This red velvet chocolate chip cheesecake layer cake features two layers of fluffy red velvet cake, one layer of creamy chocolate chip cheesecake, and a whole lot of cream cheese frosting. It’s the best way to celebrate any special occasion!
I’m going to keep it short today because I’m getting over some dread disease that made me sleep away the last 10 or so days. For reals, I haven’t felt like getting out of bed, much less like getting up and baking.
I haven’t even been craving chocolate. That’s how sick I’ve been.
It’s the kind of sick where I’m not even sure what’s real anymore and what’s just a fever dream. When I walked Cookie yesterday evening my neighbors’ kids were dressed in snowsuits sitting on a sled in their driveway. (I still live in Phoenix so the snow gear was more than unnecessary.)
I’d chalk it up to a hallucination but Cookie barked at them so it was probably real.
This gorgeous cheesecake layer cake is one that I made before I fell ill. I sliced it up and popped it in the freezer, excited that I had cake to snack on for the next few weeks.
But then, like I said, I had zero desired to eat anything other than soup. Not even red velvet cake could tempt me. Not even the creamiest cheesecake studded with adorable mini chocolate chips. Not even a cake draped in decadent chocolate ganache. (The ganache is optional but makes the cake that much more special.)
And now that I have my appetite back I’m so glad that this is one cheesecake layer cake that I didn’t give away. Red velvet is a cake that always makes me smile because I love brightly colored anything. And obviously I couldn’t say no to chocolate chip cheesecake even with a gun to my head.
Perfect for Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or just an ordinary Tuesday, this red velvet chocolate chip cheesecake layer cake is festive, fun, and sure to brighten up the darkest of wintry days.
Especially if you’re recuperating from the plague. (Or if you’re just overly dramatic.)
As always, nothing about this cake is difficult but it is a time commitment. Be sure you allow yourself time to chill the cheesecake overnight before you assemble your cake, and if you plan to add the ganache drip you’ll have to chill the cake overnight after you frost it.
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 (15.25-ounce) box red velvet cake mix
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7.5 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream*
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch round cake pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, then generously spray the pan with cooking spray again. Set pan aside.
- Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour together with an electric mixer set to medium. Beat in the eggs and egg yolk one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Turn mixer to low speed and beat in the sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla until smooth. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Set in a roasting pan (or any large baking pan) and carry to the oven. Pour a couple inches of water into the pan, then carefully transfer to the oven. Bake 34 to 40 minutes, until the center of the cheesecake barely wobbles.
- Remove from the oven and immediately run a knife between the cake and the edge of the pan. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Once cooled, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Don’t skip this step.)
- After the cheesecake has refrigerated, dip the pan in a bowl of hot water for about 15 seconds. Run a knife around the edge of the cake again, then set a large plate or a cake circle on top of the pan. Invert the cake onto the plate. Keep refrigerated until you assemble the cake.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray 2 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom of the pans with parchment paper, then spray the paper with cooking spray. Set pans aside.
- Combine all the ingredients for the cake in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer set to medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide evenly between the prepared baking pans and bake 28 to 34 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool in pans for 30 minutes, then carefully invert onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium until very creamy. Turn mixer to low and gradually beat in the powdered sugar, then add the vanilla and salt and mix until incorporated. Turn mixer to high and beat until very fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. If frosting is too thin, add additional powdered sugar as necessary.
- Place one of the red velvet layers on a cake circle or cake stand and spread a thin layer of frosting over the top. Carefully top with the cheesecake layer. Spread a thin layer of frosting over the cheesecake and top with remaining cake layer. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a large bowl. Place the heavy cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat and warm until the cream 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. Let mixture sit on the counter for a bit if it’s too thin to drip properly.
- Transfer the ganache to a reusable plastic piping bag and snip off the tip (or transfer to a large zip-top plastic bag and snip off one of the corners, or use a plastic squeeze bottle).
- Take the chilled cake out of the fridge and gently squeeze a circle of ganache around the top edge of the cake, applying a little extra pressure at certain points to create drips. Carefully spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cake. Refrigerate to set the ganache, then slice the cake and serve.
*This was exactly the right amount of heavy cream for my ganache drip—I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate. Depending on the brand of chocolate you use, you made need a little more or less heavy cream; you want the ganache to be thin enough to drip nicely down the cake but not so thin that it runs. If you use milk chocolate, you’ll most likely need a lot less heavy cream.
Cheesecake layer adapted from The Baker’s Manual