German Chocolate Cheesecake starts with the perfect chocolate cheesecake over a nutty crust, then topped with a coconut pecan topping and chocolate syrup. It is quite a decadent and indulgent treat that will satisfy lovers of German chocolate cake but in a cheesecake form! You know this recipe will be amazing because it is based on my super popular Chocolate Cheesecake!

German Chocolate Cheesecake on a white table top with one piece removed and two more pieces cut from overhead.

What Is A German Chocolate Cheesecake?

No, this cake did not originate in Germany. German chocolate is a kind of baking chocolate invented by an American named Samuel German for Baker’s Chocolate Company. A German Chocolate Cake generally refers to a rich chocolate cake topped with a coconut pecan frosting, like I used in this cheesecake. Although I did not specifically use German’s sweet chocolate in the cake, I did stick with the pecan coconut topping in this recipe.

Drizzling chocolate sauce over German Chocolate Cheesecake on a white counter.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Crust: This crust is a nutty crust made with pecans (from my blueberry cream cheese bars) with the addition of cocoa powder for a subtle chocolate flavor.

Chocolate Cheesecake: I used my chocolate cheesecake recipe with a different crust for the richest and most chocolatey cheesecake. If you love chocolate, you will want to make that, too, with its Oreo cookie crust. Or, keep the Oreo crust for this recipe, too, if preferred!

Cocoa Powder: In both the crust and the cheesecake, I used Dutch-processed cocoa powder. This gives both a darker color with a richer taste. You could substitute regular unsweetened cocoa powder if that is what you have on hand.

Eggs: You will need a total of 8 large eggs for this recipe. Five whole eggs are used in the cheesecake, while 3 egg yolks are needed for the topping. When separating the yolks from the egg whites, don’t let the egg whites go to waste! Save them for another dessert like Fried Ice Cream.

Evaporated Milk: For the coconut topping, you will need evaporated milk. Evaporated milk is super-concentrated milk that helps give the topping its creamy texture. It should not be confused with sweetened condensed milk, which has added sugar. They should not be used interchangeably in recipes.

Coconut: Coconut is part of what describes a German chocolate cake, so we couldn’t leave that out! I used a cup of sweetened shredded coconut.

Pecans: Pecans go hand in hand with coconut in German chocolate cake. I added a cup of chopped pecans for the topping.

Chocolate Sauce: Store-bought or homemade chocolate sauce can be used to drizzle over the cake for serving. I mean, who doesn’t want even more chocolate?!?

Picking up a piece of German Chocolate Cheesecake from the platter on a white counter.

Can I Make This Cake Ahead Of Time?

Yes, both the cheesecake and the coconut topping can be made in advance. The cheesecake does need to chill for at least 4 hours, up to overnight, so that is a good head start. And then, the coconut topping can be made in advance, too. Once made and cooled, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Then, it’s ready to go when you are ready to frost the cake!

How To Check Cheesecake For Doneness

When you bake cheesecake, it’s ready when the edges look firm, but the middle is still a little jiggly. You can also check if it’s done by checking the internal temperature with a thermometer, which should read 150°F. Another way is to tap the pan gently with a wooden spoon; if it jiggles slightly, it’s ready. After baking, let the cheesecake cool down completely in the pan. Then, put it in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. This helps it set perfectly and makes it taste even better with the perfect texture.

Pieces of German Chocolate Cheesecake on white plates on a white counter with one bite taken out of the front piece.

How To Store German Chocolate Cheesecake

Store this German chocolate cheesecake in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, freeze the cheesecake with or without the topping. To freeze:

  1. Let the cheesecake cool and set completely.
  2. 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.
  3. After the hour in the freezer, take the cheesecake off the pan, and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  4. Place the wrapped cheesecake into a zipped freezer bag or wrap it in aluminum foil. Be sure to label and date the cheesecake, it will last up to 2-3 months.
  5. When ready to enjoy, let the cheesecake thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
German Chocolate Cheesecake on a white table with chocolate chips and white plates from overhead.
5 from 2 votes

German Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 40 minutes
German Chocolate Cheesecake starts with the perfect chocolate cheesecake over a nutty crust, then topped with a coconut pecan topping and chocolate syrup. It is quite a decadent and indulgent treat that will satisfy lovers of German chocolate cake but in a cheesecake form!



  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (54.5 g) finely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup (29.5 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder


  • 2 cups (364 g) semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup (178.5 g) heavy whipping cream, room temperature, divided
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (29.5 g) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Coconut Topping

  • 1 cup (252 g) evaporated milk
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (93 g) sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup (109 g) roughly chopped pecans
  • chocolate syrup, for drizzling over cake


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Then, line it with parchment paper.


  • To a medium bowl, add melted butter, flour, pecans, and cocoa powder. Mix until combined.
  • Press mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
  • Bake the crust for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.


  • To a microwave-safe bowl, add chocolate chips and ¼ cup heavy whipping cream. Heat in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until the chips have melted and the mixture is smooth with no lumps. Set aside.
  • To a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese. Using a hand-held mixer, mix until creamy and smooth. Mix in the sugar and Dutch-processed cocoa powder until smooth.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then, add the remaining ½ cup of heavy cream, mixing until combined.
  • Fold in the melted chocolate mixture.
  • Add the vanilla and stir to combine. Pour the batter on top of the cooled cookie crust. Bake for 70 minutes, placing a separate pan underneath the cheesecake to catch any drippings. The cheesecake is done when the sides are set but the center is still a little bit jiggly. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it rest until the pan is cooled.
  • Refrigerate for 4 hours or until completely chilled.

Coconut Topping

  • To a medium saucepan over medium-low heat add evaporated milk, butter, brown sugar, and egg yolks. Cook, stirring constantly until thickened, about 10 minutes, or until it reaches a pudding-like consistency.
  • Remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir to combine.
  • Fold in coconut and pecans. Set aside to cool completely
  • Spread cooled frosting over chilled chocolate cheesecake.
  • When ready to serve, drizzle with chocolate syrup.

Did you make this recipe?

Thank you for making my recipe! You took pictures, right? Well go ahead and post them on Instagram! Be sure to mention me @iambaker and use the hashtag #YouAreBaker.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


If you are a German Chocolate Cake fan, this one is for you! The creamy chocolate cheesecake is perfectly balanced by the coconut frosting. Every bite is delicous!


I know the chocolate cheesecake is absolutely perfect in taste and creamy texture since I have had that part before. However, I am not a fan of coconut, so a German chocolate cake (or cheesecake) is not my go-to dessert. It's a great recipe if you love coconut, though!


German chocolate cake lovers must try this cheesecake, the chocolate cheesecake is so silky and rich. The coconut pecan topping I could eat with a spoon, so it only makes whatever it's on better.


This is quite delicious! I really like the coconut with the rich chocolate cheesecake. It is a great balance of flavor and texture! The one thing that I could live without would be the pecans, but that is a necessity for a German cheesecake.


I absolutely love German chocolate cake, and I think it translates very well into this cheesecake!


Number one, the cheesecake alone is fantastic but paired with the nutty crust and coconut topping, DIVINE.

Share with your friends!

Categorized in: ,

Related Recipes

Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. I have made chocolate cheesecake before and also GC Cake. German chocolate is a little lighter than cocoa. Is there a way to make this with German chocolate? Also, is there any problem with using a water bath?

  2. In relation to the above, I reread the recipe, and I would guess GC could be used in place of the chips, but the sugar might need to be reduced? As far as the cocoa, maybe a lighter cocoa?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.