This devil's food cheesecake is probably the most sinful and indulgent treat for any chocolate or cheesecake lover out there! Layers of smooth and creamy milk and dark chocolate filling on a chocolate crust, and a dark chocolate ganache topping are making this cheesecake impossible to resist!
Luxurious, lavish, sinful and utterly delicious. That is in a nutshell how I would describe this devil's food cheesecake. It's a no-bake and very easy to follow recipe, which is also great to make in advance, as the cheesecake will need some time to set.
Just like the devils food cake (very rich, dark and fluffy chocolate cake), this cheesecake is a pure chocolate heaven, thank to layers of chocolate crust, chocolate filling in the cheesecake center and the chocolate ganache topping combined together.
It will make a perfect addition to your Halloween parties or any special birthday or extra occasions.
If you are looking for some other no-bake cheesecake recipes, be sure to check my strawberry white chocolate cheesecake (reader's favourite!). I also have a selection of some baked cheesecakes, like my burnt Basque cheesecake recipe or honey cheesecake, you can find them all in my cakes recipes category.
Here are all the ingredients you will need to make this devils food cheesecake recipe:
- Soft cheese/ cream cheese - Be sure to use the full-fat cream cheese. I always use Philadelphia, as it is widely available in most of the stores, but you can use any other brand, as long as it is a full-fat. It's also important to bring the soft cheese to room temperature first, before using it in this recipe.
- Chocolate - There are two different types of chocolate in this cheesecake: milk and dark chocolate. I recommend using the cooking chocolate, which has lower sugar but higher cocoa content, in comparison to a normal chocolate.
- Cream - There are also two types of cream in this recipe: whipping cream (to make the cheesecake filling with) and the double cream to make the ganache.
Start this easy, no-bake cheesecake recipe by removing the cream cheese/ soft cheese from the fridge and bring it to room temperature first. Room temperature cream cheese will mix mix much better with the rest of the ingredients and will create lump-free cheesecake. This is my tip number one for any cheesecake recipe.
Lightly grease the springform pan and line the bottom of it with baking parchment.
Press the cheesecake crust firmly into the bottom and the sides of the tin. Chill the base in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Add the milk chocolate filling and spread it in an even layer. Transfer to the freezer for 15 minutes.
Add the layer of dark chocolate filling and spread it evenly. Chill the cheesecake for at least 3 hours.
Top the cheesecake with the chocolate ganache and return to the fridge for an hour, or until set.
Hint: Using an offset spatula to spread the filling and the ganache will guarantee the smooth and even layers for the cheesecake.
Here's the list of some of the ingredients that can be swapped or substituted with something else:
- Biscuits - instead of digestive-style biscuits, you can use graham crackers, Hobnobs, Belvita biscuits or shortbread. You can also use chocolate biscuits like bourbon creams or Oreos (if you do, skip the cocoa powder in the crust ingredients).
- Chocolate - I've mentioned before that I use cooking chocolate in this recipe, which is slightly different to normal chocolate (less sugar and more cocoa). That said, you can also use normal chocolate bar (chopped) or chocolate chips. The overall taste of the cheesecake will be sweeter, but just as delicious.
- Gelatine - the powdered gelatine can be replaced with gelatine leaf. For this recipe, you will use two gelatine leaves as a substitute.
- Cream - You can use only double/ heavy cream or only whipping cream for both, the cheesecake and the ganache. Double cream has the highest fat content making it great for the ganache, but whipping cream will also work.
Devil's food cheesecake could be a great blank canvas and you may use any of your favourite edible decorations on it, depending on the occasion and the season.
- Sprinkles and toppers - add some chocolate shavings, cocoa nibs, spooky Halloween sprinkles or festive toppers to dress it up for the occasion!
- Swap the ganache for a layer of chocolate frosting or pipe some buttercream on top instead. Alternatively, why not replace one of the chocolate layers and try adding a layer of this Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling?
- Mini cheesecakes - Instead of one cheesecake, you can turn this recipe into individual mini-cheesecakes! Use a paper or silicone cupcake cases and divide the crust between them, pressing it firmly into each case. Divide the cream cheese fillings between each case and top with the ganache (see my chocolate mini cheesecakes recipe as a rough guide).
- Vegetarian - To make a fully vegetarian version of this triple chocolate devil cheesecake, replace the gelatine powder with agar agar powder (the same ratio).
- 23 cm springform pan with removable bottom - Springform tin is essential when making any cheesecake. It allows for easier removal of the cake and creates a tall, straight side edge.
- Baking parchment - To line the bottom of the tin with. This will also ensure that the cheesecake doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and allows you to remove it easily.
