Tiramisù Cheesecake


It’s crunch time for those of us who love to bake during the holiday season. Kitchens filled with scents of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Cupboards and refrigerators stocked with flour, sugar, butter, and eggs.  And those mixers and ovens… working overtime. These are a few of my favorite things. Also on my list? Tiramisù Cheesecake. Although I make it throughout the year, It’s a requirement for Christmas.  It’s special, unexpected and makes everyone swoon.

I have many Christmas traditions I like to follow, mostly centered around charity, values and decorating. When it comes to food traditions, however, they tend to be ever-changing.  I enjoy coming up with new and different menus each year, but there are a few recipes (like this one) that I consider staples. A couple of years ago, I stumbled across a recipe for a tiramisù cheesecake from the magazine, Fine Cooking. What a great idea, two of my favorite desserts in one!  I adjusted the recipe to my taste, making it my own, and it has been putting smiles on faces ever since. It’s creamy, decadent and perfectly sweet. And even though it looks like it took a lot of effort to prepare, it’s deceptively simple.


Aside from being an outstanding holiday dessert, it also makes for an impressive display when entertaining or treating a loved one to a homemade birthday cake. My dear friend, Jessica, recently held a birthday party for her husband, Aaron. Her talents are many, most notably, her party planning abilities. She has opened her doors for gatherings of all sorts, weddings, baby showers and birthdays. Her home is always warm and inviting, the table settings and dishes served, you’d want to pin on your Pinterest boards and all done with such grace and love. Okay, so Jessica is amazing, but why am I bringing this up? Back to the birthday party for her husband. In addition to her party planning skills, she’s also a busy mom to three little ones with a full-time job outside the house. Helping her out by making the birthday cake, was the least I could do. When deciding on what to make, I immediately thought of this cheesecake. It serves many because only a small slice is needed per guest, It’s best prepared the day before, giving you extra time on the day of your gathering and…most importantly, It. Is. Soooooo. Delicious!


Here are some tips to keep in mind when making this cheesecake:

  1. The cream cheese, mascarpone, and eggs need to be at room temperature.
  2. Once eggs are added to the batter, beat slowly and do not overwhip. Overwhipping will put too much air into your cheesecake and cause cracks.
  3. Remove cheesecake while it still has some jiggle to it.
  4. The cheesecake must be completely cooled (preferably refrigerated overnight) before serving.


One more note before diving into the recipe. I am lucky enough to have a cousin who is the Director of Coffee for Dave’s Coffee in Rhode Island. He gave me the coffee syrup I used in this recipe as a gift. Coffee syrup, if you’re not from Rhode Island, may be foreign to you, but Rhode Islanders regularly put this delicious syrup in milk (as you would chocolate syrup) for a special treat.  I love it, it’s like a sophisticated chocolate milk. I have been wanting to use it in a recipe and thought it would be perfect in this cheesecake. And…it is! The syrup is easily purchased online through Dave’s website and Amazon as well. You will find many uses for your syrup, such as, adding to whipped cream or ice cream, yum! Put some Dave’s coffee in your basket while picking up your syrup, it’s awesome!!! P.S. a fun fact about my cousin Adam, the Director of Coffee, he chose the name for this food blog. I immediately fell in love with the name, that was it, done! It pays to have a younger, hipster cousin, who won’t admit he’s a hipster but totally is. Now, go make this cheesecake and bring happiness to a bunch of people by doing so!

Yields: (1) 9-inch cheesecake    Serves: 12-14    Special Equipment: 9-inch springform pan



  • 1 (9 oz. package) chocolate wafer cookies (like these), finely crushed or processed in a food processor
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (8 oz.) tub mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup coffee syrup (like Dave’s) or 1/4 cup coffee liquor
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso granules
  • 1 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature


  • cocoa powder
  • sweetened whipped cream placed in a piping bag fitted with a star tip
  • cocoa dusted almonds or chocolate covered espresso beans



Preheat oven to 375°
Place rack in the center of the oven
Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan
In a medium-size bowl, mix together the wafer crumbs, sugar, espresso powder and melted butter. Stir with a fork to combine well. Dump mixture into your prepared springform pan and press evenly along the bottom and up the sides (about halfway up the sides of the pan) with the bottom of a glass. Place springform pan with pressed crust onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 8-10 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool on on a rack. Decrease oven temperature to 300°.
Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, flour and salt on medium speed until smooth, this will take about five minutes, stopping and scraping the sides, bottom of the bowl and paddle with a spatula a few times. Add the sugar and continue to beat well for about 2 minutes more. Ensure there are no lumps before adding the coffee syrup, espresso powder, and vanilla, mix briefly. Finally, the eggs go in one at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition, until completely combined. Remeber, you do not want to whip air into your cheesecake at this point, it will only lead to cracks. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, place back on the lined cookie sheet and bake in 300° oven for 60-70 minutes. The cheesecake will be slightly puffed around the edges and still jiggly in the center. Remove to a cooling rack, and cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours prior to serving.
For optional garnish, I place 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder into a small mesh strainer and lightly dust the entire surface of the cake. I then beat 1 cup of chilled heavy cream with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar until you have firm peaks, being careful not to overbeat. Fill a pastry bag fitted with a star attachment with beaten whipped cream and pipe large rosettes around the edge.  To complete, I place a cocoa dusted almond or chocolate covered espresso bean on each rosette. That’s it, you’re done, and your cheesecake is now dressed to impress!



8 thoughts on “Tiramisù Cheesecake

  1. Yum, Sara! This looks delicious!

    1. Thanks, Carrie! It’s my favorite cheesecake.

  2. Thanks for the links to unfamiliar ingredients! I’m making this for my own birthday!!!

    1. You’ll love it, Susan!

  3. This sounds wonderful, and is actually somewhat similar to one I made for last night… New Year’s Eve. I was talking to Adam B. by text, this morning… after wishing him a Happy New Year, and he suggested I look at your cakeandclever site. I am so glad he did. I will try your recipe the next time I make this. I was told, last night, that my cheesecake was the best they had ever eaten. I think it is the mascarpone that makes a big difference… among some of the other hints. Adam, by the way, as you know, is a wonderful baker, and good cook, as well. So happy to learn of your work! Happy New Year!

    1. Thank You, Frances. Yes, the mascarpone does make a big difference in the texture. And… I am always impressed with Adam’s creations, he’s a very talented baker! I really appreciate you visiting the blog, it’s been something I’ve longed to do for quite some time. Happy New Year!

  4. I did make this on Saturday for a family get-together. It was delicious. I did make a change: it had to be made gluten freex I found some GF brownies (all I could find on short notice at the store in which I normally shop) and crumbled them in the processor with coffee crystals and very little butter.Taking the baked crust from the oven, the butter started to pool on top of the crust, so I blotted it up, and just continued. (This sounds like failure in the making) But it turned out beautifully! I grated some semi-sweet chocolate on the top, and had found chocolate covered coffee beans at the local food coop. It was much better than the one I made for New Year’s Eve. Thank you for your good recipe and advise.
    P.S. I don’t consider myself an expert baker; but it is totally fun and creative. I love it.

    1. I am so happy to hear it was successful for you! I really appreciate your feedback. Ensuring that the recipes I put up on the blog are easily replicated is very important to me. You’re right, baking is very enjoyable and my favorite way to express my creativity. Also, so nice to produce something to be shared with others.

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