Rich Ice Cream and Coffee Cheesecake

by Julie Ruble on April 15, 2011 · 50 comments

I don’t love coffee. If I wanted something scalding, bitter, and hard to swallow, I’d google the Carolina Panthers’ season record. Ha ha.

Yeah, that’s one of those jokes that’s kind of more sad than funny. Oh well.

My mother (yes, of cross stitching birthday party fame) used to feel certain that I would acquire an affinity for coffee as I got older. Periodically she would test this hypothesis, urging me to take a sip from her cup or buying me something frothy and caramely at Starbucks, only to find that things weren’t unfolding as she anticipated.

What can I say? Coffee is gross.

I could load it up with sugar and cream (and donuts — can you do that?) and probably choke it down, but if I’m going to ingest that many calories, I’d rather just have some dessert.

Paradoxically, despite my antipathy towards coffee in its beverage form, I’ve always loved coffee-flavored confections. Coffee ice cream was my absolute favorite treat as a little girl, for instance. Coffee also plays an Oscar-worthy supporting role in Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake, one of my current faves. I adore the coffee-brownie combination in my Ice Cream Cupcakes. You get the idea.

And besides all those things, I’m in love with this cheesecake. IN LOVE. Like, buy it a ring, get down on one knee, drag it to the altar kind of love. It might be one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever made. Basically: swoon.

For one thing, it has the perfect ratio of rich coffee cheesecake to cold ice cream (oh, and did I mention the layer of fudgy ganache in there as well?). For another thing, the ice cream flavor I chose rocked the Casbah.

I considered coffee or chocolate ice cream, but decided that might be too rich. I also knew I wanted brownie chunks. Ben & Jerry’s makes a Cheesecake Brownie ice cream that fit the bill (how perfect is that, seriously?)

Apart from inspiring a matrimonial sort of adoration in me, this cheesecake is one of the easiest I’ve ever put together. It’s as simple as baking and cooling your cheesecake, softening up your favorite ice cream, and spreading it on top. Freeze the whole thing until it’s firm, cut it with a hot knife, and then call up the preacher. That’s about how it goes.

What ice cream flavor would you like to spread all over your coffee cheesecake?

Rich Ice Cream and Coffee Cheesecake



Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yields: 15 servings

Crust Ingredients:
37 chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Small pinch of salt

Ganache Ingredients:
3/4 cups heavy cream
10 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I combined both)

Filling Ingredients:
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
3 large eggs

Topping:
Ice cream of your choice (I used Ben & Jerry’s Cheesecake Brownie ice cream)
dark chocolate candies of your choice for decorating (I used Ferrero Rondnoir)

Directions:
To make the crust, butter a 9-inch springform pan. Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). I did this using a smooth glass to press crumbs into place.

Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour 1.5-2 cups of the ganache over the bottom of the crust (if you have leftover, save it for eating or decorating with later). Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well blended. Beat in the flour. In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, vanilla and molasses, stirring until the coffee dissolves. Add to the cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition.

Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Enclose the bottom of the springform pan in tightly wrapped foil and place it in a baking dish. Fill the baking dish with hot water about halfway up the cheesecake pan, careful not to let the moisture touch the cheesecake. Bake until the top is lightly browned, puffed and cracked at the edges, and the center moves only very slightly when the pan is lightly shaken, about 1 hour. Transfer to a wire cooling rack. Let cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator and let cool at least 3 hours, until completely chilled and set.

Soften ice cream of your choice (I used Ben & Jerry’s Cheesecake Brownie ice cream) for 10-15 minutes or until soft enough to spread. Scoop out a few big scoops onto the top of your cheesecake and spread with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Add more ice cream until it’s flush with the top of your crust. Freeze cake until solid (overnight is best). Decorate with dark chocolate candies of your choice (I used Ferrero Rondnoir). Slice with a knife held under hot water to serve. Keep in freezer when not serving — it melts quickly.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookin' Canuck April 15, 2011 at 10:30 am

Wow! This looks absolutely fantastic. The coffee ice cream seals the deal for me.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

Thank you! The ice cream is actually Ben & Jerry’s Cheesecake Brownie ice cream on top of a Coffee Cheesecake. That Coffee Cheesecake is just so, so good! I want another piece . . .

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Jenni April 15, 2011 at 10:32 am

I do applaud your “more is more” philosophy! ;) Love the idea of a frozen cheesecake covered with ice cream!

I was not a fan of straight-up drinkin’ coffee for a long time. I find that adding a pinch of salt eliminates the bitterness and allows me to use less sugar. Then, add some half and half, and it tastes like hot melted coffee ice cream. Not sure if you care to try again, but in honor of your mom, maybe give it a go? :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 10:33 am

Yum — would have never thought of the salt! That actually sounds pretty good — I may have to try it! :)

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Jenni April 15, 2011 at 10:50 am

You totally should. You can thank me later! ;)

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sayre1311 April 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

Ms. Ruble, this looks absolutely incredibly delicious. I want it RIGHT NOW :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 10:40 am

Thank ya, Sayre! I loved this thing!

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mary clay April 15, 2011 at 10:56 am

Wow! This looks fantastic!! Can’t wait to give it a try!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

Thanks, Mary Clay!

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Joanne April 15, 2011 at 1:04 pm

I’ve actually met a TON of people who like coffee in baked goods/ice cream but not in a cup covered in whipped cream. I mean. Not that I drink things like that every day or anything. Hmm.

