Chocolate amaretto cheesecake is a delicious and slightly boozy dessert that everybody goes crazy for. And you don’t need a water bath to make it!
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I define healthy food as food that makes me happy when I eat it. (A nutritionist I’m not.)
And by that definition this chocolate amaretto cheesecake is as healthy as a bunch of kale soaked in kombucha topped with chia seeds. (AKA my lunch yesterday. Just kidding.)
Guys! Creamy chocolate cheesecake flavored with a dash of amaretto gets topped with amaretto-spiked ganache. Do you need any more convincing? Get to the kitchen and start baking!
Why you’ll love this chocolate amaretto cheesecake:
- No water bath required!
- You probably have all the ingredients to make it on hand right now
- It freezes well so you can keep some on hand for chocolate emergencies
How to make graham cracker crumb crust
- Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl
- Stir until the crumbs are evenly saturated with butter
- Press into a 9-inch springform pan and freeze
Freezing the crust helps it maintain its shape in the oven so don’t skip that step!
How to make chocolate amaretto cheesecake filling
- Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth
- Beat in eggs to combine
- Beat in the remaining ingredients
- Pour into the frozen crust
Your amaretto cheesecake might crack as it cools. But don’t worry about it! No one will see the crack because you’re going to pour chocolate ganache over the top.
How to make amaretto ganache
- Combine very hot heavy cream and finely chopped chocolate
- Stir until smooth
- Add amaretto and stir to combine
Then just pour the ganache over your chilled cheesecake and you’re done! Chill to set the ganache (it shouldn’t take more than 20 or 30 minutes) and serve!
Note: I recommend using good quality chocolate in both the cheesecake and the ganache; I prefer Trader Joe’s Pound Plus dark chocolate but Baker’s and Ghirardelli are both good choices and readily available at grocery stores. Using a good chocolate (rather than chocolate chips) gives your cheesecake better chocolate flavor.
But, as always, it’s up to you what chocolate you use! If all you have are chocolate chips and you don’t want to make a grocery store run then use what you have!
What is amaretto?
Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur that originated in Italy. It was originally flavored with bitter almonds. Today the almond flavor remains but amaretto is more likely to be made with peach or apricot pits and/or regular almonds.
(Both peach pits and apricot pits contain the same compound that provides almonds with their flavor, so it’s actually not that weird to find them used this way.)
Amaretto is both consumed on its own and also used as a mixer—and also used in baking, of course.
How to freeze cheesecake
If you want to freeze the whole cheesecake to serve later you can pop the cheesecake (still in the pan) into the freezer for an hour or two, until it’s frozen solid. (Be sure it’s fully chilled before you freeze it.)
Once the cheesecake is frozen, wrap it well and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost the cheesecake in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to serve it.
You can also wrap individual slices tightly with plastic wrap and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can defrost slices in the fridge overnight or at room temp for about half an hour.
Slice your cheesecake, place the slices on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid, about an hour. Then wrap each slice tightly with plastic wrap and/or freezer paper and freeze for up to 3 months.
You can defrost the slices in the fridge the same way you would the whole cheesecake but I just eat them frozen. (The texture of frozen cheesecake is actually really good!)
Did you make this chocolate amaretto cheesecake? Hooray! Let me know what you think with a comment and a rating below! Then post a pic over on IG–tag @theitsybitsykitchen so I can see your beautiful creations!
Chocolate amaretto cheesecake is a delicious dessert that everybody loves--and it doesn't require a water bath!
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 3 (8-ouncpackages full fat cream cheese at room temperature
- 2/3 cup powdered sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 5 ounces semisweet chocolate melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup amaretto
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces dark chocolate finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons amaretto
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a mixing bowl and stir until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and a little bit up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Freeze the crust for at least 10 minutes; leave in the freezer while you work on the filling.
- Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar together in a medium bowl until smooth. Beat in the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the chocolate, sour cream, amaretto, butter, and salt. Beat on low speed until well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Pour into the crust and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles a little when you tap the sides of the pan.
- Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature, then cover loosely and refrigerate overnight. (Don’t worry if the cheesecake cracks—no one will see once it’s covered with the ganache topping.)
- After the cheesecake has chilled, make the topping.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
- Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat and warm the cream until it just begins to steam. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 3 minutes.
- Whisk until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth, then whisk in the amaretto to combine.
Pour over the chilled cheesecake and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the topping. Slice and serve.
- I recommend using good quality chocolate rather than chocolate chips in both the cheesecake and the ganache. Trader Joe's Pound Plus is my favorite but Baker's is another good option. Chocolate chips will work in a pinch but using good chocolate improves the cheesecake's flavor.
- Uneaten cheesecake can be stored, loosely covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer, tightly wrapped, for up to 3 months.
- See the body of this post for instructions for freezing your cheesecake if you want to make it ahead.
Adapted from Dining in the Smoky Mountain Mist