Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

A thick swirled cheesecake with rich chocolate and creamy vanilla


16 servings


Crust Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar

Cheesecake Ingredients:

6 ounces semisweet (53% or 62%) chocolate, coarsely chopped (or chips)
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 eggs, at room temperature
8 ounces sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a greased* 8-inch springform pan.** Wrap the outside of the springform pan with aluminum foil to make it water-proof. Set foil-wrapped pan inside a large roasting pan.

2. Start making the cheesecake filling by first melting the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave (1 minute on HI). When melted, stir until smooth. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, stir cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until creamy. (An electric mixer on low speed can be used, but it tends to incorporate air into the batter which increases the risk of cracking on top after or during baking.) Add eggs one at a time, stirring gently after each addition. Blend in the sour cream and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.

4. Add 3 cups of the cheesecake mixture to the melted chocolate and stir until smooth. Dollop both kinds of batter over prepared crust. Using a knife, gently swirl batters together until marbelized, being careful not to over-mix.

5. Transfer to an oven which has been preheated to 325 degrees. Pour hot water into the roasting pan, to come halfway up the side of the springform pan.***

6. Bake at 325 degrees for 70 minutes, or until set. Remove cheesecake from water and remove foil. Loosen the sides of the springform and cool cake on a wire rack. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 6 hours or overnight before serving. When cutting cheesecake, use a sharp knife and wash knife between cutting each slice.

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake

Additional Notes: 

*Or, instead of greasing your pan, line it with parchment paper that has been cut in the shape of the pan and grease only the sides of your pan.

**Cover hand with plastic wrap to keep crumbs from sticking to your hand, or use a spatula to press down.

***The hot water bath surrounding this cheesecake gives it a perfectly creamy texture and the edges are as rich and moist as the very middle.

Cheesecake is baked in a water bath

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake
Preparation Time: 

30 minutes

Cooking Time: 

70 minutes

Tammy's Review: 

This is an amazingly creamy cheesecake! The texture is wonderful. It's not too sweet, and has a strong chocolate flavor that is well-balanced by the rich vanilla swirl. Absolutely wonderful cheesecake.

We individually wrapped the leftover pieces and froze them. This cheesecake tasted just as delicious after being frozen. Really excellent cheesecake recipe!!

My rating: 10/10

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Cheesecake


This recipe is fantastic. The flavor is perfect and the texture is spot on. It is really, really dense and has a perfect balance between "creamy" and "firm". The recipe is straight forward for a baked cheesecake:

- Make a crust (sugar, graham cracker crumbs, butter);
- Mix softened cream cheese with sugar, eggs, vanilla, cornstarch, sour cream; divide and add melted dark chocolate to half;
- Alternate dollops of vanilla and chocolate batters onto crust;
- Cover bottom of springform pan with foil;
- Place into roasting pot, add boiling water, Bake.

The recipe is very simple and the ingredient list is perfectly balanced to get a great result. And the water bath, mentioned above, is the extra TLC that takes a good recipe and makes it special.

This was my first water bath for a cheesecake and I was absolutely pleased with the results. I have tried covering the cake part way through baking, placing pans of water in the oven, and so forth to prevent my cakes from cracking and to keep them evenly moist while also dense and firm--just like a good cheesecake from a nice bakery.

I have also tried a number of variations in the ingredients, including flour (disaster!), corn starch (good results), gelatin (good results depending on the recipe, although the gelatin + water + cream cheese recipes are below average) and so forth.

These tips and tricks are all handy and have their place. Sometimes time or recipe dictates using a preformed crust in a pie dish. Likewise, water baths take time and patience (especially wrapping the springform pan and avoiding leaks and tears). And many of the tips go hand in hand with the water bath, so it is not solution unto itself. But the results have been great and I now see why so many chefs have recommended water baths for cheesecakes--they work, and the end result is a much more consistant and enjoyable texture that is very pleasing to the eye.

The cake tastes great too :) The chocolate flavor is robust and dark and not overly sweet, almost coffee like. The vanilla portions are smooth and sweet, and together they are a wonderful compliment. And as Tammy noted it preserves well--good enough to thaw out pieces for company and serve it as "fresh" made and still get ohhhs and ahhhs.

If you like dark chocolate and like cheesecakes you owe it to yourself to try this recipe. It is absolutely, positively fantastic. It is so good I wish I had invented it... but alas, it was given to me by a co-worker. I think they get a kick out of me trying new recipes, altering them, and telling them what I think. I guess male cooks are rare these days ;)


This recipe is WONDERFUL! Joshua really summed it up well!

I made it for my mother's birthday tonight, and here are my observations...

The water bath didn't seem to do a lot of good in my stove. I have an electric stove, so I don't know if gas makes a difference, but my cheesecake still cracked. :(

Also, I'd let this puppy cool off for an hour at least outside (if it is cold where you are!) before loosening the springmold. I think that contributed to the cracking.

Texture-wise....HOLY COW! It was incredible. I've had cheapo frozen cheesecakes and 60 dollar cheesecakes...this takes the cake. Literally. I bet it would work just as well if you cut the recipe by 1/3 and added strawberry or rasperry jam instead of chocolate....or all three...mmmm.

This recipe was just too good to be true...but it wasn't! The only thing I really changed was the crust. I didn't have chocolate graham crackers, so I substituted Oreo cookies smashed up with some melted butter poured over them.

Also, we only got 8 pieces...the 16 piece serving idea is great in theory, but in practice, man! I want a big chunk. We should call this "Lady's Friend Cheesecake"; it satisfies those hormonal chocolate fixes for sure!

Joshua, keep those cheesecake recipes coming! Well done!


Please see the recipe above for my complete review!


I hate to be the one nay-sayer here, but ... we were just not crazy over this cheesecake. While it was beautiful, we really did not enjoy the flavor. It could be that we just like a plain vanilla cheesecake better. I actually had made 2 - this one and a raspberry swirled/vanilla for a baby shower. Unfortunately, I even saw a couple of pieces of this one thrown in the garbage. :o

Please do not be discouraged from trying this, obviously others think it is great!!


This is the second cheesecake recipe I have used off the site. The first was the Vanilla Bean that I made earlier in the day. Both came out beautifully! I did not want to do a water bath b/c I didn't have any extra lrg aluminum foil, which is the only thing I would trust to be certain I would not get water leakage into my pan. I do, however, own a 12x18 pyrex baking dish, which takes up 75%of the oven space so I filled that with water and put it in the rack under the cakes and it worked very well.

I really wanted mocha so I put 2 tsp of instant coffee in 1 Tbsp of hot water and added it with the vanilla in the final mixing - tastes AWESOME. One comment I have about this recipe and may be why others have complained of cracking for this one in particular - I had some cracking on the edges of my vanilla bean cheesecake so I did some reading on-line and learned that cheesecakes are mixed slowly to avoid incorporating air into the batter, which could lead to cracking when the air escapes (which you probably knew, but was news to me). Then I realized that I had used room temp eggs for my vanilla bean cake - and eggs are typically brought to room temp for baking regular cakes, making merinque, etc. b/c it does allow air to incorporate. SO, I contend that eggs for cheesecakes should NOT be room temp - I allowed the eggs for this cake to warm for only 5 minutes or so - to avoid incorporating air - especially if you are using a hand mixer even on low. This cake came out beautifully and is the first 'crackless' cheesecake that I have ever made. I am looking forward to trying more of these recipes!


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