Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake

Thick, rich and dangerously decadent. If you’re looking for the perfect chocolate cheesecake, look no further! This dessert is a show stopper!

We love cheesecake!! For all my fruit lovers check out my key lime cheesecake, blueberry cheesecake crumb cake, or no-bake strawberry topped cheesecake! Or you can be like me and love both chocolate and fruit desserts! 

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake

Who Loves cheesecake?

I feel like many people fall into two categories: chocolate dessert lovers or fruit dessert lovers!! With a chocolate crust, filling and shaved chocolate on top, this cheesecake is for all my chocolate lovers.

Cookies are my jam, but cheesecake is my obsession! I’ve been wanting to take my Perfect New York Cheesecake recipe and transform it into a chocolate version for almost a year now. I finally got around to it a few weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier with the results!

This chocolate cheesecake is decadent, rich and ultra-thick. It truly is a chocolate lover’s dream!

If you’ve never made cheesecake before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not as scary as you think. I’ve included lots of tips and tricks in the recipe below to help guide you through the process and ultimately bake the perfect chocolate cheesecake. Be patient, re-read the steps (follow the directions), and take a deep breath. It’ll look flawless and taste amazing, I promise!!

Chocolate cheesecake recipe

How to Make Chocolate Cheesecake

The most difficult part about this recipe is waiting. Waiting for ingredients to be at room temperature, waiting for it to rest in the oven, and waiting for it to chill in the refrigerator. Trust me, the wait is well worth it!

Prep the Pan:

  • Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with extra-large aluminum foil so that the no water can leak in during the water bath. Wrap it with two-layers for extra security. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the springform pan.
  • Or you can skip the foil wrap if you have a slightly larger cake pan than your springform pan. You can place the springform pan in a slightly larger cake pan (10″) that has 2″ sides.

The Cheesecake Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in the lower third of the oven.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground Oreo crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the crumbs become coated.
  • Pour into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth out (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). You should have a nice layer on the bottom and the sides should go about halfway up your pan. Place into the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and turn the oven down to 325 degrees.

The Cheesecake Filling:

  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
  • With mixing speed on low, gradually add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Turn the mixing speed back up to high and beat for an additional minute.
  • Switch the mixing speed back to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated.
  • In a small bowl dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla extract. With mixing speed on low, add the vanilla/espresso mixture, then beat on high for 1 minute.

Water Bath:

  • Place the prepared springform pan (either foil covered or springform inside the larger cake pan) into a large high-sided roasting pan.
  • Pour the filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
  • Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling. You’ll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2″ tall cake pan).
  • Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour 45 minutes.

Let it Cool:

  • After the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan.
  • Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooling rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving.
  • Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator (giving the cheesecake 30 minutes will help prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the foil).
  • During the chilling process, the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving. If it seems to be a little stuck you can warm a knife with hot water and gently and slowly move it around the pan to loosen the cheesecake.
  • Top with freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings or curls, fresh raspberries and mint, if desired.

How to make perfect chocolate cheesecake

Chocolate Cheesecake FAQs

What if I don’t have a springform pan? You can use a regular cake pan. Just line it with parchment paper so that the cheesecake won’t stick to the bottom!

What does the water bath do? The point of a water bath is to make sure that the cheesecake gets cooked through without browning the top of it. The water surrounding the cheesecake can get to 212 degrees and cook the cheesecake instead of using the normal oven functions to bake it.

Why does the cream cheese, sour cream, whipping cream and eggs need to be at room temperature? This allows the ingredients to blend together better which results in a smoother cheesecake. 

Chocolate cheesecake recipe

How to Change Up + Store Chocolate Cheesecake

Toppings: You can top it with just about anything to make it suit your personal tastes. Think mint, orange, caramel etc. Or you can go the simple route and pipe some freshly whipped cream on top, and some chocolate curls, a raspberry and a sprig of mint. No matter how you garnish it, it’s sure to be a hit!

