Red Velvet Brownies with the creamiest cream cheese icing you’ll ever try. These easy to make brownies will be a hit at your next morning tea.
I’m really loving these Red Velvet Brownies with their deep dark colour, chocolate and vanilla flavour and that super creamy cream cheese icing that sits on top of them. These brownies are perfect for a dessert table, sharing at a party and that burgundy colour makes them a beautiful Valentines treat too.
It had never occurred to me to try to make a red velvet brownie until I was planning recipes to post before Valentine’s day. I figured brownies would be the perfect, indulgent Valentine’s treat but then I suddenly imagined how they might look and taste if I turned them into a glorious red velvet version. Well, since I’m posting them here, I can promise you they are super tasty, have a gorgeous fudgy texture and what really sets them off is that cream cheese icing.
Ever since I made my Red Velvet Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Filling, I’ve been wanting to recreate that unique flavour.
What is Red Velvet?
Red velvet started as a cake with a combination of cocoa and vanilla. Back when it was first created, it was the type of cocoa used and a food chemical reaction that created that red colour. Over the years, its popularity grew and bakers wanted a more and more intense red colour. These days a large portion of red food colouring is used to give a red velvet cake it’s gorgeous hue. I rarely use food colouring in my baking but for red velvet, it’s a necessity.
What is the perfect brownie texture?
There are many brownie camps and if I’m completely honest, brownies, much as I love them, are almost my nemesis. I always under-bake them trying to get that perfect fudgy texture or over-bake them because I don’t trust that I’ve cooked them enough. I’m just always second guessing that baking time.
I’ve tested and tested my brownies, so stick to the baking time provided. They will turn out dry on top and around the edges, while being moist and fudgy in the middle.
It’s a good idea to always keep an oven thermometer in your oven. Ovens often vary and some get to and hold temperature better than others. Having an independent thermometer means you can be 100% sure how hot your oven is and when it comes to baking sweet treats, that is very important. They’re very cheap too.
How to make red velvet brownies
This is the great part – brownies are simple to make.
These Red Velvet Brownies begin with beating together eggs and sugar, followed by red food colouring and vanilla extract.
Finally, you’ll fold in the dry ingredients followed by the chocolate chunks. Just look at that colour!
How to make cream cheese icing
I don’t suggest this is the creamiest cream cheese icing ever, lightly. This stuff is truly amazing and worth every moment. I’ve used it before on my Black Forest Chocolate Cupcakes and, let me tell you, everyone loves it. The texture is creamy, the flavour is like lightly sweetened cream cheese. Here’s the secret – Ermine Frosting.
Also known as boiled milk frosting or cooked flour frosting, Ermine frosting starts by cooking a milk and flour base that, once cooled, gets mixed into the other ingredients as normal. Yes, it takes just a little extra time than a normal frosting but the payoff is that it is;
- Very creamy and fluffy
- Less sweet than a traditional buttercream or cream cheese frosting
- No grittiness whatsoever – it’s supremely smooth.
If you, don’t want to take the extra step to pure cream cheese icing heaven, then you can use this cream cheese buttercream recipe but otherwise, please read on.
First, combine the milk, flour and half the sugar (granulated) in a saucepan and heat on low, stirring until it forms a thick paste. Tip this onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap covering the surface and cool to room temperature before proceeding. You can speed this up by placing in the freezer for around 25 minutes but keep checking it. It should not be warm or cold when you use it but just at room temp.
Now beat together the butter, cream cheese and remaining sugar until very light and fluffy. Add the milk / flour paste and beat well until it’s like whipped cream. Done. Now you have a super creamy, super smooth, and totally delectable cream cheese icing to cover your brownies with.
- Chocolate chunks – you could swap these out for regular chocolate chips, milk, dark or white chocolate.
- Creamy Cream Cheese Icing – you could swap it for this standard cream cheese buttercream recipe
CAN I FREEZE BROWNIES
Yes, you can make these brownies ahead and they will even freeze perfectly.
HOW TO STORE BROWNIES
Store them in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the fridge. To freeze brownies, place them in an airtight container in the freezer until firm, then wrap each one individually in plastic wrap before returning them to the freezer. This will keep them extra fresh.
We don’t often go out on Valentine’s and much prefer to stay in and cook up a yummy dinner together and some yummy treat for dessert like these Red Velvet Brownies. How are you spending your Valentine’s?
Red Velvet Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing
FOR THE RED VELVET BROWNIES.
- 200 g (1 cup / 7oz) light brown sugar
- 100 g (1/2 cup / 3.5oz) white granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon gel red food colouring
- (3/4 cup) plain (all-purp) flour
- 50 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 113 g (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, melted & cooled
- 3/4 cup roughly chopped dark 70% chocolate
SUPER CREAMY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain (all-purp) flour
- 113 g (1/2 cup / 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 250 g cream cheese, softened
FOR THE RED VELVET BROWNIES
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced. Line an 8x8 inch square baking tin with baking paper.
- Use a handheld beater to beat together both sugars and the eggs until pale and frothy (about 1 minute). Add the vanilla and red food colouring and beat through.
- Sift over the flour, cocoa and salt and use a spatula to mix through until just combined.
- Mix through the butter, then the chocolate pieces until just combined.
- Bake for around 40 minutes, turning the tray halfway through. The brownies are done when a toothpick inserted comes out with some wet crumbs but not with raw batter. The top should be dry and it should feel dense but soft to the touch in the middle.
FOR THE CREAMY CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Once the brownies are nearly cool.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, whisk together the milk, half of the sugar and the flour. Make sure there are no lumps, then continue to heat and whisk regularly for another 3-4 minutes until you have a very thick paste (like puddig consistency).
- Transfer it to a plate, spread it out to about 1cm thick, then cover it with plastic wrap pressing the plastic wrap to the surface. Place in the freezer for around 25 minutes until cool (not cold or frozen, but no longer warm).
- Beat the butter and remaining sugar on medium for about 5 minutes or until very light and creamy - scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often.
- Add the cream cheese and beat until combined and smooth (only about 1 minute). Now add the milk paste mixture 1/3 at a time, beating for about 30 seconds between each. On the last one, beat for a minute, still on medium. Again, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Spread over the top of the brownies
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (= 4 teaspoons worldwide)
- For best results, you should always weigh ingredients like flour and sugar. Kitchen scales are relatively cheap but if you can’t weigh the ingredients, use the spoon and level method (don’t scoop).
TOOLS USED IN THIS RECIPE
- A simple handheld beater makes mixing the batter easy
- A silicone spatula (my fave kitchen tool) makes sure no batter gets left behind
- An 8x8 inch baking tin is the perfect size for this recipe
WANT MORE BROWNIE RECIPES? CLICK HERE
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