Ultra festive, this creamy, decadent white chocolate cheesecake dotted with peppermint and chocolate bits and topped with a simple white chocolate mousse is out of this world delicious!

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

I’m sitting here a little stumped on how to even start describing the deliciousness of this peppermint bark white chocolate mousse cheesecake.

I mean, peppermint bark cheesecake is nothing new (thank you, Cheesecake Factory), but the fact that I made it at home and ate it in my PJ’s…well, it felt revolutionary (as in, I’m sorry, Cheesecake Factory, but I may not need you anymore), and I guess that’s a good place to start.

Cheesecake is a funny thing. It’s actually quite a polarizing topic. People either love it or hate it. I’ve rarely met someone who is just “meh” about cheesecake. But I have a lot (a lot, a lot, a lot) of passionate cheesecake lovers in my circle of life. And yes, some who are on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Throw in peppermint bark flavors to beloved cheesecake? Well, you’re asking for a whole lot of opinions.

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

When I started asking around if peppermint bark cheesecake should happen in my kitchen, I was surprised at the responses. Even my faithful cheesecake peeps weren’t sure.

I’m ashamed to admit, their doubt caused me to pause. But only for about half a second.

All I had to do was cast my mind back a couple years to the moment I enjoyed (ok, devoured) a legit piece of peppermint bark cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory, and I knew this needed to happen.

I’m telling you, peppermint bark, with it’s creamy white chocolate, decadent dark chocolate, and spicy peppermint, was meant to live in cheesecake.

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

When figuring out and testing the best ever recipe, it was a no-brainer I would use my favorite vanilla bean cheesecake as a starting point. If you haven’t made that cheesecake yet, why the hay-hay aren’t you getting your buns into the kitchen to make it ASAP?

I can only assume you must be a cheesecake hater. Prove me wrong, if that isn’t true. Prove me wrong.

It’s a life-changing (and egg-free!) cheesecake; all you have to do is read the comments, and you’ll see I’m not the only one who feels that way. It even transitions beautifully into a wonderful pumpkin cheesecake.

It’s just a solid, reliable, versatile, wonderful, heart-warming, ridiculously delicious cheesecake.

And my hunch was right, you know – the vanilla bean cheesecake was even more magical with ribbons of peppermint and little bits of chocolate, not to mention the swirl of white chocolate cream in the batter that upped the luxurious factor tenfold.

Even for me, a fairly vocal white chocolate hater, that white chocolate mousse topping the luxurious peppermint bark cheesecake is one of the most irresistible concoctions on the planet.

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Cheesecake is almost always on our Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday menus, and this peppermint bark version couldn’t be more festive for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

Although it has a few steps, what with the white chocolate mousse and all, it’s actually surprisingly simple and is such a show stopper of a dessert.

We ended up with about three pieces leftover from Thanksgiving, and what happened next might be the reason I’m so in love with this cheesecake…

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake Milkshakes.

When everyone else was throwing their leftover pumpkin pie into milkshakes last month (or still feasting on apple pie leftovers…or swearing off pie and desserts and baking all together), we were in a peppermint bark coma thanks to someone’s brilliant idea to make a milkshake out of this amazing cheesecake.

It seems a shame to go to all the work of making a homemade cheesecake just to toss it in the blender with ice cream, vanilla and a little evaporated milk (the secret to great milkshakes), but honestly, the next time I make this? I’m not sure any of it will appear on a plate.

Cheesecake milkshakes for life.

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

I’ve included several notes in the recipe in regards to white chocolate (for instance, don’t even think about melting white chocolate chips unless you want to introduce stress, frustration, and bad words into your life) and a few other things (like how far you can make this ahead of time), so please read through the recipe before making, and let me know if you have any questions!

And just in case these questions might come up:

-This is the 9-inch springform pan I’ve had for years; love it.

