Espresso Cheesecake

Espresso Cheesecake Recipe

This espresso cheesecake recipe has a double shot of espresso flavor—in the crust and the filling. The slight bitterness of the espresso cuts the rich creaminess of the cheese. For a smooth cheesecake with no lumps, it’s very important to have the cream cheese at room temperature, so be sure to remove it from the refrigerator at least 1 hour before you begin. This cheesecake can be made and refrigerated up to 2 days ahead of time.–Geoffrey Zakarian

LC Espresso Cheesecake Loveliness Note

Espresso not only cuts the richness of the cream cheese in this espresso cheesecake, as the author explains above, but it smooths the slight tang of sour cream. Don’t take our word for it, though. Take a gander at what our recipe testers thought of it (you’ll find their thoughts beneath the recipe). Just as a teaser, some of the words they tossed out were “silky,” “luscious,” “tangy,” “creamy,” “lots of depth,” “just the right amount of sweet,” “not too coffee-ish and not too chocolate-y,” and “incredibly delicious!” Go on and see for yourself by making this recipe. Then let us know your words in a comment below.

Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan

Espresso Cheesecake Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8


  • For the crust
  • 12 to 18 espresso biscotti or chocolate biscotti (about 2/3 of an 8-ounce package)
  • 5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted, plus more as needed
  • For the cheesecake
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 5 teaspoons instant espresso
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Make the crust
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • 2. In a food processor, grind the biscotti to crumbs, making enough to measure 1 1/2 cups crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl and mix in the melted butter. Press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • 3. Bake until the crust is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C).
  • Make the cheesecake
  • 4. Meanwhile, set a metal bowl over a pan with about 1 inch simmering water so that the bottom of the bowl is above but not touching the water. Add the chocolate and heavy cream and let the chocolate melt. Stir in the espresso, remove from the heat, and let cool until just warm to the touch.
  • 5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. (You seriously want there to be no lumps whatsoever.) Add the sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream and beat to combine. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and beat on high, scraping the bowl in between additions. Add the cooled chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and beat on high until perfectly smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • 6. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust. Bake until the cheesecake is set (the very center will be just a little bit jiggly), 50 to 70 minutes. Cool completely and then refrigerate until chilled before removing the ring of the pan.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Helen Doberstein

Feb 11, 2015

Everyone loved this espresso cheesecake recipe. It's easy to make, rich, and full of flavor. I had difficulty finding coffee or chocolate biscotti to use for the crust, so I substituted almond biscotti and they worked well. 12 store-bought biscotti (they were small) only measured 1 cup when ground into crumbs, so I ground another 6 to make the 1 1/2 cups needed. I also found that 5 tablespoons butter wasn’t quite enough to moisten all the crumbs, so I melted 1 tablespoon more to help keep it all together. After baking the crust for 15 minutes, it was crumbly but seemed to be set. I figured the cheesecake mixture would hold it all together. After 15 minutes cooling, the pan was just warm to the touch, and after 30 minutes, it was cool. As the base was cooling, I made the espresso cheesecake filling. I wondered if the amount of espresso powder was on the heavy side, but no one seemed to mind in the finished product. To ensure a smooth filling in a cheesecake, I always pour the cheese mix into the springform pan through a fine strainer, which guarantees no lumps in the mix. After baking the cheesecake for 1 hour, it seemed set with just a jiggly bit in the middle. I took it out and allowed it to cool for 1 hour, and then refrigerated it for another 2 hours before serving. When I cut into it, the bottom held together very well. My tasters said the cheesecake was smooth, rich, and that the balance between chocolate and coffee flavors seemed to work well. All in all, a winner dessert.

Testers Choice
Gene C.

Feb 11, 2015

This is one helluva good cheesecake. Nice, smooth, chocolaty goodness. Although baking is not my forte, I figured I'd give this recipe a shot since I love cheesecake of any kind. If you like cheesecake, you'll love this espresso cheesecake. It's a nice change of pace with the addition of espresso and chocolate. The texture is very smooth and creamy and the crust, made with biscotti, adds a nice contrast since it's a little crisper than a traditional graham cracker crust. Not being able to find espresso biscotti, I used chocolate biscotti and it took 9 to make 1 1/2 cups. The 5 tablespoons butter was just the right amount to moisten the crumb mixture. I do not have a stand mixer so I used my hand mixer with no problems. Just be sure the mixture is very smooth. I baked the cheesecake for 50 minutes and it came out just right. I let it cool till I could pick it up with my bare hands, about 1 hour. Then I placed it in the fridge. As a side note, when I got up this morning, I realized the ring was still on the cheesecake yet almost half of it was gone. My son said he could not help it—he could not stop eating it. After finding out how easy it is to make cheesecake at home, I will definitely be making this again.

