cappuccino fudge cheesecake

Given that it is but two days after one of the most indulgent meals of the year, I suspect the last thing you want to hear about is the most indulgent cake I have ever made, and yet, given the quality of the last two vegetable-focused, lighter dishes I have made — both of which I’d give a resounding “eh” — trust me, what I’ve got going on here is much more worthy of your attention, and your table at some distant dinner party. So pull up a chair.

adding butter to crumbs, chocolate
massive puddle of ganache

Because this cake is ridiculous, ridiculous bordering on obscene, so obscene that even a wee sliver of it takes an eating intermission mid-slice just to get through. Perhaps you’ll go get yourself a glass of water, do some stretches or deep yogic breathing, but I guarantee that you’ll do whatever it takes to psych you up enough to take on the second half.

espresso cheesecake

Because did I mention the part where this cake is ridiculous? Let’s start from the bottom. A standard cheesecake crumb crust consists of ground cookies and melted butter. This crumb crust takes those ground cookies and melted butter and raises it some brown sugar, fresh nutmeg and, oh, nearly half a pound of ground up bittersweet chocolate. For real.


From there, a normal cheesecake would delve into the, you know, cheesecake layer. Not this one. This one decides that you need an inch-thick cushion of fudgy Kahlúa-spiked ganache to soften the blow of the cappuccino cheesecake layer, which — as I am sure you’ve figured out by now — is also less than intuitive. You’d think that to make a coffee-flavored cheesecake, you’d simply dissolve some instant espresso in your batter. You probably wouldn’t think to also stir in rum, vanilla, and molasses (molasses, people!) but I did as the recipe instructed and landed on a coffee cheesecake that is neither sweet nor obvious, but laced with the faint bitter complexity you’d want from a good cup of coffee. You know, if that good cup of coffee had four bricks of cream cheese in it.

cappucino fudge cheesecake

I suspect by now you yourself need an intermission, and perhaps a run around the block to clear your head before you take on the rest of this description and yet the cheesecake marches on, slicking a sour cream-vanilla layer upon the cheesecake, and more Kahlúa ganache atop that and then, since we are obviously no longer pretending we care anything about subtlety, you might as well stud it with some chocolate-covered espresso beans. To make sure people get the idea.

cappuccino fudge cheesecake

And I am sure you are wondering how this landed on the Thanksgiving dessert table — what happened to the traditional potato pies and cranberry tarts and pumpkin cheesecakes and apple pie, Deb? Did you really put the baby in a sweater vest and insist that he help you peel apples? — but nobody else did. When you put out a cake like this, all of the questions — and conversations and clattering of dishes in the kitchen — just stop.

apple piethanksgiving

One year ago: All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough, Rolling and Crimping, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting and Cabbage, Apple and Walnut Salad
Two years ago: Tiramisu Cake, Curried Lentils and Sweet Potatoes and Rugelach Pinwheels
Three years ago: Apple Pie, Infinitely Adaptable Blondies, Fettucine with Porcini and Potato Salad with Sherry Mustard Vinaigrette

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake
Adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2002

If this cake were a turkey, it would, by Butterball’s portion calculator, serve 2 adults and 4 kids (My little guy, incidentally, would serve 11 adults and 4 children and yes, I do call dibs on the cheek meat.) Bon Appetit says it serves 12. But I’m going to put it’s portion size at 30 one-inch wedges. Yes, 30. Because if you know anyone who can eat more than a one-inch wedge of this cake, I might need to meet them. I might have to shake their hand.

The only major change I made to the recipe was I tweaked it to fit in the 9-inch springform I had, rather than the 10-inch springform the recipe calls for, by keeping the crust, ganache, and sour cream topping amounts the same while only making 3/4 of the cheesecake filling. It just made it. So your cake looks exactly as mine does, this is what I’ve shared with you below. Check out the original if you’d like a higher proportion of cheesecake to the crust and its cronies.

1 9-ounce box chocolate wafer cookies or 9 ounces of homemade chocolate wafers
6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
7 tablespoons hot melted unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups heavy or whipping cream
20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons dark rum
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder or coffee crystals
1 1/2 tablespoons ground whole espresso coffee beans (medium-coarse grind) (I skipped this, increased the espresso powder instead)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

A handful of chocolate covered espresso beans (optional)

Make crust: Finely grind cookies, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, and nutmeg in processor. Add butter and process until crumbs begin to stick together, scraping down bowl occasionally, about 1 minute. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Wrap plastic wrap around fingers and press crumb mixture firmly up sides to within 1/2 inch of top edge, then over bottom of pan.

Make ganache: Bring cream to simmer in large saucepan. Remove from heat; add chocolate and Kahlúa. Whisk until chocolate is melted and ganache is smooth. Pour 2 cups ganache over bottom of crust. Freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for decorating.

Make filling: Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended. Scrape down bowl, making sure you get to the bottom, where little pockets of unmixed cream cheese love to hide. Beat in flour. Stir rum, espresso powder, ground coffee, vanilla, and molasses in small bowl until instant coffee dissolves; beat into cream cheese mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl between each addition.

Pour filling over cold ganache in crust — it will go nearly all of the way to the top, don’t panic. Place cheesecake on rimmed baking sheet. Bake until top is brown, puffed and cracked at edges, and the center two inches moves only slightly when pan is gently shaken, about one hour. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Cool 15 minutes while preparing topping (top of cheesecake will fall slightly, making room for topping). Maintain oven temperature.

Make topping: Whisk sour cream, sugar, and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. Pour topping over hot cheesecake, spreading to cover filling completely. Bake until topping is set, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack. Refrigerate hot cheesecake on rack until cool, about three hours.

Run a small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Spoon reserved ganache into pastry bag fitted with small star tip. If you’d like to make an approximation (perhaps less rushed?) of the above decoration, pipe 6 diagonal lines atop cheesecake, spacing 1 inch apart. Repeat in opposite direction, making lattice. Pipe rosettes (or, uh, stars if you realize you do not have the energy nor inclination to practice rosette piping at that hour) of ganache around top edge of cake. Otherwise, have fun decorating freely. Espress(o) — ow — yourself!

Garnish with chocolate-covered espresso beans, if desired. Chill until lattice is firm, at least 6 hours.

Do ahead: Cake is best made a day ahead, so the flavors have time to settle. The cake also takes enough time to make that it’s best not to rush through it the day you want to serve it. It can be made up to four days ahead. Wrap loosely in foil, forming dome over lattice; keep chilled.

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424 comments on cappuccino fudge cheesecake

  1. Amanda S.

    Oh. My. Cheescake. God.

    Reading your description caused me to clutch my heart, weep quietly and shake my head verrrrrry slowly side to side. Now, finally having recovered from inhaling the sugar sweet insanity of your lemon shaker pie I made for Thanksgiving, you drop THIS BOMB!?

    My waistline, Deb! My waistline!

  2. Kim

    I cannot wait to try this. This recipe covers everything you need in a dessert: coffee, cheesecake and chocolate! Thank you so much for making your recipes user friendly.

  3. Rachel

    Wow, wow, wow. This looks fantastic and is now at the top of my must-make list.

    One question: Your directions state: “Transfer cheesecake to rack. Refrigerate hot cheesecake on rack until cool, about three hours.” Refrigerate it when it is hot or cool on rack? Refrigerate the rack, too?

    1. deb

      Rachel — Yes, you can refrigerate it all. (My fridge racks are plastic; I’d personally be afraid to put an oven-hot pan on them.) It will cool it down faster.

      Julie — Vest was from the Gap, but it’s gone now. Sniffle!

  4. I just made the Bourbon-Pumpkin Cheesecake from your 2006 Thanksgiving post, and it was an incredible hit with my family — the recipe was given out half a dozen times, and people could just not stop talking about the crust! This has got to go on the table at Christmas. Thanks, Deb — and hi to the beautiful baby!

  5. Kari

    The cake looks amazing, but I am most worried about the fact that I showed this recipe to my husband and he said, “Can we have a baby so we can dress it in sweater vests?” Your adorable baby gave him baby fever!

  6. Heather

    It goes without saying that this sounds fabulous. I’ve made several of your recipes (the browned butter brown sugar shorties, the browned butter rice krispie treats, and also did the spelt crackers too) and they’re all amazing. I am however, in this particular post, more interested in the sweater vest picture. There is just something SO RIGHT about a baby boy in a sweater vest.

  7. Jelena

    Well, I know what I’m making for my birthday. Which is thankfully (or perhaps unfortunately) in May. You take extreme to new heights Deb, new delicious heights.

  8. Oh my God. This cheesecake would stop me in my tracks. I possess a sweet tooth that gravitates towards cheap candy and chocolate, so this thing would require like a multi-day session for me to get through. But, it looks so shockingly good. One of the best Thanksgiving dessert recipes this season!

  9. bekahjones

    This is crazy, but I just made this cake Friday night. ( I got it from the epicurious website). I am taking it to a party today. Boy, was it a lot of work! I sure hope that it is worth it.

  10. Jenna Marie

    i was just remarking that as of yesterday it’s now officially cookie season, but then you do this! and this may need to be made immediately. i love everything you make deb. thanks for all the inspiration and perfected recipes.

  11. linda

    your brownie mosaic cheesecake is killer…now this… OMG!!
    cannot wait to re create…super yum…i am going to have to be on the treadmill forever…but your beautiful recipes are certainly worth it! thanks again….jacob looks like a little man in his vest!

  12. Very Modest Proposal on that Butterball portion calculator. I envy your ability to bake both yummy and pretty things. As far as baking goes, I’ve only just managed to improve on the yummy, the pretty has a ways to go. This would be a good first recipe for the 9″ springform I was recently gifted though…

  13. Holy guacamole. I hit a chocolate wall just looking at this thing. But, as December is an unusually heavy birthday month in my family, and we combine many celebrations into one, I think this will be the perfect crowd dessert. Happy Birthday, me!

  14. Oh. My. Goodness.

    And I made the pumpkin cheesecake this morning and I was thinking how rich it was, but now I realize how wrong i was. This may be my Dad’s birthday cake in two weeks–I am sure he’s the man who can eat more than a one inch cube!

