This Slow Cooker Chocolate Cheesecake will score big points with everyone at your table. A chocolate cookie crust and a filling of cream cheese, sugar, egg, chocolate, cream, and vanilla extract bakes in the slow cooker for the creamiest cheesecake ever!
Are you a fan of cheesecake but not a fan of the nerve-wracking process of baking one? Maybe just the idea of baking one is intimidating?
Either way, you are in for a treat with this Slow Cooker Cheesecake recipe. Not only is the prep super simple and easy, but the resulting cheesecake is the creamiest and smoothest I’ve ever tasted!
Move over, fancy, overpriced Cheesecake Restaurant, you’ve got some serious competition!
Slow Cooker Chocolate Cheesecake
It’s true. I was skeptical, but I am a firm believer. The slow cooker makes one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever eaten.
And seeing as I’ve made this recipe four times in as many weeks, you can trust me that you’ll become a firm believer, too!
In my efforts to use my slow cooker every day in October, aka Crocktoberfest, I became fascinated, nay, obsessed with the idea of slow cooker cheesecake. I first learned about this idea from America’s Test Kitchen, but I feel like after having made six cheesecakes (4 chocolate and 2 pumpkin) during the month, I’ve made the process my own.
The mixing process is simple, like baking a cake. Unlike the baking-a-cheesecake process, the actual cooking of the cheesecake is less stressful when done in the slow cooker.
No worry about leaving the cake in the oven for too long and burning it.
No cares about the top cracking.
No anxiety that it won’t turn out.
This Slow Cooker Chocolate Cheesecake is the best I’ve ever had, and I’ve had quite a few chocolate cheesecakes in my time. And in the last four weeks. Ahem.
Do you need a special pan for slow cooker cheesecake?
Like standard cheesecakes, you’ll have best results with this recipe if you use a springform pan, those kinds with removable sides. I’ve seen other slow cooker recipes that suggest you cook it right in the crock, but I don’t think you’ll be as pleased with the results.
Don’t worry that a springform will become a monotasker, like using it on the weekly for making cheesecake doesn’t justify its space in your kitchen. You can use springform pans in place of any round pan. I own three different sizes, and I don’t apologize.
You can find a decent pan for around ten bucks. I found a very affordable 6.5-inch springform pan a few months ago at ALDI. I bought it with the intention of trying instant pot cheesecake, but now that I know this method, I don’t know that I’ll even try that one.
What kind of crust do you use for a slow cooker cheesecake?
Cheesecakes taste best with graham cracker or pretzel crusts. In this case of a slow cooker chocolate cheesecake, I recommend a chocolate cookie crust.
How do you make your own cracker or cookie crust?
Making your own cookie or graham cracker crust is not difficult, but I’ve learned a few things:
- Oreo cookies don’t make the best crust, despite what others will tell you. When I used chocolate sandwich cookies for this recipe, the crust was extra wet and wept grease.
- Normally, I would recommend Nabisco Famous Chocolate wafers or boxed chocolate cookie crumbs, however whether it was October or a pandemic year, both were thin on the ground. Impossible to find!
- In subsequent tests, I used both Teddy Grahams and chocolate graham crackers. I liked the result of the Teddy Grahams the best.
- Biscoff cookies also make a great crust. I’m using them in my pumpkin version of this recipe.
How to make the crust:
- Now, once you’ve sourced your cookie/crackers, blend them in the food processor or a blender until fine crumbs form.
- Stir in the melted butter.
- Pat the buttered crumbs into a springform pan lined with a round of parchment. Pat firmly so that the crumbs compact tightly, forming a crust along the bottom and up the sides of the pan.
- You can bake it for a few minutes if you like, but in all my tests for slow cooker cheesecake, I left the crust unbaked.
What kind of cheese is used for cheesecake?
According to the Food Lover’s Companion, cheesecake can be made with any of the following cheeses: cream cheese, ricotta, cottage cheese, and sometimes Swiss or cheddar.
However, most cheesecake recipes you’ll see in the US call for cream cheese. The brand doesn’t really matter, but bringing the cream cheese to room temperature does. You don’t want any lumps in your final cheesecake, so be sure to let the cream cheese sit on the counter for several hours. This allows the cheese and sugar to fully incorporate.
Can you use neufchâtel cream cheese or does it need to be full fat cream cheese?
In the past I’ve always thought you could use neufchâtel pretty interchangeably in recipes. And for the most part, the lower fat cream cheese is a fine substitute.
