This raspberry brownie cheesecake has a creamy classic cheesecake filling with thick ribbons of raspberry puree on top of a fudgy brownie crust. It’s the perfect, decadent dessert for any occasion.
This post is sponsored by Domino® Sugar. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Dollop of Dough possible!
There's one thing that can make a baked cheesecake even better, and that's a brownie crust. This raspberry brownie cheesecake has a classic tangy cheesecake filling on top of a chewy, fudgy crust based on my small batch brownie recipe. With big swirls of raspberry sauce, it's tart, fruity, and truly a showstopper!
I made this cheesecake with Domino® Golden Sugar. This is a pure cane sugar that is less processed than white sugar and can be used in place of it cup-for-cup. It has just a hint of molasses flavor and a beautiful golden color.
This cheesecake is thick and creamy because it's baked low and slow. Sometimes cheesecakes can turn out baked on the outside and soupy on the inside. That’s not the case here!
Not only does this cheesecake have the perfect texture, but the flavor is spot on. Raspberry puree made from tart ripe raspberries pairs perfectly with the rich brownie crust. Plus, those thick swirls are super eye-catching!
One of the best parts about this recipe, however, is that it doesn't require a water-bath! Yes, if you follow all the tips in this post, you can make a beautiful, crack-free cheesecake without that extra step. It's perfect served at parties, showers, or any occasion.
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and the full instructions, see the recipe card below.
Ingredients for the raspberry swirl.
For the brownie crust.
For the cheesecake filling.
- Raspberries- Fresh raspberries work best for this recipe, but you can use frozen raspberries too. Make sure to thaw and drain any extra liquid from the frozen berries before using.
- Domino® Golden Sugar- This adds the perfect amount of sweetness to all components of the cheesecake and just a hint of molasses flavor.
- Lemon juice- The brightness of fresh lemon juice enhances the natural flavor of the raspberries.
- Bittersweet chocolate- Use chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids. If you use chocolate with less cocoa solids, the brownie crust will have too much sugar and won't set up properly.
- Unsalted butter- Melted butter adds extra fat and a rich flavor to the crust.
- Large eggs- Eggs are key ingredient in both the brownie bottom and cheesecake filling. They help bind the ingredients together, add a rich flavor, and help the brownie batter rise. Make sure the eggs are at room temperature so they mix in evenly. Pull them out of the refrigerator about an hour before baking.
- Vanilla extract- A splash of vanilla in the crust and cheesecake filling deepens the flavors.
- All purpose flour- This flour gives the brownies a delicious fudgy texture. Measure it in grams with a kitchen scale to prevent dryness.
- Cocoa powder- I prefer the deep, rich flavor of Dutch-processed cocoa powder. This cocoa powder is treated with alkali to reduce acidity. Unsweetened cocoa powder (also called natural cocoa powder) also works.
- Salt- A pinch of salt offsets the sweetness of the brownies and enhances the overall flavor.
- Cream cheese- This makes up the base of our cheesecake. Use full-fat cream cheese for the richest texture. Buy cream cheese blocks, not cream cheese that comes in a tub (it'll be too runny). Make sure it's softened and at room temperature. Pull it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours before baking.
- Sour cream- Use full-fat sour cream for the creamiest texture. Pull it out of the refrigerator with the cream cheese.
- Unsalted butter: Salted butter can be used in the brownies instead, just omit the extra salt in the recipe.
- All purpose flour: Make the cheesecake gluten free by using gluten free baking flour.
- Sour cream: Substitute full-fat Greek yogurt for the sour cream.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
- A blender or food processor is necessary for making the raspberry puree. I like to pour mine through a fine mesh sieve to strain out the seeds.
- A 9-inch springform pan is needed to bake the cheesecake in. This type of pan has latched sides that separate from the bottom. They're super common for baking cheesecakes, quiches, and more.
- I used a 5-quart stand mixer to make the cheesecake filling, but an electric hand mixer works perfectly fine too.
Step by Step Instructions
Here's how to make the raspberry brownie cheesecake. Before you start, gather your equipment and wash and dry your raspberries if needed.
STEP 1: First, place your raspberries, Domino® Golden Sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
STEP 2: Next, pour the raspberry puree through a mesh strainer into a bowl to remove the seeds. You'll need to press the puree through with a rubber spatula. Discard the seeds and set the puree aside while you make the brownie crust.
STEP 3: To make the brownie bottom, first preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Melt chopped bittersweet chocolate and butter in a large bowl, microwaving at 30 second increments and stirring in between each until smooth.
STEP 4: In a large mixing bowl, whisk Domino® Golden Sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together. Whisk rapidly until the mixture is slightly frothy and pale.
STEP 5: As you whisk, stream in the slightly cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture until well combined.
STEP 6: Next, gently fold the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula. Fold until dry streaks of flour disappear.
STEP 7: Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth out the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs
STEP 8: Remove the brownies from the oven and reduce the heat to 325°F/165°C. Set the pan aside while you make the cheesecake filling.
STEP 9: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat room temperature cream cheese, Domino® Golden Sugar, and vanilla on high until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula so there are no clumps.
STEP 10: Next, beat in the sour cream. Then mix in eggs one at a time on low until combined.
STEP 11: With a rubber spatula, fold the ingredients in a figure-8 motion to remove air bubbles. Firmly tap the bowl on the counter a couple times to pop air bubbles and pour the filling over the brownie crust.
