Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

Warning: do not attempt to view, make or devour this recipe if you do not like chocolate. A lot of chocolate. Copious amounts of deep, dark chocolate. Including a buttery chocolate crust topped with a luscious, creamy, rich cheesecake layer, topped again with a silky, dreamy dark chocolate ganache and topped finally with whimsical chocolate curls.

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

Death by chocolate.

And what a way to go.

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

One Year Ago: Chicken Corn Chowder
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin Apple Spice Muffins

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: Serves 8-10

Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

Note: This cheesecake needs to be chilled overnight so plan ahead! The good news is this cheesecake can be made all the way through the topping, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days before serving. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature 1-2 hours before serving.


  • 9-ounce package of chocolate cookies (such as chocolate wafers, graham crackers or teddy grahams)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Filling:
  • 10 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (use the best quality you can afford – I love the Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chips and I’m not ashamed to admit I buy them in bulk, often, at Sam’s Club)
  • 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • Topping:
  • 3/4 cup whipping cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Chocolate curls for garnish (I use this method)


  1. For crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides (or use a 10-inch springform pan with 2-inch sides). Process the chocolate cookies in a food processor (or the old-fashioned way with a bag and a rolling pin) until they are finely ground. Transfer them to a small bowl and mix in the sugar. Add the melted butter and mix until well combined. Press the crumbs evenly onto the bottom only of the prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Keep the oven heated at 350 degrees.
  2. For filling: Melt the 10 ounces of chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler until melted and smooth. Cool the chocolate until lukewarm but ensure that it is still warm enough to be pourable. In a large bowl (or with a stand mixer), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder until smooth. Blend in eggs one at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust; smooth the top. Bake until the center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
  3. For topping: One hour before serving (or up to 3 days ahead of time), stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over the center of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until the topping is set, about 1 hour.
  4. When ready to serve, release the springform pan sides. Transfer the cheesecake to a platter. Top with chocolate curls. It is preferable to let the cheesecake stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours before serving.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from to me by my excellent bro Nate

128 Responses to Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Gorgeous presentation. Cheesecake is my favorite dessert. I want to lick my screen!

  2. Kim in MD says:

    You had me at chocolate! 🙂 Can you ever have too much? Wow- I agree with Jessica- what a gorgeous presentation, Melanie!

  3. Looks easy and just what I need this PMSing week!

  4. That is truly the prettiest cheesecake I’ve ever seen! 🙂

  5. Mel, your pictures are just getting better and better! I’ve noticed you on foodgawker a few times 😉 This cheesecake looks incredible. There seriously is not time (or money in the grocery budget) to make all the recipes I want to make!

  6. Jenn says:

    I’m so glad I just bought a springform pan!!

  7. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness. That looks so amazing. I think that really will be the death of me.

  8. Kitty says:

    You’re killing me!

  9. Kathy Davis says:

    OMG!! This looks so good…my mouth is watering…….

  10. ingrid says:

    lol, guess I’m out as I’m not a fan of chocolate. 🙂 I will though keep it in mind for the chocolate lovers that I know.

    Happy Friday!

  11. Val A. H. says:

    My son and I were just saying how we felt like chocolate cheese cake. Perfect timing as this recipe sounds so good! Thanks!

  12. Carolyn Neeley says:

    Photos were not available and when I clicked on the area I received a message that it was a 404 error??
    But it sounds wonderful.

  13. Sonia says:

    OH MY! I want to take a bite out of my screen! This would go perfect with a cup of coffee. Perfect for PMSing! I would eat the whole thing by myself,can’t wait to try this!

  14. Lisa says:

    Did I read right, butter the bottom of the springfoam pan and only crust on the bottom? Would parchment paper work?

    • Mel says:

      Lisa, yes, only spread the crust on the bottom. You could definitely use parchment paper if you cut it the same diameter as your springform pan.

  15. This looks amazing! Cheesecake is one of my absolute favorite desserts. I swear I would eat it everyday if it wouldn’t make me monster. 🙂

  16. Rebecca says:

    That is just insane. Looks too good to be true, too.

  17. Lisa says:

    Oh my gosh, decadent doesn’t even begin to describe that cheesecake. That is a chocoholic’s fantasy. I love the chocolate curls on top, they’re so pretty.

  18. […] Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake (Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) Um, wow. Amazing. Decadent is right. If this is death by chocolate, I would die a happy girl. […]

  19. this looks unbelievable, perfect name!

  20. Veronica says:

    With ganache on top!!! oh my!

