Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

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This Dark Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is rich, creamy and full of decadent dark chocolate! It’s topped with a dark chocolate ganache and dark chocolate ganache swirls for the ultimate chocolate cheesecake!

Looking for a vanilla cheesecake? Try my easy classic cheesecake recipe.

This post is sponsored by Challenge Butter, but all opinions are my own.

collage of cheesecake images

Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake is hands down the best cheesecake for dark chocolate lovers! It’s rich, creamy and has amazing flavor that comes from a combination of both cocoa powder and melted chocolate – the best of both worlds!

Using melted chocolate lends the cheesecake a super creamy texture and lovely richness, while the cocoa really makes the chocolate pop. They both work together to truly take the chocolate in this one over the top. One without the other just isn’t the same.

To finish it off and give it a look that’s just as rich as it’s insides, it’s topped with chocolate ganache. There’s a layer spread on top, as well as some piped around the edges. Add to that some pieces of dark chocolate and some chocolate shavings and this cheesecake is one major showstopper – both in look and taste! Let’s talk about how to make this beauty.

close up of slice of dark chocolate cheesecakeimage of butter and cream cheese

How to Make Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Make the Chocolate Cheesecake Crust

The first thing you’ll want to do is make your chocolate crust. Crush up your cookies, combine the crumbs with some butter, press it into your pan and pre-bake it. It won’t surprise you to hear that I used my favorite Challenge Butter in this crust. High quality ingredients are the best way to go, even in the crust and this butter is just that. It has no added hormones, artificial flavors or fillers, which I’m a big fan of.

Make the Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

Next up is the filling. Begin by combining the cream cheese, sugar and dark cocoa powder and mix on low speed until well combined and smooth. Again, Challenge Dairy comes through with their cream cheese. It’s as close to homemade as it gets, with nothing artificial and no added hormones. Plus, it’s super creamy and perfect as the base of a rich and creamy cheesecake filling.

Once everything is combined, add the sour cream and vanilla extract.

Add Melted Chocolate

The next step is to add the melted chocolate. Naturally the chocolate is going to be warmer than the cream cheese mixture. If you’re cold ingredients are added at room temperature and you give your chocolate a few minutes to cool off a bit, the temperature difference shouldn’t be too bad. Still, you want to add your melted chocolate slowly – in three parts – so that it can incorporate evenly and not leave you with lumps from combining a warmer chocolate with a cooler filling.

Add the Eggs

Finally, you’ll mix in your eggs one at a time.

Be sure you’re mixing things on low speed. The enemy of a cheesecake is cracks and air bubbles from mixing on high speed can cause them.

Bake Your Cheesecake

Bake the cheesecake in a water bath for a little over an hour, then begin the slow cooling process. This process helps to cool the cheesecake slowly so that it doesn’t crack, while also allowing it to finish cooking. Once done, refrigerate until firm.

dark chocolate cheesecake with a bite takenfull dark chocolate cheesecake

How to Make Dark Chocolate Ganache

When your cheesecake is cooled, the real fun of decorating it begins. You’ll make two batches of chocolate ganache. One is a touch softer than the other, but basically quite similar. The first batch you’ll set aside to cool to room temperature for piping onto the cheesecake. The second batch will be spread out on top of the cheesecake.

To pipe the ganache onto the cheesecake, you’ll just want to make sure that it’s not too soft to hold it’s shape and not too firm to be able to pipe. In our home, room temperature was perfect. If you aren’t sure if your ganache is the right temperature, you can always test it by adding some to a piping bag and testing some piping on a plate. If it’s too firm, you could heat it up a smidge. If it’s too soft, let it continue to cool a bit (or even pop it in the fridge for a few minutes).

After adding the piping, add a few pieces of a dark chocolate bar between the swirls and a little shaved chocolate and you have yourself a great tasting cheesecake that will wow your friends and family!

slice of cheesecake

More great cheesecake recipes to try:

Easy No Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
Nutella Cheesecake
Mini Chocolate Cheesecakes
S’mores Cheesecake
German Chocolate Cheesecake
No Bake Baileys Chocolate Cheesecake


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slice of Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Recipe

Decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Dark Chocolate Cheesecake is rich, creamy and full of decadent dark chocolate! It’s topped with a dark chocolate ganache and dark chocolate ganache swirls for the ultimate chocolate cheesecake!


