In the mood to bake a small cheesecake? My 6 Inch Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is a chocolate dessert for two with an Oreo crust and homemade ganache.
Since all of this month I brought you both plain and pumpkin 6 inch cheesecake recipes, it’s only fitting to bring you my 6 Inch Chocolate Cheesecake recipe next.
It’s a homemade chocolate cheesecake with Oreo crust, chocolate cheesecake batter, and a chocolate glaze (aka ganache) on top.
Honestly with the way this year has been going, you’ll want to lock yourself in your room and eat this bad boy by yourself. Just me?
It’s a rich chocolate dessert for two and perfect for chocolate lovers, but if you want to balance out the richness you can top it with homemade whipped cream.
What pan do I need for a 6 inch cheesecake?
You will need a 6 inch springform pan for cheesecake. Cheesecake is delicate, so you cannot flip it out of the pan like you would with a small cake. You need to remove the sides so the cheesecake retains its shape, hence the springform pan.
This is the pan I bought (Amazon affiliate link), which is a 6 x 2 inch springform pan. This small cheesecake recipe will fill the pan to the top, but it won’t overflow.
You can also buy a 6 x 3 inch springform pan (Amazon affiliate link). That just means you’ll have slightly more pan room at the top.
This recipe will not work in a 6 inch cake pan because it’ll be too hard to remove. If you’re stuck at home with no other options, you can try but serving it may be difficult.
Don’t have a 6 inch pan? You can bake small batch mini chocolate cheesecakes in a muffin pan.
How many does a 6 inch cheesecake feed?
You can cut a 6 inch cheesecake into 4-6 slices, which is equivalent to 4-6 servings.
I like to think of this as a small chocolate cheesecake for two people. Each person gets 2-3 slices to last them throughout the week.
After all, who only eats one slice of cheesecake?
If this is still too much cheesecake for you, check out my chocolate cheesecake for two recipe.
How to make a 6 inch chocolate cheesecake from scratch
Cheesecake is made up of a few easy ingredients:
- Oreo cookie crumbs: Oreo is the most traditional crust for chocolate cheesecake, but you can also use chocolate graham crackers. You may need to increase the amount of melted butter for graham crackers because they don’t have the cream filling like Oreo does.
- Butter: Needed to bind the crust
- Cream cheese: It’s not cheesecake without cream cheese! Make sure you’re using full-fat cream cheese. The low fat and fat free versions have more water in them and may be too watery after baking.
- Granulated sugar: Adds a bit of sweetness to balance out the tanginess of the cream cheese
- Eggs: As with all baking recipes, use large eggs.
- Melted chocolate: You want to use baking chocolate (not chocolate chips) for your melting chocolate. Semisweet chocolate is the most common to use, but if you love bittersweet you can also use dark chocolate.
- Vanilla: Adds flavor to the batter and makes the chocolate taste more chocolatey
First combine the crumbs and butter then pat it into the bottom of your springform pan to form a crust.
Next beat together the cream cheese and sugar until super smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed.
Then beat in the eggs one a time, being careful not to overbeat the batter.
Finally, add the melted chocolate and vanilla for flavor.
Transfer the batter to your Oreo crust and place inside a water bath. Bake at 325F degrees for 65-75 minutes.
Do I need a water bath for cheesecake?
Yes, you need a water bath for a 6 inch cheesecake.
This recipe is based off of my 9 inch chocolate cheesecake recipe. You don’t need a water bath with that recipe because the middle bakes evenly enough with the top.
However, my 6 inch chocolate cheesecake is thicker, which means the top will brown and overbake before the middle is done.
By using a water bath, the cheesecake will bake more evenly so the middle finishes baking before the top is too brown.
How to make a water bath
First, wrap your springform pan in foil to prevent the water from making a soggy crust. Make sure it’s tight so water doesn’t sneak in.
After filling your cheesecake pan with the batter, place it inside an 8×8 pan or larger.
Next, pour hot water into the 8×8 pan until the springform pan is halfway submerged in the water. Be careful you don’t accidentally splash water into the foil.
Now carefully transfer your pan to the oven and bake until done.
How to know when cheesecake is done baking
One of the challenges about baking cheesecake is knowing when it’s done baking.
Because cheesecake is technically a custard, it will wiggle in the middle even after it’s done. If it doesn’t wiggle, you overbaked it.
The edges should be firm and brown. Only the direct middle will still slightly jiggle.
The best way to ensure cheesecake is done baking is with a digital thermometer. The internal temperature of a cheesecake should be 150F degrees.
Of course this’ll leave a hole in your cheesecake, but you can easily cover that up with ganache or whipped cream.
It’s better to have a hole (or two) than underbaked cheesecake.
How long is cheesecake good for?
Cheesecake can last up to 5-7 days in the refrigerator. With a small cheesecake, I bet it’ll be gone before then ;)
Is it ok to leave cheesecake out overnight?
No, cheesecake must be refrigerated because it is perishable with the cream cheese.