  15. Morgan

    I’ve made this twice. It’s incredible. Make sure you’ve got lots of friends to share with or plenty of freezer space, because Deb’s not kidding about the 30-servings thing.

  16. My dear friend Teresa just noted that, in spite of a fridge filled with healthy and delicious fruits, and in spite of our recent, national food-orgy, she found herself craving – cheesecake. Well, she does make a mean cheesecake – I must say. But it looks nothing like this beautiful thing you have shared with us here. I shall pass it on to the Goddess-of-goodies. This looks absolutely sinful !

  17. Sheesh I just had to get myself back up onto my desk chair after seeing this OH SO DREAMY CHEESECAKE – I FAINTED this cake looks so drop dead gorgeous! But…the bitsy bitsy baby with the peeler – too cute for words! Hope you had a fun T-Day!

  18. Marie

    As a cheesecake addict and aficionado, I take my cheesecake very seriously, and I think this one has just jumped to the front of my cheesecake recipe line. I think this cake just might conquer my insatiable cheesecake appetite–I look forward to finding out!

    And, for Canadians, it’s totally appropriate to post recipes for decadent delights. We’ve had 6 weeks since Thanksgiving already, and I’m personally ready for another one.

  19. Karen B

    I swear that someone sharing this sinful recipe with the world should be illegal. Like massively. Like being eaten by crocodiles illegal.
    And the most illegal thing at the moment is my craving for this cheesecake. Sigh. I’ll be in the kitchen if anybody asks :)

  20. Laura

    Nowadays there’s a theme to all of my reactions when you post a new recipe. “Baby! Ohmigod look how cute!” And after a delay, “Oooh… food looks good too.”

  21. dana828

    There are no words… Except that I am now cursing my mother-in-law’s inability to eat chocolate, because I SO need to make this for Christmas! I may need to find another excuse (and a few more friends to share!)…

  22. Lynne

    I will probably stun every reader out there but I’ve just discovered chocolate and I are former lovers who don’t care so much for each other anymore and have been hanging in there out of habit. Sniff! Every good thing and its end, I s’pose. Can you make just the cappucino and sour cream layers do you think, forego the Kahlua (or better yet, add it to the cappucino layer?) and use regular crumbs? Worth a try? Hum, a woman inspired.

  23. Jenny

    Obviously, this cake looks sturdy and dense…in the most delectable way possible. Let me ask you this: how do you make the slice cuts so clean? Sharp knife, of course..but do you dunk it into hot water after each pass thru? This is on my MUST make holiday baking list. My oh my…the list is getting looooooong.

  24. You’re not supposed to let an 8-month pregnant lady see this! What should I do now? You guessed it. I’m bookmarking it and making it the first chance I get! :)

  25. Susan

    You are either the devil or the Christmas dessert angel. This looks spectacular and is turning my head from the Lane Cake I have been planning to make for Christmas. But then, there is always New Years Eve!

  26. jen b.

    i showed the picture to my hubby and he looked at it for a millisecond and simply said “make it.” but i’ll have to wait until the apple pie is out of the oven…smitten kitchen recipe of course.

  27. Deb – I did the amazing pumpkin cheesecake for a Thanksgiving work function, but never thought to ask this crucial question — how do you get your cheesecake off the bottom of the springform pan without crumbling your crust? This dark chocolate divine terror is to beautiful to leave half the crust on the pan and/or scattered all over the counter.

    1. deb

      Darcey — When it is very, very cool and firmed up I can often slide a cake circle underneath. I was able to with this one (though pictured is just the springform base). But, if it seems like it’s breaking, I just cut my losses and leave it on the base.

  28. mmmpage

    “…sweater vest!!!!!!!”

    And DEB! Cheesecake + all that is, all that and a cheesecake, and then some. Crap. Now I have to make it. Diet, schmy-et.

  29. Elizabeth

    Hi Deb,
    I’m confident I could eat more than a one inch slice of that. I would be all too happy to meet you to back that up. Yesterday, at my boyfriend’s family’s post-thanksgiving get together, I’m proud to say I had at least one piece of each of the 12 desserts offered. Before I try out this one, I still have your mosaic cheesecake at the top of my to-do list. On another note, my boyfriend’s family is Armenian and they had some really amazing Armenian desserts including baklava and a fantastic pistachio and sesame cookie called baraze ( Do you have any interest in doing some ethnic desserts on SK?

  30. You are a saint. You see in our family we follow the quest for the ultimate cheesecake. When you die and go to the pearly gates St. Peter asks you one question…what is the ultimate cheesecake. Which makes life a quest for the answer. And since you have provided a very good possibility here you are officially a saint. Now I must go buy more cream cheese yet again. I seem to use a lot of it.

  31. Oh SHUT UP!!! I was just withering at the the description of this fine cheesecake thing. And Budro can peel apples now huh? Well I knew he was gifted. I think I’ve got two pound pones on each hip from reading this whole thing.

    1. deb

      Zurin — Which ganache, the topping or the base? Only the base is baked with the cake and whether or not it becomes liquidy when it bakes doesn’t matter because you only eat the cake chilled — it will be firmish when you eat it.

  32. Deb, you have truly outdone yourself this time! I think you’ve found the ultimate cake! Tuesday is my birthday and I’m gonna treat myself to this one! For sure!!

  33. Geri

    What a lovely cheesecake and son! He looks like a little businessman already. How sweet he is. I’m going to have to do some math “division” to figure out how I can make this cake for two of us or I won’t pass my next physical! Love it! love it! going to try it soon. Guilt is not going to be mentioned just enjoyment to the fullest. Thanks so much Deb for all your hard work keeping us educated, informed and entertained.

  34. jeffrey bryan

    This looks AMAZEBALLS, but I’m worried about the cooking time. Only an hour at 350 seems low. I’m used to the water bath, the two hours cooking time, and the hour of sitting in the oven. Does this really get to the point of having a brown cracked top that quickly?

    1. deb

      Jeffrey — Cakes in water baths take longer to bake. Mine took an hour at the 9-inch size, no water bath.

      Alcohol questions — Just skip it if you don’t want to use it. In the ganache, you might replace it with extra cream but you probably won’t need to. In the cake, just skip it.

  35. Deborah

    I’ve never had the urge to make a cheesecake before but I do now.
    Oh, and no doubt about it, I could eat more than a 1″ slice.

  36. I’ve made this very decadent cheesecake a few times now, and can share a couple of pointers for those with crust, sinking and ganache problems. First off, cooking in a water bath will eliminate problems with the crust scorching, sticking or cracking, and will also help with the sinking and cracking situation when the filling cools. Secondly, if you find it necessary to cool your ganache in the refrigerator to firm up, once cool/firm, set it out until it warms to room temperature and then whip it with the paddle attachment of your upright stand mixer. The ganache will work perfectly. If it starts to get warm, simply put piping bag in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, gently message bag, and go back to work.

  37. Judy

    anything that looks this decadent should be against the law……that being said, I cannot wait to try it.
    and then you try and “innocent” it up by putting in a picture of an adorable baby….for shame.

  38. Anita Havas

    I don’t know what I enjoy more about your blog, the incredible food or the adorable baby photo journal! This is definitely my favorite blog!

  39. Wow, wow, wow! That looks fantastic! But I have a feeling that if I made it I would sample so much of each component as I prepared it that….well, my version just might not look quite like yours.

    Love the tongue in cheek baby picture with the peeler. Looks like you’re having a bit of fun on all fronts! :)

  40. Jean Marie

    My group of girlfriends is getting together soon for our annual Christmas potluck and cut-throat gift exchange. I am in charge of dessert and can’t think of a more perfect thing to offer a bunch of women who could not live without chocolate or coffee and who are old enough to know that trying to diet during the holiday season is an exercise in futility. Thank you for this ridiculous recipe!

  41. Jen

    I like to have one amazing cheesecake on my buffet for our annual hanukkah open house and I think this is the one for this year! I would LOVE to know the nutritional breakdown just for shits and giggles. I’m thinking it’s in the 5-digit range!!

  42. Linda

    Unbelievable cheesecake! I’ve got to make it when I have lots of people to help me eat it!

    A question – when you omitted the espresso beans in the batter, how much did you increase the espresso powder?

  43. Soph

    I will have to make this cake before I officially start to watch what I eat (post baby)… when he’ll be 6 months! OMG that is in 2 months!!! Love the sweater – I got the same one for him to wear to a wedding we are going to in London in January! too cute!

  44. You have outdone yourself. And now I need to make this. How did you know that cheesecake is my favourite, the way that coffee and chocolate are my favourites, and that I would be absolutely unable to resist this?? You are some kind of amazing, Ms Smitten Kitchen ;-)

  45. I usually like my cheesecake pure and unadulterated. You know, good old New York style. Okay, strawberries on top is acceptable. But don’t go adding all those other flavors–chocolate, pumpkin, butterscotch, whatever–I want my cheesecake pure. Until today. Your description and pictures break all barriers against temptation and snobbery. When I can find the courage to give this a try, I may actually make it.

    You rock, Deb!

  46. Miss Banana

    Ohmygod I think I need to level up my baking skills a few points before I attempt this but wow this looks absolutely amazing! Thanks for the recipe, and I look forward to trying it out~!

  47. What would you recommend substituting for the coffee in the recipe? I know it sounds crazy to most people but we do not drink coffee but this recipe looks to die for and I really want to try it! Any recommendations would be helpful. Thanks!

  48. chocoholic

    Fav foods: 1. chocolate, 2. coffee, 3. cheesecake.
    OMG! i think that this covers it all. i am in heaven. the recipe is printed out. all i have to do it make it. this will happen tonight even if it needs to be at 3am. aaahhhh.

  49. Marcy

    Can you send me a piece? Everyone I know is on a diet right now and I know that I can’t eat a whole cheesecake…Well I can, but I can already feel that severe gutache that comes with it. It looks amazing. Now that I think about it, I will have to make it. BRING ON THE GUTACHE>

  50. Lana

    I was reading this and must have made some sort of comment that caused my boyfriend to look over at what I was reading.

    He now wants this. And I wish that my laptop had the capability to let me reach into the screen and take a piece.

