Chocolate Cheesecake With Cake Bottom

This indulgent Chocolate Cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for any celebration. A moist and fluffy chocolate cake base is topped with rich and creamy chocolate cheesecake, then finished off with a rim of smooth chocolate whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.

A piece of chocolate cheesecake on a dessert plate on top of a blue kitchen towel

This Decadent Dessert is a Chocolate Lover’s Dream

Every bite of this cheesecake is chocolate overload in the best possible way. With the tender cake on the bottom, the velvety cheesecake on top and the light whipped cream to finish it off, your taste buds will truly be in seventh heaven. The colorful sprinkles add a festive touch that makes this treat fit right in at any special occasion.

This cake was actually inspired by a reader who requested a chocolate-centered version of my Funfetti Cake Cheesecake. I have a number of other cheesecake recipes that feature cake or brownie bases, and I’m commonly asked if these cake or brownie layers dry out after the second round of baking. The answer is no! In fact, they get even more moist because they’re cloaked in cheesecake batter. It’s nothing short of a miracle!

A chocolate cheesecake on a cake platter with rainbow sprinkles on top

What You’ll Need

Let’s go over the trusty ingredients that create each component of this chocolatey cheesecake. You’ll find the full amounts in the recipe card that follows this post.

For the Chocolate Cake Base

  • All-Purpose Flour: A 1:1 gluten-free flour can be used instead if necessary.
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder: Be sure to reach for the natural, unsweetened kind.
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder: If you’re making a gluten-free cake, double-check that your baking powder is certified gluten-free.
  • Salt
  • Milk
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Egg: Go ahead and discard the yolk – you’ll only need the white for this small of a cake.
  • Hot Water: This enhances the flavor of the cocoa powder.

For the Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

  • Cream Cheese: Brought to room temperature.
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder: Use natural and unsweetened here too.
  • Sour Cream: At room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate: Melted and slightly cooled.
  • Eggs: Room temperature.

For the Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • Heavy Whipping Cream: Keep this refrigerated until you’re about to use it.
  • Cocoa Powder: Natural and unsweetened.
  • Powdered Sugar: Certified gluten-free if needed.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Rainbow Sprinkles: Optional.
A slice of chocolate cheesecake on a plate with the remaining cheesecake behind it

How to Make the Best Chocolate Cheesecake

The cake base might involve a few more steps than your typical cookie crust, but it’s definitely worth it. I have a feeling you’ll strongly agree!

Make the Cake Base

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides. If your springform pan leaks, then you’ll want to use a regular 9-inch cake pan for the cake layer.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk until well combined.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: In another medium-sized bowl, combine the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg white. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures: Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together until well combined.
  5. Add Water: Add the hot water and whisk until well combined. The batter will be thin.
  6. Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the cake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  7. Let Cool: Remove the cake from the pan and set it on a cooling rack to cool.
  8. Prep for Water Bath: Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F. If you used a springform pan, clean it out, put it back together, respray the sides with nonstick spray, then line the bottom with parchment paper. Make sure it’s well greased so that the cheesecake doesn’t stick to the sides of the pan. If you used a cake pan for the cake layer, set up your springform pan with nonstick baking spray on the sides and parchment paper on the bottom. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in and set the prepared pan aside.

Make the Cheesecake Filling

  1. Beat Cream Cheese, Sugar & Cocoa: Beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder in a large bowl on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
  2. Add Sour Cream & Vanilla: Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Mix in Melted Chocolate: Add the melted chocolate in three parts, stirring until combined after each addition.
  4. Add Eggs: Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Layer Cake & Filling: Add the cooled cake base to the bottom of the prepared springform pan and pour the cheesecake filling on top of it in an even layer.
  6. Assemble Water Bath: Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
  7. Bake: Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The center should be set but still jiggly.
  8. Turn Off Oven: Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
  9. Open Door: Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
  10. Chill: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate it until it’s firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.

Add the Toppings

  1. Remove Cheesecake From Pan: Once the cheesecake is completely cool and firm, remove it from the springform pan and place it on a serving plate.
  2. Make Whipped Cream: Add the cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixing bowl and whip on medium speed until stiff peaks form. It will happen quickly.
  3. Pipe Onto Cheesecake: Pipe the whipped cream onto the outer edge of the cheesecake, then finish it off with sprinkles if you’d like. Keep the cake in the fridge until you’re ready to cut and serve it.
A slice of chocolate cake cheesecake on a plate with one bite on a fork

Do I Really Need a Water Bath?

Yes – not only does the water bath keep the cheesecake from cracking, but it also helps it stay perfectly silky and keeps it from sinking in the middle when it cools. And it’s really not as complicated as it seems, so don’t sweat it! If you’d like a little extra support, check out my post on How to Prevent Your Cheesecake Water Bath From Leaking.

