Ube Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

When you think of brownies, visions of rich, dense, chocolatey little squares are likely the first thing to come to mind. It's natural to associate brownies as being chocolatey by nature, but believe it or not, you can whip up a batch of brownies with no cocoa powder or chocolate in sight. Recipe developer Jessica Morone has crafted this ube cheesecake brownie recipe, and as the name suggests, the brownies feature that earthy ube flavor with an irresistibly creamy cheesecake layer on top.

"If you just look at the pictures the bottom part of the bars look pretty light and fluffy, but in reality, these do taste very rich and dense and decadent, like a brownie," Morone explains. "There's no chocolate in these, so they aren't totally like a brownie, but the ube gives it a sweet and nutty flavor that tastes a bit like white chocolate." If you're unfamiliar with ube, it's a starchy purple yam that's somewhat similar to a sweet potato. While Morone doesn't use straight-up yams in this recipe, she makes good use of ube jam (or ube halaya) and ube extract to provide that flavor profile and vibrant purple hue.

Gather the ingredients for ube cheesecake brownies

Many of the ingredients on this list are typical of any baked good. You'll need unsalted butter, melted, along with some granulated sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla extract, and cream cheese for that cheesecake layer. You'll also need both ube jam/halaya and ube extract, the latter of which is the secret weapon in this recipe. "The special ingredient is really the ube extract," Morone explains. "Without it you will still get tons of ube flavor and a muted purple color, but you won't get the bright and beautiful purple color to the bars that is so striking." 

Make the ube brownie batter

Get your oven preheating to 350 F and line either a 9 x 9-inch or 8 x 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. Then, grab a large bowl and add in the melted butter and ½ cup of granulated sugar, mixing until smooth. Follow that up with two of the eggs and both the ube jam and extract, then mix once more to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones, folding them in until just combined, then set the batter aside for just a bit.

Make the batter for the cream cheese layer

Grab a large, clean bowl and add in the softened cream cheese, then use a hand mixer to beat it until smooth. Morone stresses the importance of using room temperature (not cold) cream cheese in this recipe, "otherwise it will be lumpy." As she further advises, "If it seems cold you can put it in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until it's softer." 

Once the cream cheese is nice and smooth, add in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, the last egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat once more, until you have a perfectly smooth, creamy mixture. 

Combine the ube and cream cheese layers then bake

Pour the ube brownie batter into the bottom of your prepared baking pan, spreading it out into an even layer. Follow that up with the cheesecake batter, and use either a knife or toothpick to swirl the cheesecake around, helping some of that purple batter peek through the top. Place the brownies into the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean or with just a few crumbs. Allow the brownies to fully cool down once they're out of the oven. 

Slice and serve these ube cheesecake brownies

Once the brownies are fully cooled, go ahead and slice them up and serve. "I love regular cheesecake brownies because I love the fudgy brownie bottom with the creamy tangy cheesecake on top, these take that same kind of flavor combination to the next level," Morone describes. "Ube is a more elevated flavor and the color just makes them so stunning." There's little doubt that your lucky dinner guests or family members will find these treats quite stunning, too.

In case you happen to have any leftover slices, you're in luck — Morone says that these will keep up to a week. Be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge, not at room temperature. 

Ube Cheesecake Brownies Recipe
5 from 38 ratings
Instead of a traditional chocolate brownie recipe, try this twist that's made with ube jam and extract for a sweet flavor and purple hue.
Prep Time
Cook Time
stack of ube cheesecake brownies
Total time: 45 minutes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 large eggs, divided
  • 1 cup ube jam/ube halaya
  • 1 tablespoon ube extract
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven 350 F. Line a 9 x 9-inch or 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the melted butter and ½ cup of granulated sugar and mix until smooth. Add in 2 eggs, the ube jam, and ube extract and stir until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the ube mixture and gently mix until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until smooth, add in the remaining ¼ cup of sugar, 1 egg, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy.
  5. Spread the ube batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan. Top with the cream cheese mixture. Run a knife or toothpick through the batter to make swirls.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool, then cut and serve.
Calories per Serving 353
Total Fat 20.7 g
Saturated Fat 12.0 g
Trans Fat 0.3 g
Cholesterol 114.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 36.6 g
Dietary Fiber 1.2 g
Total Sugars 17.8 g
Sodium 249.3 mg
Protein 5.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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