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Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake

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In honor of St. Patty’s Day next week, I’m stoked to introduce… favorite cheesecake!!!

Oh yes. This Bailey’s chocolate goodness has long been the go-to cheesecake recipe in my kitchen, partly because it’s (truly) so simple and foolproof to make, and partly because it’s…um…AMAZING! By now, I think nearly all of my friends and family have tried this recipe at one point, and it always receives stellar reviews.

In fact, I actually brought the cheesecake today to the seven guys in my band, who are some of my most willing (yet most honest) critics of my cooking. And, after poking brief fun of my chocolate curls (which they then immediately dug into), they unanimously agreed it was a winner. Yay.

So if you’re looking for a new cheesecake recipe, or even if this may be your first, I can’t recommend it enough! I’ve included instructions for a water bath below (to prevent cracking). And also included a 2-ingredient chocolate ganache recipe and a super-simple chocolate curls “tip”, that will make the top look gorgeous regardless of if the cake cracks.

Enjoy, enjoy!!!

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Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 85 minutes
  • Yield: 12 -16 slices 1x


This Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake is made with a chocolate crust, and creamy chocolate filling with a hint of Bailey’s.



Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker (or chocolate cookie) crumbs
  • 1/3 cup powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, melted

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Bailey’s (or other Irish cream liqueuor)

Chocolate Ganache Ingredients (Optional):

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
  • 4 ounces dark chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa. Add melted butter and stir until well mixed. Pat into the bottom of a 9-inch well-greased springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes; set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, white sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa and flour. Beat at medium speed until blended and smooth. (Try not to over-mix!) Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Blend in the sour cream and Irish cream liqueur; mixing on low speed until blended. Pour filling over baked crust.
  3. Optional: To prevent cracking in the cheesecake, I’m a big fan of water baths! Just fill a 9×13 (or whatever size) glass pan halfway with water, and place it on the bottom rack while the oven preheats, and then while the cheesecake cooks.
  4. Place the cheesecake in the oven on the shelf above the water bath, and bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees, and continue baking for 60 minutes.
  5. With a knife, loosen cake from rim of pan. Let cool, then remove the rim of pan. Chill for a few hours before serving.
  6. Optional: To prepare the ganache, place the chocolate chips in a bowl. Then heat the cream (or half and half) in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until it is almost boiling. Remove from heat, and pour over the chocolate chips and let sit for 30 seconds. Then stir until the chocolate chips have melted and are mixed in well. Pour over the top of the cheesecake, and sprinkle with chocolate chips or chocolate shavings if you’d like.


Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

Ali’s Tip:

There are much better ways to create little chocolate curls. But since I was in a hurry, I just popped a dark chocolate bar in the microwave for about 5-7 seconds (just so it is ever-so-slightly melty on the sides), and then ran a vegetable peeler along the sides. And voila!

(If the bar begins to actually bend on you as you run the peeler, it’s too soft! Let it wait a few minutes and try again!)

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50 comments on “Bailey’s Chocolate Cheesecake”

  1. beautiful! and sounds delicious, i love bailey’s

  2. Oh it sounds great!! And those curls, Love it!

  3. Your cheesecake is realy appetizing! I love the chocolate curls!!

  4. a great take on the water bath! others say to wrap the springform pan in foil and then set the pan in water, which has worked to stop cracking, but gets messy fast if the foil gets a hole. love your take on it! thanks for the tip.

    • Hey Jen!

      Ha…that’s funny you say that. I actually had that happen once!! (Having a small crack in the foil, and a springform pan that wasn’t 100% sealed.) Have since tried it with a FEW layers of aluminum. :) Either seem to work well!


  5. I’ll take a slice or two or three, please!! I must make this soon. It looks fantastic.

  6. Wow I’m totally drooling. And I didn’t think chocolate shavings could be so curly and cute! Great job with this cheesecake.

  7. Oh holy moley that looks good.

  8. Thanks for the inspiration, Allison! After reading this cheesecake post, I immediately hopped in my kitchen and made my own! I’m going to serve it to friends later this week at a Golden Girls-themed fête. ;-)

  9. I think I might have to make this tonight to bring to work tomorrow! Yum! A little tip on the cracking issue, I just learned from Fine Cooking that what actually causes the cracking is when you beat the mixture for too long after you add each egg. That makes it puff up too much while baking and then when it settles it cracks.
    Thanks for the great looking recipe!

    • Hey Andrea!

      INTERESTING! I’d never known about the egg issue. Had heard about over-beating, and that if the pan’s not greased, sometimes the cake can cling to the edges instead of having the flexibility to expand/contract. But that makes sense!! :)

      Hope it turned out well if you decided to give it a try!


  10. this is just soooo beautiful! i dont like cheesecake but chocolate and bailey’s? i am on board!!! :)

  11. This is fantastic! It was my first attempt at making a cheesecake and it turned out great. Thanks for the recipe!

  12. i dont know anyone who wouldnt be happy to tuck into that cheesecake :)

  13. I always love new cheesecake recipes. I am the owner of Cheesecakes Unlimited in NW Wisconsin. I’ve been in business for 32 years. The majority of my recipes are my own creation. I make both an Irish Coffee and a Bailey’s cheesecake. Best wishes to you.

