Chocolate Rum Cheesecake

My first inclination when thinking about the type of dessert to make for our classic Italian dinner was a cheesecake. I couldn’t decide between a plain cheesecake with a fruit topping, a filling of some sort, etc. My friend Amber was nice enough to remind me of a recipe she showed me a couple of weeks ago that I was enamored with – Chocolate Rum Cheesecake.

This was my second time making a cheesecake (the first was an Oreo Cheesecake) and I found it once again to be rather simple. This cheesecake required a few extra steps but none that were complicated or advanced in any way.

This recipe called for superfine sugar, which I could not find at my grocery store. After researching for a bit I found that you can easily make your own by merely processing regular granulated sugar in the food processor or blender until it is fine and powdery, which is what I did.

I was proud in that I only managed one small crack in the top of the cheesecake! This recipe produced an insanely creamy cheesecake. The bittersweet chocolate was perfect because it wasn’t too sweet, and consider yourself warned — you can most definitely taste the rum in this!

Chocolate Rum Cheesecake
(Source: Williams Sonoma)

For the crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
6 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup rum (I used dark rum)
1 lb cream cheese
3/4 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 extra-large eggs

Position a rack in the center of an oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and cover the outside with aluminum foil, shiny side out.

In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar and stir to mix. Add the melted butter and stir until blended. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate and rum and melt, stirring often, about 1 minute; set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth and fluffy. Gradually add the superfine sugar and continue beating until blended. Then beat in the sour cream and vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and set it over a pan of simmering water but not touching the water. Warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until completely smooth and very creamy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour 1 1/3 cups of the batter into another bowl and set aside. Add the chocolate mixture to the remaining batter and whisk until blended. Set the bowl back over the simmering water and stir until creamy and smooth.

Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Gently pour the plain batter over the top and make swirls in the batter with a fork.

Bake until the cake is set around the edges and the center is still a little loose, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool to room temperature, remove the rim from the pan and refrigerate overnight. Serves 10 to 12.


29 Responses to “Chocolate Rum Cheesecake”

  1. MrsPresley on September 6, 2007 at 10:57 am

    yum! i can’t wait to try this cheesecake… just wish there weren’t so many calories in a slice of cheesecake! 😉


  2. Carrie on September 6, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Looks yummmy! I need to make a cheesecake, this looks good!


  3. Deborah on September 6, 2007 at 1:08 pm

    I looove cheesecake – this looks delicious!


  4. laneyu on September 6, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    holy moly!!! that looks delicious!


  5. Kayte on September 6, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    talk about food porn. i seriously want to lick the screen here!


  6. DeborahSW on September 6, 2007 at 11:32 pm

    Oh my lordy, this looks awesome!


  7. Amber on September 7, 2007 at 7:15 am

    Wow, Chelle it looks awesome!! Great job.


  8. Tartelette on September 7, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    Asolutely delicious! I can see why it was a success!


  9. marye on September 9, 2007 at 5:49 pm

    now I am hungry for cheesecake!!!


  10. Bev and Ollie "O" on September 28, 2007 at 10:41 am

    wow! i am sooo hungry reading your blog!!


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  12. Daniella on January 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    I know it doesn’t say but does it cook better with a water bath?


    • Michelle on February 15th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

      Hi Daniella, There are mostly those that swear by water baths and those that hate them. I have made cheesecakes both ways and honestly can’t tell a massive difference.


  13. Daniella on January 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    I was so nervous when I made this cheesecake because it was really watery and it was different then I usually make cheesecake. End result: came out amazing and everyone LOVED it!! That texture of the cheesecake was perfect
    Thanks so much for your wonderful recipe!


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  15. Sh@mmi on October 11, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    Dis is d BEST i mean d like d BESTEST cheesecake out dre!! Dint use d rum,ws so happy wen dre wsn’t any cracks wen I tuk it out f d oven bt den wen cooled ugh..well teeny crack in d middle 🙁 but all happy endings aftr takin out f d fridge
    🙂 yummy yumm:D nxt time baking in a water bath might prevent d cracks??


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  17. Jenn on May 22, 2012 at 10:36 am

    How did I miss this one?? Two of my favorite things… cheesecake and RUM! YUMM! I am definitely making this as soon as I can come up with an excuse :0) (but I think I will do a chocolate Oreo crust…) There’s no such thing as too much chocolate! And just a quick weigh-in on the water bath debate… I always stick a cookie sheet of HOT water on the rack below my cheesecake and it turns out great! Keeps moisture in the oven but WAY less fuss than a traditional water bath… and my cheesecakes usually turn out pretty darn good! (it also catches drips or overflows) Can’t wait to try this recipe!! Thank you!!


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  19. Sheila on December 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    This looks fantastic and I think I’m going to talk my Mom into doing this recipe this year for a dessert. One helpful hint for cracks- if you run a knife around the outside of the cake each hour while its cooling it shouldn’t leave a crack, the cracks come from the cooling/expanding, so run that knife around the edge!


  20. Allison B on June 10, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I was looking for a dark chocolate cheesecake recipe for my husband’s birthday- he is not a fan of rum – do you think this would work without the rum (gasp!)?


    • Michelle on June 10th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      Hi Allison, Definitely! Enjoy and happy birthday to your husband!


  21. Samantha on January 21, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Hiya, just a little tip (you might have already heard it) that we use in the UK often to prevent cracks is to turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for about an hour. It really helps:)


  22. Amelia on April 5, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I love your site am so glad my friend recommended it to me! I’m super keen on trying this cheesecake for a farewell afternoon tea – just a question though, do you think it’d be fine adding in some pitted black cherries in the mixture? I’ve done that before with another recipe (involving baking as well, with 3 eggs instead of 4, and uses some mascarpone and cornflour) and I just thought it might add more taste/ texture to the chocolatey rum flavour, but not sure if it’ll ruin the consistency? I’m assuming that since it’ll be baked with the eggs it should be fine? thanks!!


    • Michelle on April 7th, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      Hi Amelia, I think that would be just fine. I would toss them in a small amount of flour before adding them to the batter (that should keep them from sinking to the bottom).


  23. Gayle on April 26, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I came across this recipe and thought it would be something good to try for a family holiday, however my mom can’t have chocolate, is there anything that I could use instead of that, that would still be just as tasty as I’m sure this is, so that she can have some as well?? I was thinking maybe like an almond bark or anything? Please let me know… Thanks for the recipe either way, I think I am definitely going to try this ASAP!


    • Gayle on April 26th, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      Oh, and another question, would we be able to replace the sugar in this with Splenda or sugar substitute?? A lot of diabetics in my family, and would love to make this friendly for them as well.


      • Michelle on April 29th, 2014 at 11:13 am

        I haven’t ever used Splenda in a cheesecake, so I can’t say with 100% certainty how it would turn out, but I think it should be okay.


    • Michelle on April 29th, 2014 at 11:13 am

      Hi Gayle, If you’d prefer not to use chocolate, you could go with a simple “plain” cheesecake recipe and add rum. You could melt bark or something like that, but I’m not sure what the texture or flavor would do to the cheesecake.


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