This coffee cheesecake features a luxuriously thick, creamy coffee cheesecake filling baked inside a dark chocolate espresso cookie crust. The coffee chocolate ganache on top adds even more rich coffee flavor and gives the cheesecake a flawless, smooth finish! Calling all coffee lovers, this cheesecake is just for you! There is plenty of coffee flavor in every element from the filling, the chocolate Oreo crust, and in the chocolate ganache. It's perfect to enjoy with your morning cup of coffee, or for an after dinner dessert!
INGREDIENTS FOR COFFEE CHEESECAKE
OREO COFFEE CRUST
- Oreo cookie crumbs: About 24 regular Oreo sandwich cookies with filling.
- Instant espresso powder: Instant espresso powder is made from brewed espresso beans that are dried and ground into a fine powder. It's great for baking and adds a strong kick of coffee flavor to any recipe! You can find it at most most grocery stores in the baking or coffee aisle.
- Unsalted butter: Melted.
- Salt: Optional, leave it out if your butter is salted.
COFFEE CHEESECAKE FILLING
- Cream cheese: Brick-style, full-fat, and softened to room temperature. It's important the cream cheese is completely soft or you'll have lumps in the filling. To speed up softening place the foil-wrapped cream cheese package in a plastic bag and submerge the bag in room temperature water for a few minutes.
- Cornstarch: Cornstarch helps thicken the filling and makes it stronger against cracking. If you don't have cornstarch all-purpose flour can be used in its place.
- Granulated sugar
- Sour cream: Sour cream gives this cheesecake a great tangy flavor and makes the filling less sweet. Make sure you are using full-fat sour cream and room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
- Instant espresso powder
- Cocoa powder: A little chocolate enhances the coffee flavor in the filling!
- Eggs: Room temperature is key! Leave the eggs out on your counter for at least an hour, or place them in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few minutes to bring them to room temperature.
CHOCOLATE COFFEE GANACHE
- Semi-sweet chocolate: Bar-style chocolate works best, but chocolate chips can also be used!
- Heavy cream: Heavy cream or heavy whipping cream.
- Instant espresso powder
WATER BATH FOR CHEESECAKE
A water bath (bain-marie) is a French method of baking something surrounded by boiling water. It allows for slow, gentle, even cooking, which is perfect for delicate desserts like cheesecake. Basically, no matter how hot your oven is, the temperature of the water won't get any higher than 212°F (100°C). Without a water bath, the outside of the cheesecake would be over baked and cracked before the center could finish baking.
- To keep water from seeping into the pan from the water bath, make sure you wrap it well with several layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. *Note: No matter how well you wrap your springform pan with foil, there's still a chance of water leaking in and ruining your otherwise perfectly good cheesecake. This happened to me several times, so now I always tie a slow cooker liner around the pan after wrapping it with foil. My cheesecakes have come out perfectly dry ever since!
HOW TO MAKE COFFEE CHEESECAKE
Arrange your oven rack to the lower position. Preheat your oven to 325°F and start boiling water for the water bath.
Prep the springform pan: Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the sides of the pan with nonstick spray. Wrap the pan well with at least 4 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil to keep water leaking in from the water bath and tie a slow cooker oven liner around the pan. If you don't have a liner make sure the pan is wrapped very well with several layers of heavy-duty foil. Without the liner you can expect water to leak through the first few layers of foil.
MAKE THE OREO COFFEE CRUST
Add the Oreo cookies to a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Measure out 2 and ½ cups of crumbs and add 2 teaspoons of instant espresso powder and ¼ teaspoon salt. Add the melted butter and mix until evenly combined. Press the crust evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform pan. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and prebake the crust for 10 minutes while you make the cheesecake filling.
MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING
1. Use a hand-held mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment to beat the softened cream cheese until smooth with no lumps remaining. Add the cornstarch and granulated sugar and mix until smooth. 2. Add the room temperature sour cream, vanilla extract, instant espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt. 3. Mix until well combined, then switch to a whisk and mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, until just combined after each. Don't overmix. 4. Pour the cheesecake batter into the springform pan over the prebaked crust. Bang the pan on your counter several times to get rid of any trapped air bubbles in the filling. You will see bubbles rise to the surface and pop. Don't skip this step! Any trapped air in the filling will rise up during baking and may form cracks on the surface of the cheesecake.
BAKE THE CHEESECAKE
1. Place a large roasting pan on the lower rack in your oven and add about an inch of boiling water. Carefully set the cheesecake inside the roasting pan. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour without opening the oven door.
2. After 1 hour, check if the cheesecake is done by gently shaking the pan. If the cheesecake is set around the edges and there is a slightly wobbly center, then it's done. If it's still really wobbly all over, keep baking and check again in 5-minute intervals until it's done. Don't wait until it's completely set or it will be overbaked, when in doubt it's better to under-bake the cheesecake than it is to over-bake it.
