The best chocolate cheesecake recipe – it’s creamy and tangy with a delicious chocolate flavor, chocolate cookie crust and chocolate ganache on top. Learn all the tricks to making decadent, restaurant-quality chocolate cheesecake.
**This post was updated September 7, 2020 with new photos, a slightly updated recipe and new recipe tips**
The Best Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Cheesecake was the first “grown-up” dessert I learned to bake. I’ve spent years perfecting, testing, and taste-testing the recipe – and you can feel confident that this recipe ticks all the boxes.
- Crunchy Oreo cookie crust to support the filling
- Velvety smooth texture that’s luxuriously creamy and never grainy
- Rich, chocolate flavor that’s slightly tangy thanks to the cream cheese and not too sweet
- And glossy chocolate ganache on top.
It’s decadent, rich and over the top thanks to a triple dose of chocolate. It’s for true chocolate lovers and it’s the perfect variation on a classic New York cheesecake (in my humble opinion).
While this recipe produces restaurant-quality results, it isn’t overly complex to make. That being said – the ingredients can be pretty pricey. So to ensure your success I’ve included a ton of tips and tricks.
Tips for Making Chocolate Cheesecake
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature before getting started to ensure a smooth cheesecake consistency. Take the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before getting started. This ensures that everything mixes together properly without any lumps.
- Using sour cream in the chocolate cheesecake 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.
- Add in the eggs last, be very careful not to mix the batter too much. You’ll want to beat in the eggs until it’s combined, but do 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.
- This recipe requires a springform pan. The sides aren’t high enough on a sandwich tin, and it is impossible to remove the cheesecake from the pan. If you don’t have a springform pan, I recommend making these chocolate cheesecake bars in a 9×13 inch pan.
- Then we’re baking the 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. It also keeps in moisture. Chocolate cheesecake is especially susceptible to drying out as it bakes, so the water bath is especially necessary.
How to Make a Water Bath
To make the water bath, we wrap the outside of the springform pan in aluminum foil at least three times so that all the sides and seams are covered. When you’re ready to bake the cheesecake, you’ll place the springform pan (with the unbaked cheesecake) in the middle of a large roasting pan. Then pour about 1/2 inch of boiling water into the bottom of the roasting pan. The whole thing gets baked in the oven. You can see what it looks like below:
Chilling, Serving & Make Ahead Tips
One of the best things about this chocolate cheesecake (and any cheesecake for that matter) is that it’s the perfect dessert to make in advance. Chilling the cheesecake is necessary for it to properly set, and the flavor actually improves as it spends time in the fridge. After baking, cool the cheesecake slowly until it reaches room temperature. Then remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan, cover the springform with aluminum foil, and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours before serving. I typically make the cheesecake the night before I plan to serve it.
You can then make the chocolate ganache topping really any time after the cheesecake has chilled for at least 6 hours. It will need about 30 minutes in the fridge to firm up. Feel free to sprinkle a few chocolate shavings on top, dot the outside of the cheesecake with raspberries, add a dollop of whipped cream on each piece, or simply leave it plain. It’s up to you.
Instead of topping the entire cheesecake with chocolate ganache and letting it set, you can also let each guest drizzle the top of their piece with warm chocolate ganache.
Creamy, decadent, and perfectly rich. By following these simple tips you’ll end up with the perfect chocolate cheesecake. The combination of crunchy cookie crust and velvety smooth cheesecake is impossible to resist and truly makes this recipe the ultimate chocolate cheesecake.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Love:
- 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan
- large roasting pan (big enough for the springform pan to fit inside)
- Aluminum Foil
Oreo Cookie Crust
- 24 Oreo cookies wafers and filling
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 10 ounces 70% dark chocolate*
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese* brick style (not whipped, spreadable or light)
- 1 and 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup sour cream*
- 4 large eggs*
- boiling water for the water bath
- 5 oz dark chocolate*
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons corn syrup or golden syrup
- raspberries & chocolate shavings for decoration - optional
- Preheat the oven to 325F degrees.
- Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan in aluminum foil at least 3-4 times. Alternate the direction of the way you wrap to ensure that the sides and all seams are covered.
- Add the cookies (wafers and filling) to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs. Or place in a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Mix the crumbs with the melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, creating a slight lip around the edge.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven (keeping the pan wrapped in foil) and keep the oven turned on.
- Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a large heatproof bowl. Microwave on medium power (not standard or high power) for 45 second intervals, removing the bowl from the microwave and giving it a stir in between each, until smooth. Or melt in a double boiler.
- In a very large bowl, beat the cream cheese until soft smooth. Beat in the sugar.
- With the mixer on low speed, beat in the melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Mix in the sour cream.
- Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl, then beat them into the cheesecake batter with the mixer on low speed. Atop mixing as soon as they're incorporated.
Baking, Cooling & Chilling the Cheesecake
- Place the springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil in the middle of a large roasting pan.
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust and smooth the top.
- Pour about 1/2 - 1 inch (1-2 cm) of water into the roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan (with cheesecake inside) in the oven and bake for 55-70 minutes, or until the top looks just set and if you give the pan a gentle nudge the cheesecake has a slight wobble - similar to a plate of jello.
- Turn off the oven, open the oven door and cool the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. Then remove the roasting pan from the oven and cool the cheesecake (in the roasting pan) until it reaches room temperature.
- Once room temperature, remove the springform pan from the roasting pan, cover with aluminum foil, and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for about 2-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Whisk in the corn syrup.
- Remove the cheesecake from the fridge, gently trace around the edge of the pan with a thin, sharp knife. Unclamp the outer ring of the springform pan. If there's any condensation on top of the cheesecake, blot it with a paper towel.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cheesecake, letting it drip over the edges. Optionally, sprinkle a few chocolate shavings on top and/or decorate with raspberries.
- Place the cheesecake back in the fridge for 30 minutes for the ganache to firm up.
- To serve cut the cheesecake into slices using a sharp, thin, non-serrated knife (do not use a table knife).
- A springform pan is required for this recipe. Unfortunately, it becomes impossible to remove a cheesecake from a round cake pan. This recipe has too much batter for an 8-inch springform pan.
- I use 70% dark chocolate for this recipe. 60% is ok too. I wouldn't use anything stronger than 80% dark chocolate or else the cheesecake will be too bitter. For the chocolate ganache on top, feel free to use semi-sweet chocolate or 50% dark chocolate.
- Use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.
- The cream cheese, sour cream and eggs should be room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes prior to making the crust.
- Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to 5 days. Cheesecake can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice (without berries or chocolate shavings) assuming the cheesecake is cut into 14 equal pieces.