No Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a very emotional issue. Did you know that? Apparently, if you put the word “no-bake” next to “cheesecake,” you better watch your back if you find yourself in a dark alley somewhere. Even in a well-lit kitchen, you may not be safe.

I happen to be very nondiscriminatory when it comes to cheesecake (I’m not afraid). With or without eggs, baked or not baked, crust or crustless, cheesecake deserves to have variations. And advocates. And so, no-bake cheesecake can live in my world.

No Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

The one point that I happen to be very particular about, though, is that it has to taste fabulous, baked or not. I’ve been working on a couple no-bake cheesecake variations over the last few months because sometimes, an ultra-light, creamy no-bake cheesecake is the only real option speaking to my soul. Sadly, I’ve learned that not all no-bake cheesecakes are created equal (some far too sweet, others that slop and schmooze all over the plate once sliced, a few that wiggle like jello, and a couple that probably belong in the pudding, not cheesecake, category).

No Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

Thankfully after a couple tries at a chocolate version, success was had. Not only is this decadent chocolate no-bake cheesecake deliciously rich and velvety and amazing, but it’s super simple and quick to whip up. The only real time constraint is letting it chill long enough (and even that isn’t a big deal since you can easily make it a few hours before you want to serve it or up to a full day ahead).

With a whole different taste and texture than another favorite {baked} chocolate cheesecake (equally amazing, by the way), you may want to seriously consider opening your heart and soul to this no-bake chocolate cheesecake. I’d hate for you to miss out.

No Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

One Year Ago: Pesto Marinated Grilled Chicken
Two Years Ago: Coconut Tres Leches Cake Trifle
Three Years Ago: Orange Beef and Veggie Stir Fry

No-Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: Makes a 9-inch cheesecake

No-Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

I tried this cheesecake with light (neufchâtel) cream cheese doesn't compare to using regular cream cheese. The texture was way softer and the taste was almost a bit too tangy and not quite as rich. Experiment at your own risk. 🙂

I use bittersweet chocolate in this recipe but semisweet could be used also. You might consider knocking the powdered sugar down just a notch if you do since semisweet chocolate is sweeter than bittersweet.

I think there's a bit too much crust/filling for a regular 9-inch pie plate unless you reserve some of each and make a couple small, individual sized cheesecakes in little bowls or ramekins. But again, I haven't tried it that way so feel free to experiment.


  • 7 ounces (about 2 cups) chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 7 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Cheesecake:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (9 ounces) bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature (see note above)


  1. For the crust, combine the chocolate graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter together in a small bowl until the mixture looks sandy and wet. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides, about an inch, of a 9-inch springform pan or into a 9.5-inch pie plate. Refrigerate while making the filling.
  2. For the filling, in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer (or in an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment), mix the cream cheese until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and beat again for a minute or so until combined. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix.
  3. Add the melted chocolate (make sure it is cool to room temperature!) and whip for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is extremely light and fluffy (this step is key to a creamy, light cheesecake filling).
  4. Spread the cheesecake filling evenly over the prepared crust. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or up to 12 hours) until chilled and set.
  5. For clean slices, run a long thin knife under really hot water and wipe dry with a towel before slicing (repeat the hot water trick between each slice).

Recipe Source: adapted from this recipe at Serious Eats (after making it a couple times, I preferred it with an adapted crust and a bit more chocolate in the filling – shocker, I know)

46 Responses to No-Bake Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Sheila says:

    My kind of cheesecake. I slave over the finicky “high labor” kind with less than stellar results but they always have excellent flavor because they are your recipes. My 5 year old oven is all over the place with temperature needing to have the oven thermometer constantly check within or my 350 oven turns into a 475 oven. Thank you for all the “trial and error” you do for us before posting.

  2. Teresa R. says:

    I have made your (mostly) no bake lemon cheesecake many times, and we love it. I can’t wait to try this recipe. My family loves cheesecake, and I especially love easy chocolate recipes!

  3. Laurel says:

    I’m putting my shoes on and going to the market to buy the ingredients right now. I spent hours working on your coconut cream pie yesterday and it ended in disaster. Par baked super tough crust and lumpy watery funky filling. It was extremely depressing. A big dark chocolate cheesecake is just what I need to bury my sorrows. Thanks for always having my back when I need a back up! You’re the best.