  21. Chele says:

    Wow! I reckon my Husband would fall in love with me all over again if I made this cheesecake for him. Thanks for sharing ;0)

  22. Chocolate heaven! WOW incredible job!

  23. Sherry says:

    I’m actually not a fan of chocolate, but even this looks good! These pictures are fabulous.

  24. I have never seen a more perfect delicious cheesecake you have mastered this one!

  25. Carolyn Neeley says:

    OMG!! Today the photos are available on my screen and it looks totally yummy. Guess I will have to try this.

    Thank you.

  26. Joanne says:

    I’d take death by chocolate over just about any other death. This looks fantastic.

  27. Jo-anne says:

    Death by chocolate .. what a delightful way to go!

  28. Julie H says:

    I just sent a link to my husband asking for this for my birthday!

  29. Death by chocolate- my preferred way to go out.

  30. Marissa says:

    I made this over the weekend, and it turned out fabulous! I ended up leaving it in the oven for about an hour and a half, and it was perfect. Consider me dead.

  31. Camille says:

    Holy Mother!!!!! That looks FABULOUS!!!!! How I want some right now!!!

  32. Caitlin says:

    That looks wonderfully creamy and dense… it’s making me want chocolate!! Great pictures.

  33. Chelsea says:

    I love your blog. It’s funny because so many recipes I’ve taken years to find are all right here (THE cornbread took me literally hundreds of attempts until I found the same recipe you have posted). My eight year old thinks you spy on us and steal “my” recipes. All these years I really just needed your blog, lol! I’ve made lots of chocolate cheesecakes before, but this one looks awesome! I can’t wait for an excuse to blow my diet and try it.

  34. Samy says:

    Oh, I love it! I am chocoholic and cheesecake fan 🙂 Great recipe for me 😉 Thx!

  35. Julie says:

    I just passed out after I saw that first pic. I love chocolate and this looks like heaven on a plate.

  36. grace says:

    very rarely am i conquered by a dessert–i almost always like my plate clean. i have a sneaking suspicion that this’d give me a run for my money. wowza.

  37. Melanie_S says:

    Oh my! I need to try this one!!!!!!!!!

  38. Rose Gold says:

    WOW! This recipe is so indulging! My hubby will surely love the chocolate-y cake of yours. Better make this before my hubby gets home. Thanks for the recipe. Actually it’s our anniversary and this will make our relationship sweeter.

  39. It’s time for chocolate madness! Lol. My kids will surely love this one since it is full of chocolate layers. To complete the chocolate madness thing we should add some chocolate syrup. LOL. Thanks for the recipe.

  40. Alexandria says:

    I want to thank you so much for this recipe. I’ve made cheesecakes many times before, but this one is by far the most beautiful. My Mom was very impressed (which is saying something). She even took half of it home. Anyway, thank you very much. This is one recipe I’ll make for many years to come.

  41. Jenn says:

    Made it to take to a Super Bowl party. It was a perfect chocolate cheesecake. Super thick, super rich, and super chocolatey–so much so that you only need a small sliver to satiate a sweet (or chocolate) tooth.

  42. Tina says:

    I LOVE this recipe!! It’s so rich and creamy, I won’t even try another recipe because this is the perfect one for me. I divide the batter into canning jars and bake to make individual servings and then top them with ganache. Thank you for the recipe!

  43. Aliciâ says:

    Just wondering if its ok to prepare the cake and topping. A day or so in advance? Would the ganache effect the presentation/quality of the cake?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Caroline – I can respect your views on healthy eating, however, I do have to defend my position, especially in light of the fact that I haven’t ever marketed my blog as “Healthy Eating 101” or anything of the like. Healthy eating means something different to each person and although I do use salt, heavy cream and sugar, I pride myself on the fact that I very rarely use preprocessed or “junk food” ingredients. I believe in whole foods and I have made strides in that direction, but I also am a moderation kind of gal and feel great about my level of healthy eating, although I do have many goals for improvement on the horizon. Feel free to google other food blogs that might tailor recipes to your style. I admire your commitment and fortitude to healthy eating!

    • Mel says:

      Aliciâ – yes, this cheesecake can definitely be made up to 3 days in advance. If kept well-covered in the refrigerator, it should work out great!

  44. Jean Braten says:

    Beautiful! And I’m sure very tasty as well!

  45. Leslie says:

    I saw a picture of this on the sidebar when I was reading another one of your recipes, and my mind instantly said “Ohh..what is that?” I clicked on the picture and I about died. “Decadent” is a good name for it. Chocolate and me are BFFs. I don’t know if it was a good or bad thing for me to come upon this recipe. 😉

  46. Kim says:

    This was so great! I made this for my family last week and my husband has been talking about how good it was the rest of the week. Thanks for another great recipe!

