This Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake features the classic combination of chocolate and coffee in a creamy and delicious dessert! Grab a slice for dessert tonight.
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Chocolate and coffee are two flavors that almost always compliment each other. Think about it. Dark roasted coffee beans are often described as having a chocolate flavor. And a bit of strong coffee (or espresso powder) adds a little something extra to chocolate cake. I guess you could say coffee and chocolate go together like Scooby and Shaggy.
One of the reasons why coffee and chocolate pair so well together could be the fact that both are seeds of tropical plants. Yup, they aren’t beans at all – but rather seeds. Cocoa beans and coffee beans both thrive in humid, sunny regions, and both tend to have fruity undertones.
Both types of seeds are also roasted before being used. While the roasting process is slightly different (mainly different temperatures), the similarities between coffee beans and cocoa beans are quite obvious.
Enough talk about gardening. Let’s talk about food! More specifically, let’s talk about a recipe where chocolate and coffee pair together to create something amazing. This Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake is nothing short of delicious!
Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake
When baking chocolate cakes, I often include a bit of espresso or strongly brewed coffee. In the case of this cheesecake, I didn’t want to add extra liquid as that wouldn’t have led to good results. Instead, I used a bit of espresso powder.
Espresso powder should be a staple ingredient in every baker’s pantry. Just a teaspoon or two of this powder will add an extra layer of flavor to any chocolate dessert. Folks often can’t identify the exact flavor of coffee. Instead, the chocolate dessert just has much deeper taste. Give it a try!
Years ago, espresso powder was a bit difficult to find. You had to go to specialty kitchen stores to find it. Now it’s much more popular – it’s easy to find on Amazon and many grocery stores carry it, too. I suspect that’s because bakers everywhere have realized how espresso powder can take a chocolate dessert from good to great!
And guess what? You can even make espresso powder at home. My friend Kathy @ Beyond the Chicken Coop shared how to make espresso powder in your own kitchen. (Hint: It starts with leftover coffee grinds. Yup, the ones you usually toss in the trash.)
For this Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake, I went with my go-to chocolate cheesecake recipe, but I added espresso powder to both the crust as well as the cheesecake itself. The cheesecake has a hint of a coffee flavor, but it’s not overpowering. But this cheesecake is decadent and delicious – the depth of flavor is noticeable from the first bite.
In keeping with the coffee theme, I garnished the top of this Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake with a bit of grated chocolate along with some chocolate-covered espresso beans. (One of our local grocery stores carries chocolate-covered espresso beans in the bulk section.) I could literally sit and eat those things all day long – they’re delicious! Of course, I probably wouldn’t sleep for the next 2 days…
Storing Leftover Cheesecake
To store leftover slices of cheesecake, wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 3-4 days. Cheesecake also freezes well. We wrap individual slices of cheesecake in plastic wrap and then place the slices in a freezer bag for up to 4-5 months. To thaw, let the slices rest in the fridge for a couple of hours. Bonus: that way you can pull out just 1-2 slices if you want a dessert on a Friday night!
If you’re looking for a fantastic chocolate dessert, then put this Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake on the list. It’s delicious, and it received high compliments from my tasting committee! Happy baking!
Did you bake this Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Chocolate Espresso Cheesecake
For the Crust
For the Cheesecake
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
- grated chocolate
- chocolate-covered coffee beans
For the Crust
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease and flour a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; set pan aside.
- Using a medium mixing bowl, add vanilla wafer crumbs, brown sugar, espresso powder and melted butter; stir until well combined.
- Transfer mixture into prepared pan; press crumbs into bottom and up sides of pan. (Tip: A flat bottomed glass is helpful for this step.)
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove pan from oven and let cool.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
For the Cheesecake
- Using a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth (~3 minutes).
- Add sugar and flour; mix on medium speed until well combined.
- Add sour cream, melted chocolate, cocoa powder, half-and-half and espresso powder; mix until smooth.
- Add eggs and vanilla extract; mix on low speed until just combined. (Tip: Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the filling is fully mixed.)
- Pour cheesecake batter on top of cooled crust. Wrap the bottom of the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place in a large baking pan. Fill pan with ~½” of water. Bake at 325°F until center of cake is just barely set (~60-70 minutes). (Tip: Pull the cheesecake out of the oven when there is about 1" ring of "looser" filling left in the center of the cake.)
- Remove cake from oven and let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Gently run a knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Let cool for 1 hour.
- Cover pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, release pan and slice.
- Using a large bowl, beat whipping cream and confectioner’s sugar until stiff peaks form. Garnish slices with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkle of shaved chocolate and a couple chocolate-covered coffee beans.
Looking for more chocolate + coffee desserts? Check out these other favorites, too: