Red Velvet Brownies

These Red Velvet Brownies have a rich chocolate base, walnuts, and a cream cheese swirl. They are a decadent dessert that’s perfect for any occasion!

three red velvet brownies stacked on a white plate.

If you like red velvet cake, you have to try these Red Velvet Brownies! They have all of the elements of a red velvet cake, made into a rich chocolate brownie.

This recipe comes from a 1990s church cookbook. I was initially intrigued by the idea, and when I made them—WOW was I impressed!

There’s a rich chocolate layer, tinted with red food coloring. We’ll add walnuts to that layer (just like the walnuts on top of red velvet cake), and then add a cheesecake layer that gets swirled in.

They’re thick, fudgy, and delicious straight from the refrigerator. This dessert is truly red velvet perfection. I think I like them even better than the cake.

I love these for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, or any time you have a craving for red velvet!

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pan of red velvet brownies with a swirled top.

Top tips for making red velvet brownies

  • Make sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before blending it. This will ensure that the filling stays creamy. Here are 4 methods for softening cream cheese if you need them!
  • I used regular red food coloring (McCormick brand) for this recipe. If you use gel food coloring, you may need less.
  • I like using a skewer to create the swirl. You can also use a butter knife.
  • To create the prettiest slices, refrigerate the brownies before cutting.


ingredients for red velvet brownies on a white table.
  • The brownie layer is made up of typical ingredients: butter, sugar, cocoa powder, flour, eggs, salt, and vanilla.
  • The vinegar is classic in red velvet cake recipes. For this recipe, it adds a little tanginess to offset the richness of the brownies.
  • We’ll need one teaspoon of red food coloring to create the gorgeous red hue.
  • Walnuts add crunch to the brownie layer.
  • The cheesecake layer is made of cream cheese, egg, vanilla, and sugar.

How to make red velvet brownies

Start by placing the melted butter in a large bowl. Whisk in 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, vinegar, and 2 eggs.

I used regular red food coloring (McCormick brand, from Target) here. If you use gel food coloring, you may need less.

Fold in the flour and walnuts.

red velvet brownie batter in a glass bowl with a pink spatula.

Reserve ⅓ cup of the mixture, and then pour the rest into a greased 8×8 inch pan. You can also line the pan with parchment paper instead of greasing it.

Then, combine the softened cream cheese, one egg, vanilla, and sugar. Beat with a hand mixer until smooth.

cream cheese mixture in a glass bowl.

Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the brownie batter. I like using an offset spatula for this.

offset spatula spreading a cream cheese mixture.

Dollop the reserved brownie batter on top. Use a skewer or a butter knife to swirl the two mixtures together.

skewer swirling brownie batter and a cream cheese mixture in a glass baking dish.

Bake the red velvet brownies for 25–28 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.

Let the brownies cool completely.

a single red velvet brownie on a white plate next to a red napkin.

Tips for cutting red velvet brownies

You will get the cleanest cuts by refrigerating the brownies before slicing them.

Let the brownies cool completely and refrigerate for at least two hours. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the brownies, cleaning the knife off with a paper towel in between cuts.

Storage and freezing

Red Velvet Brownies should be stored in the refrigerator. I think they’re the most delicious when cold, but you can let them come to room temperature before serving if you’d prefer.

You can also freeze Red Velvet Brownies in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let them defrost either in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

red velvet brownies on a white cake stand with a red rim.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use gel food coloring?

You can definitely use gel food coloring instead of traditional food coloring. Start with 2–3 drops and add more as needed.

How do I create the swirl?

I like using a wooden skewer for creating the prettiest swirls. Drop small spoonfuls of the red velvet batter, then drag the skewer through that, using a gentle circular motion as you go. Repeat with the remaining spoonfuls.

How do I know if the brownies are done?

The toothpick test works well for brownies. Unlike cake, you don’t want the toothpick to come out completely clean. Instead, insert a toothpick into the center of the brownies. It should have moist crumbs attached. If the center is still very gooey, bake the brownies for a few more minutes.

More bar cookies

I love a good brownie/bar cookie! Here are a few favorites:

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

three red velvet brownies stacked on a white plate.

Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Swirl

Published by Kate
These decadent bars transform the flavors of red velvet cake into a brownie!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 servings
Calories 394 kcal


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • cup sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8 inch baking dish with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper.
  • Place the melted butter, 1 cup of sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, vinegar, and 2 eggs in a large bowl. Whisk until combined. Stir in the flour and walnuts just until combined.
  • Reserve ⅓ cup of the brownie batter for the top. Pour the remaining batter into the prepared pan.
  • In another bowl, stir together the softened cream cheese, remaining ¼ cup sugar, and remaining egg. Carefully spread the mixture over the brownie batter in the pan.
  • Dollop the reserve ⅓ cup of batter over the top in small spoonfuls. Drag a skewer or knife through the batter to create a swirl pattern.
  • Bake for 25–30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely, slice, and serve.


To get the cleanest cuts, let the brownies cool completely and refrigerate for 2 hours before slicing. 
Store brownies in the refrigerator. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months.
If you’re using gel food coloring, start with 2–3 drops and add more as needed. 


Calories: 394kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 6gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 13gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.4gCholesterol: 107mgSodium: 247mgPotassium: 134mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 734IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 1mg
Keyword red velvet brownies
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