  47. C Hardy says:

    Beautiful! That looks as lovely as any of the cheesecakes at Ray’s in NYC.

  48. Kim says:

    I took this to a Easter egg hunting party yesterday and it was a hit. Everyone loved it! Thanks again for another great recipe.

  49. Jim says:

    I made this for Easter dinner and it was a show stopper! It is more like a mousse rather than cheesecake. I, of course, had to do 2 slight variations. I used a oreo cookie crust and before applying the topping I placed rum marinated strawberries on the filling.

    It was pure Y U M M Y and thank you for posting the recipe on the internet.


  50. molli says:

    I made this the other day. I used semi-sweet chocolate for the cheesecake and bitter-sweet chocolatefir the topping. It’s good, but you really should listen to the warning label. It was just a bit too much chocolate for me! I love chocolate and don’t get me wrong it cam out very well and tasted great. Bu it really is chocate overload. It should be called, Death by Chocolate. Haha

  51. JaNae says:

    This was AMAZING! My sister gave me a spring form pan for my b-day. I immediately knew this was the cheesecake recipe I wanted to try first. I made this 3 days in advance for Father’s Day, but we started eating it on Friday and have been eating it ALL weekend! 🙂 We couldn’t wait, and I’m so glad we didn’t. It’s sooooo yummy! Thanks again!

  52. dee says:

    I made this…it was Delish…but the crust stuck to the pan and I had to scrape it up…still yummy…but can u give any advise…

    • Mel says:

      Dee, I’m not sure why that would happen unless you might have not put enough butter in the crust. Next time you might try greasing the bottom of the springform pan. Sorry about the stickiness!

  53. lisa says:

    this cheesecake is utterly divine! i have now made it two times and each time i have heard, “this is THE BEST cheesecake i have EVER had!”. thank you for sharing such great recipes Mel, i truly appreciate it!!!

  54. Deb says:

    If you make this for me I will be your best friend!

  55. Brinestone says:

    I also had problems with the crust, but mine was too crumbly. It didn’t make a cohesive crust. Any ideas on what to do to avoid that?

    The filling is divine, by the way. This is going to be one of our Thanksgiving “pies.”

    • Mel says:

      Brinestone – If crumbly crust is a problem, I’d add 1-2 more tablespoons butter. That will help it stay together (plus be really careful not to overbake at all – just bake until slightly set).

  56. […] source: Mels Kitchen Cafe if (window.print) {document.write('');} Share Cancel […]

  57. Rlflowers says:

    OMG! I made this for our family Christmas gathering, not only was it Gorgous but it was AMAZING! They couldn’t believe it wasn’t something that had been bought. Then everyone wanted to know how to make it. I even got an order for one from my big brother…lol. Great recipe Mel. Thanks

  58. Julie says:

    How did you slice your cheesecake so beautifully? I tried to slice mine at our Christmas party… let’s just say, I was glad everyone raved about it before I cut it 🙂 Beautiful and delicious!

  59. Mel says:

    Julie – glad it was beautiful! I usually use a really sharp knife that I run under hot water between each slice to get those clean, neat slices.

  60. […] I tried this recipe for chocolate cheesecake! It was so so so so so rich! It is hard to overstate that! Some good things that came from it: 1. I […]

  61. Katie says:

    We made this for a Christmas Eve dessert and everyone loved it! It is so rich – the perfect ending to a special meal, and it was easy to put together, too! Our supermarket was out of chocolate wafer cookies (guess everyone else was also making this cake!), so we used 1 1/2 cups crushed oreos + 2 tbsp melted butter for the crust, and didn’t prebake the crust.

    Thanks for posting!


  62. Annie and Mike says:

    This sure was DECADENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  63. Joyce says:

    Hi Mel,
    Do you use the same Ghirardelli bittersweet chips for the chocolate curls? One of these days I’m going to be brave enough to make this 🙂

  64. Mel says:

    Hi Joyce – yes, I use the bittersweet chips for the curls. Good luck if you try this! You can do it!

  65. Suzanne says:

    Wanted to try this recipe so I made it – took it to work and now my co-workers are wanting it EVERY WEEK…. Wow – I have been making cheesecake for years but this is by far one of the best recipes ever… The chocolate ganache is just the best finish. I used 60% Cacao Ghirardelli chocolate chips which made it rich and fabulous!!! Need a vanilla bean recipe now!

  66. Jennifer says:

    Made this for my birthday and it’s super yummy.