Scale

Ingredients

Crust

  • 35 Oreos (3 cups |403g Oreo crumbs)
  • 4 tbsp (56g) Challenge Butter, melted (salted or unsalted is fine)

Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 oz (678g) Challenge Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (43g) dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8 oz | 1 1/3 cups dark chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 4 eggs, room temperature

Dark Chocolate Ganache Swirls

  • 9 oz (254g | 1 1/2 cups) dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (ml) heavy whipping cream
  • Chocolate Bar

Dark Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • 4 oz (113g | 2/3 cup) dark chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Instructions

CRUST

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. 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.

CHEESECAKE

1. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
2. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa on low speed until well completely 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.
3. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Pour the cheesecake batter evenly into the crust.
7. 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.
8. Bake for 1 hour 5-10 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
9. 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.
10. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
11. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
12. A couple hours before you’re ready to add the cheesecake topping, make the chocolate ganache for the swirls. Put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
13. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
14. Allow the ganache to sit and cool to room temperature, which should be the right consistency for piping. You can refrigerate it until it’s cold and firm, but then you will need to heat it for about 10-15 seconds in the microwave and stir it so that it’s soft enough to pipe, but still stiff enough to hold its shape.
15. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
16. For the chocolate ganache topping, put the chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
17. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
18. Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake and spread into an even layer. Allow to firm up a bit.
19. Add the chocolate ganache for the swirls to a piping bag fitted with a closed star piping tip and pipe swirls around the outer edge of the cheesecake. Leave a little space between swirls to add chocolate triangles.
20. Cut the chocolate bar into triangles and add to the cheesecake. Use remaining chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler to create little chocolate shavings over the top of the cheesecake.
21. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store well covered. Cheesecake is best for 3-4 days.

Keywords: dark chocolate cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, best chocolate cheesecake, how to make chocolate cheesecake, easy chocolate cheesecake recipe

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Recipe rating

61 Comments
  1. Cynthia

    This cheesecake is fabulous! I made it for my daughter’s college graduation party last week. It was SO good, and everyone loved it! Thank you for the recipe. I will definitely be keeping this one in my files to make again.

  2. Alejandro Brinker

    Hi Lindsay, made this cheesecake yesterday, and tried some this morning. It was so rich and so decadent. Will definitely be making this again. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  3. Peppa

    Lindsay, I make eons of various Cheesecakes I wanted to try this one because the topping was so gorgeous. The Crust and Filling is the standard method for Cheesecakes, so no problem there. The Ganache Topping was simple and easily prepared. I got very confused following your instructions: #’s 1-11 addressed the Crust & Filling. #12 addressed the ganache for the Swirls. #’s 16-& 18 addressed the ganache topping. #12-14, addressed the swirls, #15 was regarding the Cheesecake. #19-20 again addressed the Swirls. The Instructions were all over the place yet the Cheesecake came out very appealing. I will make it again.

  4. Valerie

    This cheesecake is so creamy and chocolatey! It’s very rich, so you don’t need a big piece. Love the thick crust. I tried it without ganache first to see what the cheesecake was like on its own, and found it to be chocolatey enough, but extra chocolate is never a bad thing.

  5. Doug

    Awesome Recipe. I varied a little bit using Ultra Dutched Cocoa powder and replaced the dark chocolate with unsweetened chocolate for a deeper flavor.

  6. Brooke

    My son really wants a dark chocolate cheesecake with a pretzel crust for his birthday. (When they get older they’re picky! 😂)

    Do you think the salt in the pretzels would taste good with this cheesecake? Or would it be too bitter

  7. Nikki

    I love baking cheesecakes and although I already love dark chocolate, I somehow love it even more this pregnancy. I found this recipe and it was by far the best I’ve ever made. This recipe is PERFECT and everyone that tried it absolutely loved it. Thank you for sharing! I will be making again! And again, and again….😜

  8. Angela W Broyles

    We loved it!!! Very decadent and rich with the perfect cheesecake texture. I love it because you only need a few bites to satisfy that craving!
    You can halve the recipe and put into a 6″ springform pan!

