These coconut cheesecake brownies combine an easy homemade brownie batter with a coconut cream cheese swirl. What a combination! I like adding a little oil to the brownie batter to keep the baked brownies extra soft and moist. These fudge-like brownies are a wonderful contrast to the creamy, tangy, and sweet pockets of coconut cheesecake. They’re the perfect choice if you need a fun & crowd-pleasing brownie recipe!
This recipe yields a 9-inch square pan of cheesecake brownies. Imagine biting into coconut cream pie, brownies, and cheesecake all at once– that’s what you’ll get here. Unapologetically rich and totally unforgettable!
Tell Me About These Coconut Cheesecake Brownies
- Flavor: I’ve made a lot of from-scratch brownie recipes before, but I really enjoy this one because the brownies remain soft, don’t dry out, and are intensely chocolatey. (We can thank the cocoa powder and vegetable oil/butter combination for all that!) We’ll use sweetened shredded coconut in the cheesecake swirl. The chocolate flavor is intense and can overpower the coconut, so I recommend adding some coconut extract too. Let’s make sure we can taste both the chocolate AND coconut.
- Texture: If you crave texture, you’ll enjoy these coconut cheesecake brownies because each bite has a bit of everything– soft, dense, chewy, creamy, and a little crackle on those shiny brownie tops.
- Ease: This is an easy recipe that bakers of any skill level can accomplish. Obviously these aren’t plain brownies, so set aside some time to prepare the cheesecake batter. Swirling the two batters together is nothing more than spooning, spreading, and swirling each together. There’s truly nothing complicated, so don’t overthink it!
Making the Coconut Cheesecake Batter
Grab a large mixing bowl and electric mixer for this part of the recipe. The coconut cheesecake swirl isn’t only cream cheese, sugar, and coconut– I like adding a little softened butter to keep the cheesecake creamy. Butter obviously thins out the cheesecake batter, so let’s add a little flour and egg to thicken it back up. The printable recipe below gives us a creamy cheesecake batter that still maintains structure around the heavy brownies. That’s important!
For the coconut extract, you can usually find this with the vanilla extract or other flavor extracts (like almond) in the baking aisle. I use and recommend coconut extract for coconut cake and coconut cream pie, too.
Making the Brownie Batter
Use another large mixing bowl and grab a whisk for this part of the recipe. I recommend making the cheesecake batter first because the brownie batter thickens as it sits. And the thicker it is, the more difficult it is to swirl with the cheesecake.
I always love how vegetable oil keeps chocolate cake soft and moist, so I added some to this brownie batter. I don’t think I’ll ever turn back! In fact, I bet you could replace a couple Tablespoons of melted butter with the same amount of vegetable oil in these regular homemade brownies— you’d have even softer brownies. I also love that all of the chocolate flavor comes from cocoa powder, so you don’t need baking chocolate like other brownie recipes. Baking chocolate adds wonderful chocolate flavor to brownies, but you may not always have it on hand. Cocoa powder is usually a more common and convenient ingredient.
(Side note: I do add chocolate chips, but you could easily leave those out. Did you know that adding chocolate chips to brownie batter helps achieve those shiny crackly tops? If you love that iconic shine, don’t skip the chocolate chips.)
You will LOVE these brownies even without the cheesecake swirl. If you want to skip the cheesecake, see recipe note below.
Assembling Coconut Cheesecake Brownies
Like I mention above, do not overthink this step! Here’s what I do:
Spread about 1/3 of the brownie batter over the bottom of your lined pan. This makes a good base for the brownies. Drop spoonfuls of cheesecake batter randomly on top. Use your spoon or grab a knife to gently swirl together. Spoon about 1/3 more of the brownie batter on top. Do the same with more cheesecake batter. Gently swirl. Finish spooning remaining batters on top and gently swirl.
More Favorite Brownie Recipes
These rich and fudge-like coconut cheesecake brownies combine an easy homemade brownie batter with a coconut cream cheese swirl. I recommend making the cheesecake batter first because the brownie batter thickens as it sits. And the thicker it is, the more difficult it is to swirl with the cheesecake.
- one 8-ounce block (225g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons (15g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 and 1/4 cups (100g) sweetened shredded coconut*
- 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 Tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup (62g) unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup (63g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a 9×9 inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the brownies after cooling. Set aside.
- Make the cheesecake batter first: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the flour, granulated sugar, egg, and coconut extract and beat until fully combined. Finally, beat in the shredded coconut on low speed until combined. Set aside at room temperature.
- Make the brownie batter: Slice the butter into Tablespoon-size pieces and melt in the microwave in a large heat-proof bowl or in a small saucepan on the stove. (Transfer melted butter to a large bowl if using the stove.) Whisk the oil and granulated sugar into the melted butter. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes to slightly cool. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add the cocoa powder, flour, and salt and whisk until combined. Batter will be thick. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Assemble: (This step does NOT have to be exact or perfect. Do not overthink it– just spoon and swirl.) Spoon about 1/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spread it all over the bottom as best you can. Take about 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and drop spoonfuls of it on top of the brownie batter. Use your spoon or a knife to gently swirl together. Use another 1/3 of the brownie batter and drop spoonfuls of it on top. Use another 1/3 of the cheesecake batter and drop spoonfuls of it on top. Gently swirl together. Repeat spooning remaining brownie and cheesecake batters. Gently swirl together.
- Bake for 40-42 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. I recommend tenting the brownies with aluminum foil after about 25 minutes to protect the top from over-browning. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Cool brownies completely.
- Lift the brownies out using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Cut into squares.
- Cover leftover brownies and store at room temperature for up to 1 day or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Freezing Instructions: Freeze cut brownies in single layers between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
- Sweetened Shredded Coconut: I strongly recommend using sweetened shredded coconut because it’s moister than unsweetened and that makes a big difference in the cheesecake swirl’s texture. Knowing the texture and flavor will change, you can use unsweetened coconut flakes if that’s all you have. Give them a rough chop before using.
- Plain Brownies: For plain brownies, skip the entire cheesecake batter. Spread brownie batter into prepared 9-inch square pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs.
- Plain Cheesecake: For plain cheesecake brownies, leave out the coconut extract and coconut.
- 9×13 Inch Pan: I have not tested it, but this recipe should double easily for a 9×13 inch size pan. I’m unsure of the best bake time.
Keywords: coconut cheesecake brownies