a cake plate topped with Double Chocolate Cheesecake and a stack of black plates

A Healthier Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe

This rich double chocolate cheesecake recipe from Alison Needham uses California Prune Purée to not only reduce the sugar content by 1/3 but to also add wonderful flavor and nutritional value. Though it takes some time to prepare, it comes together easily and can be made several days in advance. 

a cake plate with Double Chocolate Cheesecake with a slice removed

Why we love this Chocolate Cheesecake recipe

Alison used one of our favorite healthy swaps, adding prune purée, to reduce the sugar needed in this recipe. Prune Purée adds natural sweetness and a rich caramelly flavor to this double chocolate dream.

Double chocolate dreams: Chocolate Filling + Chocolate Ganache

This recipe might be lower in sugar, but there’s no shortage of rich chocolate deliciousness in this chocolate cheesecake recipe!

Chocolate Filling: Alison added cocoa powder and sweet chocolate chips to the filling, and then sealed the deal with a rich and luxurious prune purée.

Chocolate Crust: Traditional cheesecakes feature a graham cracker crust. This Oreo crust is more in keeping with the chocolate everything vibe. Pro-tip: It’s easy to make this chocolate cheesecake recipe gluten-free. Simply use gluten-free Oreos or chocolate cookies!

Chocolate Ganache: A layer of rich Chocolate Ganache adds the perfect finishing touch to this decadent dessert.

Come to think of it, maybe it should be triple chocolate cheesecake….

a stack of dessert plates with a slice of Double Chocolate Cheesecake
a slice of cheesecake with Chocolate Filling + Chocolate Ganache

A Guide to Healthy Swaps

Want to try Alison’s healthy baking back on some of your own recipes? Here’s a handy how-to:

  • Swap for sugar: Use prune purée to replace anywhere from one-third to half of the sugar in a recipe.
  • Swap out eggs: To replace 1 large egg, use ¼ cup (about 60g) prune purée. Keep in mind that this works best in recipes that call for no more than 3 large eggs.
  • Lose the fat: To cut down on fat, replace up to half of the butter or oil with an equal amount of prune purée.
a cake plate topped with Double Chocolate Cheesecake and a stack of black plates

Double Chocolate Cheesecake

Alison Needham, A Girl Defloured
This rich double chocolate cheesecake from Alison Needham uses California Prune Purée to not only reduce the sugar content by 1/3 but to also add wonderful flavor and nutritional value. Though it takes some time to prepare, it comes together easily and can be made several days in advance. 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Kid Friendly
Servings 12
Calories 615 kcal


For the Crust:

  • 1 package of Oreo cookies 14.3 ounces or 33 cookies
  • 4 TBSP melted butter

For the Filling:

  • 4, 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese room temperature
  • cup sugar
  • cup prune purée*
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 8 ounces semi sweet chocolate melted and slightly cooled (about 1 ¼ cups)**
  • 3 large eggs room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the Ganache Swirls:

  • 9 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup heavy cream

For the Ganache Layer:

  • 4 ounces semi sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 6 TBSP heavy cream


  • Make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180C). Assemble and grease a 9 inch (22cm) springform pan, line with parchment and grease again. Set aside.
  • Put the cookies in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade attachment. Pulse until finely ground. Add the melted butter and pulse again until just coated with butter. Pour mixture into the prepared springform pan and, using the tines of a fork, press the ground cookies into the bottom and up the sides of the pan, about ¾ of the way up.
  • Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F (150C).
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Beat the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed until it’s smooth. Add the sugar, prune purée, cocoa powder, cream cheese, eggs, and melted chocolate and beat again, on low speed, until the mixture is totally incorporated. Stir in the vanilla extract and sea salt. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula (or rubber spatula).
  • Prepare a water bath. Wrap the pan bottom and sides tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the springform pan within a larger pan that leaves at least a 1-inch (2.5cm) gap around all sides. A large cake pan or roasting pan works well for this. Carefully pour hot water around the sides of the cheesecake until it’s about halfway up the sides of the pan. Transfer the cheesecake in its water bath into the oven and bake for about 1 hour, or until the middle of the cheesecake is just set. It will still be a little jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and take it out of the water bath. Carefully peel off the foil and return the cheesecake to the oven. Turn the oven off, and leave in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Finally, crack the oven door, and cool in the oven for another 30 minutes. These steps cool the cheesecake slowly and help prevent it from cracking.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool at room temperature until it’s barely warm, then transfer to a refrigerator and cool for 3-6 hours, loosely covered.
  • Make the ganache for the swirls. The ganache for the decorative swirls should be made first, and cooled to room temperature before using. Heat the heavy cream until it just comes to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and is totally smooth. Cover and let cool to room temperature. It will be thick and pipeable at that point. If you don’t want to pipe swirls on the cheesecake you can obviously skip this step.
  • Make the ganache for the topping. Heat the heavy cream until it just comes to a boil and pour over the chocolate chips in a medium bowl. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts and it’s totally smooth. Pour over the top of the cooled cheesecake and tilt or spread with an offset spatula to cover the entire top of the cheesecake. Return it to the fridge for 15 minutes to set.
  • Snip off the corner of a piping bag and fit with a large star tip. Fold down the sides of the bag and scoop the cooled ganache into the bag. Twist the top of the bag to seal and force the ganache towards the piping tip. Pipe decorative swirls on top of the cooled ganache layer. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator until ready to serve. Cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, loosely covered.


*Making prune purée is easy. Here’s a simple recipe:
8 ounces (225g) pitted prunes + 1/4 cup (60 ml) hot water
Combine the prunes and water in a blender. Pulse to combine, then blend until a paste consistency forms, scraping the sides if necessary. Store the purée in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
**A simple way to melt chocolate chips is in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat the chocolate in 30-second increments, stirring well each time, until chocolate is totally smooth. It can take anywhere between 30 seconds and 1 minute and 30 seconds to melt, depending on how powerful your microwave is.


Calories: 615kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 8gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 253mgPotassium: 446mgFiber: 5gSugar: 34gVitamin A: 1068IUVitamin C: 0.3mgCalcium: 104mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Alison Needham, Cheesecake, chocolate, double chocolate
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