    (and he laughed when he read the part about your baby too-bonus points!)

    I don’t need dinner right? I can have this instead?

  51. I made this for my husband’s birthday a few months ago—insanity! It’s expensive by the time you get all the ingredients, but super-delicious. I had some leftover ganache and made pretty good truffles from it.

  52. I instantly recognized this one – having made it for my husband’s 35th birthday a few years ago. Brings back fabulous memories and I think I’ll be making it again when he returns from his year-long deployment to Afghanistan.

  53. Amy B.- Portland, OR

    Deb, this takes decadence to a new high. Thank you! Have to tell you that I’m not a big baby person but your pics are Jacob AKA Cinnamon Swirl Head are delicious. Thanks for sharing him with us. Loving his sweater vest too.

  54. At this time, even if Thanksgiving is 4 days away, I just felt like I had gained 2 extra kilos by just reading your post and looking at your pictures. Let me come back in a few days… In the meantime, I can tell you that sweater vest are really cool on children these days! Your looks really smart in his!
    PS: Molasses, again?

  55. Jennifer

    WOW! You couldn’t have posted this at a better time. I have a dessert social ever December for our friends and make around 15 desserts. Typically, there are 2 different cheesecakes and until this post, I hadn’t selected a second one. Now the menu is set! And that sweet boy of yours is the cutest thing ever (except for my own, of course!)!!!!

  56. Yes, obscene indeed. I am thoroughly enjoying the old school piped frosting action on this cheesecake.

    The indulgent Thanksgiving meal did nothing to stop me from having a giant leftover slice of pie 10 minutes after I got home from my parent’s house…

  57. Jenny Jaybird

    I made this cheesecake last year for Thanksgiving. To say it is beyond indulgent would be absolutely correct. It also travels wonderfully.

  58. Neesha

    OMG! that looks so…. sinful! But I haven’t made the cheesecake brownie mosaic thingy you posted before. am so afraid of making cheesecake and failing at it that i haven’t actually tried yet. This looks really good though!

  59. shev

    This is outrageous and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It will be made and eaten with great adoration (of you, Deb, of course).

    As for the cookie crumb thing: this British reader now living in Israel – without your typical access to an American supermarket – is curious to know what “chocolate wafer cookies” are. Anyone?

  60. Alia

    This is BONKERS – like, seriously. I don’t even like cheesecake (and it often seems that I might be the only person in the world who feels this way), but I love coffee, I love butter, and I love a bit of unreasonable decadence. I will hit up the import groceries of Taipei to make this one for Christmas!

  61. Wow! That’s serious cheesecake. When you wrote that it would serve 30 when cut in 1-inch slices, it reminded me of Ina Garten’s Expresso Cheesecake from her Barefoot Contessa shop in the Hamptons. Coffee and cheesecake really make a wonderful combo! Thanks for the indulgent idea!

  62. Gretchen (responding to Shev in Israel)

    Shev, chocolate wafer cookies are an American winter-holiday kitchen staple; they are similar to the chocolate part of an Oreo or other chocolate sandwich cookie, but larger, flatter, and a bit more crispy. Here’s a link to an Amazon page, to show you what the box looks like:

    As for a substitute, hmmmm… chocolate graham crackers might be as close as you’re going to get, if you can find those. Otherwise, maybe go ahead and use chocolate sandwich cookies? Or plain graham crackers or vanilla cookies (Nilla Wafers is an American brand), jazzed up with some cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa?

    Are there markets that cater to American expats in Israel (that you can get to)?

    Good luck! This recipe looks worth any amount of ingredient-hunting…

  63. Gosh. I really really want to make and eat this, but my husband hates coffee (and loves cheesecake) with a white hot passion of a thousand burning suns. I wonder what a good sub would be to get the richness without the coffee, because I don’t need to eat 30 1-inch servings!

  64. Susan

    I recently went on a search for mild-flavor/light molasses for a pumpkin pie recipe from Gourmet and turned up empty (after five stores!). Curious where others have found it or what you specifically used for this recipe as the molasses can be a tad overpowering in some desserts (at least for my tastes)? I’ve already promised a few salivating co-workers that I’ll make this for our holiday party on Saturday!

  65. Alyxherself

    This is “break up” cake. For reals. In fact any minor emergency, like, oh, the cable guy is late to turn on my internet, would be worthy of this cake. Brilliant, Deb, as usual.

  66. I love your recipes and pictures.This one looks amazing but I need to wait until the thansgiving hangover wears off. Thanks for all your great posts as I have ejoyed them very much.

  67. Laura

    Wow! I saw this cheesecake and just had to try it! I made it last night and almost died of anticipation waiting for the ganache to set so I could eat it! It’s so delicious and so rich! I promised my sister I would make one for christmas!

  68. WineGirl

    Well, I guess I know what I’m making my boyfriend for his birthday. Everyone gets a ridiculous homemade dessert these days instead of gifts. I made my Mom quadruple chocolate brownies for her birthday on Thanksgiving…

  69. Daniel

    looks like i have to change my dessert-plans for christmas:-) does anyone know if i can find the right cookies here in germany for this? any ideas?

    1. deb

      Daniel and others with cookie questions — I’d suggest using any plain chocolate cookie or wafer you can get your hands on. You’d be surprised how little difference it will make once all ground up. Here, I used wafers that are the equivalent of the chocolate cookie in an Oreo but mostly it’s about re-binding cookie crumbs into something greater. Use whatever you can get.

  70. OK I think I just gained 30 pounds just by salivating at the pictures alone. This looks so sinful and decadent. OMG!

    I would definitely have to be doing some type of physical activity while consuming it! :-) Soooooo Yummy!


  71. Jessi

    words cannot express my feelings for this cheesecake. i’ve never seen anything more decadent.. but fear that if I were to make it, I could eat more than a 1″ slice. this cake in and of itself deserves to be in a museum of gluttony (does such a museum exist?). I am amazed. Awe struck. and Intimidated. I’m not sure that I could stop eating it if I started. WOW. you’ve out done yourself. seriously. oh and your baby is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen seems to be only getting cuter – is that possible?

  72. laurie

    I did a rough estimate of calories/fat. Let’s just say this cake meets the calorie requirements of an average person for 5 days. Deb, your estimate of about 30 slices would be spot on. (As the stuff that makes your clothes tight and clogs the arteries, we’ll worry about that in January.)

  73. deb

    I just did something I never ever do [namely because I think you should eat what you enjoy in moderation and implicitly understand that if you have a slice of over-the-top cheesecake at one meal, you probably want to tuck a salad and no cheesecake at the next] yet! I had read so many responses about the calories of this cake that curiosity got the better of me. At 30 portions (and please believe me when I say that that one-inch wedge is insanely filling; I barely made it through), it’s 375 a slice.

    A discussion of whether 375 calories for a slice is “worth it”? Nah, that’s not my thing. But I did just read that a Crumbs cupcake has 780 calories and probably needless to say, I’d opt for this first.

  74. I showed this recipe to my roommate and not 10 minutes later we were out the door to the grocery store – her wallet in hand. It’s in the oven now and the dishes have already been done…if you need to pull in a favor, this is the cake to do it!

  75. shev

    Wait, Deb, did you just say that this 9-inch cake carries over 11 THOUSAND CALORIES?
    That is just purely stunning.
    Am going to go hunt down some cookie crumbs. Right Now.

  76. Duffy

    Holy Chocolate Lovers Cheesecake, Batman…..I have literally hundreds of cheesecake recipes and make one on average about every other week but this one is definitely NEXT on my to-do list. I can taste it already by just reading the ingredients.

  77. laurie

    Shev, my calculations put it at under 10K. Every little bit counts! The most decadent part is all the chocolate, with cream cheese coming in second place. But as Deb noted, crumb cakes and muffins often outdo other seemingly rich desserts.
    This would be sooo perfect for a party, I cannot wait to try it.

  78. Oh boy. I’m making a birthday dinner for a friend on Friday night, and my brilliant idea to serve cannolis for dessert was just shot down. This cheesecake may be the solution. Thanks, Deb. And I love the little guy with the peeler.

  79. While I bake all the time, I’ve actually never made cheesecake. First of all, it intimidates me a little bit, and second of all, I’m not a big fan of cheesecake. However, this looks scrumptious! With enough other stuff in there that I might forget I’m eating cheesecake. I think it’s time I face my fear.

  80. Konna

    Oh boy, does that look amazing! I don’t like coffee flavored anything….maybe Baileys? or Amarula? LOVE the picture of the kidlet in the sweater vest!

  81. Rae

    Dear Smitten Kitten,
    When I showed this to my husband, Mr. Loggerhead, and asked if he would like it, he said, “Ummm… I think I would fall in love with it, request it every other day and it would add several extra inches to my gut… Does that answer your question?”
    A Cheesecake Lover’s Lover in Nebraska

  82. Stacy

    I read your blog all the time, and I have to say that this was my *most favorite* of all of your posts to read. I just loved the way you described this cheesecake, so entertaining :) I made a bit more traditional pumpkin cheesecake for thanksgiving, but will most definitely be making this dessert in the future (your version….i love thick cheesecake crust) Thanks for sharing the pictures of your son, he’s sure a cutie pie. And, thanks for your blog…it makes my day often!

  83. Kell

    OMG Im about to faint just looking at this cheesecake. Cheesecake is one of my favorite deserts and this looks….no way to describe it so good. Beautiful flowers btw and Jacob is as cute as ever!

  84. Kim K

    I have been making this Cheesecake for years! It is my most requested recipe and always a favorite. I have two friends who request this for their birthdays every year. Lovely pictures.

  85. Happy Roommate

    I’m proud to say I just finished a slice of this perfect combination of coffee, chocolate and cheesecake, and both of those tasks aren’t easy! Thankfully there was no Thanksgiving meal already in my belly and thankfully I have two wonderful roommates who together made this gem of a cake to share with all of our friends. They even made it look EXACTLY like yours! I’m sure it tasted that way too because just like you said, I actually had to take a mini intermission mid slice! Bravo!

