Coconut Cheesecake starts with a graham cracker crust topped with a cheesecake filling flavored with coconut cream and extracts, topped with homemade whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes. It’s a rich and creamy dessert with a tropical flair, perfect for anyone who loves coconut! If this sounds like your kind of dessert, I also have Coconut Cream Pie you will love!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Crust: The graham cracker crumbs need to be completely coated in the melted butter. This helps the crust stay together and not let any get left behind on your plate! You could also use a storebought crust.
Graham Cracker Crumbs
Pre-Crushed vs Crushing Yourself
The quality of store-bought graham cracker crumbs has changed in the last few years and they seem to be less flavorful and have a different texture. When possible, I recommend the full sheets of honey-flavored graham crackers and crushing them yourself or utilizing a food processor.
Cream Cheese: Before mixing the cheesecake filling, be sure the cream cheese is softened, or at room temperature.
Coconut Cream: Coconut cream has a higher fat content and is thicker than coconut milk. Do not use cream of coconut, which is very different than coconut cream. You can usually find coconut cream in the canned section of the grocery store.
Coconut Extract: Look for pure coconut extract, not imitation, to use in the cheesecake filling.
Whipped Cream: If possible, make homemade whipped cream to top the cheesecake. Store-bought would also work.
Coconut Flakes: Top the cheesecake with toasted unsweetened coconut for a little added crunch and even more coconut flavor. You can buy toasted coconut in the baking aisle of the grocery store. Or, toast it yourself.
Is The Water Bath Important?
Yes, baking the cheesecake in a water bath helps prevent the edges from overcooking. It also results in the cheesecake being more even colored without cracks. It’s all about science. The water cannot get hotter than 212°F since this is when it turns to steam. This means the heat is distributed more evenly and the water is like a buffer protecting the edges from overcooking. The steam also helps with the smooth top of the cheesecake, adding moisture while the cheesecake is baking.
When Is Cheesecake Done Baking?
Cheesecake is done baking when the sides are set, but the middle is still a bit jiggly. You can check the internal temperature of the cheesecake to check for doneness (150°F). If you have any holes from checking the internal temperature, just cover them with whipped topping! Another way to check for doneness would be to take a wooden spoon and tap the outside of the pan. If there is a slight jiggle, it’s done!
How To Store Coconut Cheesecake
To store coconut cheesecake, you can store it with or without the whipped cream topping. Store the cheesecake, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To freeze coconut cheesecake, I recommend freezing it without the whipped cream frosting. You can always add that with the toasted coconut when ready to serve. To freeze cheesecake:
- Let the cheesecake cool completely.
- Place the cheesecake (uncovered) in the freezer for about an hour. If you are keeping the cheesecake pie in the springform pan, remove the sides of the pan.
- After the hour in the freezer, take the cheesecake off the pan (you may have to pry it off with a knife), and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
- Place the wrapped cheesecake into a zipped freezer bag or wrap it in aluminum foil. Be sure to label and date the cheesecake. It should last up to 3 months.
- When ready to enjoy, let the cheesecake thaw in the refrigerator.
- Serve topped with whipped cream and toasted coconut.
- 1 ½ cups (126 g) graham cracker crumbs, about 10-11 full sheets, crushed
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup (76 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (148 g) unsweetened coconut cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 5 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 recipe homemade whipped cream, or store-bought
- ½ cup (46.5 g) unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted*
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, including up the sides. Set aside.
- To a medium mixing bowl, add graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter. Mix until combined. Make sure all of the graham cracker crumbs are coated in butter; the consistency should look like coarse sand.
- Press the crust into the bottom of the lined springform pan. Wrap 2 pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil around the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth and creamy.
- Add the sugar. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the coconut cream and extracts. Mix until smooth and creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
- Pour the filling onto the crust. Carefully place the springform pan into a deep roasting pan and place both in the oven.
- Pour hot water into the roasting pan, 3-4 inches deep, or about halfway up the side of the springform pan. (Using a teapot with hot water works very well, as it is easy to pour and the water is already hot.)
- Bake until the top of the cheesecake turns golden, about 65-70 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool in the springform pan on a wire rack. When cool, refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
- Top the chilled cheesecake with whipped cream and toasted coconut flakes. Serve.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread coconut over the lined baking sheet.
- Bake 5-6 minutes.
Did you make this recipe?
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
I am normally not a fan of coconut but this cheesecake might be the exception for me! It was creamy and filled with so much flavor! I was a big fan of the toasted coconut topping!
If you love all things coconut, this will be your new favorite cheesecake! I love the added crunch and flavor from the toasted coconut on top!
This tastes like vacation. I adore it. So so good. Love the crunch from the toasted coconut on top. Just divine.
This cheesecake is perfect for coconut lovers! The coconut adds a beautiful sweetness! The crunchy topping is a good addition to the creamy cheesecake.
I love coconut, and this was just perfectly creamy with the coconut flavor. And, the toasted coconut on top adds the perfect crunchy texture. Loved it!