This espresso cheesecake recipe boasts a double shot of espresso—in the crust and the filling. The bitterness of the espresso offsets the richness of the cream cheese and smooths the tanginess of the sour cream. What results is “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!” But don’t take the word of our recipe testers. Go on. See for yourself.Renee Schettler Rossi

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A whole espresso cheesecake on a silver tray with two slices cut from it.

Espresso Cheesecake

5 / 4 votes
This espresso cheesecake is coffee squared. It has an espresso biscotti crust and is filled with a chocolate-espresso-cream-cheese filling. Elegant and sophisticated.
David Leite
Servings8 servings
Calories733 kcal
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes


  • 9-inch springform pan


For the cookie crust

  • 12 to 18 espresso biscotti or chocolate biscotti, (about 2/3 of an 8-ounce or 227 g package)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more as needed

For the espresso 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 cookie crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C).
  • 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.
  • Bake until the crust is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (163°C).

Make the espresso cheesecake

  • 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.
  • 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.

Bake the cheesecake

  • Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cooled crust. Bake until the cake is set (the very center will be just a little bit jiggly), 50 to 70 minutes. Cool completely and then refrigerate until chilled through before removing the side the pan and slicing. (You can refrigerate the cheesecake for up to 2 days.)

Adapted From

My Perfect Pantry

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Serving: 1 sliceCalories: 733 kcalCarbohydrates: 52 gProtein: 11 gFat: 55 gSaturated Fat: 31 gMonounsaturated Fat: 14 gTrans Fat: 1 gCholesterol: 219 mgSodium: 367 mgFiber: 1 gSugar: 41 g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2014 Geoffrey Zakarian. Photo © 2014 Sara Remington. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

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.

Everyone loved this espresso cheesecake. 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. 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. 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.

This is 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.

In our family, one of our favorite 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 flavor, 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?

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 2/3rd of it so about 6 1/2 ounces). 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!

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’s definitely 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.)

About David Leite

I count myself lucky to have received three James Beard Awards for my writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. My work has also appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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

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

    Thank you!

    1. 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.

    1. 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!