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Black-and-White Cheesecake Squares

Black and white come together in the layers of these bars: A rich chocolate base and generous chocolate crumbles surround a layer of creamy cheesecake.

  • Yield: Makes 24
Black-and-White Cheesecake Squares

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2009


  • Vegetable oil, cooking spray
  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line dish with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray parchment.

  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.

  3. Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.

  4. Mix cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; crumble reserved dough on top. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut into 24 squares.

Cook's Note

Squares will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 days.

Reviews (24)

  • 3Down1Up 4 Nov, 2013

    These are my go-to brownies for any occasion. Here's my trick: after all the baking is done, I refrigerate the brownies for several hours, even overnight. Then I take them out, let them sit on the counter for an hour, then cut them. The brownies should be served between room temp and chilled: too warm and they are gooey, too chilled and they are hard as a rock. I haven't adjusted the ingredients at all. These are not brownies you can make in a jiffy, but they are really good.

  • Adelaise 10 Aug, 2012

    I've made a few adjustments when making this for the first time, and that was just adding an extra egg to the batter and white chocolate chips! Everyone loved them, but if you're looking for something a bit more firm, as they say, take out a bit of the butter. It was firm enough when it cooled down a bit, but it's literally like trying to lift up a warm cheese cake slice.

  • Susie C 26 Jul, 2012

    I made these for a picnic and they were so gooey that everyone thought they were not fully cooked. I baked them for another 30 minutes and they were still too wet. Yuck.

    I made them again and took out a stick of butter, added an egg, and doubled the cream cheese portion of the recipe (since the cream cheese in the original was so thin). They were SO much better, but I think 1.5 cream cheese would be better. Mine had about 50% brownie and 50% cream cheese, but I think 66% to 33% would be better.

  • RNjojo 17 Apr, 2011

    Delicious! Made this for the first time today for my son's speedskating potluck banquet, and we all love them! I made the recipe exactly as stated, except the base needed an extra 10 minutes, and the topping needed an extra 5 minutes, otherwise, wonderful! The base is more like a chocolate cookie base, so cook it until it is really set in the center, and you will have success!

  • samhamilton 31 Mar, 2010

    I really didn't like this recipe. I followed the one that was published in the 2009 holiday amagazine (which has a picture of the criss-cross pattern on the top), and the brownie dough was impossible to pipe on (really thick), and the recipe barely made any cheesecake batter to cover the entire brownie bottom. This recipe needs to be revisited by the Martha editors.

  • tracylesq 20 Sep, 2009

    Make me a liar,
    They need to be baked much longer than the recipe calls for and they need much less butter.
    Following the instructions exactly, they were practically raw when cut, even after cooling. They are a bit greasy and very buttery.
    They do taste good though, and could be great with some adjustments.

  • tracylesq 20 Sep, 2009

    Why don't my comments come out?

  • Roswlkr 8 May, 2009

    I made these this past weekend and I must admit the cooking process took a little longer than expected. I prepared (baked and cooled) the brownie mixture the night before and placed in the fridge over night. The next day I let the brownie mixture come to room temp and then I went on to complete the cheesecake part. If you want less gooey brownies just bake it a little longer. The middle should be firm and not soft. I ended up baking mine with the cheesecake topping for about an hour and the b

  • vintageme 1 May, 2009

    These are so yummy!!!

  • jencummings 2 Apr, 2009

    This recipe is very similar to Russischer Zupfkuchen - a poplular German "cheesecake" sort of dessert. I can't wait to try it!

  • jencummings 2 Apr, 2009

    This recipe is very similar to Russischer Zupfkuchen - a poplular German "cheesecake" sort of dessert. I can't wait to try it!

  • pmmcmahon 2 Apr, 2009

    The chocolate dough is basically a cookie recipe. Mine turned out crisp because I baked them a little longer because the crumbled dough on top was still wet. I prefer a true brownie batter, i.e., melted butter and more eggs. I probably won't be making these again.

  • pidge608 1 Apr, 2009

    The recipe says 10 ounces of butter (2-1/2 sticks) so I don't think it was a typo.

  • picksuptoys 1 Apr, 2009

    I don't understand how one person could have them turn out crunchy and another person have them turn out gooey. That does seem like a lot of butter. I'm thinking that since they are baked TWICE they would have to start off gooey or they would end up being hard as rocks. Just a thought.

  • anniegotchagun 1 Apr, 2009

    Do you think these can b frozen either before or after baking?

  • LaBayou2000 1 Apr, 2009

    Ah looks like this to call "Black and White Cow" cheesecake that reminded me of a rootbeer float to call "Black Cow" float....:)

  • bellem 1 Apr, 2009

    So Tortoise101 did you try it with less butter? Did they come out better. Would love to know so I can try this recipe myself. Thanks

  • edimar23 1 Apr, 2009

    I'm a cheesecake and brownie lover, so this is the perfect recipe for me. Still I'm hesitant to try it because of the butter comment. Please, pleople at Martha Stewart, check and come back to us.

  • Kaetchen 19 Mar, 2009

    These were really good, but I agree that the butter amount is too much. They were very much like a brownie with a thin cheesecake topping, but next time I will cut down on the butter.

  • Kaetchen 19 Mar, 2009

    These were really good, but I agree that the butter amount is too much. They were very much like a brownie with a thin cheesecake topping, but next time I will cut down on the butter.

  • tortoise101 18 Mar, 2009

    These were disgusting. Perhaps they are so gooey, so hard to mix, and impossible to "crumble reserved dough on top" because the 10 ounces of butter is a typo? The consistency of the dough before baking is more like glue. I've never seen a US recipe measure butter in ounces. Reading it as calling for 10 Tablespoons seems a lot more reasonable. I think I'll try that out tomorrow and throw this (thankfully inexpensive) batch out, but the recipe needs to be reviewed and corrected if this is true.

  • loudgnat23 14 Mar, 2009

    Loved these, but were very gooey. Maybe they'll set up more as they cool in the fridge?

  • loudgnat23 14 Mar, 2009

    Tasted incredible, but very gooey. Maybe they'll set up more once they cool in the fridge?

  • krjohns 13 Mar, 2009

    These turned out great. I especially like the edge pieces. The brownie part is a little crunchy yet stil chewy too. Delicious.

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