-My trick for getting the cleanest, neatest slices out of a cheesecake? Use my 8-inch chef’s knife, run it under really hot water, wipe it clean with a cloth or paper towel and immediately (while the blade is still warm) make a slice; wipe the blade clean of all the cheesecake guts and make another slice. Repeat the hot water trick and all succeeding steps. It’s not rocket science…just wipe the knife clean after every slice and do the hot water step now and again.

-I never bake my cheesecakes in a water bath – so I didn’t forget to include that step in the recipe, promise. I just don’t do it (especially for cheesecakes like this one that have a topping that will disguise any cracks). The good news? I’ve never had this cheesecake crack on me. Make sure not to overmix or overbake, and you’ll be golden.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Fudge Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Two Years Ago: Video Tip: How to Easily Temper Chocolate at Home
Three Years Ago: Homemade Thin Mint Cookies

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

Yield: Makes a 9- or 10-inch cheesecake

Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

It's more critical than I can even stress to make sure that cream cheese is at room temperature. Cool or chilled cream cheese will result in lumpy batter. Also, light cream cheese will not work as well in this recipe (it will make for a cheesecake that doesn't want to set up).

This cheesecake can definitely be baked in a 10-inch springform pan; I haven't tried it since I almost always use my trusty 9-inch pan, but keep in mind the layers will be thinner (especially the crust).

The cheesecake can be baked and topped with the white chocolate mousse and refrigerated for up to two days or frozen for several months if well wrapped.

With very few exceptions, white chocolate chips do not melt well. They can get clumpy and seize up. So, make sure to use white chocolate baking squares (not almond bark!)...usually found in the baking aisle above the chocolate chips or nearby. The brand most commonly found in my area is Ghirardelli (here's a visual).

Ingredients

    Crust:
  • 20 Oreo or other chocolate sandwich cookies (about 10 ounces), finely crushed (no need to remove cream from the middle)
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg yolk (optional, but makes the crust smooth and rich)
  • Cheesecake:
  • 6 ounces white chocolate (not white chocolate chips or almond bark - see note above for details)
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup (7.5 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup crushed starlight/peppermint mints (about 3.5 ounces)
  • White Chocolate Mousse:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, melted ((not white chocolate chips or almond bark - see note above for details)
  • Garnish:
  • Crushed mints and chocolate shavings

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the crust, in a medium bowl, mix the chocolate cookie crumbs, butter and egg yolk (if using), until well-combined. Press the mixture into the bottom and just barely up the sides of a 9--inch springform pan (make sure the sides are at least 3-inches tall as this makes a very full pan). See note above for 10-inch springform pans. Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  3. For the cheesecake layer, add the white chocolate and cream to a microwave-safe bowl (alternately, you can do this in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water) and melt on 50% power for 1-minute increments, stirring in-between, until melted and smooth. Let cool until room temperature (can be very, very slightly warm...but definitely not hot!).
  4. In a medium bowl with a handheld electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until soft and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sour cream, sugar, cornstarch, vanilla, and peppermint extract. Mix until smooth and just combined.
  5. Fold in the cooled white chocolate/cream mixture until combined.
  6. Add the chocolate chips and mints, and stir with a spoon or spatula until evenly distributed - the mints will start to bleed color into the cheesecake batter, so stir as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  7. Spread the cheesecake over the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until the edges are set about 2- to 3-inches from the side, but the center still jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  8. For the white chocolate mousse, in a medium bowl, beat the cream, vanilla, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) until peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the melted white chocolate and mix until smooth and creamy. Fold in the whipped cream, taking care not to deflate the whipped cream, and mix gently with a rubber spatula, lifting and turning the cream, until the mousse is combined and creamy. (Alternate instructions: I've made this topping several times by throwing everything but the melted white chocolate in a blender and processing until very thick and creamy - then I add the melted, cooled white chocolate and mix until combined).
  9. Spread the white chocolate mousse over the cooled cheesecake.
  10. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours (or up to two days). Garnish with crushed peppermints and chocolate shavings right before serving.
https://www.melskitchencafe.com/peppermint-bark-cheesecake/

Recipe Source: from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from my favorite Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake)

72 Responses to Peppermint Bark White Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake

  1. Michelle M says:

    I made this the first time for a fundraiser at school (sold for $45!) and then again for a New Years Eve get together. For the 2nd time I baked it in a 9×13 pan lined with parchment. After assembled I froze it, lifted it out of the pan and cut into bit size squares. Bit hit! Thanks for helping make dinner time less stressful. I’m also going to use my Christmas money for a Instant Pot.
    Happy New Year!

