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Death by Chocolate Cheesecake is a true chocoholic’s dream come true!
Life without chocolate would be no life at all. As a total chocolate lover, I strongly believe that! I enjoy at least a bite of chocolate basically every day.
This Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is for true chocolate lovers only. It’s the definition of chocolate decadence.
There’s chocolate in FOUR forms: chocolate graham cracker crust, double chocolate filling (both cocoa powder and melted chocolate), and a chocolate ganache topping.
If you’ve ever muttered, “This is too rich and chocolaty” in your life, then this may not be the recipe for you.
Besides the delightful chocolate flavor, the texture in this recipe is simply incredible. You get that perfect contrast of a slightly crunchy yet buttery crust, rich and smooth filling, and fudgy ganache topping.
I made this cheesecake for Father’s Day this past weekend and everyone loved it! You can serve alongside fresh strawberries or raspberries to really complement the chocolate flavor.
How to Make Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Cookie Crust
This Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe calls for 15 “full size” chocolate graham crackers, meaning the entire rectangular sheet of graham cracker. This should weigh 225 grams or 8 ounces. If you’re using pre-ground crumbs, it should be 1 cup crumbs.
You could also make an Oreo cookie crust if you’d prefer! Simply swap in 30 (340 grams) standard whole Oreo cookies (NOT double-stuffed) and reduce the butter to 4 tablespoons (57 grams).
How to Make Creamy, Smooth Cheesecake
- Be sure to use high-quality full-fat bricks of cream cheese. It really makes a difference!
- Whatever you do, don’t use cream cheese that’s meant for spreading on a bagel.
- The cream cheese should be completely softened to room temperature. If it’s too cold, it won’t mix thoroughly and you’ll end up with little bits and pockets of unblended cream cheese throughout your Death by Chocolate Cheesecake.
- Make sure your eggs are at room temperature too.
- Beat the cream cheese well before adding any other ingredients.
- You’ll also want to routinely scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl, even if you’re using a paddle attachment that scrapes as it blends.
Baking Cheesecake without a Water Bath
There is no water bath required for this recipe! I decided to skip that hassle because even if some cracks form, we’re covering the cheesecake with thick chocolate ganache, which will hide any imperfections.
To prevent cracks without the need for a messy water bath, we’re using the oven door trick for this Death by Chocolate Cheesecake. Once the cheesecake is almost done baking, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside. Crack the oven door just slightly to allow the oven to lose some of that heat. The key to preventing cracks is to prevent any dramatic changes in temperature, as this will cause cracks to form! If you want more tips for baking cheesecake without cracks, check out my free Ultimate Cheesecake Guide.
That’s why it’s also important to allow the Death by Chocolate Cheesecake to cool to room temperature completely before chilling. When it comes to cheesecake, it’s always better to err on the side of underbaking than over-baking. The edges should be set and dry, but if the center is still slightly wobbly or jiggly that’s fine. The residual heat will continue to cook the cheesecake even once it’s removed from the oven.
In my online baking class The Magic of Baking, I go in-depth in this concept and others so that you can know with confidence when something is truly done.
What’s the Best Pan for Chocolate Cheesecake?
- This recipe requires a 10-cup, 9-inch diameter springform pan like this one.
- Not all springform pans are made equally; you want one that’s both heavy-duty and sturdy.
- Avoid putting your pan in the dishwasher as hand washing will extend the life of a springform pan.
- Just because your pan is 9-inches in diameter doesn’t necessarily mean it has a 10-cup batter volume capacity.
- Every brand may vary slightly, so be careful not to overfill your pan if yours has a smaller capacity!
How to Slice and Serve Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
The hardest part of this Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is that you must let it chill for at least 4 hours before you slice and serve it! I usually like to let it chill overnight, just to make sure it’s completely set and I’m able to cut clean slices. Use a sharp knife and run it under hot water in between cuts for beautiful bakery-quality slices. Feel free to add some fresh whipped cream, if you like!
How to Store Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Store Death by Chocolate Cheesecake in the fridge for up to 2 days. The longer it sits, the softer the crust will become.
Can I Freeze Chocolate Cheesecake?
Yes, Death by Chocolate Cheesecake freezes beautifully! Place whole or individual slices on a baking sheet inside the freezer until firm. Wrap the cheesecake or each individual slice in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 2 months. To serve, defrost a whole cheesecake in the fridge overnight, or defrost individual slices in the fridge overnight, or at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
More Cheesecake Recipes:
More Chocolate Recipes:
For the crust:
(225 grams) full size chocolate graham crackers
(85 grams) unsalted butter,
For the filling:
(227 grams) semisweet chocolate,
(680 grams) full fat cream cheese,
at room temperature
(200 grams) granulated sugar
(21 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
at room temperature
For the topping:
(170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
For the crust:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until you have 1 cup of finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool slightly and maintain oven temperature while making the filling.
For the filling:
In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chopped chocolate in 30-second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted and smooth. Let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar, cream, and cocoa powder and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure all cream cheese is being incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until smooth. Beat in the melted chocolate until just combined. Be careful not to overbeat.
Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Place the springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 50 minutes, or until the top looks slightly dry and the middle is slightly wobbly. Err on the side of under-baking. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door open and allow to cool for 10 minutes (this helps prevent cracking). Remove the cheesecake from the oven to a wire rack to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.
For the topping:
Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. If needed, allow to cool and thicken. Pour over the cheesecake.
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This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated with additional recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.