3. Once the cheesecake is set around the edges with a slightly wobbly center, turn your oven off and crack the door. It will continue to bake and set as it cools. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for at least 1 hour to slowly cool to room temperature.
4. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool for at least another hour at room temperature. Once the cheesecake is completely cooled to room temperature, refrigerate it (still in the springform pan) overnight to set the filling. Do not remove the sides of the springform pan until the cheesecake has cooled completely in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The cheesecake is very delicate and if you remove the sides too soon it may fall apart!
COFFEE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Add the chopped semi-sweet chocolate and heavy cream to a glass measuring cup and microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Stir in the instant espresso powder and spread the ganache over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate before serving, if desired!
HOW TO PREVENT CRACKS IN CHEESECAKE
Don't overmix: Overmixing creates pockets of air in the batter that can rise up during baking and turn into cracks. This is especially true once the eggs are added. So add them last and mix the batter as little as possible once they're added.
Don't open the oven door: At least not for the first hour, which is when the cheesecake is the most delicate. Opening the door causes a sudden change in temperature which can lead to cracks.
Don't over-bake: The cheesecake is done when there is a slight wobbly center and the edges are set. It will continue to bake and become set as it cools. If you're unsure, it's better to slightly under bake a cheesecake than it is to overbake one.
Cool the cheesecake slowly: Sudden changes in temperature is one of the main reasons cheesecakes crack. Cooling the cheesecake as slowly as possible is the best way to avoid any drastic changes in temperature. When you turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in with the door open for about an hour. Then take the cheesecake out of the oven and let it cool completely at room temperature for another 1-2 hours before refrigerating. It shouldn't feel warm at all when you put it in the fridge.
HOW TO STORE COFFEE CHEESECAKE
Wrap the cheesecake with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
You can also freeze the cheesecake for 3 months. Wrap it well with plastic wrap and place in a container that will protect it from getting damaged. When ready to serve, thaw the frozen cheesecake in the fridge for a few hours, or thaw at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
MORE CHEESECAKE RECIPES
- Marble Cheesecake
- Matcha Cheesecake
- Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
- Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake
- White Chocolate Cheesecake
- 8-inch springform pan*
Oreo Coffee Crust:
- 2 and ½ cups Oreo cookie crumbs, about 24 regular cookies with filling
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- ¼ teaspoon salt, leave out if using salted butter
- 24 ounces cream cheese , full-fat, brick style, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ cup sour cream, full-fat, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
- ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
Chocolate Coffee Ganache
- 2 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, about ⅓ cup chopped or chocolate chips
- ¼ cup heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream
- 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- pinch salt
- Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Lightly spray the sides of the pan with nonstick spray.
- Wrap the pan with several layers of heavy duty aluminum foil, then tie a slow-cooker oven liner around it (recommended) to keep water leaking into the pan from the water bath.
- Arrange your oven rack to the lower position. Preheat your oven to 325°F and start boiling water for the water bath.
Make the Oreo Coffee Crust:
- Add the Oreo cookies to a food processor and grind into fine crumbs. Mix in the instant espresso powder and salt to combine. Then add the melted butter and pulse until the mixture is well combined.
- Press the crust tightly and evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Place the pan on a large baking sheet and prebake the crust for 10 minutes while you make the filling.
Coffee Cheesecake Filling:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the softened cream cheese until smooth with no lumps. Wipe any lumps off of the mixer and sides of the bowl. Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch and mix until well combined.
- Mix in the room temperature sour cream, vanilla extract, instant espresso powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Wipe the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Make sure the filling is completely smooth and there aren't any lumps at this point.
- Switch to a whisk and mix in the room temperature eggs, one at a time, until just combined after each. Don't overmix.
- Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan over the prebaked crust. Bang the pan on your counter several times to get rid of any trapped air bubbles.
- Place a large roasting pan on the rack in your oven. Add about an inch of boiling water to the pan, then gently place the cheesecake inside the pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour without opening the oven door to check on it. After 1 hour, check if the cheesecake is done by gently shaking the pan. If it looks set around the edges with a slightly wobbly center, then it's done. If it's still really wobbly all over, keep baking and check again in 5-minute intervals. Mine needed 1 hour + 10 minutes total, but the time can vary. When in doubt, it's better to slightly under-bake the cheesecake than it is to over-bake it.
- Once the cheesecake is set around the edges with a slightly wobbly center, turn your oven off and crack the door. It will continue to bake and set as it cools. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for at least 1 hour to slowly cool to room temperature.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath and let it cool completely at room temperature. At least another hour, it shouldn't feel warm at all when you put it in the fridge.
- Once the cheesecake is completely cooled to room temperature, refrigerate it (still in the springform pan) overnight to set the filling.
Coffee Chocolate Ganache:
- Add the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips and heavy cream to a glass measuring cup. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between, until melted. Stir in the instant espresso powder and spread the ganache over the top of the cooled cheesecake.
- When ready to serve, use a large, sharp knife to slice the cheesecake. Wipe the knife clean between each slice.