Coconut Cheesecake

12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Chilling Time 9 hours
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes

Coconut Cheesecake is a perfect dessert for coconut lovers with a rich creamy filling full of coconut flavor and topped with toasted coconut.

What do you get when you cross Coconut Cream Pie with New York Cheesecake? The ultimate decadent, smooth and creamy Cheesecake Recipe with endless sweet, tropical coconut flavor in every bite.

Sabrina’s Coconut Cheesecake Recipe

This tropical twist on a classic dessert that will transport your taste buds straight to a sandy beach. It’s got all the rich, creamy decadence of traditional cheesecake along with the island flavors of coconut plus a crunchy toasted coconut flake topping. This beautiful Coconut Cheesecake makes an elegant dessert for special occasions and birthday parties but is simple enough to bake whenever you get a craving for a taste of the tropics.

The beauty of this Coconut Cheesecake recipe lies in its simplicity. It starts with a Graham Cracker Crust made with coconut oil instead of butter, and your basic cheesecake filling gets even sweeter and creamier with sweetened condensed milk. Finally, the creamy filling is topped with a thick layer of coconut shreds. The top of the coconut flakes toast as it bakes for a crispy, chewy Coconut Macaroon-like topping! This easy recipe is perfect for home cooks of all levels, as it takes you step-by-step through the process, so anyone can make this mouthwatering, tropical-inspired coconut dessert.

Ingredients

  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese is the foundation of any cheesecake, providing a rich, creamy texture and tangy flavor. The perfect cheesecake starts with room temperature cream cheese so its soft enough to mix easily and get extra fluffy.
  • Condensed Milk: Sweetened condensed milk is a thick, sweet syrup that is used in place of the heavy cream or sour cream you use in traditional cheesecake recipes. It adds a luscious creaminess to your cheesecake filling.
  • Shredded Coconut: Sweetened shredded coconut adds bursts of coconut flavor and sweet chewy texture in every bite. As the filling bakes, some of the coconut flakes sink into the creamy coconut cheesecake batter while the top layer becomes deliciously golden brown and slightly crispy.
  • Whole Milk: Whole milk helps to achieve a smoother and creamier cheesecake filling. It contributes to the rich, velvety mouthfeel that makes this dessert so satisfying without being as heavy as whipping cream.
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is used instead of butter to hold the graham cracker crumbs together to form the crust while giving some extra coconut flavor.
Coconut Cheesecake ingredients in bowls

Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • Springform Pan: You’ll need a 9-inch pan to bake your cheesecake, and a springform pan will ensure the sides of the cheesecake won’t stick to the pan.
  • Baking Pan: You will need a large baking pan with tall sides that the spring form pan can fit inside. A roasting pan works best.
  • Stand Mixer: Bring your ingredients together with a stand mixer and paddle attachment. It’s a great choice because it can mix the ingredients efficiently at a high speed. You can also use a handheld electric mixer if you don’t have a stand mixer.

How to Make Coconut Cheesecake

Time needed: 10 hours and 15 minutes.

  1. Water Bath

    Prepare your water bath by wrapping a 9-inch springform pan tightly with a layer of aluminum foil. 

  2. Prep

    Place a rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted coconut oil until a moist, sandy mixture forms.Coconut Cheesecake crust being mixed

  3. Crust

    Press the crust mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan in an even layer as well as up the sides a bit.Coconut Cheesecake crust being pressed into baking dish

  4. Filling

    In a stand mixer, beat the sugar and cream cheese on high speed until light and fluffy. Lower the speed to medium. Add the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, milk, and flour to the cream cheese mixture and mix until smooth. Pour the cheesecake filling onto the prepared crust and spread evenly.Coconut Cheesecake ingredients being mixed

  5. Pour

    Pour the cheesecake filling onto the prepared crust and spread evenly.Coconut Cheesecake being poured into crust

  6. Top and Bake

    Cover the filling with the shredded coconut completely. Carefully place the springform pan into the larger baking pan and add warm water to the large pan until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Move the large pan to the preheated oven, careful not to splash any water onto the cheesecake. Bake for one hour, until it no longer jiggles in the center.Coconut Cheesecake being topped with coconut

  7. Cool

    Turn off the oven, open the oven door a couple of inches to let the heat out, and cool cheesecake for an hour. Take cheesecake out of the oven and remove the aluminum foil from the pan. Refrigerate cheesecake at least 8 hours so it fully sets before serving.Coconut Cheesecake sliced on serving plate

What is a water bath?

A water bath, also known as a bain-marie, is a method of cooking that involves placing a container (such as a springform pan) with the food inside another larger container filled with hot water. This technique ensures gentle and even heat distribution, preventing the delicate cheesecake from overcooking or developing cracks on the surface.

Using a water bath for cheesecake is essential, as it helps to maintain a consistent temperature during baking, which is crucial for achieving the desired texture. The steam generated by the hot water also helps to keep the cheesecake moist and creamy.

Can Coconut Cheesecake be made in advance?