  4. Oh my goodness this looks incredible!! I’m not a cheesecake purist and will take it most ways. 🙂 I need to try this while it’s still hot and I don’t care to turn on the oven.

  5. Jenn A says:

    I’m with you. It can be no-bake as long as it is good! This one looks great!

  6. Kathy says:

    Can this be made with milk chocolate instead?

  7. Peggy McGhehey says:

    Thanks goodness I don’t have the ingredients on hand! (but will put them on the list for next time)

    This weekend saw an episode of Food Finds that featured a cheesecake sandwich. The cookie part was a graham cracker with mini chocolate chips. The filling was a cheesecake and she serves them frozen, like an ice cream sandwich!

    I await your take on this!

  8. Carlee says:

    That looks amazing and the texture looks right on. You are right about not all no-bake cheesecakes being up to par. It looks like you nailed it though!

  9. Helen says:

    I think I better hurry and make this before my husband sees the recipe and starts following me around begging for no-bake chocolate cheese cake .. Looks like another keeper!!

  10. Maureen says:

    It sounds like cheesecake may be every bit as controversial as…. potato salad! Thanks for bringing us great recipes despite the storms of dissension. :o)

  11. Paige says:

    This looks super delicious! It reminds me of a chocolate peanut butter pie that we like to eat during the summer! We’re going to have to give this one a try the next time the cheesecake urge strikes!


  12. AndreaW says:

    I hate you. Making it right now. Then I will probably eat too much. 🙂

  13. Robin says:

    I’m confused. If you let the chocolate come to room temperature won’t it harden?

    • Mel says:

      No – it should just have cooled down and still be stirrable. Room temperature is different than letting it set and reharden. Basically you don’t want it too warm or it will melt the cream cheese mixture too much.

  14. Mary Nelson says:

    So. Tell me truthfully, Mel. I’ve been a faithful (if silent) follower of your blog for well over six years now, so I feel I can ask. Ghirardelli’s dark chocolate chips come in bags of 10oz. Does the recipe call for 9oz to account for the handfuls you sneak…?

    • Mel says:

      Haha! Good question, Mary. To be honest, I buy the huge Sam’s Club sized bags of those Ghirardelli chips so I innocently measured the 9 ounces (I’m not going to confess how many handfuls I eat from that same bag). 🙂

  15. I will always remember my aunt’s baked cheesecakes with fondness, and I can’t wait to try your chocolate version. I am a fussy cheesecake person too…I’m not really into the fancy multi-flavoured versions, but something simple and classic (and super easy) like your chocolate version has my tastebuds calling out!

  16. Lafayette says:

    I’m scared. I like my baked cheesecakes, and avoid no-bake cheesecakes because I also hate the jello-slop-iness. But I will give this a try.

  17. Sheree L says:

    Do you think I can sub plain nonfat Greek yogurt for the sour cream with good results?

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t tried that, Sheree, but it’s worth experimenting. I think the sour cream gives it a slightly creamier texture (it’s not as grainy as nonfat plain Greek yogurt) but it might not be that noticeable.

      • Kiersten says:

        I made it for Labor Day, and I subbed in the Dannon Oikos plain nonfat Greek yogurt–it turned out fantastic! It was such a delicious and easy recipe. Super rich and dangerously chocolatey. Thanks again, Mel!

  18. Carolyn @ Cabot says:

    Thank you for perfecting the no-bake cheesecake.~Carolyn

  19. brown eye stink eye says:

    How do you have time for all of this with all of those rug rats you crapped out?

  20. Jen says:

    Oooooooookay this looks amazing! But just wanted to confirm – I’m used to using the paddle attachment when beating cream cheese, but you say to use the whisk attachment, is that correct? Thanks for another amazing-looking recipe (for which I don’t have to turn my oven on, to boot!)

    • Mel says:

      Hi Jen – I usually use my electric hand mixer (with the regular whisk beaters) but if you are using a stand mixer, I don’t think it would make much difference to use the paddle attachment.

  21. Abigail says:

    This was so good. Like as in I’d go out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory and bring this to eat as dessert instead of buying their’s good. I also put it on the top shelf in the refrigerator so my kids couldn’t see it.