Storing: First off, cheesecakes must be refrigerated! You can leave a cheesecake out for 2-4 hours, but it is not recommended to store them on your countertop. A freshly baked cheesecake can last in your refrigerator for up to a week. Just make sure to cover it loosely with aluminum foil. 

If you have leftovers, you can always freeze them! Wrap them tightly in aluminum foil and then place in a freezer-safe container/bag. Cheesecake is good for about 3 months in the freezer. 

When you are ready to eat, place frozen cheesecake in your refrigerator to thaw out (usually 7-8 hours).

This 9-inch cheesecake is perfect for holiday celebrations, family gatherings, or office parties! The only problem is you won’t have any leftovers!! 

Chocolatey desserts from Life Made Simple

 

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake | lifemadesimplebakes.com

Perfect Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

Thick, rich and dangerously decadent. If you're looking for the perfect chocolate cheesecake, look no further! This dessert is a show stopper!
4.91 from 33 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Cool/ Chill Time: 4 hrs 30 mins
Total Time: 6 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 slices
Calories: 601kcal
Print Recipe

Ingredients

For the Crust
  • 2 cup crushed oreos - cream removed
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 5 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter - melted
For the Filling
  • 2 lb plain cream cheese - ((4) 8 oz blocks), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream - room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream - room temperature
  • 12 oz bittersweet chocolate - melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher sea salt
  • 4 eggs - rom temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp espresso powder - optional
For the Toppings
  • whipped cream
  • chocolate shavings or curls
  • fresh raspberries
  • sprigs of mint

Instructions

  • Cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with extra large aluminum foil so that the no water can leak in (it's worth a trip to the store to buy the 18" wide foil). Wrap it with two layer for extra security. Crimp the top of the foil around the top edge of the springform pan. You can also place the springform pan in a slightly larger cake pan (10") that has 2" sides (I ran out of big foil but had a nice cake pan that it just barely fit into. I didn't have to worry at all about the foil keeping water out).
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees, placing the top rack in lower third of oven. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the finely ground Oreo crumbs with the sugar and salt. Pour the melted butter over top and mix until the crumbs become coated.
  • Pour into the prepared springform pan and gently smooth out (I like to use a metal measuring cup for this). Carefully work the crumbs up the sides so that they are 1½" tall and approximately ¼" thick. You should have a nice layer on the bottom and the sides should go about halfway up your pan. Place into the oven and bake for 8 minutes. Remove and turn oven down to 325 degrees.
  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer for approximately 4 minutes or until smooth and creamy. With mixing speed on low, gradually add the melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and salt. Turn mixing speed back up to high and beat for an additional minute. With mixing speed on low, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. In a small bowl dissolve the espresso powder in the vanilla extract. With mixing speed on low, add the vanilla/espresso mixture, then beat on high for 1 minute.
  • Place the prepared springform pan into a large high-sided roasting pan. Pour the filling into the springform pan, smoothing out the top with a spatula. Pour boiling water around the springform pan, taking care not to get any on the filling. You'll want the water to go halfway up the side of the pan (this was just to the lip of my 2" tall cake pan). Place in the oven and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 30 minutes. If you like extra firm cheesecake, continue baking for an additional 15 minutes for a total of 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • After the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow to cool for 30 minutes. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooking rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator (giving the cheesecake 30 minutes will help prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the foil).
  • During the chilling process the cheesecake should come away from the edges of the pan, making it easy and mess-free to remove it before serving. Top with freshly whipped cream, chocolate shavings or curls, fresh raspberries and mint, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 12g | Calories: 601kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 738mg | Potassium: 497mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 53g | Vitamin A: 502IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 318mg | Iron: 5mg

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Comments:

  1. Decided to try this when I needed a chocolate cheesecake recipe after getting great results with your vanilla ice cream recipe. Perfect! It was delicious and was very tall and impressive looking. The advice to crack the oven and let it cool in there was spot on. No cracking whatsoever, a perfectly smooth top. I turned the oven off after and hour and a half and the texture was excellent. Thank you!!

