Creamy chocolate cheesecake bars made with dark chocolate — no water bath required! Served on a 2-ingredient Oreo crust and topped off with whipped cream and strawberries, these cheesecake bars are decadent bliss.
As promised, I have something sweet for you today! Hopefully none of you minded last week’s savory recipe too much, but today we’re getting back to what I do best: sugar… and chocolate!
These chocolate cheesecake bars have actually kind of been the bane of my existence these past few days. I’ve been trying to clean up my diet a bit (along with going on more runs), and so I’ve been trying to pick at my desserts less while I’m making them. I eat everything that I make still, but when I’m in the process of making them I’ve been trying to indulge a bit less.
Unfortunately, no cookie dough or cake batter is safe from a stolen spoonful (or six…hundred).
I’d been doing pretty well recently, but when it came to making these chocolate cheesecake bars… between the dark chocolate, the cream cheese, the Oreo cookies… it was irresistible.
I also learned this weekend that not everyone has this problem — Zach tested a cookie bar recipe for me yesterday and he didn’t sample so much as a single chocolate chip… what is that!? Am I married to a complete freak of nature or are there other unicorns like him out there who can resist the buttery temptation of a good cookie dough?
Then, once these chocolate cheesecake bars came out of the oven and chilled… Oy, I couldn’t stop sampling.
Every bite of these cheesecake bars is chocolate bliss, from their buttery Oreo cookie crust (my favorite kind of crust to make, it’s so easy and just 2 ingredients!) to the creamy, dark chocolate infused cheesecake itself… how is a person expected to keep their fork off of it?
But enough about my utter lack of self control. Let’s get into what it is that really makes these chocolate cheesecake bars so darn delicious.
For the richest possible chocolate flavor here, you’re going to melt down 8 oz of dark chocolate. I recommend using bars of chocolate between 60-75% cacao. I recommend using bars, but I’ve also used dark chocolate chips when they were all that I’ve had on hand.
Another thing — sour cream.
Not all cheesecake recipes call for sour cream and that’s just mind-boggling to me. As I mentioned in my no-bake cheesecake recipe, Sour cream is critical for that real, rich cheesecake flavor. I can pick out a cheesecake made without sour cream from a mile away… and I’ll pass on it every time.
There are a few important things to keep in mind to make your cheesecake making process as easy as possible.
- Softened cream cheese. You want it softened to room temperature. Cream cheese that is too cold can leave lumps in your cheesecake, or when you add your melted chocolate it can cause the chocolate to harden, leaving chunks of hard chocolate in your cheesecake. Admittedly, the latter isn’t the worst thing that could possibly happen, but we want a smooth cheesecake, so let that cream cheese soften!
- Easy on the eggs. Don’t over-beat the eggs when you add them. Stir on low-speed just until combined after each egg, and make sure to pause after each addition to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Over-beating the eggs can actually ruin the texture of your cheesecake and can cause cheesecake to crack.
I originally intended to cover these chocolate cheesecake bars with a thick layer of ganache but the flavor was already so rich and dark that I thought that a ganache topping would just be overkill.
Instead, I topped mine off with some whipped cream and strawberries to help lighten the rich flavor — and then just a touch of chocolate sauce (because I can’t help myself).
Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- 24 Oreo cookies
- 4 Tablespoons butter melted (56g)
- 8 oz dark chocolate 60-75% (226g)
- 24 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature (680g)
- 1 cup sugar (200g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup sour cream (120g)
- 3 eggs room temperature
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C) and line a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper or foil.
- Place your Oreo cookies in a food processor and process until pulverized to fine crumbs.
- Add melted butter and pulse again until well-combined.
- Pour cookie crumb mixture into prepared baking pan and use the back of a spoon to press the crumbs firmly into an even layer. Set aside.
- Chop your chocolate bars into small pieces (if using chocolate chips, you do not need to chop) and place in a medium-sized bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir well. Microwave again for 15 seconds and stir again, repeat until chocolate is smooth and completely melted.
- In a stand mixer (or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer), beat together softened cream cheese and sugar, scraping down the sides with a spatula occasionally to ensure ingredients are mixed well. (beat on medium-speed about 1-2 minutes, scraping down side occasionally).
- Add sour cream and stir well, pausing once to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Stir in melted chocolate until completely combined.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just mixed after each addition (and scraping down the sides after each addition).
- Spread cheesecake batter evenly over prepared cookie crust.
- Bake on 350F (175C) for 40 minutes or until cheesecake is just set and slightly jiggly to the touch.
- Allow cheesecake to cool to room temperature, and then transfer to refrigerator and chill at least 6 hours before slicing and serving.
- Top with whipped cream, strawberries, and chocolate sauce, if desired.