This chocolate coconut cheesecake recipe takes it to another level! It is made with a creamy New York style cheesecake layer with a toasted pecans and coconut filling and a soft chocolate cake. The whole cake is decorated with the most delicious brown sugar chocolate buttercream and mini chocolate chips. If you want to surprise your loved ones with a simple but genius dessert, make this recipe!!!
If you cannot decide between Chocolate cake and cheesecake - get it both!
How to get a the cheesecake and the chocolate cake same sized?
First of all, use a spring form pan for both layers if you have. I wanted the cakes to have an 8-inch diameter and my springform pan is 9-inch wide, so I had to use my regular cake pan. If you are ok with some extra preparing steps and a difficult releasing of the cake you can try the same. I greased the pan with butter and cut two long stripes of parchment paper that are almost double the size of the pan. Fold the stripes in a cross inside the pan and place a parchment round on the bottom of the pan. If you want to be very secure that the cake will release easily after baking cover the baking pan all around its side with parchment paper.
Read here about the origin of the name German Chocolate cake
Fill the graham cracker crumbs in the baking pan and press it to form a crust. Bake it and after the crust is cooled check if the parchment paper is still attached to the baking pan and if not add some more butter to make it stick. Then fill in the cheesecake and bake it in a water bath. After it has baked cut with a knife around the edges of the cake to release the cake from the baking pan. This is an important step to prevent the cake from cracking while cooling. When the cake has cooled for at least 4 hours in the fridge it is ready to be released from the baking pan. Cut with a knife all around the edges all the way to the cookie crust. Then carefully try to lift it with the two parchment paper stripes. If it does not work use a plate and cover the cake pan. Flip the cake pan upside down and carefully shake it a bit to help releasing the cake. I actually had to do that since 3 of my parchment paper stripes teared while trying to release the cake and it came out beautifully. All in all, I would recommend to use a springform pan, just because it is easier to release the cake.
Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake
3/4 cup (150 g) sugar
1 cup (120 g) flour
1/4 cup & 2 tbsp (38 g) dark cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (125 ml) butter milk
1/4 cup (63 ml) vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup (125 ml) coffee, hot
For the Pecan-Coconut Filling:
1 cup (250 ml) evaporated milk
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
1/2 cup (100 g) brown sugar
1/2 cup (57 g) butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup (125 g) chopped pecans, toasted
1 1/2 cups (100 g) coconut flakes, toasted
For the cheesecake layer:
16 oz (454 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1/2 cup (100 g) sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp vanilla extract, or coconut extract
1/2 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup (123 g) sour cream, at room temperature
3 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup (86 g) chocolate chips
For the Graham cracker crust:
2 cups (200 g) graham cracker crumbs (16 crackers)
6 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp sugar
For the chocolate buttercream:
1 1/2 cups (340 g) butter
5 egg whites
1 1/2 cups (300 g) brown sugar
8 oz (226 g) dark chocolate, melted
1/4 cup (25 g) dark cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 °F. The first step is to make the chocolate cake. Start off with a large bowl. Combine the sugar, egg, salt, and vanilla. Add oil and butter milk. Mix it until fluffy. Sift in flour, cocoa, baking powder and baking soda and mix until everything is thoroughly incorporated. Stir in the hot coffee; the batter will be very thin.
Divide the batter evenly in an 8-inch cake pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the layer in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the signature pecan-coconut filling add coconut and pecans into a pan without oil and toast for about 5 minutes at medium heat or until it becomes golden brown. In a medium sized pan combine egg yolks, evaporated milk and both sugars. Mix it until smooth and let it cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes. The mixture should have thickened. Remove the pan from the stove top and add the butter, vanilla, toasted pecans, and toasted coconut. Mix it until combined and place it in the fridge until needed.
The next step is to make the cheesecake. To make the Graham cracker crust you need to make cookie crumbs. You can either blend the cookies in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture in a spring form pan and bake it for about 12 minutes. Let it come to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 °F.
To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Add the cream cheese and flour and mix it until smooth for about 4 minutes. Add sugar, vanilla, sour cream, heavy cream, eggs, lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix until well combined. When it is smooth add 1/2 cup of the coconut filling. Mix until smooth for about 1 minute.
To bake the cake cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter. Place it in a slightly bigger baking pan and fill it 1 inch high with water. Bake the cake in this water bath at 325 °F for about 40 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for about 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath. With a knife cut around the edges to release the cake from the baking pan. This is an important step to prevent the cake from cracking while cooling. Let it come to room temperature for another 30 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 4 hours in the fridge.
For the buttercream whisk egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and place it on a pot with simmering water (bain-marie). Whisk it continually until it forms soft peaks for 8 minutes. Take out the water bath and keep whisking the meringue until stiff peaks form. Mix in the butter in small pieces. Keep mixing it until it comes together in a smooth buttercream. Add the slightly cooled melted chocolate and mix it in quickly. Make sure to clean the bowl with a silicone spatula to fully incorporate the chocolate. As a last step add vanilla and dark cocoa. Mix everything until well incorporated, but do not over mix it to avoid too many air bubbles.
To decorate the cake, place the cheesecake on a plate and top it with the chocolate cake. Top it with chocolate buttercream on the top and its sides. Refrigerate the cake for about 40 minutes. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and cover it with mini chocolate chips. Top it with 1 cup of pecan coconut filling and decorate it with buttercream swirls.
I like to toast some extra pecans and coconut for decoration.
To toast the pecans simply heat up a pan without oil and add the pecans. Let them toast for about 4 minutes at medium heat. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
For the buttercream I like to change the bowl after the meringue was cooking on the water bath to a cold bowl. That makes mixing the meringue easier as it reaches room temperature faster.
The buttercream can stay at room temperature for about 2 days. Then it should be moved in the fridge.
Chocaholic? Try chocolate chips as an addition to the cake batter – double chocolate sound double the fun!
Feel free to add coconut-pecan filling in between the cheesecake layer and chocolate cake!