This peppermint bark cheesecake looks absolutely stunning and tastes even better. Inspired by the classic Christmas treat, this cheesecake has layers of chocolate and white chocolate cheesecake with crushed candy canes on top and a delicious hint of peppermint.
If you love peppermint bark – then you need to try this peppermint bark cheesecake. And if you’ve never tried peppermint bark – then you need to try this cheesecake. Peppermint bark is a favorite holiday treat with a layer of chocolate, a layer of white chocolate, and crushed candy canes on top. It has a delicious peppermint flavor that pairs perfectly with the chocolate.
This cheesecake has everything you love about peppermint bark in a creamy, silky smooth cheesecake form. There’s layers of chocolate cheesecake and white chocolate cheesecake, a crunchy Oreo crust, optional chocolate topping, and tons of crushed candy canes. I like to add just a hint of peppermint extract to give the same peppermint-iness of peppermint bark.
Making Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
Because of the 2 layers of cheesecake, this recipe does require a few extra steps. I’ve therefore included a ton of step-by-step photos and recipe tips to help ensure success.
Before getting started on the recipe, you’ll preheat the oven to 325F (170C) and prepare your pan. To prepare the pan, you’ll need to wrap the springform pan to ensure that it doesn’t leak. I recommend first wrapping it in a disposable oven bag and tying it up with key lock tie included. Then wrap the outside with aluminum foil. Wrap the outside (bottom and sides at least 4 times so that all the sides are covered and all the seams are covered.
Then it’s time to get on with the Oreo crust.
- Crush the cookies (wafers and filling) in a food processor until they’re fine crumbs. You can also crush them by placing in a freezer bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
- Mix the cookies with the melted butter – either by doing a few pulses in the food processor or using a fork in a small bowl.
- Then press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, creating a slight lip around the edges.
- The crust will bake on its own in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes.
Then it’s time to make the cheesecake batter. The same cheesecake batter based is used for both the chocolate and white chocolate layers.
- First beat together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Seeing small sugar granules in the batter is totally fine at this point, but you don’t want to see any lumps of cream cheese. Be sure to turn off the mixer and scrape down the bowl and beaters a few times to ensure that you get all of the lumps.
- Then mix in the whisked eggs and peppermint extract. It’s important to whisk together the eggs first before adding to the batter – this helps to ensure that the eggs whisk into the batter easily, without having to overmix the batter. Overmixing once the eggs have been added can lead to cracks in your cheesecake.
Then separate the batter into 2 equal portions. One portion will become the chocolate cheesecake layer, and one portion will become the white chocolate cheesecake layer.
For the chocolate cheesecake, you’ll first melt together the chopped chocolate and cream.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Then pour almost boiling cream overtop.
- Let the bowl sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn’t quite melted yet, microwave for 30-second intervals at medium power, whisking between each interval until smooth.
- Then pour the chocolate mixture into the bowl with ½ of the cheesecake batter and whisk until smooth. It’s really important to whisk by hand in this step so that you don’t overmix the batter. Again, overmixing after the eggs have been added can lead to cracks in your cheesecake.
Then you’ll repeat the process with the second half of the cheesecake batter for the white chocolate layer – pour hot cream over copped white chocolate and whisking until smooth. Then whisking the white chocolate mixture into the cheesecake batter.
From there, it’s time to assemble and bake your cheesecake. This cheesecake is baked in a water bath to minimize the chance of cracks and keep the cheesecake silky smooth. The water bath is also the reason why it’s so important to wrap the outside of the pan really well – you don’t want batter seeping out of the pan or water seeping into the pan.
You’ll place the springform pan in the middle of a large roasting pan (still wrapped tightly). Carefully pour the chocolate layer on top of the crust and smooth into an even layer. The carefully spoon the white chocolate cheesecake over top of the chocolate layer. **Do not pour/dump the white chocolate cheesecake layer on top of the chocolate layer. If you dump it on top, it will disturb the chocolate layer and you won’t end up with even layers.
Then you’ll pour about ½ to 1 inch of hot water into the large roasting pan. The whole thing goes in the oven to bake for about 50-60 minutes or until the top looks just set and if you give the pan a gentle nudge it wobbles like jello or pudding. If it looks liquidy when you give the pan a nudge (think like a glass of milk) – then it isn’t done baking yet. If
The cheesecake will need to cool fully, then go in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours.
You can add the chocolate ganache topping at any point in time after cheesecake has fully cooled. I like adding chocolate ganache on top of the cheesecake because it will also hide any imperfections. Just like for the cheesecake layers:
- Place chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour hot cream overtop.
- Let it sit for a few minutes, then whisk until smooth.
- Then pour the ganache over top of the cheesecake, letting it run down the sides. You can then pop the cheesecake back in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.
Baking Tips and Tricks
- Be sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.
- The cream cheese and eggs should be room temperature before getting started.
- Use baking chocolate, as opposed to chocolate bars. Baking chocolate is designed to melt really well, as opposed to eating chocolate which often has stabilizers in it to help avoid it melting.
- Make sure you allocate enough time for the cheesecake to fully cool and chill in the fridge before serving. I always make the cheesecake the day before I plan to serve, let it cool fully, and then chill in the fridge overnight. The next day I’ll make the ganache whenever I have time and top the cheesecake. Then pop it back in the fridge until I’m ready to serve it.
- Only add the crushed candy canes right before serving. They can end up melting due to moisture in the fridge, which doesn’t look as pretty.
