Perfect for Easter, or any time, these triple chocolate cheesecake bars are rich and decadent and so much less trouble than making a whole cheesecake! These bars feature a buttery chocolate cookie crust and smooth creamy classic chocolate cheesecake filling topped with a luscious chocolate ganache. No cracks, no water baths, no fuss.
The other day I was having a monster of a chocolate and cheesecake craving. And my cravings are serious business these days, with our second baby on the way.
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Making a cheesecake is a PROCESS though, and usually reserved for dinner parties and the like. And frankly, with my husband in and out of town and a kid whose interest in cheesecake was as yet untested, it seemed...unwise to go that route.
But cheesecake bars are a different story. BARS are a casual dessert you whip up at the last minute and serve at a BBQ. No reason to feel guilty about inhaling a pan of bars like I would an entire cheesecake, right?
Anyway these got made and they were good. SO GOOD. Maybe part of it was just the craving satisfaction.
But the fact that the boy loved them too, and that Phil and I fought over the last one tells me there's more to it than that. I encourage you to go ahead and test that hypothesis.
Here's how to make these triple chocolate cheesecake bars
This looks like a lot of steps but they're all really easy. The hardest part is waiting for them to chill...
- Start by making the world's easiest crust. This is literally just cookie crumbs and melted butter mixed together and pressed into a pan lined with foil. I used these Oreo baking crumbs, but strangely enough it seems these are only available in Canada. If you don't have access to these, just scrape the cream out of some oreos and crush those up. It's exactly the same thing. Or use chocolate wafers.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes in a 400 degree F oven. Remove the pan from the oven and lower the heat to 325 F.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract, and espresso powder.
4. In another small bowl, melt the chopped chocolate slowly in the microwave or over a pot of simmering water, and set aside to cool.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese, cocoa powder and salt. Beat in the sugar for about 3 minutes on medium speed.
6. Add the melted chocolate and beat on medium low speed until incorporated.
7. Add the sour cream mixture and beat on medium speed until thoroughly combined.
8. Beat in the eggs until just incorporated.
9. Give the filling a good stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it's well mixed and pour into the pan, smoothing the top so it's even. Bake in a 325 F oven for about 35 minutes until sides are set but the center still jiggles a little.
10. Cool the bars completely (about 2 hours) and chill thoroughly (at least another 3 hours).
10. Heat the heavy cream in a small pan until simmering and pour over chopped chocolate. Stir until incorporated.
11. Pour the ganache over the chilled bars and return to the fridge (I KNOW!!) for a few more minutes to firm up the ganache.
12. Slice the bars. *TIP: the best way to get clean cuts is to run a large sharp knife under hot water, wipe it off, slice, and repeat for each cut. Cutting them into 9 bars makes for pretty large portions (that's how we roll!) but feel free to make them smaller.
That's it! These thick decadent triple chocolate cheesecake bars are not too sweet and perfect anytime. I found myself taking tiny bites to savor it as long as possible, which is truly the mark of a great dessert for me.
Sound good to you? If you make these amazing triple chocolate cheesecake bars, I would be thrilled and honored if you would take a pic and tag me on Instagram @ourhappymess!
Or pin for later! ↓↓↓
Here are a couple more easy cheesecake favorites!
And a couple of other decadent chocolate Easter desserts!
Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
- 1 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs *see recipe notes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- pinch salt
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 lb cream cheese (2 8 oz packages) at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- pinch salt
- 5 oz dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 3 oz dark chocolate finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon butter at room temperature
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line an 8 x 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease the foil with butter or baking spray.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the chocolate cookie crumbs, salt, and melted butter. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes and remove to cool. Lower the oven temperature to 325 F.
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, vanilla extract, and espresso powder.
- Carefully melt the 5 oz of chocolate. You can do this in a microwave in 15 second bursts, stirring after each burst, or slowly in a double boiler, stirring constantly. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed until smooth. Beat in the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed until well combined. Reduce the speed to medium low and beat in the melted chocolate. Beat in the sour cream mixture. Finally, beat in the eggs until just combined. Remove the bowl from the stand and give the contents a thorough stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it's well combined.
- Pour the filling into the pan and spread it evenly with a rubber spatula. Transfer to the 325 F oven. Bake for 35- 40minutes until the sides are set but the center still jiggles slightly.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set aside to cool completely (about 2 hours). Once cooled, cover the pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
- Place 3 oz of finely chopped chocolate in a medium heat safe bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the cream to a simmer. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for a couple of minutes. Stir until well combined. Add 1 tablespoon room temperature butter and stir until smooth and incorporated.
- Pour the ganache over the cheesecake bars, and spread evenly. Return to the refrigerator to chill for an extra 15 minutes or so, until ganache is firm.
- Slice the bars: Lift the cheesecake slab out of the pan with the foil and place on a countertop. Put a long sharp knife under hot running water and wipe it off. Make one slice, and repeat the heating and wiping of the knife between each cut. You can slice into 9 large square bars, 12 smaller rectangular bars, or 16 smaller squares.