Tiramisu Cheesecake

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!I love cheese.  It doesn’t matter the kind of cheese.  Chances are I’ll love it.  From a good sharp cheddar to a soft triple creme.  If it looks like cheese and smells like cheese, then I’m a happy camper.  (And, yes, some of those cheeses really stink.  Ahem, Camemberts, I’m looking at you.)  But one cheese that’s always intrigued me is mascarpone.

Mascarpone is often described as Italian cream cheese, and that’s a fairly accurate statement.  Both mascarpone and cream cheese are soft, spreadable cheeses.  They’re often found side-by-side in the grocery store, and they have similar flavors.  However, like European butters, mascarpone has a higher fat content than its American cousin.  This leads to a smoother and creamier cheese.  If you’ve ever cooked or baked with mascarpone, then you might’ve noticed that it’s ‘looser’ than cream cheese.  That’s because of the higher fat content.  Remember – fat is flavor!

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!Tiramisu, which just so happens to be one of my favorite desserts of all time, uses mascarpone as a key ingredient.  I got to thinking about tiramisu and mascarpone the other day, and I started wondering what would happen if I took the traditional tiramisu flavors and used them in a cheesecake.  I decided I needed to try this out!  Cheesecake is traditionally made with cream cheese.  Since cream cheese and mascarpone are in the same family, I figured this would be an acceptable substitution.  Let me tell ya – acceptable is an understatement!  This Tiramisu Cheesecake was da bomb!  (Yes, ‘da bomb’ is a scientific term.  See also use ‘da bomb diggity.’)

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!Tiramisu Cheesecake

For this Tiramisu Cheesecake, I relied on the traditional ingredients from tiramisu.  Mascarpone, cocoa powder, espresso and ladyfingers.  I did keep mostly cream cheese in the base, but I subbed out one block for mascarpone.  This was primarily because I wasn’t sure what would happen if I used all mascarpone.  (That and mascarpone is also a good bit more expensive than cream cheese.)  The result was two thumbs up for sure!  I used ground ladyfingers as the ‘crust,’ and I mixed a bit of rum in there since rum is often found in tiramisu.

I also used espresso powder to bring the espresso flavor to the cheesecake.  I wanted the espresso flavor without adding liquid, so espresso powder was the solution.  If you’ve never used espresso powder, then I highly recommend trying it out.  It brought an excellent coffee flavor to this cheesecake.  Baker’s tip: Espresso powder is a secret ingredient when it comes to chocolate cakes.  The coffee flavor isn’t noticeable, but the espresso powder adds a delicious depth of flavor to the cake!

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!Can you freeze cheesecake?

Absolutely!  I actually freeze my cheesecakes overnight in the pan, and then I remove them the next day.  At that point, they’re similar to a frozen hockey puck, but they come out of the pan nice and easily.  Then I just let the cheesecake thaw in the fridge for a couple of hours.  As far as freezing the cheesecake, Laura and I enjoyed a couple of slices of this Tiramisu Cheesecake, and then I individually wrapped the other slices and put ’em in a freezer bag.  They might not look as pretty once they’ve been frozen, but they’re still delicious.  I hope you enjoy this cheesecake as much as we did!

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!Did you make this Tiramisu Cheesecake at home?  Leave a comment.  Or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog).  Happy baking!

Looking for other fun cheesecake recipes?  Check out some of these other favorites, too:

Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake Brownies
Maple Cheesecake with Pecan Pralines
Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake
Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake
S’mores Cheesecake

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 16 slices
Calories: 442kcal

Ingredients

For the Ladyfinger Crust

  • 7 oz. package ladyfingers (see note) ~24 ladyfingers
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted
  • 2 Tbsp dark rum or Kahlua

For the Cheesecake

  • 24 oz. cream cheese room temperature
  • 8 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ½ Tbsp vanilla extract

For Garnishing

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 oz. semisweet chocolate

Instructions

For the Ladyfinger Crust

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Using a food processor or mini-chopper, pulse the ladyfingers until finely ground.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the ladyfinger crumbs, melted butter and rum; stir until well combined.
  • Lightly butter or grease a 9” springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a circle of parchment paper. Press the crust mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. (Tip: A flat-bottomed glass helps pack the crust mixture down evenly.)
  • Bake crust at 350°F for 6 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let cool.

