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This triple chocolate cheesecake recipe starts with an Oreo crust. Then is filled with a cocoa powder and sour cream cheesecake filling, and topped with an easy chocolate ganache. This creamy and rich, classic New York style chocolate cheesecake is simply the best!

A slice of Triple Chocolate Cheesecake on a plate with Oreos and whipped cream on the side.

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Chocolate lovers will be in heaven with this triple chocolate cheesecake. Three heavenly layers of chocolatey goodness to tickle your tastebuds. It’s the perfect make-ahead dessert for any special occasion.

Fashioned after my vanilla cheesecake recipe, this chocolate version is just as easy to make.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with slices taken out.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

There are three chocolate components to this chocolate cheesecake recipe: the Oreo cookie crust, the chocolate cheesecake filling, and the chocolate ganache. There’s no such thing as too much chocolate, right?!

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake with an Oreo crust, cocoa powder cheesecake filling, and swirled chocolate ganache on top.

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH OREO CRUST

Melted butter and crushed Oreo cookies (cream filling and all) are the only things you need for the crust. I used original Oreos, but you could use chocolate creme filled Oreos for even more chocolate!

If you don’t like Oreos, or prefer a chocolate graham cracker crust, you can grab that recipe from my valentines cheesecake.

  • Use a food processor to blend Oreo cookies into fine crumbs. Then add the butter until combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. (affiliate link)

PRO TIP: Use parchment paper on the bottom of the pan before adding the crust. This helps remove the cheesecake easily from the pan after chilling it.

  • Bake the crust at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Then turn oven down to 300˚F. Allow the crust to cool while making the filling.
Oreo crust being pressed into a springform pan for chocolate cheesecake.

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH COCOA POWDER

After the crust is made, it’s time to make the filling. Most chocolate cheesecakes make you melt chocolate for the filling, but I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible.

This chocolate cheesecake is made easy with cocoa powder. Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa, to be exact, but you can use any natural, unsweetened cocoa.

  • Sift the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt together before adding it to the softened cream cheese in a mixer.

PRO TIP: Sift dry ingredients onto a piece of parchment paper and fold the ends together to create a funnel for easy pouring.

Sifting sugar, cocoa powder, and salt onto parchment paper. Then lifting the parchment paper and pouring ingredients into mixer.

HOW TO MAKE THE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE FILLING

  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa, and salt on low speed until completely combined and smooth.
  • Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix on low until combined well.
  • Mix eggs slowly into the batter one at a time. Incorporating completely between each addition.
  • Pour the chocolate cheesecake filling into the pre-baked crust.

PRO TIP: Use room temperature ingredients and mix on low. Beating the ingredients at a high speed will create air bubbles that can contribute to cracks in a cheesecake.

NOTE: Cheesecakes also don’t like extremes, so going from a cold refrigerator to a hot oven is sure to make it crack. Place all refrigerated ingredients on the counter 1-2 hours before making the cheesecake.

Adding sour cream, vanilla, and eggs, to mixer.

USE A WATER BATH FOR PERFECT CHEESECAKE

With the filling made, it’s time to talk about the best way to bake a cheesecake.

A water bath, or bain-marie is a MUST for cheesecakes. Without it, you get a drier cheesecake that may crack, fall in the center, and/or brown around the edges.

If you’re putting in all the effort, why not use a water bath to make it great? The water keeps the edges from cooking faster than the center, and it’s not that hard to do.

HOW TO MAKE A WATER BATH FOR CHEESECAKE

  • Cover the springform pan with a layer (or two) of foil. Heavy duty foil is preferred. Then place the springform pan inside of a large cake or roasting pan.
  • Use a pitcher to carefully pour warm tap water around the cheesecake, about 1-inch to halfway up the sides. Then place pan in oven to bake.

HOW TO KEEP WATER OUT OF CHEESECAKE PAN

PRO TIP: To further prevent your water bath from leaking into the cheesecake, use a slow cooker liner (affiliate link) or oven safe turkey bag.

  • Layer the plastic bag over the foil. Roll down the top, and tie any loose ends together, to make the bag fit tightly around the springform pan. Be sure it doesn’t cover the cheesecake. Then place the springform pan inside of a large cake or roasting pan. Fill the outer pan with water and place it in the oven to bake.

Think of the plastic bag as an added layer of protection, like insurance, to protect against leaks. It never hurts to be safe!

Chocolate cheesecake ready for oven, wrapped in a layer of foil, and a slow cooker plastic liner to keep water out of cheesecake.

BAKING AND COOLING

Next you will:

  • Bake the chocolate cheesecake in the water bath for 65 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for 30 minutes. Then crack the door open and let the cheesecake rest inside the oven for 30 minutes more.
  • Remove the chocolate cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature. Then cover the chocolate cheesecake and place it in refrigerator for 5-6 hours or overnight.

PRO TIP: When you wrap up the cheesecake, place a paper towel under the plastic or foil that you cover the cheesecake with. This will absorb condensation so the top of the cheesecake isn’t ruined with water droplets.

Pouring ganache on top of chocolate cheesecake.

EASY CHOCOLATE GANACHE

The third and final layer to this triple chocolate cheesecake is the ganache.

Chocolate ganache is made with two ingredients: chocolate and heavy cream. I love using chocolate chips so I don’t have to chop up a bar of baking chocolate. Use a quality brand like Guittard or Ghirardelli.

  • Once the cheesecake has chilled sufficiently, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and its mold. Place it onto a serving dish. Dab any moisture off the top with a paper towel, if needed.
  • Make ganache by heating heavy cream in a microwave safe dish until boiling. Use a large dish, as it will bubble up. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth and combined.
  • Pour ganache over cold chocolate cheesecake. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.

