Toffee Cheesecake with Chocolate Polka Dots

I turned 40 one year ago today. So, yes, that would make today my birthday. And this birthday girl loves, loves, LOVES a good cheesecake!

Only this here Toffee Cheesecake with Chocolate Polka Dots is way more than just “good”. I made three of them over the past couple of weeks in my trials, yet I still wasn’t sick of it when the last piece disappeared. In fact, I was sad to see it go.

To celebrate my Big 4-0 last year, Blake and I went out to dinner with another couple, our very dear friends Duane and Angela. Upon finishing our meal, Angela suggested we make a stop at Cafe Latté on the way home for dessert. I’ll rarely pass up a grand idea such as that, especially knowing the reputation of this cafe’s display case of sweet eats.

But I will admit when I’m too full to eat a whole piece of dessert myself. So Blake and I settled on a lofty piece of cheesecake to share. Cafe Latté called it Chips & Chunks Cheesecake, as it was chock-full of toffee chips and chocolate chunks. Heaven on my fork, I tell you! So as my birthday neared this year, and I was reminiscing about the last, I found myself dreaming about that same piece of cheesecake. And that led me straight to the kitchen to come up with my own version. The recipe is now destined to make an appearance in our kitchen for many years to come.

This toffee cheesecake is perfectly thick and creamy, upheld by just the right amount of cocoa crumb crust tinged with espresso. That toffee and coffee were meant to be together. Add to that the cuteness of chocolate polka dots, and you’ve got yourself a fabulous tasting dessert that’s one looker of a cheesecake!

Toffee Cheesecake with Chocolate Polka Dots

Yield: 12 to 16 servings


    for the crust:
  • 1 c. finely ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 c. cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp. espresso powder
  • 2 T. sugar
  • big pinch of salt
  • 4 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • for the cream cheese filling:
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate
  • 24 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1-1/4 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 c. toffee bits
  • optional toppings:
  • just barely sweetened whipped cream
  • additional toffee bits


Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare for a hot water bath (to reduce chances of the cheesecake cracking) by setting a large tea kettle of water on to boil. Then wrap the exterior of a 9" springform pan, including the base, with a double layer of heavy duty foil. Have a large, shallow roasting pan available, too.

for the crust:

In a medium bowl, stir together the cracker crumbs, cocoa, espresso powder, sugar, and salt. Add melted butter and stir until combined. Press crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan, with a gently firm touch. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

for the cream cheese filling:

Melt the chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave, taking care to not let it scorch. Set aside to cool while mixing the rest of the cream cheese filling.

Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on medium speed until fluffy. This should take about 3 minutes. Then with the mixer on low speed, add sugar in a slow, steady stream. Add the sour cream, cornstarch, salt, and vanilla. Mix until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each until just combined, taking care to not overmix. Remove 1/2 cup of the cream cheese mixture and stir it into the melted and cooled small bowl of chocolate. Then add the toffee bits to the remaining larger portion of the cream cheese mixture, folding to incorporate evenly. Pour toffee cream cheese mixture into cooled crust.

Spoon the small bowl of chocolate cream cheese mixture into a pasty bag fitted with a medium plain round tip. Press the tip just barely into the top of the toffee cream cheese mixture and squeeze a polka dot of chocolate. Repeat until the chocolate mixture is used up.

Set the foil wrapped springform pan inside the large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water from the tea kettle into the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of the springform pan. Very carefully transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Bake until cheesecake is mostly set in the center, about 70 minutes. Then turn the oven off, open the oven door just a crack (I stick a big wooden spoon in the door to hold it open) and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another 30 minutes. Remove from oven to a wire rack to cool completely. Transfer uncovered cheesecake to the refrigerator to chill for 6 hours or overnight before serving. Before unmolding the springform pan, run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake.

It works best to pop the cheesecake into the freezer for 30 minutes before slicing. Dipping your knife blade into a tall glass of very hot water before each slice helps, too. Serve with a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkling of additional toffee bits, if desired.


Inspired by a great piece of cheesecake called "Chips & Chunks" that I shared with my husband at Cafe Latté in St. Paul, MN. I incorporated the chocolate polka dots after running across an irresistibly cute cheesecake at The Baker's Daughter.