  2. Aubrie says:

    This was delicious! Even with my springform pan leaking and getting the butter from the crust all over my oven (hello smoke!) and having to turn off the oven and clean it halfway through the baking time, and my husband forgetting to pull it out of the oven when the timer rang so it baked 10 minutes too long, it STILL turned out amazing! I can’t wait to make it again (with a new springform pan!) and see how it is when it’s actually baked right. Plus, I didn’t have enough leftovers to try it in a milkshake so that must be remedied. Thanks for another home-run recipe. You are my go-to source for delicious treats (just made your chocolate swig cookies today, yum!) and probably 80% of the new recipes I try are from you! Thanks Mel!

    • Mel says:

      Glad to hear it, Aubrie – sorry about all the issues! I often put foil around the outside of my springform pan (foil and sides) to prevent the same kind of leakage.

  3. JaNae says:

    Hi Mel! I haven’t commented for awhile, but I wanted to chime in here to tell you that this cheesecake was TO DIE FOR! I made it for Christmas Eve and it was a huge hit! I still faithfully follow your blog and cook your recipes, and I am SO so thankful for them – my “go to” source for all cooking! You are awesome! Hope you are enjoying your holidays!!!

  4. Nancy Bauman says:

    This was dessert for Christmas dinner. It was a very big hit with my children and grandchildren. My granddaughter has already requested it for her birthday cake. Thank you, Mel, for the recipe. Merry Christmas.

  5. Ashlee says:

    Is the butter melted or soft in the crust?

  6. Carmen says:

    Hi Mel! Huge fan here-I love everything I make from your site.

    Question: I don’t own a springform pan. Would glass Pyrex work?

    • Mel says:

      You could definitely try – it won’t be quite as pretty when serving, but as long as the size is about the same as a springform pan, it should work ok.

  7. LIndy says:

    I’m trying to decide between this and your mint brownie trifle for christmas dessert. Which one is better????

  8. Emilee says:

    I just made this for Christmas Eve……it’s in the freezer now waiting for the big day. Man, it looks pretty. And, I scraped off the tiny bits that stuck to the springform pan and was in heaven! So yummy and so festive. So perfect for a holiday dessert! Thank you! BTW – I used crushed candy canes and they looked (and taste) awesome.

  9. Annabeth says:

    I made this cheesecake this afternoon; it’s cooling now. I got a late start but hopefully it’ll be ready for a party tonight. This was my first cheesecake and I’m not sure it set up — fingers crossed. Can you tell when at what point you usually remove the sides of the springform pan during the cooling process?

    • Annabeth says:

      Well bummer. The cheesecake did not set up and when I removed the outer ring from my (non-stick) springform pan, large chunks of the cheesecake edge stuck to the ring. Then I tried the alternate method of making the mousse topping, in the blender, and basically got white chocolate milk. Guess we’re stopping at the bakery on the way to the party. 😉

    • Mel says:

      Wait until it’s completely chilled to remove the sides. Hope it turns out!

  10. Erin P says:

    Excited to make this! I love all your cheesecake recipes, and everyone loves me for making them every holiday! Wondering what your method is for crunching the peppermint? I made cookies the other day with crushed candy canes in them and I just used a knife to chop them up, but pieces were flying everywhere and it was an annoying mess. How do you chop hard candies up without a huge mess??

    • Mel says:

      I unwrap the peppermints, pop them in a freezer ziploc bag, and then crush them with a kitchen mallet or bottom of a small skillet. Hope that helps!

