Halloween “Scream!” Cheese Swirl Brownies

Halloween’s almost here and if you are still thinking of what to bring to a Halloween party, look no further! These Scream Cheese Swirl Brownies are the perfect dessert for any Halloween party. Brownie and orange tinted cheesecake batter are swirled together to make a festive and impressive dessert. Who can resist rich fudgy brownies with swirls of colorful cream cheese? This recipe is adapted from Christy from The Girl Who Ate Everything. In her recipe she used boxed brownie mix but suggested trying it made from brownies from scratch. Since I don’t keep boxed brownies in my pantry I wanted to make it with one of my favorite brownie recipe. The result? Well look for yourself! Deep dark chocolate brownies with delicious orange cheesecake swirls. This recipe was a huge hit and I loved the marbleized look of these festive brownies.

One Year Ago: Pumpkin Fudge 

Halloween “Scream!” Cheese Swirl Brownies 

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For the Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • orange food coloring

For the Brownie Layer:

  • 1 1/4 cups plain cake flour (5 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into six 1-inch pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Put a long piece of aluminum foil in the length of an 9X13 inch pan, letting the foil extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. Fit another piece of foil  into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. To make the cheesecake layer: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together cream cheese, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla, and flour and mix until combined, about 30 seconds. Add orange food coloring to desired color; set aside.
  3. To make the brownie layer: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
  4. In large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water, melt chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs one at time, whisking after each addition until combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  5. Transfer 3/4 of the batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface.
  6. Spread cream cheese mixture on top. Distribute the remaining brownie mixture in 16 dollops over batter in the pan. Swirl in with a knife or spatula.
  7. Bake until toothpick inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang.

Yields: 24 brownies

Source: adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything, originally adpated from Betty Crocker

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21 Responses to Halloween “Scream!” Cheese Swirl Brownies

  1. Yummy.. anything with pumpkin, cheesecake & brownies…

  2. Ha, I was thinking all they need is spiders. (Yes, really.) They look great!

  3. Geet says:

    What a perfect idea. I have to bring snack for kids concert for Halloween. Thank you. This wil make a super spooky dessert.

  4. jennknee says:

    Scream cheese!!!! This is so punny and so cute! I’m glad you made them from scratch rather than using a box mix. Always better that way. Good work YET again!!! 🙂

  5. How clever is that? I love this idea! They look delicious as well as cute. 🙂

  6. colleen says:

    I made a version of these with pumpkin mixed into the cream cheese part. So freaking good. I’m posting next week!

  7. Erin says:

    Perfect for Halloween, such a great orange swirl.

  8. ChgoJohn says:

    These are good in so many ways and just perfect for Halloween!

  9. Giacomo Calabrese says:

    Way to go as always Christina!

  10. Fun! I’ve made cheesecake swirl brownies before but never thought to make them Halloween-themed like you did. Very cute.

  11. Amy says:

    These sound so delicious! I love cheesecake swirl brownies, but these are beautiful wi the the orange!

  12. This sounds so tasty! I love the combination of cream cheese and chocolate…and the halloween twist is fun!

  13. I love how seasonal all your recipes are! These sound delicious and look like a lot of fun. I wanted to let you know I linked to one of your recipes on my Blogger Potluck post yesterday if you wanted to check it out. You can find it at http://www.muchtomydelight.com/2011/10/blogger-party-potluck-spooky-supper.html.

    Have a great weekend! Jenn

  14. Eileen says:

    These look great! For a variation, try Martha Stewart’s Pumpkin Swirl Brownies. (I know how much you love pumpkin!) She layers her brownies thick in the pan, making them difficult to swirl though, so I recommend making her recipe in a 9×13 pan & swirling the normal way. Then you’ll have 2 fabulous halloween brownies to choose from! It’s one of my favorite recipes. (Although I’m now bookmarking this one too.)

  15. Very cute decorative spiders. For a second there, I thought they were real!

  16. The rebel chick jenn says:

    These look delicious and perfect for a Halloween party!

  17. Pingback: Halloween Recipe Collection - Simply Stacie

  18. Very pretty – looking forward to reading the spider recipe soon 🙂

  19. Helen says:

    I made these, didnt turn out anything like the picture (the top looked more like a Martian landscape than anything else!), but the layering worked well on the inside, and they tasted delicious so I didnt mind too much! :p

    • Christina says:

      I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed them. I hate that they ended up looking like a Martian landscape! You have to be extra careful when swirling the brownies and I have learned that less swirling ends up looking nicer and you get more dramatic swirls. Thanks so much for sharing how they turned out for you! 🙂

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