  86. i dont know if we can use existing words for describe this wonderful, georgous,stunning, delicious and INSANE cake! I CANNOT do this cake! If I make it, Im going to be so big (+9000 kilos for sure lol)

  87. You’ve got to be kidding me!? This cake is outrageously delectable! I could seriously lick my screen. Will attempt to make my cake as gorgeous/appetizing as yours.

  88. Sarah

    I had all sorts of comments for this, but they all sound really dirty.

    That’s because you posted food porn.

    I kind of love that about your blog.

  89. My husband loves making cheesecakes and I’ve requested this one for my birthday in a week. He agreed. I’m not sure he knows what he’s getting into!! It looks AMAZING. Thanks for the recipe. And a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e baby!

  90. Nicole

    I saw this and actually went “oh” outloud. I am going to make this for christmas, I decided, end of discussion. I just need to buy a springform pan (tragedy that I don’t own one already, I know, but I am just a college student). If anyone has a chance of eating over a one inch portion, it be-ith my family!

    I love your blog btw and tell anyone I know to check it out :)

  91. Reshma

    Ok…I LOVE coffee and chocolate and kahlua, but HATE molasses. (I had an overdose a few years ago with a lovely ginger-molasses muffin). What can I sub the molasses with?

  92. Gracious, Deb, I turn my eyes away for a few days to start a new “nutritional program” (carefully avoiding the D word) and THIS IS WHAT YOU DO??? Yikes! Thank heavens I’m “into it.” This can’t grab me!

    But I’m sure at some point, it will!

  93. wc in nc

    The only thing that was holding me back from making this cake was finding the chocolate wafers. After reading a few hundred forums in search of these Nabisco chocolate wafers, I found out that Nabisco stocks them in the ice cream aisle, ext to the ice cream cones & toppings. Lo & behold, at my dinky local supermarket, the wafers were there!

  94. Kristen

    I just finished this a few hours ago with some minor alterations. I left out the rum and the kahlua since I’m in college and alcohol doesn’t last long in my house–I’d just be buying some for my roommates haha. I also made the epicurious version since my pan is bigger than yours but in the end it rose above the edges. It fell back down again in the fridge but I had to wait to apply the sour cream layer. I did have to cook it a little longer so Jeffrey might need more time like he is wondering. Maybe it’s just our ovens? I also used little stars instead of the espresso beans and when I pushed them down into the not-quite-chilled sour cream layer, it gave a REALLY cute quilted effect.

  95. OMG Deb! This was AMAZING! We made it for a dinner party this weekend and everyone loved it! This was our first attempt at cheesecake (go big or go home) and I would most certainly say it was a success! You do totally need a break mid slice though!

  96. Jean Marie

    Deb – I got all the ingredients to make this tomorrow but echo a question by a previous commenter. When you say “light” molasses, you mean plain old regular molasses, right? Just not blackstrap. Honestly, I laugh out loud every time I read this recipe.

  97. Fantastic post. I gave it a whirl and the cake changed my life- or definately my Saturday. This was my first attempt at a cheesecake and I feel like the bar was set really high. On to coffee toffee!

  98. Liz in Canada

    I’m having the same baking time issue – mine has been in the oven for an hour and a half and is still really wobbly across the whole top. I am making the 10″ version so that probably has something to do with it (although the epicurious recipe only adds an extra 5 minutes). Don’t know if it’s my oven, or my really heavy baking sheet, but I’m just checking it every 10 minutes, and know it’ll be done eventually (good things coming to those that wait, and such) :-)

  99. I’ve made this before, and it’s every bit the decadent, indulgent, outrageous cake Deb says it is. That one-inch slice would send you into a food coma if it weren’t for all the caffeine in it. Love the pictures!

  100. LauraZero

    I made this yesterday and it came out INSANELY good. I added a bit more sugar and vanilla to the sour cream topping, but that’s really the only big change I made. I don’t have a food processor so making the crust was a pain in the rumper, but it stil came out delicious! I baked mine for about 55 minutes, put the sour cream topping on, and then baked it for 11 minutes more. It set perfectly and everyone enjoyed it today!

  101. Mandy

    Hi Deb – I love your site. It’s the first place I go when I want to find a new recipe! I made this cake with a friend yesterday (actually, over the last two days), and it is ridiculous (taking my mid-slice break right now). It looks beautiful, it tastes beautiful – however, the cheese layer in our cake turned out more like a mousse and less like a cheesecake. I was curious if yours was like that too? Or perhaps we didn’t bake it quite long enough?

  102. Linette

    WOW! What a flavor-bomb! I have to say (and I know a-lot of people are going to give me crap about this) that I made this most AWESOME delicious cheesecake, but I veganized it. And let me tell you: IT’S AMAZING!!!
    Thanks Deb for sharing these awesome recipes & your little guy sure is a cutie-pie.

  103. Ellen

    I just made this for our office holiday party!…it was THE center of attention. I love the idea of having a layer of ganache between the crust and the filling. AND I really like this crust, so much richer, especially with the pieces of chocolate mixed in. I skipped the coffee ingredients and rum b/c I didn’t want to buy the ingredients :) and I am not yet skilled enough to do the lattice work, so I just spooned a warm ganache onto the top of the cake…it glazed over nicely. I didn’t read the directions carefully enough and my filling was quite lumpy; cooked, it resembled more of a ricotta cake, but the taste was still good o’l cheesecake. I am not the best baker, but it turned out well overall and was a huge hit. Thanks for sharing!

  104. I made this for my Dad’s birthday this past weekend and served it at my holiday party Saturday night. Dad loved it (and he managed a whole piece!) and it was a HUGE hit. Yes, everyone took VERY SMALL pieces, but they were eating it up!

  105. Sharilyn Unthank

    Oh my, was this ever delicious!!! Took time to make but not terribly difficult. I exchanged an equal amount of espresso for the Kahlua as I was out of Kahlua and just used more finely ground espresso beans rather than espresso powder because I couldn’t find any in store. Everyone loved it!
    Do you think you could successfully substitute other flavors for the espresso? I was thinking orange liquor, orange zest, orange juice concentrate or orange oil for a chocolate orange cheesecake as chocolate and orange are such a nice combo but also could use rasberry or hazelnut.

  106. jeffrey bryan

    Amazing! Made it this weekend, and fell in love. A few notes… I’d probably go for a full cookie crust rather than the combo crust…. I like my cheesecake crust to be a little less dense. I’d also probably cut out about 1/2 to a full tablespoon of the coffee, as I found the coffee flavor just slightly overpowering. Lastly, maybe another 10-15 minutes in the oven on the cheesecake layer. It was definitely cooked, but the core was still a little mushy.

  107. caitlin

    oh deb! i am making this for the potluck my class is having in lieu of an exam — i cannot WAIT for it to come out of the oven!

    and my goodness, i love the little man. so. cute. :)

  108. PaPa Chuck

    This looks amazing & I will be making this soon!!! I will probably end up eating a couple slices at a time or just one very large slice! I can’t help it, I love sweets, especially a delicious decadent cheesecake like this one :D

  109. Shayne

    holy shit deb!!! i went to a dinner party and brought this cheesecake. WOW people wouldn’t stop gushing over how gorgeous it was and how professional it looked but most importantly how GOOD IT TASTED!!! one thing though, i made the cookies from scratch for the crust using the recipe you posted and i added the butter to the crust mixture and it was just WAY too greasy. thankfully i put it on a cookie sheet because a good 1/4 cup of butter seeped out of it. but regardless it’s an AMAZING cake and i’m going to be making it again for christmas :)

  110. Jennifer

    This cheesecake was JUST okay. After spending more hours than I’d like to admit baking- and then praying for it to taste good- it just wasn’t worth it. Next to no one ate the dessert and I ended up bringing home more than half the cheesecake- and that was after my inlaws took pity on me and took a quarter of the cheesecake home with them! Comments ranged from “too rich” (which was warned!) to no distinct flavors for something with so many layers. From now on, I’ll stick with my regular cheesecake, which it always a hit.

  111. Leticia

    I cannot wait to have a sweet little baby to dress up in the cutest imaginable sweater vests. I love sweater vests!
    Your photographs are so great! I have to keep telling myself – a few more years, go traveling first, now is not the time to make a cute cute baby.

  112. Sharmila

    Hi Deb! I’m a long time reader, first time questioner, and a poor college student with a badly-equipped kitchen, and I was wondering how you (or any who have tried it) would go about making the crust without a food processor.

    I have some oreo crumbs left over from another cheesecake, so I was figuring I’d just use those and chop the bejeesus out of the chocolate and mix it together the best I could.


  113. Sharmila

    For the record, the cheesecake turned out great :). I didn’t have any instant espresso powder, and it needed to bake for about an hour and 15 minutes but it impressed the heck out of my boyfriend’s family–even those who don’t like coffee, coffee-flavoured things OR sweets!

    Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  114. nicole

    thank you thank you thank YOU, deb!! i have been a fan of your blog for some time now but have yet to comment.. finally had to.. comment and question, in fact. this was AMAZING and a HUGE hit at my party tonight– thanks for making christmas dinner this year! :) i actually went the luxurious route and got real espresso powder from italy and OMG is all i have to say about that cheesecake layer! YUMMMMM… my question: i used homemade wafers (your icebox cookie recipe– so delicious!!) for the crust.. but the mixture resembled more of chocolate mush once processed, rather than the crumb-like texture i expected.. my guess is that i would need to add much less than 7 tbsp butter to compensate for the butter-ier and richer texture of those icebox cookies (complete with the real fatty-tasting danish butter that i tend to use…) vs. the store-bought-and-often-dry-as-a-bone-wafer that one would purchase which, of course, i didn’t realize after the fact.. but i had to keep on going, company was on its way over! :) in the end, the crust came out incredibly tasty (after baking for 1.25 hrs as the previous reviewer mentioned…) but still a bit crumbly and fell apart a bit.. just didn’t hold up as well as i’d wanted.. did you have this trouble with yours? (have you tried it w/the homemade wafers? … if not, would you agree w/my speculation to just cut the butter next time? i was thinking of just adding 1 tbsp at a time until it gets to the consistency that i want…) thank yoU in advance– your blog is AMAZING!!!!!! :)

  115. Terry

    Great recipe. I reduced it by 2/3 (except the ganache, that I reduced by 1/2) baked it in a 8 inch loose bottom tart pan and baked it for about 25-30 minutes. It came out great and even my teenage sons could not eat more than a sliver after Christmas Eve dinner.