  9. Jeri

    I am going to make this this weekend, but I am using whiskey instead of vanilla (my favorite substitution) and I am adding some instant coffee granules to the mix. Wish me luck!

  10. Ennis

    Lindsay you knocked it out of the park with this one. I’ve recently started baking and my favorite desert it cheesecake. My family really enjoyed this cake and its all thanks to this bomb recipe. It was super simple and lots of fun to make.

  11. Lynnette Wise

    Tried this recipe today and it was so good. The family loved it. The cooling process really helped make it look so perfect, no cracking or sinking in. I couldn’t believe it. 

  12. Tania

    Hi,
    This looks fabulous, and I want to make it soon. One question: when I blend the Oreos, do I leave in the white filling, or do I scrape it off off the cookies before blending. Thanks so much!

  13. Annette VB

    This is the best chocolate cheesecake I have ever made. No cracks on top. Came out prefect. I’ve been baking from you and Sally’s website for years now. Thank you both for all the help.

  14. Sana Danyal

    Hi! I’m a huge fan! Love your recipes! But I need help with removing the cake from the spring foam pan base without breaking it :p 

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear you enjoy the site! I find removing the cheesecake from the pan bottom pretty simple as long as the cheesecake is cooked thoroughly and you used parchment paper on the bottom of the pan. The cheesecake should be plenty thick and firm enough. You could either just slide it off of the pan base onto a serving plate, or sometimes I slide it off onto my hand and I’m just very careful with it while I peel the parchment paper off and then put it on a serving plate. I hope that helps!

      1. Andi

        So I kinda made this. The draw for me was the dark chocolate cheesecake, which is absolutely fantastic!! I will be making it again. I made it for a birthday so I adapted everything else. I used nutter butter cookies for the crust and made a peanut butter ganache for the top. Chocolate and peanut butter is his favorite combination and it was a hit.

  15. Shelly17

    Hi Lindsay – What type of “dark” chocolate did you use in your recipe?  My grocery has Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chips.  But, would you recommend darker?  (BTW – My daily go-to chocolate fix is a single wrapped 72% Ghirardelli chocolate square.  Would this be too dark for this recipe?) Thanks.

    1. Lindsay

      I would think any dark chocolate should be fine. Your darker chocolate could work well in the cheesecake. The chocolate chips might be a little easier to melt for ganache, but I think both would work.

  16. Gabrielle

    Can i use Kerry gold or Land O lakes butter & Philadelphia cream cheese? Challenge products are not available in NY

  17. Milena

    Hi Lindsay, here in Brazil we do not find Sour cream in the supermarket. Is there any substitute? Like heavy cream or plain yogourt? 
    Thank you and regards,
    Milena 

  18. Beth Stophel

    Lindsay I made this for a Disciple Group Luncheon on Monday. It was such a hit and it looked and turned out BEAUTIFUL. I’m making another one for this weekend for a party we are going too. Thank you for such an easy and yummy recipe. I # you on Instagram. Thank you again!!!
    Beth

  19. Michelle Green

    Another winning recipe! The texture of the cheesecake is velvet-like and luscious. This is very rich and decadent. 

  20. Lisa McQueeney

    For the 8 oz of dark chocolate in the filling, can you use the same type of dark chocolate chips for the ganache or does it need to be a different type of dark chocolate bar?

  21. Destiny

    Can I prepare the crust and cheesecake filling separately the night before?  The next morning assemble and bake. 

    1. Lindsay

      I have never pre-prepared a cheesecake filling and let it sit in the fridge overnight. I suppose it might be ok. The crust would certainly be fine.

    1. Lindsay

      No, you don’t have to. I didn’t and I liked the richness of it. But if you wanted to lighten it up, you could whip it.

  22. Suzy-q

    Lindsay, I absolutely have to make this cheesecake. I am a big big fan of dark chocolate. Unfortunately no one in the family shares my addiction. Oh well, all for me!!!

    Thank you for another winning dessert.

  23. Erin

    Lindsay, this cheesecake looks AMAZING!!! I’m definitely a serious chocolate lover, so this one gets a big YESSSSSSSSSSSSS from me! And I love how it looks; SO enticing and decadent! Great job!

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!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12