This Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cheesecake with Brownie Crust is an easy and delicious way to satisfy even the most fervent chocoholics! It starts with a gluten free brownie crust, then creamy baked chocolate cheesecake, smothered in a rich chocolate ganache, and topped with your favourite chocolates! So get ready to drool and find out how to make a chocolate cheesecake from scratch that will really impress!
“What’s your favourite dessert?” is always a question that stumps me! There’s so many to choose from, how can I be expected to pick just one delicious dessert?! But, if I was forced, baked cheesecake would be a strong contender for my number 1 dessert! It’s creamy, and rich, and the flavour possibilities are endless – from the cheesecake, to the crust, to the cheesecake toppings, the world is your oyster in the land of baked cheesecakes. We all know that chocolate makes all desserts infinitely better, so I guess what I am trying to say is that this Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cheesecake is really, really good idea.
Making a baked cheesecake from scratch is so much easier than you might imagine, and so worth the time – especially since most of that time is just waiting for it to bake and then chill, there’s not much hands on time at all. This chocolate cheesecake has all the indulgent trimmings too, with a from scratch brownie crust and a smooth ganache topping – and yet it’s still a really easy chocolate dessert that everyone is going to fall madly in love with.
Not only is making a baked chocolate cheesecake from scratch so easy, once you have the base recipe down you can adapt it so easily for different flavours. I have one base cheesecake recipe that I work from, and make yummy additions as needed. The cheesecake also works off a basic formula, so it is really easy to scale up and down to create bigger or smaller cheesecakes (who would ever want a smaller cheesecake I do not know!). The ratio I work to for a baked cheesecake is for each 250g (9oz) portion of cream cheese I use 50g (1/4 cup) sugar and 1 large egg – then just double that as needed. Because I love a cheesecake, I usually go for a large one so do it x4 that ratio – either in an 8” tin for a thick cheesecake or a 10” for a slightly thinner cheesecake. I will usually add in some liquid too, such as greek yogurt, cream, or sour cream. Sometimes, I’ll switch out 1/3-1/2 of the cream cheese for mascarpone – it adds such a creamy texture, it’s amazing! If I’m using mascarpone, I’ll usually leave out the extra liquid. This cheesecake wouldn’t be a chocolate cheesecake without, well, chocolate and all you have to do is add cooled melted chocolate into the batter – it’s really that simple!
The cheesecake crusts are just as versatile too, and you’re definitely not limited with choices even when you’re gluten free like me! This easy chocolate cheesecake recipe has a brownie crust, which is literally just my favourite fudgy brownie recipe scaled down and baked into a thin layer in the cake tin – the trick is to pre-bake it until the top is just set but it’s still very liquid inside, this takes a very short amount of time with such a thin layer. This way, it means you will still get a fudgy brownie at the bottom, but it won’t mix with the cheesecake – chocolate perfection in a slice of cheesecake.
I’ve called this a Death by Chocolate Cheesecake, so I obviously couldn’t stop with just a brownie crust and chocolate cheesecake. There’s the rich and smooth chocolate ganache spread on top – I love making chocolate ganache because it’s so easy and is just two ingredients (plus a little salt and vanilla), and it really adds an indulgence that will make you feel really fancy. To really take this Death by Chocolate Cheesecake over that chocolate hill, we’re also topping it with chopped up chocolate – there’s no rules on what you can use here, just pick your favourites. I went for a mixture of chopped chocolate bars (dark, milk, and white), plus magic stars and chopped up wispas, which I think are both very British exclusive chocolate treats. To give this gluten free chocolate cheesecake a more fancy bakery look, I also sprinkle some chocolate shavings/curls on top – you can buy these, or they’re really easy to do yourself with a block bar of chocolate and a vegetable peeler!
