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!
Prep this tasty chocolate dessert a day in advance along with Stable Whipped Cream for an easy make-ahead dessert that will please the masses.
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!
Why Make This
It’s an amazing 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.
It’s easy. 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 you’ll ever have!
Here’s what you’ll need to make this cheesecake:
Chocolate cookie crumbs – You can grind your own chocolate cookie crumbs from Oreo cookies or my preference is crushed Teddy Graham bears. You can also use a graham cracker crust or your favorite cookies in the crust.
butter – You’ll need butter to help the crust hold together. You can use margarine or plant butter if that’s what you have.
cream cheese – This is a smaller than average cheesecake, so you’ll only need 1 ⅓ eight-ounce packages for this recipe. Be sure to use the remaining ⅔ in Flavored Cream Cheese for Bagels or Carrot Muffins with Honey Cream Cheese.
granulated sugar – You don’t need a lot of sugar. Much of the sweetness comes from the chocolate chips.
eggs – Two eggs are needed. There’s no getting around that.
dark chocolate chips – 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.
whipping cream – You’ll need real whipping cream in the filling. Be sure not to waste what’s leftover in the carton. You can whip it for a topping or freeze cream for later use.
vanilla extract – Vanilla helps bring out different nuances in chocolate. Try not to omit this. Alternatively, you can add a small amount (¼ teaspoon) of peppermint extract if you’d like to make a chocolate mint cheesecake.
Here’s how to make Chocolate Cheesecake in the Slow Cooker:
Prepare you cookie crust by crushing the cookies and combining them in a small bowl with melted butter.
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.
Press the crumb-butter mixture into the prepared pan, pressing firmly across the bottom and up the sides.
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.
Pour the filling mixture into the prepared pan.
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 ½ 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.
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.
This chocolate cheesecake can be made gluten-free if you use gluten-free cookies or graham crackers in the crust.
Chocolate cheesecake freezes beautifully. Bake, cool, and chill the cake as directed. Then wrap it carefully in plastic wrap and slip it into a ziptop freezer bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the fridge before serving.
If you want to transform a plain cheesecake recipe into chocolate, you can do what we’ve done here: melt chocolate chips and fold them into the cheesecake filling. You will have more volume of cheesecake, so bake the extra filling in a small dish for a tasty mousse-like dessert. If your cheesecake is already baked, serve it with warmed Nutella or chocolate sauce.
Like standard cheesecakes, you’ll have best results with this recipe if you use a springform pan, the kind 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 mono-tasker, 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’ve adapted my favorite cheesecake recipe to the slow cooker, I don’t know that I’ll even try that method.
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.
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 below, 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.
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Slow Cooker Chocolate Cheesecake
- 1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs such as Teddy Grahams
- 2 tablespoon butter melted
- 10 ½ oz cream cheese (1 ⅓ eight-ounce packages) at room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg
- 1 ⅓ cup dark chocolate chips semisweet can also be used
- ⅔ cup whipping cream
- ¾ teaspoon 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 ½ to 2 ½ 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.
This post was originally published on October 30, 2020. It has been updated for content and clarity.