Testers Choice
Rashmi Primlani

Feb 11, 2015

A delightful cheesecake for coffee and dessert lovers—silky, luscious, tangy, with just the right amount of sweet. The espresso cuts the richness of the cheese and imparts that extra kick. The chocolate biscotti crust perfectly complements the espresso cheesecake filling. I used store-bought chocolate biscotti. I whipped the filling on high for an extra couple of minutes to ensure smoothness and fluffiness. One can definitely taste the smooth and airy results in the end product.

Testers Choice
Eydie Desser

Feb 11, 2015

Espresso cheesecake…mmmmm! This entire espresso cheesecake recipe will take about 35 minutes hands-on time and another 50 to 60 minutes to bake it. First, I melted the chocolate, and as that was melting, I made the crust. I used store-bought chocolate chip biscotti to make 1 1/2 cups ground biscotti (I bought an 8-ounce box and needed a little more than 2/3rds of it so 6 1/2 ounces). It took just under 15 minutes to bake the crust to a golden brown. While the crust was baking, I cooled the chocolate and made the cheesecake filling. It's fast, but only if you've already brought your cream cheese to room temperature. (I leave it out the night before and make the cheesecake anytime the next day.) It takes a few minutes—10 or so—to cool the chocolate and the crust. I baked the cheesecake in an electric oven. Don't use a convection setting or your cheesecake will get a huge crack right down the middle! Jiggle the cheesecake after 45 minutes, and if it's really soupy, bake it a little longer. Mine "felt" ready after 50 minutes, and it continued to bake after I took it out of the oven, so don't be shy about taking it out while it's fairly jiggly. The cheesecake will have a wonderful texture (not grainy) if it is undercooked-looking when you take it out of the oven. This recipe turned out a cheesecake that's creamy, has lots of depth, is not too coffee-ish, and not too chocolate-y. It's incredibly delicious!

Testers Choice
Rosie Coelho

Feb 11, 2015

In our family, one of our favourite desserts is cheesecake. No matter what we are celebrating, be it a holiday or birthday, the treat of choice is always cheesecake. This recipe tempted my taste buds​ because ​not only am I a huge cheesecake fan, I also love my espresso, so naturally I just had to try this recipe. If you're not a strong coffee lover, don't shy away from this rich, smooth, melt-in-your-mouth dessert. The espresso-chocolate flavoring is light and not overbearing at all. I would encourage you to just enjoy it plain.​ ​If you're looking for a cheesecake that packs a huge espresso flavour, this may not be the recipe for you.But if you're looking for a versatile cheesecake that can be dressed up in a number of ways and is not plain​ Jane​, this is the one!​ ​For the crust, I used store-bought chocolate biscotti (with hazelnuts) for the crust.Making this cheesecake was simple and straightforward. My first try at this recipe was a success. I will definitely try this recipe again, but with different toppings. In fact, I'm about to serve it up with some chocolate sauce. Yum.​ ​Next time I will definitely try an espresso biscotti instead to bring out more of the coffee flavor​.​ I think this cheesecake would benefit from a little dressing up. To enhance the chocolate fla​vo​r, how about a drizzling of dark chocolate sauce? Or to freshen it up, perhaps a raspberry coulis topped with fresh raspberries? Or even more decadence with mocha whipped cream and toasted chopped nuts?

Testers Choice
Sita Krishnaswamy

Feb 11, 2015

I am not a fan of cheesecake. I find it too rich and heavy. But this espresso cheesecake has managed to change my opinion drastically. It definitely is a swoon-worthy cheesecake that needs to be top on my list of go-to desserts. The bitterness of the espresso balances the sweetness of the cake really well. It was well worth the effort that went into making it. The cheesecake came together very easily and the directions were quite precise. I chilled it for a couple of hours before I cut into it. I relied on store-bought mini biscotti. (I used 24 of them and ground them in a food processor.)

  1. Donna Lowe says:

    i bet it’s good, i like cheesecake

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      It certainly is good, Donna. If you look just beneath the recipe, you’ll see what our recipe testers said about it. (We test each recipe before we decide if it’s magnificent enough to share with our readers, and we include the tester comments on each recipe that appears on the site.) I think you’ll find that they absolutely adore this cheesecake!

  2. Pamela Michell says:

    Its wonderful to be able to read the testers comments… Much reassurance prior to my making the recipe.

    Thank you!

    • David Leite says:

      Pamela, that’s what sets up apart from other sites. We have a slew of testers testing each and every recipe that goes on the site, so that you have as much information for the greatest success possible.

  3. Greg Crawford says:

    Tester sounds like a dream job! How does someone become one?

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      We like to think of it as a dream job, too, Greg. I’ve asked our director of recipe testing, Beth Price, to reach out to you…

  4. Marni M. says:

    This cheesecake is divine, both in taste and texture. Luscious, creamy, smooth texture with a great taste of chocolate-espresso that will have your guests begging for more. I feel like a master baker already! I didn’t have any espresso biscotti or chocolate wafers so I used Digestives biscuits mixed with a tablespoon of cocoa powder. I made a ganache topping, it was pure decadence. This recipe will go to my treasure trove!

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