I really don’t know what to call this. I envisioned a layer cake, but when I started making it, I realized that a fudgy brownie and a rich cheesecake with a layer of fudge frosting in the middle probably shouldn’t be 5″ high. It would be overkill for anyone who ate it. And I was right.
I made this on Friday/Saturday with the intention of having my girlfriends taste it for girls night when we come and spill the beans of our lives that no one else knows about. The ‘I said this, but I was really thinking that’ kind of hang out that every woman and her closest, secret-keeping friends need to have. And it deserved a very special treat to go with the gallons of wine we were consuming (with small amounts of food).
This recipe should make an 8″ cake. I, however, divided the batter for both and made a sample-sized one for me and the chicas, a brownie for The Hero and a cheesecake for me to eat for dinner. With a fork. Straight out the pan. In the bed. Watching Syfy. It was paradise: alone with a fork, my favorite dessert, and cheesy TV.
A few notes before you start baking: This is not labor intense, but it requires patience while everything cools. I highly suggest making the cheesecake the day or night before since it requires at least 2 hours to chill and hold its form.
Despite my love for cheesecake, I don’t own a springform pan because I always botched my cheesecakes up when I used my mom’s. What I did was butter a regular pan lightly and inverted the cheesecake when it came time to construct it. You could also line a regular pan with foil for easy removal, but it may be tricky getting the foil off the bottom without disrupting the crust too much. A really good nonstick pan works too. The key to any of these methods is to let the cheesecake cool the ENTIRE time before trying to do anything with it.
For the fudge frosting, definitely let it set slightly before sitting the cheesecake on top. I put mine in the fridge for about 15 minutes because it was still a little warm and finished it off from there.
I made this with two pans of the same size. You could make one smaller than the other if you don’t have two pans. You’ll end up with extra batter though, so just go get another pan.
Cheesecake Brownie Cake
- 1½ cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 8 sheets)
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup sugar
- 16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup butter or margarine
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup baking cocoa
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1½ teaspoons water
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar together. Press firmly against the bottom of your cake pan.
In large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs with an electric mixer on low until smooth. Pour half the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan.
Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until center is set. DO NOT open the oven for at least 30 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.
If you made the cheesecake ahead of time, heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking pan and set aside.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. In a large bowl, mix together the butter, sugars, cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the vanilla and eggs. Once fully combined, stir in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
While the brownies cool, prepare the fudge frosting.
Add the chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup to a small saucepan. Melt over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Once melted completely remove the glaze from the heat. Allow to cool until almost set, about 20 minutes. Gradually stir in the water until the glaze reaches spreadable consistency.
Place the brownie on a plate. Pour the glaze on the brownie layer and spread just to about ¼” from the edge in an even layer. Place the cheesecake on top of the glaze layer. Refrigerate immediately for 10 minutes to set the layers. Drizzle with any remaining glaze and serve.