Friday, February 12, 2021

Chocolate Birthday Cheesecake from @MaddieDayAuthor #giveaway

MADDIE here. Today is my next-older sister Janet's 70th birthday! We are less than two years apart in age and have been close since our teen years. 

Preteen ballerinas Edith and Janet

We attended the same university, we're the two out of the four Maxwell siblings who earned advanced degrees and traveled the world, and we just plain like each other. She's also an excellent cook.

But I can't travel to Ottawa, Canada, to help her celebrate. We can't meet in Puerto Rico for a family warm-weather birthday party as we'd dreamed of. I've arranged for a special gift to be delivered from a local indy bookstore to her, because we're a family of voracious readers, and we all have to support bookstores.

Maxwell sisters Janet, Barbara, and Edith with our mom, Marilyn, in 2012

Still, I'd rather celebrate in person. This is a recipe blog, and I happen to know how much my sister loves good chocolate. So I thought I'd make her a chocolate cheesecake. Jannie, I'm sorry you don't get to taste any! I hope you have some special birthday chocolate today.

Chocolate Birthday Cheesecake

Fair warning: this makes a large, rich cheesecake.



24 Oreo cookies

1/4 cup butter, melted


2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature and divided

24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 cup cocoa powder

5 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache:

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

3/4 cups minus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream (or just use all heavy cream)


Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan

Add Oreo cookies to a food processor and crush until you have a fine crumb and very few larger pieces.

Add melted butter and stir until evenly distributed.

Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan (and up the sides).

Place a rimmed cookie sheet on a lower oven rack (crust will drip). Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. 

In a four-cup measuring cup, add 1/4 cup of heavy cream and the chocolate chips. Heat for 20-second intervals until the chips have melted and the mixture is smooth with no lumps. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with a hand-held mixer until creamy and smooth.

Beat in the sugar and cocoa powder until smooth.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and 1/2 cup of heavy cream, mixing until combined.

Fold in the chocolate mixture.

Add the vanilla and stir to combine.

Pour the batter on top of the cooled cookie crust.

Bake for 70 minutes (keep the rimmed cookie sheet on the lower rack). The cheesecake is done when the sides are set but the center is still a little bit jiggly.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it rest until the pan is cooled.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely chilled.

Combine chocolate chips and heavy cream into a large glass measuring cup. Heat in the microwave in 20-second intervals until melted and creamy. Stir in Baily's. 

Pour over chilled cheesecake and let it sit for about 15 minutes or chill longer before removing the pan's outer ring.

Slice and serve!

Readers: What's your favorite birthday cake to make (or order) for others - or for yourself? To celebrate, I'll send one commenter a copy of Strangled Eggs and Ham, which includes a recipe for Southern Jam Cake.

My most recent book is Candy Slain Murder, the eighth Country Store mystery. As with all my books written as Maddie Day, you'll find easy recipes in the back.

The next book out in late March will be the wide release of Murder at the Taffy Shop, the second Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery - up for preorder now!

After that, my alter-ego has A Changing Light, our seventh Quaker Midwife Mystery releasing on April 13! It's also up for pre-order.

I hope you'll visit Edith Maxwell and me on our web site, sign up for our monthly newsletter, visit us on social media, and check our all our books and short stories.

Maddie Day (aka Edith Maxwell) is a talented amateur chef and holds a PhD in Linguistics from Indiana University. An Agatha Award-winning and bestselling author, she is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America and also writes award-winning short crime fiction. She lives with her beau north of Boston, where she’s currently working on her next mystery when she isn’t cooking up something delectable in the kitchen.


  1. My favorite birthday cake is Red Velvet with cream cheese frosting.

  2. Just finishing up your country store series. Your newest one is next. Haven't read your other series, but it's my TBR list. The cake sounds delicious.

  3. Welcome today. Happy birthday to your sister. My only sister is nine years younger than I and we couldnt be more different. We didnt really start liking each other until both of our kids were in school full time and we thought "we are sisters and we help each other so much, lets see what is there" Now many years later we are best of friends.
    Thank you for this recipe. It looks yummy. What a wonderful picture of you girls and your mom. Such a wonderful thing to have. I see a quilt in the back ground. Does someone quilt? Have a wonderful weekend Quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

    1. Our mom was master quilter in her retirement. She made over a hundred gorgeous quilts for family and friends. That is one of her wall hangings. She was also an accomplished seamstress, making all our ballet costumes (including the tutus in the picture) - three girls in three or four numbers each every spring!