  11. Susie says:

    No eggs in this? Just want to make sure before I make it for a party tomorrow 🙂

  12. Kelly says:

    I have never made a cheesecake and want to try this one. I have read about putting the pan into another pan of water when baking. Is that necessary for this cheesecake?

  13. AMY says:

    Mel, Could this recipe be made with cinnamon disk candies instead of peppermint. I’ve been trying to find a recipe that would replicate the heavenly favor of some candies made in a candy shop in LaCrosse, WI 50 yrs ago. They were a cinnamon-y, wafer-y stick dipped in chocolate. Any suggestions???
    Amy

  14. Sara says:

    My husband made this today for a work party (we LOVE any excuse to make your cheesecakes) definitely one of our favorites. So perfect! Thank you for always making our tummies so happy!!

  15. Kelli says:

    This looks delicious, but I love your red velvet cheesecake for Christmas! It has such a wow factor and it is delicious! My kids have never had the red velvet cheesecake before as I just discovered it last year. Which should I make???

  16. Barb says:

    I am making this for this coming up Sunday! I know it will be wonderful.. I made the pumpkin version of this at T-giving. Remember your red velvet cheesecake- two layers of red velvet cake with a cheesecake layer in between? I am triying to come up with something like that only two chocolate layers sandwiching a peppermint bark cheesecake layer..what do you think?

  17. Maylyn Booher says:

    I made this for my family on Sunday and it is seriously everything I imagined! Mine wasn’t as pretty as Mel’s, but it was delicious!

  18. Lindsay says:

    I love this it looks amazing!!!! My family is very small so I was wondering if I could make these into mini cheesecakes in cupcake pans?

  19. Rebekah says:

    Could I use peppermint bark instead of the candy?

    • Mel says:

      You could definitely experiment – I think there are several other recipes like this online that use peppermint bark so it’s certainly worth a try.

  20. Karen says:

    I saw this recipe and had to make it. It’s beautiful, fancy, and decadent. I had most of the ingredients, even some I don’t keep on hand. I did substitute a few things and it still set and came out great:
    –Despite the lowfat cream cheese warning I used Green Mountain Farms cream cheese & greek yogurt blend. It’s my go-to substitute for cream cheese, so what I had on hand. It actually did set, happily. I think it acts more like cream cheese than other light ones (it’s great in hot artichoke dip)
    –I subbed vanilla greek yogurt (Great Value) for the sour cream when I realized I was out- also omitting vanilla because it wasn’t plain.
    –My bark was chopped up candy canes and Ghirardhelli 60% cacao chips.
    Despite these changes it still worked, and was amazing!
    I love your recipes in general. My family is similar to yours and you’re my go-to recipe blogger. But this peppermint bark cheesecake was to me a mandatory splurge, and I felt like I’d created something amazing and fancy and over the top. (Kitchen rock star feeling achieved). Thank you!!

  21. Katie says:

    This looks yummy! Thinking this will be our Christmas Eve dessert. On another note…have you jumped on the “cheesecake in your IP” bandwagon? Wondering if you’ve tried it with any of your awesome cheesecake recipes and if you noticed a difference?

    • Mel says:

      I have, I have! I’ve made a couple cheesecakes in the IP. I’m not sure I’ve noticed a huge texture difference…but they definitely are creamy and delicious. The only things that have kept me from raving about them like crazy is that they require a special pan size (7-inch springform pan fits in my IP) and because of that, they don’t serve quite as many.

  22. Cathy says:

    Ok it took me 2 days to finish it but it was well worth the time & effort! Grandkids and adults LOVED it!! thanks Mel and I also made your Creamy White Chicken Lasagna Soup too!!

  23. Melanie says:

    Any way to make this in a 13×9???? I am new at cheesecake but need to feed a crowd 😀

    • Mel says:

      Yes, you could, although dishing it up won’t be quite as easy without removable sides…but not a deal breaker. The layers will be much thinner in the 9X13 (just based on area).

