This no bake black forest cheesecake with Oreo crust turns your favorite black forest gateau and turns it into an irresistible chocolate cherry cheesecake.
This chocolate cherry cheesecake is the stuff black forest cake dreams are made of. A buttery chocolate Oreo cookie base with a luscious chocolate cocoa cheesecake filling, covered with spoonfulls of tangy, juicy sour cherry topping and finished with swirls of boozy kirsch whipped cream, drool!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Delicious flavors of cherry and chocolate in a cheesecake.
- Easy no bake dessert, saving you room in the oven.
- Make it ahead for easy entertaining.
- Made with canned sour cherries for a year-round treat.
Sour cherries: also known as tart cherries. The most common variety is Morello. If you can't get sour cherries you could use regular cherries, or possibly a tin of cherry pie filling, but your cheesecake will be sweeter.
Dutch cocoa powder: this recipe is one of the few times when I actually prefer to use Dutch cocoa powder. You can read more about Dutch cocoa powder in my no churn chocolate ice cream recipe. If you can't get Dutch cocoa powder you can use the same amount of natural cocoa powder but you make need to work harder to get it to mix into the cheesecake filling.
Cinnamon: a little ground cinnamon is a traditional addition to the cherries in this black forest cake and helps add another flavor dimension.
Kirsch: also known as kirschwasser. Originally from Germany it's a clear, colorless brandy usually made from sour cherries. It's a traditional ingredient in Black Forest gateaus. You could substitute with a milder cherry alcohol such as cherry liquor if you prefer, or with cherry juice for an alcohol-free version.
Cornstarch: also known as corn flour. A little helps thicken the cherry topping and keep it in place on the cheesecake. Remember to cook it down enough to cook out the 'floury' taste.
Lemon juice: fresh lemon juice is best for this recipe. You will need approximately the juice from half a lemon, depending on how big and juicy your lemon is.
Granulated white sugar: white sugar is best in this recipe. You could use castor sugar if you prefer. I don't recommend using other types of sugar, they will be hard to dissolve and tend to interfere with the cheesecake setting properly.
Powdered sugar (not pictured): also known as icing sugar, a little helps thicken and sweetened the whipped cream topping for the cheesecake.
Cream cheese: full-fat cream cheese is best for this recipe for that classic creamy cheesecake taste. If you use light cream cheese it may not set properly.
Cream: I use thickened cream which has a fat content of about 34%. You could also use heavy cream or heavy whipping cream which is similar.
Chocolate flavored cookies: such as Oreos with the filling removed, or chocolate flavored cookies such as chocolate ripple or Bourbon. But if you prefer a plainer base you can replace it with the same amount of graham cracker crumbs or Digestives.
Unsalted Butter: because butter makes most things taste better. In this case it binds and sets the base.
How to make black forest cheesecake
See the full recipe card at the end of the post for ingredient amounts and instructions.
To make the cheesecake base
Grease and line your cheesecake springform tin.
Separate the Oreos and scrap out and discard the filling. Break up the Oreo into smaller pieces and blitz them into fine bread crumbs. Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove. Pour the melted butter into the cookie crumbs and mix well.
Tip the mix into the lined cake tin. Use the back of a spoon or a cup to firm down the base mix. You want to press down firmly enough for the base to hold, but not so firmly that it makes your base too hard. Chill the base in the fridge for at least one hour and up to overnight.
Hot tip: do not skip chilling the base. If it's too hot when you add the filling it can make the filling weep, resulting in a soggy cheesecake base. If you are pressed for time on the day you can make the base the day before and store it in the fridge.
To make the cheesecake filling
Beat the cream cheese briefly to soften it. Add the granulated sugar for the cheesecake filling and beat on low until all the sugar is dissolved.
Sift in the Dutch cocoa powder. Beat on low until well mixed in. If you are using a stand mixer remember to stop and scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to mix in the blind spots.
Add the kirsch if using and mix well.
In a separate bowl whip the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix, taking care not to knock too much air out of the whipped cream.
Spoon the filling onto the chilled Oreo crust. Take care to flatten out any air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake with an offset spatula. Chill in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
To make the cherry topping and decorate the cheesecake
Hot tip: the cherry topping can soak into the cheesecake and make it go soft over time. You can make the cherry topping for the cheesecake in advance, but I recommend decorating just before serving.
Juice the lemon. Drain the juice from the sour cherries and add ¼ cup of cherry juice to a small pot. Put aside the cherries. Add the granulated sugar for the cherry sauce, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice to the pot. Whisk well to fully mix in the corn flour.
Heat on medium height for five minutes, stirring well. When the mix starts to bubble turn down the heat. The mix will start an opaque lighter color and become dark and glossy and thicken as the sauce cooks.
Remove from heat and cool completely. Add the drained cherries back into the sauce and mix.
Whip the cream for the cheesecake decoration until medium peaks form. Sift in the powdered sugar and add the Kirch. Continue to whip until mixed in and firm peaks form.
Remove the cheesecake from the tin. Use a large sharp knife inserted between the base and the parchment paper to loosen the base. Transfer to a serving board or plate. Smooth down the sides with a spatula.
