Black Forest Cheesecake

Black Forest Cheesecake by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

Over the holidays, I enjoyed a couple of weeks off, and during that time I set a few goals for myself. I wanted to start the new year off on the right foot, and getting myself organized was far overdue. My goals were: (1) Clean up my email inbox; (2) File away all of my recipe clippings from magazines; and (3) Organize my side of the office. I’m happy to report that, as of last week, I managed check everything off of my list.

As I worked on task #2, I sifted through stacks and stacks of recipes that I had ripped out of magazines over the coarse of the last year, I came across not one, not two, but multiple recipes for black forest cheesecake. I’ve apparently had chocolate, cheesecake and cherries on the brain. Suddenly, I was craving a black forest cheesecake, but as I looked through the recipes I had saved, I wasn’t particularly thrilled with any of them. I decided to concoct my own version, and I have to say… this is utterly fantastic. Hands down, one of the best cheesecakes I’ve created. (Although really, I don’t think I’ve disliked a single cheesecake that I’ve made.)

Black Forest Cheesecake by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

When I set out to make this recipe, I realized that I hadn’t ever made a basic chocolate cheesecake. Totally unfortunate, right?! They’re so good! I ended up adapting an Epicurious recipe for the chocolate cheesecake, and then finished it off with a homemade cherry pie filling topping. Since cherries aren’t in season here right now, I used frozen cherries, but you could certainly use fresh if you have them available to you.

Black Forest Cheesecake by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

To say that this cheesecake was phenomenal would be an enormous understatement. I am 100% partial to cheesecakes with an Oreo crust, pretty much no matter what the cheesecake flavor is. Add to that a very tall chocolate cheesecake, a thick border of cream cheese-spiked whipped cream frosting, and then, of course, the cherries. Everyone who had this was absolutely enamored with it.

Black Forest Cheesecake by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

This is rich, make no mistake, and it’s worth savoring every single bite. Grab a cup of coffee and be sure to linger over a piece of this cheesecake.

This cheesecake should be a lesson to me to keep myself organized going forward!

Black Forest Cheesecake by @browneyedbaker :: www.browneyedbaker.com

One year ago: DIY: American Cheese
Two years ago: Chipped Ham BBQ Sandwiches
Three years ago: S’more Nut Bars
Six years ago: Perfection Pound Cake

Black Forest Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 12 hours

Creamy chocolate cheesecake on an Oreo crust, topped with sweetened whipped cream and homemade cherry pie filling.

Ingredients:

For the Crust:
24 Oreo cookies (whole)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1¼ cups + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs, at room temperature

For the Cherry Topping:
24 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
¼ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For the Whipped Cream:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan; set aside.

2. Make the Crust: Process the cookies and sugar in a food processor until ground into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened. (If you do not have a food processor, you can place the cookies in a zip-top bag and crush into crumbs with a rolling pin, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the sugar and melted butter.) Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is set, about 8 minutes. Set on a cooling rack while the filling is prepared.

3. Make the Filling: Place the chopped chocolate in a metal bowl and set over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove bowl from the saucepan and allow chocolate to cool to room temperature.

4. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa powder together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl before adding another. Add the cooled, melted chocolate and beat until just combined. Using a rubber spatula to give it a final mix (the batter will be on the thick side) and pour the filling over the crust, smoothing the top into an even layer.

5. Bake until the center just barely wiggles when moved and the top looks dry, about 1 hour. Cool for 5 minutes, then run a thin knife between the cake and the sides of the pan to loosen. Transfer the cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill, uncovered, overnight.

6. Make the Cherry Topping: Drain off ¼ cup of juice from the thawed cherries and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the cherries (and any remaining juice), sugar and salt over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it reaches a boil, about 5 to 10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved cherry juice and cornstarch, and add it to the cherry mixture. Stir constantly until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then transfer to an airtight container and chill until ready to use, at least 1 hour.

7. Make the Whipped Cream: On medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixer with the whisk attachment until smooth and completely combined, about 3 minutes. Slowly add the heavy cream, scrape the sides of the bowl, then increase speed to medium-high and whip until stiff peaks form.

8. Finish the Cheesecake: When ready to serve, remove the sides of the springform pan and place the cheesecake on a serving platter. Using a pastry bag with a decorating tip, pipe a border of whipped cream around the top edge of the cheesecake. Spoon the cherry pie filling into the center. Garnish with chocolate shavings, if desired. Leftover cheesecake can be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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62 Responses to “Black Forest Cheesecake”

  1. Mediterranean Baby on January 22, 2014 at 12:16 am

    I have always been intimidated by cheesecake, but you’re inspiring me to challenge myself! This looks too good to pass up! The oreo crust cinched it for sure :)

    Reply

  2. Laura (Tutti Dolci) on January 22, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Gorgeous cheesecake, love the cherry topping!