I’m linking up with:


64 Responses to “Toffee Cheesecake with Chocolate Polka Dots”

  1. #
    Blog is the New Black — May 22, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Love the “dots” on this!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you, Liz!

  2. #
    Kim | At Home With Kim — May 22, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Happy Birthday Brenda!!!! I hope you have a WONDERFUL day celebrating YOU. And this cake? Looks divine! Enjoy.

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Ohhhhh…such a wonderful day. I am feeling truly blessed. And full. :) Thank you, Kim!! xo

  3. #
    Kim — May 22, 2012 at 5:47 am

    Happy Birthday to you! Thanks for giving us a treat to try on your birthday.

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you, Kim! :)

  4. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — May 22, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Oh my! This looks so fabulous!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      Thank you, Katrina!

  5. #
    Maria — May 22, 2012 at 7:04 am

    Happy Birthday! Love the polka dots!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:17 pm

      Thank you, Maria! :)

  6. #
    Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch — May 22, 2012 at 7:25 am

    Happy birthday! Those polka dots are perfect in this cheesecake! Love them!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      Thank you so much, Robyn!! xo

  7. #
    Lauren — May 22, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Those polka dots are too cute!! Loving this.

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Lauren! :)

  8. #
    Cassie — May 22, 2012 at 8:51 am

    I hope you have a wonderful birthday Brenda! And cheesecake is the perfect way to celebrate, I love these polka dots!!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Cassie! :)

  9. #
    Lisa | With Style and Grace — May 22, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Happy Birthday, Brenda!! This cake looks delicious, perfect for a birthday celebration!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you, Lisa! :)

  10. #
    becca — May 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Happy Birthday!!!! *<]:o)

    This looks absolutely delicious. I havne't made a cheesecake in a while, and this looks perfect! The chocolate drops on top would probably be my favorite part to eat :P

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you so much, Becca!

  11. #
    Diane {Created by Diane} — May 22, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Happy Birthday!!!
    Oh my toffee, wow that sounds delicious. LOVE the polka dots!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you, Diane! :)

  12. #
    Grandmereb Lovestobake — May 22, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Happy Birthday!!! I hope that your day is a wonderful one with some more good memories, like you have for your 40th!

    As for your cheesecake recipe-AWESOME! I am printing this off to make ASAP! Thank you for sharing it with us all. You are definately one of my favorite bloggers! :-)

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:59 pm

      Thank you so much! I had such an awesome day filled with sunshine, great eats, family, & friends.

  13. #
    Mirna Aguilar — May 22, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Happy Birthday!!!!!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you very much, Mirna!

  14. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — May 22, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Happy Birthday, Brenda! I love the toffee, the cheesecake, and especially the chocolate polka dots!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you, Laura! :)

  15. #
    Paula — May 22, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    For some reason I thought your birthday was the 1st of May! Happy Birthday today Brenda and all the best for a fabulous year. This cheesecake is so different and it looks delicious. I think it is pretty awesome that you can replicate the one you had at the latte shop for your birthday last year and so happy that you shared the recipe with us.

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you so much, Paula!! xo

  16. #
    Lynna — May 22, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    wow, this looks really really amazing! :D

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you, Lynna!

  17. #
    Rachel — May 22, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Yum and cute! Two great tastes that taste great together – toffee and cheesecake.

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you, Rachel!

  18. #
    Amy Tong — May 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    This is such an adorable cake that got my favorite flavors all in one as well! I love it! Gotta make this soon.

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Thank you, Amy. Hope you like it, too!

  19. #
    Andrea @ Simple Organized Living — May 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    Happy Birthday Friend! I would have never guessed you were a day over 32 :)
    And speaking as someone who’s never really liked cake, I almost always requested hot-fudge sundaes or cheesecake for my birthday.
    Hope you had a fabulous day and enjoyed all that cheesecake!

    • Brenda replied on May 22nd, 2012 at 8:54 pm

      Thank you, Andrea! I am feeling incredibly blessed – it was an awesome day!

  20. #
    Quick Asian Recipes - Ashish Negi — May 23, 2012 at 4:02 am

    Wow… love those polka dots. Lovely pics too :)

  21. #
    Karylle — May 23, 2012 at 4:45 am

    This is new to me and very yummy as well.. Now I am already craving and looking for this online.. I hope I can bake this soon..

