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Irish Cream Cheesecake

Irish Cream Cheesecake

It’s no secret that traditional cheesecakes are delicious to eat but intimidating to make. Trying to get the perfect, fully-cooked, velvety interior without burning the outside has been the source of many a home cook’s tears and frustration. Fortunately for those reluctant to take on such a demanding mission, there’s a much simpler alternative: the no-bake cheesecake. Most no-bake cheesecakes use unflavored gelatin to achieve that classic firm but yielding cheesecake texture.

It turns out, however, there’s an another option for attaining that texture that is far more delicious: chocolate. In this delectable no-bake cheesecake, we’ve made chocolate the star ingredient. It starts with the crust: your favorite chocolate sandwich cookie crushed into crumbs and held together with butter. Then a base of cream cheese whipped with heavy cream and sugar. Then, melted chocolate is gently folded in.

Finally, the pièce de résistance, a splash of Irish cream. Irish whiskey and cream have been mixed since time immemorial but it wasn’t until the 1970s that, after meticulous experimentation, Gibleys of Ireland was able to formulate a stable emulsion that could be sold commercially. The resulting liqueur quickly became one of the most popular in the world, with good reason. Irish cream adds luxuriant highlights to this simple but luscious no-bake chocolate cheesecake.

Yield

Serves 8.

Time to Make

At least 2 hours, 30 minutes
and up to 2 hours, 45 minutes

Shopping List

  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 12 chocolate sandwich cookies
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate
  • 12 ounces cream cheese
  • 1¾ ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 44½ milliliters Irish cream liqueur

Equipment List

  • 9-inch round springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • food processor
  • medium saucepan
  • heatproof bowl
  • stand mixer
  • rubber spatula
  • plastic wrap

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 12 chocolate sandwich cookies
  •  
  • 9-inch round springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • food processor

If you haven’t done so already, remove the cream cheese for step 3 from the refrigerator and allow it to come to room temperature.

Line the bottom of the springform pan with parchment paper, then spray the sides with non-stick cooking spray. Set the pan aside. Add the cookies to the food processor and process until crushed into crumbs, about a minute. (Stop the processor occasionally and scrape the sides, if necessary.) Heat the butter in the microwave until melted, about 30 seconds. Combine the cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl. Pour the cookie mixture into the prepared springform pan and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan with a glass or other flat-bottomed object until smooth and even. Place the pan with the crumbs into the refrigerator while preparing the rest of the recipe.


  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 8 ounces milk chocolate
  •  
  • medium saucepan
  • heatproof bowl

Add about an inch of water to the saucepan and place over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to medium-low, adjusting if needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Put the heatproof bowl over the saucepan, ensuring that it doesn’t actually touch the water. Add both chocolates to the bowl and stir gently until melted. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl from the saucepan, and allow it to cool.


  • 1½ cups cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • prepared chocolate from step 2
  • 3 tablespoons Irish cream liqueur
  •  
  • stand mixer
  • rubber spatula

Put the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whisk at medium-high speed until the cream cheese is thoroughly softened and slightly whipped, about 3 minutes. Add the cream and continue to mix at medium-high speed until the mixture holds a medium peak, stopping occasionally to scrape the bowl with the rubber spatula, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand mixture, then gently fold the chocolate into the mixture using the rubber spatula. When almost all of the white streaks are gone, add the liqueur, then continue folding gently until the mixture is a uniform chocolate color.


  • plastic wrap

Pour the filling into the prepared cake pan and smooth the surface. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until the filling is completely set, about 2 hours. To serve, remove the plastic wrap and the sides from the springform pan, then cut into slices. This dessert pairs well with whipped cream and/or fresh berries.