Brownie Cheesecake Torte

Cover recipe- Cooking Light, Brownie Cheesecake Torte: August 1997

Cover recipe- Cooking Light, Brownie Cheesecake Torte: August 1997

I’m not really sure why, but I’m not a huge fan of the word foodie (it’s just a quirk of mine!); if I had to though, I guess I would consider myself one since I enjoy and seek out (what I consider to be) good food. I didn’t realize it back in the day, but I think I’ve been a foodie for a while – at least since French Club in high school where my French teacher would make insanely delicious French treats like Napoleons, éclairs, and fresh crêpes for our monthly meetings, and then host potluck-style French dinners once a semester at his house. Those potlucks were the highlight of the school year!

It was also around that time that I first discovered food magazines; my mom randomly picked up an issue of Cooking Light one day while grocery shopping and brought it home. As I thumbed through it, my excitement grew and once she realized how much I enjoyed it, she got a subscription. I was hooked.

One year right before my birthday I happened to see the August 1997 cover of Cooking Light: Brownie Cheesecake Torte. Let me back up a second to tell you that growing up, my mom liked to make my siblings and I a different cake every year and she’d relentlessly question us about what cake we wanted until we told her, always saying that if we didn’t tell her, we’d get her specialty: German Chocolate Cake. As soon as I saw this torte, I knew I wanted it. For some reason, I recently thought about this torte again and decided I wanted it again for my birthday this year. Today happens to be my birthday, so what better time to share this recipe? Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

Brownie Cheesecake Torte

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Brownie Cheesecake Torte

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 1 hour


1 (15.1-ounce) package low-fat fudge brownie mix (such as Snackwell’s)
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 (4-ounce) jar carrot baby food
Cooking spray
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons skim milk, divided
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
Chocolate syrup, for garnish (optional)
Fresh raspberries, for garnish (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Firmly press the mixture into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Set aside.
3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar with the flour, vanilla, and cheeses; use a handheld electric mixer to beat at medium speed until well-blended. Add the egg whites and 2 tablespoons milk and beat well.
4. Combine 1/2 cup of the batter with 1 tablespoon milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, and the cocoa, and stir well.
5. Spoon the plain batter alternately with cocoa batter into the prepared crust. Swirl together using the tip of a knife.
6. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 250F (do not remove pan from oven) and bake 45 minutes, or until set.
7. Cool completely on a wire rack.
8. To serve, garnish with chocolate syrup and raspberries, if desired.


This torte is wonderful as-is, but I’ve made this a few times throughout the years and my favorite way to make it is to omit the cinnamon and use 2 blocks of 1/3-less-fat cream cheese. And to be completely honest, I don’t worry so much about using a low-fat brownie mix because I save this dessert for special occasions.

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 wedge
Calories per serving: 277
Fat per serving: 7.5g
Saturated Fat per serving: 3.8g
Sodium per serving: ,span class="sodium">338g
Fiber per serving: 1.3g
Protein per serving: 7.9g
Cholesterol per serving: 18mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 44.1g

The results:

This torte is easy to make and always impressive looking. It’s a swirled cheesecake in a brownie crust – what’s not to love?

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

I definitely think so. It’s the perfect go-to when you want an impressive treat that’s super easy to whip up.

Faith Gorsky is the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind the blog Edible Mosaic , and she is the cookbook author of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair (Tuttle Publishing; November 2012). She was born, raised, and spent most of her life in Upstate New York, and she currently lives in Kuwait. When it comes to cooking, her favorite thing to do is go into the kitchen hungry, open the fridge, and start creating. She loves to travel, especially to places steeped in rich culture and history. She also enjoys reading (cookbooks mostly), vintage shopping (especially in old markets), watching movies (of all genres), and is enamored with ancient cultures (especially Rome and Egypt).

9 Responses to “Maple- Mustard Pork Chops w/ Winter Squash Puree”

  1. 1

    Tracey — March 17, 2010 @ 7:55 am

    This is a beautiful meal! My husband loves pork chops and I recently discovered a few ways of preparation that avoided the dry, rubbery pork chops we all hate. I’ll have to try this one now too :)

  2. 2

    Laura — March 17, 2010 @ 11:41 am

    this looks fantastic! i also live in southern california and i’ve found frozen winter squash puree at the vons/pavilions in my neighborhood.

  3. 3

    sarah — March 17, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    i am also afraid of pork…might actually have to try this one!

  4. 4

    Katie — March 18, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    I’m a huge fan of anything pork and mustard! Though I love the healthiness of boneless porkchops, cooking them on the bone will make them juicy nearly every time! I am definitely trying this one.

  5. 5

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — March 22, 2010 @ 12:40 pm

    I’ve had this Cooking Light sitting beside my bed for a while and I keep looking at this dish. It looks so great… After reading your review of it, I think I’ll have to finally give it a try!

  6. 6

    DawnK — March 26, 2010 @ 9:42 am

    I still haven’t made this recipe, but it caught my eye, way back in February, when I first got the March issue! I really have to find the time to make this. It looks and sounds so good! I love green beans, too. I’m not sure I can find frozen butternut squash, either. I’ll have to look. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I found it on another blog and they also liked it!

  7. 7

    Kathy — March 26, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

    I’ve throughly checked the ingredients of this recipe as I plan to cook this soon. I have checked other recipes before with pork and mustard combination, and I am certain that these two (pork chops and mustard) can be put together harmoniously.

  8. 8

    Amanda — September 1, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Looks great! I’m in San Francisco, and I usually find squash in the section of fancy organic frozen veggies.

  9. 9

    tinmango — November 13, 2010 @ 7:59 pm

    Made this for dinner tonight and it was fabulous! There were a couple things I did differently though…I dredged the pork chops in sesame seeds before pan-frying them. The sesame adds a rich nuttiness to the pork which complements the sweetness of the sauce quite nicely. I also kept the mash super simple. I used sweet potatoes instead of squash and only added salt, pepper & butter.

    Sooooo good.

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