Marble White and Dark Chocolate Cheesecake


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves

    12 to 16

Appears in

The Baking Bible

By Rose Levy Beranbaum

Published 2014

  • About

Oven Temperature 450°F/230°C for the chocolate biscuit; 350°F/175°C for the cheesecake

Baking Time 7 to 10 minutes for the chocolate biscuit; 45 minutes (50 minutes if using a silicone pan for the water bath), plus 1 hour with the oven off, for the cheesecake

Traditionally, marble cake recipes call for making a single batter and using part of it to create the darker chocolate batter. In this version, Woody made two separate batters, one with white chocolate and the other with bittersweet chocolate, so that each batter had a perfect flavor and consistency.

Plan Ahead Make the cheesecake at least 1 day before serving.


Light Chocolate Sponge Cake (Biscuit)


unsweetened (alkalized) cocoa powder cup (sifted before measuring) 0.9 ounce 25 grams
boiling water ¼ cup (59 ml) 2.1 ounces 59 grams
pure vanilla extract ¾ teaspoon (3.7 ml) . .
bleached cake flour (or bleached all-purpose flour) cup (or ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons), sifted into the cup and leveled off 1.2 ounces 33 grams
5 (to 7) large eggs, separated, at room temperature
yolks ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons (89 ml) 3.3 ounces 93 grams
whites (about 4) ½ cup (118 ml), divided 4.2 ounces 120 grams
superfine sugar cup plus 1 tablespoon, divided 5.1 ounces 146 grams
cream of tartar ¼ teaspoon . .

Chocolate Filling

white chocolate containing cocoa butter, chopped . 5.3 ounces 150 grams
bittersweet chocolate, 60% to 62% cacao, chopped . 3.2 ounces 92 grams
cream cheese (65° to 70°F/19° to 21°C) cups 2 pounds 908 grams
granulated sugar 1 cup 7 ounces 200 grams
4 (to 6) large eggs, at room temperature ¾ cup plus 2 teaspoons (187 ml) 7 ounces 200 grams
heavy cream ½ cup (118 ml) 4.1 ounces 116 grams
pure vanilla extract 1 tablespoon (15 ml) . .
cornstarch 1 tablespoon . 9 grams
fine sea salt ¼ teaspoon . 1.5 grams

Special Equipment

For the chocolate biscuit: One 17¼ by 12¼ by 1 inch half sheet pan, coated with shortening or nonstick cooking spray, bottom lined with parchment and then coated with baking spray with flour (cut the parchment to extend 1 inch past one of the long sides of the pan) | One large wire rack | One baking sheet or inverted extra half sheet pan, lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray

For the cheesecake filling: One 9 by 2½ inch or higher springform pan, the sides coated with shortening, set in a slightly larger silicone pan or wrapped with a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent seepage. For the sides, cut a 30 by 2 inch wide band of parchment. Wrap and press it against the inside walls of the pan. Use shortening to coat the overlapping ends to hold them in place. Lightly coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray | An expandable flan ring, 8¾ inch pot lid, or 8¾ inch cardboard template | One 12 inch round cake pan or a roasting pan to serve as a water bath


Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C.

Mix the Cocoa and Water

In a small bowl, with a silicone spatula, stir together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, cover tightly with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation, and cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes. To speed cooling, place the bowl in the refrigerator. Bring the mixture to room temperature before proceeding.

Sift the Flour

Sift the flour onto a large piece of parchment or into another small bowl.

Mix the Egg Mixture

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, place the egg yolks, half of the egg whites (¼ cup/59 ml/2.1 ounces/60 grams), and cup/4.7 ounces/133 grams of the sugar. Beat on high speed until thick, fluffy, and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the cocoa mixture, beating a few seconds until incorporated.

If you don’t have a second mixer bowl, scrape this mixture into a large bowl and thoroughly wash, rinse, and dry the mixer bowl and whisk beater to remove any trace of oil.

Make the Batter

Sift half of the flour over the egg mixture and, using a large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or silicone spatula, fold it in gently but rapidly until almost all of the flour has disappeared. Repeat with the remaining flour until all traces of the flour have disappeared.