    Reply

  3. AmateurBaker on January 22, 2014 at 1:08 am

    I am definitely going to have to try this! I adore cheesecake. What is the cocoa content of your bittersweet chocolate? Would 70% be too bitter? Would a 65% or lower be better? I prefer to use higher quality chocolate than grocery store chocolate.

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 22nd, 2014 at 10:36 am

      The percentage is really based on personal preference. I use 72% cacao, but if you prefer something a little more on the sweet side, you could use 60% or 65%.

      Reply

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on January 22, 2014 at 2:39 am

    Oh those last couple pics, straight-on with the fork marks, loving those! Did you say recently you bought the L glass 100 macro? Sorry if I have this confused! I just bought it last week. If you’re using the lens for these pics, it’s clearly working amazing! love them – pinned!

    And congrats on getting your to-do list DONE! how awesome that must feel!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 22nd, 2014 at 10:37 am

      Hi Averie, I’ve had the Canon 100mm L macro for a couple of years now, but yes, these photos were taking with that lens :) Enjoy it – it’s a great lens!

      Reply

  5. Pieliekamais on January 22, 2014 at 4:26 am

    I would so love to see your recipe file!
    Do you sort them “starters”, “main courses”, etc. or by ingredient, do you file the ones you’ve made separately from the ones you intend to make, etc.?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 22nd, 2014 at 10:38 am

      I do! I actually have separate binders for appetizers/drinks, main dishes, side dishes, breakfast, breads, and dessert. They are all ones I have labeled “to-make”. If I make something and share it on my blog, then I remove it from the binder and pitch it. If I make something and we like it, but it doesn’t make it onto the site, I keep it in the binder and write a note on the top that it was made and we liked it.

      Reply

      • Betti@Stuttgart on January 22nd, 2014 at 4:02 pm

        Michelle, you just gave me a double present today – thank you! 1) The cheesecake is a must-make and I might just surprise my German friends with it next weekend, and 2) I have been trying to figure out a smart way to manage my bajillion recipes for a long time. Your method is a winner and now also on my list of goals for 2014. Thank you so much for sharing this!

        Reply

  6. Becca @ Crumbs on January 22, 2014 at 5:45 am

    I’m glad that your black forest cheesecake craving is finally satiated! It looks incredible

    Reply

  7. Marie @ Little Kitchie on January 22, 2014 at 6:06 am

    This looks so decadent and delicious!!

    Reply

  8. Johlene on January 22, 2014 at 6:19 am

    One word.. AMAZING!!
    Love this idea :-)
    Xx

    Reply

  9. Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness on January 22, 2014 at 6:20 am

    I cannot say no to any cheesecake.
    Especially Black Forest Cheesecake with sweet, dripping cherry topping.
    This looks delicious!

    Reply

  10. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on January 22, 2014 at 6:35 am

    All I can say is YUM! And I need to wipe the drool from my mouth!! Amazing looking!

    Reply

  11. Betsy | JavaCupcake.com on January 22, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Oh. My. Word.

    Seriously.

    Wow.

    I’m pinning and making this. Like today.

    Reply

  12. DessertForTwo on January 22, 2014 at 8:07 am

    wow! I love that you made your own cherry pie filling. I’ve got to make this! It will beat the winter blues, I just know it! :)

    Reply

  13. Katrina @ WVS on January 22, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I’ve always wanted to try making black forest cake….but this!! This is outstanding. Lovely recipe.

    Reply

  14. Mary Lynn on January 22, 2014 at 8:58 am

    Perfect timing for Greg’s b’day cake. I know he will love it. Short story… One day, we needed a cake, in a hurry, so off to Giant Eagle. I told the clerk, I did not want a chocolate cake, so she grab the Black Forest Cake and said, ” it’s not chocolate”. Couldn’t convince her that it was. We still laugh about, so I know when he sees this cake he will smile.

    Reply

  15. Fran@fransfavs.com on January 22, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Oh, oh, oh–that last photo! Simply spectacular!! Drooling…

    Reply

  16. Hari Chandana on January 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    OMG.. what a gorgeous cake.. looks tempting!!

    Reply

  17. Julie @ Lovely Little Kitchen on January 22, 2014 at 12:26 pm

    Your pics are amazing, and I’m sure they represent the deliciousness of the cheesecake oh so well!

