This Death by Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is for true chocoholics 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 than 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.
Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe Tips
Chocolate Cookie Crust
This 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).
Be sure to use high quality full-fat bricks of cream cheese. It really makes a difference! And whatever you don’t, don’t use cream cheese that’s for spreading on a bagel.
The cream cheese should be completely 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. For best results, make sure your eggs are room temperature too!
Really beat the cream cheese well before adding in 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 use the oven door trick. 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 baby the cheesecake. Any dramatic changes in temperature 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 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.
Serving & Storing Cheesecake
The hardest part of this recipe is that you must let it chill for at least 4 hours before you even think of slicing and serving 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.
Store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Wondering if I could substitute a third of the cream cheese with marscapone. I have some in the fridge and would like to use it so it doesn’t go to waste. Thanks.
Hi Sonya! We haven’t that, so we can’t say for sure how well that will work – but if you’re up for some experimenting, feel free and let us know how it goes 🙂
Idk what I did wrong
But majority of the middle didn’t bake at all. It was still liquified. The tips I got from google didn’t help at all. I’ve made so many cheesecake recipes before making Christmas deserts the day before Xmas dinner – bad idea
Hi Kathy! Oh no, that’s so strange! It’s so hard to say exactly what went wrong here without having baked alongside you, but here are a few ideas as to what may have happened:
– How do you measure your ingredients? By volume (using cups), or by weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? When measuring by volume, it’s so easy to mis-measure ingredients (particularly flour) and throw off the entire chemistry of a recipe. Tessa talks about how to best measure ingredients to ensure accuracy every time, in this article here!
– Your oven might be running a little cold, and you therefore perhaps simply needed to leave the cheesecake in the oven longer. Do you have an oven thermometer to check that? Check out Tessa’s article here about ovens, full of tips! If you don’t have an oven thermometer to ensure your oven is at the temperature it says it is, invest in one now! They are inexpensive and really help your baking so much! This oven thermometer is one of Tessa’s favorites.
– Did you use full fat cream cheese bricks (not the stuff meant for bagels)? And did you alter any of the ingredient amounts (like cutting down the sugar). Any deviation from the recipe as-written could unfortunately change the chemistry of the recipe and therefore prevent the cheesecake from baking as it should.
Hopefully something here helped, Kathy! Feel free to reach back out to us with any further questions – we are always happy to help!! 🙂
Absolutely the best chocolate cheesecake….one of my most requested desserts! Just made again for Thanksgiving & it turns out perfect every time. I’ve made a lot of different cheesecakes over the G years, & this beats every other chocolate cheesecake. And it’s so simple….one of the easiest! I always make a raspberry sauce to go with it. A little pool of sauce on the side & 3 or 4 fresh juicy raspberries on top , & you have an elegant dessert that everyone will think you spent hours on. Make it…..you won’t be sorry!
So thrilled to hear this, Gayle! Thanks so much for the comment 🙂
I am making this for my daughter’s 14th birthday. Cheesecake is her favorite. It’s in the oven as we speak. Usually I make regular NY style cheese cake and add raspberry topping. Wonder if I could eliminate the extra chocolate topping and just use raspberry topping instead? Seems like it would pair well.
That should work well instead if you prefer, Theresa! Let us know what you think about this cheesecake once you’ve given it a taste! 🙂
Wow! Just wow! This is the best chocolate cheesecake I’ve ever made! Simple (for a cheesecake- no water bath) yet so decadent. The only change I make is an Oreo cookie crust. 35 Oreos blended into crumbs, 5 tablespoons melted butter, press into bottom of springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. This looks and tastes like a professionally baked cheesecake. Most requested by my family. You gotta try it! Oreo crust recipe from: https://www.lifeloveandsugar.com/easy-oreo-cookie-crust-recipe/
So happy to hear how much you love this recipe! Thanks for the comment 🙂
Hi just want to ask for this death by chocolate cheesecake recipe for 6 inch pan. Pleaseeeee.. Thank you!! I’m a big fan of yours
Hi Hez! We haven’t tried making this cheesecake using a 6-inch pan, but it should work! Just know that you will have extra batter leftover and will have to alter the baking time. Other readers have had success baking them in a cupcake/muffin tin, so you could always use the remaining batter to make mini cheesecakes too! You’ll need to alter the baking time on them as well. Good luck!
I made this for Thanksgiving dessert. It was utterly fantastic. The smoothest texture I’ve ever achieved in a cheesecake! Thanks!!