  116. Rebecca

    I made this for Christmas dessert for my family. WOW is all I have to say. First it took since about the dawn of time to make, but it was so worth it. I wound up having to bake it the first time for about an hour and a half. Everyone absolutely loved it and we ate the ganache I had left over with some fruit (it’s also really good with scotch…). I’ll probably wind up making the ganache on it’s own just to dip things in, such as… my fingers!
    You’re very right, super super rich. The comment I most got was “I know I should stop… my mouth is telling me to stop… but I can’t!”
    Now I must stop typing so I can dig into the last sliver!
    Thanks for a yet another great recipe! Will be making this one again.

  117. Brittany

    Made this for Christmas Eve dessert. The fighting that ensued for the leftover cheesecake made the time it took to assemble oh so worth it. A-mazing with a capital A.

  118. m polo

    I made this 4 christmas and boy was it good!!…I hate recipes that have coffee in the title but when you try it, you couldn’t hardly tell if there was any coffee in it!!… But with this delicious recipe you get a punch in the face great coffee flavor!..amazing recipe!

  119. Nicole

    I made this for our staff party– I received several kisses, one proposition, and one marriage proposal. I then made it for Christmas day dessert. I think you may need to come to my house and shake the hands of my entire family. We all ate HUGE pieces. And still wanted more. It’s simply the most FANTASTIC cheesecake recipe, ever.

  120. Heidi

    I made this for Christmas, too! I realized just as I was pouring the filling in the pan that it WAS a 10 inch pan, but it was fine. It was still jiggly after 90 minutes so I just took it out. The crust was so crunchy I had to cut it with a cleaver, but it was so caramelized it was my favorite part. I’m saying was, but we still have 1/4 of it left. Awesome recipe!

  121. Hi Deb! First of all, if I haven’t said this before, your son is ADORABLE. Like, BEYOND cute. I love that you are posting pictures of him all the time. Can’t believe he is getting so big! I am 12 weeks pregnant myself, and when all seems crazy/scary and I picture myself unable to continue with my hobbies (like cooking), I think to your blog and how you’ve managed to continue doing what you love while taking care of your adorable little one.

    Onto to cheesecake matters… this recipe is fantastic! I made a full size one for Christmas, and it was a huge hit. I’ve never gotten so many complements on a dessert.

    Also, I just made a 1/3 batch (easy math) today, to serve a New Year’s Eve. Splitting it into thirds produces just a little too much filling for a 5″ mini springform pan. Still, it’s close enough, and the 5″ springform is a good size for dessert for 4 people. I layered the extra ingredients into a little pyrex that I baked, too. It won’t lift out of the pyrex, but can be eaten with a spoon at one’s leisure ;P *cough*, uh, tonight…

  122. madbudgies

    I made it for a multi-birthday family dinner and to test the serving portions on our chocoholic and cheesecake-obsessed relatives. It’s true – a one inch slice is enough! I.e. it can serve 30. Some observations/comments from this Australian kitchen:

    Although I intended to make the homemade chocolate wafers, I ran out of time and substituted Arnott’s Scalliwag biscuits which worked fine;

    My filling didn’t sink as much as I thought it would but I continued on, the only thing then was the topping bubbled around the edges before the rest had set. But it didn’t matter as the ganache piping covered it all beautifully;

    I would recommend making this two days before serving. I made it the day before but we all found the flavours had developed more the day after the dinner party.

    It was rich but delicious. I’ve already had requests to make this again for extra special birthday celebrations.

  123. Stacey

    I made this for a NYE party that I went to – even after serving 10 people and cutting the remaining amount in half, I ended up with enough cheesecake to serve for dessert for 3 days for myself and my boyfriend! It is rich, delicious and very very worth the time and effort of making it! The only issue I have is the fact that I was making it in an Australian summer and my kitchen was so warm that after 5 minutes out of the fridge, the ganache was so melted that I couldn’t pipe the lattice correctly. Ahhh, well, it tasted amazing and got “ooohs” and “aaaahhhs” when presented.

  124. Kim Dijkman

    Hi there

    I HAVE to make this for my birthday next weekend! Can anyone help me with the measurements, I need it in milliliters, grams and cm’s etc ( I live in Europe!)
    please would someone be so kind as to convert for me, I’m too scared if I do it it will flop, and I need to make for 40 people!
    My email adress is

    thanks so much, and best regards from snowey Holland

  125. C Ho

    Thanks for the reply!

    I checked another site and mathematically, it said to divide all the ingredients by 2.25.

    Formula for Volume of a cylinder = (Pi)*height*radius*radius
    Volume of 9″ pan = 3.14*3*4.5*4.5 = 190.755
    Volume of 6″ pan = 3.14*3*3*3 = 84.78
    190.755 / 84.78 = 2.25

    It’s very close to the 2.0 (divide by half) you said.

    My question is, will there be a noticeable difference in taste and quality if I divide by 2.0 or 2.25? I’d rather be short and simple and halve everything, but I don’t want to risk the taste and quality of the end product. Please advise.

    My second question has to do with baking time. Is that halved as well with the temperature being the same?


    1. deb

      Baking time should not be automatically halved; I haven’t tried the cake smaller so you will just have to watch your oven and see. If you want it to be in a 6-inch pan and thinner, you should divide it by more than 2.

  126. C Ho

    Sorry I am such a newbie, but I have a few more questions…

    For the crust, can I substitute chocolate wafer cookies with Oreo cookie crumbs?

    Can I also use chocolate chips (i.e. Hershey’s) for the crust/ganache or does it have to be the blocks of chocolate (i.e. Baker’s)?


  127. Jessica

    mmmmm… I made this for a late christmas celebration, and it won over even dedicated coffee-dislikers. SOOOO GOOOOD! And, I think it may have been even better after a few days! I can’t wait to find another celebration to make this for!

  128. My friends Jane and Jill made this for my 25th birthday last week – it was the BEST cake I have EVER eaten…and we three are all obsessive bakers. It fed 27 people too. Thanks for the inspiration! I’ve put a photo of their effort on my flickr page – cheers Deb we all love your site :)

  129. Very… very tasty. Try to made it yesterday. I didn`t use all right ingradients – i replaced some of those, but, still, hope cake taste was the same as your)
    Nice recipe!

  130. I love cheesecake and I live in a small town that doesn’t have anywhere to go for great cheesecake. I tried to make my husband a chocolate cheesecake for Valentine’s and it didn’t work out. I baked it for the recommended time and still, the texture was of an unbaked cheesecake. Have you ever done a cheesecake tutorial, just as you did with pie crusts? I want to learn how to make a good cheesecake. I often find that, despite making a half recipe in a 7″ springform, I end up baking them for much longer than the recipe calls for. And I guess I’m never quite sure how to tell just how ‘set’ it is. I’d love some help!

    1. deb

      mamabird — It might be as simple as your oven’s temperature being off. A thermometer may help so that you can adjust the dial, or you can, as I always used to when I had an oven that always ran cool, just presume extra baking time on deep cakes like this.

  131. jg

    holy freakin shit!!! I made this twice during the holidays and i just can’t thank you enough for the recipe. i came back to look for it because I’m making it for a friend’s birthday and all the scrumptious memories came back to me. I didn’t use the alcohols but it still tasted out of this world. also like many who made the wafers said, the crust was just too buttery but it just seeps out so it’s not that big of a deal. and i might just be the fattest fatass ever but i ate astronomical slices without needing any breaks haha!

  132. Jess

    Wow. I want to thank you for the perfect in your face recipe to serve my husbands ex wife when she comes for dinner tomorrow. (LOONG story) Now if I could just find the perfect dress to wear…

  133. Well, I never get around to making your stuff, but a friend of mine made this and brought it to a cookout yesterday. Holy HELL, was it good. Total hit of the party. Thanks for posting it. Hers looked just like yours. She used to be a pastry chef, and it showed!

  134. Amanda

    Oh. My. God. This is awesome. I felt like baking yesterday so I told my boyfriend to pick a recipe from SK. Of course he picks a cheesecake (I had never made one). And of course its a difficult (looking) one. It turned out perfectly :) This was SO yummy. The ganache was too thick to use in my frosting piping stuff that I had bought, but I’m not a chocolate person so I think it would have been overkill for my taste anyway.

  135. Ruaridh

    I am an 8 year old boy who loves to eat everything – yummy! I think your recipe looks brilliant. I have not tried it yet but I am going to do it this weekend for my Dad!

  136. Amanda

    My girlfriend and I tried this last weekend and it turned out wonderfully!! The only problem was the filling layer was somewhat soggy…any idea why?

  137. Katie

    I made this for a friend’s birthday dessert and everyone RAVED about it. I did make 1 day ahead and used your crust recipe with the chocolate teddy grahams (doubling of course :), I also used 2 tbs instant coffee instead of espresso and ground espresso beans, but it was very coffee flavored. Someone who manages a restaurant and has worked in the business for years said it was much better than any restaurant dessert she’s had it years! Everyone who tried it loved it, including my 3 year old who never ever eats cake or cookies. Thanks for a truly fabulous dessert, once again!

  138. Holy cappuccino!!

    Started making this two days ago (cookies for the base), and finished the base and the ganache yesterday. Stored it in the fridge overnight, and today after work I filled in the cream cheese filling. I tasted it before going in, and…. oh my… times… three! What a flavorful filling!! The espresso, sweet, sour, tasty, yummy…

    Now.. for the nervewrecking wait, while sitting here watching the filling rise higher and higher. I just have to trust you that it will go down after taking it out.

    Putting in the topping tonight, decorating, and leaving in the fridge until sunday when it’s our baby’s christening (today is friday). Considering skipping all the other food, and just leaving this cake for people to eat :)

  139. Oh my, now I have to make this delectable thing! I love cheesecake, and am rarely interested in flavored versions, but this I can’t go by without tasting! Luckily my son is throwing a big 30th birthday party on Saturday and has enlisted friends and family to help make food. 3 days away, so if we get moving…
    Do you remember what 9 ounces of wafers are in relation to the 50-60 that your recipe makes?
    I just found your blog recently – thanks, it’s lovely!

