Decorated chocolate orange cheesecake with candied orange slices
Cakes,  Cheesecakes,  Seasonal

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

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This chocolate orange cheesecake is ultra creamy, chocolatey, and zesty. It has an oreo crust and is topped with a creamy chocolate ganache, candied orange slices, and Terry’s chocolate orange wedges. The recipe has everything you need to know to make a perfect creamy and rich baked cheesecake. It’s the perfect make ahead cake for the holidays!

Why you will LOVE this recipe:

  • Creamy: The texture is silky smooth, rich, and creamy. It’s everything you want in a cheesecake!
  • Orange: There’s orange zest and juice to give it lots of orange flavour. It’s topped with easy candied orange slices!
  • Chocolate: Melted chocolate chips add lots of chocolate flavour and even more richness to the cheesecake.
  • Straight Forward: This recipe has all the tips and tricks you’ll need to get a perfect baked cheesecake every time. No need to be afraid!
Cut open chocolate orange cheesecake

Orange sugar

Grated orange zest and granulated sugar are rubbed together until the sugar becomes orange and fragrant. This helps the zest to release all of its beautiful orange flavour into the chocolate orange cheesecake. Most of the flavour comes from the zest in this recipe so this step is very important!

If you don’t want to feel the zest in the recipe at all, I recommend blending the zest and sugar in a food processor until no more pieces of zest remain. 

Taking a bite of chocolate orange cheesecake slice

Candied orange slices

They’re so easy to make! Slice oranges while heating sugar and water in a wide pot. Once simmering, add the orange slices and simmer until the rind looks translucent, about 20 minutes. Arrange onto a cooling rack to cool and allow the excess syrup to drip off and enjoy!

You can save the orange syrup for adding into drinks and cocktails. It will store well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Water bath options

A water bath is essential in making an evenly baked, ultra creamy baked cheesecake without any cracks. In this recipe I provided a couple of options for a waterbath depending on what you have on hand. 

The best option can be used if you’re using a springform pan. Find a round baking pan that is 1”-2” larger than the pan that the cheesecake is in. This will keep the water out of the cheesecake, preventing it from getting soggy. Nest the chocolate orange cheesecake into the larger pan and then into the large roasting tray where the hot water will be. This is what I have used in this recipe.

If the chocolate orange cheesecake is in a regular round pan (not springform), you can place the pan directly into the water bath because water can’t get in through the bottom edge. Make sure you create a sling out of parchment paper so that you can lift to remove the cheesecake out of the pan after chilling.

If the cheesecake is in a springform pan, wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil. Try to use a wide enough foil to cover the whole bottom and edges so that water for sure can’t get through the cracks of the springform pan. You can also nestle the springform pan into a heat safe sous vide bag instead of the aluminum foil.

chocolate orange cheesecake on cake stand

How to get the perfect cheesecake every time

There are a few key steps to getting a perfect baked cheesecake every time. It all starts at the beginning – with the ingredient temperatures. Make sure everything is at room temperature for a smooth and even batter. Scrape down the bowl very frequently to make sure there are no lumps.

Secondly, use a good quality, full fat cream cheese. Low fat cream cheese has a much higher water content and will give you a watery cheesecake that won’t taste good.

It is very important to bake with a water bath. This ensures that the cheesecake bakes evenly and the steam prevents cracking. There are a couple of options for the water bath, depending on what you have on hand.

The chocolate orange cheesecake needs to chill for at least 8 hours or overnight in the fridge. This is important for allowing the cheesecake to set and the flavour to develop. It’s worth the wait!

Key ingredients

Full steps and ingredients in recipe card below. But read through these for all the tips you will need for success!

Oranges: You’ll need orange juice and zest for the chocolate orange cheesecake and 2 whole oranges (sliced) for the candied orange slices on top. You don’t need to decorate them with candied orange slices but they’re so delicious and complement the flavours perfectly!

Oreo Crumbs: You can buy pre-crushed or whole oreos. You’ll need 3 cups of crumbs or 36 whole oreos. Use a food processor or place inside a bag and crush with a rolling pin.

Semisweet Chocolate Chips: This is what is going to give your cheesecake its rich chocolatey flavour. I’ve only tested the recipe with semisweet chocolate chips. Milk chocolate chips will make the cheesecake overly sweet and not chocolatey enough.

Cream Cheese: Use a good quality cream cheese. Don’t use a low fat variety, it has too much water and the consistency will be watery. Leave the cream cheese out at room temperature 2 hours before making the cheesecake for it to soften.

Heavy Whipping Cream: Heavy cream will lighten up the cheesecake and make it ultra creamy. It’s also in the ganache. Don’t use half and half or milk instead, it won’t work.

Sour cream: This will deepen the flavour and give the cheesecake a creamy texture. Don’t use a low fat sour cream.