I love this cheesecake! I do need help with the recipe conversion, as I need to make this recipe in an 11″ springform.
Hi Evey! We haven’t tried making this in an 11″ springform, so I can’t help with the conversion, but you will need to reduce the timing if you don’t adjust the recipe. Please let us know how it goes!
O used an 11′ and followed the same exact steps and it turned out great..
What can we replace in eggs with?
We don’t bake with egg substitutions, so we can’t say for sure; however, we’ve found them to be a necessary ingredient for this recipe. Good luck!
Can I make any of your cheesecake recipes for easy to get. I want to give some cheesecake away for a wedding but I want them to be easy to get. No cutting. So in was wondering if I can make these in a cupcake tin? Or muffin tin?
I have a few recipes that I specifically made in a mini cheesecake tin: mini orange cheesecakes, chocolate strawberry mini cheesecakes, no bake mini blackberry cheesecakes, and mini gingerbread cheesecakes with candied walnuts. For my other cheesecake recipes, I personally haven’t tried them in a tin; however, other reviewers have had success. You would just need to alter the baking time on any that are baked. Good luck!
So rich and chocolatey!!! Was a crowd pleaser!!
So glad to hear that!
Thank you, Tessa! I love this recipe so much! 🙂
It can also be scaled down, as I have proven when I also made a 6-inch version alongside the 9-inch one.
My only concern is that my cheesecake looks a bit shorter in height compared to Tessa’s finished product. I’m not sure if I have over-mixed the filling, or if there’s not enough cheesecake. :-/
Otherwise, it is really really yummy!
Does the crust have to be baked or can it just be refrigerated and baked with the cheesecake
Btw … I have made this twice now and the reviews are fab !!!
With Oreo cookie crusts, I freeze them for 20-30 minutes, no baking. I’ve found they become too hard when they’re baked twice. I always bake graham cracker crusts 8-9 minutes at 350 degrees.
Can you use a stand mixer instead of a hand mixer and why a hand mixer. I have made Oreo crusts baked and it comes out as hard of a brick . What am I doing wrong ?
Can this cheese cake be made without eggs too .
Tessa, I would love to make this for my sisters for our birthdays (all September) as we all love chocolate and we all love cheesecake. Does it get any better? So the question is this: I am just getting the idea or nuance of flavor (Ok, what that means is I like intense flavor and sometimes overdo it!). I love 60% chocolate chips, but is that too much for this ganache? Would it be better with regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, or is it a matter of preference? Thank you for always responding to our questions!!
Hi I see you didn’t get a reply to this so I can give you one.
I like the dark 60% myself. I also use it four the filling. Oreo cookie crumbs for the crust.
After you pour the ganache it should be kept chilled. Heating a knife slighty with a kitchen torch or under hot water will help cut though smoothly.
Finish with a raspberry reduction and pair with a pint of Guinness…..
When is the best time to add the ganache topping? Before the 4 hour (or overnight) chill, or after?
I have this same question. It’s not clear when it should go on in the recipe and about to start baking lol.
Hi there! The ganache should be added last, after the cheesecake has cooled completely and chilled at least 4 hours. I hope that helps! Let us know what you think once you’ve given this recipe a try 🙂
Just to confirm, no water bath and cheesecake bakes at 325 degrees like the crust as well? Maybe I missed that part? Thank you!
I love chocolate cheesecake and have tried several recipes, but this recipe is by far my favorite. This chocolate cheesecake is so rich and decadent and is a chocolate lover’s dream. I love it! I used to be so intimidated to make homemade cheesecakes, but this recipe is so easy to follow and all of the tips are super helpful. If you love cheesecake and chocolate, then you will for sure love this recipe!
Can this be made in an instant pot?
This cheesecake recipe is amazing! I made this about a month ago and added a layer of homemade salted caramel before the ganache, and it was SO GOOD.
I made it again tonight (per a friend’s request) and I added a small dash of vanilla extract to it with the melted chocolate. I don’t get to try the finished product but the batter tasted pretty delicious. I’ll be added more salted caramel and the ganache once it’s out of the fridge. Thank you for this recipe!
How do I test if the cheesecake is cooked completely ?
It took two days to make it but so good I shared it with my entire family. If you love real cheese cake you will love it. Am going to make it for Thanksgiving.
What brand of chocolate do you use?
can this be reduced to half the recipe??????
Made chocolate whip cream too. Added raspberries also. Was soo good and rich.
wonderful cheesecake recipe.and perfect for next dinner party since the chocolate seems to add a little more panache, or something, anyway, it looks good, so thank you