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Black Forest Cheesecake

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Black forest cheesecake is inspired by the classic black forest cake. Featuring a rich chocolate cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling and whipped cream, this decadent cheesecake is perfect for sharing with friends or your special someone for Valentine’s Day.

Cake server lifting a slice of black forest cheesecake from the cake plate.

I love cherries and I love chocolate, but I don’t often combine the two together.

This black forest cheesecake reminded me that I should combine the two more often.

I mean, the people who love chocolate-covered cherries are really onto something. Rich chocolate paired with sweet cherries…that’s a winning combination.

If you or a loved one agree, I’ve got just the dessert for you to make for Valentine’s Day this year. 

Slice of garnished black forest cheesecake next to a fork on a white plate.

What is Black Forest Cheesecake?

Black forest cheesecake is a twist on the classic black forest cake.

Black forest cake is a rich chocolate layer cake that is filled with whipped cream and cherries. 

We’ve replicated that here with a rich chocolate cheesecake base topped with cherry pie filling and lightly sweetened whipped cream. Oh, and chocolate shavings. You can’t forget those!

It is common for black forest cake to include a bit of cherry liqueur, such as kirsch. This black forest cheesecake recipe does not automatically include any kirsch, but there are some ways to incorporate it if you desire. (Check out the FAQ section below!)

If you have a special someone in your life who loves chocolate and cherries, this is the perfect dessert to make them for Valentine’s Day! 

Overhead view of three white plates, each holding a slice of black forest cheesecake, arrange next to a cake plate with the rest of the cheesecake.

How to Make Black Forest Cheesecake

Black forest cheesecake is rich and decadent and so impressive, but it’s much easier to make than you would think.

Ingredients you’ll need

The base of this cheesecake is my rich chocolate cheesecake. For the crust and cheesecake, you will need:

  • 20 Oreo cookies, crushed in a food processor until they form fine crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 32 ounces room-temperature cream cheese
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Ingredients for black forest cheesecake arranged on a gray countertop.

When portioning out the oreo cookies for the crust, you will use the entire cookie – filling included. Just drop the whole thing in your food processor and pulse until you get fine crumbs.

Your cream cheese and your eggs need to be at room temperature before you get started on the filling. If you forget to set them out ahead of time, check out my tips for softening cream cheese and bringing eggs to room temperature.

There are some key toppings you will need to turn this chocolate cheesecake into a black forest cheesecake:

I prefer to use my homemade cherry pie filling and homemade whipped cream for this cheesecake, but you could use your favorite brand of canned cherry pie filling and even Reddi-wip if you prefer. I won’t tell!

Making this black forest cheesecake

Start by preparing your springform pan for the water bath. You can wrap the pan in foil for a traditional water bath (more details in my post on how to bake a cheesecake in a water bath), but I have a little hack for you.

My foolproof way to avoid leaks is to place the 9-inch springform pan inside of a regular 10-inch cake pan. This whole thing goes into a larger pan, such as a roasting pan.

Spray the springform with nonstick cooking spray and set it aside.

Oreo cheesecake crust in a springform pan.

For the crust, stir together the crushed oreo cookies and the melted butter. Press this mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 8 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

For the black forest cheesecake filling, warm the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Place the chocolate chips in a heat-safe bowl. 

Chocolate ganache in a glass bowl.

Once the cream is very hot but not boiling, pour it over the chocolate and let this mixture rest for 3-4 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is smooth and well combined. (Hint: you just made chocolate ganache!)

Let the ganache cool while you continue with the filling.

With a mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until combined, then add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate each one before adding the next.

Base for cheesecake filling in a white bowl.

Make sure you also scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula so everything gets well mixed.

Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

Add the chocolate ganache. Once it is well combined, add the flour and mix one last time until the filling is completely smooth.

Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Place the springform and cake pan (or the wrapped springform) into your roasting pan and pour boiling water into the roasting pan. 

Bake the cheesecake for 60-70 minutes, or until the edges are set but the center still has a slight jiggle to it. 

Now, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside. Crack the oven door and let the cheesecake rest in there for 1 hour.

After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place it on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

When you’re ready to serve, top the cheesecake with the cherry pie filling, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

Baked chocolate cheesecake next to a bowl of cherry pie filling, whipped cream, and chocolate shavings.

Storage and Make-Ahead Tips

Store your black forest cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. If you aren’t planning to serve it right away, I recommend storing it without the toppings. Wait to add the toppings until right before you plan to serve it.

Just like with my eggnog cheesecake or caramel apple cheesecake, you can also prep the components ahead of time and freeze them until you’re ready to serve. 

