It doesn’t get more decadent or more chocolatey than this incredibly delicious triple chocolate cheesecake. It’s perfectly creamy and wonderfully rich, with an intense chocolate flavour. Finished with a glossy chocolate ganache glaze and a sprinkling of chocolate shavings, it’s bound to impress both with its beautiful appearance and gorgeous flavour. Plus, it’s super easy to make – no water bath needed!
It feels like there’s definitely not enough “triple chocolate” recipes on this blog (and you know that I’m a HUGE fan of those). And, as I’ve been on something of a cheesecake kick lately, this triple chocolate cheesecake simply had to happen.
And, friends, let me tell you: it’s FABULOUS.
It’s everything you want in a cheesecake and more – much more, in fact, because it’s packed full of chocolatey goodness. Truly, you couldn’t stuff more chocolate in there if you tried… and trust me, I gave it my best.
Here’s why you’ll LOVE this triple chocolate cheesecake:
- The cheesecake filling is perfectly creamy and wonderfully rich, with an intense chocolate flavour.
- It’s not too sweet – instead, the sweetness is perfectly balanced by the slight bitterness of chocolate. (Plus, you can easily tweak the sweetness to your personal taste just by adjusting the amount of sugar in the cheesecake filling)
- The chocolate cheesecake crust is a revelation. Made from crushed digestives (or graham crackers), cocoa powder, sugar and melted butter, it’s as simple as it is delicious. That’s why it’s slightly on the thicker side. It’s not just there to hold the filling – instead, it adds the most amazing flavour and texture.
- The chocolate ganache glaze makes it look simply stunning. It drips gently down the sides of the cheesecake and has just the most glorious glossy shine to it, making the cheesecake look like it’s popped straight out a super fancy pastry shop. (Which is amazing, considering just how incredibly easy it is to make!!)
- Seriously, it’s DEAD EASY to make. No water bath or special equipment needed, and the recipe requires only your usual, standard pantry staples.
- And it’s just insanely delicious and ridiculously chocolatey.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful cheesecake – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
How do you make triple chocolate cheesecake from scratch?
Making this triple chocolate cheesecake from scratch is actually incredibly simple. You don’t need any special equipment – no stand or hand mixers, no water bath. Just a large bowl, a balloon whisk and a few other kitchen essentials, and that’s it.
(Of course, if you want to use a stand mixer, that’s perfectly fine. You’ll need the paddle attachment, and always use the lowest speed setting to avoid whipping too much air into the mixture. More on that – and on why I don’t recommend using a hand mixer – below!)
First, prepare the chocolate cheesecake crust:
- Crush up digestive biscuits or graham crackers (or a gluten-free alternative if it’s a requirement – by the way, I have an AMAZING recipe for gluten-free digestive biscuits in my book, Baked to Perfection!!) until you get fine crumbs. I used a food processor but you could easily put them into a plastic bag and bash them up with a rolling pin.
- Mix them together with some Dutch processed cocoa powder and sugar.
- Add the melted butter and mix well until the mixture resembles wet sand.
- Transfer into a lined 8 inch (20cm) springform pan and, using the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup, compress them into an even layer with an approximately 1 ½ inch (4cm) rim around the edge.
- Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 10 minutes, then allow to cool until warm.
As a side note: if you prefer, you can make the crust from Oreos (just the cookie part, not the cream part) – you will need to adjust the amount of butter in that case. Just add the melted butter to the crushed Oreos slowly, with frequent stirring, until you reach the consistency of wet sand.
Next up, prepare the chocolate cheesecake filling:
- To a large bowl, add the room temperature cream cheese
- and yoghurt.
- Use a balloon whisk to mix them together until smooth. Note that I said MIX and not whisk – don’t aerate the mixture and stop mixing the moment they’re combined and smooth. Introducing air into your cheesecake filling can cause it to crack during baking and cooling, more on that below.
- Mix together caster/superfine sugar and cornstarch, and add them to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well until combined and smooth.
- Add the room temperature eggs, one at a time,
- mixing well after each addition until combined and smooth.
- Pour in the melted chocolate,
- and mix well until combined.
- Transfer the chocolate cheesecake filling onto the slightly cooled cheesecake base,
- and use a small offset spatula to smooth out the top,
- until it’s completely level and as smooth as you can get it. (Because of the melted chocolate, the filling might be slightly thicker/less runny than usual, so be sure to really smooth it out.)
- And finally, bake! The baking method outlined below doesn’t require a water bath, but it still produces a perfectly creamy cheesecake without any cracking in sight – just a lovely smooth top.
Note: I recommend adding the melted chocolate to the cheesecake filling while it’s still quite warm rather than cooled completely to room temperature. The reason for this is that if you add room temperature chocolate to the cheesecake filling, it tends to thicken up, so it’s trickier to smooth out into an even layer after you’ve transferred it into the cheesecake crust.
