Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake

Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake is every chocolate lovers dream dessert. And this one has a triple dose! It starts with a chocolate cookie crust which is filled with decadent,  rich & creamy dark chocolate cheesecake that has a hefty dose of Kahlua for a boost in flavor. Finally, it’s drizzled with pure liquid dark chocolate and garnished with your favorite berries. Easy to make, no water bath and a cheesecake that that will get rave reviews every time.

Slice with berry garnish being lifted from cake

The first time I made this Kahlua cheesecake was eight years ago for my sister’s visit. When she comes to visit I always like to make her a special dessert. And if there is one thing that my sister and I have in common, it is our love for dark chocolate, cheesecake and Kahlua.  So, a light bulb went off in my brain, and I thought “what better dessert to make than one that encompasses all of her favorites”. This rich and dreamy dark chocolate cheesecake was the perfect choice!

Overhead of decorated Kahlua Cheesecake on white plate.

This cheesecake is really super easy to make and doesn’t even need a water bath to come out perfect every time. Yep, no water bath! Follow the few tips below for making this the best, creamiest cheesecake you’ve ever made.  You’ll be amazed at how a mixture of cream cheese, sour cream and melted dark chocolate, with a touch of Kahlua added in, comes out so richly intense. Now, you are probably asking, why do I need to add kahlua? For the same reason bakers add espresso to some of their chocolate baked goods, it enhances the flavor, deepening it to a rich, chocolaty dream.  

Overhead of cheesecake with slice removed.

Of course, you’ve got to finish it right. And, if you’re anything like me, adding a chocolate drizzle, with more flavor-enhancing Kahlua, is not just an option but a must! I know you are drooling about now, right?! And before you sneak a piece of this Kahlua cheesecake, you’ve got to let it chill in the refrigerator at least 6 hours. The chilling helps the cheesecake to finish setting or firming up to that lush, velvety texture. Prior to being refrigerated, it will be more like eating a firm custard, not exactly what you want.

Slice of cheesecake on white plate.

Now that it’s all chilled, take a bite of all that silky, creamy chocolaty goodness! The flavor is pure magic and as close to chocolate heaven as you’ll find anywhere.  

Tips to make the best dark chocolate cheesecake

  • The most important step to making your cheesecake mixture creamy is to have the cream cheese at room temperature. Leave it out on the counter at least 1-2 hours. You want it to be soft.
  • Remember to also have your cream and eggs at room temperature so that they blend better with the other ingredients.
  • Do not overmix batter. This will cause the cheesecake to rise then fall, pulling away from the sides of the pan and possibly cracking.
  • DO NOT skip the step of leaving the cheesecake in the turned off oven for one hour. Proper cooling will help ensure that the cheesecake does not crack. (Of course, if it does happen, no problem, as the chocolate Kahlua drizzle will cover up any trace of it.)
  • Do not overbake as this can also cause the cake to crack. When the cheesecake is done it will have firm sides and be slightly jiggly in the center. Check this through the oven window as you want to turn the oven off and keep the door close without letting out any of the heat.
  • Do chill your cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to overnight so that it firms up into the firm, creamy texture it should have.
  • When melting the chocolate to add to the cheesecake batter, let it cool for at least 10 minutes. This will prevent any of the other ingredients from curdling and help it blend better.
  • Find more cheesecake tips on my Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake post.

How to make chocolate cheesecake

Making chocolate cookie crust prep.

  1. Gather just 3 ingredients – chocolate cookie wafers, butter and sugar.
  2. Crush cookie wafers in a large resealable plastic bag or in a food chopper.
  3. Mix crumbs with melted butter and sugar and stir.
  4. Place in prepared springform pan and pat down. Use either the back of a measuring cup, a large spoon or your fingers.

Making cheesecake filling prep.

  1. Gather ingredients for the cheesecake. Make sure that the cream cheese is thoroughly softened for the smoothest, creamiest result. You’ll also want your eggs and sour cream to be room temperature to blend more easily.

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. This takes about 3-4 minutes. (not shown)

  1. Combine the eggs, sugar and salt in a medium bowl. Then add sour cream.
  2. Melt the chocolate with butter in a saucepan or in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in-between, until melted. Stir in kahlua. Let cool for 5 minutes. Pour chocolate into egg-sour cream mixture.
  3. Add the chocolate mixture into the beaten cream cheese and beat until well mixed.
  4. Pour into prepared springform pan and bake. 
  5. After baking turn off oven and leave in for 1 hour without opening oven door. Remove and admire your perfectly baked cheesecake!