Make the chocolate cheesecake up to 1 month ahead of time. Place the cooled cheesecake on a cardboard round and cover it tightly with plastic wrap.

Wrap the cheesecake in foil and freeze for up to 1 month for the best flavor. When you’re ready to eat it, thaw it at room temperature for a couple of hours or in the refrigerator overnight.

You can also make the cherry pie filling up to 3 months in advance. Freeze the pie filling in an airtight container or zip-top freezer bag. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

When you’re ready to enjoy your black forest cheesecake, all you need to do is make some whipped cream (this will take less than 5 minutes) and assemble the cheesecake!

Overhead view of black forest cheesecake on a marble platter.

Recipe FAQs

Can I add kirsch to this black forest cheesecake?

Kirsch (or cherry liqueur) is a common addition to black forest cake. This black forest cheesecake doesn’t automatically include any, but you can absolutely add some.

You have a couple options if you want to add kirsch to this recipe. You can add 2-3 tablespoons to the cheesecake filling or add it while making your cherry pie filling. 

Can I freeze leftover slices of this cheesecake?

Absolutely. If you haven’t already topped the cheesecake with the cherry pie filling and whipped cream, simply wrap any leftover slices in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. Place in a zip-top bag and freeze for up to a month.

If you already topped the cheesecake, place the leftover slices – with the toppings – on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place the entire baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours.

Once the slices of cheesecake are frozen solid, wrap them and freeze them for up to a month. 

The whipped cream may not hold up well after freezing and thawing, but the cherry pie filling will hold up fine. You can always add more whipped cream later!

Can I make this cheesecake without a mixer?

You can! One of my favorite tricks is to mix cheesecake filling in the bowl of a food processor. It’ll be full, but it’ll get the job done! 

Help! My water baths always leak. What can I do to prevent this?

Here’s my favorite water bath hack to prevent leaks:

Place a 9-inch springform pan into a 10-inch regular cake pan. Both pans can now go into your roasting pan.

Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, outside of the 10-inch cake pan. You will get all of the benefits of baking with a water bath without the risk of leaks. Win!

Side view of a slice of black forest cheesecake on a white plate, with additional plates and the whole cheesecake in the background.
Slice of black forest cheesecake on a white plate.

Black Forest Cheesecake

Black forest cheesecake is inspired by the classic black forest cake. Featuring a rich chocolate cheesecake topped with cherry pie filling and whipped cream, this decadent cheesecake is perfect for sharing with friends or your special someone for Valentine’s Day.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cooling and Chilling Time: 9 hours
Total Time: 10 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

For the crust:

  • 20 Oreo cookies crushed in a food processor until they form fine crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter melted

For the cheesecake:

  • 32 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the topping:

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Tightly wrap a 9 inch springform pan in heavy duty foil. This step prevents leaks when using a water bath. I also take the extra step by placing the foil wrapped spring form pan inside an oven bag while baking, but this is optional (see recipe notes below for more info on this process). Lightly spray the springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Mix together the Oreo cookie crumbs and butter and press them into the bottom of your pan. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes and place on a wire rack to cool.
  • Begin to boil a pot or kettle of water for the water bath.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the heavy cream until very hot, but not boiling. Place chocolate chips in a heat safe bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow it to sit for about 3-4 minutes. Whisk the cream and chocolate until smooth and thoroughly combined. Set aside to cool while you prepare the filling.
  • In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add vanilla and mix until combined.
  • Add in the chocolate mixture and beat until it is fully incorporated into the cheesecake filling. Add in the flour and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of your bowl and beat again until the mixture is completely smooth.
  • Pour batter onto the prepared crust. Place prepared pan(s) into a larger pan – like a roasting pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes. The edges will appear to be set, but the center will still have a slight jiggle to it. At this point, turn off the oven, but leave the door cracked and allow the cheesecake to rest in the cooling oven for one hour.
  • After one hour has passed, carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Once the cake is completely cooled, place it into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
  • Before serving, top with cherry pie filling, whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

Notes

Don’t be intimidated by the water bath process. I have a post that walks you through baking a cheesecake in a water bath. You can skip the foil and oven bag for the water bath by placing your 9-inch springform pan into a 10-inch cake pan. Set this entire thing into the roasting pan, then add the boiling water into the roasting pan, outside of the 10-inch pan. This will still let the water bath do its job without the danger of any leaks.
Feel free to add 2-3 tablespoons of kirsch to the cheesecake filling or to the cherry pie filling if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 685kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 50g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 155mg | Sodium: 346mg | Potassium: 378mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1418IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 119mg | Iron: 5mg
The default measuring system on My Baking Addiction is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided as a courtesy; please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.
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