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.
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.
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.
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.
Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup granulated white sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
Chocolate Cake Layers
- 1 ¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1-¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup Hershey’s cocoa
- 1-¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1-¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ cup canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted lightly to remove any lumps
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Cheesecake layer
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla with an electric mixer until it's smooth.
- Assemble the cake
- Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter.
- 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.
- 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.
- Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Place the 2nd cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
- Frost the cake
- 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.
- 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.
- I garnished the cake with shave white chocolate on top. I used a potato peeler and a bar of Ghirardelli White Chocolate.
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
This sounds amazing and a little bit like a cake my daughter had at Cheesecake Factory. I love the combo of cake and cheesecake in a single cake.
I do not know anything about high altitude baking though, nor how to convert a recipe from/to a high altitude recipe. I do not live at a high altitude, do you think I need to adjust the recipe accordingly?
Thanks so much!
Ps – loved today’s recipe too with the chocolate cake and coconut filling – love that combo. Thank you, thank you!
Is the recipe above for high altitude baking only same with all your recipes on this board? Thanks.
Hi Ela – Yes it is adapted for high altitude. Cakes I usually adjust for altitude, cookies just sometimes depending on the recipe, other than those I find I don’t usually have to adjust for my altitude about 4,000 feet. I generally note in the post and/or recipe if it’s been adjusted.
Phenomenal! Making one for New Year’s party (it’s setting in the fridge right now).
What a fantastic way to ring in the new year! Enjoy!
I definitely need to give this idea a try! Perhaps for my birthday in December:)
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
Mum that looks amazing! How did I miss this post? I love tiered cakes and this one has an awesome surprise 😀 xxx
Julia | JuliasAlbum.com
What a beautiful cake! It makes me very hungry.
Oh my…this cake looks so good!
Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!
I’ve just been ‘introduced’ to you by Carrian from Oh Sweet Basil and I love what I see so far! I just started a blog a few weeks ago and it’s nice to have a place like yours to look to for inspiration. I’ll be back!
My birthday is the 26th of this month–are you busy and do you want another older child–like older than you!
what a lucky lucky boy! Wow, it just looks out of this world and better than any cheesecake you can get at Cheesecake Factory. You have them running scared my friend. Happy b-day to your adorable grandson.!
Oh my! What a sinfully delicious cake! The best of two worlds in one truly decadent cake.
Haha …I read your sentence, “My husband thought I should add a caramel layer on top of the cheesecake …” as …
“”My husband thought I should add a criminal layer on top of the cheesecake …”
and I thought heck yeah, why not! lolol!
omgosh! and here I was, totally serious, thinking, ‘is it too late to get started on a chocolate cheesecake tonight …?’ ….and I click on over from ohsweetbasil and wham! there’s your post, right in the kisser. Whoa, that cake sounds divine! Ok, it is definitely not too late!
I’ve seen Lori’s red velvet version and have been so tempted to attempt this – your chocolate cake is gorgeous! Love that top pic, so festive and fun 🙂
That’s quite a dessert, Barbara. With the ratios you’re using for the frosting, it has to taste like cream, so yummm.
this looks SO amazing, i love those layers!
This cake sounds marvelous. Love the cheesecake middle and love the idea of drizzling the caramel over the top. Perfect!!!
Oh my. You know how I loved the Hershey cake. Cheesecake in the center would be even better. How about some dulce de leche instead of the caramel?
That’s a great idea. Thanks!
Cooking on a Dime
Megan @ Megan's Munchies
Wow!!! That looks incredible!! Great job 🙂