Chocolate Cheesecake

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Welcome to the 2015 Galentine’s Day Party hosted by my friend Nancy and myself! This shindig includes waffles, wine, and this Chocolate Cheesecake recipe which are three of the many reasons this is the best party of the year!

Easy Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe from

In case you missed our celebration last year, here’s a quick recap on Galentine’s Day. Started by the fictional Leslie Knope on the show Parks and Recreation, Galentine’s Day is celebrated every February 13th, and it’s all about supporting, encouraging, and celebrating the women in our lives. That, and eating really good food. At this point, it’s probably fairly obvious why I think this is the best holiday ever invented.

leslie knope galentines.jpg.jpg

I’m up for any excuse to get together with some lady friends, but I love this holiday for more than just the waffles and girl time. I believe we as women can and should be our greatest supporters. I can’t stand the Mommy Wars, the judgments on women who choose a career over a family or a family over a career OR (shocker) choose to do both. I hate seeing magazines plastered with photoshopped celebrities and filled with articles about how to lose weight, be better in bed, and get sexy hair (<<<What does this even mean??).

Girlfriends, we are so much more than our hair, our weight, our career choice, our sex lives, or our clothing. We are women. Strong, complicated, beautiful, unique women. What this world needs is a little less Mean Girls and a little more Leslie Knope. That’s why today we’re not only sharing mouth-watering treats, we’re also sharing the women who inspire us to be better human beings each day.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe from

I’ve been blessed with so many positive women in my life. I’ve talked before about my mom, but I’ve been blessed with many other great female teachers, role models, and friends in my life. Today, I want to share a little bit about my friend Cathy.

I met Cathy four years ago when the Mr. and I decided to move into the inner city where I was working as a community organizer. Admittedly, we were a bit naïve. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to move into a neighborhood where we were the racial minority and close to 50% of the houses were abandoned, but I was filled with vision, hope, and the reckless spirit of a 23 year old.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe via NeighborFood

Then I met Cathy. Cathy worked at a neighborhood ministry called Urban Connections. Her and her husband had moved into the neighborhood over 10 years ago, and they were raising their two young children in our “hood.” Cathy and I became fast friends, not only because we both love a good Punch Bowl Cake, but also because we share a passion for social justice, racial reconciliation, and seeing our streets transformed by Christ.

In those short few years, Cathy has taught me so much. She has shown me what it means to commit to a place for the long haul, to stay after the wonder has worn off and the vision is muddy.

She has shown me what it means to be a woman fully inhabiting herself. She’s a woman who goes to city meetings, gets decrepit buildings torn down, raises money for a community center, takes cookies to her kid’s teachers, and makes a killer lasagna.

She is not “just” a wife, a mother, a development director, a Christian, a community advocate, a baker. She is a woman, living out a life not defined by her gender, but by her faith, passion, and calling.

Recently, Cathy started the journey to a seminary degree, and I know she’s going to stir the pot and hackle feathers in that male-dominated world. I, for one, am excited to see it. Cathy, you’re a brave and beautiful soul, a woman I admire and respect so much, and someone I’m blessed to call my friend.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe with Raspberries from

Today, I’m sharing Cathy’s Chocolate Cheesecake. Cathy’s quite famous for this recipe and for good reason. It’s rich, creamy, and ridiculously chocolatey. I mean, there’s a layer of chocolate ganache on the bottom of it. Can you imagine anything more decadent?

Lucky for us, it’s not terribly difficult to make, so you can whip it up, invite all your lady friends over, and have a cheesecake eating extravaganza. Heck, you don’t even have to cut slices, just grab a fork and dive in. That’s the beauty of Galentine’s Day.


If you’re looking for my favorite classic cheesecake, look no further than this Cheesecake with Sour Cream Topping! Or try my Peach Cobbler Cheesecake, Oreo Cheesecake Bars, or Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake Bars for a twist!

