These chocolate cheesecake bars are smooth, creamy and decadent. With a crunchy Oreo cookie crust – they taste delicious with berries and whipped cream on top.
**This recipe was updated May 2020 with new photos, recipe tips & a slightly updated recipe**
The Best Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Chocolate cheesecake is one of my all-time favorite desserts. This particular recipe is decadent without being too sweet and has a rich chocolate flavor. Now, I love making a round cheesecake – but there are so many reasons to make these cheesecake bars:
- There’s no need for a springform pan
- It has a higher ratio of crust to cheesecake – so it’s perfect if you love a thick cookie crust
- Easy to transport
- And feeds a crowd
Making the Cheesecake
To get started first we make the crust. I like using whole Oreo cookies (filling and wafers) crushed in a food processor, or you can place them in a freezer bag and crush them with a rolling pin. The crushed cookies are mixed with melted butter, then pressed into the bottom of a 9×13 inch pan (23×33 cm). I always bake the crust on its own first so that it’s extra crunchy.
Then it’s time to make the cheesecake layer. You want to make sure all your ingredients are room temperature before getting started, and then we’re good to go.
- First we beat the cream cheese and sugar until well softened.
- Then mix in the melted dark chocolate and vanilla extract
- Stir in the sour cream.
- And finally, mix in the eggs one at a time.
Be careful not to overmix the cheesecake layer – especially after adding in the eggs. Otherwise too much air gets in the batter, and it can cause the cheesecake to sink and crack as it bakes. The cheesecake will need to bake for about 30 minutes or until the point when if you gently nudge the pan, the middle will have a slight wobble. It’s so important not to overbake the cheesecake – otherwise, it can dry out or crack.
- Use full-fat, brick style cream cheese. Cream cheese that’s low calorie, whipped, or comes in a tub doesn’t work for making cheesecake.
- For the best flavor, use high quality dark chocolate – I typically use 70% for a rich flavor, but anything between 50-70% works for this recipe.
- The cheesecake will need to cool slowly and then chill in the fridge for 4 hours before serving. This allows the cheesecake to set properly and the flavor actually improves.
These chocolate cheesecake bars are easy, creamy, perfectly chocolate-y without being too rich, and just plain delicious. I topped my with whipped cream and fresh berries. But however you slice them, they’ll be a BIG hit.
If you love cheesecake, don’t forget these other favorites:
- Cheesecake Bars – these are the classic, New York cheesecake version
- No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
- Brownie Cheesecake
Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- 9x13 inch (23x33 cm) pan
- 34 Oreo cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 10 oz dark chocolate 50-70%
- 24 oz full-fat cream cheese* softened to room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup sour cream* room temperature
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
- Lightly grease a 9x13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan.
- Add the cookies (wafers and filling) to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Alternatively, place the cookies in a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, making an even layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, leaving it turned on.
- Chop the chocolate into very small pieces.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large heat proof bowl, and microwave for 45-second intervals on medium power (not high power, which is often the default). Stir the chocolate between each interval. Repeat the process until smooth.
- In a very large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract.
- Mix in the sour cream. Again, turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the eggs 1 at a time until just combined. Stop mixing as soon as the eggs are mixed int.
- Pour the batter over the baked crust and smooth the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the top looks almost set in the middle and the cheesecake has a slight wobble.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently trace around the outside of the cheesecake with a thin, sharp knife.
Cooling, Chilling & Serving
- Cool the cheesecake fully until it reaches room temperature. Cover the pan and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill.
- When ready to serve, slice with a sharp knife. Be sure to cut all the way through the crust. For clean cuts - wipe off the knife in between after each slice.
- Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Do not use low fat or low calorie cream cheese, or anything labeled spreadable or whipped.
- The cream cheese, eggs and sour cream should be room temperature before getting started.
- Store cheesecake covered in the fridge for up to 4 days. I typically make the cheesecake the day before I plan to serve it.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice, assuming the pan is sliced into 15 equal pieces.
You mention two baking temperatures for the non-water bath method: 300 and 325. Which is best to use?
Ah – thanks for the correction! For the non-waterbath bake at 325F.