Black Forest Cheesecake
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.)
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.
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.
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!
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
For the Crust:
- 24 Oreo cookies, whole
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (56.75 g) unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
- 10 ounces (283.5 g) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 32 ounce (907.19 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups (250 g) + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (21.5 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
For the Cherry Topping:
- 24 ounces (680.39 g) frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Whipped Cream:
- 4 ounces (113.4 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (238 ml) heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan; set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
I didn’t give it 4 stars because for me, it’s just too heavy. I prefer a lighter cheesecake. The flavor was fantastic. I used a mixture of sweet & sour cherries & soaked them in cherry brandy. Came out perfectly- no falling or crust cracks. Lowered the temp to 325 after 20 min.,cooled it slowly, turned oven off, opened door & lett it rest.
I was searching for a suitable recipe to use excess Guittard bittersweet chocolate (70%) and stumbled upon this gem. Oh my goodness, this cheesecake is rich, elegant and sumptuous- I wouldn’t change a thing!
I love how the cream cheese stabilizes the whipped cream- absolutely luscious. I had Trader Joe’s Morello cherries in a jar on hand and followed your sauce parameters using the reserved juice, sugar and cornstarch. It worked out great! I love your website. You’re very a accomplished chef. Thank you and Merry Christmas!
Is the granulated sugar the same as uk caster sugar?
Can I add kirsch to the filling, like 3-5 Tbsp? Would that impact the baking time/temperature and consistency?
Hi Mika, Yes you could do that, no need to adjust the time or temperature!
Hi! Do you transfer to the fridge after 5 minutes out of the oven or let it cool first?
Hi Carolyn, I let it cool to room temperature first. Enjoy!
Looks amazing! Would I be able to halve this recipe and use a pre-made Oreo pie pan? How would this affect baking time? Also, can I add kirsch to the cherry topping or would that ruin your recipe?
Thank you – I look forward to making this!
Hi Camille, That’s a great question and I honestly have no idea. I’m not sure how much batter would fit into the pie plate and how long it would need to bake. You could definitely add kirsch to the topping though!
Hi again :)
For anyone interested, I halved the recipe and it fit perfectly in a store-bought Oreo pie crust! It bakes about 40-45 min. I used one can of Oregon dark sweet cherries for the sauce and added kirschwasser to the sauce after it had chilled overnight; I didn’t want the alcohol to cook out. ;-) All the adults loved the cheesecake! Hehe Thank you for the recipe! <3
I made this for my husbands work but I used dark chocolate instead of bitter sweet & I used canned cherry pie filling. My husband said everyone loved it, too bad I didn’t get to try it. I love this site, thank you so much for sharing these recipes especially for people like me, a beginner baker!
Can this be made ahead and frozen? If not, how many days ahead can it be made? Thank you!
Hi Carolyn, Yes, you can freeze this (I would recommend freezing the cheesecake itself and topping and garnishing before serving). You could also make it up to 2 days ahead of time.
Would you freeze in the Springform?
Hi Carolyn, No, I would remove the sides once it’s been cooled and chilled, and then wrap in plastic wrap, then foil. If you have an extra large cake spatula, I would slide the cheesecake off of the bottom of the springform pan; otherwise, it’s fine to leave it.
I just put my cheesecake in the oven!!! I’m so excited! I’m baking this for a girls night we are having Friday night! Thank you south for the recipe!!!
Yum, this sounds delicious. Love flapjack. Thanks for sharing this.
Making this for the 2nd time. Thanksgiving dessert! Heading out in a few minutes to buy some Port to go with it. Mmmmmmmm…….