AND be sure to check out all my lady friend’s Galentine’s Day posts below the recipe. I mean, chocolate grilled cheese, cheesecake milkshakes, wine floats (!!!), you are NOT going to want to miss out on this party!

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

Chocolate Cheesecake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes


For the crust:

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups ground chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar

For the ganache:

  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

For the cheesecake:

  • 4 8 oz packages of cream cheese
  • 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


For the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine butter, crumbs & sugar together until it begins to adhere to itself. Line a 9 inch springform pan with a cardboard cake square or a piece of parchment paper cut slightly larger than the size of the pan and pressed into the bottom and up the side. Press the graham mixture into the bottom of the pan, then bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

For the ganache:

  1. While the crust is baking, make the ganache. Heat the cream until nearly boiling then pour it over the chocolate chips in a bowl. Allow to sit for a few minutes, then whisk together until smooth. Spread a thick layer over the crust, reserving any extra for drizzling on top. Place the crust in the fridge to chill while you make the filling.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on high until fluffy. Scrape sides of mixer, turn back on medium and slowly add the sweetened condensed milk. Add melted chips, eggs (one at a time) and vanilla, beating well after each addition.
  2. Pour filling mixture into pan and bake 60-80 minutes until center is just started to set. The center shouldn't be sloshy if you jostle the pan.
  3. Turn the oven off but allow the cheesecake to continue baking and cooling while the oven comes to room temperature. This helps the cheesecake set and helps prevent cracking.
  4. Pull the cheesecake from the oven and run a knife along the edge. Cool at room temperature completely before refrigerating. Once completely at room temp, then chill until serving. If cracks form (as they do if it is over-baked or cooled too quickly), don't worry, the cheesecake will taste fine - cover the cracks with more ganache drizzled on top - or even spread on top. Garnish with fresh fruit (berries!), or chocolate shavings, mini-chips, or fresh whipped cream.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a review, or head over to Instagram and share a photo! Tag your projects with #neighborfoodies!

More Galentine’s Day Recipes!

Ganache Topped Truffle Brownies from That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Orange Yogurt Waffles from Savvy Eats

Chocolate Honey Bombs from The Live-In Kitchen

Brownie Batter Chocolate Tart from Melanie Makes

Coeur a la Creme with Dark Chocolate Ganache and Strawberries from Heather’s Dish

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cream Puffs from The Redhead Baker

Meyer Lemon Cranberry Scones from Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Chocolate Cheesecake from NeighborFood

Strawberry Covered Dark Chocolate Truffles from Girl Versus Dough

Cheesecake Milkshakes from Chocolate Moosey

Campari and Passion Fruit Sorbet from Food Lust People Love

Boston Cream Trifles from gotta get baked

Grilled Cheese & Chocolate Sandwich with Ganache Dipping Sauce from Climbing Grier Mountain

Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Cookies from Namely Marly

Red Wine Ice Cream Floats from Mind Over Batter

Wicked Waikiki Sour from Pineapple and Coconut

Anise-Scented Ice Cream with Candied Fennel Seeds from girlichef

Mini Heart-Shaped Chocolate Cakes with Raspberry Whipped Cream from A Cookie Named Desire

Nutella Fudge with Raspberries from The Food Charlatan


  1. Do not follow this recipe…unless it clearly says it’s been updated. This recipe has a sweet story & might be good if it was corrected. The recipe calls for 4/8 oz packages of cream cheese…you will not find another cheesecake recipe that calls for so much because it literally fills to the top of the pan, so when you cook it, it’s going to rise & crack into a giant mess. Also, like others are saying…plan to bake it for approximately 1 million hours at 300 degrees.
    I’m sorry. I can’t imagine these directions are correct at all.
    I will be starting over with a different recipe. I’m super disappointed.

  2. Loved this recipe but is 300 the right temp for baking? My cake has been in the oven for nearly two hours and definitely not done yet. I turned up to 325 after 90 minutes and after another 20 it’s still “sloshy”. Maybe 350 is a more appropriate temperature?

