mocha cheesecake

Mocha Cheesecake

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As I grow older, I’m finding that I become pickier and pickier with my desserts. It’s such an odd feeling. It used to be that when I was young, I’d eat almost any kind of dessert but avoid eating foods like eggplant and hot sauce at all costs. Now, I find the reverse to be true. I adore eggplant and hot sauce, but have come to feel ambivalent about certain desserts. Cheesecake, for example, is usually not a dessert I find myself feeling compelled to eat or make. But I think I need to elaborate on this, because some of you might be thinking whaaa? What I mean is that, by normal standards, I enjoy cheesecake. By foodie standards, I will not weep if it’s not on the dessert menu. I’m much more apt to order an affogato than a slice of cheesecake. And that’s because I’m pretty much a sucker for any kind of coffee dessert. I recently made a gluten-free mocha icebox cake for a gathering, and it inspired me to get a little creative with mocha flavoring. I thought, if I love coffee-flavored desserts so much, there’s got to be a way to extend that love to cheesecake. And so this mocha cheesecake was born, and what a glorious birth it was. 

mocha cheesecake

mocha cheesecake

While this mocha cheesecake could certainly work with a classic graham cracker crust, I think the Oreo crust is a better move. The Oreo cookie is obviously a chocolate cookie, which not only compliments the chocolate element of the cake, but it also lends that slightly bitter quality that coffee exudes as well. Since cheesecake is usually decadent enough on its own, I decided to kind of turn this dessert into a deconstructed mocha cheesecake in the sense that I separated the coffee and chocolate flavors. I mixed dissolved instant espresso powder into the cheesecake batter, and then brushed a thin layer of dark chocolate ganache onto the surface before sprinkling Oreo crumbs all over the top. I think it keeps the flavors distinct and recognizable, but they still blend well with each bite. 

mocha cheesecake mocha cheesecake mocha cheesecake

Another goal I had with this mocha cheesecake was to really add a touch of something elegant and “grown-up” to Oreo cheesecake. This may just be me, but I tend to think of Oreo cheesecake as a childhood favorite. Usually you don’t see Oreo cheesecake as a dessert option at finer dining establishments or fancy dinner parties. If there’s cheesecake, it’s typically New York cheesecake with a raspberry or strawberry coulis. I wanted to find a way to incorporate my favorite childhood cookie, Oreos, into a dessert that was fit for a nice dinner party, and I think coffee flavorings are the best way to do that. Coffee, or mocha, is often a flavor that you don’t give to children, usually because they don’t even like it themselves. But us adults? Most of us love it, and if you’re one of those people, you will definitely love this mocha cheesecake!

mocha cheesecake mocha cheesecake

mocha cheesecake

Mocha Cheesecake

Yield: 10


for the crust

  • 1 1/2 c Oreo crumbs
  • 5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar

for the filling

  • 2 oz pkgs of cream cheese, 16 total, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp instant coffee granules dissolves in 2 tbsp warm milk
  • 1/2 c sour cream
  • 2 eggs

for the topping

  • 2 oz dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • c Oreo crumbs for topping, about 1/4


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 10-inch springform pan. Create your crust by stirring the Oreo crumbs with the granulated sugar. Add the melted butter and combine until all the crumbs are moist from the butter. Pour this mixture into the bottom of your springform pan. Evenly spread out with a spatula, then use a flatbottom glass to make it completely even and smooth throughout.
  2. Bake the crust for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool until it’s just slightly warm. Meanwhile, create your filling by beating the cream cheese with the brown sugar on medium speed. Once combined and smooth (about 1 minute), use a rubber spatula to scrape the cheese off the sides of the bowl. Add in the vanilla extract and dissolved coffee; mix again on medium speed just until they’re incorporated.
  3. Stop and again scrape the sides of the bowl, then add in the sour cream. Again, mix just until incorporated. Add in the eggs, one at at time, while the mixer is on medium low speed. Stop the mixer as soon as the eggs are blended in. Give everything one final, big stir with your spatula before pouring the filling in the crust.
  4. Place the pan onto a larger baking sheet, and put the entire thing in the oven to bake for approximately 1 hour 20 minutes, or until only the center is slightly jiggly when you move the pan back and forth. Afterwards, slide a sharp knife around around the edges of the cheesecake; let the cheesecake rest in the pan on the counter until it’s come to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap ad place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, or until it’s completely chilled.
  5. Before serving, create the ganache by heating the heavy cream in a small saucepan. Once the cream starts simmering along the edges of the pan, remove from heat and add the chocolate. Stir the chocolate until it’s completely melted. Use an offset spatula to apply a thin coating of chocolate onto the top of the cheesecake. Drop the Oreo crumbs all over the top so as to cover the entire surface of the cheesecake.

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  1. I think when I was young, I could afford to eat dessert for sport, but the older me needs to eat only ones that are worth the calories. This mocha cheesecake is worth all the calories! In fact, I’ll have two slices!

    1. I know what you mean! I can even tell the difference in my metabolism between now and 5 years ago even though I’m still young. Thanks so much for your kind words, Thao!

  2. While I absolutely love dessert, I too am a little more pickier about it now. Forget the dried out stuff from the grocery store, I want something that was made with good ingredients and love. This cheesecake definitely fits the bill!

    1. I feel you, Danae! If we’re going to indulge, it’s got to be the good stuff! 🙂 Thanks for your kind words!

    1. We’ve become dessert snobs! It’s definitely a difficult thing to deal with when you’re going to places with subpar dessert…our expectations are just too high 😉 So glad you like this cheesecake, and thank you for the sweet words, Arpita!! 🙂

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