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Toasted Coconut Cheesecake

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Creamy and light, this New York-style cheesecake recipe is decadence with a tropical twist. With an easy to follow recipe, this toasted coconut cheesecake is sure to be a new favorite!

toasted coconut cheesecake with coffee in the background

A good cheesecake is a thing of beauty. Like the little black dress of desserts, cheesecake never goes out of style, and there are so many wonderful variations. This toasted coconut cheesecake, for example, is a new summer cheesecake flavor favorite. Say those last four words three times fast, haha. Seriously though, just editing these pictures had me dreaming about eating a slice. Once you bake one, you’ll understand why.

This cheesecake recipe is a New York-style cheesecake, meaning the crust goes up the sides of the cheesecake, the cake is tall, and the texture is very creamy. If you’ve made my super popular caramel apple cheesecake, it’s very similar in texture. This means you’ll be finding any excuse to enjoy a slice… breakfast, afternoon coffee, a Netflix snack. The Godfather only let me share one (large) portion of this recipe. He loved it! And you all know how he’s not a huge fan of coconut most of the time. This creamy cheesecake is one of the exceptions.

Toasted coconut cheesecake making tips…

If you’ve never made a cheesecake from scratch before, welcome! I’m so excited you’re thinking about giving this recipe a go. You’ll be a cheesecake pro in no time. Cheesecakes are pretty straightforward to make, the trick is to have a little patience.

First, you’ll want to be sure all your cream cheese is at room temperature. If you don’t want to leave it out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, use your microwave. Unwrap each block of cream cheese and place on a microwave-safe plate. Then microwave for about 12-15 seconds until softened. Trying to whip cold cream cheese increases the likelihood of lumps in your cheesecake batter, so make sure it’s at a nice soft temperature.

Then, be sure that you mix all the ingredients well. A nice homogeneous batter in your cheesecake pan means even baking and a better final result.

slice of coconut cheesecake on a plate to show the texture

Third, use a water bath! The water bath also helps with even baking and keeps the oven environment nice and humid so your cheesecake doesn’t over-bake up top or at the edges. To make a water bath, find a pan that is larger than your cheesecake pan. I use a 12-inch cake pan, but a large casserole dish or roaster will work too. If you are using a springform pan for your cheesecake, wrap it in a large piece of foil. Springform pans aren’t waterproof, and you don’t want water seeping into your cheesecake!

Finally, allow plenty of time for cooling. Gradually bringing down the temperature of your cheesecake is the best thing you can do to prevent cracks. I leave my cheesecakes in the oven with the door cracked open for about 20 minutes or so and then remove from the water bath and place on a rack to cool for about another 45 minutes to an hour before refrigerating. Knock on wood, it’s been years since I’ve had a cracked cheesecake. But if you do… don’t worry about it! The cheesecake will still taste delicious, and that’s what counts.

I hope you love this recipe, darlings! If you’d like even more cheesecake recipes, check out a few more favorites: key lime cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, and cookies and cream cheesecake bars. Happy baking!

Toasted Coconut Cheesecake

Toasted Coconut Cheesecake

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Creamy and light, this New York-style cheesecake recipe is decadence with a tropical twist. With an easy to follow recipe, this toasted coconut cheesecake is sure to be a new favorite!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups shredded coconut (to toast - you'll divide this between the crust and batter below)

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Coconut Cheesecake:

  • 5 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted shredded coconut
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla or coconut extract

Topping:

  • Remaining 1/4 cup toasted coconut

Instructions

To Toast the Coconut:

  1. Place your shredded coconut in a skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until the coconut is a light golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set on a plate to cool. Cool completely before using in the recipe.

To Make the Cheesecake:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 F.
  2. Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Grease the inside and set aside (see notes). Mix the crust ingredients and press into your prepared pan, going up the sides. Set crust aside while you make the filling.
  3. Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer and a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl after each addition, then stir in the extract and 3/4 cup of the toasted coconut.
  5. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and place into a water bath. To make the water bath, fill a larger pan with water about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Then, carefully place the whole thing in the oven and shut the door.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 425, then - without opening the oven door - reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 50-60 minutes until the cheesecake is set on top but still jiggles slightly. Don't over bake.
  7. Turn off the oven, crack the door open, and leave the cheesecake be for 20-30 minutes. Remove from the water bath and place on a wire rack to cool for an additional 30 minutes. Then, place the cooled cheesecake in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours until very cold.
  8. Top the cheesecake with the remaining toasted coconut just before serving. Enjoy!


Notes

  • I usually use sweetened shredded coconut because that's what I have. You may use unsweetened, but the cheesecake will be a little less sweet.
  • You do not have to use a springform pan if you don't have one. A cake pan will do as long as it's 3-inches deep so the filling will fit. Just line the bottom and sides with parchment paper so you can remove the cheesecake once it's completely chilled.

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