Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

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Here’s a Chocolate Cheesecake Cake that is perfect for special occasions.  It’s two layers of chocolate cake with a layer of chocolate cheesecake in the middle.  The whole cake is covered in rich chocolate frosting and sprinkled with chocolate shavings. 

Watch the video showing you how to make this cake, then scroll to the bottom of this post and print out the recipe so you can bake it at home!

Slice of Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

You know how some people really don’t get along well with their In-Laws?  How visits with them are stressful and awkward and generally awful for many people?  Yeah, not me.  I got kinda lucky on that whole “in-law” thing.  And I’m not just writing this to kiss-up to my in-laws because I know there’s a good chance they’re reading this.  I actually truly enjoy being around my in-laws. And I’m pretty sure they like me too.  No weird, stressful stuff when we’re all together. They’re just good people.  And for that reason, I bring them cakes like this Chocolate Cheesecake Cake.

I happened to make this recipe for my Father In Law’s birthday.  He loves chocolate A LOT… which is a very good thing since this cake has a lot of chocolate inside and out.

Chocolate Cheesecake

If you follow my blog, you’ve probably seen my oh-so-yummy Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake.  This Chocolate Cheesecake Cake is made using the same concept.  A cheesecake layer is baked up first.  This one is a chocolate cheesecake (of course).  The batter is very thick (and I do mean very), but you just spread it into a cheesecake pan- the kind with removable sides- and then wrap the bottom and sides with heavy duty foil.

Making a water bath for chocolate cheesecake

I usually bake my cheesecakes in a “water bath.” If you’ve ever wondered what that means, here you go. Set the foil-wrapped cheesecake pan into a larger (roasting) pan- or anything that your cheesecake pan can fit inside of- and then pour boiling hot water into the pan so that surrounds the cheesecake pan and comes up the side of the pan about 1-inch. Then bake it in its water bath.

See, not as complicated as you thought, right? The reason behind it is that you will most always get a cheesecake that doesn’t crack on the top. Bake it without a bath, and you risk cracking. But some people are wary of using this method because of the possibility of water leakage through tears in the foil.

If you don’t like to use a water bath, then you can choose this alternate method. Simply place a pan of water on a lower rack, and bake the cheesecake on a rack above the pan.  Having the water in the oven will still create enough moisture to help keep the cheesecake moist.  And honestly, if it cracks then it won’t be that big of a deal since you’re going to put it in between two layers of cake!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake before frosting

That baked cheesecake is popped into the freezer and allowed to freeze up nice and firm. Then it will pop out of the pan easily and you can trim the edges with a sharp knife as needed to make sure that they are the same size as your cake rounds. This chocolate cake recipe comes from Camilla Saulsbury’s Piece of Cake cookbook. It works perfectly for building the cheesecake cake. One layer of chocolate cake on the bottom, then your cheesecake layer, then the 2nd chocolate cake layer.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake before frosting

In case you’re wondering how I got my Chocolate Cheesecake Cake layers to bake up so even and flat… nope, I did not trim them.  I used Cake Strips.  You just soak them in water, and then velcro them around each cake pan.  Your cake layers will magically turn out nice and even and flat!

frosting a Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

The frosting recipe I used is also from the Piece of Cake cookbookSour Cream Chocolate Frosting.  This is a super easy frosting recipe to make, and it spreads on so nice and smooth and thick.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

It’s a pretty fudgy frosting, so I’d say it’s not great for trying to pipe decorations.  I chose to go simple.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake with Chocolate Shavings

And I shaved some chocolate on top of my Chocolate Cheesecake Cake.  Just pop your chocolate bar into the microwave for about 15 seconds to soften it up slightly, then potato-peel it down the side of the bar to make some shavings.  Nothing fancy, but it pretties it up a little.

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

I guess I have to say it.  This cake is for major chocolate lovers and for good reason.  Those chocolate cake layers PLUS the chocolate cheesecake layer PLUS the chocolate frosting PLUS the shavings on top.  Dig out the vanilla ice cream to accompany slices of this!

