Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

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A layer of smooth, creamy cheesecake sandwiched between layers of rich, moist chocolate cake covered in a luscious cream cheese frosting. A spectacular Chocolate Cheesecake Cake for a fun celebration.

Triple Layer Chocolate Cheesecake with Cream Cheese Frosting and colorful sprinkles

Have you had cake with a cheesecake layer in the middle? If you haven’t you’ve been missing out. Cheesecake Factory makes a Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake that is one of their most popular. My daughter saw Recipe Girl’s gorgeous Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake and asked if I would make a chocolate cake version for my grandson’s birthday party.

Smash Cake for a First Birthday Party

I decided to use the Hershey’s Perfect Chocolate Cake that I adapted for high altitude and also adapted the cheesecake layer slightly for high altitude baking. I used the high altitude baking guide in Chocolate Snowball and the tips on Elevated Kitchen for the cheesecake layer.


My husband thought I should add a caramel layer on top of the cheesecake, but the melted caramel was too hard to cut through.


The next time I made the cake for my granddaughter’s birthday, I used caramel ice cream topping and that worked out better. Although the cake absorbed most of it and the flavor was very subtle. You could just put frosting between the layers if you prefer. 

Chocolate Layer Cake with colorful sprinkles

Despite the problems I had with the caramel layer, this cake was fantastic. One of those desserts where you just can’t help but say mmmmmm while you’re eating it.

My family loved it so much, my daughter asked me to make it again for my granddaughter’s first birthday. Be sure and check out the adorable Smash Cake I made to go with this Chocolate Cheesecake Cake. 

Triple Layer Chocolate Cheesecake with Cream Cheese Frosting and colorful sprinkles
Yield: 12 servings

Chocolate Cheesecake Cake

Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


Cheesecake layer

  • Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract

Chocolate Cake Layers

  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted lightly to remove any lumps
  • Two (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Cheesecake layer

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF. Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until it's smooth. Mix in sugar and salt and blend until it's creamy, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl several times.
  3. Add eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Do not beat too much. Mix in sour cream, whipping cream and vanilla. Pour the batter into the prepared springform pan.
  4. Set a metal broiler tray on the bottom oven rack. Carefully pour the hot water from your kettle into the broiler tray. Place the springform pan in the oven on the rack above the boiler tray.
  5. Bake the cheesecake for 45 - 55 minutes. It should be set to the touch and not jiggly. Remove the cheesecake and let it cool on a wire rack for about 10-15 minutes, run a butter knife spatula around the edge to help prevent cracking. Cool for at least an hour, then place the pan into the freezer and let the cheesecake freeze completely. This can be done in several hours- or overnight.

Cake layers

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
  2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; With a mixer, beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Carefully, stir in boiling water. The batter will be very thin. Pour batter into prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.


  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until it's smooth.

Assemble the cake

  1. Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter.
  2. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the parchment to remove the cheesecake from the pan. (I had to let my springform pan warm up a bit before it would open.) Peel off the parchment.
  3. Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be a slightly larger round than your cake, move it to a cutting board and gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake to get it to the same size as your cake layers.
  4. Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.

Frost the cake

  1. Apply a crumb coat layer to the cake- use a long, thin spatula to cover the cake completely with a thin and even layer of frosting. Be sure to wipe off your spatula before you dip it back into the bowl to get more frosting (you don't want any crumbs to get into the bowl of frosting). When your cake has a thin layer of frosting all over it, place it into the refrigerator for 30 minutes to "set" the frosting.
  2. Once the first layer of frosting is set, apply the 2nd layer. Start by adding a large scoop of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a long, thin spatula to spread the frosting evenly across the top and then spread it down the sides of the cake too. Keep cake refrigerated.
  3. I garnished the cake with shave white chocolate on top. I used a potato peeler and a bar of Ghirardelli White Chocolate.
More Cheesecake Cakes you might like:

Strawberry Cheesecake Cake, Recipe Girl
Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Cheesecake, Sprinkle Bakes
Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake Cake, Shugary Sweets
Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake, Live, Love and Sugar

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originally published September 28, 2012 — last updated October 21, 2019
Categories: Cakes