5 Ingredients or Fewer

Salty Chocolate Cheesecake

April 15, 2022
21 Ratings
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 5 minutes
  • makes 1 9-inch cake
Author Notes

Fudgy, tangy cheesecake with a two-ingredient filling and two-ingredient crust. Yes, it’s possible. The trick is to skip the oven, which, if you ask me, only leads to more trouble (like a water bath) and more ingredients (like eggs and flour). A no-bake approach makes this recipe as simple as mix, scrape, refrigerate, done. Most of the chocolate is melted and beaten into soft cream cheese until billowy, like a halfway point between ganache and frosting. The rest is chopped, then stirred in, so each bite has a little crunch. Bittersweet chocolate is often my go-to, but stick to semisweet here. It’s our primary source of sweetness, since there’s no added sugar, not even in the crust. If you want to skip measuring the chocolate, Nestle makes a 10-ounce bag of mini chips. And if you don’t have (or want to buy) salted butter, you can use the same quantity of unsalted butter and increase the salt in the crust from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. And yes, you could skip the flaky salt on top, but do me a favor and try it on one bite first. It’s striking, you’ll see. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 7 ounces Ritz or graham (classic or chocolate) crackers
  • 4 ounces (8 tablespoons/1 stick) salted butter, melted, plus more for greasing
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus flaky salt for sprinkling (optional)
  • 10 ounces (1⅔ cups) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 12 ounces (1½ cups) cream cheese, at a cool room temperature
  1. Add the crackers to a medium bowl and crush with your hands to yield fine crumbs. (You can also put the crumbs in a bag and whack with a rolling pin, or use a food processor.) Stir in the melted butter and salt.
  2. Grease the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch springform cake pan. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment, then grease the parchment and the sides of the pan. Using a measuring cup, firmly press the cracker mixture into the bottom for an even, flat crust. Freeze until firm.
  3. Once the crust is firm, melt 8 ounces (1⅓ cups) of chocolate and let cool until barely warm. Finely chop the remaining 2 ounces (⅓ cup) chips.
  4. With a hand mixer or a stand mixer fit with whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-high until very fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add half of the melted chocolate and beat until incorporated. Add the rest of the melted chocolate and keep beating until incorporated. Using a spoon or flexible spatula, stir in the chopped chocolate.
  5. Evenly spread the chocolate–cream cheese on top of the frozen crust. Tightly cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1½ hours or up to 1 day.
  6. Just before unmolding, slicing, and serving, sprinkle with a pinch of flaky salt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • bhilz
  • Smaug
  • Mary Bilyeu
    Mary Bilyeu
  • JP
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

16 Reviews

Mary B. April 22, 2024
No one wants to eat a block of chocolate cream cheese, which is what the filling is, essentially. But the ease of the recipe was enticing, so I doctored it. I added a bit of sugar and some rum, and still this was a blick of chocolate cream cheese ... bleah. Will be throwing this out - a waste of ingredients.
JP April 15, 2024
This was sooooo salty. I followed the recipe precisely and used Ritz, Diamond Kosher, salted butter. The sourness of the cream cheese filling (Cabot) with the salty crust was not a complementary pairing. It just tasted wrong. It was nice and easy though, so I would try it again and use a sweet base, probably crushed chocolate cookies.
bhilz May 27, 2022
So I riffed off of this recipe to include some Snickers-inspired flavors and it was a big success!!

For the crust, I used half graham crackers and half roasted salted peanuts, which I blitzed in the food processer together until both were broken down into fine crumbs, then mixed with sugar and butter. I also opted to bake it instead of freezing, since I had time and wanted it more toasty and delicate.

Then I made a caramel sauce with sugar, water, cream, vanilla, and butter. I let it cool slightly, poured 1/2 cup onto the crust which was still a little warm from the oven, and stuck it in the freezer to cool down faster.

For the filling, I used 10 oz milk chocolate along with 2 oz 80% dark, all of which I melted and combined with 2 whole bricks of softened, whipped cream cheese. I'm a big fan of darker milk chocolate and this combo hit that note for me. The cream cheese cut the sweetness nicely. I spread the chocolate mix onto the crust w/ caramel, then put it in the fridge overnight to set. I finished it with a drizzle of some reserved caramel and roasted peanuts.

The chocolate tasted silky like a truffle but had nice tang from the cream cheese, and the crust hit both the peanut-y and cookie flavors from the candy bar. Very decadent and rich, more of a small bites pie than large slices. But I'll definitely make it again. Could be fun to do in a sheet pan then cut out small squares/circles for a party.
Very thin and dense and not, in my opinion, in a good way. Flavor ok. Appearance not great.
bhilz May 10, 2022
Thinking of doing a snickers-inspired variation of this with a ground peanut crust and caramel drizzled on top! Will play with it in the next couple weeks and report back.
PatR May 10, 2022
Oh please do report bhilz!
Charles May 8, 2022
Easy-to-follow recipe - freezing "downtime" allowed me to bake another cake in between steps. I think the result is terrific - a little salty, a little savory, a little crunchy, a lotta' chocolate. The others at our family gathering liked the filling but not the crust and asked that I make this again with a more traditional Graham cracker crust. Oh, well...
PatR May 1, 2022
Just a thought…I wonder if those reviewers who found this too salty used Ritz crackers in the crust. Big difference in salt content between them and Graham crackers.
Smaug May 1, 2022
I didn't, I used it as a pie filling with a standard crust.
Steve W. May 3, 2022
Usually, when a recipe turns out too salty it’s the brand of kosher salt that is to blame. Most recipes are created with Diamond Crystal, but it seems most people have access to Morton. Morton has about the same salt density as table salt while Diamond Crystal is about half that. If you don’t have Diamond Crystal on hand, try reducing the salt by half and it should turn out fine.
Smaug May 3, 2022
For me, the salt in the cream cheese was too much all by itself. Did not add salt in the recipe, certainly didn't sprinkle salt on top.
KhadishaVlahos April 22, 2022
Made this today. In my opinion it was a tad too salty. I think with a little pinch of sugar it would have been the perfect balance of the salt and bitterness from the semi sweet chocolate
Smaug April 23, 2022
I thought it was a bit too salty too, even without sprinkling on extra salt- I attributed it to using store brand cream cheese, but I don't know if it was really saltier than other brands. Don't think sugar would help.
Smaug April 21, 2022
Tried the chocolate mixture as a pie filling (1/3 recipe for a 6" pie). Not much mystery as to how it will taste- came out a bit stiff to get into the crust easily. It would probably be fairly easy to tweak; I considered mixing in some sour cream, but didn't want to open a new container; probably could have just warmed it a bit.
Smaug April 21, 2022
ps I did NOT sprinkle salt on in- thought that fad had died out, and none too soon.
D April 21, 2022
Made this today-- looks great, and was very easy. However, my filling got really, really hard, to the point that it was nearly impossible to mix in the chopped chocolate/fill into the shell.

I left the cream cheese out for at 3+ hours and it was at room temperature.