Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

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This amazing Chocolate Cheesecake Cake is so decadent and delicious! The dessert features a creamy chocolate cheesecake layer sandwiched between two moist chocolate cake layers.

Keep this impressive dessert in mind for the chocolate lovers in your life!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake, sliced, on a white pedestal.

It may sound complicated, but this chocolate cheesecake cake is not difficult at all, and is totally worth the few extra steps to make it!

We've made several cheesecake cakes over the years, including Lemon Cheesecake Cake , Pumpkin Cheesecake Cake, Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake, Berry Cheesecake Cake, and more.

We hope that you enjoy the recipe!

How to Make a Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Now for the chocolate cheesecake recipe! This creamy cheesecake is the star of this dessert and is surprisingly easy to make.

You can find our full, printable cake recipe further down in this post, but here is a quick rundown of our steps!

It's best to start with the cheesecake layer- it is quick to make but takes additional time to bake and chill.

  1. Water Bath and Preheat- Place a 9x13 (or similar size) pan filled with one inch of water on a rack in the bottom ⅔ of the oven. (Just under the rack where your cheesecake layer will bake) and Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Next, line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with a circle of parchment paper.
  3. Melt the Chocolate in the microwave in small increments (20-30 seconds to start, then less), until chocolate is almost completely melted. Stir to finish the melting process and let sit to cool.
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake- So rich, moist and delicious
  1. Mix Cream Cheese in a mixing bowl until smooth.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients, then Chocolate- Mixing at low speed, add sugar, salt, flour and mix until incorporated. Add the melted chocolate (it shouldn't be hot at this point).
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Recipe
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
  1. Add Eggs one at a time. Mix until well combined.
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
  1. Adding to Pan- Pour the cheesecake batter into a 9 inch springform pan lined with parchment and place on a rack just above the pan of water. (In the photo, I lined with wax paper- but I really prefer parchment -the wax paper doesn't peel away as easily and it's harder to see!) ;0)
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Pour the cheesecake batter into springform pan lined with parchment and place on a rack just above the pan of water. (This photo is from our Lemon Cheesecake Cake post but I wanted you to see the position in the oven with the pan of water beneath).

Cheesecake cake

  1. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should be set at this point- it may jiggle slightly.
  2. Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake inside for 30 more minutes with the oven door slightly open. (This helps the cake to cool without cracking.)
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
  1. Then, allow the cheesecake to cool on the countertop. Place foil on the pan and chill in the freezer for 2-3 hours. If you are not in a hurry, you can refrigerate the cake for 5-6 hours or overnight.

For the Chocolate Cake Layers

The chocolate cake recipe that we used for this cheesecake cake is based on our Chocolate Buttermilk Cake. This delicious recipe makes 6 cups of batter, which is perfect for our two 9 inch cake layers.

It is not an overly rich chocolate cake recipe- the layers are light, fluffy, and have wonderful flavor!

(If you prefer to work with a boxed cake mix, or a doctored cake mix recipe, that is a great option also!)

  1. Preheat and Prepare Pans- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 9x2 inch round pans. I also like to line my pans with circles of parchment paper. We are using 9 inch cake pans because our springform pan for the cheesecake layer is 9 inch.
  2. Whisk Dry Ingredients-In a medium bowl, whisk the cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients- In another bowl, add the buttermilk, oil and vanilla.  Set aside
  4. Creaming Butter and Sugar- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.  
  5. Add the Eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
  6. Adding Dry and Wet Ingredients-With the mixer on low speed, alternately, add the cake flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet). Mix just until blended after the last addition of dry ingredients.
  7. Pour into Cake Pans- Divide the chocolate buttermilk cake batter between two prepared cake pans. (Makes 6 cups of batter)
  1. Time to Bake! Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs attached.  Let the cake layers cool 5 to 10 minutes in their pans on a wire rack before turning out.
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

We decided to go with our favorite, silky smooth Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting for this recipe since it goes so nicely with our chocolate cheesecake layer.

However, our chocolate buttercream frosting is a great choice also.

Chocolate cream cheese is based on our classic cream cheese frosting recipe, but with the addition of unsweetened cocoa powder.

It is so easy to make, and is a simple combination of unsalted butter, confectioners sugar, vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, and cream cheese.

Make sure to use full fat cream cheese as the consistency will be much better.

As with any cream cheese frosting, the softer consistency means that you may have to pop your bowl or piping bag in the refrigerator from time to time as needed when decorating the cake.

