This homemade Nutella cheesecake recipe is made from scratch with a graham cracker crust. Super creamy and rich, this delicious cheesecake is even topped off with a Nutella ganache and chopped hazelnuts.
Nutella is a chocolate and hazelnut spread that started off in Italy in a different form. Pietro Ferraro was a baker in Alba who created a sweet paste using hazelnuts, sugar, and just a little cocoa. After world war II, cocoa was scarce and so this product, originally called Giandujot after a carnival character, was shaped into a loaf and could be spread on bread. It transformed shortly after into a creamy version, known as SuperCrema. After improving the recipe, Nutella was officially born in 1964.
Nutella is great on top of Italian bread, inside of crepes, and can also be used in various sweet and baked goods, like Nutella pancakes! This rich and delicious baked cheesecake has the best Nutella flavor and is perfect for Nutella lovers!
🍫 Ingredient notes
- Nutella - This creamy hazelnut and cocoa spread can be found online or in your local grocery store with peanut butter, jams/jellies, and honey. There are generic versions that you can buy, however, I feel like the brand name Nutella has the best flavor and texture.
- Cream Cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor and texture to this creamy Nutella cheesecake. Room temperature cream cheese will also help ensure it easily whips together with the Nutella.
- Hazelnuts - Chopped hazelnuts add a nice crust and contrast of texture to the top of the cheesecake. They can usually be found in the baking aisle of the grocery store but can be omitted if needed.
📋 Substitutions and variations
- Crust - Instead of a graham cracker crust for the bottom of the pan, make an Oreo crust for your baked Nutella cheesecake.
- Toppings - Mini chocolate chips or whipped cream can be used as an alternative topping if desired. You can also chop up Ferrero Rocher candies into smaller pieces and sprinkle them on top!
🥣 Step by step instructions
First, break up the graham crackers in a food processor by pulsing them into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and sugar and pulse until you have a wet sand texture.
Press the finished crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake the crust for 5 minutes until the edges are light brown.
While the crust is baking, wash out the bowl of the food processor to make the Nutella cheesecake filling. Beat cream cheese and Nutella until smooth and then add the sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and heavy cream. Continue to mix until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
Pour the Nutella cream cheese mixture into the pan onto the top of the baked graham cracker crust. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles. Place it back in the oven and let the cheesecake bake for 40-45 minutes.
Let the cheesecake cool at room temperature for 30-45 minutes and then move to the refrigerator to chill until completely set.
When the cake is completely set, heat the remaining cream in a small saucepan on the stovetop until it starts to form bubbles around the edges. Pour it over the Nutella in a small bowl and let it set for 5 minutes to soften. Whisk the Nutella mixture until the cream and Nutella are completely combined into a silky smooth ganache.
Pour mixture over the chilled cheesecake and smooth it out using a rubber spatula. Place the Nutella cheesecake back in the refrigerator for 1 hour so the ganache topping can set and then sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts.
To serve, run a knife around the sides of the springform pan to release the cake, then unlock the collar and remove it. Slice into pieces and serve!
If you ever don't recognize a tool or skill that I mention, be sure to look it up in our Glossary of Cooking Terms and Definitions for more information.
⭐ Expert tips
- Make sure to pulse the graham cracker crumbs finely so the crust holds together well. Only bake until the edges start to turn lightly browned so it doesn't get too dry.
- Instead of using a food processor, the graham cracker crust can be made in a blender. You can also pound the crackers into crumbs with a rolling pin in a ziptop bag and then mix them with butter and sugar in a small bowl.
- An electric mixer or stand mixer can be used instead of the food processor for the filling as well. Make sure to whip the cream cheese and Nutella on low speed in a large bowl to combine first. Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once or twice when mixing the filling. This will make sure the ingredients are completely incorporated for a creamy filling.
- The key to a good cheesecake is to not over bake it. The top should no longer be shiny and the edges will pull away from the sides of the pan and be slightly puffed up. The middle will still jiggle slightly when you shake the pan, but that's ok! It will set completely while it's cooling.
- Let the cheesecake cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before moving to the refrigerator to make sure it sets properly. Let it chill for at least 4 hours or overnight for best results.
- Don't forget to chill the cake again after adding the ganache so it has time to set.
- Leave the collar on the springform pan until you are ready to serve it so it keeps the ganache and cheesecake in its shape prior to serving.
💭Frequently asked questions
You don't have to use a springform pan to make cheesecake, however, it makes it much easier. The collar unlocks and slides up over the cheesecake making it the best way to slice and serve it. If you aren't going to use a springform pan, make sure to use a deep-sided cake pan. Use parchment paper to line the pan as well as baking spray
⏲️ Make ahead and storage instructions
This Nutella cheesecake recipe is best made ahead. Cheesecake needs time to chill completely in order to set. Make this cheesecake at least 1 day ahead of time, or up to 3 days before serving. Leftover nutella cheesecake can be covered with plastic wrap or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
🍰 More dessert recipes
If you loved this Nutella cheesecake recipe, check out these other dessert recipes that I know you will love too!
Graham Cracker Crust
- 9 sheets graham crackers
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cooled
Nutella Cheesecake Filling
- ¾ cup Nutella
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- chopped hazelnuts for garnish (optional)
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350˚ and grease a 9-inch spring form pan with butter or baking spray.
- Place graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until they are fine crumbs.
- Add sugar and melted butter and pulse to combine until it resembles wet sand.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer to form the crust.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes until the edges turn light brown.
Nutella Cheesecake Filling
- While the crust is baking, rinse out the food processor bowl and add the softened cream cheese and Nutella for the filling. Pulse the mixture to combine, scrape down the sides, and then mix until creamy.
- Add the sugar, eggs, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and pulse to combine. Scrape down the sides again and then continue to mix until creamy.
- Pour the prepared filling over the baked crust and then tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any air bubbles in the filling.
- Bake the cheesecake in the oven for 40-45 minutes until just set around the edges. The top should no longer be shiny and the edges should be lightly puffed up and pulled away from the sides. The middle will still be slightly jiggly but will set during cooling.
- Let the cheesecake cool for 30-45 minutes at room temperature before moving it to the refrigerator. Let the cake chill to set completely for at least 4 hours, or overnight for best results.
- When the cheesecake is completely chilled and set, heat the cream for the ganache in a small saucepan on medium-low heat on the stove until bubbles form around the edges.
- Pour the heated cream over the Nutella in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Whisk the cream and Nutella together until completely smooth.
- Pour the Nutella ganache over the cheesecake and smooth it into an even layer.
- Place the cheesecake back in the refrigerator for 1 hour to set the ganache and then sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts.
- To serve, run a knife around the sides of the pan and unlock the collar to remove it. Cake can then be sliced and served.
- Instead of using a food processor, the crust can be made in a blender or the crumbs can be pounded in a ziptop bag with a rolling pin.
- An electric mixer or stand mixer can be used instead of the food processor for the filling. Make sure to whip the cream cheese and Nutella on low speed in a large bowl to combine first. Then, add the remaining ingredients and mix on medium speed until creamy and smooth.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once or twice to make sure the ingredients are completely incorporated.
Substitutions and Variations
- Crust - Make an Oreo crust instead of a graham cracker crust.
- Toppings - Mini chocolate chips, whipped cream, or chopped up Ferrero Rocher candies can be sprinkled on top.