This Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake is made with a a crisp chocolate crust, an ultra-creamy bailey’s chocolate cheesecake filling, and a luscious layer of chocolate ganache. This decadent treat is perfect for any celebration, and is a fabulous make-ahead dessert!
This recipe was originally published in August of 2017, but I just updated it with new photos, helpful tips for making cheesecake, and a re-vamped recipe that’s even better than the original.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- Creamy Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake – The chocolate cheesecake is ultra creamy and flavored with irish cream, cocoa powder, and melted chocolate for extra decadence.
- Chocolate Cookie Crust – The crisp crust pairs perfectly with the creamy texture of the cheesecake.
- Luscious Chocolate Ganache – Top your cheesecake with chocolate ganache for a true chocolate lover’s dessert!
- Irish Cream – You can use Five Farms, Bailey’s, or any irish cream liqueur in this recipe.
- Melted Chocolate – I recommend using baking chocolate bars for best results, rather than melting chocolate chips.
- Cream Cheese – Use full fat cream cheese, in the block style. This needs to come to room temperature before you bake.
- Eggs – Use large eggs at room temperature.
- Sour Cream – Use full fat sour cream, at room temperature.
- Heavy Cream – You’ll need this for the ganache. It’s sometimes called heavy whipping cream.
- Chocolate Crust – You can also use crushed oreos or chocolate sandwich cookies instead of the graham crackers.
- Dairy-free – I haven’t tested this cheesecake dairy-free, but you should be able to swap in your favorite dairy-free alternates.
- Gluten-free – Use gluten-free sandwich cookies or graham crackers in the crust to make this recipe gluten-free.
How to Make this Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Crust: Pulse your graham crackers in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. In a medium bowl, stir together crushed chocolate graham crackers, melted butter, and a pinch of granulated sugar. Press the crust into a springform pan and up the sides a bit. Bake for 9-10 minutes.
Step 2: Make the Chocolate Cheesecake. In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese, then mix in the sugar, eggs, vanilla, sour cream. Add the cocoa, irish cream, and melted chocolate to the cream cheese mixture. You should have a smooth batter. If you end up with a few tiny lumps, that’s ok.
Step 3: Bake & Chill the Cheesecake. Pour the batter into your cheesecake pan and bake cheesecake as directed in the recipe card below for best results. The cheesecake will need to cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge at least 6 hours or up to 2 days before serving.
Step 4: Make the Ganache. Simmer together heavy cream and Irish cream, then pour over finely chopped chocolate in a separate bowl. Stir until you have a luscious ganache! Pour this over your cooled cheesecake, and let it set up in the fridge before serving.
You will love this Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake! It’s light and creamy, but oh-so-rich and delicious. This perfect cheesecake is always a hit for any special occasion.
Expert Success Tips:
- Sinking Cheesecake – If you over mix the cheesecake batter, your cheesecake will sink some in the oven. Try to mix the ingredients in until they’re just combined, following the directions in the recipe card below.
- Smooth Ganache – You must chop your chocolate very finely for the hot cream to melt it and not leave behind little chunks.
- Can this recipe be made ahead? Yes, cheesecakes are always a make ahead dessert because they require chilling. Once it’s cooled to room temperature, store the cheesecake in the fridge covered with foil or plastic wrap, still in the pan, for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days.
- Crust – Don’t want quite so much chocolate? Feel free to use regular graham crackers. Want an oreo crust? Use oreo cookies!
- Food Processor – If you don’t have a food processor, crush the crackers or cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
The cheesecake needs to cool to room temperature before refrigerating. It needs to chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days before serving, covered with aluminum foil. Store leftovers in in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Springform Pan – This recipe uses a 9-inch springform pan.
- Offset Spatula – I use an offset spatula for so many things, including smoothing the batter evenly into the pan for this recipe.
More Cheesecake Recipes to Love:
- Mini S’mores Cheesecakes
- Perfect Classic Cheesecake with Strawberry Sauce
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
- No Bake Cherry Cheesecake Parfaits
- Mini No-Bake Apple Pie Cheesecakes
- Boozy Key Lime Rum Cheesecakes
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
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Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache
For the Crust
- 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs 230 grams
- 1/2 cup salted butter, melted 113 grams
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar 25 grams
For the Cheesecake
- 32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature use full fat, block style, 907 grams
- 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar 326 grams
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature use full fat, 240 grams
- 1/2 cup irish cream 118 mL
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder 56 grams
- 4 ounces milk chocolate, melted use a baking bar
Bailey's Chocolate Ganache
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup baileys
- 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
- Prep: Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray and place a piece of parchment paper across the bottom before securing the pan, so the edges are hanging out. This makes for easy removal later. Stir together crust ingredients in a small bowl and press into prepared pan and up the sides a bit. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Make the Cheesecake Filling: Remember that your cold ingredients need to come to room temp before you start or the filling won't turn out as well.In a large bowl, cream the softened cream cheese with a hand mixer on medium-high speed, until nice and creamy, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and mix until creamed with the cream cheese. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each, on medium-low speed until just incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream, and mix until just incorporated. Add the cocoa powder, melted chocolate, and irish cream and mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl.
- Prepare the Water Bath: This can be done two ways. Place your springform pan inside of a 10-inch metal cake pan, and place that inside a roasting pan filled with a few inches of boiling water. This ensures you will have no leaks into your crust. This is the only way to truly prevent leaks. Alternatively, you can place the roasting pan of boiling water on the rack below the cheesecake.
- Bake & Cool your Cheesecake: Pour the batter into your prepared crust. Bake for 70-75 minutes. When done, the cheesecake will have only a slight wobble in the center, and a toothpick inserted into the edge will come out clean, and will have a bit of thick batter when inserted into the center. (A clean knife is a good sign that you've over baked your cheesecake and it won't have that extra creamy texture.) Turn off the oven and crack the oven door open. Let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing it to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Serve & Store: Once your cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, cover with foil and chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours or up to 2 days before topping with the ganache (recipe below), slicing and serving. Store leftovers in the fridge for 4-5 days.
- Make the Irish Cream Ganache: Add finely chopped chocolate to a medium bowl. Heat Irish cream and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Pour over the chocolate, let rest 5 minutes, then stir until completely smooth. If any small chunks remain, microwave in 8 second intervals, stirring between each, until smooth.
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