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Dirty Chai Cheesecake

Dirty Chai Latte one of your favorite Starbucks drinks? Well welcome to your new favorite cheesecake. Make this for your other coffee friends and watch this easy cheesecake disappear!

Lara bar (9 of 11)

Lara bar (6 of 11)

These days pumpkin gets to have all of the fun when it comes to dessert, especially on Thanksgiving.  There is, however, a small group of people who don’t like pumpkin at all.  I know, Shocking right? 

But, I must admit that with the pumpkin obsession our generation has developed, I tend to grow tired of it by the time Thanksgiving actually rolls around.  This Dirty Chai Cheesecake that I have created has all the autumnal flavors that are associated with pumpkin pie, and then some.

The “and then some” would be one of my favorite spices, cardamom.  Mmmmmmm…I could smell it all day long.  It’s a pricey spice, but oh so worth it.  

The smell alone is worth the price, it almost has a slight eucalyptus scent…maybe I’m crazy.  The other not-so-secret ingredient is espresso, giving this cheesecake the “dirty” part of its name.  

If you go to a coffee shop and order a dirty chai, you’ll get a regular chai tea latte with a shot of espresso.  What could be better than that?!  A dirty chai latte, in cheesecake form.  Today that cheesecake is born.

Dirty Chai Cheesecake


Dirty Chai Cheesecake


Dirty Chai Cheesecake


Dirty Chai Cheesecake


Dirty Chai Cheesecake


Dirty Chai Cheesecake

Dirty Chai Cheesecake
Yield: 12 Servings

Dirty Chai Cheesecake

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes


  • Crust
  • 1 and 1/2 cups ginger snap crumbs
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Filling
  • 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground dried ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper


  1. Adjust oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Use a food processor or blender to grind the ginger snaps. Mix the crumbs, melted butter, and granulated sugar together with a spatula in a medium bowl until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Make sure the crust is very compact and tight. It will be thick. Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 7 minutes. Allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.
  3. Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed in a large bowl, about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Add the sour cream, vanilla, almond extract, espresso, and spices and beat until combined. At low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. Do not overmix the filling after you have added the eggs.
  4. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is almost set.
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely to room temperature.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight (preferred). Loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the pan and remove the rim. Cut into slices and serve chilled.
  8. Top with whipped cream and chocolate-covered espresso beans if desired. Cover leftover cheesecake and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


You're welcome to double the crust portion if you like your crust to be all the way up the sides of the cheesecake. I prefer mine only on the bottom, but I know a lot of people that are all about the crust!

Many cheesecakes call for a water bath, but I often find it too fussy and with few perks. If you've experienced a lot of cracking in the past then you are welcome to try it. I think a little crack is nothing a little extra garnish can't handle 😉

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Lauren - A Nerd Cooks

Saturday 14th of November 2015

THIS. Seriously. Be still my heart.

I'm a big lover of pumpkin, I'll admit. But this is a fabulous idea for a cheesecake.


Saturday 14th of November 2015

Thanks, Lauren! I have always been a huge pumpkin lover too! For me, when it comes to pumpkin desserts the main attraction is the spices, hence the creation of this cheesecake!

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