You can leave it out for a few hours while it cools down (especially since the sudden change in temperature may cause issues), but then you need to refrigerate it once it’s cool enough.
How do you decorate a chocolate cheesecake?
Although homemade chocolate cheesecake on its own is delicious, you can make it even better with a garnish.
I went with an easy chocolate ganache, which is a chocolate glaze made from heavy cream and chocolate. It has a silky smooth texture with a soft bite to it.
You can also decorate cheesecake with small batch chocolate whipped cream.
Why did my cheesecake crack?
Nothing is more frustrating than spending over an hour baking a cheesecake, just to have the top crack!
Here are several reasons why your cheesecake may have cracked:
- Overbeating the batter: We all love a smooth cheesecake but overbeating the batter incorporates too much air, which causes the cheesecake to puff higher than it should. As it cools, it continues to sink then crack.Solution: Only beat the batter for as long as it takes to mix everything together. You can try to beat some of the lumps out, but if it’s too lumpy, no amount of beating will fix that.
- Overbaking the cheesecake: I get it. You want to make sure your cheesecake is baked in the middle. However, overbaking will result in a dry top, which then results in cracks. Solution: Use a water bath to ensure even baking then use a digital thermometer to determine the internal temperature reaches 150F.
- Cheesecake stuck to the pan: Sometimes the edge of the cheesecake will stick to the pan. Cheesecake naturally deflates when it cools. If it’s stuck to the pan, it’ll continue to deflate while the edges stay in place, resulting in tears and cracks.Solution: Immediately run a knife around the edge to make sure it’s not sticking to the pan.
- Opening the oven door too much: It’s ok to open the oven door when checking for doneness, but you don’t want to do it too early or too many times. Every time you open the door, heat escapes and lowers the oven temperature. Too much drastic change in temperature can cause cracking.Solution: Only open the oven door towards the end of baking when you’re checking for doneness.
Why is my cheesecake lumpy?
If your cheesecake batter is lumpy, chances are your cream cheese and eggs are too cold.
Make sure they sit out at room temperature until no longer cold to the touch. I let my ingredients sit out about 2 hours or so, but it’ll depend on how cold your kitchen is (think summer vs. winter).
If your cream cheese is still too cold, microwave (without the foil wrappers!) in 5-10 second increments until no longer cold to the touch. Be careful you don’t accidentally melt it!
To warm up eggs, place them in a warm bowl of water and let sit for about 15 minutes or until no longer cold to the touch.
What to do if my cheesecake batter is lumpy
Unfortunately no amount of beating will smooth out the lumps. And the lumps certainly won’t melt while baking.
Sometimes you can use a blender to smooth out the lumps. This method may incorporate too much air, which could cause the cheesecake to crack. However, you can cover the cracks with a garnish.
Sometimes you can run the batter through a strainer. You may lose some of the batter in the process, but at least it’ll be smooth.
More Small Cheesecake Recipes
Here are more small cheesecake recipes for two:
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs, such as Oreo*
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 16 ounces (2 blocks or 16 tablespoons) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature and not cold to the touch (do not sub fat free)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature and not cold to the touch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Other Garnish Ideas
- Preheat oven to 325F. Wrap the outside of a 6x2 or 6x3 springform pan with foil. Lightly grease the inside of the pan.
- In a large microwave safe bowl, add the chocolate. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Repeat in 15 second increments until the chocolate is completely smooth. Cool for 15 minutes.
Alternatively, add about an inch of water to a saucepan and bring to a simmer on the stove. Turn off the heat and place a heatproof bowl over top (do not let the bottom touch the water). Add the chocolate and melt until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Pat into the bottom of the springform pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, for 1 minute each or until smooth (do not overbeat). Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla.
- Transfer the batter to the crust (if using a 6x2 pan, it'll fill to the top). Place the pan inside an 8x8 or larger pan.
- Pour hot water into the outside pan until the springform pan is halfway submerged in the water. Be careful you don't get water inside the foil.
- Bake 65-75 minutes or until the edges are set and brown, the center is mostly set with some wiggling, and internal temperature reaches 150F degrees.
- Remove from the oven and carefully run a knife along the edge to loosen the cheesecake. Cool 15 minutes in the water bath.
- Remove the pan from the water bath and let cool at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before garnishing with ganache (see below) or whipped cream. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5-7 days.
For the ganache:
- Add the chocolate to a heatproof bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until hot but not boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and wait 1 minute. Stir together until completely smooth.
If the chocolate isn't melting, place the bowl over a pan of simmering water (do not let the bottom touch the water). Continue stirring until fully melted.
- Remove the pan side from the cheesecake. Immediately pour the chocolate mixture over the cheesecake and spread evenly. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the chocolate hardens before serving.
*This recipe makes a bottom crust only. If you want a crust up the sides, increase the crumbs to 1 1/2 cups and the butter to 4 tablespoons.
Looking for more small cheesecake recipes? Check out these cheesecake recipes for two people.
Want to bake this in a larger pan? Check out my 9 Inch Chocolate Cheesecake recipe.