Marble cheesecake is a show-stopping dessert made with swirls of vanilla and chocolate cheesecake baked inside a chocolate Oreo cookie crust.
If you love chocolate and vanilla, then you will love this marble cheesecake! The rich chocolate swirled with the light, creamy vanilla cheesecake is the best of both worlds, and the Oreo cookie crust is easy to make with just 2 ingredients.
What You Need to Make Marble Cheesecake
- Oreo cookie crumbs: Regular Oreo cookies crushed into very fine crumbs. No need to remove the filling.
- Butter: Melted, salted or unsalted is fine.
- Cream cheese: Brick-style, full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature.
- Flour: A little flour in the filling provides structure and makes it stronger against cracks.
- Heavy cream: Or heavy whipping cream.
- Vanilla extract
- Eggs: Room temperature is a must! Leave the eggs out at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or quickly bring them to room temperature by placing them in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes.
- Semi-sweet or dark chocolate: Chopped or chocolate chips. Melted and stirred into half of the cheesecake batter.
How to Avoid Cracks in Cheesecake
Avoid overmixing: Overmixing creates pockets of air in the batter that can rise up during baking and turn into cracks. This is especially true once the eggs are added, so always use room temperature and try to mix the batter as little as possible once the eggs are added.
Don't open the oven door to check on it: At least not for the first hour, which is when the cheesecake is the most delicate. Opening the door causes a sudden change in temperature which can lead to cracks.
Don't overbake: The cheesecake is done when there is a 2-3" wobbly center and the edges are set. It will keep cooking and set as it cools. If you're unsure, it's usually better to underbake a cheesecake than it is to overbake one. As long as you chill it overnight, a slightly underbaked cheesecake will set perfectly and taste delicious, but a cheesecake that's baked too long can have a weird texture and will almost always have cracks on the surface.
Cool the cheesecake slowly: Any sudden change in temperature will cause the cheesecake to crack. When you turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in with the door open for about an hour before taking it out. Then let it cool completely at room temperature for another 1-2 hours before refrigerating.
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 overbaked and cracked before the center could finish 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 Make Marble Cheesecake
Preheat your oven to 325°F and begin boiling water for the water bath.
Prepare the Springform Pan
Line the bottom of an 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Wrap the pan with at least 4 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, and then tie an oven liner around the pan to keep water seeping in from the water bath. The oven liner is the best way to make sure the cheesecake stays completely dry inside the water bath, if you don't have one, make sure the pan is wrapped very well with several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Without the liner, water from the water bath always leaks into the first few layers of foil.
Make the Chocolate Crust
- Use a food processor to pulse the Oreos into fine crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and mix until evenly combined.
- Pour the crust into the prepared springform pan and use the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to pack it down evenly in the bottom and just slightly up the sides. Pre-bake the crust for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
Make the Filling
- Use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, and flour together in a large bowl until smooth. Add the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and salt, and mix until smooth. Make sure you mix until the batter is completely smooth without any lumps before adding the room-temperature eggs.
- Add the room temperature eggs, one at a time, and mix on low speed or use a whisk to mix them in by hand until just combined after each. Once all of the eggs are added, mix until smooth and wipe the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Pour about half of the batter into a separate bowl. In a small bowl, add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and microwave in 15-second intervals until melted and smooth. Stir the melted chocolate into one bowl of batter and whisk until smooth. Alternate adding each batter into the pre-baked crust. Use a butter knife or a chopstick to gently swirl them together inside the pan.
- Place the cheesecake inside a large roasting pan with high sides and very carefully pour the boiling water around it, going up about 2 inches around the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Gently shake the springform pan, if the outside edges of the cheesecake are set and there is just a 2-3" wobbly center, then it's done. If it's still really wobbly all over, keep baking and check it again in 10 minutes.
- Once the cheesecake is finished baking, turn the oven off, crack the door, and keep it in the oven for at least 30 minutes to slowly cool to room temperature.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath, but keep it in the springform pan. Let it cool completely at room temperature before refrigerating. At least 1 hour.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake, still in the springform pan and uncovered, for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best!
When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the pan and use a large, sharp knife to slice the cheesecake. Wipe the knife clean between each slice.
More Cheesecake Recipes
- 9 or 10" springform pan
- 25 regular Oreo cookies, about 2 cups Oreo crumbs
- 5 tbsp. butter, melted
- 3 (8 oz.) packages brick-style cream cheese (full-fat), softened to room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 325°F. Begin boiling water for the water bath.
- Line the bottom of a 9 or 10" springform pan with parchment paper.* Tie a slow-cooker oven liner around the pan (recommended). Wrap the bottom and sides tightly with at least 4 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap with more layers if you're not using the oven liner so water doesn't leak in from the water bath.
Make the Chocolate Crust:
- Add the Oreo cookies to a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and mix until evenly combined. Pour the crust mixture into the pan and spread it out evenly, then use your fingers or the bottom of a glass to pack it down tightly into the bottom of the pan.
- Prebake the crust for 10 minutes.
Make the Filling:
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, use an electric mixer or the paddle attachment to beat the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, and flour until smooth without any lumps. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt, and mix until smooth. Wipe the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, on low speed. Or use a whisk to mix them in by hand. Mix until just combined and don't overmix.
- Pour about half of the cheesecake batter into a separate bowl.
- Add the chocolate to a small bowl and microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring between, until melted and smooth. Add the melted chocolate to half of the cheesecake batter and whisk until smooth.
- Alternate adding each batter into the pan with the baked crust. Use a butter knife or a chopstick to carefully swirl them together.
- Place the cheesecake inside a large roasting pan and very carefully pour the boiling water around it, going about 1½-2 inches up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 90 minutes. Gently shake the pan to check on it, if it looks really wobbly, keep baking for 10 minutes and check on it again.
- Once the cheesecake is set around the edges and there's a 2-3" wobbly center, turn the oven off, crack the door, and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes-1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath and set on the counter to cool to room temperature for at least 1 hour. You can remove the foil and the oven liner bag, but don't try to take the cheesecake out of the pan.
- Once it's cooled completely at room temperature, place the cheesecake, still in the pan and uncovered, in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight so the filling can fully set.
- When ready to serve, carefully remove the sides of the pan and use a large, sharp knife to slice the cheesecake. Wipe the knife clean between each slice.