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This classic coffee cheesecake recipe is luxuriously creamy, perfectly smooth, and rich with coffee flavor. Baked in a 9-inch springform pan, the coffee cheesecake filling sits on a buttery, homemade graham cracker crust. I also share my kitchen-tested trick for baking perfect cheesecake without a water bath below. It’s a game-changer!
Ask me what my favorite sweet flavor is and I will always say coffee. There is something about it that I just cant get enough of. Like these chocolate chunk coffee cookies, coffee cupcakes, or coffee frosting that is good on just about any cake recipe.
As a trained pastry chef, making cheesecake doesn’t scare me and it shouldn’t scare you either! It really is easy to make once you learn the hack I have for a no water bath cheesecake!
You’ll need to use cream cheese at room temperature to make this recipe so that the batter is silky and not lumpy. If the cream cheese is too cold, it wont mix well into the batter leaving lumps. If you forgot to leave your cream cheese out, check out these tips on how to soften cream cheese quickly.
Why you’ll love this recipe
If you’re a serious coffee lover, you’ll love that there is coffee baked into every part of this coffee flavored cheesecake.
I’m talking in the graham cracker crust, in the filling, and then decorated on top with more chocolate covered espresso beans.
Plus I have tips for making the perfect cheesecake every time!
What kind of coffee to use
I use instant coffee in this recipe. It’s just the easiest thing to have on hand when baking and it has a concentrated flavor. It can be the powder or the granules, whatever you have on hand!
- baking spray
- graham cracker crumbs
- cream cheese- I buy the bricks, you’ll need 3
- white sugar
- sour cream
- half n half or cream
- instant coffee- any instant coffee will do!
- all purpose flour
- Mixer- hand or stand
- 9″ springform pan – this is the best spring for pan because it easily releases from the sides.
- 9×13 aluminum tin or baking pan
How to Make Coffee flavored Cheesecake
- Make the coffee infused graham cracker crust. In a medium, microwavable safe bowl melt the butter. Add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and dry instant coffee granules, and mix well. Spray the spring form pan with baking spray and press the crumbs into the bottom and sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Make the cheesecake filling. Add the cream cheese and sugar to the bowl of a hand or stand mixer and mix on medium speed till combined. Add in the sour cream with the mixer on low, then add in the 3 eggs one at a time mixing in between. Pour in the half and half. Combine the instant coffee with 1/2 cup water and pour that in too. Sift 1/4 cup (or don’t if your’e being lazy) flour and pour it into the batter.
- Mix on medium-high speed until a smooth batter forms, about 2 minutes. Pour the batter into the springform pan.
- Fill an aluminum tray (preferably a 9×13) with water 1″ high and place on the bottom rack of your oven. Put the cheesecake on the top rack and bake for 45-55 minutes.
- Turn off the oven when the cheesecake is done but don’t remove it from the oven. Leaving the oven door open slightly, let the cheesecake cool down for 1 hour. Then remove and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.
How to tell when a cheesecake is done
A cheesecake is done when the sides of the cheesecake are set but the middle still has a little jiggle to it. You don’t want the middle to be firm, otherwise it will be over baked.
The jiggle in the middle will firm up in the fridge!
How to make a cheesecake with no water bath
YES I SAID IT, and yes you can do it. I have baked cheesecake so many times in my last (almost) 10 years of professional baking and have figured out a way to do it.
All you have to do is place a tray of water underneath the cheesecake like I mentioned in the “how to” section above. The steam from the water will rise and will have the same effect as a water bath only you wont be worrying if your cheesecake will get ruined the entire time.
Seriously I have always hated using the traditional water bath because:
- It was never 100% leak proof
- It’s so dangerous trying to get it out of the oven- you can spill the hot water on you or worse, all over the cheesecake.
When I bake cheesecakes this way, they come out perfect every single time, with no cracks!
So now I never use a water bath, I just stick a tray of water on the bottom rack instead!
How to cool a cheesecake
Another way to make the most perfect cheesecake is to cool it the right way.
When the baked cheesecake is done, do not take it right out of the oven. Instead turn off the oven and leave the door open slightly. Let it cool for an hour, then remove it from the oven and let it sit on the counter for another 20 minutes or so.
Then you can move it into the fridge to chill and firm up for a minimum of 4 hours.
Baking the cheesecake in the way I mentioned, and cooling it the right way will ensure that you have no cracks!
Storing and Freezing
Store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 1 week. Freeze individual slices or the whole thing but wrapping it tightly in freezer safe plastic wrap and then wrapping again in tin foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Decorate the cheesecake with homemade or store bought whipped cream and chopped or whole chocolate covered espresso beans.
If you are making this recipe in advance, decorate right before serving.
Tips for making cheesecake
- Room temperature ingredients– make sure all your refrigerated ingredients come to room temperature first. This will help make the batter smooth instead of lumpy.
- Use a small measuring cup to press the graham cracker crust into the springform pan. You want it to be firmly pressed.
- Follow the water bath hack and cooling instructions above for a no-crack cheesecake.
- If you don’t have graham cracker crumbs you can make your own by pulverizing graham crackers. You’ll need 7-8 graham crackers.
- Don’t over-bake! The middle of the cheesecake should still jiggle when it’s ready to come out of the oven.
- To remove the cheesecake from the springform pan, use a knife around the edges to separate the cheesecake, the unhook the pan.
Why does my cheesecake crack?
Your cheesecake is cracking because it is over baked or because you took it out of the oven too soon and the change in temperature made it drop and crack. Make sure you turn off the oven when the cheesecake is still jiggly in the middle!
How do you prevent a cheesecake cracking?
Use my water bath hack! The steam from the water keeps the cheesecake from cracking. See above for how to do it, its really so easy and better than the traditional way.
What is the best cream cheese to use for cheesecake?
I like Philadelphia or Publix brand cream cheese that comes in the bars because its easy to measure out. Stay away from whipped cream cheese, you don’t want that.
How to make fluffy cheesecake?
To make fluffy cheesecake make sure to sift your dry ingredients and use all cold ingredients at room temperature. Mix well and don’t over bake!
Does cheesecake need sour cream?
I like to use it because it adds a level of creamy-ness and adds that extra tang that is so classic in cheesecake. So yes you should use it.
More cheesecake recipes you’ll love
- Mini cheesecake bites
- Cranberry cheesecake bars
- Salted caramel cheesecake
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes
- Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake
Perfect Coffee Cheesecake (No Water Bath)
Coffee Infused Graham Cracker Crust
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs or 7-8 graham crackers pulverized
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp instant coffee granules dry, not brewed, straight from the can
- Baking spray
Coffee Cheesecake Filling
- 24 oz cream cheese 3 cream cheese bricks, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream room temperature
- 3 eggs large, room temperature
- 1/4 cup half n half or cream, room temperature
- 3 tsp instant coffee dry
- 1/2 cup water warm
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- whipped cream
- chocolate covered espresso beans
Make the Coffee Infused Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. In a medium size microwavable safe bowl, melt the 1/3rd cup butter. Add the 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 2 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp instant coffee granules, and mix well. The consistency should be like wet sand.
- Spray a 9" springform pan with baking spray and press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use a small measuring cup to help press it in. Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown.
Make the Coffee Cheesecake Filling
- In the bowl of a hand or stand mixer add the 3 bricks of cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, add in the 3/4 cup sour cream, and eggs one at a time mixing in between each addition. Add in the 1/4 cup half n half with the mixer running on low and continue to mix. You may have to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine the 3 tsp instant coffee with 1/2 cup warm water and slowly add it to the mixture on low speed. Add the 1/4 cup flour in slowly, and mix on medium speed for 2 more minutes.
- Pour 1 inch of water from your sink into a 9×13" pan and place on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the graham cracker crust and place it on the top rack in the oven. Bake for 45-55. mins. Check the cheesecake after 45 minutes. If the sides are set but the middle is still a little jiggly, it's done!
- Turn the oven off but leave the cheesecake inside with the oven door cracked open to cool for one hour. Remove and set on the counter for another 20 mins, then transfer to the fridge to chill for a minimum of 4 hours.
- Decorate with whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans and serve.
- You can use any kind of instant coffee in this recipe. For the crust the coffee is used straight from the can and is not dissolved in water. For the cheesecake filling, it is.
- To prevent cracking use the water bath hack mentioned in the post and cool the cheesecake in a turned off oven for one hour before moving it to the fridge.
- I always use a springform pan for cheesecakes because they make is super easy to remove the cheesecake from.
- Learn how to soften cream cheese quickly.
Can I use espresso powder instead of instant coffee? I have a jar of it that I don’t know what to do with besides add to chocolate. Thanks. This recipe is exactly what I’ve been looking for.
Sam Adler says
Hey Dawn! So funny you should ask because I specifically didnt put espresso powder in this recipe because it’s hard to find and always comes in a huge jar that I didnt want to make people buy haha! But yes, you can totally swap the espresso powder just in smaller increments because it’s more concentrated. In the crust I would add only 1- 1/2 tsp espresso powder and for the cheesecake I would add 2 tsp to the water. Hope that helps, and thank you so much for the rating!
Elaine Zygmanik says
I want to make in 10″ spring form pan with 4 blocks of cream cheese. How would I increase the other ingredients?
Sam Adler says
Hi Elaine! You can make the recipe as its stated, the 1″ in difference between the 9 and 10 inch springform pan wont make a difference. This recipe already calls for 4 blocks of cream cheese.
Sam Adler says
Ahh! I just realized I was looking at a different cheesecake recipe. For this coffee cheesecake if you want to use 4 blocks of cream cheese you can add 1/4 cup sugar,1/4 cup sour cream and an extra egg. Hope it works out!