I do love coffee in all of its forms though and I have a feeling this cheesecake will most certainly be one of them!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I hope you love it, Joanne! Good to know I’m not too strange… well, not for that reason, anyway.

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Vivian (AKA Mom) April 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Looks divine! See, you DO love coffee! :) Those who “load it up with sugar and cream” just didn’t have a great cup of coffee to begin with! If it’s REALLY good coffee it needs NOTHING added! I should know…. I have had Ikea coffee for breakfast and Starbucks for lunch. :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 1:44 pm

HA Mom, you are officially an addict!

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Maris (In Good Taste) April 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm

This cake looks magnificent. I love every single ingredient in it!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Thanks, Maris! :)

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Betty @ scrambled hen fruit April 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I love cheesecake too, and coffee. Swoon. If I make it though, all of the gozillion calories would be all mine. Sigh. I’ll have to think of an occasion to share it so I can get ONE piece of it instead of the whole thing. I’m not sure which flavor of ice cream I’d use- I guess I’ll have to taste test. :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

I know what you mean, Betty! It freezes well — I have two pieces left in the freezer that I’m resisting.

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gingerbreadbagels April 15, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Oh my word this cheesecake looks incredible! All of your cheesecakes look sooooo good. I so want one or two or three slices, actually I want the whole thing. :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

Thanks, Lindsay!

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muppy April 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Oh my goodness this looks incredible, I love coffee and this would be heaven to me :)

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 1:42 am

Thanks, Muppy!

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The Experimental Cook April 16, 2011 at 9:21 am

I love this coffee cheesecake !
Your lively blog brings cheer to my day.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 9:39 am

Aw, thank you!

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kristineskitchen April 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

I love the idea of an ice cream-cheesecake combination, and coffee cheesecake is such a great flavor choice. Yum!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Thank you! LOVE that coffee cheesecake!

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Karly April 16, 2011 at 10:56 am

I like my coffee full of cream, sugar, and other flavors (not that I allow myself to drink it that way too often), so this would be right up my alley! It looks delicious!

Great photos!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Thanks, Karly :)

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Tracey April 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I feel the exact same way about coffee – ick! Your cheesecake looks awesome though, totally decadent and sweet.

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Why thank ya, Tracey!

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Lucy @ The Sweet Touch April 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm

You are on a cheesecake roll and I don’t ever want it to stop! This reminds me of a fancified version of the classic DQ ice cream cake (which I had for approximately 10 birthdays in a row back in the day!). I like what you topped yours with, it might be tasty with some kind of salted caramel ice cream?!

Thank you for sharing!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

HA now I want a DQ ice cream cake!

I bet this would be a-maz-ing with a salted caramel ice cream. YUM! Thanks, Lucy :)

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Megan April 16, 2011 at 5:36 pm

I got all of my non-coffee-drinking friends and my mother hooked on coffee by having them try white mochas at Starbucks. There’s hope for you yet. :)

The cheesecake is stunning!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 16, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Aha, another thing that needs to be on my list to try! Thanks, Megan :)

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Mehnaz April 17, 2011 at 7:45 am

I can almost smell the flavours… Cant wait to try it out..

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 17, 2011 at 7:49 am

Hope you love it! :)

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Nichol April 17, 2011 at 10:37 am

Wow this looks absolutely delicious. Coffee is my favorite and so is cheesecake, YUM!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking April 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

Thanks, Nichol! :)

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Platanos, Mangoes and Me! April 18, 2011 at 10:37 am

Another masterpiece….

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Sarah April 18, 2011 at 10:45 am

The opening joke was Dad worthy! Mom’s right about the coffee, she knows how I like mine. Awesome post, the cheesecake looks amazing.

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kitchenmisfit April 18, 2011 at 3:45 pm

I think you should officially be named the Cheesecake Queen! I always love all your cheesecakes!

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday April 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

Whoa. That looks amazing. You’ve got talent!

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Sophia Spach April 23, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I know I am a little late, but WOW! this looks fantasitc :)

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Maranda April 25, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Oh. MY! YES!!!! I can hardly stand it Julie. Now…if this was literally a coffee cheesecake ice cream cake it would push me even further over the edge. I can’t wait to try this one!!! I’m so excited! Perfect for summer. And coffee ice cream is my favorite! Thanks for sharing!

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Avanika (Yumsilicious Bakes) April 26, 2011 at 5:33 am

Oh Julie, Julie, Julie. I’m a coffee addict, so I’m totally making this, like now!

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jennifer January 9, 2012 at 2:53 am

where do you get the chocolate sandwich cookies that you use for your crust? & what brand?

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking January 9, 2012 at 5:57 am

Hi Jennifer! I just use Oreos (but you can buy a generic if you’d rather). Don’t remove the cream or anything — just process ‘em into crumbs.

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Jennifer February 1, 2013 at 4:14 am

When you freeze the cheesecake after you put the ice cream on top does the cheesecake still taste ok? Is it still creamy or hard like the ice cream would be? I want to make a similar version for a birthday and was worried about freezing the cheesecake because of those reasons. Yours looks delicious so any info or tips ou can give me would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Julie @ Willow Bird Baking February 1, 2013 at 4:37 am

It will be firmer than if you just chilled it, but not hard :) That’s why cheesecake is perfect for this recipe! I’d still get it out about 10-15 minutes before serving, but I love the texture.

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