This chocolate chip cheesecake is made with a delicious, creamy cheesecake filling that's swirled with mini chocolate chips and sits on top of a buttery, crisp graham cracker crust.
There is something so rewarding about making a cheesecake entirely from scratch, they are so beautiful and delicate! Coming up with new flavors is one of my favorite parts, and this chocolate chip cheesecake is definitely a winner! The filling is ultra-creamy, light, and has the perfect balance of tangy and sweet. The chocolate chips are an easy addition that really add something special to this otherwise simple cheesecake recipe.
Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- Graham cracker crumbs: 1 and ½ cups of graham cracker crumbs from about 10 full sheets of graham crackers.
- Granulated sugar
- Butter: Melted and slightly cooled. Salted or unsalted butter is fine.
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Filling
- Cream cheese: Full-fat and softened to room temperature. It's important that the cream cheese is completely soft so you don't have lumps in the batter. If you're short on time, you can place the foil-wrapped cream cheese in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes. Be careful because it will soften quickly this way.
- Granulated sugar
- Cornstarch: Just a little bit helps thicken the filling and makes it stronger against cracks. Flour also works if you don't have cornstarch.
- Heavy whipping cream: Heavy whipping cream in the filling is key for making this cheesecake incredibly light and creamy!
- Vanilla extract
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs are a must for cheesecake! Leave them out on the counter for at least one hour, or place them in a bowl of lukewarm water for about 5 minutes.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips: Mini chocolate chips work best, the regular-size ones are heavier so they tend to sink to the bottom.
WATER BATH FOR CHEESECAKE
A water bath (bain-marie) is a French method of baking something surrounded by boiling water. It allows for slow, gentle, even cooking, which is perfect for delicate desserts like cheesecake. Basically, no matter how hot your oven is, the temperature of the water won’t get any higher than 212°F (100°C). Without a water bath, the outside of the cheesecake would be over-baked and cracked by the time the middle was finished baking.
- To keep water from seeping into the pan from the water bath, make sure you wrap it well with several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. *Note: No matter how well you wrap your springform pan, there’s still a chance of water leaking in and ruining your otherwise perfectly good cheesecake. This has happened to me a few times, so now I always follow a trick I learned thanks to lifeloveandsugar, which is to tie a slow cooker liner around the pan first and then wrap it with aluminum foil. My cheesecakes have been perfectly dry ever since!
How to Avoid Cracks in Cheesecake
- Don't overmix. Overmixing whips air into the batter which can get trapped inside the filling. During baking, any trapped air bubbles will rise and pop on the surface, which can cause the cheesecake to crack. The best way to avoid overmixing is to use room-temperature ingredients and mix just until incorporated. It's especially important not to overmix once the eggs are added. So add them last (before the chocolate chips) and mix on low speed or by hand until just combined.
- Don't open the oven door to check on it. At least not for the first hour of baking, which is when the cheesecake is the most delicate and susceptible to cracks.
- Don't overbake. Over baking gives the cheesecake a weird texture and is a big reason for cracks forming. There should be a 3" wobbly center, the filling will continue to cook and set as it cools.
- Cool the cheesecake slowly. Any sudden changes in temperature are going to cause cracks. Leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door cracked and the oven turned off for 1 hour. Then, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating.
How to Make Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Arrange your oven rack to the second from the bottom position and preheat your oven to 325°F.
Prepare the springform pan:
Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the sides with non-stick spray or line the sides with more parchment paper. Wrap the pan well with at least 4 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil and then tie an oven liner around the pan. If you don't have an oven liner be sure to wrap the pan with extra layers of aluminum foil so water doesn't leak in from the water bath.
Make the crust:
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until evenly combined. Pour the crust mixture into the prepared pan, spread it out evenly, then use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to pack it down tightly and evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides.
Prebake the crust for 10 minutes. Begin boiling water for the water bath.
Make the filling:
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, add the softened cream cheese and mix until completely smooth with no lumps. Wipe any lumps off of the mixer and off the sides of the bowl, then add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Mix until combined, then add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix until combined and smooth with no lumps. With the mixer on low speed, mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, until just combined after each, don't overmix. Stir in the mini chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
Pour the batter into the pan over the pre-baked crust and gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to get rid of any trapped air bubbles.
Place the pan inside a large roasting pan with high sides and very carefully pour the boiling water inside around it, going up about 2" around the sides of the springform pan.
Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Gently shake the pan, if the cheesecake is set around the outside edges and the center is just slightly wobbly, then it's done. If it's still very pale and wobbly all over, keep baking and check on it again in 5-minute intervals. The time it takes to finish baking can vary based on a lot of different factors, so you'll have to trust your instinct to know when it's done. Keep in mind that even if it's a little bit under, it will still set as long as you let it cool overnight in the fridge.
Once the cheesecake looks done, turn your oven off and leave the cheesecake inside with the door cracked for 1 hour. Then, take it out of the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating. At least an hour, or until it doesn't feel warm at all. If you refrigerate it when it's still warm it will most likely crack. Once it's cooled completely at room temperature refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours (overnight is best) before removing the sides of the pan, slicing, and serving.
Garnish with some whipped cream and more chocolate chips, if desired. To get clean slices, use a large, sharp knife, run the knife under very hot water and wipe it clean between each cut made.
More Cheesecake Recipes:
- Marble Cheesecake
- Strawberry Cheesecake
- Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake
- Lemon Cheesecake
- Caramel Cheesecake
- Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
- 9" springform pan
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 and ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup mini chocolate chips
- Arrange your oven rack to the second from bottom position. Preheat your oven to 325°F.
- Line the bottom of your springform pan with parchment paper and lightly spray the sides of the pan with non-stick spray.
- Wrap the pan well with several layers of heavy duty aluminum foil and tie a slow-cooker oven liner around the pan (recommended). The liner will prevent water seeping in from the water bath. If you don't use the liner, be sure to wrap the pan with a few extra layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
Make the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter until evenly combined. Add the mixture to the prepared pan, spread it out evenly, and then use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to pack it down tightly into the bottom and slightly up the sides.
- Prebake the crust for 10 minutes. Begin boiling water for the water bath.
Make the Cheesecake Filling:
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy without any lumps. Wipe any lumps of cream cheese off of the mixer and the sides of the bowl.
- Add the granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt, and mix until the batter is smooth. Add the heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined and smooth. Wipe the sides of the bowl and mixer. Add the room temperature eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed until just combined after each, don't overmix. Wipe the sides of the bowl and mix just until the batter is smooth. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter over the prebaked crust. Gently tap the pan on your counter a few times to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the filling. Place the cheesecake inside a large roasting pan with high sides. Set in the oven and then carefully pour the boiling water inside the roasting pan, going 1-2" up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Gently shake the pan to check on it, if it's set around the edges and only slightly wobbly in the center, it's done. If it's still very pale and wobbly all over, keep baking and check again in 5-minute intervals until it looks set around the edges.
- Once the cheesecake is done, turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside with the door cracked for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and water bath and let cool completely at room temperature. Once cool, refrigerate the cheesecake, still in the pan, for at least 4 hours or overnight(recommended) before removing the sides of the pan, slicing, and serving.
- Garnish with whipped cream and more chocolate chips before serving, if desired.