Eggs: Make sure they’re at room temperature so that they blend in perfectly, creating a silky smooth batter.

Eating slice of chocolate orange cheesecake

Step by step

Step 1 – Crust. Combine oreo crumbs, hazelnuts, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Mix until evenly incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and spread it out to the edges. Use the bottom of a glass to pack tightly, pushing the crumbs halfway up the edges. Bake in preheated oven (355°F or 180°C) for 12 minutes. Work on the filling while it bakes. Don’t turn the oven off.

Step 2 – Melt chocolate. Pour a few inches of water in the bottom of a saucepan and bring to a simmer. FInd a heatsafe bowl that fits on top of the saucepan without touching the water. Place chocolate chips and cream into the bowl, bowl onto saucepan, and stir until melted. Remove from saucepan and let cool to room temperature. Fill a kettle with water and set it to boil for the water bath.

Step 3 – Orange sugar. Place sugar and orange zest into large bowl or stand mixer. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until it becomes pale orange and starts to clump together. 

Step 4 – Batter. Add cream cheese into the orange sugar and beat with a stand or electric mixer until fully smooth. Crack in eggs one by one, beating until fully smooth and scraping down the sides. Add the melted chocolate and mix just until incorporated. Add sour cream, vanilla, and orange juice, mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides so that the batter is even and smooth.

Step 5 – Water bath. Place the prebaked crust in a round baking pan that is 1-2” wider than the cheesecake pan. Place that pan into a large rectangular baking dish where it fits comfortably. See recipe notes for water bath alternatives. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top. Carefully pour the boiling hot water into the large rectangular pan. Carefully transfer the large baking tray with everything inside into the oven using oven mitts.

Step 6 – Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven (355°F or 180°C) for 60-75 minutes. It’s ready when the edges are set and the middle is still jiggly. It will continue baking as it cools. Leave the oven door open for 20 minutes and let the cheesecake cool inside the oven. Remove the cheesecake from the waterbath and let cool completely to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Step 7 – Candied orange slices. Slice oranges into ⅛” even slices. You need about 6 even slices of the same size. Bring sugar and water to a simmer on medium heat in a wide pot. Gently place the orange slices into the simmering syrup with tongs. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, flipping frequently for even cooking. The slices are ready when the rinds look a bit translucent. 

Step 8 – Cool. Place onto a cooling rack with a tray underneath to catch any drippings. Let excess syrup drip off and cool. Any unused orange slices will keep well in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Reserve orange syrup for flavouring drinks in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. 

Step 9 – Ganache. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan until simmering. Place chocolate chips in a large heat safe bowl. Once simmering, pour cream over chocolate chips. Cover and let sit for 7 minutes. Whisk the ganache until completely smooth. 

Step 10 – Assembly. Before Serving, pour ganache over the chilled and unmolded cheesecake. Spread it out to the edges and alternate chocolate orange slices and candied orange slices on the edge of the cake. Let the ganache set for 5 minutes in the freezer, slice, and enjoy!

FAQ

Why is my cheesecake batter lumpy and/or split?

Make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature so they blend together well. When adding the eggs, add them one by one, mixing in between each egg until the egg yolk disappears into the batter. Lastly, scrape down the bowl frequently so that everything incorporates evenly.

Why did my cheesecake crack?

This happens when the cheesecake is overbaked, the oven temperature is too high, or if you don’t use a waterbath. Check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer and make sure you pull out the cheesecake while the middle is still jiggly.

Can I set the waterbath on a rack in the oven below the cheesecake?

The cheesecake needs to sit directly in the waterbath in order to get the benefit of even heat. Having it on a different tray in the oven just doesn’t work the same.

Why do I need to chill cheesecake before eating?

The cheesecake needs to chill for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight so that it has time to firm up and for the flavours to develop. It will taste much richer and creamier after chilling!

Can I use whole oreos for cheesecake crust?

Yes! Don’t take the filling out of them just crush them up whole.

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Happy baking!

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Decorated chocolate orange cheesecake with candied orange slices

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

Mary
This chocolate orange cheesecake is ultra creamy, chocolatey, and zesty. It has an oreo crust and is topped with a creamy chocolate ganache, candied orange slices, and Terry’s chocolate orange wedges. The recipe has everything you need to know to make a perfect creamy and rich baked cheesecake.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Chill Time 8 hrs
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Baking, Cake, Cheesecake, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 3 cups Oreo crumbs 36 oreo cookies, crushed
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter cooled
  • teaspoon sea salt

Cheesecake

  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 orange zested
  • 24 oz cream cheese softened (680g)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream room temperature
  • ¼ cup orange juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Candied Orange Slices

  • 2 oranges
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ cup water

Chocolate Ganache

  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • teaspoon sea salt

Assembly

  • 8 slices terry chocolate orange
  • 8 slices candied orange

Instructions
 

Crust

  • Preheat oven to 355°F (180°C). Grease an 8” or 9” round springform pan with a piece of cold butter.
  • Use a food processor to crush whole oreos into fine crumbs. Or place oreos in a large bag and crush with a rolling pin. Combine crushed oreos, butter, and sea salt in a large bowl until even.
    3 cups Oreo crumbs, 4 tablespoons melted butter, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pour crust mixture into greased pan and spread out to the edges. Use the bottom of a glass to pack tightly, pushing the crumbs halfway up the edges.
  • Bake for 12 minutes. Work on the filling in the meantime.