Beat the Egg Whites into a Stiff Meringue

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the remaining egg whites and the cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy. Gradually raise the speed to medium-high and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

Add the Meringue to the Batter

Using the large balloon whisk, slotted skimmer, or large silicone spatula, gently fold the meringue into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and, using a small offset spatula, smooth the surface as evenly as possible.

Bake the Cake

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed lightly in the center. Have ready a small sharp knife.

Unmold and Cool the Cake

Run the tip of a sharp knife around the sides to dislodge any cake that may have attached itself to the sides of the pan and unmold the cake at once. Slip a small offset spatula under the edge of the parchment to loosen it. Grasp the parchment and gently slide the cake onto the wire rack. Let the cake cool completely, about 20 minutes. Invert the cake onto the baking sheet or inverted half sheet pan and peel off the parchment. If not using the cake right away, cover with plastic wrap.

Cut the Cake Pieces

Begin by cutting the cake widthwise into 2 unequal rectangles: 1 needs to be inches wide for the round cake base.

To make the round cake base, set the expandable flan ring on the cake and mark around it with the tip of a sharp knife. Use kitchen scissors to cut out the disc.

To make the side pieces, use a long serrated knife and a ruler to cut a 10 by 5¼ inch rectangle from the remaining cake rectangle. With the knife, cut the rectangle the long way into 3 strips, each 1¾ inches wide. Alternatively, with the tip of a sharp knife, mark where the cuts should be and then use scissors to cut out the strips.

Wrap each cake piece in plastic wrap to keep it soft and fresh, and refrigerate them until ready to line the pan and add the filling.

Line the Springform Pan with the Cake

Press the 3 side strips, with the top crust sides facing the sides of the pan, against the parchment. Trim 1 of the pieces to make a seamless fit. Set the cake disc, with the top crust side facing down, on the bottom of the pan, wedged against the side strips.

Preheat the Oven

Twenty minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

Melt the Chocolates

In a small microwavable bowl, stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds (or in the top of a double boiler set over hot, not simmering, water, stirring often—do not let the bottom of the container touch the water), heat the white chocolate until almost completely melted.

Remove the white chocolate from the heat source and stir until fully melted. Let it cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid.

Repeat the same process to melt the dark chocolate.

Make the Batter

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until smooth and scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Add the cream, vanilla, cornstarch, and salt, and beat on medium-low speed until incorporated. Detach the whisk beater and use it to whisk in any mixture that has settled to the bottom of the bowl.

Pour 2½ cups (20.8 ounces/590 grams) of the batter into a medium bowl. Scrape the melted dark chocolate into it and, with a large whisk, whisk until the batter is a uniform color.

Scrape the melted white chocolate into the stand mixer bowl. Return the bowl to the mixer and mix on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds, or until the white chocolate is incorporated.

Pour about half (17.6 ounces/500 grams) of the white chocolate batter into the springform pan and spread it evenly with a small offset spatula. Spoon the dark chocolate batter on top of the white chocolate batter and spread it evenly. Scrape the remaining white chocolate batter over the dark chocolate batter and spread it evenly. Use a whisk or large spoon to swirl the two batters lightly, in an over and under motion, to create a marbled effect.

Bake the Cake

Set the springform pan into the larger pan and surround it with 1 inch of very hot water. Bake for 20 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 25 minutes (30 minutes if using the silicone pan). Turn off the oven without opening the door and let the cake cool for 1 hour. When the pan is moved, the center will barely move.

Chill the Cake

Remove the pan from the water bath, but leave the silicone pan or foil in place to catch any liquid that may seep from the cake. Set it on a wire rack to cool to room temperature or just until warm, about 1 to 2 hours. To absorb condensation, place a paper towel, curved side down, over the pan with the ends overhanging. Place an inverted plate, larger than the springform pan, on top of the paper towel. Refrigerate the cheesecake for 4 hours or overnight.

Unmold the Cake

Remove the plate, paper towel, and silicone pan or foil. Run a spatula between the sides of the springform pan and the parchment and release the sides of the springform pan. Carefully peel off the parchment by rolling it as it releases from the cake.

If the cheesecake’s sides above the biscuit are uneven, run a small metal spatula under hot water, dry it, and use it to smooth the sides even with the biscuit.


Airtight: refrigerated, 5 days. Do not freeze, because the texture will become less smooth.