Bacon Stout Chocolate Cheesecake

Okay, okay – hear me out. I know what you must be thinking – bacon on a cheesecake? What the what? But just trust me, it works, especially since its beer-candied bacon. I first got this idea for a cheesecake at my favorite place for inspiration, Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats. In the spring months here on Delmarva, they have a restaurant week. If you are a restaurant in the area and would like to participate, you can offer a 3-course meal to your patrons for $30 a person.

We’ve been to a few places, as it’s always fun to try something new, but we always end up back at Dogfish. There’s the amazing beer, obviously. But, the food is always awesome – as well as the service. It’s a great place to go with the kids, with fun activity menus to keep them busy. They even make their own homemade birch beer! They source as many local ingredients as much as possible, displaying the farms proudly on a chalkboard. Sam and his wife Mariah (founders of Dogfish Head) are the nicest people in the world. We’ve seen them in there many evenings where their family was enjoying dinner with friends, or just hanging out – and Sam chatted with Jon about homebrew for a while. They also host our local homebrew chapter, Delmarva United Homebrewers, at the brewpub in the winter months. Which, is just another notch on their lipstick case of coolness in my book.  Okay, I digress…let’s just say that I love them, and everything that they stand for.

The cheesecake was on their prix fixe menu that night as a dessert choice. Of course I couldn’t resist, and I’m eternally grateful that I didn’t. They used their Chicory Stout in the batter, which led to a  denser cheesecake than I was accustomed to. It definitely stuck in my mind, and I always wanted to recreate it at home. Enter Jackie, who posted a chocolate stout cheesecake on her beer blog a while back. I knew it was  going to be the perfect base for this monster. And, it was. I added a bit of the beer-candied bacon to the batter, as well as to the top (along with some hot fudge sauce to make it easier to adhere). Just enough to make you think – Oh, bacon! And the pretzel crust? Insanely good, and seemed to retain a better crunch than your standard graham cracker variety.

Desserts are often overlooked at Super Bowl parties – but this is one that is most definitely notable. Make this, and you’re sure to be the talk of the party. Or with it in hand, will get you into any party you like! Who’s going to turn down a bacon stout chocolate cheesecake with a pretzel crust? #nobody

44 Comments

  1. Posted January 11, 2013 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    WOW! That looks incredibly fantastic. Beautiful job :) Seriously, wow.

  2. Posted January 11, 2013 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    the pretzel/graham cracker crust alone is making me hungry. :) bacon and beer in desserts is something i haven’t tried to make myself yet but i had a guiness stout chocolate pound cake once that was to die for.

  3. Posted January 13, 2013 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

    What a unique and yummy combination! I love the idea of beer-candied bacon on my cheesecake. Does that mean I can eat it for breakfast? Thanks!

    • Laura
      Posted January 13, 2013 at 5:20 PM | Permalink

      Cheesecake is an always acceptable breakfast in my book!

    • Bryon
      Posted April 28, 2013 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

      It has eggs, bacon, wheat (just like bread!), espresso powder, sounds like a good breakfast to me!

  4. Posted January 13, 2013 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    Your pictures are beautiful!I am a HUGE dogfish head fan and visit (and drink) it often. My husband is also dabbling in home brewing. Is there a schedule for the meetings?

  5. Ginger
    Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:46 PM | Permalink

    Please remember when writing recipes that not everybody has a stand mixer. Thanks.

    • Laura
      Posted January 15, 2013 at 7:46 PM | Permalink

      I trust most of my readers, at the very least, have a hand mixer. That could certainly be used in place of the stand mixer. Make this cheesecake with a whisk if you have to, it’s fabulous!

      • Kim
        Posted February 13, 2013 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

        I just made this with a hand mixer and it worked out just fine. It’s in the oven now! Can’t wait!!!

  6. Sarah
    Posted January 25, 2013 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    This looks amazing! Can”t go wrong with Dogfish Head! One question: the ingredient list for the crust calls for granulated sugar, but the instructions say to use brown sugar–which sugar are you supposed to use? Hoping to make this for a SuperBowl party! Thanks for sharing, excited to try lots of recipes on your site!