  140. Jen

    this cheesecake totals to approximately a whopping 11290 calories… oh, my… even after dividing it into 30 servings, each 1-inch wedge is about 375 calories… WHY does it have to look so good!?

    thanks for the delicious recipes, by the way :)

  141. tk

    Hi Deb! Making this today for my husband’s birthday tomorrow. But I ran out of time. Do you think (and I’m going to have to do this anyway, because work harkens) it will be OK if I bake the cheesecake for the hour, bung it in the fridge then twelve hours later make the topping and bake it for the 15 minutes? I hope so becauuuuuse that’s my time frame. What’s the worst that could happen, I suppose it could dry out funny. The ganache didn’t harden in the 30 minutes in the freezer, but as you said above, it is eaten COLD — so it may not look as stratified as yours, but will probably taste the same.

    I am a fairly recent reader of your site thanks to a coworker (Hi Bunn!) and have made your stuff for the last year-plus. You’ve expanded my repertoire immensely and turned me on to Julia Child (I never bothered before, but that coq au vin is something else) so for that and everything else, thank you so much!

    Grateful in the Bay Area,

  142. Stephanie

    I made this for thanksgiving yesterday and it turned out fantastic! I don’t have a food processor, so I melted the chocolate in with the butter and just crushed the teddy grahams as much as I could. The crust turned out a little crunchier than I would have expected, but it was still really, really good. I think next time I would halve the coffee amount. I used some starbucks instant italian roast (2T, 2t), and the coffee flavor in the cheesecake layer was very, very strong. Some of my family loved it for that though. Thanks so much for the great recipe!

  143. Mallory

    I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving. This was my very first attempt at any kind of cheesecake and I have been commended for tackling such a delicious cheesecake on my first try. I didn’t have a single crack and my in-laws have since made a request for another cheesecake. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  144. Maria

    Can I second a request for an alternative suggestion to molasses? Living in the UK molasses is ridiculously hard to get. I’ve hard black treacle makes a passable substitute? Failing that, I may just try it without…

    Amazing, mouth-watering recipe btw :o) thanks yet again

  145. Lindsay

    Does it have to have the sour cream topping? I’ve made a different type of cheesecake before with this and it wasn’t a huge hit. Is this pie going to be just as delicious without the sour cream topping?

  146. Kylee

    I have made this cheesecake before and it was a HUGE hit! I want to make it again but was wondering how it will do if I freeze if for several days. Any thoughts?

  147. Amy

    I am taking dessert to a NYE party, and I want to make mini cheesecakes. I am looking for a flavor like this cake…any suggestions on cook time if I were to use this recipe in mini muffin cups??

  148. Reagan

    sounds so good! think i will try it for a nye dinner party… my springform pan is 10 in. should i follow this recipe or go back to the original? i think the change in proportion sounds good but i dont want mine to look thin.

  149. Tamara

    I have made this every year for my husband’s birthday for the last ten years. His usual serving size is 1/8….
    Over the years I have cut back on the amount of chocolate in the crust and the ganache layer (becuase it is usually just the two of us that finish it off-had to start stemming the guilt). I have also found it nescessary to wrap the bottom of the pan in tinfoil AND place it on a baking sheet to avoid excess greese/butter from dripping all over the bottom of my oven.

  150. Sarah

    I want to make a gluten free version of this cake. Can I leave out the flour in the filling without an dire consequences? Or would you substitute a small amount of corn starch? Otherwise it’s easy enough to find gluten free wafer cookies to make the crust. The cake looks great though I can’t wait to make it.

  151. Annie

    Made this for a party tonight and it was a HUGE hit. Like Tamara, I found the foil wrap around the spring form to be very helpful, both for evenness of baking and for mess prevention. I used the exact recipe above in a 10 inch pan, and it was perfect- I wouldn’t change a thing! One friend dubbed it “The Best Homemade Cheesecake Ever.” Thanks, Deb!

  152. Ellen

    This is the most amazing cheesecake I have ever made, or eaten, or seen. It was so so so rich. I think next time I will make it in a square pan to make cheesecake bites. A couple bites would plenty for me!

  153. I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving. This was my very first attempt at any kind of cheesecake and I have been commended for tackling such a delicious cheesecake on my first try. I didn’t have a single crack and my in-laws have since made a request for another cheesecake. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  154. Sara

    my Springform pan is only 8 inches in diameter and about 2.5 inches high. I know this is crazy; in lieu of how longago you attempted this and how busy you are with the newer recipes and fan mail- but please- can you give me adjusted amounts on the ingredients suited to my springform pan?
    I am on a student budget- do really want to try this but cannot afford another springform pan out here in the most expensive part of Europe.
    I tried this one before but it didn’t work… only half way through the baking time, the top was already too dark (i nearly burnt it) and when I cut it open, the ganache just oozed out. And obviously- i had plenty of batter left.
    (all of which tasted delicious though :P)

  155. deb

    Sara — I love when people ask questions. I answer every single question I am able to. But I don’t usually have time to reconfigure a cake recipe to other pan sizes. I wish I did. Here’s how I’d approach it: The pan I used was 9″ in diameter and 3″ high. That means it holds a volume of about 191. Your pan is 8″ in diameter and 2.5″ high. It has a volume of about 127, or approximately 2/3 of the volume of the original cake. Take each measurement down by 1/3 and you will have a recipe scaled to your pan; fortunately, almost every measurement will divide so it shouldn’t be too much trouble. As for the baking time, you’re just going to have to check on the cake frequently. It will be less than the full version, but impossible to guess how much. Hope that helps.

  156. Sara

    Thanks deb. It sounds logical. Sorry about being such a nuisance. It’s too gorgeous and decadent a recipe to be relegated to the failed section.
    On another note, perhaps you have a good recipe to share for cheesecake cookies with some chocolate in them?

  157. Shay

    Hi Deb! I love all of your recipes so much, they get me through life (and the day!). I had a question! You said that you can replace the chocolate wafers in the crust for teddy grahams. I will still be using 9oz, correct? Someone above mentioned doubling the amount and it threw me off a little.

    I’m 16, and I’m so excited to make this for my mother’s college graduation on Saturday! It will be perfect!

  158. Lauren

    Hey look people are still commenting! I’m happy I’m not the only one stalking around in the archives. I just wanted to say that I made this for mother’s day and it was such a hit that it was my dad’s only request for father’s day. So thanks for another wonderful recipe – can’t wait for the book!

  159. Stephanie

    so far the cake is looking good. I just seem to have a little ganache situation here. I have to admit that I am not too familiar with this area of baking… in this case, the ganache that was left outside for the decoration in the end got to hard while the cake was baking and cooling off. therefore, I melted it in a water bath when it was time to do the deco. but somehow it is really “oily” now and has a slightly different conistency. what a bummer. how could I have avoided that? was it maybe to cold in my kitchen? I will def try again til it turns out perfectly. the rest was great though!

  160. Ashley

    This looks fantastic. I’m gonna trust you on that 30 wedges estimation, and I hope it’s right because this needs to serve 20 people for a 50th birthday party!

  161. Berk

    I’m an experienced baker but I also had ganache issues and had to make an emergency midnight run to the grocery store for more ingredients. Bummer. I ended up using the recipe on Joy of Baking; not only did it properly explain how to make ganache, but it was soft after chilled (unlike some of the previous complaints). I also accidentally doubled the rum (oops!), which gave the cheesecake a deeper, richer flavor. It served about 25 people: seriously too rich to eat more than a small slice, even for a die hard sweet tooth!

  162. Reagan

    Just made this recipe for a company wide bakeoff and won!! By the way I can EASILY eat a 1 1/2 inch wedge… Not too rich for me!

  163. Dori

    Hey Deb!

    Do you have any recommendations for an alternative to the flour in the cheesecake layer? My spouse had celiac, but is a coffee fiend and I know she’d love this. I can make the crust gluten free no problem, but when it comes to tested cheesecake fillings, I prefer not to deviate from the recipe that much.

  164. Tanya

    Sadly, I do not think my small oven could not handle this massive, and dense cheesecake. At 1-hour the center was still liquid, so I had to bake for an additional 40 minutes! With the additional baking time for the sour cream topping as well, my crust sadly came out burned. The oven temperature was OK, as I have an oven thermometer. I just don’t think my oven is big enough to circulate the heat evenly. Some parts of the crust were not as burned as others :(

  165. I have been ogling this thing ever since I first saw it more than a year ago… I´ve made it my mission to replicate it! Thanks for your lovely website, and good luck on the book

  166. Jenny

    Deb, I make this cheesecake every year now for my family’s Xmas party. My fiance waits rather unpatiently all year to eat it, and I love that it’ll feed 20 with no problems. Here’s to decadence!

  167. Stephanie

    We had this for Christmas dinner dessert and although we all liked the crust, we agreed it was just too much chocolate for us. I might try it again with a much smaller amount of ganache over the crust – I really like the strong coffee flavor of the filling. Also, my baking time was MUCH longer -an extra 25 min.

  168. bimbels

    Everything said about how rich this cake is is absolutely true! I was mentally prepared but still unable to eat an entire 1″ sliver! Seriously delicious though – my first ever attempt at a cheesecake and it went pretty well! Everything came out perfectly – except the crust. I had the same issue as another commenter with the center not setting anywhere near the stated hour. My oven is accurate (i have a thermometer inside) and it is big enough so I’m not sure what I can do to fix this – my crust did come out a little overdone (it could barely be cut with my serrated cake server) since I had to leave it in for an extra 40 minutes!!! I think next time I will take it out no matter how unset the center is after 1hr20 minutes at the latest.

  169. Lauren

    I was wondering if you have a gluten-free version of this recipe? I’m sure I can find gluten-free cookies but do I need to replace the flour in the cake with something else? Or could I just omit it…?