Your recipe looks *very* close to the recipe I’ve been looking for. Sadly, it’s slightly different. The recipe I used came from 101cheesecakerecipes.com which is now defunct and I’m having issues trying to locate the recipe. Much like this recipe here, it’s a large and thick cheesecake, however the difference is in the cherries. Use frozen tart cherries and soak them in kirsch for a couple days, then drain the cherries and use some of the strained liquid to make a thicker sauce and cook down the cherries for the topping, the remaining juice is added to the cheesecake. I’ll have to work with this recipe and adapt. Just note; dont leave your recipes in bookmarks ;)
Correction. The waybackmachine.com helped me out. Looks like the difference is as follows: 1lb frozen dark tart cherries – 1/4 cup kirsch, 1/4 cup sour cherry syrup – soak for 6 hours, drain for 2, shaking occasionally. Reserve all the liquid Then halve the cherries and add 6tb of reserved liquid to a frying pan and cook until the syrup thickens and add the cherries to thoroughly coat. There should be 10tb (it’s ok if it’s a little over) of the cherry liquid remaining. Add that liquid to the cheesecake while mixing. Otherwise it’s the same cheesecake. One of my favorites!
This cheesecake was, in a word – sublime. I made it (with a few minor tweaks of my own) for an Oktoberfest party, and I have never seen a cheesecake disappear as quickly as this one did. Many thanks for a great recipe!
I just made this. It is my first ever made from scratch cheesecake. I can’t wait to dig in! If I could I would post a picture of it!
I’m making this cheesecake right now and I must tell you that I’m absolutely thrilled by those photos. It looks A-MAZE-ING! Anyway, I don’t know that I did wrong, the cheesecake looked really high in the oven really gorgeous and fluffy. But when I took the cheesecake out of the oven it kinda shrinked and started to wrinkle. It also happened when I tried to do one of your other cheesecakes. Could you tell me what did I do wrong? Thanks.
I’m not sure that you’ve done anything wrong; cheesecakes tend to shrink away from the sides of the pan as they cool naturally.
I made this for my birthday last week and everyone loved it ^_^. The top cracked but after adding the cherry topping and whipped cream you couldn’t tell. I failed at making the whipped cream so I ended up using store bought.
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
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.
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?”
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.
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 :)
What do you think about using sour cherries? Of course I would increase the sugar.
Hi Pam, Sure, if you prefer those!
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 :)
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!
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.
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!
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!
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
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!
Thank you zoo much :) <3
Is it required to leave it chill overnight?
If not what would you require be the longest time?
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.
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.
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.
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.
I made this for my husband’s birthday and it turned out absolutely delicious. Thank you so much for posting this recipe. It
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
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 :)
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!!
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!!
I’m glad you went through your recipe clippings! This looks phenomenal. This looks chocolaty and rich, the kind of deserts I love!
I made it!! I cant wait till tomorrow to try it!! Thanks for the recipe!!
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.
that looks delish, and so beautifully plated!
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!
That cheesecake looks amazing!!!! I’ve only recently baked my first cheesecake, and cannot wait to try out some more recipes.
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!
Congrats on the today list! Go you!
Love this gorgeous cheesecake. It looks just incredible!
OMG yum!! Two of my absolute favourite things in one!!! I cannot wait to make this! Thanks :-)
Will dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup work for this? I can’t find canned cherries anywhere.
This is absolutely beautiful and I bet it is extremely delicious!
Is there a particular reason you used Oreo cookies rather than chocolate wafer cookies?
Oreo crusts are my favorite, plain and simple :)
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.
What makes you adapt the recipes? You said while reading the other recipes you were thrilled with them. Was it the ingredients?
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 :)
Your pics are amazing, and I’m sure they represent the deliciousness of the cheesecake oh so well!
OMG.. what a gorgeous cake.. looks tempting!!
Oh, oh, oh–that last photo! Simply spectacular!! Drooling…
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.
I’ve always wanted to try making black forest cake….but this!! This is outstanding. Lovely recipe.
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! :)
Oh. My. Word.
I’m pinning and making this. Like today.
All I can say is YUM! And I need to wipe the drool from my mouth!! Amazing looking!
I cannot say no to any cheesecake.
Especially Black Forest Cheesecake with sweet, dripping cherry topping.
This looks delicious!
One word.. AMAZING!!
Love this idea :-)
This looks so decadent and delicious!!
I’m glad that your black forest cheesecake craving is finally satiated! It looks incredible
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.?
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
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%.
Gorgeous cheesecake, love the cherry topping!
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 :)