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Cara Cara Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Sweet Tart Cara Cara Cheesecakes on Plates
Cara Cara Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

This recipe and photography were provided courtesy of local cookbook author and chef, Carla Snyder. Learn more about Carla and discover her recipes at

I love the bright orange in this cheesecake juxtaposed with the black, chocolatey crust. Orange and chocolate are brilliant together and never more so than in this luscious, make-ahead dessert.

Zesty Tip: As the cake cools the crusty sides contract. Loosening the sides of the crust from the pan will result in a prettier cheesecake with less cracking. Also, cooling the cake in the water bath means that it cools more slowly, reducing cracking as well.

Don’t forget about all the other citrus at Heinen’s. Discover more of my favorite desserts that incorporate sweet spring fruits. 

Cara Cara Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Start-to-Finish: 24 hours
Hands-on Time: 30 minutes
Serves 10 to 12


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 60 chocolate wafers
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2-lb cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Zest from 3 Cara Cara oranges
  • 1/2 cup juice squeezed from about 3 Cara Cara oranges
  • 1/4 cup Cointreau liquor
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Oven rack set in the middle.
  2. Combine the chocolate wafers and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process to a fine crumb. Pour in the melted butter and process until well mixed.
  3. Transfer the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan and using a glass or measuring cup, press the crumbs on the bottom and 2-inches up the sides of the pan. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. Beat the cream cheese and sugar until light on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the heavy cream, zest, orange juice, Cointreau, orange extract and salt and beat until well mixed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until combined and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each egg.
  5. Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil.
  6. Line the outside of the springform pan with a large sheet of heavy-duty foil that reaches up to the top of the pan. Set the pan inside a roasting pan and pour the filling into the cooled crust. Pull out the rack and set the roasting pan onto it. Carefully pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Carefully push the rack back into the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until the cheesecake puffs around the edges and the center moves just slightly when jiggled. Run a small sharp knife around the pan sides to loosen the cheesecake and cool in the roasting pan on a rack for 45 minutes. Transfer the cheesecake to a rack and continue to cool it to room temperature, another 2 hours. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (don’t let the plastic touch the top of the cheesecake as it will stick) and refrigerate overnight or up to 4 days. Remove the sides of the pan and serve chilled.
  7. For the neatest slices, cut the cheesecake with a knife dipped in hot water and wiped clean with a paper towel after each slice.
  8. Make-ahead: The cheesecake should be made a day ahead in order to give it ample time to set up but it can be made up to 3 or 4 days before serving making this dessert a terrific option for busy hosts.

Cara Cara Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Click Here to Print the Recipe for Cara Cara Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust.

Carla Snyder in her kitchen
By Carla Snyder
Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

Recent Reviews

  1. Hello – I don’t see the wafers listed for making the chocolate crust on this cheesecake. How many and what kind please?
    It sounds delicious.

    1. Hi Pat- Thank you for pointing this out to us. We recommend using about 60 wafers for the crust. Any brand of chocolate wafer will do. We hope this helps and would love to know what you think if you make it. Thank you for your interest.

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