Slice of Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

I’m pretty sure my in-laws love me even more for making this Chocolate Cheesecake Cake for them, especially since I let them keep the leftovers.

Here are a few more chocolate cake recipes you might enjoy:

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4.89 from 9 votes

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

This two layer chocolate cake has a layer of chocolate cheesecake right in the middle!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings 14 servings
Calories 731kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate cake, chocolate cheesecake cake



  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
  • Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs


  • cups all purpose flour
  • cups granulated white sugar
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • cups buttermilk, divided
  • 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup



  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Place a large roasting pan on the lower third rack of the oven. Place a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan (you want to seal it so the water from the water bath doesn't seep into the pan). Place the chocolate in a medium glass bowl. Melt in the microwave in 30 second bursts until the chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring after each burst. Set the chocolate aside and let it cool off until it is lukewarm but still pourable. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to mix the cream cheese- blend until it is nice and smooth and creamy. Mix in sugar and cocoa powder and blend until incorporated, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Mix in the lukewarm chocolate. Mix until smooth. The batter will be very thick- scrape it into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Set the pan into the roasting pan in the pre-heated oven. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the roasting pan (it will fill the pan surrounding the cheesecake). Pour enough water so that there is about an inch of water coming up the foil along the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake the cheesecake for 45 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let it cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. When it has cooled, place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round metal baking pans (or spray with nonstick baking spray with flour). In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the espresso powder, eggs, 1/4 cup of the buttermilk, butter and vanilla to the flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes. Add the remaining buttermilk and beat on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds, until just blended. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pans, dividing equally. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pans, then invert the cakes onto a rack to cool completely.


  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and butter. Microwave 1 to 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds to stir, until melted and smooth. Whisk the sour cream and corn syrup into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until firm enough to spread.


  • Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. Peel off the parchment. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake (with a sharp knife) to get it to the same size as your cake layers. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.


  • Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula each time you are about to dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (this way you won't be transferring any crumbs into the bowl of frosting). Don't worry at this point about the crumbs being visible in the frosting on the cake. When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to "set" the frosting. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Because you applied a crumb-coat layer, you shouldn't have any crumbs floating around in the final frosting layer. Decorate, as desired. I recommend white chocolate shavings (see *Tips below). Keep this cake refrigerated.



  • *Using a good quality bittersweet chocolate will make a difference in this recipe. Splurge for Scharffen Berger or something similar.
  • *For making white chocolate shavings: Purchase a hunk of white chocolate and a hunk of dark chocolate. Microwave the chocolate to soften it up slightly (15 to 30 seconds, depending on the size). Use a potato peeler to run down the side of the chocolate to create shards/shaves/curls of chocolate. I like to shave it onto a paper plater and then just use the plate to slide the chocolate onto the top of the cake.
  • *If you are serving this cake at a party, it's perfectly okay to leave the cake at room temperature for an hour or so while serving. Otherwise, keep it refrigerated.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 731kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Cholesterol: 158mg | Sodium: 374mg | Potassium: 434mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1195IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 4.1mg
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  • Erin wrote:

    Every layer of this is better than the last. SO decadent and delicious!

  • Becky Hardin wrote:


  • Liz wrote:

    My family loved this cake! We have both cheesecake lovers and chocolate cake lovers….and I happen to be fond of them BOTH!

  • Jennifer Farley wrote:

    So incredibly decadent! I’m in love!

  • Melissa wrote:

    This cake was a beautiful addition to our holiday desserts!

  • Bonnie Cordova wrote:

    I wonder how the frosting would turn out if whipped after cooled. The cake looks wondermus. I can’t wait to try it. 
    Thanks for sharing.

  • TM Anderson wrote:

    I made this recipe this past Sunday for my family and it’s almost gone today!! Great favor and texture. I’ll definitely be making this one again! TY so much for sharing

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • Mark Kromer wrote:

    I found this recipe early this morning.  The sun had just begun to rise. It was love at first sight. My niece’s birthday is this weekend. I went to the store this morning and bought all the ingredients and even for a pint of strawberries and blackberries. As well, I made chocolate togo around the perimeter. It’ll be beautiful.  She turns 9.