PRO TIP: For a swirled design:

  1. Spread the ganache evenly across the cheesecake with an offset spatula. Then let it sit for a couple minutes until the cold cheesecake thickens the ganache slightly.
  2. Place the plate of cheesecake on a cake decorating turntable. Gently place the the tip of the spatula into the ganache near the edge, and swirl from the outside of the cheesecake towards the center, while slowly moving the turntable.

NOTE: You can swirl from the center towards the edges, but the ganache may drip over the edges. Which is fine, if that’s the look you are going for.

Swirled ganache on top of chocolate cheesecake.

SLICING THE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

  • Allow the ganache to set slightly before slicing. Place cheesecake in refrigerator for 10-30 minutes to speed this along.
  • For clean, even slices, run a knife under hot water, wipe it dry with a clean towel, then cut through the cheesecake. Repeat these steps after each cut.
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake on a fork ready to be eaten.

STORING AND FREEZING CHEESECAKE

To store this cheesecake, tightly wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container up to 3 days in the fridge.

To freeze cheesecake:

  • Place the cheesecake on a cake pan in the freezer until completely frozen. (This will take a few hours.)
  • Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a large zip-top bag. Alternately add a layer of foil on top of the plastic wrap. Either method will help to prevent freezer burn or absorption of freezer smells. Freeze up to 30 days.

MORE CHOCOLATE DESSERTS

A slice of Triple Chocolate Cheesecake on a plate with Oreos and whipped cream on the side.

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Chill Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 9 hours 35 minutes

This triple chocolate cheesecake recipe starts with an Oreo crust. Then is filled with a cocoa powder and sour cream cheesecake filling, and topped with an easy chocolate ganache.

Ingredients

Chocolate Crust:

  • 30 Oreo cookies, crushed (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted

Chocolate Cheesecake:

  • 24oz (3-8oz pkgs) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa (or other natural unsweetened cocoa powder)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (8oz) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (name brand/good quality)
  • 6 Tbsp heavy cream

Instructions

  1. FOR THE CHOCOLATE CRUST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and lightly grease the sides with cooking spray.
  2. Use a food processor to blend Oreo cookies into fine crumbs. Then add the melted butter and mix until combined. Press the crumbs into the bottom of prepared springform pan.
  3. Bake the crust at 350˚F for 10 minutes. Remove crust from oven. Then turn oven down to 300˚F. Allow the crust to cool. Then cover the outsides of the pan well with heavy duty aluminum foil. Optionally layer a slow cooker liner over the foil. Roll down the top, and tie any loose ends together, to make the bag fit tightly around the springform pan. Be sure it doesn’t cover the cheesecake. 
  4. FOR THE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE FILLING: Place cream cheese in stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sift the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt together. Add dry ingredients to the cream cheese and mix on low speed until completely combined and smooth. Scrape bowl.
  5. Add sour cream and vanilla. Mix on low until combined well. Scrape bowl.
  6. Mix eggs slowly into the batter, one at a time. Incorporating completely between each addition. Pour the chocolate cheesecake filling into the pre-baked crust.
  7. Place the springform pan inside of a large cake or roasting pan. Use a pitcher to carefully pour warm tap water around the cheesecake, about 1-inch to halfway up the sides. Then place pan in oven to bake.
  8. Bake the chocolate cheesecake at 300˚F in the water bath for 65 minutes.
  9. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake inside with the door closed for 30 minutes. Then crack the door open and let cheesecake rest inside the oven for 30 minutes more.
  10. Remove the chocolate cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature. Then cover the pan with a paper towel and plastic wrap or foil and place the cheesecake in refrigerator to CHILL for 5-6 hours or overnight.
  11. FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Once the cheesecake has chilled sufficiently, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator and its mold. Place it onto a serving dish. Dab any moisture with a paper towel, if needed.
  12. Make ganache by heating heavy cream in a microwave safe dish until boiling. Use a large dish, as it will bubble up. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth and combined. Pour ganache over cold chocolate cheesecake. Use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
  13. Allow the ganache to set slightly before slicing. Place cheesecake in refrigerator for 10-30 minutes to speed this along.
  14. For clean, even slices, run a knife under hot water, wipe it dry with a clean towel, then cut through the cheesecake. Repeat these steps after each cut.

Notes

    • Use ROOM TEMPERATURE ingredients. Pull ingredients from fridge 1-2 hours before making.

    For a swirled design:

    1. Spread the ganache evenly across the cheesecake with an offset spatula. Then let it sit for a couple minutes until the cold cheesecake thickens the ganache slightly.
    2. Place the plate of cheesecake on a cake decorating turntable. Gently place the the tip of the spatula into the ganache near the edge, and swirl from the outside of the cheesecake towards the center, while slowly moving the turntable.
    3. NOTE: You can swirl from the center towards the edges, but the ganache may drip over the edges. Which is fine, if that’s the look you are going for.

    To store this cheesecake:

    • Tightly wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container up to 3 days in the fridge.

    To freeze cheesecake:

    • Place the cheesecake on a cake pan in the freezer until completely frozen. (This will take a few hours.)
    • Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, wrap it in plastic wrap, then place it in a large zip-top bag or add a layer of foil on top of the plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn or absorption of freezer smells. Freeze up to 30 days.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 495Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 92mgSodium: 286mgCarbohydrates: 62gFiber: 3gSugar: 47gProtein: 6g

This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix, and is an estimation only.