    Reply

  18. Jenny on January 22, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Michelle,
    What makes you adapt the recipes? You said while reading the other recipes you were thrilled with them. Was it the ingredients?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 22nd, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      Hi Jenny, It just all depends on what I’m thinking for a particular recipe. In this case, the recipes I had saved all used canned cherry pie filling, some had cherries swirled into a regular cheesecake, some had a layer of fudge, some had graham cracker crusts, etc. In the end, I wanted chocolate cheesecake since black forest cake uses chocolate cake, and I wanted a homemade cherry topping. And I knew for sure I wanted an Oreo crust :)

      Reply

  19. Shikha @ Shikha la mode on January 22, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Oh man, Oreo crust AND chocolate filling – this is so rich!! Cheesecake is my favorite food ever, so I can’t wait to try this out! And die of happiness afterward.

    Reply

  20. Linda on January 22, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Is there a particular reason you used Oreo cookies rather than chocolate wafer cookies?

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 22nd, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      Oreo crusts are my favorite, plain and simple :)

      Reply

  21. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on January 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm

    This is absolutely beautiful and I bet it is extremely delicious!

    Reply

  22. Nicole on January 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    Will dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup work for this? I can’t find canned cherries anywhere.

    Reply

  23. Bake Play Smile on January 22, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    OMG yum!! Two of my absolute favourite things in one!!! I cannot wait to make this! Thanks :-)

    Reply

  24. Tieghan on January 22, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    Congrats on the today list! Go you!

    Love this gorgeous cheesecake. It looks just incredible!

    Reply

  25. Ashley @ My Midwest Table on January 23, 2014 at 10:27 am

    Ooooooh, I am loving this cheesecake! I don’t know if it’s because Valentine’s day is approaching, but I am finding myself craving (needing?) a combination of berry/cherry and chocolate.

    And yay for getting things checked off your list. I love that feeling!

    Reply

  26. Genn on January 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    That cheesecake looks amazing!!!! I’ve only recently baked my first cheesecake, and cannot wait to try out some more recipes.

    Reply

  27. Mel G on January 23, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    I love this recipe! You had me at cheesecake. :) I especially love the homemade pie filling using the frozen cherries. And yesss to Oreo crust!

    Reply

  28. Diane's Delectables on January 26, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    that looks delish, and so beautifully plated!

    Reply

  29. Sandy on January 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    The images for this cheesecake is nothing but porn omg I feel so dirty :D. So if I have to make this. I wonder if I can get away with making this for next week? (Super Bowl day) or oh wait nope my sister and my friend’s B-day is coming up in February. I can make this for them.

    Reply

  30. Tina Roach on January 26, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    I made it!! I cant wait till tomorrow to try it!! Thanks for the recipe!!

    Reply

  31. Laura @ Laura's Culinary Adventures on January 27, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I’m glad you went through your recipe clippings! This looks phenomenal. This looks chocolaty and rich, the kind of deserts I love!

    Reply

  32. Mags on January 27, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    This was the most amazing cheesecake I’ve ever made! I couldn’t find frozen cherries and fresh are out of season so I substituted with a bag of mixed frozen cherries/blueberries/raspberries. And I just made regular whipped cream. It was decadent and delicious!!

    Reply

  33. Crystal on January 27, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    I absolutely love your blog! I swear I’m on here everyday to see what new things you’ve posted. I made this cheesecake tonight (with a few minor changes) and I’m going to have to take it to work in the morning so I don’t eat the whole thing! So good!!

    Reply

  34. Sarah G on January 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm

    This looks amazing! I’ve made chocolate cheesecakes, and I’ve made cherry cheesecakes, but I’ve never thought of combining the two to make black forest. Genius :)

    Reply

  35. Sophia Purvis on January 29, 2014 at 3:29 am

    So Pleased I found your Blog I found it by accident the other night love the Cheese CakeWhen i’m not so busy will give it a go

    Reply

  36. Raquel on January 31, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I made this for my husband’s birthday and it turned out absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It

    Reply

  37. Shawna C. on January 31, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Hi. I make homemade oreo cookies and I was wondering if I make this in mini/single serving form (in a cupcake liner) would I cook the cookie first and then cook the cheesecake on it( I planned on cooking the cookie in the cupcake liner)? Or can I put the cookie dough on the bottom and place the cheesecake on top and cook it all at once.
    Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on January 31st, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Shawna, I don’t think you would need to pre-bake the cookie crust. I would just press them into the bottom (use the bottom of a shot glass to make sure it’s nice and compact), then put the cheesecake filling on top and bake.

