This Coffee Mousse Cheesecake features a thick graham cracker crust with a silky cheesecake layer topped with coffee mousse and whipped cream.
In my opinion, nothing is better than having a well composed dessert with a variety of textures and flavors that compliment each other.
You get it all with this coffee mousse cheesecake.
The graham cracker crust is buttery and crunchy. The silky cheesecake layer is rich, creamy, and luscious.
And finally, the coffee mousse is light and airy. The slightly bitter coffee notes provides a nice contrast to the sweet cheesecake filling.
For even more punch, the whipped cream topping adds another level of decadent.
What’s not to love about cheesecake? It’s a universally loved dessert that is easy to customize and adapt for any season or reason.
Make cookie butter cheesecake bites for a luscious little treat.
Looking to cut back on fat? This no bake Greek yogurt cheesecake fits the bill!
Need an impressive dessert for your next dinner party? This ricotta cheesecake with sweet brandied cherries is a family favorite!
But if you want the ULTIMATE cheesecake to enjoy with your coffee, this is the recipe for you.
This coffee mousse cheesecake does not skimp on fat or flavor. It’s the perfect dessert to share during the festive holiday season!
- Graham Cracker Crust
- Cheesecake Layer
- Coffee Mousse
- Whipped Cream
Graham Cracker Crust
The crust is simply a mixture of ground graham crackers, melted butter, and some salt. Pre-bake the crust in the oven to get it extra crunchy.
Cool before adding cheesecake layer. The crust can be baked a day ahead of time.
This recipe uses a traditional cheesecake batter made with cream cheese and eggs. As such, it should be baked in a water bath. (More info on that below.)
Don’t skimp on the cream cheese. Use full-fat block cream cheese!
Stay away from low-fat or reduced fat cream cheese. Those are often loaded with stabilizers and artificial sweeteners that will affect the texture of the finished cheesecake.
Think about it this way- the more fat, the creamier the texture, and the tastier it will be!
Coffee Mousse Layer
The mousse layer is flavored with instant espresso powder and sweetened with white chocolate.
It is thickened with whipped cream and stabilized with gelatin.
Make your own whipped cream using heavy whipping cream. Spread whipped cream over the coffee mousse layer, or pipe it on top like shown in the images.
Alternatively, you may use whipped topping like Cool Whip for ease. Keep in mind that store-bought whipped topping will be much sweeter than homemade whipped cream.
Assembling coffee mousse cheesecake:
- Pre-bake crust in a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap bottom of pan with foil. This will ensure the filling does not escape, but it also protects the crust from coming into contact with the water bath.
- Pour cheesecake filling to graham cracker lined pan. Place foiled wrapped springform pan in a roasting pan. Place roasting pan in the oven and fill pan with about 1.5-inches of boiling water. Bake.
- Allow cheesecake to cool completely. Mix together coffee mousse and pour over cooled cheesecake. Let set in the fridge for a few hours, overnight is best.
- Once the mousse is set, top with whipped cream.
Why bake cheesecake in a water bath?
While it’s not mandatory, it’s HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
There are many reasons why you should use a water bath:
- Overheating cheesecake results in a rubbery texture. The water bath provides an even distribution of heat.
- Water bath prevents cheesecake from cracking! It also prevents the edges from the cheesecake from overcooking and browning.
- Low and slow cooking of cheesecake prevents the cheesecake from inflating and deflating (resulting in wrinkles).
The coffee mousse layer is stabilized with the help of gelatin powder. Without gelatin, the mousse layer will not be sliceable. It will turn into a puddle when sliced.
How to Bloom Gelatin Powder:
Gelatin powder needs to be rehydrated before being added to other ingredients.
Mix together gelatin powder and water to bloom:
- Place gelatin powder in a small bowl.
- Add water and mix together.
- Allow gelatin mixture to sit for 5 minutes to soak up moisture.
- Gelatin is ready for the recipe once it has fully absorbed the liquids.
Piping Whipped Cream Topping:
Use piping bag fitted with a star tip to distribute whipped cream over the coffee mousse layer. Alternatively, you may also use a medium to large round tip to create dollops.
Or, you can simply spread whipped cream on top in an even layer.
Leave the whipped cream as is, or dust with a little powdered sugar or cocoa powder, as desired.
