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This Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake with cocoa powder has the classic sweet, tart, and creamy elements of a classic cheesecake and is topped with chocolate in a fun marbled design. This cheesecake recipe in a pie pan is as easy as pie to make!

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cheesecake pie on a white plate with chocolate dripped over
Table of Contents
  1. Ingredients Needed
  2. How to Make Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake
  3. Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Pie Recipe

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easier to make than a standard cheese cake, which means less frustration, less time spent, and more sitting and enjoying this creamy delight.
  • You don’t need a springform pan, or a water bath when baking this simple chocolate swirl cheesecake.
  • Equally as delicious as a regular cheesecake
  • I love the marbled cheesecake decorating technique, it’s so fun!

Ingredients Needed

  • Butter- Use salted butter to complement the flavor of the cheesecake. I love Challenge Butter!
  • Graham cracker crumbs- Graham crackers make a perfect base for the crust. 
  • Cream Cheese- The base of the cheesecake! The ingredient that gives it all that creaminess. 
  • Granulated sugar- For sweetness.
  • Sour cream- Make sure it’s room temperature.
  • Vanilla extract- Natural vanilla extract is best!
  • Eggs- I like to use large eggs.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder- Used for the chocolate swirl on the cheesecake 

How to Make Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

  1. Making the crust: Melt butter in a 9” microwave-safe pie dish. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter and stir with a fork, then press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
  2. Preparing the cheesecake mix: Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, using a hand or a stand mixer, until fluffy and smooth. Add 1/2 cup sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well, until no lumps remain. Pour the cheesecake into the prepared crust.
  3. Decorating your cheesecake: Melt the remaining butter in a small bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon of sugar and cocoa powder. Drop spoonfuls of cocoa mixture in rows across the crust, then use a toothpick or the back of a butter knife to create the tic tac toe pattern by dragging it horizontally and then vertically through the chocolate. This is how to make those beautiful swirls in cheesecake!
  4. Baking: Bake until the cheesecake seems solid around the edges and is just turning golden brown. The center will jiggle slightly even when it’s done. Cool completely to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 5 hours or overnight before serving.
cheesecake pie on a white plate with chocolate dripped over

Expert Tips

  • Use all room-temperature ingredients. They blend up smoothly and will help you  avoid a lumpy chocolate swirl cheesecake.
  • Go for full-fat cream cheese and sour cream to make your cheesecake thick. 
  • Add the eggs in last to avoid cracking the cheesecake while baking

FAQs

Is cheesecake a pie?

Technically cheesecake is actually a tart. It is not a pie because it is not topped with some sort of pastry or crust. Because it does have a bottom crust and a creamy texture, it can be classified as a tart, but let’s be honest the incredible flavor of cheesecake puts it in a lane of its own. 

Can I use brown sugar instead of white in the cheesecake?

Yes, you can! Swapping white sugar for brown won’t change the sweetness of the cheesecake recipe whatsoever. It may, however, make the texture slightly more grainy and the color a little bit darker.

How do I prevent browning on my cheesecake?

Be sure to bake on the middle or lower rack so the cheesecake isn’t too close to the top of the oven. Take the baked chocolate swirl cheesecake out of the oven before it is brown. Check to see whether or not it is done by doing a wobble test. If after an hour of sitting it is too wobbly then pop it back in the oven for a bit more. 

How do you know when a cheesecake is done baking?

When the cheese cake is firm with a slight wobble and the edges are slightly golden brown.

How long does cheesecake last?

Cheesecake will safely last in the fridge for 3-4 days. Be sure to put it in an air-tight container to keep maximum freshness. 

Can you freeze cheesecake?

No problem! A cheesecake will last in a freezer for up to a month. 

Slice of chocolate swirl cheesecake pie on white plate with silver fork

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Pie

4.89 from 9 votes
Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Pie – this easy cheesecake recipe is no fuss! It’s a cheesecake made like a pie, so it’s super simple and SO good. The plain cheesecake is just perfect – you can even leave off the chocolate for a classic cheesecake recipe everyone will love.
Yield 10 -12 servings
Serving Size 1 /10th Slice of pie

Ingredients
 

  • 8 tablespoons (113g) Challenge Butter salted, divided
  • 1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs about 7-8 full graham cracker sheets
  • 12 ounces (339g) cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup + 1 teaspoon (104g) granulated sugar divided
  • ½ cup (123g) sour cream room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons (15g) unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Place 6 tablespoons of butter in a 9” microwave-safe pie dish. Microwave until butter is melted. Sprinkle the graham cracker crumbs over the melted butter and stir with a fork, then press into the bottom and up the sides of the pie dish. Freeze for at least 30 minutes, or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Beat cream cheese in a large bowl, using a hand or a stand mixer, until fluffy and smooth. Add 1/2 cup sugar, sour cream, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and mix well, until no lumps remain. (It’s important to start with room temperate ingredients to avoid a lumpy cheesecake!)
  • Pour cheesecake into prepared crust.
  • Melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Stir in 1 teaspoon sugar and cocoa powder. Drop spoonfuls of cocoa mixture in rows across the crust, then use a toothpick or the back of a butter knife to create the tic tac toe pattern by dragging it horizontally and then vertically through the chocolate.
  • Bake for 30-40 minutes until the cheesecake seems solid around the edges and is just turning golden brown. The center will jiggle slightly even when it’s done. Cool completely to room temperature, then cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 5 hours or overnight before serving.

Recipe Nutrition

Serving: 1/10th Slice of pie | Calories: 480kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 26g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 418mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g
Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate
Author Dorothy Kern

 Challenge is my favorite butter! Besides the fact that it tastes great, it’s also made from cows not treated with rbST and Challenge is the only company that controls 100% of the process from milk to packaging and distribution. This post was sponsored by Challenge in 2016 but has been updated.

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake Pie is an easy cheesecake recipe – perfect marbled cheesecake for vanilla and chocolate lovers!




Last Updated on November 9, 2022

Dorothy Kern

Welcome to Crazy for Crust, where I share recipes that are sometimes crazy, often with a crust, and always served with a slice of life.

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22 Comments

  1. I made this cheesecake pie and it was very easy….the only problem I had was when I put the chocolate on top to swirl it kind of sank down into the batter so it ‘t show very much chocolate on the top

  2. I made this pie the day you posted the recipe! It was so good! Easy to make and rich and creamy! Love your mash-ups Dorothy!

  3. Cheesecakes pies are awesome! Just like cheesecake, but a little easier. I’m all for THAT!

  4. Haha, I was just thinking the same thing last week! I don’t have many cheesecake recipes because they can be so much work! I love how easy this one is, and totally gorgeous!

  5. This beauty looks like it could hang in a museum! Somehow, though, I don’t think it would last very long. Looks amazing!!

  6. I am the worst cheesecake baker and always get cracks in mine!  But I am also lazy and don’t wrap mine in foil or water bathe them.  I love this version and the chocolate swirl is so pretty!!  Pinned!!

  7. I feel you on the baked vs. no bake difference. Usually the labor difference makes me lean towards no-bake, but the effort is always oh so worth it. This marbled cheesecake pie looks delicious!