- Electric mixer - I recommend using the hand-held electric mixer to whip the cheesecake filling with. You can also use the standing mixer with the paddle attachment instead.
- Offset spatula - This is not essential, but a very helpful tool to use when spreading the cheesecake filling and the ganache. You can also use the back of the spoon instead.
- Heatproof bowl - It can be glass, ceramic or metal, as long as it is heatproof.
Store this devil's food cheesecake in the fridge at all times. Place it in the airtight container or a cake caddy and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days. Remove it from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving it.
Cheesecake is also suitable for freezing for up to a month. You can freeze the whole cake or individual slices. If freezing whole cheesecake, wrap it in a plastic wrap or kitchen foil and place it in an airtight container. If freezing individual slices, wrap each slice in the clingfilm or aluminium foil and then place it in the airtight container.
To thaw, remove the cake from the freezer and place it in the fridge overnight.
Allow the cheesecake the required time to set properly in the fridge. I highly recommend preparing it the day before and leaving it in the fridge overnight. This will ensure your cake is firm and denser in texture, and will create more intense, deeper flavour too.
In the past, the term 'deviled' (or devilled) was used to reference food that was described as dark, rich, spicy or chocolatey. A chocolate cake or cheesecake as rich as this one was deemed 'sinful' and therefore it was given the name Devil's Food.
There could be few reasons, the most common one is that the cheesecake didn't have enough time to set. Do not rush the chilling process, and allow at least 3 hours for the cake to set in the fridge (overnight chill is always best). Try not to overmix the filling, as it can result in too watery texture, which can also cause trouble with the right consistency of the cheesecake.
Make sure to chill the crumb crust/ base of the cheesecake as per the recipe instructions. Properly chilled base will create a sturdy base when it's refrigerated. Do not attempt to bake this cheesecake crust!
Devil's Food Cheesecake
- 23 cm springform tin
- baking paper
- hand-held electric mixer or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment
- heatproof bowl
For the cheesecake base:
- 300 g digestive-style biscuits
- 35 g cocoa powder
- 125 g butter melted
For the filling:
- 2 teaspoon gelatine powder *see notes for alternative
- 650 g full-fat soft cheese room temperature
- 100 g caster sugar
- 300 ml whipping cream
- 250 g milk chocolate chopped
- 250 g dark chocolate chopped
For the ganache topping:
- 100 g dark chocolate finely chopped
- 100 ml double/ heavy cream
- Lightly grease the 23 cm springform baking tin and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Crush the biscuits into fine crumbs (use the food processor, or the rolling pin and a bag), then mix with the cocoa powder to combine. Pour in the melted butter and mix everything to combine. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking tin and use a measuring cup or a glass to press the crumbs into the base and the sides of the tin. Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes.300 g digestive-style biscuits, 35 g cocoa powder, 125 g butter
- Pour 40 ml of boiling water into a heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatine powder over it. Stir well, until the gelatine dissolves and set aside.2 teaspoon gelatine powder
- Melt the milk chocolate in the microwave or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and set it aside. Place the soft/ cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer until smooth and lump-free, about a couple of minutes. Pour the cream and mix again. Add the gelatine and mix again to combine.650 g full-fat soft cheese, 100 g caster sugar, 250 g milk chocolate, 300 ml whipping cream
- Transfer half of the soft/ cream cheese mixture into the bowl with melted milk chocolate and stir to combine. Remove the cheesecake base from the fridge. Add the milk chocolate cream cheese mixture into the tin with cheesecake base and use a spoon or an offset spatula to spread it in an even layer. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the dark chocolate and add it to the remaining half of the cream cheese mixture. Stir well to combine. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer and top it with the dark chocolate cream cheese mixture, spreading it in an even layer. Place the cheesecake in the freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight.250 g dark chocolate
- Place the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Place the cream in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Cook it until it is hot, but not boiling. Slowly pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a couple of minutes.100 g dark chocolate, 100 ml double/ heavy cream
- Stir the mixture to combine the cream and the chocolate until you have smooth and shiny ganache. Pour the ganache over the top of the cheesecake and use a spoon or spatula to spread it in an even layer. Return the cheesecake to the fridge for an hour, or until the top is set. You can decorate the cheesecake with chocolate shavings, chocolate nibbles or any other decoration you desire. Slice and enjoy!
Please note that all my recipes are developed and tested in metric grams. I recommend that you use digital scales for a more accurate results. I have provided a conversion to US customary in the recipe but please note that I haven’t tested using this method.
- Before starting this recipe, make sure to remove the cream cheese/ soft cheese from the fridge and bring it to room temperature.
- Gelatine powder can be replaced with leaf gelatine. Use two gelatine leaves in this recipe. You can also use agar agar powder instead, in the same quantity (2 tsp).