    Lynn Sulackow

  14. I didn’t have Bailey’s so used Kahlua. Yum!

  15. I was searching for a good baileys cheesecake recipe to make for St. Pat’s and I think I’ve found it with yours.
    Looks amazing and at the same time, it’s pretty simple to make.

    Mine is in the oven as I write this.
    Couldn’ help myself, I licked the spatula and bowl after…… OMG… tasted great!!
    Hope it turns out as nice as yours so I can post it on my blog and share with my readers.
    Will give you credit.. thanks!

  16. We just had this at Cedric’s at Biltmore House in Asheville, NC and it was SO amazing that we had to research finding the recipe and yours is SO beautiful!!! Can hardly wait to make it!!! Thank you SO much for sharing it with us!!!

  17. Just made this, turned out pretty good! One thing that people should definitely note though is to let the cheesecake cool completely before pouring ganache on it, and let the ganache cool before adding the shavings. I added the shavings while both were still warm and it melted into a hot mess. Still tasted yummy though!

  18. I used this recipe to enter dessert contest at work. Not only did I shock people by entering, but I won hands down!! Now I’m trying a variation, which I’m not all that confident will work. Instead of bailey’s this time around, I’m using Peppermint Schnapps (no creme de menthe, and the liquor store is closed!). My plan is to top it with the chocolate ganche and decorate with small and crushed candy canes for a christmas party.

  19. I’ve made this a total of three times and it’s been great each time! Didn’t have a springform pan so I used the pre-made chocolate crusts and made two cheesecakes instead. Made for some great photos! (Took your photo layout… Was too good to pass up.)

  20. I made it with Bailey’s with a hint of Carmel and it was awesome. I took it to a Super Bowl party and everyone LOVED it! Thanks for the recipe!! Will be making again soon!!

  21. I’ve been looking for a really good chocolate cheesecake recipe and this one looks so wonderful!

  22. I made this last night for a co-worker’s birthday. Common comment for all staff was “This is the best cheesecake you’ve made yet.” and “This is better than the restaurant’s cheesecake!”
    It was absolutely delicious!
    I had to cook it longer though, as after the 60 minutes, it was still very fluid in the middle.

  23. I’m looking forward to making this, but I’ve never made a cheesecake with sour cream before (most of my recipes require 4-8oz packages of cream cheese). If I want a more dense cheesecake, do you think I could swap the sour cream for more cream cheese?


  24. The Peppermint Schnapps variation was successful, as was the crème de menthe one that I entered into another dessert contest (and won again!). I’m currently baking one with Kahlua instead of Baileys. I think this year I’ll try Cointreau with an orange-chocolate ganache for the three-peat. :)

  25. I’d like to make this without any alcoholic drinks. Can I use milk? Does the batter need that 1/2 cup liquid in some form to come together properly?

  26. I’m planning on making this into Mini Cheesecakes (with 6inch by 3inch springforms) for gifts. Has anyone tried this/ have any advise for me?

  27. What could I use in stead of the Irish Cream? Don’t drink or cook with alcohol.

  28. It would be nice to have the directions for this cheesecake. Very frustrating.

    • Hi Cheryl, I’m so sorry about that. We had a bunch of recipes go missing when we reformatted the blog today. I just reinstalled the recipe, and it should be there now. Thanks for your understanding.

  29. Going to make this for a work baby shower. How far in advance would you say I could make it? 

  30. This is a great cheesecake, made it today for valentines day
    I would keep the baileys at a quarter cup otherwise it overpowers the chocolate flavor.

  31. I used only a quarter cup of baileys otherwise it will overpower the chocolate flavor
    A good and easy cheesecake

  32. Hi Ali! This recipe looks great!

    Was just curious though. I have been reading your recipes and it always mentions butter in either sticks or by cups. What would the weight of 1 stick of butter be? Only asking to make sure I use the right amount!


    • Hi Aaina! A stick of butter weights 1/4 lb (so 4 oz). We hope you enjoy this! :)

  33. Replacement for liquor?

    • Hi Adi! We would suggest using (cooled) black coffee in place of the Bailey’s. We hope you enjoy!

  34. I want to try and make 6 individual cheesecakes would I need to double or triple the recipe?

  35. I just made this. It sounds more complicated than it is. To reduce sugar, I left the sugar out of the crust, since the chocolate cookies have sugar anyway. Just make sure you’re changing your oven settings as instructed, and don’t forget the water bath to prevent cracking.

  36. Sounds delicious- making it for my Christmas party tonight

  37. This cheesecake recipe is AMAZING. I used an 8 inch cheesecake pan and had no issues – all of the batter fit. I baked the cheesecake in a water bath (quadruple layering in foil to ensure no leakage!) and the top was smooth with no cracks. I opted to make a Bailey’s chocolate ganache, using 1/2 cream and 1/2 Bailey’s to add some extra Bailey’s flavour (because why not!). I topped with the chocolate curls and it was delicious!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe :)

  38. So….i Love this recipe! I have made this one a bunch of times now while tweaking the toppings…..i even added peanut butter to the mix( just had to cook for a bit more time!) My only real tweak to the recipe was the amount of cocoa powder. For our family it was a bit to bitter so i just did half the powder and replaced with powder sugar instead….for us….perfect! Thank you for effort in putting this together!

  39. Followed the recipe exactly and the cheesecake was delicious. The taste of Bailey’s really came through, and the texture was lovely and creamy. The crust especially was a big hit with my family.

  40. Awesome! Turned out beautifully!