    • Laura
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 9:05 PM | Permalink

      My bad, brown sugar was in the original recipe – and I changed it to granulated. Either would work, but I used granulated. Going back to change that now, thanks for the heads up!

  7. Posted January 25, 2013 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

    I can’t wait to make this for my beer and bacon aficionado friends! I have a couple of questions-

    1. When it says 1 cup pretzel rods, does that mean already crushed?

    2. Can this be made a day ahead? If so, would I wait until right before serving to top with the bacon? I don’t want it to be soggy, for sure.

    Thanks!!

    • Laura
      Posted January 25, 2013 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

      Yes, 1 cup crushed pretzels – it’s probably about 15 rods. And yes, it can certainly be made a day in advance. Wait til the day of to top with bacon.

  8. Posted January 30, 2013 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

    Do you think this recipe would work if I converted it to cupcakes? Also, do you have any idea how long I would bake them?

    • Laura
      Posted January 31, 2013 at 7:43 AM | Permalink

      I’ve heard of other people converting cheesecake to individual servings in the past, but haven’t had experience with it myself. Maybe start checking for doneness after 25 minutes?

  9. Lisa
    Posted February 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM | Permalink

    I am making this right now for tomorrow’s Superbowl party!!! So, quick question:

    I bought graham cracker crumbs…about how much does 4 graham crackers make when you grind them? I’m guessing about 1 cup???

    Also, instead of a chocolate/coffee stout, I accidentally bought Black Diamond Peak XV Imperal Porter, which is aged in whiskey barrels with vanilla bean and cacao nibs. Oops!!! But, I think it will still taste very good :)

    • Laura
      Posted February 2, 2013 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

      Yep, about 1 cup of crumbs should be about perfect. And, I think that beer will be fabulous with it. Sounds like a great beer! :)

      • Lisa
        Posted February 2, 2013 at 8:44 PM | Permalink

        Wonderful!

        Thanks, Laura! It came in a 1pint 6 ounce bottle, so we had some leftovers to enjoy. It is a darn tasty beer on its own…I think it will work well in your fabulous recipe :)

  10. Posted February 3, 2013 at 3:55 PM | Permalink

    I love cooking with beer and can’t wait to try this!! Such a great idea!!

  11. Katie B
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

    I just stumbled across your website and man am I in love!!!!! So many awesome dinner AND dessert recipes I want to try!!! Thank you!

  12. Kelly Sadler
    Posted March 20, 2013 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    I can’t wait to eat this!!! It is in the oven as I type this!!
    However, it has been baking for close to an hour and 15 min and is still jiggly….am I doing something wrong? Im worried about the crust burning…Thanks again for sharing! Really hoping it turns out like yours!!

    • Posted March 21, 2013 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

      I’ve found that cheesecake cooking time varies from oven to oven. I’ve cooked one close to 2 hours before, and had no issues with the crust burning. I’m sure it will turn out delicious!

  13. Posted March 22, 2013 at 6:05 AM | Permalink

    This chocolate cheesecake recipe looks amazing and it’s worth a delicious try!

  14. Eileen Matarese
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    My daughter made this! It was DELICIOUS! Thanks for the recipe!

  15. Posted April 29, 2013 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    wow. bacon and cheescake together! how sinful is that?! yum.

  16. Jen
    Posted May 20, 2013 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    OH. EM. GEE.

    For my boyfriend’s 40th birthday (tomorrow), I’d decided to make this cheesecake to please my carnivore. Instead of making one big cake, I converted this recipe into 36 cupcake size mini cheesecake.

    While making the hot fudge now, I finally just had the first bite of the actual cheesecake….oh my….this is exactly how I dreamt of heaven to be like!!!