  3. I cooked this for about 70 minutes and the middle kind of looks like brownies, I am making this cake for a friend of a friend to take to a baby shower so I a, so worried it’s not done! How can I be sure, short of cutting into it?

        1. It seemed to firm up while it chilled, haven’t cut into it yet. It’s for a shower tomorrow so fingers crossed that it has the right consistency.

  4. I was going to pin this but read that this woman was a community advocate….Damn, I’ve had 8 years of a community advocate and that is ENOUGH!!! Sign me fed up with liberals!!!

  5. OMG my friend, you make me sound fabulous here! And you make my cheesecake look even more glorious than it tastes. It is such a joy to work in this community with you – you’ve blessed me in so many ways.
    I will say, though, that I realized belatedly (like last week when I made one) that I also leave the cheesecake in the oven for a while after turning it off. It helps it finish solidifying (especially if i’m not sure whether it’s done), and cool more slowly to reduce cracking. I’m so glad your friends liked the recipe!

  6. I’ve pinned, shared and done everything possible to this cake except eat it. Will you be my Valentine? And make me this cake? 🙂

  7. Thanks for hosting and you know me and my cheesecake! 😀 I totally agree about women sticking together. So sick of the judging. Cathy sounds like an amazing person.

  8. I love, love, love this post and everything about this series! And I love it when I get to read stories about these overwhelmingly positive encounters with strong women like Cathy 🙂 thanks so much for sharing this, and congrats btw on your recent news!!!!

  9. Love the story of your friendship with Cathy — and thanks to Cathy for this AMAZING cheesecake recipe! I’m inspired to eat it all in one bite. 😉

    Thanks again for hosting yet another awesome Galentine’s Day extravaganza!

  10. I love Cathy and I haven’t even laid eyes on her! What a blessing that you have her as a neighbor, Courtney! Can’t wait to try her chocolate cheesecake recipe. It looks incredible! Thank you so much for hosting this important event!

  11. Whoa, Cathy sounds like a seriously kick ass woman. Can she move to Vancouver and be my friend? I’m in awe of everything she’s done and accomplished and it sounds like she’s got a lot more ahead of her. Thank you thank you thank you for gathering us together for Galentine’s Day, Courtney. I know you say you’re co-hosting with me but let’s be honest, you did it all. You inspire me, lady. I’m so grateful to have you as a friend. And gurrrrrrl, this cheesecake. It’s glorious! So dense ‘n chocolatey ‘n rich. That layer of ganache in the bottom is freaking brilliant! I’m proud to be celebrating Galentine’s Day with you. xoxoxox

    1. Kick ass is a perfect way to describe her, but I won’t let her move to Vancouver. Sorry, I’ve got dibs. 🙂 And you were totally my moral support this year! I needed someone to bounce ideas off of, and you helped inspire this whole thing…so you wear that co-host title proudly!!

  12. Cathy sounds like an inspiration, I loved hearing about how she inspires you! And this cheesecake? Holy cow – it looks like perfection. Thanks so much for bringing us all together for Galentine’s Day!

  13. Such a beautiful cheesecake and tribute to your friend. Thanks for putting this party together and for being one of my favorite ladies in the blog world!

  14. Courtney, the world would be a better place with more people like Cathy!! My sister went to seminary (PTS). and went on to lead children’s ministry at her church. . I think we’ve evolved a lot over the years as far as having and seeing more women in leadership roles in the church (and even pastoring congregations) … so I think Cathy will do just fine! There’s still room to grow and more people who need to be more accepting of people who are called to serve the Lord in that capacity . . but we’ll get there. . and ok, dude, this cheesecake. OH My GAWD. Stunning!!! (and thanks for sharing about your friend, Cathy!)

    1. Wow Alice! That’s so great to hear. I agree with you that things are definitely changing and moving in the right direction, especially thanks to brave women like Cathy and your sister. Thanks for sharing a bit of her story here!

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