However, in the testing of this recipe, we came to the conclusion that using full fat cream cheese made a big difference in the final results and especially the texture of the finished cheesecake.
As you can see in the photo above, the cake made with full fat cream cheese is thick, like a mousse au chocolat you had at that restaurant in Paris when they gave you the whole bowl and told you to help yourself and it was so thick it stuck to the spoon.
Conversely, the cheesecake made with neufchâtel cream cheese has a texture more like a pudding or pot de creme. Still delicious, just not the same.
For best taste and texture, my testers and I recommend using full fat cream cheese.
What kind of chocolate can you use in this recipe?
I tested this recipe with both dark chocolate and semisweet chocolate chips. We found that we preferred the less sweet, darker chocolate. Both are tasty, so use what you like best.
How do you make chocolate cheesecake from scratch?
Homemade chocolate cheesecake is super easy to make.
Cheesecake, which is really like a cream cheese pie in a sense, has a filling typically made of cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Flavorings and spices can be added as well as whipping cream or sour cream. Some recipes may even call for sweetened condensed milk.
My favorite cheesecake is a combination of cream cheese, sugar, egg, melted chocolate chips, whipping cream, and vanilla extract. These ingredients are blended in succession and poured into a cookie crust and baked in the oven.
How do you make cheesecake in the slow cooker?
The process for making a slow cooker chocolate cheesecake is similar, only the cooking process is done, yep, in the slow cooker.
- Line the springform pan with a parchment paper round. This will make it easy to remove the cake from the pan for serving and freezing.
- Prepare the cookie crust as directed above.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the room temp cream cheese and the sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl in between each addition.
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or a double boiler. Add this to the cream cheese mixture.
- Add the whipping cream and vanilla and continue mixing until very smooth.
- Take an arm’s length sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and crumple it into a thick coil. Place this in the bottom of a 6-quart slow cooker. Add two cups water.
- Place the cheesecake pan atop the coil, making sure that the coil does not crumple so much that the pan touches the crock. This will cause the cake to overheat.
- Cover and cook on high for 90 minutes or as long as 2 1/2 hours. The internal temp of the cake should reach 150 degrees F. Once it hits that point, turn off the slow cooker, and allow the cake to sit in the covered crock for another hour.
- Remove the lid, taking care not to drip condensation on the cake. Blot any condensation that might be on the cake. Remove the pan to a rack and cool for 1 hour.
- Run an offset spatula alongside the inside of the pan to separate the cake from the pan, then remove the springform sides.
- Wrap the cake with plastic wrap and chill for 3 hours or overnight in the fridge.
- Carefully remove the cake from the pan bottom and place on a serving platter. Garnish with shaved chocolate and whipped cream. Raspberries are also a nice garnish.
Can you freeze slow cooker chocolate cheesecake?
Freezing cheesecake is one of the best things to do! You can have your cake made and eat it—later!
Once you’ve chilled the cake for the recommended three hours, remove it from the pan and carefully wrap in plastic wrap. Place the cake in a ziptop freezer bag. Remove any excess air and store the cake in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
Slow Cooker Chocolate Cheesecake
- 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs such as Teddy Grahams
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 10 1/2 oz cream cheese (1 1/3 eight-ounce packages) at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg
- 1 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips semisweet can also be used
- 2/3 cup whipping cream
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- toppings to serve cheesecake such as shaved chocolate or whipped cream
- Cut a piece of parchment paper into a round to fit inside a 6.5-inch springform pan. Grease the pan slightly so that the parchment will stick to the bottom.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter. Mix well and then press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and up the sides. Set this aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, place the cream cheese and sugar. Whip until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides after adding each one.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips.
- Add the melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture. Beat in the whipping cream and vanilla extract. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan.
- Take a large piece of heavy duty foil (about arm's length) and crumple it into a thick coil. Place this in the bottom of a 6-qt slow cooker. Add two cups water to the crock.
- Place the cheesecake pan atop this foil coil. It's important that the pan not touch the crock directly, else the cake will overheat. Ensure that the coil is thick enough not to collapse under the weight of the pan.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, or until the cake reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. Turn off the slow cooker and carefully replace the lid so that no condensation from the lid drips on the cake. Allow the cake to rest for 1 hour, covered, in the unplugged slow cooker.
- Carefully remove the lid and if there's any condensation on the cake, blot this away with a paper towel. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 1 hour.
- WIth an offset spatula, carefully, cut the cake away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan and place the cake on a rack to cool for an hour. Then, gently wrap with plastic wrap and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Garnish the cake with chocolate shavings and serve with whipped cream.