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Oct 16, 2012 04:54 PM

Brownie crust for coffee cheesecake - techniques?

My next dessert venture will be a coffee cheesecake, and I want to attempt a brownie crust that can be baked right in the pan with the cheesecake (I might do bars, so I can make a smaller batch...if that's relevant at all). My concern is that the brownie layer will bake much faster than the cheesecake, or will dry out.
Any recipe or technique suggestions out there?

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  1. I've never done this, but I don't think you have to worry too much about overbaking the brownie layer if you use a water bath. The only other comment I have is that this sounds AMAZING and I hope you'll post your recipe if it's a success!

    5 Replies
    1. re: biondanonima

      Crazy as it may sound, with all of the cheesecakes as I've baked I have never used a water bath. Time to give it a try! :)
      Thanks for the advice - I'll post the recipe if it turns out!

      1. re: MplsGal

        I do a plain cheesecake with a nut,chocolate crust I bake on.I tent with foil for 75% of the baking time all in a water bath.Your topping is more sensitive/fragile than mine but something close should work.

      2. re: biondanonima

        I will definitely be making this again! Perhaps not the prettiest dessert (due to some first-time flaws, to be addressed...), but SO good.

        Here is the recipe I came up with -
        Brownie Base:
        4 tbsp butter
        1/2 c. sugar
        1/4 c. cocoa powder
        1 egg
        1/4 c. flour
        1 tbsp brewed coffee
        Bake 10-12 minutes @ 350 degrees in greased 9x5 loaf pan.

        12 oz. cream cheese
        1/2 c. sugar
        4 tbsp brewed coffee
        2 eggs
        1/2 tsp cocoa powder
        Bake for 45-55 minutes @ 325 degrees in water bath.

        Once cooled, I topped the cake with 1/2 tsp cocoa + 1 tsp confectioners sugar.

        I baked the brownie crust first and it came out a bit dry. I'm not sure if it was over-baked, if I need to use less flour, or both. I mixed up the cheesecake while the brownie cooled, then baked the cheesecake on top of the prepared brownie. I'm also unsure of how to prevent the cheesecake from sinking in the middle...? Delicious, nonetheless. A "taste test" at 9:30 this morning led to eating the whole slice.

        1. re: MplsGal

          Yummy flavors. Did you need to prebake the crust though? I usually bake the crust and filling at the same time. I know the recipe link I provided did, 18-20 seems long but my apologies for not discussing the prebake/no bake concept beforehand.

          1. re: HillJ

            Good call, I think next time I'll forgo prebaking the crust. It came out a little dry even before adding the cheesecake mix, so I might also add less flour. And no need to apologize - I knew it would be an experiment going in. Overall, I'd say it was a success!


        I've made this cheesecake with a brownie crust. You could follow the base only and then proceed with your cheesecake recipe.

        2 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            Wow, that looks fantastic. Going to have to try this one. Thanks for sharing!

          2. One of my default cheesecake recipes uses crushed chocolate wafer cookies to make the crust. The flavor is very brownie-like but still the texture of a standard cheesecake crumb crust:
            Or, if that's not ideal, put "brownie crust" into the search at I found at least two cheesecake recipes plus a couple of others that look like they're just what you're after...