This Black Forest Cheesecake is a creamy, decadent chocolate cheesecake with a homemade cherry liqueur topping and fresh whipped cream.


  • 35 Oreos (3 cups, 403g Oreo crumbs)
  • 4 Tablespoons (56g) Unsalted Challenge Dairy Butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling

  • 24 oz (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons (43g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 oz (1 ⅓ cups) semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

Cherry Topping

  • ¼ cup (52g) sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) cherry liqueur (or water)
  • 1 ½ cups (255g) pitted cherries (fresh or frozen)

Whipped Cream

  • ½ cup (120ml) heavy whipping cream, cold
  • ¼ cup (29g) powdered sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chocolate bar, for shaving, optional


  • 1

    To make the crust: Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.

  • 2

    Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.

  • 3

    Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

  • 4

    Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Set prepared pan aside.

  • 5

    To make the cheesecake: Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).

  • 6

    In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and cocoa on low speed until well completely combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  • 7

    Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.

  • 8

    Add the melted chocolate in three parts, stirring until combined after each. Adding it in parts helps ensure that it incorporates evenly and helps prevent clumping.

  • 9

    Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.

  • 10

    Pour the cheesecake batter evenly into the crust.

  • 11

    Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.

  • 12

    Bake for 1 hour. The center should be set, but still jiggly.

  • 13

    Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.

  • 14

    Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.

  • 15

    Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.

  • 16

    To make the cherry topping: To make the cherry mixture, combine the sugar, cornstarch and liqueur (or water) in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and stir to combine. Heat until the mixture is wet and the sugar begins to melt.

  • 17

    Add the cherries and stir to coat them with the sugar mixture. Cook mixture until the cherries start to soften and let out juices.

  • 18

    Remove from heat when the cherries are juicy and the juice has begun to thicken. Pour the mixture into another bowl and refrigerate until cool.

  • 19

    To finish the cheesecake: Make the whipped cream. Add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extra to a large mixer bowl and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.

  • 20

    Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.

  • 21

    Pipe shells of whipped cream around the outer edge of the cheesecake.

  • 22

    Fill in the center with the cherry topping and sprinkle with chocolate shavings.

  • 23

    Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store well covered. Cheesecake is best eaten within 3-4 days.