      Reply

      • Shawna C. on February 3rd, 2014 at 12:14 am

        Thank you Ms. Michelle,

        I actually baked my cookie in the cupcake paper first, let it cool and then added the cheesecake filling and baked the cheesecake. It worked out wonderfully!
        Very tasty! I couldn’t find bittersweet chocolate, (time crunch) but used semi-sweet and dutch cocoa instead of cocoa in the cheesecake. Very awesome cheesecake! Thanks for the recipe.

        Reply

  38. Ash on February 6, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Is it required to leave it chill overnight?

    If not what would you require be the longest time?

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 7th, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Hi Ash, It really is best if you can chill it overnight. If you can’t, I would do at least 4 to 6 hours.

      Reply

  39. Ala'a on February 12, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you Michelle for this amazing recipe. I adore all your cheesecake recipes!
    I am planning to make this one this weekend, can I substitute the frozen dark cherries with frozen mixed berries and follow the same topping recipe? for how long did you thaw your cherries? I’ll appreciate your advice. Thanks a lot! <3

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 13th, 2014 at 9:43 am

      Hi Ala’a, I think that would work just fine. I can’t remember how long I thawed the cherries, maybe 30 minutes or so? Enjoy!

      Reply

      • Ala'a on February 15th, 2014 at 5:37 am

        Thank you zoo much :) <3

        Reply

  40. Robin on February 15, 2014 at 6:25 am

    What a delicious and decadently rich cheesecake! My household loves cheesecake and I have made various over the years. This was a favorite…and in a house where they eat multiple servings, ate one and said it was satisfying enough and rich enough that one serving was just fine. (and then hunted down more later). I made two of them yesterday, Valentine’s Day, for my Valentine son’s birthday cake. He’s a chef. He was impressed. Thanks for the great new cheesecake to add to my recipe files…it’s a keeper!

    Reply

  41. Andy on February 25, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    Hello!
    This looks like an awesome recipe! I’m still relatively new to the baking scene, so I apologize if this is a silly question. I’m planning on making this for a dinner on Sunday. My question deals with the whipped cream. Does the addition of cream cheese help stabilize the whipped cream? And is it still light and airy like regular whipped cream? The plan is to eat at 6:00, so I was wondering what time would be best to make and pipe the whipped cream on the cake. Thanks for your help! Again, this recipe looks incredible.

    Andy

    Reply

    • Michelle on February 26th, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Hi Andy, The cream cheese does stabilize the whipped cream. You could pipe the whipped cream at any point earlier in the day and refrigerate the cheesecake until you’re ready to serve. Enjoy!

      Reply

  42. Kristine Crawack on April 7, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Made this cheesecake this weekend. Was so good and received a lot of praise for it, both in looks and taste :)!
    A bit too chocolaty for my taste, but I think I used too bittersweet chocolate. What cocoa percentage did you use for the chocolate?
    Looking forward to try some of your other recipes :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 8th, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Hi Kristine, I’m so happy you enjoyed it! My bittersweet chocolate is 72%, but I think you could go as low as 60%. I hope that helps!

      Reply

  43. Pam on April 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    What do you think about using sour cherries? Of course I would increase the sugar.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 18th, 2014 at 8:39 am

      Hi Pam, Sure, if you prefer those!

      Reply

  44. Chrystie on April 28, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    Do you use a water bath when cooking the cheesecake? I’ve heard the argument for or against and I’m not sure which way to go on my first attempt.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 29th, 2014 at 11:33 am

      Hi Chrystie, I’ve done it both ways, and I’ve experienced both perfect cheesecakes and cracked cheesecakes with both. If it’s your first cheesecake, I would go without, one less thing to worry about :)

      Reply

  45. Heidelind on May 14, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Made this for Mother’s Day and brought some to the office Monday morning. I feel very confident that this cheesecake made Monday morning just a little bit better:) And I got a lot of “You MADE this?”

    Reply

  46. Rahul on October 7, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Hey
    If i skip the heavy cream and sour cream and add a few tsp of all purpose flour in the batter, would that make my cheesecake thick, sturdy and dense like we see them in the stores? I have baked a couple cheesecakes so far and while i love the taste, they did come out too soft for my liking. I had to be super careful and delicate so as to not have the cheesecake fall apart in my plate. also i want the crust to be thick and soft instead of crispy. how do i get that kind of crust? Please help! ty so much and i love ur recipes especially the almond fig cheesecake which is what i am gonna bake next

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 9th, 2014 at 11:06 am

      Hi Rahul, I have never tried this substitution in a cheesecake, so I couldn’t say what the resulting texture would be like. It sounds like you’d need to make some type of chewy cookie or cake base if you want it soft.

      Reply

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