For the Cheesecake

  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  • Using an electric mixer, cream together the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar until very smooth (~3 minutes on medium speed).
  • Add flour and espresso powder; mix until well combined.
  • Whisk the eggs and egg yolks together and add to the bowl in 2 additions, mixing fully after each addition.
  • Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix until well combined. (Tip: Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure the filling is fully mixed.)
  • Pour the batter on top of the cooled crust.
  • Wrap the bottom of the pan with a piece of aluminum foil and place in a large baking pan. Fill pan with about ½”-¾” of water. Bake at 325° until center of cake is just barely set (about 80-90 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.)
  • Let cheesecake cool for 10-15 min and then wrap entire pan in plastic wrap; freeze overnight.
  • The next day, remove the cake from the freezer and release the springform pan. (Tip: Let cheesecake thaw slightly before releasing pan. Another option is to rotate the pan for several seconds over a gas burner to “melt” sides of the cheesecake…this makes it easy to release the pan.)
  • Transfer the cake to a serving platter and defrost in a refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

For Garnishing

  • Prior to serving, whip the cream and powdered sugar together until stiff peaks form; set whipped cream aside.
  • Dust the cocoa powder of top of the cheesecake using a fine mesh sieve.
  • Using a piping bag with a large round tip, pipe whipped cream around edges of the cheesecake.
  • Using a small grater or vegetable peeler, grate semisweet chocolate on top of the cheesecake.

Notes

Ladyfingers can be found in both soft and crunchy forms. I recommend using crunchy ladyfingers for this cheesecake. (The crunchy version can often be found in the cookie aisle at your local grocery store.)

Featuring a ladyfinger crust topped with espresso cheesecake, this Tiramisu Cheesecake is a fun twist on a classic Italian dessert!

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31 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Tiramisu is one of my very favorite desserts and of course you know how I feel about cheesecake, so this is definitely going on my must-try list. I’m swooning just thinking about it! Happy Friday, David!

    1. I’m with ya, Kelsie. Tiramisu and cheesecake both hold spots in my list of top desserts, so the combination of the two together is pretty much unstoppable! 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    David…are we related?? Lol. Seriously, though, we both love cheese…bordering on obsessed, shall I say? So it’s no surprise that we both love cheesecake. And tiramisu flavoured cheesecake? Brilliant! I can just imagine how creamy dreamy this is and would be perfect with a cuppa coffee (love hot coffee with cool, creamy cheesecake..it’s the best). Happy weekend, my friend. Also, send cake 😉

    1. I’m pretty sure we are distantly related somehow, Dawn! 🙂 I love all forms of cheese, all forms of cheesecake and all forms of tiramisu. Haha! Also, I just so happen to love a good cup of coffee with a slice of cheesecake. Definitely put this cheesecake on the baking list for the holiday season, my friend. It’s SO good!

  3. 5 stars
    You’ve combined two of my favorite desserts, David! How has it never occurred to me to include mascarpone cheese in cheesecake? Genius! This one is a must try!

    1. I’m right there with ya, Marissa! It seems like such a natural jump to using mascarpone in cheesecake. I didn’t want to go with all mascarpone as I wasn’t sure what would happen. However, I can say the combination worked quite well. This is a new favorite cheesecake flavor in our house! 🙂

  4. i adore mascarpone and i adore tiramisu – when it’s made well! this looks adorable too david. absolutely delish i’m sure. cheers sherry

    1. Thanks so much, Sherry! I must say that this tiramisu cheesecake has raced right up the list of favorite cheesecake flavors in our house. 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    David, I love mascarpone, tiramisu, and cheesecake so this is a triple win! So cool that you used mascarpone in the cheesecake, it’s so decadently creamy! The espresso, ladyfinger crust, and chocolate on top are the perfect touches. Brilliant cheesecake!

    1. Yes! I can’t believe it took me this long to think about putting mascarpone into cheesecake. I didn’t want to go all in on the mascarpone as I wasn’t sure what might happen. However, I can say the combination is perfect! Plus, I love espresso flavored desserts. 🙂 Thanks, Kelly!

