This baked chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo cookie crust is smooth, creamy & perfectly decadent. Then top it with chocolate sauce – and it’s chocolate perfection.
Chocolate Cheesecake was the first “grown up” dessert I learned to bake. I was about 14, and I thought rice krispie treats were way below my maturity level – so I took it upon myself to learn how to make a deliciously rich, decadent, super creamy, chocolate cheesecake.
Clearly I thought pretty highly of myself…..
Anyways – my sophistication has definitely decreased since then, but chocolate cheesecake is still my favorite chocolate weakness. There’s just something about the crunch of the Oreo cookie crust, the delicious chocolate flavor, the tang of the cream cheese, and the super smooth consistency that’s pure bliss.
Decadent? Yes. Worth every calorie? Absolutely.
It’s like a chocolate massacre of deliciousness.
Now when making a baked chocolate cheesecake there’s a few very important things to consider for that perfect smooth texture and a cheesecake top with no cracks. It’s definitely not an overly challenging recipe to make – but a few tips will go a long way. So… perhaps it’s time for some cheesecake science/pointers.
Tips for Making Chocolate Cheesecake
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before getting started to ensure a smooth cheesecake consistency. Then really beat together the softened cream cheese and sugar – we don’t want clumps of plain cream cheese in our cake!
- We’re also adding sour cream to our batter. By making chocolate cheesecake with sour cream it keeps the consistency extra smooth, minimizes the risk of a grainy texture, and makes our cheesecake thick without being too dense.
- For this recipe – make sure the dark chocolate you use is around 70% cocoa. You can use 60% if you prefer it a little sweeter, or 80% if you like more of a dark chocolate flavor but I wouldn’t use anything with a higher than 80%. Otherwise your cheesecake will taste bitter.
- After adding in the eggs, be very careful not to mix the batter too much. You’ll want to beat everything together until it’s well combined, but not go any further. As you beat the eggs it adds air to the batter. When the cheesecake bakes the air will cause it to rise. Then as it cools the air will be released and the cheesecake can sink and crack.
- Then we’re baking our cheesecake in a water bath. This acts as insurance for your cheesecake to reduce the chance of cracks and the chance of your cheesecake sinking. The cheesecake will bake slowly and gently because the water insulates it. So to make the water bath, we wrap the outside of the spring form pan in aluminium foil at least twice so that all the sides are covered. Then we place the spring form pan in a roasting pan, and pour about 1/2 to 1 inch of boiling water into the bottom of the roasting pan. The whole thing gets baked in the oven, and then we let the cheesecake slowly cool in the roasting pan.
One of the best things about this chocolate cheesecake (and well any cheesecake for that matter) is that it’s the perfect dessert to make in advance. The flavor actually improves as the cheesecake spends time in the fridge – so it’s best to make it the day before you want to eat it, let it cool to room temperature, then wrap the top with aluminium foil and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
Then when you’re ready to serve – it’s time to make the chocolate sauce. It’s a delicious chocolate ganache that gets drizzled over each piece. Which makes this in fact a Triple Chocolate Cheesecake (chocolate cookie base, chocolate cheesecake, and chocolate sauce). To much you say??? Never.
And after you bite in – you definitely will have no regrets about this Chocolate Cheesecake masterpiece.
For the Oreo Cookie Crust
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1 and 1/3 cup Oreo cookie crumbs
For the Chocolate Cheesecake
- 20 oz cream cheese* , brick style (not whipped, spreadable or light)
- 1 and 1/4 cup granulated suagar
- 2/3 cup sour cream*
- 8 oz 60% to 80% dark chocolate , melted and cooled to room temperature
- 4 large eggs*
For the Ganache
- 1/2 cup cream
- 3 oz 60% to 80% dark chocolate , finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons corn syrup
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Wrap the outsides of 9 inch springform pan with aluminium foil at least 3 times so that the bottom and sides is covered tightly. The aluminium foil will just fold over the edges of the pan into the inside.
- To make the chocolate cookie crust, in a medium sized bowl stir together the melted butter and cookie crumbs. Press the mixture tightly into the bottom of your prepared springform pan using the bottom of a cup of your hands. Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes in the preheated oven, then allow to cool as you make the cheesecake filling. You can leave the oven turned on to 350F degrees.
- To make the cheesecake filling first ensure that your cream cheese is well softened. In a large bowl using a stand or hand-held electric mixer beat the cream cheese on medium speed until well softened. Then add in the sugar and continue beating until no lumps remain. Add in the sour cream and continue beating until even. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl using a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Then turn the mixer back onto low and beat in the melted chocolate. Once the the batter is evenly chocolatey, add in the eggs 1 at a time until evenly mixed. Be careful not to keep beating the batter once the eggs are mixed in.
- Then place the prepared springform pan with the cheesecake crust in the middle of a large roasting pan. Pour about 1/2 inch to 1 inch of boiling water into the bottom of the roasting pan. This is your water bath. Then pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan and put the whole thing in the oven. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until there's a slight wobble in the center of the cheesecake still.
- Remove the cheesecake and roasting pan from the oven. Trace around the edges of the springform pan and cheesecake with a very thin knife. Then let the cake cool in the water bath until the water is room temperature. Remove the springform from the water bath and remove the aluminium foil. Once the cheesecake is room temperature, cover the pan with foil and let set in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or preferably over night before serving.
- To make the chocolate sauce in a small saucepan melt together the chopped chocolate, heavy cream and corn syrup. Once everything is melted together, whisk until smooth.
- To serve cut the cheesecake into slices using a sharp, thin, non-serrated knife. Serve with the chocolate sauce, and optionally whipped cream and chocolate shavings or mini chocolate chips.