    Thank you so much for this recipe.  I’d be willing to send you pictures of the cake as it comes together.

    Assembling soon.  

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      good luck!

  • Jenny wrote:

    One more note that I forgot – I didn’t use corn syrup in the frosting as my grocery store didn’t have it. Instead, I used coconut nectar and it was delicious! I found it in the syrup section. It’s fairly mild and low glycemic. It’s practically healthy. 😉 

  • Jenny wrote:

    I just made this cake last night and it is the absolute most delicious chocolate confection ever created. I followed your recipe to the letter and it’s just perfect. PERFECT!!! The only thing easier than making it is eating it! Thank you for this chocolate nirvana. It’s to die for!!

  • Shante wrote:

    I just realized that I have semisweet chocolate not bittersweet. Can I use this as an alternative for the cheesecake?

    • Lori Lange wrote:


  • sathis wrote:

    Had to bake a chocolate cheesecake. Went with this recipe and I was not disappointed! 

  • Carol wrote:

    I converted it to metric measurements as I’m in Australia. Some one else might find this handy:
    Chocolate Cheesecake:
    140g bittersweet (70%) chocolate
    450g cream cheese
    100g caster sugar
    15g cocoa powder, unsweetened
    2 large eggs

    Chocolate Cake:
    220g plain flour
    200g caster sugar
    80g cocoa powder
    16g bicarbonate of soda
    .5 tsp baking powder
    .5 tsp salt
    1 tsp instant coffee powder
    3 large eggs
    295ml buttermilk
    170g unsalted butter
    1 tsp vanilla essence.

    I didn’t do the frosting because corn syrup is an ingredient I don’t really use (I think you can buy it as glucose syrup here). This cake is magnificent with a chocolate cream cheese frosting 🙂

  • Lenore wrote:


  • cherry Esguerra wrote:

    thanks for the tip…concerning the freezing of the cheese cake first before putting in between the layerd cake… that a genius idea…..never thought of that before….really was a great idea. God bless

  • Diane Warren wrote:

    I cannot wait to make this gorgeous cake. I do a small amount of catering and I believe if I share this cake, I will probably get lots of orders for it.
    I was blessed to have the most wonderful in-laws. They have both passed on, but I was a full member of the family almost as soon as I met them. My in-laws were like my own parents and loved me as much as my husband and his siblings. My mom-in-law loved to cook and bake and would have really appreciated this recipe. I am very close to my sister-in-law, with whom I share a name, and she and her husband love my cooking.
    Thank you for posting this luscious looking recipe!

  • Anne wrote:

    Love different layers of chocolate, gonna make this but add a layer of raspberry in between. But would love to share I always bake my cheesecake in a regular cake pan. Line it with parchment, and spray the sides good. When its cooled down put pan in the freezer, once frozen, remove cover with another layer of parchment wrap well with Saran Wrap. When ready to use, I take either a butane torch around the edges n bottom to loosen it slides out perfect every time, and it’s always the same size as my cake. If you don’t have a torch, just roll it around your on a very low stove burner. But all my cheesecakes are frozen it brings the flavors together even more

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m going to try your method next time- thank you!

  • Monica Latimer wrote:

    This looks so wonderful and decadent! I just may make this for Easter!

  • Niti wrote:

    I’m currently making this cheesecake cake for my birthday. The cheesecake smells wonderful! I just want to dig in pipping hot out of the oven! But no, I have to wait it out for tomorrow to complete it. I know it’ll be we’ll worth the wait. Can’t wait! Thanks so much! This birth girl is extremely happy and appreciative of you sharing your wonderful recipes. =) many thanks!

  • Kelly Holden wrote:

    In the process of making this for fathers day! Just tasted the batter… and I am in heaven, dad will love it!