Chocolate Orange Cheesecake With Brownie Crust Recipe


This chocolate orange cheesecake recipe is an adaptation of one I made years ago that was delicious, but REALLY time-intensive.

This version uses a boxed brownie mix for the crust and a box of pudding plus cream cheese for the base of the filling, so it cuts down on the time it takes to make it. Using heavy cream instead of milk gives it a dense but silky texture…This is a full-fat, no kidding around dessert.

The cheesecake itself is a no-bake version, so there are no springform pans to deal with, but you could assemble it in one if you wanted to.


chocolate orange cheesecake brownie crust

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Chocolate orange cheesecake with brownie crust recipe.

This is a dense cheesecake, it’s not light and fluffy. If that’s the kind that you like, this probably isn’t for you!

This sets up more as it sits in the fridge, so refrigerating overnight makes it even better.

cheesecake photo

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake With Brownie Crust

This recipe for chocolate orange cheesecake with a brownie crust is a recipe that I simplified by using a brownie mix and pudding for a no-bake cheesecake filling. Chocolate orange desserts are a great choice for Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners, and this easy version doesn't need a springform pan or any special baking techniques.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12

Equipment

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 wooden spoon or spatula
  • 1 8" or 9" pie plate with tall sides
  • 1 microwave-safe bowl for melting chocolate
  • 1 liquid measuring cup
  • 1 dry ingredients measuring cup
  • 1 saucepans
  • 1 whisk
  • 1 stand mixer or electric hand mixer
  • Measuring spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 box brownie mix with chocolate syrup or chocolate chips added in the box.
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or however much the brownie mix calls for)
  • 1/4 cup water (or however much the brownie mix calls for)
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup white chocolate
  • 1 3 oz box vanilla pudding (instant or cook and serve)
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp orange extract, OR
  • 1 tsp orange oil (as an alternative to the orange extract)

Instructions
 

Make the crust

  • Preheat the oven to the temperature called for on the brownie mix.
  • Grease the bottom of the pie plate.
  • Mix the brownie mix according to the instructions. As an alternate, you can make some brownies from scratch.
  • If you're using a brownie mix that doesn't have any chocolate syrup or other add-ins, you can stir in 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips to the batter.
  • Bake the brownies according to the instructions, then remove them from the oven.
    baked brownies
  • While the brownies are still hot, use a paper towel or waxed paper to press down gently on the surface to flatten them out so that you have room to add the filling. Don't burn your hands on the pie plate, it's going to be really hot!
    pressing down on the baked brownies to flatten the top
  • Let the brownie cool completely before adding the filling. Run a sharp knife around the outer edge of the brownie and use a large spatula to loosen the bottom to separate it from the pie plate as much as you can, since that will make it easier to remove from the pan later.
    Flattened brownie in the pie plate

Make the filling

  • The ingredients for the filling should be at as close to room temperature as possible while you're combining them to avoid curdling the mixture!
  • Make the pudding according to the instructions on the package, but use the whipping cream instead of the milk. Set the pan aside to cool off. It doesn't have to be totally cool, but it shouldn't be really hot when you add it to the cream cheese mixture.
  • Add the orange extract to the pudding when it's done and stir to combine.
  • Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for 1 minute, then stir until it's as smooth as you can get it. Return it to the microwave for ten seconds at a time and stir in between to melt it completely. Let it cool down in the bowl. If you don't have a microwave, put the bowl over a pan of boiling water and stir the chocolate until it's melted.
    melted white chocolate
  • Beat the room temperature cream cheese with a hand mixer until it's smooth.
  • Making sure that the temperature of the cream cheese isn't too cold, add the melted white chocolate to the cream cheese and continue beating until it's incorporated.
  • Using a wooden spoon or the hand mixer, take the pudding mixture and beat it into the cream cheese mixture a little at a time. If the pudding is still hot it can melt the cream cheese, so do a little at a time to temper the mix and get it to a consistent temperature.
    adding the pudding mixture to the cream cheese mixture with a hand beater
  • Finish stirring the two mixtures together by hand until it's smooth. If you get tiny bits of white chocolate in it, the temperature was off at some point, but it's okay.

Fill the crust

  • Scrape the very top crust layer of the baked brownie off with a spoon to create a rough surface for the filling to stick to.
    scrape the top off of the baked brownie
  • Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
    Add the filling mixture to the pie plate on top of the brownie
  • Smooth the filling out over the brownie to cover it.
    Spread the filling mixture on the brownie
  • Put the pie into the fridge until the filling sets up completely, or for 2-4 hours at a minimum.
  • Serve plain or with whipped cream, or spread the top with a tub of whipped topping.
    Slice of cheesecake with whipped cream on it
  • Cut into quarters, then into three pieces per section for a total of 12 servings.
Keyword brownie and orange, chocolate pie crust, orange chocolate pudding pie, orange chocolate,


Cheesecake brownie with cut slice out

Tips for making the recipe.

This is a version of a modified no-bake cheesecake. You can change the flavor by changing the kind of extract you add to the pudding.

The orange flavor is subtle when you use the amount of extract in the recipe, but it’s definitely there. I used McCormick orange extract, which is orange oil, water, and alcohol. Depending on what flavoring you use, you might need to use more or less than the recipe calls for, but be careful with how much you do use.

Start with about half of the amount of extract and increase it to make sure that you don’t overdo the flavor.

If you’re using straight orange oil a little goes a long way, and the flavor will seem faint at first but too much oil can be overwhelming. Start with a little and add more after tasting it, but stop when you think it’s a little less than you want!


cheesecake photo


The culinary oils that I used when I did custom wedding cakes were the Boyajian brand. They’re really strong and give you an excellent natural flavor without having to use a lot of it. Check the different flavors here on Amazon: Boyajian flavored oils. I used the citrus flavored oils and the almond extract every week, they were a staple of my scratch baking recipes.

Another flavor option would be the Amoretti line of natural flavorings in liquid or paste forms. They’re also really good and I used them for icing and cake batter flavors. You can find those on Amazon here: Amoretti artisan flavorings.

The filling ingredients should be as close to room temp as possible so that they all blend together without curdling or melting the mixture. If you add them together and one is colder than the other, put the warmer one into the cooler one a little at a time to temper the mix.

When I made this I used a cook-and-serve pudding mix, but you can use an instant pudding if you don’t want to cook it. Using less milk than the recipe calls for will give you a firmer pudding that will keep its shape better in the final mixture.

You can use different extracts for a different flavor profile. Peppermint would be really good, and my husband suggested coffee. Artificial flavors aren’t my favorite, so be careful with those because using too much can give your final product a weird, fake flavor.

You could also use liquers as flavorings if you don’t mind having alcohol in the mix. Be careful with that, though, because the alcohol flavor will be strong since the cheesecake mixture isn’t cooked at all.


piece of cheesecake brownie

You can serve this as-is or add a whipped topping layer to the top. You could also do a sour cream/whipping cream topping to spread on the pie once it’s set up.

The original version of this had white chocolate curls as the garnish, but those are time-consuming to make. If you want to do that it will look really pretty, though. Make them by using a vegetable peeler on a block of warmed white chocolate to create curls.

Another garnish could be a sprinkle of cocoa on the pudding surface or the whipped topping if you’ve done a layer of that. Or you could heat up orange marmalade and smooth a thin layer on the top to give the cheesecake a brighter orange flavor.

I’m planning on making this again for Thanksgiving, maybe in a raspberry version with fresh berries on top. Or maybe with cranberries…There are a lot of options.

chocolate orange cheesecake brownie crust

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