The Best Red Velvet Cheesecake (video)

red velvet cheesecake recipe

Calling all chocolate cheesecake lovers – this is one for the books! This swirled red velvet cheesecake with a rich, brownie base, whipped cream topping and chocolate strawberries is delicious to the last bite! It’s velvety, creamy, rich and chocolate-y and packed with incredible flavor. The whipped cream and strawberries on top don’t hurt either! It’s the ultimate red velvet cheesecake recipe!

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Ingredients for Red Velvet Cheesecake

Here are the main ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious cheesecake:

  • Cream Cheese: soften the cheese for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before using in the recipe. It will be much easier to mix.
  • Cocoa Powder: for making the red velvet cheesecake batter.
  • Red Food Coloring: for adding the bright red color.
  • Chocolate Chips: for making the rich, brownie base.
  • Brown Sugar, Butter, Flour, Eggs: for making the brownie cake base for the cheesecake.
  • Heavy Cream: for making the whipped cream topping. Use well-chilled heavy cream for best results.
  • Strawberries: add chocolate covered strawberries to this cheesecake to make it extra special.
A slice of red velvet cheesecake on a plate, with strawberries

How to Make Red Velvet Cheesecake

You’ll love this rich and delicious cheesecake recipe! Here’s how I make this recipe:

  • Brownie Base: I start this red velvet cheesecake recipe with a rich and fudgy brownie base instead of a classic graham cracker crust. The brownie adds intense chocolate flavor to the cake and I love the texture!
  • Red Velvet Cheesecake: Next, it’s the simple red velvet cheesecake layer. I use my favorite classic cheesecake recipe and add just a touch of cocoa powder and red food coloring. To make the swirled top, I reserve about 1/2 cup of the plain batter, then add dollops on top and swirl it in using a knife.
  • Whipped Cream Topping: I recommend topping this cake with a generous amount of whipped cream, which will help balance out the rich, thick cheesecake! Serve extra whipped cream on the side.
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberries: Garnish the cheesecake with chocolate covered strawberries to make it extra special!

Using the Water Bath Method

For baking the cheesecake, I use a water bath to keep the top level and to prevent cracking. Just make sure to double wrap the bottom of your springform pan with foil to prevent any water from getting into your cake. After baking, I let the cheesecake set in the refrigerator overnight, then add some simple whipped cream and chocolate covered strawberries to the top!

A close up of a slice of red velvet cheesecake on a plate, with whipped cream

Common Recipe Questions

Can I use chocolate graham crackers instead of the brownie base?

Yes, this cheesecake will be amazing with a graham cracker base, too! Pulse 10 chocolate graham crackers with 1/3 cup melted butter. Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the spring form pan.

Can I make this cheesecake ahead of time?

Yes, I recommend making the cheesecake at least one day ahead of time. Add the chocolate covered strawberries and whipped cream when ready to serve.

Adding Chocolate Covered Strawberries

This red velvet brownie cheesecake is perfect for Valentine’s Day or any time of the year for a special occasion! I love adding the chocolate covered strawberries – it really elevates this cheesecake to a whole new level! You can learn how to make chocolate covered strawberries with my step-by-step tutorial! Just bear with me, it’s one of the first video I ever posted!

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The Best Red Velvet Cheesecake Recipe (video)

1 hour 30 minutes prep + 1 hour 40 minutes cook
12 servings
Rich and decadent red velvet cheesecake with a brownie base, whipped cream and chocolate covered strawberries!


For Brownie Base:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, melted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

For Red Velvet Cheesecake:

  • 24 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream or sour cream
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • red food coloring

For Whipped Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Chocolate Covered Strawberries:

  • 8 large strawberries
  • 1/2 cup chocolate melts


Making the Brownie Base:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F/177C. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper and spray the sides with a baking spray. Prepare the brownie base first. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter, sugar and vanilla for a few minutes until smooth. Add the eggs and mix again for a few minutes until well incorporated. Add the melted chocolate and mix again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, then mix for about a minute, until all the ingredients are well combined. Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly to the edges using an offset spatula. Bake the brownie base in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Red Velvet Cheesecake:

  • Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake batter. Place the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla into a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed for 5 to 7 minutes, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl often, until the cream cheese is smooth and fluffy. Next, add the heavy cream and eggs. Mix again for 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides midway. Reserve approximately 1/2 cup of the plain batter in a separate bowl.
  • Into the remaining batter, add the cocoa powder and begin adding the red food coloring (I use concentrated gel color). You can add as much or as little as you would like. Mix the cocoa and food coloring into the batter, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to get all the batter incorporated.
  • Once the brownie base is done baking, remove it from the oven and wrap the bottom with a few layers of aluminum foil. Pour the cheesecake batter over the brownie and level off the top using an offset spatula. To create the swirled design, add dollops of the reserved batter on top, then use a knife to swirl the plain batter into the colored batter.

Baking the Cheesecake:

  • Prepare the water bath: transfer the springform pan into a large roasting pan or another deep baking pan. Fill the pan with approximately 1 inch of water. Reduce the oven temperature down to 320F/160C. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 10-20 minutes; the center should be just slightly wobbly. Turn the oven off, crack open the oven door a bit and let the cheesecake sit for about an hour. Then, transfer the cake into the refrigerator and chill overnight.

Serving the Cake:

  • For the whipped cream, simply combine the chilled cream, sugar, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream into a piping bag tipped with a star tip; I used tip #8FT. Add dollops of whipped cream on top of the cake and on the side of each slice.
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Calories: 620kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 46g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 196mg | Sodium: 270mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 1546IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 151mg | Iron: 2mg