Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Velvety smooth, rich Dark Chocolate Cheesecake is the one dessert a chocolate lover can’t resist. Triple chocolate heaven with an Oreo crust and chocolate ganache.

I was so excited about our traditional baked cheesecake recipe last fall, I decided more cheesecake needed to happen in our kitchen this year. I have a list of about 6 cheesecakes to share with you over the next few months and this delicious dark chocolate cheesecake with Oreo crust is the first.

Don’t worry…the steps are as easy as our plain cheesecake and pumpkin cheesecake. We just sneak in a bunch of dark chocolate to make this the most decadently rich cheesecake ever.

inside of a chocolate cheesecake

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • tall gorgeous presentation
  • triple chocolate: in the crust, batter and topping
  • only 15 minutes prep time
  • a great make ahead recipe
  • perfect for special occasions

How to Make Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

There are 5 key steps to making cheesecake:

  • Make the crust.
  • Make the filling.
  • Bake the cheesecake.
  • Let the cake cool.
  • Add the toppings.

Oreo crust.

Be sure to choose regular Oreos, not the double stuff. And you do not need to remove the Oreo filling before processing them.

The Oreo crust is super easy to make in a food processor. Add the cookies, butter and sugar into the processor, then pulse a few times until the mixture is combined.

Press into a 9″ springform pan and bake for 10 minutes at 325º Fahrenheit. You’ll want to prep this in advance so the crust can cool before adding the cheesecake batter.

Note: The crust is the only part of the recipe that is not gluten free naturally. If you’d like, choose gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies for a delicious gluten free cheesecake!

Creamy cheesecake filling.

The key to a perfect cheesecake filling is to not overmix the batter, especially after adding the eggs. The eggs are added last because if you beat them too much, they’ll add air to your cheesecake.

Follow the steps carefully and you should end up with a beautifully smooth cheesecake!

When you are making our cheesecake recipe, you’ll see that it calls for baking the cake about 75 minutes, then leaving it in the oven for an additional 5 hours. It’s important during this time not to open the oven door at all.

This might seem strange, but it allows the cake to continue to cook at a lower temperature and to slowly cool down. Protecting the cheesecake from extreme temperature changes helps prevent cracks.

Chocolate ganache.

There are several different ways to make chocolate ganache, but we find the microwave to be the easiest.

  • Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it is very hot and steaming, but not boiling.
  • Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the bowl to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the plate and stir the chocolate and cream together. This will take maybe 2 minutes of stirring to get it completely combined, but eventually you’ll get a smooth, dark, silky chocolate.
spooning chocolate ganache on a cheesecake

Toppings for Chocolate Cheesecake

I like a simple dollop of fluffy whipped cream with my cheesecake, but if you’re looking for something a little different to try, be inspired with these:

slice of cheesecake on a plate
slice of cheesecake on a plate

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

5 from 1 vote
Velvety smooth, rich Dark Chocolate Cheesecake is the one dessert a chocolate lover can't resist. Triple chocolate heaven with an Oreo crust and chocolate ganache.
Servings 15
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Resting Time 5 hours

Ingredients
 

For the crust:

  • 30 crushed Oreos (not double stuff)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

For the cheesecake:

  • 22 ounces cream cheese 2 ¾ blocks (room temperature)
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 16 ounces sour cream plus 2/3 cup sour cream (room temperature)
  • 14 ounces high quality dark chocolate (at least 60 percent bittersweet)
  • 4 large eggs (whisked, room temperature)

For the ganache:

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (or semi-sweet)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Instructions
 

  • **Plan ahead and make sure the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs are at room temperature. This will help the ingredients cream together more smoothly.**
  • Spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.

Make the crust:

  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • In a food processor, pulse together the Oreos, butter and sugar.
  • Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Bake the crust for about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
  • Wrap the outside of the springform pan with two layers of foil (or use a cheesecake pan wrap). This will help seal the bottom so that water doesn't get in.

Make the cheesecake filling:

  • Place the cream cheese in a large bowl. Use 22 ounces of cream cheese which is 2 8-ounce blocks and then an additional 6 ounces. The cream cheese should be at room temperature.
  • Use a hand mixer on low speed to cream the cream cheese until it is smooth. Don’t beat too much air into the cream cheese. Mix on low speed just until smooth and any lumps are out.
  • With the mixer on low speed, mix in the sugar and vanilla extract. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Mix in the sour cream and mix on low speed just until blended.
  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 20 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is completely melted. Pour the melted chocolate into the cheesecake batter and mix until combined.
  • Crack the eggs into a small bowl. Use a hand whisk to gently whisk the eggs together to break up the yolks. Don’t whisk them too much. You don’t want them frothy.
  • Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and blend, scraping the sides of the bowl and mixing just until combined.
  • Pour the batter into the springform pan with the pre-baked crust.
  • Tap the pan on the counter 4-5 times. This will help bring any air bubbles to the top so that they pop. Allow the mixture to sit for about 10 minutes. Tap again if any more air bubbles surface. This will help your cheesecake have a nice thick texture.
  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit.
  • Heat 4 quarts of water on the stove or in the microwave until steaming but not necessarily boiling.
  • Pour about an inch and a half of water in a 10×15″ baking pan.
  • Place the wrapped springform pan into the water bath.
  • The water should come about halfway up the side of the pan. Pour in additional water if needed.
  • Place the cheesecake (in the water bath) in the preheated oven.
  • Allow the cake to bake for 75 minutes. Do not open the oven.
  • After 75 minutes, turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for another 5 hours. Don't open the oven. Just allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven while the oven cools.
  • After 5 hours, remove the cheesecake from the oven and the pan. Remove the foil wrap.
  • Loosely cover the cheesecake and place it in the refrigerator to firm up overnight.

Make the ganache:

  • Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it is very hot and steaming, but not boiling.
  • Place the chocolate in a small glass bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate. Cover the bowl with a plate and allow the bowl to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Remove the plate and stir the chocolate and cream together. This will take maybe 2 minutes of stirring to get it completely combined, but eventually you’ll get a smooth, dark, silky chocolate.
  • Allow this mixture to cool for 5 minutes, then pour it over the chilled cheesecake, smoothing it out to the edges.
  • Top with mini chocolate chips, M&M candies, nuts or any other thing you'd like.
  • Allow the cheesecake to set for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cheesecake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cheesecake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 732kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 51g | Saturated Fat: 29g | Cholesterol: 135mg | Sodium: 328mg | Potassium: 449mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 1086IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 4mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 732
Keyword baked cheesecake, chocolate dessert
cheesecake on a plate with a fork

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to use a water bath?

No you don’t have to, but you’ll end up with the best texture and best appearance if you use a water bath.

How do I know when a cheesecake is done?

For this cheesecake, you just have to trust the process. In general, cheesecakes will not “look” done so you might be tempted to bake it longer. In our recipe you are not going to open up the oven for a total of 6 hours from when you first put it in so you shouldn’t be worrying about whether it looks done or not. It will be done after 6 hours.
Cheesecakes, however, will often look set on the outside ring of the circle, but still slightly jiggly in the center.

How far in advance can you make cheesecake?

Cheesecake will last about 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. We recommend serving the cheesecake within 2 days of making it for the freshest flavor.

Can you freeze cheesecake?

Yes! You can freeze slices of cheesecake or a whole cheesecake for up to 2 months. When you are ready to serve it, place the wrapped cheesecake in the refrigerator to defrost overnight. Don’t unwrap it until it is thawed. This will help prevent condensation from forming and making the cake “wet”.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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