  24. Jan says:

    Milkshake details when you have time, pretty please Thanks

    • Mel says:

      It’s not really a “recipe” – more just a formal for deliciousness. I pack my Blendtec with vanilla ice cream (can use any flavor, obvs), and add about 1/2 evaporated milk and a splash of vanilla. Use the smoothie function to blend it to smithereens, adding evaporated milk as needed for consistency. I never add the add-ins (like, you know, cheesecake slices) until the end. I drop them in the blender and give a couple quick pulses so there’s still some big chunks of cheesecake.

  25. Kirstin says:

    I’m one of the rare “meh” cheesecake people. But this does look good!

  26. Ashlee T says:

    Your pictures are amazing and this looks so yummy! I don’t like cheesecake (I know, I know,) but this looks so so yummy, I just might have to make it! I wish you were in my kitchen helping me! Thanks Mel!

  27. Angela says:

    This is definitely on my list to make. But please – I’m interested to hear more about how you made the milkshakes! I’ve never used evaporated milk when making shakes. Sounds so good! Please do tell!

    • Mel says:

      I don’t really use a recipe…just pack the blender with vanilla ice cream and pour in maybe 1/2 cup of evaporated milk and a splash of vanilla (I use the smoothie function on my blendtec). I keep adding evaporated milk until it’s the consistency we want. So yummy!

  28. Becky says:

    I’ve been on the lookout for a great dessert recipe for our small group Christmas party and this is totally the one! Unless, of course, you post another incredible looking dessert before December 20th!

  29. Barb says:

    I have been making cheesecakes for years for my son’s restaurant. The portions must be cut neatly and in equal size slices. I have found that it is the best and easiest cut, when I mark the size with my template, and then cut it with dental floss. I elevate the cake on a raised dish, allowing me to pull the floss all the way thru the bottom crust ! Voila !

  30. So I made this today for my book club tonight and it got rave reviews! (I’m not surprised) I love how well all of the flavors compliment each other and the white chocolate (which I’m normally not a huge fan of) is perfect! Thanks for another great recipe Mel!

  31. Mjfluke says:

    How would crushed candy canes do instead of starlight mints? Seriously thinking this is going to our Ward Party next week!

  32. Paige says:

    This cheesecake looks amazing! I need it in my life.

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  33. Amy W. says:

    I don’t have words. I am utterly speechless at the perfection of this cheesecake. Haven’t made it yet but I know you well enough to know that this will be everything it appears to be. SO EXCITED to make it!!! I’ve been searching for a dessert to take for a party and this is going to nail it!! Thanks, Mel!!

  34. Angela says:

    OMG I am so making this for Christmas Eve! Love you Mel!

  35. Katie says:

    Hi mel! Any recommendations for freezing/ thawing?

    • Mel says:

      There are a few details in the notes of the recipe…but you should be able to freeze this (save the peppermint and chocolate garnishes and put that on right before serving) for up to a couple months. I would thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  36. Elizabeth says:

    I’ m definitely makin this !
    With a recipe as full and I may say all your little tricks it’s a good idea to read this recipe thouroughly before attempting
    But it does look glorious
    Thank you again Mel

  37. Becky says:

    This looks fabulous! Do you think this would be too hard to do as a first-time-making-cheesecake recipe? I’m thinking of making it for Christmas and certainly wouldn’t want to screw it up!

  38. Angela says:

    I really enjoy your new “just in case these questions come up” section. It has made me laugh almost every single time. I hope it is working. I am excited to make this. I found out today that I got an A in my first Master’s class. Seems like a good reason to make cheesecake.

  39. Sharri says:

    Wow! I usually don’t comment until I try it, but I have to say, after making your Chocolate Mousse Cheesecake for 60 volunteer firefighters and guests last week (they LOVED it!), I think you just gave me the dessert for next year’s party! This looks and sounds PERFECT! (And I may just make it on a smaller scale for a party next week. ) Thank you again!!

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