Chilling will thicken the consistency of the cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Easy Chocolate Ganache Topping

Why not add one more layer of chocolatey goodness to this cake recipe?

Not only is this decadent ganache delicious, but it is so easy to make and I love the contrast of the dark ganache against the lighter chocolate cream cheese frosting.

We've used this ganache on so many of our cake recipes- you can use it as a drip, a filling, or a topping as we did for today's recipe.

Combine 4 oz of dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chocolate chips- 60% cacao) with 4 oz heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat it in small increments- I started with 30 seconds and then followed up with shorter bursts, stirring in between.

Chocolate Ganache

Heat until the chocolate chips are almost melted, and then stir until no lumps remain and the chocolate is silky smooth. Allow to cool to desired consistency.

Easy Ganache Topping

Assembling the Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Once your cake layers are baked and cooled and your cheesecake is nice and chilled, it is time to assemble the cake!

  1. Place the first chocolate cake layer on the cake plate or pedestal. Spread with a thin layer of chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Decadent Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
  1. Run a thin knife (I like to heat it with hot water) between the cake and side of the springform pan to help prevent sticking.
  2. Release the sides of the springform pan.
  3. Place the cheesecake upside down onto the first cake layer. Remove the bottom of the cake pan. If it sticks at all, use a thin, hot knife to slide between the pan and the cake to release. Don't forget to remove the parchment if you haven't already ;0)
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
  1. Next, spread the cheesecake layer with a thin layer of frosting. Top with the remaining cake layer.
  2. If your cheesecake layer is slightly wider than your cake layers, just trim away the excess with a hot knife.
  3. Frost the cake as usual. If at any time the frosting becomes too soft, or the layers are sliding, just pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm things up. (And you can refrigerate the bowl of frosting also as needed.)

As always, I crumb coated my cake first (thin coat of frosting) and then chilled in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm everything up before applying the second, thicker coat of frosting. I then added lines around the sides of the cake using a cake comb.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Recipe
  1. Finally, apply the ganache to the top of the cake with a spoon. Adjust amount to your liking. I also added a large shell border at the bottom of the cake using a 2D piping tip.
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Here is our finished cake!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Here is a peek at the inside of the cake! I love the contrasting colors of chocolate layers!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake on a pedestal, sliced.

If you give this cake a try, we would love to hear what you think.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

More Chocolate Cakes!

After checking out today's Chocolate Cheesecake Cake Recipe, don't miss our other chocolatey favorites! We have so many to share with you. Some of our most popular are our Chocolate Sour Cream Cake, Chocolate Cake Recipe from Scratch, German Chocolate Cake, and Black Forest Cake.

I'll list a few more favorites below but you can find our full collection in this post: 50+ of the Best Chocolate Cake Recipes

Thanks so much for stopping by! We hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we have! Don't miss this fun collection of cakes from scratch as well as our section of cake decorating videos!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

This decadent chocolate cheesecake cake is a chocolate lover's dream, with a rich chocolate cheesecake sandwiched between two homemade chocolate cake layers and frosted in a coat of chocolate cream cheese frosting (topped with chocolate ganache.)

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 2 (8oz )packages Cream Cheese (453 total gram weight), softened. Use full fat cream cheese. Do not use reduced fat or cream cheese in the tub containers.
  • ¾ cup sugar (150g)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tablespoons (23g) All Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips (50g), melted - I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Chips (60% cacao)

For the Chocolate Cake Layers

  • 1 ½ sticks (170g) unsalted butter, softened ( do not microwave)
  • 2 cups (400g) sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature - putting cold eggs in a bowl of very warm water will warm them quickly
  • 2 cups (228g) cake flour
  • ¾ cups (69g) unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed cocoa (measure the sift)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • 1 ½ cups (355g) buttermilk ( if you do not have buttermilk, see Note below)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (104g) vegetable oil (I use canola oil)

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) (226g) unsalted butter, softened.
  • 2 teaspoons (8g) vanilla extract
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (20g) unsweetened cocoa (weigh or lightly spoon into measuring cup and level, then sift)
  • 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese.

