Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies

I was already in the mood for something pepperminty while I was leafing through Sara’s latest issue of Cooking Light looking for some good holiday desserts. I suddenly came across a recipe for Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies and decided they were just the thing to make for a gathering at Sara’s and to bring home for my family’s post-Thanksgiving Thanksgiving (this time with my sister and her fiance).

I was super happy with how these brownies turned out and while they’re far from being healthy, a few Cooking Light recipe tweaks make them slightly not as bad for you. Happy holidays to that!

Ingredients for the cheesecake topping:

  • 1 8 oz. block of 1/3- less-fat cream cheese
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 1 t peppermint extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 T all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the brownie bottom:

  • 1 C all-purpose flour (4.5 ounces if you weigh it, which apparently you should be doing. Which I definitely don’t do)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1/4 C buttermilk
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 large egg

Start by making the cheesecake batter. Put the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat it (at medium speed if you have a hand mixer). Add the granulated sugar and peppermint extract and beat together. You’ll notice the official recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of peppermint extract. But I read the reviews and pretty much everyone said this wasn’t nearly enough. So I used a full teaspoon and thought the brownies had the perfect amount of peppermint flavor to them. And since they are peppermint brownies, that’s kind of important. Now add the whole egg and the 1 egg white and beat well before adding the flour and beating that until it’s just blended.

I separated my cream cheese topping into 2 bowls. One i kept white.

And the other, I added a bunch of red food coloring to.

I set these aside and started making the brownie portion of the dessert. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, and salt.

Then, in a larger bowl, combine brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, whole egg, and 2 egg whites, and beat until just blended.

Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie batter and set it aside. Pour the rest into a 9×9 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray (I used 8×8).

After I had the brownie batter in my pan, I poured my white cream cheese mixture on top. Then I poured the red on that and swirled it around with a knife. Then I dribbled the reserved brownie batter on top of that and swirled that around too. I think that next time I make these, I’ll keep more of the cream cheese topping white, as the red and brown kind of took over.

Put in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for about 26 minutes.

When they’re done, let cool for a bit and cut into them.

Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies are seriously the perfect holiday treat. The original Cooking Light recipe doesn’t use red food coloring, but I think it makes these ten times prettier and festive, right? Also, people are quite impressed by the swirly topping, though it’s incredibly easy to do. You’ll have no idea these brownies are lower fat when you bite into them. They’re incredibly moist and flavorful, basically melting in your mouth.

So, let the holiday baking and eating continue. And maybe we can work on some of the exercises included in Cooking Light after the holidays.


24 Responses to "Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies"

  1. RecipeGirl says:

    These are purdy. Love the pinky swirl 🙂

  2. Sara says:

    these were SO yummy!

  3. Susan says:

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


  4. Karen says:

    Those look so good! I think I’m going to make them for XMAS! One question though…what is unsweetened flour? I never knew there was such a thing!

  5. Heather says:

    how adorable! i love the swirl. don’t you hate it when cooking light tricks you into making a not-so-healthy dessert? these look worth it, though. they sound so tasty 🙂 hope everyone enjoyed them at your gatherings!

  6. BlondeSilverLining says:

    OMG, these sound amazing! I have a bunch of holiday parties next weekend and I think I’ll be making up some of these goodies to take along! Thanks for the recipe!

  7. ANG* says:

    YUM! look at that swirled beauty. cant wait to try these holiday brownies!

  8. Maria says:

    So festive!! And I am sure they are beyond tasty!

  9. Jay says:

    Just let me know where to send you my address. Otherwise it’s going to be awfully difficult for you to mail me the next batch of these.

  10. mygoodhouse says:

    Um yum, I love peppermint. Can’t wait to try!

  11. Maria says:

    That looks gorgeous! I’m going to need to try it out!

  12. Apples and Butter says:

    Great find in Cooking Light. I can’t believe the great pink color!

  13. CookiePie says:

    WOW – those sound absolutely delicious and they look so festive!!

  14. Kevin says:

    Peppermint and chocolate sounds like a really nice combo…mmm…

  15. We Are Not Martha says:

    Recipe Girl- Thanks! Purdy desserts are my favorites, especially when they involve pink (which was really supposed to be red)

    Sara- I hope you ate the ones I left with you!!

    Susan- Thanks for visiting!

    Karen- There probably isn’t…hehe, I meant cocoa. It has been fixed 🙂

    Heather- YES. Cooking Light sounds all great and healthy until you realize no, that doesn’t mean you can eat a whole batch and skip the gym. Darn it.

    BlondeSilverLining- Definitely let us know if you make them and how they turn out!

    ANG- The swirls look so fancy, but they’re super easy!

    Maria- Perfect for the holidays…and very delicious.

    Jay- Not sure how they will hold up in the mail, but it’s worth a try 🙂

    Mygoodhouse- If you make them, be sure to add the amount of peppermint extract I specified or else they won’t be nearly pepperminty enough for you!

    Maria- Let us know if you do!

    Apples and Butter- I just stumbled upon it and am so happy I did.

    CookiePie- Def. the perfect holiday treat. You could even make them for different holidays- orange for Halloween? Red and blue for the 4th?

    Kevin- It’s one of my favorite combos in the world. SO good!

  16. LindzML says:

    Oooh, I can’t wait. I usually don’t like cheesecake, but there’s no way I can’t try this.

  17. Northern Girl Southern Living says:

    Yikes this looks so delicious, I just may be adding them into christmas cookie tins this year 🙂

  18. Darius T. Williams says:

    Hmph – I bet these were just perfect – they look great!


  19. nicoleantoinette says:

    I just bought that issue of Cooking Light and tore that exact page out! To make this weekend!


  20. Happy cook says:

    Wow these brownies look superdelicious and moist. Live the colours too.
    You guys are almost martha and you both are looking far more glamorous than martha 🙂

  21. VeggieGirl says:


  22. Tami says:

    I love the color of these brownies! I bet that they were great!

  23. Ja Declue says:

    nice post , thank you for your efforts.

  24. Katja says:

    i realize that this is a 2-year-old post, but i thought i’d offer my opinions anyway for those who may attempt the recipe. i also had some difficulty with the basics of this recipe. the baking time is off by 15-20 minutes. i baked them for 14 minutes, turned the pan, another 14 minutes and they were still quite raw. i put them back in for another 10 minutes, checked them, and then another 5. by my math, that is 43 minutes. there are some variables, however. i know my oven is not calibrated properly, but it’s usually close on time. i also used a smaller pan because it’s what i had, but i still think that it’d not take almost double the time to cook these properly. i used 1/2 teaspoon of extract after reading several reviews and i think it made them taste properly minty.

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