  22. Tara says:

    I made this cheesecake for Labor Day and it was a huge hit- thank you! I used a 9.5″ pie plate and the amount of filling/crust was perfect. I also substituted Greek yogurt for the sour cream and it worked like a charm. Thanks again!

  23. John T says:

    I was surprised to find that the cheesecake’s outside appearance is virtually indistinguishable from a baked cheesecake! The lighter, smoother, creamy texture is great. I baked the crust because it felt wrong not to, and I whipped the mixture for at least 5 minutes. It turned out very good.

  24. Nita says:

    This is yummy and quick cheesecake! I’ve also made your decadent chocolate cheesecake ( which was delicious!!!!)and this is a quick and tasty alternative.

  25. Erica says:

    Can I use chocolate chips or does it need to be a different kind of chocolate? Can’t wait to make this; it looks amazing!

  26. Sandy says:

    Can this be made with Hershy’s chocolate syrup?

  27. Judy says:

    Hi Mel, Thanks for an awesome recipe! I found myself with one package of cream cheese, so I decided to do a smaller test.

    I did 1/3rd of the filling recipe, and half of the crust recipe. I couldn’t find regular chocolate graham crackers, so I used Teddy Grahams. Everything was enough for 3 mini tart pans! Filling was just the right amount, too!

    It’s delicious!!! I unmolded the first one today, and it held together. My chocolate loving hubby LOVES this recipe. We split a mini tart pan today. I like the mini tarts because it’s more portion controlled. I bought a large tart pan at the same time, and have yet to use it!

    Thank you so much!!!

  28. Judy says:

    PS. It would probably also be good with crumbs of Oreo cookies (just the cookie part). I think you’ll find something else for the filling….

  29. Margaret says:

    I would like to try your recipe but, am confused by your measurements.
    1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar does not equal 6 oz. Also, 1-1/2 cups of chocolate does not equal 9 oz. Could you clarify?

  30. Jacqui says:

    Mel – I made this for Christmas dinner with a Trader Joe’s Candy Cane Joe Joe’s cookie crust. Oh my word! Best chocolate cheesecake ever. Thanks for the recipe!

  31. chelsea says:

    Aw man! I wonder what I did wrong, the chocolate turned into little hard bits. Not smooth or creamy, just lumpy little bits of chocolate once I mixed it. Hmm. I thought it was room temp when I touched it. I wonder if my cream cheese was just too cold? something didn’t work. Bummer!

  32. Nancey says:

    Hey Mel,

    I’m a big fan! You’re UNBELIEVABLE Chocolate Cake was my first project! And, I’ll be making this for a friend over the weekend so I hope you’ll answer me in time. 🙂 Should the Cream Cheese be at room temperature? And, can I sub crushed oreos for the crust?


    • Mel says:

      Yes, the cream cheese should be softened to room temperature. Oreos are sometimes a little greasier so you might want to cut down on the butter in the crust if using Oreos instead of plain chocolate cookies.

  33. Leah C says:

    I made this for a gathering today. I made 1/3 of this recipe and made it into cheesecake bites and topped each with a raspberry. We loved it!! The only thing I would change is to try to make the crust less crumbly, since it was messy, especially to eat as cheesecake bites. I’m thinking maybe adding some milk to the crust would help it come together a bit more? Anyway, thanks for a winning recipe!

    p.s. I just found your blog through this recipe, and, after reading a few more posts, I think we must be kindred spirits in the realm of food. Definitely planning to visit again. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      The mini cheesecakes sound amazing! You might try adding another tablespoon or two of butter to the crust – it should help be less crumbly.

  34. Scott says:

    I made this for family and friends yesterday, and though it turned out well, looked beautiful and the taste was delicious, no one really enjoyed it, or could get through more than 2 or 3 bites before surrendering. It dawned on me as I was eating it that this is essentially a frosting recipe. It’s too thick, gluey and rich to work as cheesecake. Perhaps substituting whipping cream for about half the cream cheese might help. If you enjoy eating cake frosting (our group doesn’t) this might work for you. I think I’ll stick with baked cheesecake though.

  35. janine says:

    This was so easy to make and everyone at our pool party enjoyed it. I am not a huge fan of chocolate or no bake cheesecake but I would say it wasn’t bad. I couldn’t find bittersweet chocolate and subbed semi sweet chipits.

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