  170. Maggie

    Deb — I’m a personal chef, and I made this cheesecake last week for my most chocaholic, coffee-loving client, and it was the BEST cheesecake I’ve ever made. I used it to cap a light, fish&veg dinner party for her and it was a sensation.

    I changed nothing, doubled the espresso powder and skipped the beans just like you did, and the coffee layer was the purest coffee taste I’ve had in a dairy dessert. I even made my own cookies for crushing, from your faux-Famous Wafers, and the crust was great.

    The balance of flavors is just perfect, and I’d urge everyone to not skip the sour cream topping layer, as the tartness is pure heavenly contrast to the richness of the other layers.

    A masterpiece, Deb. Thank you for winning me all the kudos I got!

  171. Greetings from VA – I just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that your description of this cheesecake consumed my thoughts for days – thankfully I was asked to bring dessert to a dinner party not long after and I’m happy to report the cheesecake was a huge hit. Sadly, I forgot to tale a photo as we were rushed to get out the door, but one of the dinner guests took a cell phone photo which did a disservice to the glorious treat, so I had no choice but to make another one so I could blog about it (I know, poor me). I hope you don’t mind that I posted your “tantalizing description”, giving you credit of course. I’d love it if you’d stop by for a look.

    Thanks so much for inspiring me to make this great cheesecake – everyone loved it and I’m sure I’ll make it for years to come.


  172. Haviva

    I made this cake the other day to take to a function. I’m normally a marginal cook, but I followed the recipe as instructed and my cake was SO BEAUTIFUL that I was impressed! The flavors were remarkable! I can’t wait to try more recipes at this site! Thanks for making me look like a pro!

  173. Hi Deb,

    I’ve been an avid reader of your blog, but haven’t really spoken up until now (at least I don’t think I have… I may have had the occasional “Oooh delicious!” or “Must try that now!” comment), and now I have a question. Your crust looks wonderfully thin and well proportioned from top to bottom. When I made my crust, it was very difficult to get it to just twice as thick as yours. Do you have any tips on pressing crusts to the edge of the pan? Did it crumble off when it was too thin? Does that mean I may have done something incorrectly, or am I just inexperienced?

    I’ve already preordered your cookbook, and I’m looking forward to having a whole new slew of recipes! Thanks for always posting delicious, relatively straightforward recipes! :)

    1. deb

      Hi Margaret — Yes, I like to use a measuring cup, such as my heavy metal 1-cup measure to press it into the bottoms flat and up the sides. It also helps keep the corners from being overly-thick with crumbs.

  174. Amani

    Hello deb!

    I am baking the cake at the moment. I followed the recipe to the T, but for some reason as the cheesecake was baking, the ganache layer boiled over and spilled over it. So now the cheesecake has a thin layer of ganache on top of it as well. Then when I put the final topping it sort of mixed with the ganache, too and it has a marble-like look. What could have possibly went wrong for the ganache to do that? I’m hoping this doesn’t affect the taste. I don’t see why it should. But I would like to know so I can avoid this in the future. Thank you, as always! :)

  175. Rose

    Do you use a water bath or put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Every time I bake a cheesecake without …. it cracks and looks terrible. Also, I’ve used a lower oven temp…around 300. Just double checking…I want mine to turn out as beautiful as yours…it is amazing!

  176. Sally

    Okay, this has worked twice now, on the only cheesecake recipe I do. Recipe originally came from the back of the Kingsford’s cornstarch box in 1974. I have one springform pan, a 10″ one, with a glass bottom that is worth all the fuss I have to go through, since I can cut on it without causing scratches that will rust. I wrap the entire outside of the pan in foil to keep ooze off the oven floor, turn the pan right side up and spray the interior with Pam. Then the sides–which are rusting–get lined with 3″ tall strips of parchment paper. Cake gets made and poured into the graham crust I prefer. It bakes at 325° for 70 min. No water bath. It seems that the extra “insulation” of foil and paper are enough to keep it from cracking; it rises evenly and falls slightly, also evenly. Since I don’t like toppings on cheesecake, this suits me just fine!

  177. Megan

    At 41 weeks pregnant it’s hard to resist this cheesecake. Also, Im hoping that the complex multistep full day project of this recipe, will coax the baby to come out and interrupt the process.

  178. Liz

    Hey Deb,

    This cheesecake is sitting in the fridge for its two-day melding period, but I’ve got a question. What was the liquid that seeped out of the bottom of the springform during the middle layer’s cooking time? Is that whey from the cream cheese?

    I’ve been following your blog for four years now and my brother and I are actually on a first-name basis with you, as in, “Well, Deb said…” Thanks again for another great one!

    1. deb

      Was it clear liquid? It might have been butter, which I notice can seep a little from the crumb crusts as it bakes. It should be no harm in the long run.

  179. “Because if you know anyone who can eat more than a one-inch wedge of this cake, I might need to meet them. I might have to shake their hand.”

    Deb, here is my response to that statement in video form:

    I made this for my friend Melissa’s birthday. Now, granted, I accidentally didn’t used as much ganache in the layer on the crust as your recipe calls for. And I replaced an liquor with espresso. But, still.

    We each at two pieces. With wine. And dinner. I don’t really know what’s wrong with us. And our pieces were definitely larger than one-inch pieces.

    We’re sick, sick ladies.

    Not physically, though. The cheesecake was delicious and hasn’t given anyone food poisoning. Just sick in the Ability to Eat Monstrous Amounts of Dessert department.

    We’ll be looking for our hand shakes in the mail.

    1. deb

      Chelsea — AWESOME. I am so impressed. I feel like a weakling for not getting further in mine. Next time, I will persevere. Next time, I will win. :)

  180. Jeni

    I am going to be ambitious and try my hand at making cheesecake. How could I not?
    Come on,this looks Beautiful! OK, well I live in a small town and it is void of espresso powder. Question, I have a Rancelio espresso machine, so can I (Used)grinds, or just espresso beans extra finely ground? The group that are coming for the party are both Dark Chocolate and espresso lovers. I have to get this right.
    Help! I have tried other recipes of yours and they are alway awesome!
    Thanks Deb!

    1. deb

      Hi Jeni — Sorry, I’m not sure I followed. The recipe says you can use either espresso powder or ground whole espresso coffee beans. So, if you have the latter, you can use them here.

  181. Hi Deb, Call that EXQUISITE! The mere pics makes me want to order one from you! Then again, I think it’s better if I learn how to make one! Can’t wait till I make one… Wish me luck!

    Kind Regards,

  182. Christiana

    Hi Deb! This recipe looks AMAZING. I love cheesecakes especially because I have a gluten sensitivity. Could I use cornstarch/another substitute in place of wheat flour, or would that compromise the end result?

  183. Louisa

    I just finished making this cake! After I bought all the ingredients I realized that I had loaned out my springform pan. So I decided to make it in a 9 inch cake pan. In case anyone else needs to do that, here’s what I did:

    I made a full quantity of the crust, and patted it all the way up the sides of the pan so the top was flush with the pan edge. Since the recipe calls for a pan 3 inches high instead of my 2 inch high cake pan, the crust is probably thicker than intended, but I love chocolate crumb crusts so I don’t mind.

    I reduced the ganache, filling and topping quantities by one third, it just seemed the easiest way to make “a little” less without tricky calculations.

    I only had to bake the filling step for 50 minutes.

    Everything fit nicely and all the steps looked like the pictures, so I think it was a success. I’ll know tomorrow. Having it in a cake pan will make serving difficult, but if the first slice gets a little squished in the extraction, I’ll just have to bite the bullet and eat that one myself!

  184. Adam

    I made this last week and it was the hit of the party – hands down the best thing I have made both in appearance and taste. I also had the clearish/brownish liquid seep out of the bottom of the springform during baking, but it didn’t affect the end result. My guess is it was butter from the crust. Deb – I have both Valrhona and Callebaut chocolate for baking things like this – do you have a preference? Also, do you think it would be a problem if I slightly reduced the cream and slightly upped the Kahlua? Thanks!

  185. Sandra

    Deb, I’ve made this cheesecake many, many times (very requested). Thanks for introducing it into my neck of the woods.

  186. I have been following your blog for some time, systematically working my way through your wonderful repertoire of recipes. All of which have turned out fanatic. This Christmas, I elected to serve this cheesecake as the main course! The rest were light appetizers for the main show.
    I had a great time making it, and enjoyed as usual your articulate directions and photography.
    I posted a photograph of my creation on your Facebook page :)

  187. Andrea

    I just wanted you to know that THIS is what won for my 40th birthday treat this upcoming weekend. Made it last night and cannot wait to cut into it Sunday!!!!!

  188. Michelle

    I forgot to comment on this recipe, NOOOO!!! I made this cheesecake for a Valentine’s Day potluck at work (yes, more than a whole month ago!) and it was SPECTACULAR! I plan on making this cheesecake in addition to some other sweets for a bake sale coming up.

    The only criticism I received (from a colleague who had gone to culinary school, no less) was that the crust was too hard, perhaps even burnt. It was hard to ascertain due to the darkness of the crust but it was more crunchy than I had anticipated. Then again, I’m not a fan of pie or cheesecake crusts to begin with, so meh.

    Thank you always for your wonderful recipes! I look forward to more cakes and goodies, swim suits be damned :)

  189. Bec

    Hi! I’m making this cake for the second time tonight! Last time for a friend’s 30th, this time for my FIL’s 60th – seems right, eh?. I had a strange clear liquid seep out of the cake when I cooked it the first time, quit a lot, actually – and I’m wondering if it’s something I did wrong with the ganache. It was delicious, no one really noticed, but the ganache layer was quite firm. Thoughts? Maybe the baker’s chocolate I used was too crappy for this kind of thing?

  190. María

    Deb, this is the second time I make this and I’m once again AMAZED at how I kept thinking “This can’t POSSIBLY fit in my springform” and re-checking the ingredients because “This is WAY TOO MUCH, I must have read it wrong, how much is an ounce again?” and then IT FITS THE SPRINGFORM PERFECTLY AND I NEED TO USE CAPS BECAUSE FEELINGS. There are so many recipe sites or blogs you can’t really trust, but with you I just can’t go wrong, everything is just like you say it will be. I love you, Deb. :D

  191. Iris

    I am attending my boyfriend of almost-two-years’ family Thanksgiving and they, over time have passed on their love of cheesecakes to me. I also love to bake so naturally, I volunteered to provide the dessert and this cake is PERFECT. However, I’m on a certain budget and the get together is only immediate family, so I was wondering if cutting this recipe in half would be acceptable or if it would result in a disaster. Thank you ever so much!