  4. Happy birthday to your sister Janet! My favorite birthday cake is a chocolate cake with chocolate truffle frosting.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. My absolutely favorite birthday cake was my Mom's Hungarian Coffee Cake. Way before the sticky bun cakes were even thought of, my Mom would make this cross between cinnamon rolls and a sticky bun cake for me for my birthdays. It consists of little yeasty balls rolled in butter and then ground pecans, cinnamon and sugar mixture before layering them in a tube pan. Extra goodies are added to the top. The result is one amazing cake in which the first bite is anticipated from the first whiff of goodness coming from the oven.

    It was my favorite of all cakes and the one I always requested for my birthday cake. After Mom's passing, I've made it several times. Although good, it seems to be missing something. I think it was the love that Mom added to everything she baked.

    Thank you for the fabulous recipe for Chocolate Birthday Cheesecake. You have mixed two of my all time favorites - chocolate and cheesecake. I will be trying this recipe soon.

    Appreciate the chance to win a copy of "Strangled Eggs and Ham" which is one of the few books of yours that I have not had the opportunity to read yet. Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.

    So excited about the upcoming release of "A Changing Light". LOVE the Quaker Midwife Mystery series and can't wait to read more about Rose and her adventures.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  6. Oh looks yummy. My favorite Birthday Cake is plain ole store bought Chocolate! Love the icing! Thanks for the chance. Happy Birthday Sis!

  7. Hi, Maddie - What fabulous cake! Wishing a very Happy Birthday to your dear sister, Janet. xoxo

  8. I love the recipe. My favorite birthday cake is Marble Cake. Moist and yummy. Your photo is special. My sister who is 3 years younger has decided not to have a relationship with me. I miss her very much. She is 70 also. Your books are wonderful. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. I also love marble cake and haven't had one in decades! I'm sorry about your sister.

  9. Looks so good! My favorite birthday cake is any type of chocolate with chocolate frosting. Yum.

    Thanks for the chance!

  10. What a delectable cake and your sister is so fortunate to have you in her life. When I think of a birthday cake I would enjoy a lemon cake filled with the tartness and lemony flavor I love. Happy to read your post today. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  11. Your chocolate cheesecake looks so wonderfully decadent - thanks for sharing your recipe. My favorite birthday cake is chocolate Dr. Pepper cake. Happy Birthday to Janet!

  12. Happy Birthday to Janet! My favorite birthday cakes are chocolate, or cheesecake or angel food cake with fresh strawberries and lots of whipped cream. lola777_22 at hotmail dot com

  13. That cake looks dangerously rich! My favorite cake to bake is a marble or checkerboard one, like the mix of chocolate & vanilla, perfect for birthday cake with frosting. I also love a microwave chocolate cake for last minute company, used to make it a lot when my son was young - just let it cool & sift confectioners sugar on top.

  14. That looks good! Think it would work to put some cherries on top, or maybe a little flavoring to make a chocolate covered cherry type cake too?

  15. My favorite birthday cake is Chocolate! I would take any cake, actually, they are all good!

  16. Happy birthday to Janet, from another 1951 baby!

    My sister and I are polar opposites in every possible way. I'm envious of women who count their sisters among their very best friends. But I have made sisters of some dear friends, so we're good.

    This recipe doesn't look rich at all. LOL Heaven!

    My favorite cake is a Sacher torte. Hard to come by in the US, though, so second-best is a flourless chocolate cake.

    1. Since I just got a load of your books, Edith, leave me off the giveaway.

  17. My sister’s Flourless Chocolate Cake! With her homemade raspberry sauce! ❤️

  18. My favorite cake is either a Lemon cake or French Vanilla . Unfortunately I can't eat chocolate. So I have to settle for one of these.

    Carol T.

    1cow0993 at gmail com

    1. Carol, you are our lucky winner! Please check your email, and congratulations!

  19. My favorite cake is a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I am blessed that my sister is also my best friend.

  20. I love carrot cake or pineapple upside down cake. Happy birthday to your sister! tWarner419(at)aol(dot)com

  21. Really depends on who I am baking of my sister's has to have homemade German Chocolate or her birthday is incomplete. My other sister loves my almond crumb cake. As long as it's chocolate, my brother-in-law is happy, so I make him a flourless chocolate with a Baily's Irish Creme or Amaretto chocolate ganache. I think that is my favorite to I can clean out the bowl and lick the beaters. of course! Happy B'day to your sister!

  22. My mother always made pineapple upside-down cake in caste iron skillet for my birthday. My father also had a February birthday and his was chocolate mayonnaise cake with seven minute frosting. Can't go wrong with either one. I'll have to try the ganache with a touch of Bailey's