Lifting serving of chocolate cheesecake on pie server above full cheesecake.

This Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake is so rich, chocolaty and heavenly delicious that you will be making it again and again. It’s a showstopper dessert for special occasions and holiday tables and, if you’re a chocolate addict, it’s good anytime of year. So what are you waiting for – go make it right now! Enjoy!

More delicious cheesecake recipes

Marble Cheesecake is a cool indulgent dessert will melt in your mouth. And there’s no need to make up your mind between vanilla and rich chocolate because this one’s got both! 

Snickers Brownie Cheesecake from My Montana Kitchen has a fudgy brownie base topped with peanuts and caramel cheesecake. And you can’t forget the caramel and chocolate drizzle.

Neapolitan Cheesecake is just like the ice cream, layers of chocolate, vanilla and strawberry goodness all in one creamy, rich cheesecake.

Check out more desserts in my recipe index.

Love quick & easy recipes? Follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter for all the latest recipe inspiration! Plus join my email list here and receive a free e-book.

 

Closeup of slice being lifted from cake.

Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake

This is every chocolate lovers dream. To-die-for, rich & creamy chocolate cheesecake that is taken up a notch with a hint of kahlua then, just to put it over the top, a thick drizzle of more deep dark chocolate. You’ll want to make this ASAP!
Print Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 501kcal
Author: Linda Warren

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs, crushed
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar

Cheesecake:

  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese softened
  • 2 eggs beaten, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate, about 2 3.5-oz Ghiradelli bars, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kahlua
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

Chocolate Kahlua Sauce:

  • 3/4 cups dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Intense Dark)
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons Kahlua

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Chocolate Wafer Crust

  • Place about half a box of chocolate wafers in a large resealable zippered bag and roll over it with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs. Measure out 1-1/2 cups and mix with softened butter and sugar. Press into the bottom of a springform pan and set aside.

Chocolate Cheesecake Filling

  • To make cheesecake filling, beat cream cheese until creamy.
  • In a separate bowl, combine eggs, sugar and salt and mix thoroughly. Add sour cream and blend until smooth.
  • In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt dark chocolate pieces and butter. Add Kahlua and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly, about 5 minutes. (If using microwave, melt in 30 second increments, stirring in-between, until melted.)
  • Pour chocolate into sour cream mixture then add slowly to cream cheese mixture, beating until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour filling onto prepared crust and place in oven.
  • Bake 35 minutes, or just until starting to set, then turn oven off. Leave in oven an additional 60 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, run knife around edges to loosen then let cool 1 hour on wire rack. Loosen outer pan and you can either leave it around cheesecake or remove it. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight to set completely.

Chocolate Kahlua Sauce:

  • Melt dark chocolate, butter and heavy cream in a microwave safe measuring cup in 30 second increments, stirring well after each. Cook until almost all chocolate is melted then stir to melt remaining pieces (should only take 1 or 2 cycles). Add Kahlua, stir, and drizzle over top of refrigerated cake.
  • Decorate with fruit and garnish with a dollop of whipped cream just prior to serving.

Notes

Tips to make the best dark chocolate cheesecake

  • The most important step to making your cheesecake mixture creamy is to have the cream cheese at room temperature. Leave it out on the counter at least 1-2 hours. You want it to be soft.
  • Remember to also have your cream and eggs at room temperature so that they blend better with the other ingredients.
  • Do not overmix batter. This will cause the cheesecake to rise then fall, pulling away from the sides of the pan and possibly cracking.
  • DO NOT skip the step of leaving the cheesecake in the turned off oven for one hour. Proper cooling will help ensure that the cheesecake does not crack. (Of course, if it does happen, no problem, as the chocolate Kahlua drizzle will cover up any trace of it.)
  • Do not overbake as this can also cause the cake to crack. When the cheesecake is done it will have firm sides and be slightly jiggly in the center. Check this through the oven window as you want to turn the oven off and keep the door close without letting out any of the heat.
  • Do chill your cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours to overnight so that it firms up into the firm, creamy texture it should have.
  • When melting the chocolate to add to the cheesecake batter, let it cool for at least 5 minutes. This will prevent any of the other ingredients from curdling and help it blend better.

Nutrition

Calories: 501kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 272mg | Potassium: 327mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 970IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 4.2mg

This post has been updated with easy step-by-step directions and new photos. It was first published on September 26, 2013.

Kahlua Chocolate Cheesecake

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