Desserts

Mini Heart-Shaped Brownie Cheesecakes

What better way to celebrate the season of affection than with these mini heart-shaped brownie cheesecakes? It is a perfect marriage of velvety, smooth cheesecake nestled atop a rich, fudgy brownie base. Simple and quick to make, these are gifts straight from the heart.

Who needs Cupid when we have indulgent treats to swoon our sweeties!! There is so much sweetness everywhere you look, filled with delectable goodies, balloons, and flowers!

And while I have always loved Valentine’s Day and what it represents, it feels like so much pressure nowadays, not to mention commercialism. Gone are the days of simple gestures and a fancy dinner out, right?

Anyhooo….Let’s talk, sweets! These little brownie cheesecakes are the perfect treat for someone special if you’re looking for quick and easy but cute, elegant, and sure to impress! To make it even easier, you can use a boxed brownie mix, but my recipe comes together pretty quickly, too.

These make great Mother’s Day desserts, too!

Ingredient Notes And Substitutions

Ingredients for mini heart cheesecake brownies

All-purpose flour ~ A 1:1 gluten-free flour can be substituted.

Chocolate chips~ use good quality chocolate. I typically use 60% to 72% cocoa, but semi-sweet is also great.

Unsalted butter ~ You’ll use this to melt with the chocolate. If you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.

Brown sugar ~ adds to the depth of flavor and denseness of the brownies

Espresso powder ~ enhances the chocolate flavor without tasting like coffee….magic!

Kahlua ~ totally optional, but it really kicks it up a notch and a little sophistication. You could substitute

Eggs ~ for the brownies and the cheesecake.

Cream cheese ~ yep, for the cheesecake. Do Not Use fat-free or low-fat here! Full fat all the way

Sour cream ~ adds even more creaminess.!

How To Make Mini Heart-Shaped Cheesecake Brownies

Here is a quick run-through. Below, you will find a printable recipe card with complete ingredients and instructions.

  1. Melt the chocolate. Place a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan filled with an inch of water. Add the chopped chocolate and the butter, and turn the heat on low. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
  2. Add the espresso powder, kahlua, and vanilla. Stir until well mixed. Let the mixture cool slightly, then add the egg. Mix to combine and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until smooth.
  4. In another bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract, beating until the cheesecake filling is velvety and well combined. Spoon a small amount of brownie batter into each heart-shaped pan.
  5. Add the cheesecake filling on top using a separate spoon, leaving about 1/2 of the space at the top for the batter to rise. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remember, you want the cheesecake layer to be set but still slightly jiggly. Cool in the pans for about 20.
  6. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to enhance the flavors and texture. Time to decorate! Get creative with your decorations. You can dust the mini cheesecakes with cocoa powder, drizzle chocolate ganache, or top them with fresh berries for an extra touch of elegance.

Make Ahead And Storage

To make the brownie and cheesecake batters ahead

  • Follow the instructions up to the point of assembling the mini cheesecakes. Cover the batters tightly with plastic wrap. Brownie can be refrigerated for up to 3 days, while the cheesecake batter for up to 1 – 2 days.
  • When ready to bake, assemble as instructed. You may need to allow for a longer bake time for the chilled batters.

To bake the assembled cheesecakes ahead

  • Once baked and fully cooled, store the mini heart-shaped brownie cheesecakes in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They can be kept for up to 3-4 days.
  • If you plan to decorate the mini cheesecakes, it’s best to do so the day you plan to serve them to ensure that toppings like cocoa powder, powdered sugar, chocolate ganache, or fresh berries stay fresh and visually appealing.

Bake and Freeze

  • Wrap it in plastic wrap and then double-layer it. Freeze for up to two months. Thaw overnight: The best way to thaw is to let them sit in the fridge overnight. The texture will be a little different but still delicious.

Other Sweet Treats You May Love

Flourless Chocolate Ganache Cake

Molton Lava Cakes For Two – ooey gooey deliciousness

Valentine’s Shortbread Cookies – so easy! no need to roll the dough out

Chocolate Truffle Heart Cake – pure indulgence

Bite being taken out of a mini heart cheesecake brownie
Print
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Mini Heart-Shaped Brownie Cheesecakes


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  • Author: Teri Wallingford
  • Total Time: 45 to 1 hour
  • Yield: 6to 8, depending on what size pans you use 1x

Description

What better way to celebrate the season of affection than with these mini heart-shaped brownie cheesecakes? It is a perfect marriage of velvety, smooth cheesecake nestled atop a rich, fudgy brownie base. Simple and quick to make, these are gifts straight from the heart.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the brownie layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 cup good quality chocolate chips ( semi-sweet, 60% or 72% cocoa)
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1/4 cup kahlua (rum, bourbon, or Bailey’s also good)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the cheesecake batter

  • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened. Do not use light or fat-free
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


Instructions

For the brownie layer. * Please see my note below for baking pan options.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and spray 4 (4-inch) heart-shaped springform pans with nonstick spray.
  2. To melt the chocolate, place a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan filled with an inch of water. Add the chocolate chips and the butter, and turn the heat on low. The bowl only needs to hover over the water to allow the steam to melt the chocolate. Stir occasionally until smooth, and remove from heat.
  3. Stir often until melted and smooth.
  4. Add the espresso powder, kahlua, brown sugar, and vanilla. Stir until well mixed. Let the mixture cool slightly, then add the egg. Mix to combine and set aside.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture, stirring or beat with an electric mixer until smooth.

To make the cheesecake batter

  1. In another bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add sugar, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla extract, beating until the cheesecake filling is velvety smooth and well combined. Make sure to scrape down the edges so there are no lumps. Don’t overbeat/mix. Doing so will cause too much air to be whipped into the batter and cause the cheesecake to rise too much and then fall or cave in. It’s not as pretty, but it’s okay if you plan to decorate with berries.

Assemble and bake

  1. Spoon a small amount of brownie batter into each heart-shaped pan, filling it about one-third of the way, or less if you want a thinner layer and more of a cheesecake layer.
  2. Add the cheesecake filling on top using a separate spoon, leaving about 1/2 of the space at the top for the batter to rise.
  3.  TIP: Place a small oven-proof bowl filled with some water in the oven in the preheated oven. The steam will help the cheesecake bake and rise more evenly and help prevent it from cracking. Place the water below or to the sides of the cakes. You can also wrap foil around the sides of the pans as well for extra protection.
  4. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remember, you want the cheesecake layer to be set but still slightly jiggly. 
  5. Cool in the pans for about 20 minutes before removing, then cool completely. Once cooled, refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight to enhance the flavors and texture.
  6. Time to decorate! Get creative with your decorations. You can dust the mini cheesecakes with cocoa powder, drizzle chocolate ganache, or top them with fresh berries for an extra touch of elegance.

Notes

* Baking Pan Options

  • Depending on the size of the pan you use and the ratio between the brownie and cheesecake layers will determine how much batter is needed. I prefer a smaller brownie layer and a bigger cheesecake layer.
  • For this recipe, I used 4  (4-inch) 2-inch deep heart-shaped springform pans. 
  • You could use single larger spring-form pans ( round or heart-shaped) 
  • Any leftover batters can be used to make extra cakes and can be frozen for later!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

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