  2. Oh my gosh!! I made this when my son requested a chocolate cheesecake for his 25th birthday and it was amazing!! I think the espresso powder brings out the chocolate-ness without making it too chocolatey if that makes any sense. Thanks!!

  3. I made this for my visiting uncle who requested chocolate cheesecake. It was amazing. It was one of the best things I have ever tasted and that’s coming from a foodie/cheesecake snob who has made about 15 cheesecakes. I’m going to try you ny style one next. Great job!

  4. I’ve made this twice now, and while it taste amazing, I’m wondering why I have tiny white lumps in my batter every time. Is it the sour cream that isn’t breaking down? I use room temp ingredients and mix like it says, being careful not to over
    Mix. How can I prevent the white tiny lumps? 

    1. It’s more likely cream cheese that hasn’t broken down completely. I would try mixing everything very slowly until smooth during each step.

      1. I have had this happen when making cheesecakes occaisionally. When i heat and then cream the cream cheese first, I find the problem of little white lumps goes away. I take the cream cheese right out of the fridge, microwave each bar for 15-20 sec on both sides, that way its completely softened. Then I cream all the cream cheese in the mixer, without over beating. Then add the other ingredients.

  5. My cake is in the oven, so I can’t comment yet, but the recipe looks solid – thank you Natalie 🙂

  6. Does the aluminum foil go on the OUTSIDE or INSIDE of the springform pan? Just wanted to double check. This will be my first time using one. If it goes on the inside I’m good but if it goes on the outside, does the inside of the pan need to be greased?

  7. The only problem I had with this recipe is it didn’t all fit in a 9” pan.  I ended up having to use a 9” and a 7” because of all the batter it made.  What I didn’t account for is the cooking time – it should have been less because all the batter didn’t fit together in one pan.  So, the cakes came out dry and crumbly. The taste was good, just not the texture.  I was so disappointed especially with how expensive the ingredients were. Did everyone really get this to fit into a 9” pan?  

  8. 5 stars
    Made it for Christmas, and “perfect” is an understatement. It was creamy, rich and delicious. Tastes like professional quality cheesecake. Thank you for the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    my 2 favorite things – cheesecake and chocolate! i have a feeling this is going to be my new favorite dessert! 

  10. 5 stars
    I LOVE this amazing chocolate cheesecake recipe! It is so easy and great to make when craving something chocolate.

  11. 5 stars
    I am team chocolate dessert every time! This cheesecake is so rich and so delicious. My whole family loved it!

    1. Sometimes over-mixing can create air bubbles, which will cause cracks. I’m not sure exactly what caused yours to crack, but if you did over-mix, that could have been the reason.

  12. I am glad someone else asked about the eggs as I did not see it in the filling recipe either. Are the eggs to be at room temperature also?

  13. HI, can i see the video of how to make this cake.. as I have never tried water bathing so i am a bit confused?? Do u have a video of this recipe of chocolate cheesecake…?? thank you

    1. I am sorry, I do not have a video. It sounds intimidating, but you can do it! I would just carefully read the tips again. Good luck!

  14. love this. With all due respect…the eggs are not listed in the filling part of the recipe ingredient list…printable recipe. Add them to the list and you have a perfect printable recipe…which saves us time!  Thank you.

  15. 5 stars
    This was my first time making a cheesecake and this recipe turned out PERFECT, thank you!! We can’t stop eating it! If I were to do a non chocolate version of this, would it be as simple as just omitting the chocolate ingredients? (Cocoa powder and melted chocolate). What about the espresso powder? I might try a graham cracker crust instead of Oreo for this version as well but that seems easy enough. 

  16. 5 stars
    Great recipe. When you put the cookie crust down in the springform, do you press it down hard with the measuring cup

  17. Do you refrigerate the cheesecake right after it coming out of the oven, or do you let it cool down a bit then cover with foil and place in the fridge?