Tips for Success

Take a look at these helpful tips before you get started on your chocolate cheesecake. It’s going to be glorious!

  • Use Room Temperature Ingredients: Be sure to use room temperature ingredients whenever indicated. Otherwise, things won’t mix together as well. The only refrigerated item that should be cold is the heavy cream for the topping.
  • Add the Melted Chocolate in Increments: Mixing in the melted chocolate in three parts helps ensure that it incorporates evenly. If you dump it all in at once, it’ll probably get clumpy.
  • Cool the Cheesecake Slowly: Don’t forget to follow the recipe’s instructions for cooling your cheesecake. This gradual cooling process keeps the surface free of unsightly cracks.

Decorating Ideas

Whether you want to use chocolate sprinkles or another decoration entirely, the sky is the limit. Try topping your cake with toasted coconut flakes, crushed Oreo cookies or a drizzle of Raspberry Sauce! You could even make Baileys Chocolate Whipped Cream instead of the kind included in this recipe. However you choose to embellish your cheesecake, it’s guaranteed to steal the spotlight at any dessert table.

A homemade chocolate cheesecake on a kitchen countertop with a bowl of chocolate behind it

How Long Does Chocolate Cheesecake Last in the Fridge?

As long as you refrigerate your cheesecake in an airtight container, it’ll stay good for up to 4-5 days. At my house, it’s always gone well before then!

Can I Freeze It?

If you hold off on adding the whipped cream, this cheesecake freezes great. Wrap it in a tight layer of plastic wrap plus a layer of aluminum foil and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it out in the fridge overnight before you add the whipped cream and serve it.

Print
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A piece of chocolate cheesecake on a dessert plate on top of a blue kitchen towel
Recipe

Chocolate Cheesecake With Cake Bottom

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 43 minutes
  • Yield: 14
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This indulgent Chocolate Cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for any celebration. A moist and fluffy chocolate cake base is topped with rich and creamy chocolate cheesecake, then finished off with a rim of smooth chocolate whipped cream and rainbow sprinkles.


Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cake Base

  • 1/2 cup (65g) all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (22g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) hot water

For the Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 24 oz (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (43g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz (1 1/3 cups) semi sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

For the Chocolate Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • 1/4 cup (29g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (29g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Rainbow sprinkles, optional

Instructions

Make the Cake Base

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C). Prepare a 9 inch springform pan with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides. If your springform pan leaks, then you’ll want to use a 9 inch cake pan for the cake layer.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until well combined.
  3. In another medium sized bowl, combine the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract and egg white. Whisk until well combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk together until well combined.
  5. Add the water and whisk until well combined. The batter will be thin.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Remove cake from the pan and set on a cooling rack to cool.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (148°C). If you used a springform pan, clean the pan, put it back together and respray the sides with non-stick spray. You want to be sure it’s well done so that they cheesecake doesn’t stick to the sides after baking. Line the bottom with parchment paper. If you used a cake pan for the cake layer, set up your springform pan with non-stick baking spray on the sides and parchment paper on the bottom. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.

Make the Cheesecake Filling

  1. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  2. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
  3. Add the melted chocolate in three parts, stirring until combined after each. Adding it in parts helps ensure that it incorporates evenly and helps prevent clumping.
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
  5. Add the cooled cake layer to the bottom of springform pan and add the chocolate cream cheese filling to the pan, on top of the cake layer.
  6. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, 15 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
  8. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
  9. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
  10. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.

Add the Toppings

  1. Once completely cool and firm, remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and place on a serving plate.
  2. To make the whipped cream, add the cream, cocoa powder, powdered sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium speed until stiff peaks form. It will happen quickly.
  3. Pipe the whipped cream onto the outer edge of the cheesecake, the finish it off with sprinkles if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Notes

  • Makes 12-14 slices.
  • To Store: Store well-covered in the fridge. Cheesecake is best within 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Wrap cheesecake (without whipped cream) in a tight layer of plastic wrap plus a layer of aluminum foil, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before adding the whipped cream and serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 466
  • Sugar: 35.5 g
  • Sodium: 275.6 mg
  • Fat: 30.6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Protein: 8.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 104.5 mg

Keywords: celebration cheesecake, chocolate birthday cake, decadent dessert

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2 Comments
  1. Beverly

    Oh my. My hubby’s birthday is at the end of the month and it’s a toss up now btwn making this decadent-looking dessert or lemon cupcakes, one of his favourites. He loves chocolate cake, loves cheesecake so I’m thinking this will be the choice! Looks awesome.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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