Cheesecake

  • Pour a few inches of water in the bottom of a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Find a heatsafe bowl that fits on top of the saucepan without touching the water. Place chocolate chips and cream into the bowl, bowl onto saucepan, and stir until melted. Remove from saucepan and let cool to room temperature.
    2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • Fill a kettle full of water and set it to boil for the waterbath.
  • Place sugar, salt, and orange zest into large bowl or stand mixer. Use your fingers to rub the zest into the sugar until it becomes pale orange and starts to clump together.
    ¾ cup granulated sugar, 1 orange, ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • Add cream cheese into the orange sugar and beat with a stand or electric mixer until fully smooth.
    24 oz cream cheese
  • Add eggs one by one, beating until fully smooth and scraping down the sides.
    3 large eggs
  • Add the melted chocolate and mix just until incorporated. Add sour cream, vanilla, and orange juice, mix just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides so that the batter is even and smooth.
    ½ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, ¼ cup orange juice
  • Place the prebaked crust in a round baking pan that is 1-2” wider than the cheesecake pan. Place that pan into a large rectangular baking dish where it fits comfortably. See notes for water bath alternatives.
  • Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top. Carefully pour the boiling hot water into the large rectangular pan. Carefully transfer the large baking tray with everything inside into the oven using oven mitts.
  • Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven (355°F or 180°C) for 60-75 minutes. It is ready when the edges are set and the middle is still jiggly. It will continue baking as it cools.
  • Leave the oven door open for 20 minutes and let the cheesecake cool inside the oven. Afterwards, remove the cheesecake from the waterbath and let cool completely to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Candied Orange Slices

  • Slice the oranges into ⅛” even slices. You need about 6 even slices of the same size. Bring sugar and water to a simmer on medium heat in a wide pot.
    2 oranges, 2 cups granulated sugar, 1 ½ cup water
  • Gently place the orange slices into the simmering syrup with tongs. Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, flipping frequently for even cooking. The slices are ready when the rinds look a bit translucent.
  • Place onto a cooling rack with a tray underneath to catch any drippings. Let excess syrup drip off and cool. Any unused orange slices will keep well in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Reserve orange syrup for flavouring drinks in a jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Chocolate Ganache

  • Heat heavy cream and salt in a small saucepan until simmering. Place chocolate chips in a large heat safe bowl. Once simmering, pour cream over chocolate chips. Cover and let sit for 7 minutes. Whisk the ganache until completely smooth.
    ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips, ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, ⅛ teaspoon sea salt

Assembly

  • Before Serving, pour ganache over the chilled and unmolded cheesecake. Spread it out to the edges and alternate chocolate orange slices and candied orange slices on the edge of the cake. Let the ganache set for 5 minutes in the freezer, slice, and enjoy!
    8 slices terry chocolate orange, 8 slices candied orange

Notes

Water Bath Options:
  1. (The best option) Find a round baking pan that is 1”-2” larger than the pan that the cheesecake is in. This will keep the water out of the cheesecake preventing it from getting soggy. Nest the cheesecake into the larger pan and then into the large roasting tray where the hot water will be. *This is for if the cheesecake is in a springform pan*
  2. If the cheesecake is in a regular round pan (not springform), you can place the pan directly into the water bath because water can’t get in through the bottom edge. Make sure you create a sling out of parchment paper so that you can lift to remove the cheesecake out of the pan after chilling.
  3. If the cheesecake is in a springform pan, wrap the outside of the pan tightly with a double layer of aluminum foil. Try to use a wide enough foil to cover the whole bottom and edges. You can also nestle the springform pan into a heatsafe sous vide bag instead of the aluminum foil.
Make Ahead: You can make the cheesecake 1-2 days in advance. Top with ganache before serving so that it stays silky smooth and won’t get ruined during storage. The cheesecake will keep well refrigerated (wrapped tightly or in an airtight container) for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
The Crust: If you can’t find oreos you can use any other chocolate sandwich cookies or 407g graham cracker crumbs.
Chilling: It’s essential that the cheesecake chills in the fridge for at least 8 hours (or overnight) for it to set and for the flavours to develop.
Keyword baked cheesecake, baked chocolate orange cheesecake, chocolate orange cheesecake, Oreo Crust

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