There is a lot that I love about this Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cheesecake – it’s delicious, it’s easy, it’s full of as much chocolate as you could possibly want. But one of my favourite things about this chocolate cheesecake is how many servings it makes. It’s a 10” cheesecake so it’s pretty big to start with, but it is so rich and decadent that even the most dedicated chocoholic will struggle to eat more than one small slice at a time. Of course, I’d love to hear if you can prove me wrong though!
Let’s get baking!
Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cheesecake with Brownie Crust
Yield 16 slices
This Gluten Free Death by Chocolate Cheesecake with Brownie Crust is an easy and delicious way to satisfy even the most fervent chocoholics! It starts with a gluten free brownie crust, then creamy baked chocolate cheesecake, smothered in a rich chocolate ganache, and topped with your favourite chocolates!
For the brownie crust:
- 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup (50g) white sugar
- 7oz (200g) dark chocolate
- 1/2 cup (50g) cocoa powder
- 1 cup (115g) gluten free all purpose (plain) flour blend*
- 1/2 tsp xanthan gum (omit if your GF flour blend already contains xanthan or guar gum)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup (packed) + 1 tbsp light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.4 tbsp brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup (100g) chocolate chips
For the cheesecake:
- 1 cup (200g) white sugar
- 35oz (1kg) full fat cream cheese
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream (double cream)
- 4 large eggs
- 7oz (200g) milk chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
For the ganache:
- 4 oz (115g) dark chocolate
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream (double cream)
For the topping:
- Your favourite chocolate chopped up
- Chocolate curls
To make the brownie crust:
- Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Line the base of a 10" springform pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides. Set aside.
- Melt the butter, sugar, and dark chocolate together in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, and leave to cool slightly.
- Sift the cocoa into a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, xanthan gum if using, salt, and baking powder, and lightly whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In another mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Stir in the brewed coffee. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat to combine.
- Add the flour mix, and beat to combine
- Add chocolate chips and stir to distribute.
- Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread in a layer across the bottom
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the top is just set. Leave to cool completely.
To make the cheesecake:
- Turn the oven down to 325F/160C
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or a handheld electric beater) on a medium speed beat together the sugar, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and cream until it's fully combined.
- On a medium speed, beat in the eggs one at a time, fully combining between each addition.
- On a low speed, add the cooled melted chocolate and "stir" until fully combined
- Pour on top of the brownie crust and spread out evenly - being careful not to pierce the top of the brownie layer.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the edges are turning golden and the middle is only just set, with a good wobble to it.
- Turn the oven off and prop the door open a couple of inches, leave cheesecake to cool in the turned off oven. Don't worry if the cheesecake cracks as it cools, we will be covering that up with ganache soon!
- Once cooled, remove from the oven and tightly cover with plastic wrap - chill in the fridge for at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
To make the ganache:
- Remove the chilled cheesecake from the pan if you haven't done so already, and place on your serving plate/stand. Set aside.
- Finely chop the chocolate and put in a heatproof bowl with the vanilla extract and salt.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream on a low-medium heat until bubbles start to form around the edge.
- Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate and cover with a clean towel or piece of kitchen paper, leave to stand for 1 minute
- Whisk together until smooth and all melted. Leave to cool slightly, for 5-10 minutes.
- Pour the ganache on top of the cheesecake in the centre, and use a rubber spatula to spread to the edges
- Top with chopped chocolate and chocolate curls
*I use Dove's Farm brand gluten free flour blend, which I love. If you're in the US, I have heard good things about Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour but I have not tried it myself yet. If gluten isn't a concern, you can just switch out for regular all purpose/plain flour in the same amounts.
While I give out cup measurements for the benefit of my US based readers, I always recommend baking with weighed measurements as it is much more accurate. If you bake often, it's well worth investing in a set of kitchen scales.
Store in the fridge tightly covered for up to 3 days.
Calorie information is generated using an app and may not be accurate, this should be used for information purposes only. Cheesecake should be enjoyed without worrying about the amount of calories anyway, google just makes me give that info for you!
Serving Size 1 slice
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.