Yes, this Coconut Cheesecake recipe can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days without losing any of its texture or gorgeous looks. After about 2-3 days, homemade cheesecake naturally starts to seep out moisture. It’s still good to eat for a few more days, it just might be dry in spots or soggy in the crust, which for parties and events of course, you want to serve a fresh, perfect cheesecake! You can make the graham cracker crust up to 2 weeks in advance, just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to keep out moisture.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Coconut Cheesecake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 561 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 22g138%
Trans Fat 0.004g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 331mg14%
Potassium 282mg8%
Carbohydrates 57g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 49g54%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 934IU19%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 184mg18%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

Whether this is your first time making cheesecake, or your fortieth time, these helpful tips will ensure things go smoothly:

  1. Choosing the Pan for a Water Bath
    • A metal pan is a great choice for a water bath but don’t use a disposable aluminum foil pan because they are not sturdy enough to hold the cheesecake pan and water without buckling when you move it in and out of the oven.
  2. No Peeking
    • Do not open the door to peek at your Cheesecake while it’s baking. Each time you open the door you will let some of the steam and risk your cheesecake drying out. Only open it after a full hour of baking.
  3. Soften Your Cream Cheese
    • You can speed up the process with the microwave and a small bowl! Cut the cold cream cheese into small cubes and microwave them for 10-15 seconds at a time until they are soft, but not melted, and still slightly cool to the touch.

What to Pair With Coconut Cheesecake

You can enjoy decadent Coconut Cheesecake after a lighter dinner like Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken or Easy Baked Fish. Tropical side dishes like Grilled Pineapple or Mango Salsa will be a great lead-in to the Coconut flavors in this Cheesecake. Considering the shredded coconuts on top already look festive, you can prepare the Cheesecake recipe for any holiday or special occasion meal to delight a crowd, especially those fans of coconut.

How to Store 

  • Serve: You need to refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 8 hours for the creamy Coconut Cheesecake filling to set. Once it has set, this cheesecake can be at room temperature for about 2 hours, but it’s best kept chilled.
  • Store: This Coconut Cheesecake will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator, but it will be at its peak flavor and texture for serving in the first 2-3 days. Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to an airtight container to store.
  • Freeze: Let the cheesecake fully set overnight before freezing for longer storage. Tightly wrap the set cheesecake with plastic wrap then aluminum foil. Store in the back of your freezer for up to 4 months and remove the plastic wrap before thawing in the fridge.

Ideas to Serve Coconut Cheesecake

Serving a slice of Coconut Cheesecake all by itself is impressive enough, however there are a few ways you could dress it up even more. Serve each slice with a drizzle of chocolate sauce or Caramel Sauce. Add an even more tropical element of flavor by serving it alongside a dollop of Pineapple Curd. It is also never a bad idea to top cheesecake with a scoop of Whipped Cream, or even flavorful Chocolate Whipped Cream.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I prevent cracks from forming on my cheesecake?

To prevent cracks, avoid over-mixing the filling and use a water bath during baking. Also, allow the cheesecake to cool gradually by leaving it in the oven with the door slightly ajar for an hour after turning off the heat.

How can I tell when my cheesecake is done baking?

A perfectly baked cheesecake should be slightly jiggly in the center but firm around the edges. You can also check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or a thin knife into the center, and it should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Recipe Card

Coconut Cheesecake

Coconut Cheesecake is a perfect dessert for coconut lovers with a rich, creamy filling full of coconut flavor and topped with toasted coconut.
Yield 12 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 10 hours 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder

Ingredients
 

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs , about 18 sheets
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil , melted

Coconut Cheesecake Filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese , softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Instructions

Graham Cracker Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and wrap a 9-inch springform pan in a large piece of foil to protect from the water bath and a large pan of water you can set the springform pan in to bake.
  • Mix the graham cracker crumbs, ⅓ cup sugar and 6 tablespoons melted coconut oil and press into the bottom of the springform pan, and 1 inch up the sides.

Coconut Cheesecake Filling:

  • To your stand mixer, add the cream cheese and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
  • Lower the speed to medium and add in the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, milk, and flour until smooth.
  • Carefully spread the filling mixture on the crust.
  • Sprinkle shredded coconut on top of filling.
  • Place the pan in the water bath and bake for 1 hour.
  • Turn off the oven, open the door a couple inches to let the heat out gently and let cool for 1 hour.
  • Remove from oven, discard the foil and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.004g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 282mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 934IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 184mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword: Coconut Cheesecake

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Variations

  • Crust: Swap out the graham cracker crumbs with vanilla wafer cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, or cinnamon grahams. You can also substitute the granulated sugar with brown sugar in the graham cracker mixture to give it a slight caramel flavor.
  • Pina Colada: Make this creamy coconut cheesecake filling taste like a tropical drink by adding a tablespoon each dark rum and white rum, and 2 tablespoons cream of coconut. Serve with a Pineapple Topping or crushed pineapple.
  • Lime: For a bright, citrus flavor that reminds you of Key Lime Pie, add 1 tablespoon of key lime zest and 2 tablespoons of key lime juice to the cheesecake filling
  • Chocolate: Replace the graham cracker crust with a chocolate cookie crust, add ½ cup mini chocolate chips, and drizzle the finished cheesecake with Chocolate Ganache. Add some toasted almonds to the topping for an Almond Joy flavor.

More Delicious Cheesecake Recipes

Coconut Cheesecake Pinterest Image

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.

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