These decadent Chocolate Cheesecake Bars are an elegant dessert to make for a crowd. If you've never made cheesecake in a 9x13 pan before, you are in for a treat! This chocolate cheesecake bar recipe includes an Oreo cookie crust, a creamy, rich chocolate cheesecake layer, and topped with a chocolate ganache that's set up into a smooth, firm topping.
Why this Recipe Works
A traditional chocolate crust forms the base for a luscious chocolate cheesecake filling topped with a thin layer of chocolate ganache. The subtle variations of taste and texture between the three layers makes this a dessert worth repeating.
Plus it's easy when you need to feed more than eight people like a traditionally made cheesecake would.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for quantities.
Ingredients for the Cheesecake Crust
- Oreos. You could also use chocolate wafers cookies or chocolate graham crackers.
- Butter. Salted or unsalted butter will work for the crust, but I prefer using salted.
Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients
- Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate. Do not use bittersweet chocolate for this recipe.
- Heavy Whipping Cream.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. Higher-quality cocoa does make a difference, so I always splurge if I can.
- Granulated Sugar.
- Cream Cheese.
- Full Fat Sour Cream. Buying reduced fat for this recipe will change the texture and make it less pleasant or smooth.
- Vanilla Extract. Store-bought or homemade vanilla extract will work.
- Eggs. I recommend always using large eggs for my recipes unless I specify a different size.
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache
- Mini Chocolate Chips. While the mini chips do melt faster, you can also use regular chips.
- Heavy Whipping Cream. Do not try to substitute this with regular whole milk.
How to Make Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Get ready to start cooking by preheating your oven and lining your pan. The pan will also need to be sprayed with nonstick baking spray. Use a food processor to crush the Oreos. If you don't have a food processor, place them in a plastic baggy, seal it, and crush them by hand.
Melt the butter. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter either in the food processor or in a mixing bowl. Press this mixture into the pan and put it in the refrigerator to chill while you make the cheesecake batter.
In a large mixing bowl, melt the chocolate with the heavy cream in the microwave. Mix the cocoa powder and sugar separately. Add the cream cheese and mix. Then, add the chocolate mixture and sour cream to the cream cheese mixture. Stir in the vanilla, and add the eggs one at a time. Pour this batter over the crust and spread it out. Bake. Cool in the oven for one to two hours.
Make the ganache in the microwave and pour it over the chilled cheesecake. Chill overnight and serve twelve large or 24 small pieces. You can also make one-inch bite-sized servings.
Tips and Variations
Ganache: Use any variety of chocolate chips for the ganache except white chocolate, which really isn't chocolate at all.
Toppings: Add shaved chocolate pieces, crushed nuts, or crushed candies on top for an added touch of elegance.
Gluten Free: Gluten-free Oreos will work for the crust and make the cheesecake bars gluten free.
Preparing the Pan: Line a 9x13 rectangle baking pan with parchment paper, draping extra parchment paper over the sides of the pan. You can use binder clips to keep the sides in place while it bakes, but it’s not necessary. Spray the parchment paper and the sides of the pan that aren’t covered with parchment paper with nonstick baking spray.
Ingredients: Room temperature ingredients will work best for cheesecake.
How to Store
Keep the chocolate cheesecake bars in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days until it starts to get weepy.
If you won't eat it within five days, freeze the leftovers in individual slices to thaw and eat later. Frozen servings of this recipe are perfect for the lunchbox and thaw just enough over the course of the day to work perfectly at lunch.
To freeze these chocolate cheesecake bars, you can leave them whole, cut the bar in half for easier storage or into slices. First, if the slices are a little soft, pop them in the freezer until firm. Then wrap each bar tightly in 2 layers of plastic wrap, one layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and then in a freezer bag or freezer container. If you're freezing the whole or even half of the cheesecake bars, pop it in the freezer until it's firm, 1 to 2 hours, remove from the pan and tightly wrap in 2 layers of plastic wrap, one layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and then in a freezer bag or freezer container depending on what it will fit in. They can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Let the cheesecake bars thaw overnight in the fridge or if you're doing just a single bar, you can leave it out at room temperature until thawed.
50-55 minutes until it is set and doesn't jiggle much at all when moved back and forth.
Yes! Keep in mind that each of those has a different amount of sugar added to them that will decrease (dark chocolate) or increase (milk chocolate) the sweetness of the bars.
More Great Chocolate Recipes
Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- 40 Oreos with filling crushed
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x13 rectangle baking pan with parchment paper, draping extra parchment paper over the sides of the pan. You can use binder clips to keep the sides in place while it bakes, but it’s not necessary. Spray the parchment paper and the sides of the pan that aren’t covered with parchment paper with nonstick baking spray.
- In a food processor, add in the oreo cookies. Pulse until the oreo cookies are completely crumbs.
- Add the melted butter in with the cookie crumbs and pulse until the crumbs are completely coated in butter.
- Dump the cookie crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan and gently but firmly press into an even layer in the bottom of the pan.
- Place in the fridge or freezer to firm up while preparing the cheesecake batter.
Chocolate Cheesecake Filling
- Add the chocolate and heavy cream to a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals and stir after each interval until the chocolate is completely melted. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add in the cocoa powder and sugar. Stir to combine and break up any lumps that are in the cocoa powder.
- Add the cream cheese to the sugar and cocoa powder. Using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until the cream cheese is completely worked into the sugar/cocoa powder mixture. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add the melted chocolate/heavy cream and sour cream to the cream cheese. Beat until the chocolate and sour cream is completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the vanilla extract and then the eggs one at a time. Beat in each egg just until combined before adding the next. Scrape down the bowl after incorporating each egg.
- Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the oreo cookie crust. Spread out evenly using a spatula.
- Place in the preheated oven and bake for 50 to 55 minutes until the cheesecake is set. Turn off the heat and leave the oven door open. Let it cool in the oven for 1 to 2 hours until it reaches room temperature and then place in the fridge to chill overnight.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add in the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave for 30-second increments and stir after each increment until the ganache comes together into a smooth, creamy chocolate sauce.
- Pour on the cooled or chilled cheesecake. Spread to the edges.
- Place in the fridge until the ganache has firmed up or overnight if your cheesecake bars are only cooled at this point.
- Slice into 12 large pieces and serve.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)