    Just the cheesecake along almost sent me over the moon, can’t imagine what’s gonna be like when it all comes together with the fudge, bacon topping, and whipped cream.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, Laura! I have no doubt this cheesecake is going to make me the women at the birthday party tomorrow :)

  17. Maegan
    Posted June 9, 2013 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    I want to make this for my beer and bacon loving dad for Father’s Day. A few questions – first, my dad loves intense dark chocolate, so do you think you coul use a darker percentage of chocolate and still get a good effect? Secondly, I don’t have a standing mixer, so can I mix the cream cheese and stuff by hand and then use a hand mixer to mix everything smooth? Thanks!

  18. Cal
    Posted July 1, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    I had the cheesecake at Dogfish last summer. I didn’t think it was very good. Overall, it just had a really odd flavor. Not enough chocolate, and the beer – don’t know if it was the type or amounts – just didn’t work with the bacon flavor. Maybe they have improved the recipe, but the one I had I could not finish b/c it was so bad. A shame, but it sounded like it would be really good.

    • Posted July 1, 2013 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

      Cal, I’d have to agree with you there. The first time I had it (during restaurant week when it was still a “special”), it was amazing. But since it’s been on the regular menu – it’s changed. No chocolate drizzle or candied bacon. Just overall kind of lackluster. But, I’m usually so stuffed I don’t even bother ordering dessert anymore. We go often in the off season, and I’ve never had a bad meal there.

      Trust me on my version of the cheesecake though. It’s the perfect balance, and candying the bacon helps to bring all the flavors together and muddles some of the porkiness.

  19. lauren
    Posted September 2, 2013 at 10:36 PM | Permalink

    This cheesecake was amazing! Thank you for the recipe! I used Rogue Double Chocolate Stout. The whole thing came together fantastically. So much Chocolatey and bacony goodness! Even better the second day in my opinion.

  20. Posted September 8, 2013 at 8:12 AM | Permalink

    I love baking and cooking with stout this cheesecake sounds heavenly!

  21. Posted September 11, 2013 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

    What a great combination of flavors. I think I have a couple of bottles of stout so I can see this recipe in my future. Thanks!

  22. Sara
    Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:12 PM | Permalink

    I have the cheesecake in the oven now! I’m excited but I just went back and looked at your picture and it looks like the crust comes up on the sides when the directions say just to put it on the bottom. Now I’m nervous that the cake will stick to the sides! Also, when can I remove the sides if the spring form pan? After adding the fudge topping?

    • Posted October 1, 2013 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

      It should unmold just fine, make sure to run a pairing knife around the outside edge first before removing the springform pan. I usually remove it before adding the hot fudge, but it’s fine to do it afterwards too.

  23. Amanda
    Posted December 24, 2013 at 5:12 PM | Permalink

    I’m in love with this recipe and can’t wait to make it tonight to bring for Christmas tomorrow.
    The only item I wanted to clarify — the cocoa powder used isn’t “unsweetened”, correct?
    Thank you, Laura!

    • Posted December 26, 2013 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

      Amanda, most of the cocoa powder I used is unsweetened.

  24. Kim
    Posted February 2, 2014 at 8:58 AM | Permalink

    I made this yesterday for my anniversary. It’s delicious!! I didn’t have graham crackers so i didn’t an all pretzel crust which I think I like better! I do have a couple complaints, though. First, it took closer to two hours to cook; luckily I had that time to wait. Second, it has a weird crust on top. I’ve never made cheesecake before, so maybe this is normal, but ive never experienced it on any cheesecake I’ve eaten. I would definitely make this again.

    • Posted February 2, 2014 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

      The beer affects the appearance of the cheesecake, Kim. Mine looked a little funny on top too, but once you cover it with hot fudge sauce and more bacon, you can never tell anyways. Glad you enjoyed it!

  25. Christine
    Posted September 28, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

    Looks wonderful! Do you think it would be possible to let the cheesecake cool, then freeze until ready to add chocolate (I might try a ganache on top) and the candied bacon? Can the candied bacon be made more than a day in advance of use?

    • Posted September 29, 2014 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

      For the cheesecake it can be made up to 3 days in advance. It would probably be alright to freeze first, but I can’t say for certain as I have no experience freezing cheesecake. Sorry.

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