    1. After the cheesecake has baked, turn off the oven, slightly crack the door open and allow it to cool for 30 minutes. This is the key to getting a perfect top without it falling or cracks forming. Remove the cheesecake from the bath and dry the bottom of the pan. Place in the refrigerator on a wire cooling rack to chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Wrap the top of the cheesecake with foil after 30 minutes in the refrigerator (giving the cheesecake 30 minutes will help prevent condensation from forming on the underside of the foil). Enjoy!!

  18. 5 stars
    I was a little concerned when the batter filled the pan almost to the top but it came out perfect. I topped to it with chocolate ganache and the friend I gave it to said it made her toes curl it was so good!

  19. I’m going to give this a try for my birthday. I love chocolate and I love cheesecake!
    Can I replace unsweetened cocoa powder for special dark cocoa powder? And does this still taste great without the espresso powder?

  20. Hi. I would like to try your recipe by using half cream cheese 2 (8-ounce) and half mascarpone cheese 2 (8-ounce). Have you tried it yet?

      1. 5 stars
        I made the recipe with the mascarpone substitution and it turned out creamy and delicious. What a great recipe, thanks!

  21. Hi There,

    I purchased the 6X 2 3/4″ springform pan, instead of the 9″. I was wondering if I should cut the recipe in half or if the normal amount would still work?

    1. That’s a good question! I haven’t tried in that size, but I am thinking it will be too much for the pan. Cutting in half will definitely fit, with room to spare.

  22. 5 stars
    Is this cheesecake supposed to have like a crust on top? It’s not sticky like a normal cheesecake and I swear I didn’t over bake it! Please help!

  23. 5 stars
    This is THE MOST AMAZING CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE I HAVE EVER TASTED!!!!!!
    It was a huge hit for my mom’s 80th birthday dinner!!! I just wish I had planned better. I don’t recommend making this on the day you want to serve it unless you get started early.
    One thing that was time-consuming was making the Oreo crumbs. I could not find the boxed Oreo crumbs, so ended up removing the filling before putting them in my little food processor (which took multiple times to make 2 cups). A full size food processor would have been much faster.
    I used a 9-inch springform pan and could not fit all of the filling in the pan! I had about one cup extra -which I baked in a couple custard cups. No way was that filling going in the trash!!!!! That’s blasphemy!! Next time I will used my 10-inch pan.
    I filled the pan to the tippy- top and followed all of the directions for the water bath and have NEVER had a cheesecake bake with such a beautiful flat top with only one little blemish and I really don’t know why that happened (soon after it went in the oven).
    This cheesecake is SO chocolatey!!! I have often said that there is no such thing as too much chocolate and I stand by that, but this may be the most chocolatey thing I’ve ever tasted!
    Do not hesitate to try this recipe!!!!!!

    1. Awe, that makes me so happy that you loved it so much! Thanks so much for sharing what you did. I’m so glad it turned out so beautifully. Chocolate is the best! 🙂

  24. Hi I am 11 years old and I love to bake I am making this for my moms best friend who is coming home for her birthday and I am making a home made whipped cream and I am wondering if I can put it in the cake when I make it and how long will it last?

    1. It’s so great that you love to bake and that you are making something special for your mom’s friend! I think you meant to say put the whipped cream on TOP of the cake in which case, whipped cream can last in the refrigerator for a day or two. You can also make it ahead of time, store in the fridge and give it a quick re-whip as it will kind of lose its fluffiness and top the cheesecake right before serving. There are some more whipped cream tips on this post https://lifemadesimplebakes.com/how-to-make-whipped-cream. Good luck!

  25. 5 stars
    This came out perfect…came out nice and tall, rich and creamy.

    Will be used g this recipe from now on.

  26. When heating the initial cookie crust you mention placing the rack on the lower third in the oven.
    When baking the whole of the cheesecake is it at the same position or up a little on the center rack?

    I plan on making this today, just waiting on the requisite ingredients to come to room temperature and to hopefully get a response on the rack position, if it matters.

    I just want it all to come out right because I’m kind of fiending for this, heh. Thank you!

    1. It should be fine leaving the rack on the lower third position but if you want to be extra careful, cooking on the center rack would just help it cook more gently. The lower rack position is best for browning bottoms, like the crust.