Tiramisu Cheesecake

tiramisu cheesecake

I joined my brother and his family for their first trip to Italy recently as their unofficial tour guide. My first duty was to introduce them to one of the greatest food pleasures in Italy, a daily dose of gelato. Both my nieces’ favorite gelato flavor, hands down, was Tiramisu. The girls had included it in their daily gelato scoops. You might say I’m a bad influence, but there are so many worse habits you can have than needing a daily fix of gelato, right?


Gelato in Italy

They were so in love with the Tiramisu gelato that they asked me if I could make a Tiramisu cheesecake when we got back to the U.S. Funny that they didn’t just ask me to make Tiramisu gelato for them. Cheesecake is one of my specialties, and one of their favorite desserts, so I didn’t think twice about their request. When one of my niece’s birthdays rolled around, I made her this cheesecake. It actually matched the creamy texture and flavor of the gelato very well; the cake is just a little denser. This could be the perfect Italian-American combination. The famous desserts of each country in one.


Tiramisu Cheesecake recipe

When making my take on the traditional Tiramisu dessert, I use rum, coffee, and a little melted chocolate for soaking the ladyfingers. In this recipe, I played with a few combinations of liquor and liqueur. When I used rum in the cheesecake, the rum flavor disappeared after it baked. All you could taste was coffee, and I didn’t want to make a coffee cheesecake, but a Tiramisu one. I prefer how the creamy Bailey’s and coffee-flavored Kahlua combine with the espresso powder. Neither flavor, liqueur or coffee, overshadowed the other, similar to the way those flavors are balanced in Tiramisu. If you want to know about the original Tiramisu recipe from Treviso, Monica makes a delicious one. (I’ve had it several times!)


Tiramisu cheesecake made with Kahlua and Baileys

Tiramisu Cheesecake
(makes one 9-inch cake)

For the crust:
1 ½ cups ground graham crackers
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2  1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
3 egg yolks, at room temperature
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons Kahlua
1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
4 teaspoons espresso coffee powder

1/4 cup chocolate shavings, for the garnish
Sweetened whipped cream, for the garnish

Preheat oven to 375ºF and butter the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan Mix together the cookie crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press into the spring form pan, going up the side of the pan only 1/4 inch. Bake 8 minutes. Cool completely for about 10-15 minutes.

Decrease oven temperature to 325ºF

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese until it’s smooth. Add the sugar and mix together. Add
the eggs and yolks one at a time; mix each in before adding the next. Add the cornstarch and mix together. In a small bowl
combine the Kahlua, Bailey’s and coffee powder and stir until the coffee powder has dissolved. Add to the cream cheese
mixture and mix together.

Wrap two layers of aluminum foil around the sides of the spring form pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan on top
of the cooled crust. Bake in a water bath for about 60 minutes. The outer edges should be set and the center will still
jiggle a little when you move it. (The cake continues cooking after it’s removed from the oven.) Cool for 30 minutes,
then remove the spring form rim. Cool completely, then place into the refrigerator for at least 8 hours, overnight is

Right before serving, sprinkle the grated chocolate over the cheesecake and serve with whipped cream. Buon Appetito!


Creamy Tiramisu Cheesecake recipe

Tips for making a perfectly creamy cheesecake:
1) Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature
2) Cream the cream cheese and sugar together before adding any other ingredients, just until the mixture is smooth
3) Bake it in a water bath with aluminum foil tightly wrapped around the base
4) Don’t over bake; the edges will be set but the center will jiggle just a bit when it is ready to take out of the oven
4) Let rest a minimum of 12 hours in the refrigerator before serving and take out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving

To learn many of my baking secrets and tips & tricks for making Classic French pastries, please join me for a Pastry-Making Week in Provence



  1. Paula
    October 29th

    O Dio – I could eat the whole thing right now.

  2. Scintilla
    October 30th

    What decadence! I’m making it!

  3. Tuula M
    October 30th

    Ahh, Bailey’s AND Kahlua…to die for! I think I can get all of the ingredients here for the cheesecake except maybe the graham crackers but sure there’s a great substitute!
    Your trip to Italy sounds great..is that a gelato from Grom by any chance? I swear I have almost the same photo…but then again there’s so much excellent gelato in Italy! Another fantastic post :)

  4. Kathy
    October 30th

    Scintilla and Paula: Thank you, and yes it’s both decadent and delcious
    Tuula: I’ve been asked to make cheesecake by both French and Italians, when I’ve been there. I’ve used basic shortbread cookies, chocolate shortbread, and speculas (speculas were for a lemon cheesecake, though)as a substitute for graham crackers. Good luck and let me know how it turns out.
    That huge cone of gelato is actually from Venchi in Turin. Tasting three of their specialties at once. I’ve been to Grom in Milan, Venice, Turin and even Paris! I’m not usually a fan of chains, but their gelato is tops, especially the dark chocolate and pistacchio!

  5. Tuula M
    October 31st

    Thanks for the tip about the cookies, great idea for the shortbread & I love speculas, yum!
    I haven’t been to Turin yet, dreaming of attending the Salone del Gusto one of these years…now officially on my list of must-do foodie events :)
    Totally agree about Grom – not usually a fan of chains either but had their gelato for the first time this summer & I’m hooked :)Thanks for the reply!

  6. Laetitia
    October 31st

    This looks sooooo good!
    And I personally used speculoos for cheesecake in europe…

  7. Very inviting and good looking !
    Ciao Anna

  8. Corinne @ Gourmantic
    November 2nd

    That looks like a decadent dessert no one can resist!
    Now when it comes to gelato, it’s difficult to choose. I tend to go for fruity ones, pistachio and I love hazelnut!
    I tried a black sesame ice cream on Monday and I’ll be back for more!

  9. Nicole
    November 3rd

    I had a green tea gelato in Kauai, of all places, and haven’t been able to find the same that’s as good. Green tea cheesecake? Sounds good to me. My 12 yr old daughter loves tiramisu and cheesecake. If she sees this recipe…

  10. the urban baker
    November 4th

    oh my goodness…that looks kind of perfect! I love the medley of flavors. i can see my thighs growing as i read this. it was so worth it!

  11. Kathy
    November 4th

    Corinne – black sesame? That sounds like a Sadaharu Aoki take on gelato :-) Being a devout chocoholic, I have to force myself to try flavors other than chocolate–reason for enormous scoops like the one above.
    Nicole – I’ve had green tea ice cream in CA, which was delicious. I’ve never seen a gelato form though. Will look harder. Green tea cheesecake sounds divine!
    Urban Baker – Here’s to growing thighs! ;-)

  12. Jozee
    November 14th

    I am so lucky! I had many servings of this cheesecake. When I ate the last piece, I thought, “Jeez, when is Kathy going to make it again”. It has now become one of my favorites, absolutely wonderful.

  13. Hypnotherapy London
    February 8th

    YUMMMY! Wow this looks so good. Want to enjoy a slice now with a nice up of tea :)

  14. Xavier
    November 8th

    For the Tiramisu cheesecake can you use a brewed espresso or does it have to be the espresso powder?

  15. Kathy
    November 27th

    The recipe was tested with the espresso powder. If you use brewed espresso, you will be adding extra liquid to the mixture and possibly changing the final result. If you do add it, please let us know how it works.

  16. Tina B.
    January 17th

    This recipe is delicious. I crushed almond biscotti mixed with crushed oreo as my crust.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.