    1. I’m right there with ya, Matt! I’ve always loved tiramisu, and tiramisu was one of the first “fancy” desserts that I learned how to make at home. It’s still one of my go-to recipes when we have a dinner party. Although I must admit that this cheesecake version is going to vie for a spot on the menu from now on, too! 🙂

    1. Yup, not only does cheesecake freeze well for later consumption, it also freezes well for making those perfect slices. You just have to plan ahead a bit and bake it the day before you want to serve it! Thanks, Dawn!

    1. Haha! I’m pretty sure Laura and I also ate our way across Italy with a tiramisu each and every night. I mean when in Italy, right? 🙂 I love the classic version of tiramisu, and now this cheesecake version is right up there at the top of the list, too! Thanks, Alexandra!

  6. David you are the king of cheesecakes. One day I want you to make all the cheesecakes that are on your site and invite me over to taste test each one of them. Oh to heck with taste-testing I want whole entire slices of each one … big slices. And this tiramisu cake is no exception. It sounds fantastic and it looks completely delicious.

    1. Ok, so I think I can arrange for that delivery to happen. I’ll load all of the cheesecakes (big slices of each) into the back of my car and deliver them to your front door. But you have to promise to eat each and every one. You can’t let any of those cheesecakes feel left out! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    I’m with you when you say that Tiramisu just so happens to be one of your most favourite dessert recipes. Mine too! Especially when made into a cheesecake! Love how in your version you pulse the ladyfingers until ground to make your base with them. This is exactly the type of cheesecake that would make it to my Christmas Day dessert list! Superb David!

    1. I wasn’t sure how to incorporate the ladyfingers into this cheesecake recipe, but pulsing them in the food process to make a base worked quite well. You’ve gotta have ladyfingers in cheesecake! And you’re totally right that this cheesecake would make for a great Christmas Day dessert. Thanks so much, Neil!

  8. 5 stars
    Can you believe I have never made a cheesecake? I have several recipes given to me and I even have a springform pan, but for some reason I haven’t attempted one. This tiramisu cheesecake has me inspired to give it a go. I love all the flavors of tiramisu and I’ll be this is amazing!

    1. WHAT!? Of all people, I would never have guessed that one, Kathy. Do it! Seriously! Cheesecakes are delicious, and they’re so much fun. (I recommend the whole freezing overnight thing as they’re easier to slice – but that’s not a requirement.) This tiramisu version is definitely up there on our list. I hope you get a chance to try your hand at cheesecake! 🙂

    1. This is indeed a really fun dessert, Valentina! I agree with you that tiramisu is a favorite, so of course tiramisu in cheesecake form is also a favorite. 🙂 Thanks so much!

    1. Hey Irina! You know, I think this tiramisu cheesecake could totally be made into a mini version using a muffin pan. For starters, I would recommend using muffin liners. It’ll make the mini-cheesecakes much easier to remove. Aside from that, I would bake them at 350°F for 20 minutes, or until centers are set. From there, just let them cool for 15 minutes and then off to the freezer for 1 hour (at least). Freezing them makes it easier to remove the paper liners. Then just garnish with whipped cream and shaved chocolate before serving. I hope this helps! I haven’t baked this cheesecake in mini-version myself, but I’ve made other mini-cheesecakes, and this one should follow the same steps I think.

      If you try this out as mini-cheesecakes, let me know how it works? Happy baking, and happy holidays! 🙂

    1. Hey Karen! Thank you so much. 🙂 So I like to freeze my cheesecakes not necessarily because they are delicate but rather so that they will come out of the pan easily. Plus, when the cheesecake is frozen (or semi-frozen) it’s a lot easier to get nice, clean slices. Mmmm…cheesecake…

  9. When you say espresso powder do you mean the stuff you’d put in your coffee maker to make a cup of espresso?

    1. Hey Lynzi! Good question – by espresso powder, I mean the kind that is used for baking, not the kind that is used to make actual espresso. I use King Arthur’s espresso powder – https://amzn.to/35Cu0dv. The kind you use to make coffee is a bit coarser, and it doesn’t work that great for baking. Espresso powder is also great if you add a teaspoon or two to chocolate cake – it adds a deeper flavor, but you don’t actually notice a coffee flavor. Either way, I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions!

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