Two of perhaps the most indulgent desserts collide lovingly in this insanely rich, fudgy, creamy Junior’s brownie swirl cheesecake creation based on a constant at New York City’s famous Junior’s deli. The dark chocolate brownies form both the foundation of the cheesecake as well as intermittent punctuation marks throughout the cheesecake batter. A swirl of dark chocolate at the very top only hits at the loveliness lurking beneath.–Renee Schettler Rossi

A whole Junior's brownie swirl cheesecake with three slices cut from it, and one of those slices on a grey speckled plate with a fork resting beside.
Three pieces of Junior's brownie swirl cheesecake on separate plates, each with a fork.

Junior’s Brownie Swirl Cheesecake

5 / 10 votes
The highlight of this indulgent Junior’s brownie swirl cheesecake is its dark chocolate brownie crust and blobs of brownies baked right into the cake. On top is a titillating swirl of bittersweet chocolate.
David Leite
Servings16 servings
Calories671 kcal
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time3 hours
Total Time4 hours


For the brownie crust and chunks

  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the cheesecake

  • Three (8-oz) packages cream cheese, (use only full fat), at room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, plus 1 tablespoon for brushing (optional)
  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, (optional)


Make the brownie crust and chunks

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and an 8-inch square baking pan. Line the baking pan (but not the springform) with parchment or waxed paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the sides. Wrap the outside of the springform with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the chocolate with the butter and let cool.
  • In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. In a large bowl, beat the eggs with an electric mixer on high until light yellow and thick, 3 to 5 minutes. With the mixer still running, gradually add the sugar, then the chocolate mix­ture and vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and blend in the flour mixture just until it disappears.
  • Spread 2 cups of the batter in the springform to make the crust and spread the rest in the baking pan. Bake just until set around the sides, 15 to 20 minutes for the springform pan and 30 to 35 minutes for the baking pan. (The centers will still be slightly soft.)
  • Let the brownies cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Leave the brownie crust in the springform. Lift the brownies out of the square pan onto a plate, using the paper hanging over the sides as handles. Cover both the crust and the square of brownies with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • Cut the square of brownies with a serrated knife into 3/4-inch squares.

Make the cheesecake batter

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld electric mixer, dump 1 package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch. Beat on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, 1 package at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.
  • Increase the speed to medium and beat in first the remaining 1 cup sugar and then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the 2/3 cup of cream just until completely blended. Don’t overmix!
  • Transfer 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and set aside for the chocolate swirls.

Assembler the brownie swirl cheescake

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • Cover the chocolate brownie crust in the pan with small brownie bites (12 to 16), covering as much of the crust as possible. Use only 1 layer of brownies. (Yep. You get to nosh on the rest of the brownies!) Gently spoon the cheesecake batter over the brownie bites.
  • Now make the chocolate swirls. Melt the chocolate and stir into the reserved white batter until completely blended. Using a teaspoon, drop the chocolate batter on top of the white batter, pushing it down slightly as you go. Using a thin, pointed knife, cut through the batter a few times in a swirling figure eight design, just until chocolate swirls appear.
  • Place the cake in a large shallow roasting pan. Pull out the oven rack a couple inches and place the pan on the rack. Carefully add enough hot water to the pan to reach 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Slide the rack back in the oven and bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top of the cake has golden and dark chocolate swirls, about 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 25 minutes. If the cake seems to be browning too much, loosely cover the pan with aluminum foil.
  • Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let it cool completely, about 2 hours. (Just walk away so you’re not tempted to fuss with it.)
  • Leave the cheesecake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely cold, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
  • To serve, release and remove the sides of the springform pan, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate.
  • If using walnuts, brush the remaining 1 tablespoon cream in a 1-inch border around the top edge of the cake (this helps keep the nuts in place). Sprinkle the walnuts over the cream, pressing the nuts down gently, making a 1-inch border around the top outside edge.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover leftover cake and refrigerate, or freeze up to 1 month.
    A whole Junior's brownie swirl cheesecake with three slices cut from it, and one of those slices on a grey speckled plate with a fork resting beside.


Serving: 1 portionCalories: 671 kcalCarbohydrates: 89 gProtein: 7 gFat: 33 gSaturated Fat: 17 gMonounsaturated Fat: 9 gTrans Fat: 0.5 gCholesterol: 146 mgSodium: 275 mgFiber: 2 gSugar: 73 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2007 Alan Rosen | Beth Allen Rosen. Photos © 2020 Cenk Sönmezsoy. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

Junior’s brownie swirl cheesecake is divine. Fun, festive, and perfect for entertaining or a special family occasion. The recipe is easy to follow, broken down into manageable sections so it’s quite simple to throw together during a busy week.

When making the brownies, I needed to beat my eggs another minute or so before they were light yellow and thick. Be aware that the pan will be quite full. The brownies are quite delicious in their own right and I will definitely be making them again to serve on their own. You will not need the full pan of brownies for the recipe, so enjoy those leftovers.

I’m not usually a fan of cheesecakes that are full of other ingredients. I love a good classic cheesecake and I think a lot of them are cloyingly sweet or overly rich. This wasn’t like that at all. The texture of the brownie and the cheesecake melded beautifully and the taste was decadently balanced. I highly recommend this recipe. It would serve 8 to 10.

This cheesecake was quite good. It had a firm, very creamy texture after an overnight chilling in refrigerator. (I believe the cornstarch might have been responsible for the smooth, creaminess, but I’m not really sure.) I was glad to see the recipe had no sour cream in it, as that seems to me to take away from the firm way a cheesecake “breaks” apart when a fork is used to take a bite. (I would suggest decreasing the cornstarch a little.) But it was still good. I will wait a day to see if that changes. Cheesecakes, it seems, tend to develop more texture after a while in the fridge. (Next day: After being refrigerated for 2 days, the texture didn’t seem to have changed too much.

I couldn’t resist putting more than the suggested number of brownies in the bottom of the pan. (They were sooo good.) But I would still, I think, increase the cheesecake amount by about 1/2 at least.

I melted the butter in the microwave and then added the broken-up pieces of chocolate to the very warm butter. It still had to be heated a little more in the microwave to get the chocolate to melt completely.

I thought the amount of the saved-and-set-aside aside white cheescake batter to mix with the chocolate could have been decreased to about 2/3 cup or maybe a little less. It seemed there was a little too much chocolate/cheesecake ratio in the whole cake. But I just love plain cheesecake without much adornment–except fresh strawberry sauce!

I was glad to see that there wasn’t a side crust on this recipe. It isn’t really necessary with a cheesecake being so rich to start with.

I thought there were about 12 servings in this recipe. However, smaller pieces could be cut to make more servings.

Junior’s brownie swirl cheesecake made a smooth, delicious, decadent cheesecake with swirls of chocolate and a brownie crust that was to die for. The Brownie Crust recipe makes moist, chocolatey, and delicious brownies. I will be using this recipe the next time I want to make some brownies and kissing the store-brought brownie mixes goodbye.

I omitted the walnuts because my husband cannot eat them.

This recipe would easily serve 12 to 15 people, depending on the size of the pieces of cake. I would recommend smaller pieces since the cheesecake is very rich and filling.

I’ve ordered Junior’s cheesecakes online for special occasions and holidays. This recipe yields a very close, if not exact, version of what you’d get from Junior’s at one of their restaurants or via online ordering.

The number of servings will vary based on the size of the slices, but it will be at least 12 normal size cheesecake servings.

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Have yet to taste it, but decided to take a shot at this for my wife’s birthday. Currently under quarantine in NY, so I had nothing but time. So far it looks great, the batter tasted splendid, and I haven’t completely messed it up.

    1. Kevin, first–happy birthday to your wife. I hope she has a great day, even quarantined. And, second, the cake looks pretty damn good, sir!

      1. 5 stars
        The moment you taste this special??cheesecake; yummy dark chocolate brownies? welcome you with a creamy, smooth and so rich?cheesecake batter… If you love both brownie? and cheesecake?like me, this Junior’s Brownie Swirl Cheesecake is a must-try.! ???

        Dear David, I made this yummy beauty? at last? Thank you again for this great recipe?? This cheesecake is really gorgeous?? the only thing I changed in the recipe was?? the top swirl part☺️ I made the swirls like windmill? The inspiration of design came in this way?????

        Lots of Love❤️ from Ankara/Türkiye??

  2. Hello again 🙂 So, I followed the receipe excately step by step. After baking about 30 minutes, my cake bloated (I hope it is the right word :)), stayed that way until I took it out of the oven after approx. 1 hour. The top also cracked and with tiny little holes (I don’t know the word in english, sorry). What did I do wrong? It does not look so smooth and light as in the picture… I am cooling it now on the rack, will put it in the fridge soon.
    P.S. Happy New Year!

    1. dina, first, a cracked top isn’t uncommon. It has happened to me many times. It can caused by a few things:

      1. Overbaking or baking in an overheated oven. Make sure that the oven temperature is correct. I have two small oven thermometers in my oven so that I can be sure that what the dial says is correct. Also, make sure to pull out the cake exactly at the specified time.

      2. Air trapped in the batter. The air from the eggs wants to escape and rise to the top and can cause small holes and cracks. Making sure all the ingredients are room temperature and mixing them completely before adding the eggs will help this.

      Also, don’t get discouraged. If you live overseas, recipes designed for the American kitchen can be challenging (and vice versa). When I lived in Portugal, I had a heck of a time with some of my favorite recipes because the ingredients are a bit different. What you can do is whip up some heavy or double cream and put a dollop on each slice. It will hide the cracks and be a nice addition. Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!

      1. 5 stars
        Good evening. I’m only at the chilled brownie stage. And the brownie recipe is absolutely amazing! Most the above comments have answered my questions but a new one came about..should the cream also be at room temperature?

        Thanks in advance. I’ll post the final result when I’m finished.

        1. Jaime, the temperature of the cream isn’t that important. The cream cheese is room temp so it blends easily and doesn’t clump. Take a picture, too, so we can see it!

  3. Thank you, David, for prompt reply! One more question, should I remove the aluminum foil for the final baking stage?

    1. My pleasure, dina. Keep the foil on until the cake is baked. It will keep any water from seeping in.