Kahlua Cheesecake


I couldn’t resist making another cheesecake – after all it’s been.. hmm, about 3 months.. far too long! This time, a Kahlua/coffee/chocolate combo called my name. And crikey, might I add that you don’t want to be making this one for the little ‘uns – it’s definitely an R18!

I searched high and low and found this recipe from Cooks Recipes.com. I followed the recipe reasonably closely, though I omitted a couple of ingredients from the base (i.e. sugar – not sure why you add sugar when biscuits are already sweet, and cocoa – thought it might have been over-kill) and kept it pretty simple with plain biscuits. In hindsight, I’m not sure whether I should have ditched the cocoa (a dark base would have looked better I reckon), so I’ve left it in the recipe. Next time, I might go with an Oreo cookie/melted butter combo.

Another change I made was to the cooking temperature. The original recipe called to bake the cheesecake at 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). I know that for my oven, that would be too high and crack the cake, so I kept the temperature at a more moderate 160C (325F). It didn’t seem to take much longer to cook anyway – maybe 5 minutes. However, I’ve left the original temperature in, but my advice is cook the cheesecake in a way that suits your oven – as long as you check for the signs it’s ready (i.e. not quite set, and still quite jello-like in the middle), you’ll be fine.

And, just a word of caution – this cheesecake is very heavy on the old alcohol. And while the men-folk loved the strong flavour, the women-folk weren’t as keen. I’d probably halve the amount next time around, so I suggest you add a quarter cup initially, then taste it.

Finally, a comment on the ‘water bath/no water bath’ debate. I’ve now cooked cheesecakes both ways several times and as far as I’m concerned there seems to be no discernible difference between a cheesecake baked in a water bath and one that’s not (I know this flies in the face of convention). So I put this cheesecake straight into the oven, as per the original recipe, and I’m happy to report it didn’t crack and the texture was beautiful and silky.

And, now with that overly long diatribe out of the way, here’s the recipe. Enjoy.


Serves 8-10

Ingredients: (Click here for Unit Converter)


  • 200g crushed biscuits (such as shortbread or graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened baking cocoa (optional)
  • About 85-95g butter, melted


  • 500g cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup espresso coffee (or 1/4 cup brewed coffee, or 1/4 cup boiling water with 2 tsp coffee powder/granules)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup Kahlua or coffee liqueur, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 250g sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Dark chocolate, grated


  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F).
  2. For Crust: Put biscuits in food processor and blend until they resemble fine crumbs. Add cocoa and melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until firm but not browned; cool.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 190°C (375°F).
  4. For Filling: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar, mixing well. Beat in cocoa. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in coffee liqueur, coffee and vanilla. Pour into the cooled crust. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sides are set but there is a distinct jello-like wobble in the centre. Take the cheesecake out and place it on a wire rack.
  5. Raise temperature in oven to 220°C (425°F).
  6. For Topping: Combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in a small bowl; mix well. Spread evenly over the hot cheesecake. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes – don’t overcook it – it will just start to lose its shine and then firm up once chilled.
  7. Remove cheesecake from oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Refrigerate, covered lightly with foil, for at least 8 hours or preferably overnight.
  8. Carefully remove cheesecake from pan and garnish with grated chocolate. Take out of the fridge about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting


6 thoughts on “Kahlua Cheesecake

    1. Hi Maria. Yes, absolutely you can substitute. Either use a quarter cup of regular brewed coffee, or use a quarter cup of boiling water and add perhaps a couple of teaspoons of coffee powder. So long as the coffee is good quality, you shouldn’t really taste any difference at all. PS: I’ll add that to the recipe too. Thanks!

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