Serves a Crowd

Cappuccino Cheesecake

June 21, 2021
10 Ratings
  • Serves 12 servings
Author Notes

Imagine the perfect cup of cappuccino: frothy froth on top with a sprinkle of cocoa, creamy rich coffee with a touch of sweetness underneath, and that "Ahhh," that you can't help sighing. That is how I imagine this cheesecake.

I garnish the whipped cream top with chocolate covered coffee beans, then grate unsweetened chocolate over the surface of the whipped cream. I like the touch of bitterness with the sweet cream as it yields to the coffee flavor in the filling.

Definitely plan to make your cheesecake 24 hours before you plan to serve it. It's important that it have ample time to cool completely and set up.

And one more note: to safely remove the baking sheet full of hot water from the oven after removing the cheesecake, just leave the oven door open until the water has cooled enough that you can handle it without burning yourself. - boulangere

Test Kitchen Notes

Boulangere's cheesecake is rich but not overly sweet, with the thrum of instant espresso pulsing in the background. The cake is gorgeous once you've put it all together, and we noticed that a cross section mimics the layers of an actual cappuccino -- the cocoa-infused crumb crust creates a dark thin base; this is followed by the latte-hued filling; and then there's the creamy cap on top. A note: we found that we only needed half the whipped cream, so make just what you need, or save the rest for another day. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 5 ounces graham cracker crumbs
  • 14 ounces granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 3 ounces butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temp
  • 5 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 2 tablespoons Medaglia d'Oro instant espresso
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 12 chocolate covered coffee beans
  • Unsweetened chocolate for grating
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Put a kettle of water on the stove to heat.
  2. Stir together crumbs, 2 ounces granulated sugar, cocoa powder, melted butter, and pinch of salt until fully blended. Spread evenly over the bottom of a 10" springform pan, then press very firmly all over.
  3. If eggs are not at room temp, fill a bowl with warm (not hot) water and soak them for 5 minutes, then remove. You'll be making an emulsion with the cream cheese, sugar, and eggs, and your results will be much better if all ingredients are at room temp. For cream cheese, I let it sit out overnight.
  4. Measure cream cheese and 12 ounces granulated sugar into bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle. Mix on lowest speed until fully blended and no lumps of cream cheese remain. Stop mixer, drop bowl and scrape very thoroughly around sides and bottom. Raise bowl and mix to blend what you scraped loose.
  5. Crack eggs into a bowl. With mixer running on lowest speed, tip one at a time into mixer bowl. This is your emulsion; take your time and allow each to be fully incorporated before adding the next. After all eggs have been added, once again stop mixer, drop bowl and scrape very thoroughly around sides and bottom then raise bowl and mix to blend what you scraped loose.
  6. Warm 1/2 cup cream in a microwave just enough so that you can dissolve the coffee in it. Stir to blend, then add to filling mixture along with vanilla. Mix on lowest speed until fully incorporated.
  7. If your springform pan is prone to leaking, you may want to wrap the outside with foil. Turn filling into pan. Set pan in the center of a rimmed baking sheet. Set the baking sheet on center rack in oven with front edge protruding slightly. Carefully pour hot water into baking sheet until it comes almost to the lip of the sheet. Gently slide it the rest of the way into the oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes. Start watching it carefully at 45 minutes. Custards are done when you can bump the edge of the baking vessel and the contents will, I'm not making this up, jiggle like jello, not wiggle like a wave.
  8. When done, remove cheesecake pan from oven and allow to cool to room temp before refrigerating overnight. The next day, run some warm water into a sink and set the cheesecake pan in it for a few seconds. Remove to a towel and run a narrow spatula all the way around edge. Release and remove springform ring. Whip remaining cream with powdered sugar and spread over top of cheesecake. Arrange chocolate covered coffee beans evenly around edge, then grate unsweetened chocolate over the top -- as much as you like.
  9. The best way to cut a cheesecake is with a hot, wet, flat-bladed knife (not a curved chef's knife). Run your blade under hot water, shake it off slightly, make a cut, then repeat for as many slices as you need, being sure to rinse all cheesecake off before making the next cut.
  10. Serve with a steaming cup of espresso.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Krysta Minatta
    Krysta Minatta
  • Hollis Ramsey
    Hollis Ramsey
  • charles
  • Annie stader
    Annie stader
  • AtlantaAnnie