For the Chocolate Ganache on top (optional)

  • 4 oz Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli, 60% cacao Chips)
  • 4 oz Heavy Cream

Instructions

For the Chocolate Cheesecake Layer

  1. Place a 9x13 (or similar size) pan filled with one inch of water on a rack in the bottom ⅔ of the oven. (Just under the rack where your cheesecake layer will bake)
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F
  3. Line the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan with a circle of parchment paper. (No springform pan? See Notes section)
  4. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in small increments (20-30 seconds to start, then less), until chocolate is almost completely melted. Stir to finish the melting process and let sit to cool.
  5. In a mixing bowl, mix softened cream cheese until smooth.
  6. Mixing at low speed, add sugar, salt, flour and mix until incorporated. Add the melted (not too hot) chocolate.
  7. Add eggs one at a time. Mix until well combined.
  8. Pour the cheesecake batter into springform pan lined with parchment and place on a rack just above the pan of water.
  9. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should be set at this point- it may jiggle slightly.
  10. Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake inside for 30 more minutes with the oven door slightly open. (This helps the cake to cool without cracking.)
  11. Allow the cheesecake to cool on the countertop. Then, place foil on the pan and chill in the freezer for 2-3 hours. If you are not in a hurry, you can refrigerate the cake for 5-6 hours or overnight.

For the Chocolate Cake Layers

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease and flour two 9x2 inch round pans 
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, unsweetened cocoa, baking powder, and baking soda.  Set aside
  3. In another bowl, add the buttermilk, vegetable oil and vanilla extract.  Set aside
  4. In the bowl of your mixer, add the softened butter and mix at medium speed until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and continue to mix on medium speed 3 to 5 minutes until lightened in color and fluffy.  
  5. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until the yellow of the yolk disappears.
  6. While mixing at low speed, alternately, add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients (3 additions of dry and 2 of wet).
  7. Slightly increase speed and mix just until combined. Do not mix above medium speed or over mix the batter. Divide the batter between two prepared 9 inch round cake pans. This recipe makes 6 cups of batter.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.  Let cool 5 to 10 minutes and turn out of pan.

For the Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  1. Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  2. Add cocoa powder and mix until blended.
  3. Cut the cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated.
  4. Add the vanilla extract. Gradually add the powdered sugar beating on low speed until blended.
  5. Increase mixing speed to medium and beat until fluffy, don't over beat. If beaten too long it will become very soft. If this happens, refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. This frosting will pipe best if used while still very cool. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.
  7. Will frost a 3 layer 8 or 9 inch cake.

For the Chocolate Ganache

Pour the chocolate and heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, then additional shorter bursts as needed until the chocolate is almost melted.

Once chips are soft and almost melted, stir to finish the melting process and allow to cool to desired thickness. (It will thicken as it cools).

Assembling the Cake

  1. Place the first chocolate cake layer on the cake plate or pedestal. Spread with a thin layer of frosting.
  2. Run a thin knife (I like to heat it with hot water) between the cake and side of the springform pan to help prevent sticking.
  3. Release the sides of the springform pan.
  4. Place the cheesecake upside down onto the first cake layer. remove the bottom of the cake pan. If it sticks at all, use a thin, hot knife to slide between the pan and the cake to release.
  5. Remove the parchment if you haven't already ;0) -
  6. Spread the cheesecake layer with a thin layer of frosting. Top with the remaining cake layer.
  7. *If your cheesecake layer is slightly wider than your cake layers, just trim away the excess with a hot knife!
  8. Frost the cake. If at any time the frosting becomes too soft, or the layers are sliding, just pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm things up. (And you can refrigerate the bowl of frosting also as needed.)
  9. Apply the ganache to the top of the cake with a spoon. Adjust amount to your liking. I also added a large shell border at the bottom of the cake using a 2D piping tip.

Notes

Springform Pan Alternative

If you do not have a springform pan, you can also make this cake by lining a 9 inch cake pan with aluminum foil. The foil should come all the way up the inside of the pan.

When I've used this method, I also lined the bottom of the pan (on top of the foil) with a circle of parchment.

Freeze the baked cheesecake, still in the pan, until firm- I left mine overnight because I wasn't in a hurry- and when ready to assemble the cake, lift the cake out of the pan using the excess foil, peel away the wrapping from the sides, and flip it over onto the first frosted cake layer.

Remove the foil and parchment, and double check that there are no remaining pieces of the wrapping on the cake before adding the next layer of frosting.

No Buttermilk? Use This Substitution

If you do not have buttermilk this is the substitute. Use a measuring cup for liquid, add 1 Tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar then fill with milk to the 1 ½ cup mark, stir. Wait 5 minutes and it is ready to use.

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4 Comments

  1. I made this cake for my grandson's Eagle Scout ceremony. It was a hit! I would send a picture, but there wasn't even a crumb left.