  67. […] Grab the recipe! Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterStumbleUponLinkedInTumblrLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in Cheesecake, Chocolate Recipes, Death by Chocolate, Dessert Recipes, Food Photography, General, Marcel Desaulniers | Tagged Chocolate, Chocolate Cheesecake, Death by Chocolate, Desserts, Food, Food Photography, Marcel Desaulniers, photography, Recipes […]

  68. Looks sinful and tempting ! I would love a bite..

  69. Sandee says:

    What about making this with milk chocolate chips instead of semi-sweet? Would it still be decadent and delicious? My sister-in-law is not a dark chocolate fan, though she does love milk chocolate! I’ve also seen that some people used an oreo type crust. Have you done that Mel? Do you do the same amount of butter with those cookies instead of the wafer ones? Thanks!

  70. Mel says:

    Sandee – I can’t say for sure how milk chocolate chips would work since I’ve never made that substitution but I do know that milk chocolate melts differently than semisweet or bittersweet (based on different amounts of cocoa butter) and I’m not sure how they would fare in this cheesecake. Good luck if you try it! And yes, use the same amount of butter for any type of chocolate cookie (in my opinion).

  71. Elizabeth says:

    Hello, my name is Elizabeth and I work for a library in Wyoming. We are currently putting together a recipie book from our annual Death By Chocolate event. I was hoping to talk to you about using one of the pictures from this post for the book (they’re very well done!). We would, of course, be more than happy to give you full credit and/or compensation. It’s easiest to contact me by email. Thank you!

  72. Sherri says:

    Can I pin this? I made it last week and my coworkers loved it sooooo much! I don’t see any note about pinning on your page. Thanks for the recipe! It was awesomely delicious!

  73. Mel says:

    Sherri – by all means pin as many recipes as you like!

  74. Kundai says:

    Hi Mel,
    So I’ve bee lurking around your website for a few months after a friend recommended your recipes. I made this lovely cheesecake this week and took it to work. I was worried I didn’t do a good job but boy was it a hit!!!!!!!!!!!! I set it in our kitchen and in an hour there was a quarter left! So thanks for your wonderful work!

  75. Kathryn says:

    Hi Mel-
    Happy Holidays!
    I was wondering how you make those beautiful chocolate curls. Every time I try it I end up with bits and pieces that are not at all what I was going for. Got any suggestions?

  76. Mel says:

    Hi Kathryn – there is a link (in the ingredient list) for a tutorial on the chocolate curls I use. It’s from Pioneer Woman and helped me get the perfect chocolate curls.

  77. CareyAnn says:

    I made this for Thanksgiving Day 2012. Guess what? I’m making it for Chirstmas 2012. It was THAT good! Thanks for the recipe!!!

  78. Deirdre says:

    I’m in the process of making this. I’ll be serving it for dessert on Christmas Day – for those who find plum pudding too rich lol! I wasn’t sure what bittersweet chocolate was so I used 200g of Green & Black’s 70% and 85g of 85% as there’s plenty of sugar in the recipe. Not sure how well the cup measurements transfer to grams, we’ll have to wait and see. And I don’t want to wait – it smells delish! Hope mine looks half as good as yours.

  79. Rodolfo Ferreira says:

    I made this cake last night and it’s the first one I’ve ever made! It turned out alright, but I had a lot of cracks after the hour was up. I covered it with the topping, though.

    What happens if I add some sour cream to the filling mix?

  80. Mel says:

    Rodolfo – I don’t know, you’d have to experiment. It would make for a different texture, probably.

  81. Rodolfo Ferreira says:

    I will try it next time, I guess!

    My cake turned out to be delicious!!! The only thing I had a problem with was getting it cut cleanly (leaving no cake on top).

    This is what mine looks like:

    Thanks for this delicious recipe!

  82. Norman Cruz says:

    I’ve made this 4 or 5 times (made the 1st one with a raspberry sauce and the 2nd time with mint/creme de menthe) and the 3rd time, just plain (but no chocolate curls). I made one this last December in Puerto Rico and my older brother made a caramel sauce to go with it and now many of my relatives also wanted the recipe. I generally use the recipe as is but I use Chocolate Creme Oreos instead of just plain chocolate cookies and scrape the cremes off and mix them into the ganache. Turns our spectacularly well. 🙂 Though I always cut the pieces much smaller, due to the richness of this mountain of sin on a plate, lol. The first time I made this, I cut an average sized piece and got halfway through and almost had to stop… but I pushed on through and “suffered” finishing it up… It was a real hardship, LOL. 😛

  83. Katie says:

    This cheesecake is to die for! I just ate the last piece and I am already depressed that it is gone. lol Thanks for another great recipe Mel!

