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Cappuccino-Fudge Cheesecake

Patricia Reitz

I spotted this Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake on Smitten Kitchen recently and, after reading the most tantalizing description, hoped an opportunity would soon present itself so I could make it.  To my delight, a dinner invitation was extended to our family shortly thereafter.  The cheesecake was a huge hit and several dinner guests proclaimed it to be the best cheesecake they'd ever eaten.  Plan ahead, this cheesecake should be made at least 1 day ahead (or up to 4 days ahead).

I used a plain round tip to pipe the lattice design and a star tip to pipe the decorative edge.

Important Tip: Don't let the piped ganache border chill against the springform pan because the cold ganache will glue the pan and cheesecake together like cement.  To avoid this, I removed the pan sides before piping, wrapped the naked cheesecake with a long strip of parchment paper, then piped the border and chilled the cheesecake until the ganache was firm before carefully peeling the parchment away.  For a clean presentation, each cut I make into any cheesecake is done with a sharp knife that has been warmed with hot water and dried.

Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

makes one 10-inch cheesecake

Printable Recipe



  • 9 ounces chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

  • 6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 20 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 1/4 cup Kahlúa or other coffee-flavored liqueur


  • 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons rum (light or dark)

  • 2 tablespoons instant espresso powder 

  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

  • 2 teaspoons molasses

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature



To make the crust:

  1. Pulse cookie crumbs, chopped chocolate, brown sugar, nutmeg, and melted butter in a food processor.

  2. Press crumb mixture evenly into a 10-inch springform pan, across the bottom and up the sides until it reaches 1/2-inch from the top of the pan. Chill until needed.

To make the ganache:

  1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl.

  2. In a saucepan over medium high heat, bring heavy cream to a simmer.

  3. Remove cream from heat and pour over chocolate and Kailua; rest for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

  4. Pour 1 to 1 1/2 cups ganache over bottom and sides of chilled crust and freeze until ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.

  5. Reserve remaining ganache; cover and let stand at room temperature to use later for garnish. 

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and place rack in center position.

  2. in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a BeaterBlade attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar on low speed until smooth. 

  3. Add flour, rum, espresso powder, vanilla, and molasses, beat until smooth, then add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.

  4. Pour filling into crust and place springform pan on rimmed half sheet pan.

  5. Bake for 1 hour, remove from oven and transfer cheesecake to a cooling rack for 15 minutes while preparing the topping. Don’t turn oven off yet.

To make the topping:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla.

  2. Pour evenly; return to oven for 10 minutes.

  3. Remove from oven and transfer cheesecake to cooling rack until pretty cool, about 3 hours.

To decorate the cheesecake:

  1. Run small sharp knife between crust and pan sides to loosen cake; release pan sides and transfer cheesecake to platter.

  2. Using a pastry bag and tips of your choice, pipe ganache in a lattice design on top of the cheesecake, and pipe a decorative border around top edge and garnish with coffee beans, if desired. 

  3. Chill until lattice is firm, about 15 minutes.  Keep chilled in an airtight container.