8. Hey there! I realise this is an old post but thank you soo much for sharing! They look yum! Just had a they taste alright with just the cream cheese bit? Trying to make dessert for after an extremely heavy looking main course so was looking to cut down the richness of the brownie using the cream cheese bit ( im not confident to do anything other than brownies!)

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