In fact, as I was shooting these step-by-step photos, my chocolate cooled a bit too much, so the cheesecake filling consistency in the photos is a bit too thick for my liking. Now, if that happens to you: don’t worry! This won’t in any way affect the texture of the final cheesecake and it won’t cause it to crack or anything like that. A slightly looser, runnier filling just means that it’s easier to smooth out and it will result in an even smoother top of the baked cheesecake.
Do you really need a water bath to bake a cheesecake?
NO!!! I know that using a water bath is highly popular in cheesecake baking, but I’m personally not a fan – for two reasons. First up, it’s fussy and messing about with boiling hot water is just not fun. And if you’ve been round these parts before, you know I’m all about no-fuss baking.
Secondly, I don’t like the texture of cheesecakes prepared using a water bath. This is very much a personal preference, but to me it’s much too smooth – almost like eating a mouthful of straight-up cream cheese.
The good news is that I’ve developed an incredibly simple method for reliably preparing crack-free cheesecakes (and cheesecake bars) without using a water bath. Read on to learn all about it!
How do you prevent your cheesecake from cracking?
I’ve actually developed what is now my go-to cheesecake baking method while I was writing my debut cookbook, Baked to Perfection – which you can read more about and order here.
So, to prevent your cheesecake from cracking WITHOUT a water bath:
- Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature – this is particularly important for the cream cheese, yoghurt and eggs (or other add-ins if you’re making another type of cheesecake).
- Don’t aerate or over-mix the cheesecake filling. That means that you shouldn’t intensively whisk the filling if using a balloon whisk and doing it by hand. I also don’t recommend using a hand mixer, as it tends to introduce too much air into the mixture. If using a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment and set the mixer to the lowest speed setting – again, you want to mix the cheesecake filling, rather than beat or whisk it.
- Bake your cheesecake at a relatively low temperature of 285ºF (140ºC). This bakes the cheesecake very slowly and prevents the filling from over-baking (which is the most common cause of cracking).
- Turn off the oven while the cheesecake is still wobbly in the middle. For this cheesecake, this is around the 55-60 minute mark. The remaining heat of the oven will fully set the cheesecake without over-baking it.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool until warm or room temperature in the turned-off oven with the oven door ajar. This slow cooling process further ensures that your cheesecake won’t crack during cooling.
That’s it! Now, I know that this might seem like a very long and slightly overwhelming list of ’do’s and ‘don’t’s, but trust me – it’s actually incredibly straightforward, as well as 100% reliable and reproducible! In fact, I’ve used this same method to prepare my Blueberry Cheesecake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and Blackberry Cheesecake Bars, and they all tuned out PERFECT.
You need to chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours (or preferably overnight) before removing it out of the springform pan onto the serving plate. Then you could serve it directly… but I 100% recommend you add the chocolate ganache on top – this takes it into the “triple chocolate” territory, and we all know that more chocolate is ALWAYS a good idea.
Assembling and decorating the triple chocolate cheesecake
The chocolate ganache I used is just a simple mixture of double/heavy cream and dark chocolate. To make it, heat the double/heavy cream until it only just comes to a boil, pour it over the chopped chocolate, let stand for 3-4 minutes, and then stir it together until smooth and glossy.
I recommend using the chocolate ganache while it’s still warm, so that you get that lovely drip down the sides of the cheesecake. As you’ll be pouring the chocolate ganache on top of the cold cheesecake (straight from the fridge), the ganache will start setting and firming up relatively quickly. This ensures that instead of dripping straight down the sides all the way to the serving plate like a waterfall, the ganache will instead form pretty little drips that will make it look extra elegant and fancy.
So, first pour the warm chocolate ganache into the middle of the chilled cheesecake.
And then, use a small offset spatula to spread it out into an even layer on top of the cheesecake and to guide it to gently drip down the sides.
Allow the ganache to set first at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then in the fridge for a further 30 minutes. (Allowing it to set first at room temperature ensures that it keeps its beautiful glossiness, without any chocolate bloom or condensation forming on top.)
Once set, decorate it with chocolate shavings… and finally, stand back and take a minute or two to admire the truly glorious cheesecake you’ve just made.
How long does triple chocolate cheesecake last?
The cheesecake keeps well in a closed container or wrapped in cling film in the fridge for about 5 days. But, let’s be honest… it really never lasts that long. Not with that much chocolate involved.
I really hope you’ll love this cheesecake as much as I do. The best thing is that it looks like something straight out of a super fancy pastry shop – and yet, it’s dead easy to make. And, of course, it tastes simply amazing.
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Triple Chocolate Cheesecake (Gluten-Free Option)
For chocolate cheesecake crust:
- 225 g (2 ¼ cups) finely crushed digestive biscuits (You can also use graham crackers. If you need the cheesecake to be gluten-free, you can use gluten-free digestives or rich tea biscuits, or other gluten-free cookies/biscuits of choice.)
- 30 g (⅓ cup) Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 30 g (2 ½ tbsp) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
- 90 g (¾ stick + ½ tbsp) unsalted butter, melted (The exact amount of butter you will need will depend on the type of biscuits/cookies/crackers you use.)