Creamy, decadent and with the perfect chocolate peppermint flavor – this peppermint bark cheesecake is the perfect Christmas dessert. And if you love chocolate and peppermint, then I highly recommend having a look at:
- Chocolate Peppermint Cake
- Candy Cane Cane – layers of peppermint infused white cake with creamy white chocolate peppermint frosting
- White Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
- Chocolate Peppermint Sandwich Cookies
Peppermint Bark Cheesecake
- 9-inch springform pan 23 cm
- large roasting pan (big enough for the springform pan to fit inside)
- 28 Oreo cookies wafers and filling
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter (70 grams) melted
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese (680 grams) brick-style, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature, discard the whites or save for another recipe
- 1 teaspoon peppermint extract feel free to use ½ teaspoon for a subtle flavor
- 5 ounces 50-60% dark chocolate (142 grams) finely chopped
- 5 ounces white chocolate (142 grams) finely chopped
- 1 cup whipping cream (240 ml) from the carton, about 33-35% MF
- hot water for the waterbath
- 5 ounces 50-60% dark chocolate (142 grams) finely chopped
- ½ cup whipping cream (120 ml)
- 2 candy canes crushed
- Preheat the oven to 325F (170C).
- Wrap the outside of a springform pan. I recommend first wrapping with a disposable oven bag and tying the bag with the key lock tie. Then wrap with the outside (bottom and sides) with aluminum foil. Wrap the pan at least 4 times so that all the seems are covered at least once if you wrapped the pan in a bag first, and ideally twice if you are only using foil.
- Crush the cookies (wafers and filling) in a food processor until crumbs. You can also crush them by placing the cookies in a freezer bag and crushing with a rolling pin.
- Mix together the crushed cookies and melted butter - you can either do this in a bowl or by doing a few pulses in the food processor.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared springform pan, creating a slight lip around the edge.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the oven turned on and the pan wrapped.
- In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and you no longer see any lumps of cream cheese. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl a few times in the process.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Then beat the whisked eggs and peppermint extract into the cream cheese mixture until just combined. Stop mixing when you no longer see pieces of egg.
- Divide the mixture in half.
Chocolate Cheesecake Layer
- Place the finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until almost boiling - either in 30 second intervals in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat while gently whisking. Pour ½ cup of cream over the chopped chocolate.
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn't quite melted, microwave for 30-second intervals on medium power (not high power, which is often the default) and whisk between each interval until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate and cream into the bowl with ½ of the cheesecake batter and whisk by hand with a wire whisk until smooth.
White Chocolate Cheesecake Layer
- Place the finely chopped white chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Pour the remaining ½ cup of hot cream over the chopped chocolate.
- Let sit for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the white chocolate isn't smooth yet, then place the bowl in the microwave and microwave for 30-second intervals on medium power. Between each interval, whisk the mixture.
- Pour the white chocolate mixture into the bowl with the second half of the cheesecake batter and whisk by hand until smooth.
Assembling and Baking the Cheesecake
- Place the springform pan in the middle of a large roasting pan.
- Pour the chocolate cheesecake layer into the springform pan and spread into an even layer.
- Carefully spoon the white chocolate cheesecake layer over the chocolate cheesecake layer. Do not pour/dump the white chocolate cheesecake batter over the chocolate layer. If you dump it on top, you will disturb the chocolate layer and no longer have even layers.
- Pour about ½ to 1 inch (2-3 cm) of hot water into the large roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan with cheesecake inside into the oven on a rack about ⅓ from the bottom. Bake for about 50-60 minutes, or until the top looks just set and if you give the pan a gentle nudge the cheesecake should wobble like jello or pudding. If it looks like a glass of milk wobbling, then it isn't done baking.
- Remove from the oven. Let the cheesecake cool inside the roasting pan until the pan is no longer warm to the touch.
- Then remove the springform from the roasting pan (still with the cheesecake in the roasting pan), cover the top of the pan and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Finely chop the chocolate and place in a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour over the chocolate.
- Let the bowl sit for about 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If the chocolate hasn't fully melted, then microwave the mixture for 30-second intervals on medium power, whisking between each interval, until smooth.
- Take the cheesecake out of the fridge. Blot off any moisture from the top of the cheesecake using a paper towel. Gently trace around the outside of the springform pan using a sharp knife then unclamp the outer ring of the springform pan.
- Pour the chocolate ganache over the cheesecake, using a flat-edge knife to gently spread it into an even layer and letting the chocolate drip over the edges.
- Return the cheesecake back to the fridge.
- When ready to serve, remove from the fridge right before serving and sprinkle the top with crushed candy canes.
- Slice with a thin, sharp knife (not a table knife). Be sure to slice all the way through the crust. For the cleanest cuts, wipe off the knife after each cut.
- Cream Cheese: Be sure to use full-fat, brick style cream cheese. Do not use anything that's low calorie, low fat or comes in a tub.
- Eggs: You will need 5 eggs in total. Use 3 full eggs and just the egg yolks of the 4th and 5th eggs.
- Room Temperature Ingredients: The cream cheese and eggs should be at room temperature before getting started. Take them out of the fridge (and the cream cheese out of the packaging) at least 30 minutes before making the crust.
- Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate (for both the cheesecake layer and topping) can be replaced with semi-sweet baking chocolate.
- Storage: Store leftovers covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 slice with chocolate topping and candy canes, assuming the cheesecake is sliced into 12 uniform pieces.