Decadent German Chocolate Coconut Cheesecake with Rum

I keep telling myself that every day is one day closer to Spring and nicer weather! One day that will be true – hopefully once we get past St. Patrick’s Day the weather will settle down and stop snowing! As I write this it is snowing with a potential of two more inches! It was a busy week at work and an emotional one for Trekkies as we lost Leonard Nimoy – a talented actor and a warm individual. Every day I read wonderful tributes to Leonard including what Star Trek and Mr. Spock meant to them. Some of them had the privilege to meet Leonard and get his signature. On The Testers Edge I wrote my tribute on the influence of Star Trek and Mr. Spock on my life and career. So many people I talk to in the tech field has a similar story to mine – Star Trek started their love affair with technology. Shows like Big Bang Theory had their own tribute to him. Leonard lived a long and prosperous life while touching the lives of so many people! What a legacy he leaves behind!

Decandent Chocolate Coconut Cake close up

For today’s posting I am continuing the dessert series! Most people love cheesecake – bring a cheesecake to a party and you are a hero! In the past I have made the quick refrigerator version that is great for the summer. However, a baked cheesecake is a different story. For Christmas my mother bought me a springform pan so it was time to finally make my first baked cheesecake! Of course much research was conducted on how to make a cheesecake, how long to bake it and how to know when it should be taken out of the oven. The cheesecake should jiggle slightly in the middle because it will firm up over night. Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about under-baking and over-baking the cheesecake. Upon checking it a couple of times it seemed to jiggle to far past the center and finally it jiggle in the center and seemed like it might be ready to come out of the oven! The difficult part of a cheesecake is waiting until the next day for the taste test!

Decandent Chocolate Coconut Cake with icing

Some of the calories are reduced by only using two packages of fat-free cream cheese. Most recipes call for three packages of full-fat cream cheese. The chocolate graham crackers, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips makes this a decadent cheesecake and you do not lose any flavor by using fat-free cream cheese. In fact this is a very rich cheesecake and you may consider reducing some of the chocolate to make it less rich. It was an enjoyable cheesecake but I could only eat a small slice at a time since I don’t typically eat rich desserts! But I would make it again!

Decandent Chocolate Coconut Cake with Rum and no icing

A traditional cheesecake is delicate requiring a light hand for any topping – perhaps a nice blueberry or strawberry syrup. This chocolate cheesecake is dense but you still want to use a light hand with the topping even though it is firmer than a lot of other cheesecakes. And of course you could skip the topping and it will still be delicious! This recipe is adapted from Food Network.

Crust Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp egg white
ΒΌ cup sugar
16 chocolate graham cracker sheets

Topping Ingredients
About 3-ounces of sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
1 1/2 cups pecans, toasted
4 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp Rum
4 large egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Cheesecake Ingredients
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, fat-free at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sour cream, low-fat
Β½ tbsp Rum


Crust Preparation
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Combine crust ingredients in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form – they should be moist – if too dry add a little more egg white. Firmly press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Bake for about 10 minutes and let cool on a wire rack.

Topping Preparation
Toast the coconut and pecans in a frying pan on the stove top and transfer to a small bowl for later. Pulse the pecans in the food processor until coarsely chopped and transfer to a small bowl for later. Whisk together the remaining ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. (You cannot whisk the butter since it is not melted but I like to use a whisk for the other ingredients.) Simmer for about 10-minutes over low to medium heat until the mixture reduces and caramelize slightly. Periodically stir – be careful to not boil the mixture. Stir in the chopped pecans and coconut reserving some of the coconut for the topping. Set aside to cool.

Cheesecake Preparation
Fill a roasting pan halfway with water and set on the lower oven rack – preheat oven to 350. Clean the food processor and add the cream cheese – pulse until blended. Add eggs and pulse until blended. Add dry ingredients and pulse until blended – about 2 minutes. Add and blend the sour cream and vanilla. Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl at 30-seconds intervals until melted. Add the melted chocolate to the food processor and pulse until combined.

Transfer about half of the cheesecake batter to the prepared crust smoothing with a spatula. Spoon about two-thirds of the topping evenly over the batter. Top with the remaining batter; smooth the top. Set on the middle oven rack (directly over the pan of water) and bake until set around the edge but the center still jiggle slightly, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until cold and set, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Run a thin knife around the edge of the cheesecake and remove the springform ring. Microwave the remaining topping to soften, about 30 seconds (stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons water to loosen, if necessary). Spread on top of the cheesecake; top with the reserved coconut.

Decandent Chocolate Coconut Cake with Rum crust baking

Decandent Chocolate Coconut Cake with Rum out of the oven


  1. Sure looks decadent! <3 <3 <3
    Let's all think positive thoughts of spring no matter what is going on outside our window.
    Last year we had snow on my daughter's birthday: April 15th! πŸ™

    1. Thank you – it was good but rich! And you just never know when that darn snow is going to show up! Today it was in the 30’s (f) and it felt like a heat wave! I wore a lighter jacket to work, did not remotely start the jeep at work, and did not use the heated seats! What joy!! πŸ™‚

      1. My grand kids were all excited at the end of the school day when they felt too hot for their coats because the temps were too hot! I was amazed because I hadn’t been out all day (too busy) but I had seen the splendid sunshine through the windows. <3

  2. Oh wow Bernice, that looks awesome! I bet it was delicious, I love cheesecake, that’s why I make them all the time. I am going to try your recipe! I am so glad that the temperatures are warmer for you and the snow is melting!! We have had warmer temperatures this week too, rain all day today. Snow is gone but we do still have some huge icicles down at the creek but they will probably all melt with this rain. Enjoy your weekend!! πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Michael! This is a really good cheesecake with multiple opportunities for changes! Our snow is almost gone and finally we can see our mailbox! Looking forward to Spring arriving! πŸ™‚

  3. I haven’t made cheesecake in ages as I’d have to eat it all by myself or give 90% of it away. It’s easier just to buy a slice from a really good bakery. πŸ™‚ This cheesecake does look lovely.

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