This baked chocolate peppermint cheesecake is the ultimate Christmas dessert! Packed with crushed candy canes and topped with a fudgy chocolate ganache, this indulgent showstopper is the perfect way to end any holiday celebration!
Our festive chocolate peppermint cheesecake recipe features a buttery Oreo cookie crumb crust and a creamy chocolate filling studded with crushed candy canes. And it’s all topped with a smooth chocolate ganache for a wonderfully decadent finish!
Make sure to check out our guide to New York Cheesecake for a detailed look at baking the perfect cheesecake!
Key recipe ingredients
- Semisweet chocolate: This gives the chocolate peppermint cheesecake its rich, decadent flavor.
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream gives the cheesecake an indulgent mouthfeel. It’s also used in the ganache topping for a fudgy finish.
- Cream cheese: Use a full-fat cream cheese, such as Philadelphia or any other quality brand.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: In addition to chocolate, we add cocoa powder for a deeper chocolate flavor.
- Sour cream: Sour cream contributes moisture, but also adds a slight tanginess that cuts through the richness of the other cheesecake ingredients.
- Peppermint extract: Peppermint extract is quite potent. I recommend using 1/4 teaspoon and no more than 1/2 teaspoon for a balanced cheesecake.
- Eggs: Four eggs contribute to the ultra smooth, custard-like texture of our cheesecake.
- Peppermint candies: Finely crushed peppermint candies give the cheesecake a beautiful mintiness without overwhelming it.
Equipment: You’ll need a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan for this chocolate peppermint cheesecake recipe.
Oreos: You can substitute the Oreos in this chocolate peppermint cheesecake crust with any other chocolate sandwich cookie, or even graham crackers. If using graham crackers, use about 2 cups (215 grams) and add an extra tablespoon of butter.
Peppermint extract: The peppermint extract adds an extra minty boost, but you can leave it out or even add an extra teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Peppermint candies: While I like to use candy canes (’tis the season!), you can also use any other hard peppermint candies, such as starlight candies.
Step by step instructions
Step 1: Make the crust. Simply mix crushed Oreos and melted butter, press into the springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. For more tips on making the chocolate cookie crumb crust, check out our detailed Oreo cheesecake crust recipe.
Step 2: Make the chocolate peppermint cheesecake filling. Start by making the ganache. Next, beat the cream cheese with the remaining ingredients. Fold in the ganache and crushed peppermint, and then pour into the cooled crust.
Step 3: Bake! Bake at 325°F (160°F) for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the temperature to 250°F (120°C) and continue baking for 35-40 minutes. Let the cheesecake sit in the warm oven for another half hour before letting it cool to room temperature.
Step 4: Allow to chill and decorate. Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least six hours. Add the chocolate ganache and then sprinkle with crushed peppermint for a colorful finish!
Make ahead and storage
After adding the chocolate ganache, this chocolate peppermint cheesecake can be stored covered in the fridge for up to five days.
To freeze the cheesecake, leave off the chocolate ganache and candy cane garnish. Wrap the cheesecake (either individual slices or the whole cheesecake) in a layer of plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil.
The cheesecake can be frozen for up to three months. Defrost the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
Expert cheesecake tips
- Use room temperature ingredients. Allow the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs to come to room temperature before using in your chocolate peppermint cheesecake.
- Scrape down the bowl. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl often. This prevents any lumps or unmixed pockets of cream cheese.
- Chill the cheesecake. After baking, let your chocolate peppermint cheesecake cool to room temperature before transferring it to the refrigerator for another six hours. Chilling the cheesecake allows the flavors to meld and the cheesecake to set.
- Use a thermometer to know when the cheesecake is done. You can turn off the oven when your cheesecake reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). This method helps avoid overcooking, keeping the texture smooth and creamy.
Frequently Asked Questions
You need a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan for this chocolate peppermint cheesecake recipe.
To prevent lumpy cheesecake batter, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature so they blend together easily. Scrape down the bowl frequently to prevent any pockets of unmixed cream cheese.
I highly recommend testing your cheesecake with an instant read thermometer. This will not cause cracks in your cheesecake! Cracks are simply caused by overbaking and using a thermometer will allow you to take your cheesecake out of the oven as soon as it’s ready.
You can turn off the oven when your cheesecake reaches an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C). The additional resting time in the warm oven will bring it up to a perfect 150°F (66°C).
I am a strong believer that water baths are unnecessary for ultra smooth and creamy cheesecakes. Instead of a water bath, I recommend checking your cheesecake’s internal temperature with an instant read thermometer to prevent overbaking.
Yes! The chill time allows the cheesecake to firm up and set, which is crucial for a cohesive texture.
If your heavy cream wasn’t hot enough to melt the chocolate, simply heat the chocolate and cream mixture in the microwave in 5-10 second increments. Whisk until smooth.
And if you’re loving this chocolate peppermint cheesecake recipe, we have even more cheesecake inspiration for you:
- Chocolate Orange Cheesecake
- Toblerone Cheesecake
- San Sebastian Cheesecake (Burnt Basque Cheesecake)
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
- Matcha Cheesecake
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