Put the whipped cream into a piping bag with a nozzle. Pipe the cream around the edge of the cheesecake in a circle. Spoon the cherry topping into the center of the cake and you're done!
How to serve
To serve this black forest gateau cheesecake pop it onto a plate, slice and enjoy! To get nice clean slices it helps to gently heat a large knife, wipe dry and slice. You will get cleaner slices if you nudge the cherries out of the way before slicing, otherwise they may dig into the cake as you slice.
Fabulous on its own or with a warming shot of Kirschwasser!
How to store
This black forest cherry cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, but will be freshest if eaten within three days. The cherry sauce will make the cheesecake soft over time.
Recipe tips and frequently asked questions
Can I make this without alcohol?
You sure can, just leave it out and it will still taste delicious. You can also replace it with a little sour cherry juice.
Can I make this with regular canned black cherries?
Yes you can, but your cherry topping will be sweeter and have less tang.
Can I make these as individual cheesecakes?
You sure can. To make individual cheesecakes simply make them lined muffin tins instead or silicon molds. Or you can make them in cups or shot glasses for an even easier make-ahead dessert.
As a guide this recipe will make about 24 'muffin tin' sized cheesecakes, which are a similar size to my no bake mini cheesecakes for comparison. You could easily half the recipe to make a dozen cheesecakes as per my mini cheesecakes recipe or make more generous servings.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below and tag me on instagram so I can see your delicious creations! @keep_calm_and_eat_icecream
Looking for more yummy dessert recipes?
Why not try making
- Cherry Cheesecake (recipe coming soon!)
- Traditional Black Forest Cake
- Black Forest Ice Cream
- Cherry Pineapple Popsicles
Black Forest Cheesecake
- Spring form cake tin, 7" x 2.5" (18cm x 6.5cm)
- Electric hand beaters or stand mixer
- Stick/immersion blender with chopping bowl attachment or food processor
For the cheesecake base
- 2 & ½ packets, (133gms per packet or about 335 gms total) or about 37 Oreos, seperated and filling removed
- 1 stick/ ½ cup (115gms) unsalted butter
For the chocolate cheesecake filling
- 2 x 8 ounce tubs (450gms total) full fat cream cheese
- ½ cup (110gms) granulated white sugar
- ¼ cup (25 gms) Dutch cocoa powder
- 4 teaspoons kirshwasser (or cherry juice)
- 1 cup (250mls) thickened cream
For the cherry sauce topping
- ½ jar (12oz/340gms) sour cherries such as Morelos (of a full size jar of 24oz or 680 gms). Drained with liquid put aside.
- 3 teaspoons tablespoons corn flour
- 3 teaspoons tablespoons granulated white sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
For the whipped cream topping
- ½ cup thickened cream
- 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon kirshwasser (optional)
- Line the base and sides of a springform tin with parchment paper.
- Break up the cookies and blitz briefly in a food processor into crumbs.
- Melt the butter by cubing, adding to a microwave proof bowl and microwave for a minute or two.
- Pour the melted butter into the biscuits crumbs and mix until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
- Pour into lined spring form tin and press down at the bottom to form the base. Do not press to firmly or your base may become to hard.
- Chill in fridge for at least one hour and up to overnight.
- Beat the room temperature briefly to soften it. Add the gradulated white sugar for the cheesecake filling and beat on low until the sugar is mixed and dissolved in.
- Sift the Dutch cocoa power into the creamcheese mix and beat on low until mixed in. Add the kirch and mix well.
- Whip the cream untill firm peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mix until well mixed in.
- Tip the cheesecake filling onto the prepared base, taking care to press down the filling into the edges as you go to smooth down any bubbles. Chill in the fridge for at least four hours, preferably overnight.
To make the cherry topping and decorate the cake
- NB: The cherry sauce will start to soften the cheesecake once added to the top of the cheesecake. The cherry topping can be made in advance but I recommend decorating your cheesecake just before serving.
- Juice the lemon. Drain the juice from the sour cherries and add ¼ cup of cherry juice to a small pot. Put aside the cherries.
- Add the granulated sugar for the cherry sauce, sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Whisk well to fully mix in the corn flour.
- Heat on medium height for five minutes, stirring well. When the mix starts to bubble turn down the heat. The mix will start an opaque lighter color and become dark and glossy and thicken as the sauce cooks.
- Remove from heat and cool. Add the drained cherries back into the sauce and mix.
- Whip the cream for the cheesecake decoration until medium peaks form. Sift in the powdered sugar and add the Kirch. Continue to whip until mixed in and firm peaks form.
- Remove the cheesecake from the tin. Use a large sharp knife inserted between the base and the parchment paper to loosen the base. Transfer to a serving board or plate. Smooth down the sides with a spatula.
- Put the whipped cream into a piping bag. Pipe the cream around the edge of the cheesecake in a circle. Spoon the cherries and sauce into the center of the cake and you're done!
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online database. The nutritional content of ingredients may vary by brand. If you require accurate nutritional information, you should calculate this based on the specific brands and products you are using.
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