December/January 2015

Milk Chocolate Cheesecake

Replacing deep, dark chocolate with mild-mannered milk chocolate unlocked the secret to a fluffy, creamy chocolate cheesecake.

Why This Recipe Works

For a pleasantly sweet, chocolaty crust, we use Oreo cookies processed with butter and a bit of sugar, and bake the crust until crisp. For the filling, we melt milk chocolate with a small amount of cream for just the right amount of chocolate flavor. Unlike traditional cheesecake that is baked in a water bath for gentle, moderate cooking, we simplified our cheesecake by baking it at a low temperature (250 degrees). To temper the heat even more, we covered the cheesecake with foil for the first hour and then uncovered it to finish cooking. Decorated with a chocolate drizzle, this is an impressive dessert that comes together easily.


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Serves 12


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16 Oreo sandwich cookies, broken into rough pieces
1 tablespoon sugar plus 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
8 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Nutritional Information


Per Serving (Serves 12)

  • Calories 438
  • Cholesterol 142 mg
  • Fat 34 g
  • Sodium 308 mg
  • Saturated 18 g
  • Carbs 26 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 1 g
  • Monounsaturated 9 g
  • Sugar 19 g
  • Polyunsaturated 2 g
  • Protein 8 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Serves 12

Our favorite milk chocolate is Dove Silky Smooth Milk Chocolate. For the crust, use the entire Oreo cookie, filling and all. The cheesecake needs to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours before serving.

Watch the Cook's Country cast make this recipe

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1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and sides of 9-inch nonstick springform pan.

2. Process cookies and 1 tablespoon sugar in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Add melted butter and pulse until combined, about 6 pulses. Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan and press firmly with bottom of dry measuring cup into even layer in bottom of pan. Bake until fragrant and set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees. Combine 6 ounces chocolate and cream in medium bowl and microwave at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth, 60 to 90 seconds. Let cool for 10 minutes. In small bowl, whisk cocoa, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until no lumps remain.

4. Using stand mixer fitted with paddle, beat cream cheese and cocoa mixture on medium speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Reduce speed to medium-low, add chocolate mixture, and beat until combined. Gradually add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated, scraping down bowl as needed. Add vanilla and give batter final stir by hand until no streaks of chocolate remain.

5. Pour cheesecake mixture into cooled crust and smooth top with spatula. Tap cheesecake gently on counter to release air bubbles. Cover pan tightly with aluminum foil (taking care not to touch surface of cheesecake with foil) and place on rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, then remove foil. Continue to bake until edges are set and center registers 150 degrees and jiggles slightly when shaken, 30 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on wire rack, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate in pan until cold, about 8 hours. (Cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)

6. To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan, slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, and slide cake onto serving platter. Microwave remaining 2 ounces chocolate in small bowl at 50 percent power, stirring occasionally, until melted, 60 to 90 seconds. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to small zipper-lock bag, cut small hole in corner, and pipe chocolate in thin zigzag pattern across top of cheesecake. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Using warm, dry knife, cut into wedges and serve.

Key Steps: For the Best Chocolate Cheesecake

1. TAP: After you’ve poured the batter into the prebaked crust, gently tap the pan on the counter to release air bubbles.

2. TEMP: Use an instant-read thermometer to determine when the cheesecake is perfectly baked; it should register 150 degrees.

3. SLICE: For the neatest pieces, heat your knife by running it under hot water, quickly dry it with a cloth, and slice the cheesecake.

The American Table: The Unexpected Oreo

If Adolphus W. Green had lived to see the Oreo become the best-selling cookie of the 20th century, it’s safe to say he’d have been surprised. Green, founder and eventual president of the National Biscuit Company (later Nabisco), introduced Oreo Biscuits in 1912 as the third-tier offering in a three-pronged product launch that also included the more promising “Mother Goose” and “Veronese” biscuits. It was a tepid debut; Sunshine brand’s Hydrox biscuits already ruled the sandwich cookie category and expectations were mild.

It was a rare lapse in prescience for the business wizard, who’d already established himself as a pioneer of celebrity marketing with “Barnum’s Animals” (named for the circus impresario, they clobbered the animal-shaped cookie competition) and as a distribution guru with his no-middleman model that dispatched company salespeople directly to shopkeepers bearing goods in NBC’s patented airtight, moisture-proof “In-er-Seal” packaging.

But fate favored Green and his Oreo. With its sweeter filling, the cookie found fast converts among Hydrox fans. Green, sensing success, consolidated marketing and distribution muscle behind the new biscuit and sales surged.

Green, who died in 1917 at age 73 (“of complications due to advanced age,” according to his obituary in The New York Times), never knew how dominant the Oreo would become. While Hydrox cookies were eventually discontinued (subsequent revivals have been unsuccessful), Oreos are a continuing global phenomenon, sold in more than 100 countries.

Test Kitchen Tip: Melt Milk Chocolate Carefully

Because milk chocolate contains milk solids, its protein content is generally higher than that of dark chocolate. The extra protein means that milk chocolate melts at a slightly lower temperature than dark; what’s more, when you add heat to protein and sugar, new molecules may form, introducing unwelcome scorched or burned flavors. Microwaves are generally gentle, but notoriously inconsistent, so choose 50 percent power, keep a close eye on the chocolate, and give it a stir every 15 seconds.

Drizzling Chocolate

We’ve found that a plastic zipper-lock bag with a corner snipped off is an effective tool for drizzling melted and cooled chocolate.

To create even drizzles, hold the bag at least 8 to 12 inches above the cheesecake and swipe back and forth in long, smooth gestures, draping lines of chocolate over the cake.

Watch The Full Episode

Test cook Julia Collin Davison demonstrates how to make Milk Chocolate Cheesecake at home. Then, equipment expert Adam Ried reveals his top picks for cake stands. And finally, test cook Bridget...