  22. #
    Sofia — May 23, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Happy Birthday and thanks for another delicious and decadent recipe… I’m not a fan of cheesecake but even I want to try this!

  23. #
    Tara — May 23, 2012 at 7:59 am

    Gah! How I love anything toffee – this cheesecake is clearly right up my alley. Happy Birthday – hope it was a great one!!

  24. #
    MotherLodeBeth — May 23, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    Someone on a group I am in shared your website and I admit I was intrigued because the only cheesecake we eat is homemade or when in San Francisco or NYC . But your cheesecake looks so lovely and unique so I plan on making it. Love South Dakota, as my late husbands family lives there. Will explore you lovely site while I take a break from working outside here in the CA Sierras.

  25. #
    Tracy — May 23, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Looks delicious! I love the little polka dots. Happy belated birthday! :-)

  26. #
    Debi Shawcross — May 24, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I shouldn’t be reading recipes like this when I am hungry! I just pinned to my newly created dessert board. Can’t wait to try!

  27. #
    Robin @ Bird On A Cake — May 24, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Cheesecake, toffee and chocolate…sounds delish!! Happy Birthday! ( I will be turning 41 in a couple months too.)

  28. #
    Hannah @ All-Purpose and Semi-Sweet — May 25, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Looks incredible! Next celebration cake for sure.

  29. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — May 27, 2012 at 3:40 am

    I’m a bit late to the game but happy birthday! What a wonderful way to celebrate.

  30. #
    Sasha @ The Procrastobaker — May 27, 2012 at 4:59 am

    This looks just beautiful! I havnt made a proper baked cheesecake yet I dont think, this may well be the one to change that :)

    • Brenda replied on May 28th, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      Thank you, Sasha! :)

  31. #
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen — May 28, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Now that’s a birthday worthy cheesecake! Happy Birthday Brenda!!

  32. #
    Katherine Kirk — May 28, 2012 at 9:47 pm

    ohhhh my Gosh! This is beautiful and delicious.. Now, I know what to bake on my mother’s birthday. Thanks much for sharing this wonderful recipes. :)

  33. #
    Grieta — May 29, 2012 at 2:37 am

    Hi, please give me some advise on the toffee bits. I’ve been unable to find this in Johannesburg (South Africa). Are these bits hard, like candy, or soft, and do they melt in the baking process? The only thing I can find which I could cut into tiny pieces would be Caramel sweets, which have are a bit like fudge…??? Any help would be much appreciated!

  34. #
    Shaina — May 30, 2012 at 9:39 am

    That looks just divine. I adore a good cheesecake, and the thought of those large chocolate dots along with toffee chips just has me at a loss. Happy birthday again, and I hope it was a wonderful one!

    • Brenda replied on June 5th, 2012 at 1:36 pm

      Thank you, Shaina. How about we bring cheesecake for a lesson in ugly drum making?! :)

  35. #
    Anna @ hiddenponies — May 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm

    This looks incredible! Happy belated birthday :)

    • Brenda replied on June 5th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      Thank you, Anna. :)

  36. #
    Randi — June 24, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Hi Brenda,

    Just wanted to let you know that your instructions are flawless. I made the polkadot cheesecake yesterday and it was a total hit. Cant wait to eat leftovers for breakfast with a cup of coffee shortly…. thanks for the great recipe!

    • Brenda replied on June 25th, 2012 at 11:08 pm

      Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know, Randi. I’m so happy to hear all of this. Enjoy!! :)

  37. #
    Ruth — August 21, 2012 at 9:57 am

    could I replace the toffee chips with chocolate chips or white chocolate chips? unfortunately we dont have toffee chips in my country…

    • Brenda replied on August 22nd, 2012 at 9:56 pm

      Hello Ruth – can you find toffee candy bars? Such as Heath or Skor? You could just chop the candy bars. They would have a chocolate coating, but then you would get that toffee flavor – it’s soooooo good!


  1. Pingback: zlukrem's soup

  2. Pingback: Thanksgiving Pie Round Up « Comfortably Domestic

  3. Pingback: Thanksgiving Pie Round Up

Leave a Comment