Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

Death by Chocolate: You've been warned, lol! For serious chocolate lovers only

I fell off the healthy wagon early this month and made Death by Chocolate Cheesecake! Hands down the most decadent cheesecake, ever. It should carry a warning, just in case the name isn’t enough to clue you in. It’s a serious Chocolate Cheesecake for chocolate lovers, only!

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

Gorgeous Cheesecakes are always impressive & this is no exception! Cheesecakes are kind of a cheat – they always look like they’re a lot harder than they are. This one is super easy – no need to worry about fussy water baths or cooling methods – the deep layer of decadent chocolate ganache covers a multitude of errors and those chocolate curls are stupid simple. I learned how to make them from a Pioneer Woman post, the cheesecake came from Epicurious and the Ganache and Oreo Crust I’ve used over and over for so long, who knows!

Because this cheesecake is so rich, you’ll want to serve this in very small slices, and preferably not after a huge meal…this was one of those desserts that I kept saying, “Oh, I can’t take another bite.” And then I’d find myself doing so anyway, lol! Really, it’s almost too much! We had it with and without the swirls of chocolate sauce on the plate and honestly, the chocolate sauce helped cut through some of the richness.

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

This cheesecake will look bizarre in the oven. It’s going to form a crust but do take it out when the edges are done & the center is still jiggly. It’s going to sink, but the ganache & chocolate curls will fix everything up. That sunken center is the perfect place for the rich ganache to pool.

As for shopping tips: Watch for cream cheese on sale and stock up. It keeps for weeks in the fridge & can be frozen. Good chocolate is almost always on sale around major holidays and the cookies are a good coupon item.

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake
Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Servings: varies
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print


  • 24 Oreo cookies, finely crushed (use the ones with the chocolate middle if possible)
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • additional butter or spray for the pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly spray or butter a 9″ springform pan (preferably about 3″ tall, at least 2 1/2 inches tall.)

Mix together cookies and melted butter and press in the bottom and about 2″ up the sides of pan. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until just set, remove and cool while preparing filling.


  • 10 ounces of good 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (see note)
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (see note)
  • 4 large eggs

Heat chocolate in the microwave for one minute, stir and continue to heat in 30-second increments until melted and smooth. Set aside until lukewarm but still pourable.

Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in in a food processor or stand mixer until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time, barely mixing after each. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. You may need to scrape down and use your spatula several times during mixing. Pour filling over crust; smooth top.

Bake until set around the edges but the very center is still jiggly. The top will appear dry and crusty, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place on a rack and leave until room temperature, about two hours, then chill overnight.


  • 5 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 5 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 1/3 cups)

Bring cream and syrup to simmer in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add chocolate chips; whisk until smooth. Cool to just lukewarm before pouring over cake. This will need to set up for at least two hours in the fridge after pouring.

Chocolate Curls:

  • 3 ounces chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter or shortening (shortening does seem to work better)

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Add butter or shortening. Cook for 30 seconds, stir, then continue to heat in 15-second increments, stirring after each, until melted.

Pour onto the back of a cookie sheet and using an offset spatula, spread into a thin layer. Place in freezer for one minute. Press chocolate lightly with a fingertip. If it’s ready, it won’t leave an indentation but will leave a faint print. Place back in the freezer if necessary.

Remove from freezer and using a flat edged spatula, scrape across an area several inches long. The chocolate should curl. If the chocolate becomes too soft, place back in the freezer for another minute.

May be made several days ahead and stored in a single layer in a cool place.

To Assemble:

Remove cheesecake from fridge, remove sides. Drizzle with the lukewarm chocolate ganache, allowing some to flow down the outside edge of the cake. Allow to set up for about two hours, in the fridge. Top with chocolate curls. Place on a platter, and allow to come up to room temperature, if possible, about 2 hours before serving.

Serve with a little chocolate syrup drizzled on the plate.

Cake may be made up to three days ahead without the topping or chocolate curls and tightly wrapped and refrigerated.


  • On chocolate: Do use the best quality chocolate you can find for this recipe and try to find 70 percent for the cheesecake. A different percentage could affect the texture.
  • On Cocoa: Use the Natural, not Dutch Processed.


I’ll be taking this recipe to Fiesta Friday Link Party!