German Chocolate Cheesecake with buttercream and coconut topping

German Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe (video)


If you love chocolate and coconut, this delicious German Chocolate Cheesecake recipe is for you! Inspired by the famous German Chocolate Cake! This rich and decadent chocolate and coconut cheesecake is topped with chocolate buttercream and the iconic German Chocolate Cake filling, made with custard, coconut, and pecans. The cheesecake crust is made with a graham cracker and coconut for even more coconut flavor. And the cheesecake itself is so rich, silky smooth and delicious! The perfect cheesecake for the chocolate lover!

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Coconut Graham Cracker Crust

I start my German Chocolate Cheesecake with the most delicious coconut crust. For the crust, I’m using 8 graham crackers and 1/3 (35 g) cup sweetened coconut flakes. I love the light hint of coconut in the crust, it adds even more flavor! Pulse the crackers and coconut together in a food processor until fine crumbs form, then add the melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) spring form pan. I like to use a potato masher to press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom! Try using a masher for this recipe! You’ll thank me later!

closeup of chocolate coconut cheesecake slice with coconut pecan topping

Silky, Rich Chocolate Cheesecake

The chocolate cheesecake batter for this recipe is so luscious, thick, creamy and smooth! You’ll want to eat it with a spoon; resist the urge – raw eggs! For the best chocolate flavor, I use a combination of cocoa powder and melted chocolate for the batter. First, prepare the simple cheesecake batter: cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla and a bit of coconut extract. Once you have the base ready, then add the chocolate and cocoa.

Once this German Chocolate Cheesecake is baked, the texture is heavenly! The cake is so smooth and silky and rich! The secret to getting a smooth cheesecake is to beat the cream cheese for at least 7 to 10 minutes on its own, until there are no clumps. Make sure to scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl often so no bits remain!

Tips for Baking a Cheesecake

I always, always use a water bath for all my cheesecake recipes! Using a water bath ensures the cheesecake bakes more evenly and the extra moisture helps prevent any cracks from forming on the top. Make sure to wrap the outside of your springform pan with foil when using a water bath. I recommend going with extra-wide or grilling foil; this way, you won’t have any seams for the water to leak through!

  • Just place the finished cheesecake onto a large baking sheet and fill the pan with water. Add more water during the baking process as needed.
  • Once the cheesecake is done baking, turn the oven off, prop the oven door ajar with a wooden spoon and allow the cheesecake to cool SLOWLY! This is key if you don’t want large cracks to form. I usually let mine cool for a few hours until it reaches room temperature.
  • Place the cheesecake into the refrigerator to set overnight.

German Chocolate Cheesecake recipe with chocolate buttercream

Iconic Coconut Pecan Topping

Once you have the chocolate cheesecake baked and set, it’s time to prepare the German Chocolate Cake filling! This iconic filling is made with a simple custard, sweetened coconut and pecans. Make sure to let the filling cool before adding it to the cheesecake, otherwise it will melt the chocolate buttercream!

First, combine the melted butter, evaporated milk, egg yolks, sugar and extracts in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly, until a thick custard forms. Remove the custard from the heat and stir in the coconut and pecans. That’s it! Super easy and delicious!

slice of German Chocolate Cheesecake with coconut pecan topping

Chocolate Buttercream

To garnish this German Chocolate Cheesecake and to keep the coconut pecan filling secure, I used my ‘Chocolate Buttercream’! I have a separate video recipe for this incredible buttercream; it’s one of my ‘Back to Cake Basics’ series recipes. Make sure to check out the video recipe for all the details on how to make it!

Just transfer the prepared buttercream into a pastry bag tipped with a star tip. I used French Star tip #4. Pipe generous dollops along the edge of the cheesecake, then add the prepared (and cooled!) filling into the center! Now, you’re ready to enjoy the cake!

More Recipes

Enjoyed this incredible cake recipe? Check out some of my other recipes you’re sure to enjoy!

  • German Chocolate Cake – the original recipe behind the inspiration for this one! Classic chocolate cake with coconut pecan filling and chocolate buttercream!
  • Ferrero Rocher Cheesecake – another decadent and rich cheesecake recipe, inspired by the famous chocolate candies!
  • Triple Chocolate Cheesecake – three layers of indulgence, including dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate cake layers!
  • Triple Coffee Cheesecake – one of my all-time favorite recipes! Made with coffee cheesecake, coffee mousse and coffee whipped cream!

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German Chocolate Cheesecake video recipe


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