Tips for slicing and serving:
- This cake slices best chilled. Room temperature mousse and cheesecake will not produce clean slices.
- Use a clean sharp knife to slice portions. Wipe knife clean after each slice.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Keep the cheesecake covered! The cut edges will dry out and likely absorb unwanted flavors from the fridge.
Patience! This dessert requires a ton of patience.
The cheesecake portion requires a bit of time and effort. It bakes low and slow in the oven for about an hour. The oven is turned off, but the cheesecake remains inside.
Keep the oven door slightly ajar and allow the cheesecake to slowly cool for about an hour. Remove cheesecake from oven and let it sit at room temperature until completely cooled.
(At this point, you may keep in the cheesecake covered with foil in the fridge overnight before proceeding with the recipe.)
Pour coffee mousse layer over cooled cheesecake. The coffee mousse layer needs to chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours to fully set.
Once set, dollop on the whipped cream and enjoy!
Coffee Mousse Cheesecake
- 3 cup (350 g) ground graham crackers (23 full sheet crackers)
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, melted
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 16 oz (454 g) block full-fat cream cheese, softened, room temp
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 g) sour cream
- 2 large eggs, room temp
- ¼ cup heavy cream (heavy whipping cream), room temp
Whipped Cream Topping:
- 1 ½ cup heavy whipping cream, very cold
- 3 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
- 2 Tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Stir together ground graham crackers, melted butter, and salt until thoroughly moistened. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan. Press into an even layer into the bottom and up the sides of pan. Use the flat bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to smooth out the crust.
- Bake for 10 minutes until crust is set. Use the flat bottom of drinking glass to press down any bits of crust that may have puffed up during baking. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Wrap springform pan in heavy duty foil. Use enough foil to ensure water cannot enter the pan. To be safe, you may want to add two or three layers of foil. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on low speed for about 4 minutes until soft and smooth.
- Add sugar and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add salt, vanilla, and cream. Mix on low until combined.
- With the mixer running on low, add eggs one at a time, ensuring each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing. Add sour cream and mix until smooth.
- Pour cheesecake filling into foil wrapped springform pan. Use a mini offset spatula to spread filling into an even layer.
- Place springform pan in a large roasting pan. Meanwhile, bring about 6-8 cups of water to a boil (you may need more water depending on size of roasting pan).
- Place roasting pan in the center rack of oven. Pour boiling water into roasting pan until about 1 1/2-inch of springform pan is submerged in water.
- Bake cheesecake for 45-50 minutes.
- Turn off oven heat. Crack oven door slightly ajar to let the oven and cheesecake cool. Cool cheesecake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and remove cheesecake from water bath. Let cheesecake sit at room temperature until completely cooled.*At this point, cheesecake can be covered with foil and stored in the fridge overnight. Coffee mousse layer may be added the following the day.
- In a small bowl, mix together gelatin powder and water. Let sit for 5 minutes to bloom gelatin.
- Bring milk to a simmer. Stir in espresso powder until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Add in bloomed gelatin. Stir until gelatin has completely dissolved. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place white chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave in 20 second intervals at half power. Stir in between intervals. Continue to heat until chocolate is smooth and melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour melted white chocolate into coffee milk mixture. Stir to combine until smooth and homogenous.
- In another bowl, whip cold heavy cream to soft peaks. Add whipped cream to cooled white chocolate milk mixture in three additions. Fold gently. Fold until there are no longer any white streaks of whipped cream left.
- Pour coffee mousse over cooled cheesecake layer. Use a mini offset spatula to spread mousse into an even layer. Cover with foil and place in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
- In a large bowl, whip cold heavy cream, powdered sugar, espresso powder, and vanilla to stiff peaks. Transfer whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a star tip (or plain round tip). Pipe dollops over chilled coffee mousse layer. Alternatively, spread whipped cream over mousse layer.
- In a small bowl combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Dust over whipped cream topping.
- Over-mixing the whipped cream and chocolate mixture will result in a grainy textured mousse.
- 2%, low fat, or reduced fat milk can be used in place of whole milk. DO NOT use non-fat milk.
Storage and Leftovers:
- The assembled crust and cheesecake filling will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
- Fully assembled coffee mousse cheesecake will keep in the fridge for up to 2 days. Overtime, the mousse and whipped cream topping will start to separate causing the cheesecake layer and crust to soften.