92 Reviews

Victoria April 11, 2023
I made this cheesecake for a dinner party, and my guests just swooned over it. It tastes divine, and it looks beautiful. I read the comments from some reviewers who said that they thought the amount of whipped cream called for in the recipe for the topping was overly abundant. I bought a pint of heavy whipping cream and used a 1/2 cup in the cake batter, as called for in the recipe, and used the remaining 1.5 cups for the topping. It turned out perfectly (I used a 10" springform pan). Since one of my guests could eat only gluten free food, I made a chocolate buckwheat crust, which paired wonderfully with the cheesecake. The leftovers froze beautifully as individually wrapped slices. Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe.
boulangere April 11, 2023
Thank you, Victoria! I find that the greater amount of whipped cream offsets the coffee flavor nicely. Plus, I just really love whipped cream. To each one's own!
Victoria April 25, 2023
I persuaded my brother, who hates cheesecake and refuses to eat it, to try THIS cheesecake. He actually enjoyed it. That's how good this recipe is!
Ckay June 21, 2021
I made this in a 8” springform pan and just baked it for an additional 10 minutes. It could’ve probably used another 5 or 10 minutes as the center was slightly underdone, but it came out delicious. I used a mixture of graham crackers and amaretti cookies for the crust and would highly recommend that again! Will probably put way more chocolate shavings on it next time to get a better hit of chocolate
Alyssa November 29, 2019
This cheesecake is amazing. I’ve made it 3 times and each time everyone always loves it. Last time I didn’t have instant coffee so I just used coffee grounds and it worked fine. I make a quarter of the whipped cream because I find that the recipe makes too much for my preference, but in the past I’ve just frozen the extra.
Krysta M. September 25, 2019
This is the most delicious cheesecake I've ever made. Thank you for the perfect recipe!
Hollis R. May 30, 2019
hey there, boulangere! i must copy my Philly cheesecake recipe for you, if you'd like. it has 1 lb. each of cream cheese, ricotta, and sour cream. no crust whatsoever, not even a dollop of schlag. just a solid hunk of cheesecake. and there's a story behind the recipe.
Arlene February 24, 2019
Wondering if anyone has made this in a 9” springform pan with same success?
charles December 5, 2018
I have made this cheesecake multiple times and it has been a constant hit. I don't worry about grating the chocolate on top. I normally just do the espresso beans and if I feel a need to do more I just do a light dusting of the cocoa powder.

The recipe is easy. I have had no problem following the instructions and it has turned out great each time.
boulangere December 5, 2018
Thank you so very kindly, Charles! Your finishes sound lovely, and I am sure they look beautiful. Happy Holidays to you!
Li June 16, 2018
Would love to make this. Instant espresso is a bit hard to source where I'm from, just wondering if anyone has tried this with instant coffee instead and how much to add?
boulangere June 17, 2018
I understand, Li. It can be difficult to find sometimes. By all means go ahead and use a good instant coffee, and simply double the amount.
Kaja1105 June 13, 2018
I've probably made this cheesecake a dozen times, and it is legendary among my friends and family. The level of detail in the instructions makes the recipe perfect for first-time cheesecake bakers, including my son, who made it a number of times with his friends when he was away at college.
boulangere June 17, 2018
Wow. It says a lot for your inspiration that your son took it to college it’s him. I imagine he has handfuls of grateful friends. Thank you so much.
Lorraine L. June 10, 2017
Sounds delish. I have a box of speculoos cookies at home. Do you think those would work as a base with this cheesecake?
boulangere June 17, 2018
I’m just catching up to your question, Lorraine, though I suspect you’ve long since either found a more timely answer or figured, what the heck, and went ahead and did it anyway. Which is exactly what I would have suggested. I’d love to hear how you liked it. Anytime in the next year is just fine.
Annie S. October 23, 2015
Could I freeze this lovely cheesecake? I would like to send it to my daughter. I freeze and send home cooked meals to her often.
boulangere October 23, 2015
Annie, it freezes perfectly. Simply double-wrap it in good plastic. What a lovely thing to do for your daughter.
AtlantaAnnie July 15, 2013
how can I make this a dirty chai cheesecake? How much chai should I add?
boulangere December 5, 2011
It's always a good idea to prepare any cheesecake at least 24 hours before your plan to serve it. Making and baking it are really the least of it all. The important part is to rest it in the fridge for at least 12 hours before depanning it. That way, it dehydrates naturally a bit to concentrate flavors. I hope this helps you.
Full-Flavored C. May 28, 2011
I made this last night for a dinner party, and it was fantastic! My new favorite cheesecake: light, creamy, and with the perfect intensity of coffee flavor. Thank you!
boulangere May 28, 2011
Wonderful news - always happy to create a convert. BTW, leave out the coffee, up the vanilla extract and add the juice of half a lemon and you've got a classic NY cheesecake.
lschrive May 23, 2011
I just made this over the weekend for my husband's birthday - amazing! (You made me look so good!) I didn't have any chocolate covered espresso beans so I just grated chocolate over the whipped cream - delish! Thank you!
boulangere May 23, 2011
Hey, you're the baker - grab every bit of credit due! Happy birthday to your fortunate husband. And nothing was lost for want of the coffee beans, I'm sure.
Angela May 22, 2011
made this tonight, along with the late night brine chicken, for a birthday dinner party. it was fabulous! can't wait for an excuse to make it again and again. thank you boulangere!
boulangere May 22, 2011
Thank you so much! Your dinner sounds wonderful. Belated birthday happiness.
boulangere May 6, 2011
Thank you so very much, food 52. I'm extremely touched to have had two recipes chosen as EPs this week.
Sagegreen May 4, 2011
Congrats, boulangere! Wonderful recipe.
boulangere May 4, 2011
Thanks very much.
Pamela's K. May 4, 2011
Congratulations boulangere!
boulangere May 4, 2011
Thank you so much!
Daphne May 3, 2011
This will be one of the first things I make when the kitchen is done. This and the chocolate cake!
boulangere May 4, 2011
You've embraced a huge project with such grace. You're going to merit many happy rewards when it's done!