Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake:

This luscious cheesecake is full of the most delicious chocolate flavor and features three layers of chocolate(!). With a touch of peppermint, and a silky texture, this is a Christmas treat most decadent.

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake | Sempre Dolce

Once upon a time, I dreamt I was going to give a blood transfusion to someone…

…but, instead of it being a blood transfusion, it was going to be a chocolate transfusion!

A bit strange perhaps, but that was truly a dream (well, part of a dream) that has stuck around in my memory for years. I mean, how appropriate?? I’m pretty sure there’s chocolate flowing through these veins somewhere…

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake | Sempre Dolce

I tell you this little story because I feel it a fitting introduction to this Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake before you today.

With three layers of chocolate (not including garnishes), this cheesecake is supercalifragilisticchocolatydelicious (< that’s a thing). It’s also just the right amount of pepperminty to boot.


Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake | Sempre Dolce

Chocolate galore!

I absolutely love cheesecake but only reserve making it for special occasions. Every Christmastime, I take my favorite chocolate cheesecake recipe and give it a peppermint twist; I have been doing this for a few years, but never penned down my adaptations. So I figured that this year was the time to finally write them down and share the recipe here. You can thank me later.

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake | Sempre Dolce

The cheesecake itself has an amazing chocolate flavor, which only gets better with age. (Seriously, I love how cheesecake can be made 1,2, even 3 days ahead and not only taste great, but better!) This flavor is also complemented by the chocolate cookie crust and decadent ganache on top.

As far as the peppermint flavor, I wanted to add enough to make its presence known without punching you in the face. Of course if you love a really strong peppermint flavor, you can always add more! But I think between the little bit in the cheesecake and ganache, and even the peppermint bark garnishes, your peppermint cravings will be quite satisfied.

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake | Sempre Dolce

For the garnishes, do whatever strikes your fancy! I like to do an assortment of chocolate curls/shavings, crushed peppermint candies, and broken pieces of peppermint bark.

This peppermint chocolate cheesecake is not very hard to make; just the best thing to keep in mind with cheesecakes is that it’s best to give yourself a full day before serving. They really taste the best if they’ve had at least 8 hours, but preferably 24, to chill.

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake | Sempre Dolce

This peppermint chocolate cheesecake is absolutely luscious and the perfect indulgence for this time of year.

Cottura Felice!

Peppermint Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 24 chocolate wafer cookies (1 (9 oz) package)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 C. (1/2 stick butter), melted
  • 1 (9.7) oz bar Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (see notes below!)
  • 2 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tsp. espresso powder, optional
  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 C. + 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/4 C. good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (Scharffen Berger is delicious)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 C. heavy whipping cream
  • 6 oz Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped (see notes below!)
  • 1 ¼-½ tsp. peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Chocolate Shavings/Curls
  • Crushed Peppermint Candies
  • Peppermint Bark Pieces
For the Crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spray or butter a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides.
  3. Place cookies in food processor and blend until finely ground.
  4. Add sugar and blend; add melted butter and process until well blended (you may need to scrape the sides a couple of times).
  5. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom of prepared pan.
  6. Bake until just set, about 5 minutes.
  7. Place on a wire rack to cool while preparing filling. (Maintain oven temperature.)
  1. Place chopped chocolate, peppermint extract, and espresso powder (if using) in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat.

  2. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool until chocolate is lukewarm, but still pourable.

  3. In a large mixing bowl using a hand mixer (see note below!), blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in until smooth.
  4. Add in eggs 1 at a time, blending after each addition.
  5. Beat in lukewarm chocolate until thoroughly combined. (You will probably want to scrape the sides of bowl a couple of times to ensure everything gets mixed well.)
  6. Pour filling over crust and smooth top.
  7. Place pan on a rimmed baking sheet (this prevents butter from the crust dripping and burning in the oven) and bake until center of cheesecake is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour (mine usually bake in about 50ish minutes). 

  8. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes. Then, run a knife around sides of cake to loosen.

  9. Chill in fridge overnight.
For the Ganache:
  1. Remove side of springform pan.
  2. Stir cream, chopped chocolate, 1 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract, and sugar in a medium saucepan set over low heat until smooth. Taste, and if needed, add another 1/4 tsp. peppermint extract. 

  3. Cool slightly. Then, pour over center of cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving about ½ inch of the edges bare.
  4. Return cheesecake to fridge and chill until ganache is firm, but not completely set, about 20-30 minutes.
  5. Remove from fridge and garnish the top with chocolate shavings/curls, crushed peppermints, and pieces of peppermint bark.
  6. Return to fridge for another 30-35 minutes, until ganache is firm.
Recipe Notes
  1. Scharffenberger chocolate is of course quite delicious, but feel free to use any good-quality bittersweet chocolate.
  2. The original recipe calls for the chocolate to be in bar form, but I like to use the Scharffenberger bittersweet baking chunks - less hassle!
  3. You can use a stand mixer or even a food processor for mixing the cheesecake ingredients, but I have experienced that a hand-held mixer blends everything together better than both.
  4. Cheesecake can be made up to 3 days in advance.