Traditional and classic, this creamy chocolate cheesecake is baked to perfection with a crisp chocolate crust and topped with a thick chocolate ganache.
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Table of Contents
- About Chocolate Cheesecake
- What’s in chocolate cheesecake?
- What type of chocolate should you use?
- What toppings can you add?
- What tools do you need?
- Can you make cheesecake in advance?
- How long is cheesecake good for?
- Can you freeze cheesecake?
- Notes & tips for chocolate cheesecake
- More delicious chocolate recipes
- How to make chocolate cheesecake
- Recipe Details
About Chocolate Cheesecake
Nothing is more crowd-pleasing than a chocolate dessert, and no chocolate dessert is as rich and decadent as chocolate cheesecake.
From the creamy texture to the crisp crust to the think ganache, this delicious cheesecake has the flavor you’d expect from a nice bakery while being easy enough that anyone can make it at home.
What’s in chocolate cheesecake?
To whip up this iconic dessert, you’ll need to collect the following ingredients:
- Chocolate graham crackers and salted butter – Used to make the chocolate crust of the cheesecake.
- Semi-sweet chocolate – For that classic chocolate flavor. You can also adjust this to another type if you’d like, such as bittersweet or milk chocolate.
- Cream cheese – Because every cheesecake needs cream cheese.
- Powdered sugar – For subtle sweetness.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder – For deepening the chocolate flavor.
- Eggs – Classic baking ingredient that helps give the cheesecake its smooth and rich texture.
What type of chocolate should you use?
“Cooking chocolate” is a staple in baking – you can find it in the baking supply area, and it typically looks like a large candy bar – and while there are multiple brands to choose from, I do think there are significant differences in the quality of the chocolate for each brand.
Baker’s is by far the most common brand, but I’ve found their chocolate to have a dry texture and the flavor to be a little “off.” It’s not a bad choice by any means, especially if Baker’s is all you can find, but I’ve been happier with my baked goods and candy if I can get my hands on another brand.
And because of this, I highly recommend using Ghirardelli chocolate bars or chips (and for this recipe, their semi-sweet chocolate bar.) Ghirardelli is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.
What toppings can you add?
- Assorted berries, such as sliced strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries.
- Mint leaves, either full (for looks) or chopped and sprinkled.
- Chocolate shavings or crumbled candy.
- A dusting of powdered sugar.
- Chocolate or caramel syrup.
- Frosting, such as chocolate or vanilla.
- Whipped cream.
What tools do you need?
- Springform pan – The best method for making a cheesecake, this special pan helps corral the dense filling while still keeping flat, uniform sides. The pan also has a clasp, making it easy to release the cheesecake.
- Baking sheet and aluminum foil – Placed under the springform pan while baking as insurance against any possible leaks.
- Stand mixer or hand mixer – Highly recommended for mixing the cheesecake.
- Fork, whisk, spatula – Standard cooking tools that all have some use in this recipe.
- Butterknife – To help loosen the cheesecake from the springform pan. Any long, flat, and narrow utensil will do.
- Multiple mixing bowls – Large and small.
- Small saucepan – For making the ganache.
Can you make cheesecake in advance?
Certainly! Cheesecake is a great dessert to make in advance. In fact, cheesecake tends to taste even better a day after baking.
Once the cheesecake has been baked, cooled, and decorated, you can store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 24 hours before serving.
How long is cheesecake good for?
Once prepared and cooled, this chocolate cheesecake can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
Can you freeze cheesecake?
Yes, you totally can!
Once prepared and cooled, chocolate cheesecake can be stored in the freezer in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to one month.
Notes & tips for chocolate cheesecake
- If you can’t find chocolate graham crackers for the crust, any crisp chocolate cookie or cracker will do. You can even use the store-bought Oreo crumble that’s specifically for making chocolate crusts.
- You can also substitute the chocolate graham crackers for original graham crackers for a less intense chocolate flavor.
- This recipe does not include baking the cheesecake in a water bath, so there may be a stray crack or two along the top of the cheesecake. But fear not! The ganache topping will cover any imperfections.
- If you’d rather bake this cheesecake in a water bath, please check out this guide on how to do it: Water bath for cheesecake.
More delicious chocolate recipes
How to make chocolate cheesecake
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – Prepare the crust by mixing crumbled chocolate graham crackers and melted butter, then press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. TIP: Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press the crust down into a nice even layer.
Step 2 – Bake the crust!
Step 3 – While the crust cools, place the semi-sweet chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until smooth. Let the chocolate cool for 10 minutes.
Step 5 – Mix in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in the cooled melted chocolate until combined.
Step 6 – Place the springform pan on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (to insure against any leaks) and pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan. If needed, use a spatula to gently smooth out the top.
Step 7 – Bake!
Step 8 – Allow the cheesecake to cool in the springform pan. Once it’s cool enough to easily handle, transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator (still in the pan) and allow to cool for eight hours or ideally overnight.
Step 9 – When ready to decorate, heat the heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan until boiling. Add the chocolate and salt, then remove the saucepan from heat – but don’t stir yet. Let the mixture rest as-is for 10 minutes, then stir until smooth.
Step 10 – Take the springform pan out of the refrigerator and release the clasp. If desired, transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate of your choice, then drizzle the ganache on top. You can either keep the ganache contained to the top of the cheesecake or let it drizzle down the sides. Have fun and do whatever you feel would look best!
Step 11 – Serve and enjoy!
For the Chocolate Cheesecake
- In a large bowl, add crushed graham crackers and melted butter. Stir with a fork until graham cracker crumbs are saturated.1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate graham crackers, 1/3 cup salted butter
- Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. TIP: use the bottom of a measuring cup along the edges to get a smooth, even line.
- Bake crust for 8 minutes or until set.
- Remove springform pan from oven and allow crust to cool on a wire cooling rack while preparing the filling.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add semi-sweet chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue to heat for 15-second intervals, mixing in between, until all chocolate has completely melted. Set chocolate aside to cool, about 10 minutes.10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and cocoa powder on medium-high speed until combined, about 3-5 minutes.24 ounces cream cheese, 1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- Drop mixer speed to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, being careful not to overmix.4 eggs
- With mixer still on low, slowly pour in melted chocolate and mix until incorporated, about 2-3 minutes. TIP: periodically turn off the mixer and use a spatula to scrape around the sides and bottom, then mix again.
- Place springform pan on prepared baking sheet (to insure against any leaks) and then pour chocolate filling on top of the baked crust. If needed, use a spatula to smooth out the top into an even layer.
- Bake chocolate cheesecake for roughly 60-70 minutes or until the center is set.
- Transfer springform pan back to the wire cooling rack. Allow cheesecake to rest for 5 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges to loosen it from the pan. Do not unclasp the springform yet; leave cheesecake in the pan. Allow to cool until easy to handle, about 1 hour.
- Once cool, transfer cheesecake, still in the springform pan and uncovered, to the refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours or ideally overnight.
For the Chocolate Ganache
- In a small saucepan, bring heavy whipping cream to a boil over medium heat.1 cup heavy whipping cream
- Add in semi-sweet chocolate and salt, then remove saucepan from heat. Do not stir yet; this will avoid ganache becoming grainy. Let ganache sit for 10 minutes.8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Whisk mixture until ganache is smooth and all clumps have melted.
Putting it All Together
- Remove springform pan from refrigerator. Unclasp the pan and carefully transfer cheesecake to a serving dish, if desired.
- Pour prepared ganache over the cheesecake, then set cheesecake back in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes to set.
- Serve immediately.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.