For chocolate cheesecake filling:
- 600 g (2 ⅔ cups) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature (I used Philadelphia cream cheese.)
- 115 g (½ cup) full-fat plain or Greek-style yoghurt, room temperature (You can also use sour cream.)
- 200 g (1 cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
- 15 g (2 tbsp) cornflour (UK)/cornstarch (US)
- 3 UK medium/US large eggs, room temperature
- 225 g (8 oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), melted and cooled until warm
For chocolate ganache:
- 100 g (3.5 oz) dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa solids), chopped
- 150 g (⅔ cup) double/heavy cream
You will also need:
- chocolate shavings for decoration
For chocolate cheesecake crust:
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and line an 8 inch (20cm) springform pan with baking/greaseproof paper.
- Mix together the crushed digestive biscuits, Dutch processed cocoa powder, sugar and melted butter, until you get a mixture resembling wet sand. Transfer the mixture into the lined springform pan and, using the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup, compress them into an even layer with an approximately 1 ½ inch (4cm) rim around the edge.Tip: Depending on the type and brand of cookies/biscuits you use, you might need slightly less or slightly more butter than listed in this recipe. Add the butter slowly, mixing well after each addition, until you reach the consistency of wet sand. You want a mixture that somewhat sticks together or holds its shape when pressed together, but it shouldn't feel/look greasy or oily.
- Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool until warm.
For chocolate cheesecake filling:
- Reduce the oven temperature to 285ºF (140ºC).Tip: If your springform pan isn't 100% leak-proof, I recommend you also get a baking sheet ready to place the cheesecake on it before it goes into the oven. This will catch any small leaks of butter from the cheesecake base, and prevent any smoking or burning at the bottom of your oven.
- In a large bowl using a balloon whisk, mix the cream cheese and yoghurt together until smooth. Tip: Make sure to MIX rather than whisk or aerate – you don't want to incorporate too much air into the mixture. If you don't want to do this by hand, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed setting. (I don't recommend using a hand mixer.)
- Mix the sugar and cornflour/cornstarch together, and add them to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well until combined and smooth.Tip: Mixing the cornflour/cornstarch with the sugar before adding them ensures that the cornflour/cornstarch doesn't clump together in the cheesecake filling.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until smooth.
- Add the melted chocolate and mix well until combined and smooth.Tip: I recommend that you add the melted chocolate to the cheesecake filling while it’s still quite warm rather than cooled completely to room temperature. The reason for this is that if you add room temperature chocolate to the cheesecake filling, it tends to thicken up, so it’s trickier to smooth out into an even layer after you’ve transferred it into the cheesecake crust.
- Transfer the chocolate cheesecake filling into the slightly cooled cheesecake crust and smooth out the top.
- Bake at 285ºF (140ºC) for about 55-60 minutes, or until the edges are fully set and the middle is still wobbly when you gently shake the baking pan.Tip: This baking time range is merely a guideline – you should always judge the doneness of a cheesecake based on its physical indicators (the wobbliness of the centre, how set the edges are, etc.) rather than on the baking time, especially as each oven behaves slightly differently. You should start checking your cheesecake about 10 minutes before the recommended baking time.
- Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature in the turned-off oven with the oven door ajar.
- Once cooled to room temperature, transfer the cheesecake into the fridge for at least 4 hours (or preferably overnight) before removing it from the baking pan onto a serving plate. Keep it in the fridge until ready to assemble/decorate.
For chocolate ganache & assembly:
- Place the chopped dark chocolate into a heat-proof bowl.
- In a saucepan, bring the double/heavy cream just to the boil, then pour it over the chocolate. Allow to stand for 2-3 minutes, then stir together until smooth and glossy.
- Pour the warm chocolate ganache into the middle of the chilled cheesecake, then use a small offset spatula to spread it out into an even layer on top of the cheesecake and to guide it to gently drip down the sides. Tip: Make sure you're pouring the warm ganache onto a chilled cheesecake (straight from the fridge). The cold temperature of the cheesecake will ensure that the ganache sets relatively quickly. This means that instead of dripping straight down the sides all the way to the serving plate like a waterfall, the ganache will instead form pretty little drips that will make it look extra elegant and fancy.
- Allow the ganache to set first at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then in the fridge for a further 30 minutes. Tip: Allowing the ganache to set first at room temperature ensures that it keeps its beautiful glossiness, without any chocolate bloom or condensation forming on top.
- Once the ganache is set, decorate with chocolate shavings before slicing and serving.Tip: For extra neat and clean slices, cut the cheesecake with a warm/hot knife. Choose a sharp knife and dip it into very hot water. Wipe it dry, then slice the cheesecake while the knife is still hot/warm. In between slices, dip the knife again in hot water, wipe it off and repeat.
- The triple chocolate cheesecake keeps well in a closed container or tightly wrapped in cling film in the fridge for 4-5 days.