    1. deb

      Iris — Do you mean but keeping it in the same size pan? It would be shorter, of course. I am not sure that I’d fully halve the crust, because you’ll need almost the full amount for coverage, but I am sure you can make the fillings less thick and it would be no less welcome.

  192. Iris

    We have multiple sized pans at home so what would you recommend if I were to cut the recipe- or at least, everything but the crust- in half?

  193. Wendy

    I’ve never posted but have been addicted to your recipes for sometime and wanted to thank you because I won our office bake-off today with this recipe! This was despite running into a near decorating disaster. I have limited skills (ok, none) when it comes to piping frosting so I was practicing on wax paper when the bag malfunctioned. Having ganache ooze out in the wrong places was like watching a slow-motion car crash- you see it all going sideways, yet expect the outcome to be okay. It was 10pm the night before the bake-off and I tried to McGuyver a homemade frosting bag but that was worse than first ganache explosion. On to Plan C: I rolled out the ganache between to pieces of wax paper, froze it, then cut it into strips and layered it in a circular yet shabby-chic fashion. It was gorgeous. Thank you (and thank you for saving Thanksgiving plus I’m relying on you to help with our annual holiday party in two weeks- so TIA for that, too).

  194. I tried this the other day and it was soooooo delicious and rich! Loved it! Though I did have a bit of problem with the firmness of the cake at the end so I just served it straight from the freezer. Any suggestions?

  195. Erin

    I’ve made this cheesecake before with fantastic results. This time all looks well, except I forgot to add the sour cream layer while the cake was hot. Instead, I let it cool down. Is my only choice now to skip that step altogether? I’m afraid of putting the cake back in the oven after it’s cooled.

  196. Erin

    Deb – it was so kind & generous of you to respond immediately to my query. I wouldn’t have worried so much but it was my husband’s 40th birthday cake! Here was the result: I put the topping on and into the oven it went for 12 minutes. The topping never set (it wasn’t close to setting). I chilled it hoping that might help, but to no avail. So instead of ganache on top, I used to the microplane to cover it with chocolate shavings. So when I cut into the cake, the topping sort of dripped over the sides on some of the pieces like a sauce. BUt it was really good, and everyone loved it!

  197. Heidi

    I’m making this again for a dessert buffet party I’m throwing, after making it the first time 6 years ago! Thanks for a great recipe.

  198. Anna Coates

    Debs, I always love your recipes, and this one more than most but as I read through it I realised there are only US measures and no UK conversion. Please please please , I know it’s a faff but please keep including the UK measures so your fans across the Pond can carry on enjoying your delicious ideas. Thank you! Anna

  199. Gayle Marie

    Good evening!! I found this recipe in one of my Bon Appetit magazines back in 2003. This is the richest, most delicious cheesecake I have EVER made. There are so many textures playing on your tongue with each bite. I will tell you, it IS very time consuming to make, but worth EVERY minute of it. Back in 2003, no one had a clue what instant espresso powder was – even Whole Foods!! And no store carried chocolate covered espresso beans, so I did it myself!! The cake is a showstopper with the piped ganache over the sour cream and the chocolate covered espresso beans at every junction of the ganache. IF you want to IMPRESS family and friends for the upcoming holidays, THIS is the cheesecake to make! I hope you enjoy it as much as we did at a luncheon I had!!

  200. Kayla Burell

    Hi Deb, I’m so excited to be writing to you (especially about this gorgeous cake). My grocery was out of chocolate wafers for the crust and I refused to trudge to the store the next town over so I’ve decided to use your recipe. Does it make the equivalent of 9oz?

  201. Grace

    Hello Deb — longtime reader & lurker! As with many of your recipes, I’ve made this cheesecake a few times over the years and always been met with rave reviews. It’s my go-to for when I need to impress any group of people for a special occasion c:

    With that in mind, I made this cheesecake for Christmas. Everyone loved it, save my extremely picky mother-in-law, who thought it was too sweet. She was also expecting more of a boozy rum/kahlua kick. (She still ate every bit of her slice though..) I was planning on making this recipe again, this time for just my partner and I to enjoy — but I’d like to try and address some of my MIL’s complaints.

    Also, do you have any tips for using alternate pans/shapes instead of the round springform the recipe asks for?

    1. deb

      I think you can use any springform shape that holds the equivalent volume — I’ve seen square ones that are nice. But without a springform, it’s hard to unmold. If you’re willing to leave it in the pan (i.e. not unmold it before serving), you could use almost anything. I’m glad it was a hit. I agree that Kahlua isn’t the strongest flavor, it doesn’t often come through. You can add it to a whipped cream for more of a presence at the end.

      1. Annie B

        Hi Deb!
        When you say you increased the espresso powder, how much did you increase it by? Did you just double the espresso powder and skip the ground coffee all together? Thank you!

  202. Kelsey

    Gorgeous and delicious! Seriously right about the only needing a thin slice. Made this for my boyfriend’s birthday and he was very excited to brag about it

  203. Wow this looks amazing. My wife loves making pies, cheesecakes, etc for the holidays and is always looking for new recipes to try. She’s also, unsurprisingly, a huge coffee fan so this will be a fun one for her. Thanks for sharing!

  204. Becky

    Bring a pillow. One slice of the decadent desert will have you zonked in a coffee/chocolate bliss. These days I use a modified recipe, eliminating the ganache layer and dividing the cheese cake batter into two parts: Part 1) adding the espresso powder, cinnamon, (and rum optional); Part 2) 6 oz. 65% baking chocolate, melted and cooled. This is a KISS option.

  205. Rebekah

    I made this today; it will be eaten tomorrow, but not by me, I’m sad to say. I did ask the giftee to please take a picture of the cut cheesecake. I can’t wait to see what it looks like inside.

    I think the crust was a little much for a 9-inch pan. It was thicker than it should have been. I’ll be making it again, but I’ll either use my 10-inch springform pan, or cut down on the crust.

  206. Betty Isaacson

    I plan on making this on Sunday to bring to Christmas dinner but I can’t find “light” molasses anywhere. What can I use instead? Will 1/2 regular molasses and 1/2 light corn syrup work? Please help.

  207. Libby

    I 2/3ed all the ingredients so I could make it in a 7-inch springform in my Instant Pot (32 min on high pressure, natural release 20 min). For the sour cream topping I used powdered sugar and didn’t bake again after. Super delicious!

  208. rachel schwartzman

    I made this and although it was amazing, I felt it was way too chocolatey. The ganache layer on top of the chocolate crust totally overpowered the tangy cream cheese and coffee flavor that I wanted more of. I didn’t even put more ganache on top and I still felt this way. If I made it again, I would either entirely omit the chocolate ganache layer, or put on the thinnest of layers…

  209. Rebecca

    Hi Deb! I’m so excited to finally try this recipe for Thanksgiving! I’m hoping to make a smaller one in a 7.1 in. springform…I saw another commenter said she 2/3’d the ingredients for a 7 inch diameter; however the label on my pan says it “uses half of a ‘standard’ recipe” …I’m not sure what they mean by standard. Any insight on proper proportions for the smaller pan? Thanks so much!!

  210. This looks so decadent and incredibly delicious! It’s like you took my 2 favorite things and combined them into one ultimate dessert. I’ve already put all of the items in my cart! Can’t wait to make it!

  211. Sarah Hawes

    I have made this twice as a regular-sized cake, and once today as cupcake-sized mini cheesecakes. I can never get the sour cream topping to work, and from what I can see from a quick search, most cheesecakes topped with sour cream have the temp increased to 450° for the final bake. I wish I’d tried it this time.

    For making it into (large) cupcakes, make the same amount of crust, about half the filling and ganache, and if using the sour cream do the full amount. I cooked the filling for 25 mins, which was probably about 5 minutes too long – I did an internal temp check at 15 minutes and it was still goppy and about 50° not ready, but the next 10 minutes were dramatic. I wish I’d dialed back the nutmeg or omitted it all together, as it can overpower very easily when the crust:filling ratio is essentially doubled. The outside of the cupcake liners was quite greasy (I think the sour cream topping contributed a lot to this), but easily removed, which basically solves the problem. I think this might become my go-to method of making cheesecake, since it’s much easier to share and portion appropriately.

  212. Bridgit

    Since it’s 2020 and we are not seeing so many folks for celebrations, I made an 8” version of this for my newly 14 year old. (He is wise enough to know that if it’s from your site, I’m willing to make it.) We reduced Tuesday crust and fudge layer by 1/3, left the filling as is, and skipped the sour scream all together since we were out, but the birthday kid doesn’t like sour cream anyway, so no loss! (I’m hoping in some time we will read all these 2020 comments and thing, “oh yeah, that was tough, look where we are now!) Thanks, as ever, for the great recipes.

  213. Heide

    Hi….Right now this cheesecake is cooking and I have a question. Mine is taking far longer than “about an hour” and I’m a bit concerned. I’m at 1.5 hours at least and the whole top is still very wobbly. Otherwise it looks good and is cooking. Just wondering why it’s taking so much longer. I’m using a 9 inch springform, 350 degrees, and placed it on a pan with a lip. I followed your recipe exactly. We also love your New York cheesecake and that one tends to take longer too. Wondering if I’m doing something wrong. Our oven cooks everything else correctly as to timing, so I don’t think there is a problem with the temperature although I haven’t checked it. Just hope I”m not ruining the cake or crust by leaving it in so long. Thank you for your wonderful recipes. There a many that we make regularly!

  214. Jackie

    Recently made your Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake and halved the recipe to make a 6″, which came out beautifully I might add. I assume the same can be done with this recipe as well with an adjustment to the baking time?

  215. My husband has been pushing me to try them out and finally I decided to give it a go with this one. I’ve been married for five years and my husband has never steered me wrong when it came to cooking!