  84. kerri says:

    I came across this recipe because I was looking for a topping to put on a peanut butter cup cheesecake – the topping was easy and delicious, perfect consistency! Can’t wait to try out your cheesecake next! Thank you 🙂

  85. Lesli Dustin says:

    Melanie, this was amazing! Layla chose it for her birthday cake and I was so happy to appease her request. It was super easy and fast to make too. Thanks. It seriously satisfied a cheesecake craving.

  86. Naomi Birch says:

    Hey Mel,
    I tried this cheesecake the other night when we had some friends over. They both loved and hated it because it was so delicious, but so rich, so they could only handle a little at a time 😛 Not to mention my husbands joy waking up the next morning and begging to have it for breakfast!! Thanks for all your great recipes!

  87. […] For the cheesecake, I decided to go with a swirled caramel-chocolate. I used half the base of Mel’s decadent chocolate cheesecake for the chocolate part, and for the caramel layer I made a basic cheesecake and added caramel […]

  88. Norman Cruz says:

    Made this for my relatives in Puerto Rico around Christmas or Puerto Rico last December and my older brother made some homemade caramel topping for it…. There was a large enough group there that we sliced the pieces about 1/3 of the usual size and discovered that a shallower cheesecake pan makes for quicker cooking…. Duh!!! Doing it that way allows for it to get to the correct consistency in the time allotted, otherwise, it seems to take much longer to bake. Plus, I had to bring in my own Chocolate Creme Oreos and Ghirardelli chocolates to Puerto Rico as I can never seem to locate them in any stores there every time we go. Once again, awesome recipe. 😀

  89. Ruth Owen says:

    I made this for a church bake-off on Tuesday and won first place! Just thought you’d like to know. I told a few people who asked where I found the recipe. 🙂

  90. Brianna says:

    Amazing! This looks amazing, but it tastes even better! It was perfect, and I actually used an 11 inch pan, but it turned out fine. I think next time I would make more crust because it was delicious and a wider pan. My ganache didn’t look firm at all like yours, it stayed fairly soft, but that was fine, it tasted delicious, and nobody else saw your picture to compare it to, so they thought it was normal. Thanks for a delicious recipe!

  91. Jessica says:

    Made this for a family dinner yesterday and it was a huge hit! We have a very health-conscious family so I made the following alterations and it didn’t affect the consistency at all:
    Used gluten-free graham crackers
    Used 2 regular cream cheese packages and 2 Tofutti cream cheese packages (Loved this! Still had the rich cheese taste but was a little lighter and added protein).
    Topped with your ganache, fresh strawberries, and raspberry coulis.
    Great recipe that I will definitely make again!

  92. Bonnie says:

    Made this for Christmas dinner. It was incredible! Everyone said it looked and tasted like it came from a restaurant. The chocolate curls turned out great and make a lovely topping. Will definitely make again.

  93. Steve says:

    I want to make your Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake, but make it in cupcake form. I’ve done this before, but can’t find the recipe I used. I’ve made full cheesecakes in the past, but never really knew when they were done so not sure how to know when the cupcake version is complete. The cupcake form will allow me to serve more people vs trying to cut small slices. I can also put different fruits on top and people can select which they prefer.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Steve – I haven’t made this cheesecake into individual cupcakes but I think someone in the comment thread above has tried it. If it were me, I’d bake the cupcakes for 16 minutes, then check (might take as long as 20-25). Just like a normal cheesecake, the edges should be set while the center is still slightly soft. Good luck! Sounds like a great idea!

  94. […] Recipe and Photo credit: […]

  95. Elizabeth says:

    Have you ever made this in a 9×13 pan? I would like to make this as cheesecake bites for a reception, and I’m wondering if it would fit in the pan.

    • Mel says:

      Elizabeth – I haven’t tried this in a 9×13, but someone else commented on making this in cupcake tins to make mini versions. I suggested baking the cupcakes for 16 minutes, then check (might take as long as 20-25). Just like a normal cheesecake, the edges should be set while the center is still slightly soft. Good luck!

  96. Kairi says:

    Hi Mel! Love your recipes! Was wondering if I used Neufchâtel cream cheese for this recipe if it would work out just as well?

    • Mel says:

      Kairi – I’ve substituted light cream cheese in some baked cheesecakes but not this one. I always think things like that are worth a try but the texture may not be as dense and creamy.

  97. Sinea Pies says:

    Hi Mel,
    This delightful recipe is featured today on my site in a roundup of 12 Best Chocolate Cheesecake recipes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *