A thick and crunchy chocolate wafer and candy kissed crust holds a creamy vanilla cheesecake filled with chopped bits of your favorite chocolate candy bars. Then a chocolate ganache spiderweb finishes this off in the most spooktacular way!
This Halloween Candy Cheesecake is so good and it’s a great way to use up all that leftover Halloween candy. I’ll be showing you how to make this cheesecake live on Show Me St. Louis soon and I’ll put that video up in this post afterwards.
The air is finally crisp and the leaves are falling. It feels like Fall and I love it! It is getting dark sooner, which means the girls are finally sleeping more. So of course the upcoming time change will end that as abruptly as it started! But we’ve been prepping for Halloween and the fun of Fall. The girls have their Halloween costumes ready and it’s fun time over here with all the crafts and holiday excitement.
I don’t eat too much candy, but I do love baking with it. And this Halloween Cheesecake is the best cheesecake. It has chocolate, vanilla, and chocolate candy in every single luscious bite. Read on for tips on how to have a perfectly smooth, decadent, and dreamy cheesecake without any cracks.
Halloween is supposed to be scary, but making cheesecake doesn’t have to be! There are lots of tricks and tips to get the texture, look, and taste of cheesecake perfect from top to bottom. Making perfect cheesecake takes time. So if you plan on making cheesecake give yourself time to prepare your ingredients and plenty of chill time after the cheesecake is out of the oven. This is a slow and precise process.
- Use room temperature ingredients. Cheesecakes must be made with room temperature ingredients to ensure perfectly smooth batter without a lump in sight. Make sure to set the cheesecake, sour cream, and eggs at least a couple of hours before you plan to make this recipe.
- Pre-beat your eggs. Not over-beating your batter is imperitive for not getting any cracks on your cheesecake. Once you add eggs to the batter you have to be gentle with it. If you place all of the eggs in a bowl and mix it up with a fork prior to adding it to your batter, this will help keep your cheesecake from cracking.
- Do Not over-mix the cheesecake batter! As mentioned in step 2, it is important not to over-beat your cheesecake batter. My best, crack free cheesecakes come from using my trusty hand mixer. This way you can control the speed, dip into all the parts of your bowl, and know the texture of your batter at all times.
- Use a water bath and low oven temperature. Cheesecake needs to cook slowly. All of the eggs and dairy used in cheesecake make it similar to cooking a custard like Creme Brulee. The low and slow process, along with a water bath will prevent cracks and yield the creamiest texture imaginable. I never cook my cheesecake over 325 degrees.
- Use foil and this method. Wrap the springform pan twice in heavy duty foil to prevent water from leaking into the cheesecake. Furthermore, first place your cheesecake into the roasting pan. Place onto an oven rack. Pull that oven rack out so you have enough room to pour the boiling water directly around the cheesecake pan and into the roasting pan. This method prevents the pan from sloshing water into the foil or cheesecake when transporting it into the oven.
- Use boiling water. Make sure to boil water for your water bath!
- Do not overbake. Cheesecake continues to cook after you remove it from the oven. This cheesecake recipe needs no more than 70 minutes in the oven. So make sure that you look for set edges but a still jiggly center that moves like jello. If you begin to see signs of even the tiniest crack at the edge, remove it from the oven immediately.
- Allow it to cool to room temperature. Once you remove your cheesecake from the oven, let it continue sit in the water bath for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove it from the water. Take off the foil. Then let it sit on a cooling rack in the pan until it comes to room temperature, which usually takes at least an hour.
- Loosen it. Run a knife around the edges to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan. Do this once after it comes out of the water bath. Then do this again after the cheesecake goes into the fridge to finish chilling.
- Finish chilling. The chilling process takes at least 4 hours after you cool it to room temperature. Do not rush this! If you do you can have a cheesecake that is not completely set in the middle! The chilling slow chilling process is imperative to have it set and get the perfect cheesecake texture.
- Remove it from the Springform pan before adding topping. Make sure to remove it from the pan and take it off the bottom of pan before adding toppings and servings.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated. Cheesecake is perishable and should only be stored and served cold.
Chocolate Sandwich Crust (Oreo Crust)
This Halloween Cheesecake recipe uses a thick and crunchy chocolate sandwich cookie crust. You can use Oreos or any kind of chocolate sandwich cookies for this baked cheescake crust. Additionally, I threw in a bit of chocolate candy bars into the crust mix as well. After all, this is a Halloween candy cheesecake!
First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/ 180 C. Use cooking spray to grease the springform pan.
To make this chocolate cookie and candy crust, simply use a Food Processor. Melt some butter and set aside. Then put all the sandwich cookies into the food processor and grind them into coarse crumbs. Throw in some chopped candy, like peanut butter cups, Snickers, Milky Way, or any chocoalte candy bar your candy loving heart desires. No food processor? No problem! Alternatively, place cookies and candy in a ziploc bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Then pour over melted butter and give it a few final pulses.
Then dump the Cheesecake’s chocolate cookie crust mixture into the pan. Press down with your fingers and push it halfway up the sides of the pan as well. Use a measuring spoon to push into the sides of the pan to get that crust all sealed up as well. Next, bake the cookie crust for 10 minutes. Set it aside to cool while you make the Halloween Candy Cheesecake filling.
*Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F/ 170 C.
As you can see from the Cheesecake pic below, the crust is firm and thick, with bits of chocolate candy pieces throughout.
Once the pan has cooled down enough to handle, prepare it for the cheesecake water bath. Wrap the bottom and all the way up the sides of the cheesecake pan with 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil. Set this wrapped pan in a roasting pan and move on to cheesecake filling.
Halloween Candy Cheesecake Filling
The cheesecake filling for this chocolate candy cheesecake is a rich and luscious sour cream vanilla cheesecake that is your canvas for any chocolate candy you want to mix in. For the cheesecake pictured, I used chopped up peanut butter cups. Because everyone knows I have a thing for Peanut Butter Cup Cookies! But this is a cheesecake that is adaptable for any Halloween candy bars, so go candy crazy! With all of the leftover Halloween candy and bags of chocolate candy you’ll buy yourself, this really is the perfect and most delicous way to use it up!
Before you get started on the best cheesecake filling, make sure that all of your ingredients are room temperature. Additionally, set a kettle of water to boil for your water bath. I also give my eggs and vanilla extract a quick mix and have my candy bars chopped and ready to go.
Use a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl. First, cream the blocks of softened cream cheese until they are completely smooth. Use medium speed for this and it may take a minute to get it all smooth. Then scrape the bowl down and add the sour cream. Mix it again for a minute until it is all smooth and creamy. Then with the mixer running on low speed, gradually add in the egg mixture. Beat until it is all incorporated, but be gentle with the batter and do not over-mix.
Lastly, fold in the chopped up candy pieces. Then pour the batter into the pan and smooth over the top. I always give it a gentle tap to settle the batter as well.
Then place the whole pan into the oven’s middle rack. Now pull out that rack for access to the roasting pan.
Next, pour the boiling water 3 inches deep directly into the roasting pan. Doing it this way prevents sloshing of water when you’re transporting the cheesecake into the oven.
Then bake for 60-70 minutes. At 60 minutes check to see if it’s ready by very gently moving the pan. If the cheesecake is set around the edges but still a bit wobbly like Jello in the center, it’s ready. If not, allow it only up to 10 minutes more. If you see any sign of cracking, even the tiniest crack ever, remove it immediately! Cracks mean it is getting overdone!
Cooling The Cheesecake
Once you remove the cheesecake from the oven, allow it to sit in the water bath for 30 minutes. This is to allow the cheesecake to cool at a slow rate. Then remove it from the water bath carefully. Peel off the foil and place on a cooling rack. Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen cheesecake then cool to room temperature. This takes about an hour.
Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, run a clean knife along the pan to loosen once more. Then chill the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, or overnight. It must have this long chill time to set!
Spiderweb Ganache Cheesecake
Once the cheesecake has cooled, remove the springform pan. Make the ganache topping.
You only need two ingredients for this ganache, finely chopped semi sweet chocolate (or chocolate chips) and heavy whipping cream.
Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan. Then pour the cream over the chocolate. Sit for a few minutes for the cream to start melting the chocolate. Whisk it gently from the inside of the bowl, until it is smooth.
Transfer the ganache to a piping bag. Cut a small bit from end of bag so you have a small round tip.
To make the spiderweb on the cheesecake, start in the center of the cheesecake. Make a spiral that continues until you reach the outer edge. Next, take a toothpick. Drag the toothpick from the center to the outer edge. Repeat every inch to form the chocolate spiderweb.
Halloween Candy Cheesecake
- 25 whole chocolate sandwich cookies like Oreos
- ¼ cup chopped candy bars like Reeses, Snickers, Milky Way, York, etc.
- 5 tablespoons butter melted
- 4 ounces semi sweet chocolate chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2. Spray a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray.
3. Use a food processor to make crumbs out of the sandwich cookies. Add chopped chocolate candy bars and pulse until combined.
4. Pour over melted butter and combine.
5. Press crust into bottom and halfway up sides of pan.
6. Bake 10 minutes.Then remove from oven and set aside. Once pan is cool, double wrap with heavy duty foil.
*use all room temperature ingredients!
1. Lower oven to 325 degrees Put a kettle to boil water for water bath.
2. Use a hand mixer to mix the softened cream cheese on medium low heat until smooth and no lumps remain. Then add sugar and beat another minute until it is fluffy and smooth
3.Scrape bowl and add the sour cream.Beat again until fully smooth.
4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla with a fork.
5. Then gradually add eggs to batter and beat on low speed . *Do not over mix or the cheesecake will crack!
6. .Add the chopped candy. Give a final and gentle mix.
7. Then pour over crust. Smooth top, bang gently on counter to settle it, then set pan into a large roasting dish.
8. Place in oven. Pull out the oven rack and pour water into the bottom of roasting dish, 3 inches deep. Push rack back in. (Pouring water into pan once it’s in oven prevents water from sloshing into foil or on cheesecake.)
9. Bake for 60-70 minutes until outer edge is set but center is still a bit wobbly.
10. Take out of oven and allow to sit in water bath for 30 minutes.
11. Then carefully take out of water bath. Peel foil off and place on cooking rack.
12. Then cool to room temperature. Run a knife along the inside of pan to loosen the cheesecake.
13. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.
14. Once cool, remove from springform pan.
15. Make ganache by putting finely chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Then heat cream in saucepan. Pour cream over chocolate. Then whisk it gently until smooth. Transfer to piping bag.
16. Then make a swirl, starting in center, with white chocolate and swirl to edges. Take a toothpick and drag from center to outer edge. Repeat a few more times to create the spiderweb.
17. Cool until read to serve.
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