STEP 12: Smooth out the filling with an offset spatula and spoon tablespoons of raspberry puree on top. Use a butter knife, toothpick, or skewer to create large swirls. Bake for 55 minutes-1 hour. The cheesecake is done when the edges are puffed and golden brown. The center should be jiggly.
STEP 13: When it's done baking, remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on top of it. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool for 15 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the inside of the pan. Let the cheesecake cool on top of the oven for 1-2 hours, then cover with plastic wrap and let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
When you're ready to serve, release the pan, slice, and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Use room temperature ingredients. Using room temperature cream cheese and eggs is so important. Not only will they mix the best, but using softened cream cheese will prevent little lumps that can cause cracks.
- Cool gradually. Even if your cheesecake didn't crack in the oven, it can crack while it cools. Let it cool gradually on top of your warm oven. A sudden temperature change can shock the cheesecake and crack it.
- Cover or fix the cracks. If your cheesecake does crack, you can fill them with a little leftover raspberry puree. You can also run a spoon under hot water, dry it off, and apply gentle pressure to fix the cracks.
How to Prevent Cracks
Baked cheesecakes are a little intimidating to make because they are notorious for cracking. However, there are several ways you can prevent them!
First, make sure to beat the wet ingredients (NOT the eggs though) on high speed. Everything needs to be super creamy and smooth with very few lumps. Leftover chunks of cream cheese can cause cracks.
Add your eggs on low speed. When mixing the eggs, we want to add as little air as possible. Too much can cause big air bubbles in the batter that make the cheesecake rise and fall too quickly when baking, causing cracks.
This recipe doesn't require one, but you can use a water bath to keep cracks at bay. Fill a roasting pan with boiling water and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the cheesecake on the rack above it. The steam keeps the cheesecake from drying out and cracking.
Finally, gradually cool your cheesecake once it's done baking. I like to put mine on top of the oven to cool for an hour or 2 at first because it's the warmest place in the kitchen. An extreme temperature change from the oven to a cold counter can cause the cheesecake to crack.
Additions and Variations
Here are some toppings and other additions for the cheesecake. I haven't tested these, so let me know how it goes in the comments if you try!
- Chocolate Ganache Drizzle: A drizzle of chocolate ganache over the top adds an extra decadent component.
- White Chocolate Chips: Mix white chocolate chips into the brownie batter for a creamy, sweet twist that complements the tartness of the raspberries.
- Whipped Cream: Top the cheesecake with a dollop of regular or chocolate-flavored whipped cream.
- Toasted Almonds: Garnish the cheesecake with toasted almond slices to add a nice crunch.
- Dark Chocolate Shavings: Generously sprinkle dark chocolate shavings over the top for an elegant touch.
Storage and Freezing
Store your cheesecake in the refrigerator in a large airtight container like a cake carrier. Chill up to 5 days.
This cheesecake can be frozen in individual slices. Slice up the cheesecake and store the slices in an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Let the slices thaw in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before eating (or you can eat them frozen for an extra refreshing treat).
Frequently Asked Questions
I recommend making the brownies first and then pressing them into wells of a lined muffin tin to form individual crusts. Then add the filling and raspberry swirl and bake for 18-20 minutes at 325°F.
You can cut the recipe in half to make cheesecake bars using an 8x8" or 9x9" inch baking pan. You can also use a 8 inch springform pan.
The cheesecake is done baking when the edges are puffed and slightly golden in color. The edges will look mostly set but the center will still be jiggly. It should have more of a slight wobble than a super sloshy jiggle.
More Cake Recipes to Try
Raspberry Brownie Cheesecake
- 6 ounces fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoon Domino® Golden Sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Place raspberries, Domino® Golden Sugar, and lemon juice in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.6 ounces fresh raspberries, 2 tablespoon Domino® Golden Sugar, 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and pour the raspberry puree into it. Press it with a rubber spatula to remove the seeds. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to protect against leaks.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in a heatproof bowl, mixing every 30 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Let the mixture cool slightly.8 oz bittersweet chocolate, ½ cup unsalted butter
- In a large bowl, whisk Domino® Golden Sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract together until the color is pale.1 ¼ cup Domino® Golden Sugar, 3 large eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- While beating, pour the melted chocolate and butter into the egg mixture. Continue mixing until well combined.
- Gently fold the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until no dry streaks of flour remain.¾ cup all purpose flour, ½ cup cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon salt
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some moist crumbs. Reduce the heat to 325°F/165°C after you remove the pan from the oven.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat softened cream cheese, Domino® Golden Sugar, and vanilla on high until smooth and creamy.24 oz full-fat cream cheese, ¾ cup Domino® Golden Sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add the sour cream and beat well. Mix in the eggs one at a time on low just until blended.½ cup sour cream, 3 large eggs
- Use rubber spatula to fold the ingredients in a figure 8 motion, removing air bubbles. Firmly tap the bowl on the counter a couple times to pop air bubbles. Pour the filling over the brownie crust.
- Spoon tablespoons of raspberry sauce all over the top of the filling, leaving space in between each dollop. Use a butter knife, toothpick, or skewer to create swirls.
- Bake at 325°F/165°C for 55 minutes-1 hour. The cheesecake is done when the edges are slightly puffed and golden brown. The center will be jiggly.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place on top of it. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool on top of it for 15 minutes. Then, gently run a knife around the inside of the pan. Allow it to cool on top of the oven for 1-2 hours. Then cover with plastic wrap and let it cool in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to serve, release the springform pan, slice and enjoy!