French Silk Brownies add layers of whipped topping and chocolate mousse on top of a rich, fudgy brownie base to create the ultimate dessert for chocolate lovers!
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Why You’ll Love These French Silk Brownies
Do you ever go to a restaurant and spend way too long trying to decide between two different dessert options? Decisions are hard, so instead of choosing between French silk pie and brownies, let’s combine them into one epic dessert: French silk brownies!
Here’s why I think you’re going to flip for this recipe:
- This has the richest, fudgiest brownie base. Who needs crust when you can start your French silk experience with brownies instead?!
- Then, there’s that fluffy mousse-like middle layer. Oh my goodness! Rather than making traditional mousse, which is a bit of work, we’re taking a shortcut with cream cheese. I love this because it adds some tangy flavor to balance all the sweetness.
- Top it off with whipped topping and those signature chocolate curls and you’ve got a brownie that’s elegant enough to serve as a dessert for a special occasion. You can’t say that about just any brownie recipe!
Important Ingredient Notes
For the Brownies:
- Unsalted butter – To make the brownies super rich, we start with butter. Use unsalted butter to control the flavor of the brownies.
- Semi-sweet chocolate morsels – Melting chocolate into the butter makes the perfect base for brownies. It’s almost like ganache!
- Vanilla extract – Vanilla isn’t just for adding vanilla flavor; it’s an overall flavor enhancer. Use our homemade vanilla extract for delicious results.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – Using cocoa powder with melted chocolate in this French silk brownie recipe intensifies its richness.
For the Topping:
- Cream cheese – Use the kind that comes in bars, not plastic tubs.
- Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners’ sugar.
- Cool Whip – Homemade whipped cream is great, but it doesn’t have a long storage life. I like to use Cool Whip because your brownie topping will stay light and fluffy in the fridge, rather than deflating. Try our stabilized whipped cream in it’s place.
How to Make French Silk Brownies
Prepare: Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish with baking spray or line it with parchment paper.
Make the Batter:
- Add butter to a saucepan set over medium heat. Once it melts, turn off the heat and stir in the chocolate morsels and sugar.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla extract. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder just until combined.
Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. Cool completely before moving onto the next steps.
Make the Topping and Finish:
- Beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate, then fold in half of the Cool Whip.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture over the cooled brownies until smooth.
- Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the French silk topping.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Top with the chocolate shavings and serve cold.
PRO TIP: Stock up on Cool Whip so you can make this easy, no bake Cheesecake Pudding Pie. So easy and only a handful of ingredients!
Tips and Tricks
- Cover the brownies loosely with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To freeze, you’ll want to cover the brownies with both plastic wrap and foil, then store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw the brownies overnight in the fridge before serving.
- I recommend using a 2- or 3-inch deep baking pan or dish to fit the three layers. Anything less than 2-inches deep, you should cut the amount of ingredients in half for the French Silk layer.
- If there are lumps in the cocoa powder or powdered sugar, you can sift them before using them in the recipe, or use a fork to break them up.
- Don’t over-mix the brownie mixture. It’s better to have a few streaks of cocoa powder or flour in the batter than to over-mix and end up with tough, dense brownies!
You can buy chocolate curls, or you can make them yourself with a chocolate bar. Make sure it’s room temperature, then use a vegetable peeler to “peel” down the side of the bar. This will form small curls.
Want to skip the chocolate curls? Use mini chocolate chips instead. For holiday French silk brownies, sprinkle the top layer with crushed candy cane pieces.
Make sure the brownies are well-chilled before you cut them. Then, use a sharp knife to cut them into squares; wipe the knife off between each cut and this will help keep the slices nice and clean.
More Chocolate Desserts
French Silk Brownies
For the Brownies
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
For the Topping
- 8 ounce cream cheese, softened
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels, melted and cooled
- 16 ounces Cool Whip, thawed and divided
- Preheat oven to 350 degreees. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch baking dish with baking spray and set aside (or line with parchment paper).
- In a saucepan, add butter and heat over medium until melted. Turn off heat and add chocolate morsels and sugar. Blend until chocolate is melted.
- Add eggs, one at a time, then fold in vanilla extract. Add cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder just until combined (do not over mix).
- Pour batter into baking dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely.
- For the topping, beat cream cheese with powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Blend in melted chocolate, then fold in half of the Cool whip until blended.
- Spread the mixture over the cooled brownies until smooth. Spread the remaining 8 ounces of Cool whip over the top of the french silk topping. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigeratre for at least 4 hours. Top with chocolate shavings and serve cold.
- Refrigerator: Cover the brownies loosely with plastic wrap and store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Freezer: You’ll want to cover the brownies with both plastic wrap and foil, and store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw the brownies overnight in the fridge before serving.
- I recommend using a 2 or 3-inch deep baking pan or dish to fit the three layers. Anything less than 2 inches deep, you should cut the amount of ingredients in half for the French Silk layer.
- See blog post for more recipe tips and tricks.