This layered chocolate cheesecake is extra decadent with a thick Oreo cookie crust, a layer of chocolate cheesecake and a layer of white chocolate cheesecake. The layers make it look impressive, and you truly get the best of both worlds when it comes to chocolate.
I already have a favorite chocolate cheesecake recipe and a favorite white chocolate cheesecake recipe. This layered chocolate cheesecake combines the two into one very decadent dessert that’s surprisingly not too sweet with a creamy, silky smooth texture. The tanginess of the cheesecake balances out the chocolate perfectly, and the combination of dark chocolate and white chocolate mellows together in each bite.
The Perfect Layered Cheesecake
My Mum used to make a layered chocolate cheesecake from a small cookbook titled Chocolate by Jean Pare. It was one of the first fancy desserts I remember, and it started my baking obsession with cheesecake. I’m sure the book is still in a cupboard at my parents’ house – somewhere between Joy of Cooking and Delia Smith – but I figured it was time to make my own version in celebration of my birthday.
This recipe has everything you could want:
- a thick chocolate cookie crust
- a layer of chocolate cheesecake that’s rich, but not overboard
- then a white chocolate cheesecake that’s thankfully not too sweet
- a texture that’s smooth, creamy and never grainy
- and a layer of chocolate ganache on top.
You only need a small piece, but it hits all the checkpoints for the perfect cheesecake.
When making the cheesecake batter, you’ll first start with the base batter that’s used for both the chocolate and white chocolate layers. Then the batter gets split in half and the melted dark chocolate and white chocolate gets added into each half. This makes the process much faster than making the chocolate layer and white chocolate layers separately.
After the cheesecake is baked, cooled and chilled – I added a chocolate ganache on top. As always, this is optional. You could skip the ganache and add a few fresh berries or even a raspberry coulis on top. Or simply leave it plain. Either way – it’s delicious.
Baking Tips & Tricks
- As always when making cheesecake, use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Take it out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before getting started so that it has time to warm up to room temperature.
- Cheesecake needs to be baked in a springform pan. This recipe is designed for a 9-inch (23 cm) pan. A 10 inch pan will work too. Your cheesecake will be a little thinner, and the bake time will be 40-50 minutes.
- For super even layers, after you divide the cheesecake batter in half, use a food scale to ensure both bowls have equal amounts of batter. (This is totally optional).
- Use high-quality baking chocolate for the best results. Chop the chocolate into very fine pieces before adding the cream to the chocolate.
- Put the chocolate cheesecake layer on the bottom, and the white chocolate cheesecake on top for cuts that are more beautiful. Otherwise, when you slice down, the chocolate cheesecake layer will blur into the white chocolate cheesecake layer.
- When pouring the top layer onto the bottom before baking, do not dump the batter onto the bottom layer. Otherwise, it will make a crater in the middle and you won’t get even layers. Very, very gently spoon the top layer onto the bottom layer.
- Cool the cheesecake slowly, then chill for at least 6 hours before serving. This allows the flavors to come together and the cheesecake to set properly.
More Cheesecake Recipes:
Layered Chocolate Cheesecake
- 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan
- large roasting pan that's big enough for the springform pan to fit inside
- Aluminum Foil
- 24 Oreos wafers and filling
- ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 5 ounces dark chocolate 50-70%
- 5 ounces white chocolate
- 1 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
- boiling water for the water bath
- 4 ounces dark chocolate or semi-sweet
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 2 ounces white chocolate
- Preheat the oven to 325F (160C) degrees.
- Wrap the outside of a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan with aluminum foil. Wrap it at least 4 times so that the bottom and sides are covered and all seems are covered.
- Crush the cookies (wafers and filling) until their fine crumbs. You can do this either in a food processor or by placing the cookies in a freezer bag and bashing with a rolling pin.
- Mix the cookies with the melted butter.
- Press the cookies into the bottom of the prepared pan, creating a slight lip around the sides.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven turned on.
- Beat together the cream cheese and sugar in a very large bowl. Beat until the mixture is very smooth and no lumps remain.
- Whisk together the eggs in a small bowl. With the mixer on low speed, mix the eggs into the cream cheese mixture about ½ at a time. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Divide the batter evenly into 2 bowls and set aside.
- Finely chop the dark chocolate until its in very small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Do the same with the white chocolate, and place in a second heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling (either in the microwave or a double boiler).
- Pour half the cream over the dark chocolate and half the cream over the white chocolate. Let each bowl sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk each until smooth. If the chocolate in either bowl isn't quite melted, microwave the bowl on medium power for 45 seconds and whisk until smooth.
- Place the springform pan with the baked crust (still wrapped in aluminum foil) in the middle of a large roasting pan.
- Stir the melted dark chocolate mixture into one bowl of the cream cheese batter until the mixture is smooth. Pour over the crust.
- Stir the white chocolate mixture into the other bowl of the batter. Very carefully spoon the white chocolate cheesecake batter over top of the chocolate cheesecake layer. Do not pour or dump the white chocolate batter over the dark chocolate layer, otherwise, you'll disturb the dark chocolate layer.
Baking and Cooling
- Pour hot water into the roasting pan so that there's about ½ - 1 inch (1.5 - 2.5 cm) of water in the roasting pan.
- Place in the oven (still at 325F from previously baking the crust) and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the top looks almost set. When it's done baking, there should be a slight wobble in the middle of the cheesecake if you give the pan a gentle nudge. The wobble should look like Jello or pudding, but not like liquid.
- Remove from the oven and cool the cheesecake in the pan, in the water bath.
- Once fully cooled, remove the cheesecake from the large roasting pan. Cover the top and place in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours.
- Chop the dark chocolate into very fine pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling, then pour over the chopped chocolate.
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn't quite melted, microwave for 45-seconds at medium power (not high power) and whisk until smooth.
- Take the cheesecake out of the fridge. Gently trace around the outer edge with a thin, sharp knife. Then unclamp the outer ring of the springform pan.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cheesecake and smooth to the edges. I typically let the chocolate drip over the edges.
- Finely chop/shave the white chocolate into thin pieces and sprinkle on top. Return to the fridge until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, cut with a sharp knife (not a table knife). Be sure to slice all the way through the crust. Wipe off the knife in between each slice for cleaner cuts.
- Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.
- The cream cheese and eggs should be room temperature before getting started. Make sure to take them out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before making the crust.
- I used 60% dark chocolate for both the cheesecake filling and ganache. I recommend using anything between 50% and 70%. Do not use bittersweet chocolate for this recipe, as it will be too strong.
- Cooling the cheesecake slowly and chilling in the fridge is absolutely necessary for the best cheesecake consistency.
- Make Ahead Tips: I typically make the cheesecake the day before I plan to serve (since it needs to chill in the fridge) and add the topping the morning of the day I plan to serve it.
- Storage and Freezing: Always store in cheesecake covered in the fridge. It will keep for up to 5 days. Cheesecake can be wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight. The ganache may discolor after freezing.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice (with ganache topping), assuming the cheesecake is sliced into 12 equal pieces. 12 pieces will actually be quite large for cheesecake.