German Chocolate Cheesecake

If you’re looking for the perfect Cheesecake to serve for special occasions or guests, this German Chocolate Cheesecake fits the bill. The rich coconut-pecan topping is amazing paired with the double chocolate cheesecake and coconut cookie crust. Rich. Delicious. Special-occasion worthy.

a close of of the side of a german chocolate cheesecake.

Like anyone else, my husband’s birthday rolls around only once a year. He’s a low-key guy who doesn’t like a fuss made over him.

How do you not make a fuss over this guy especially when he’s a wonderful husband, father, and friend?

He’s my biggest supporter and I just adore him. Honestly, he is truly one in a million!

Believe me, when I say, my friends and family, all remind me how lucky am to have him – as if I don’t already know – but If I’m being honest, I probably do sometimes still need to be reminded from time to time.



 Overview of a german chocolate cheesecake.

Despite his best efforts to convince me he doesn’t need anything for his birthday, every year I still try to do something special for his birthday – because I know he surely deserves it. 

He isn’t one for a fancy dinner at a pretentious restaurant; he has very simple tastes. Instead, he prefers a good steak grilled to perfection topped with caramelized onions and mushrooms, a thick, juicy burger loaded with his favorite spicy and melty toppings, or his favorite indulgence – hot wings.

Seeing as we do not eat wings very often, I usually make Crispy Baked Buffalo Hot Wings and his favorite cake. Ordinarily, he isn’t much of a sweets guy but he does love a homemade German Chocolate Cake.

Instead of cake this year, I made him this German Chocolate Cheesecake. It’s creamy, chocolatey, and decadent; perfect for spoiling him on his birthday – well, you know, as much as he’ll let me. ;)

A slice of german chocolate cheesecake on a plate with a fork. A piece of the cheesecake has been eaten

If you’re looking for the perfect Cheesecake to serve for special occasions or guests, this German Chocolate Cheesecake fits the bill. The rich coconut-pecan topping is amazing paired with the double chocolate cheesecake and coconut cookie crust. Rich. Delicious. Special-occasion worthy. Yum.

Close-up of the side and coconut-pecan topping of a german chocolate cheesecake.

Let’s talk a second about that coconut-pecan topping!

If you are like me and you judge German Chocolate anything by the readily available canned coconut-pecan topping, you will totally be missing out on a truly delicious dessert!

Making the topping yourself has such tremendously different flavor!

We find it to be absolutely amazing. We reserve the extra (if any) as an ice cream topping.

Try it, it’s amazing!




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A close-up photo of the side and coconut-pecan topping of a German Chocolate cheesecake.

German Chocolate Cheesecake

Ronda Eagle | Kitchen Dreaming
If you judge German Chocolate anything by the readily available canned topping, you will totally be missing out on this delicious dessert! Making the topping yourself has a much better flavor -- It's so delicious! Save any extra for ice cream topping, you won't be disappointed.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Desert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 672 kcal


For the Crust:

  • 2 cups coconut cookies , like Vortman brand, made into crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter , melted

For the Cheesecake filling:

  • 24 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 oz German Chocolate squares , melted [See Note 1]
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp powdered baking cocoa , special dark variety [See Note 2]
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract [paid link]

For the Coconut Pecan Topping:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 oz sweetened condensed milk , about 1/2 the can [See Note 3]
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 8 tbsp butter (1 stick)
  • 1-1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pecans , chopped

Optional Garnish

  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce [See Note 4]


  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • In a food processor [paid link], process the cookies into a fine crumb. add the butter and pulse to mix well.
  • Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
  • Bake crust for 10 minutes (until golden brown) then remove from the oven and set aside.
  • Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar, chocolate, flour, and cocoa with an electric mixer until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the cream cheese.
  • Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
  • Add the sour cream and vanilla extract [paid link]. Beat on low speed until well combined.
  • Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan and spread evenly. The pan will be very full.
  • Lightly drop the pan on the counter to remove air bubbles from the cheesecake batter. I drop the pan from about 1 or 2-inches above the countertop.
  • Carefully double wrap the outside and bottom of the pan with aluminum foil to keep water from entering into the springform pan while baking.
  • Place springform pan in a larger baking or roasting pan [paid link]. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to reach about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Do not fill above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
  • Bake for 70 to 80 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is almost set but still slightly jiggling.
  • Turn off the oven and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for and allow it to cool. It will finish cooking and set during this time.
  • This slow cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly and prevent cracks.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven and chill for at least  4 hours or overnight.
  • While the cheesecake cools, prepare the coconut-pecan topping.
  • In a large saucepan [paid link] over medium heat, combine the egg yolks, and condensed milk and stir until combined.
  • Add the sugar and butter and cook for about 12-15 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened and lightly golden brown; stirring constantly.
  • Remove the pan from heat and stir in the vanilla, shredded coconut, and chopped pecans. Mix well and then allow to cool completely.
  • Once the cheesecake has cooled completely, run a knife around the edge of the pan and then remove the springform pan side from cheesecake.
  • Top the cheesecake with the coconut-pecan topping. Lighty garnish with a drizzle of Ghirardelli chocolate sauce (optional).


  1. German Chocolate is found in the baking aisle of the supermarket and is chocolate formulated especially for baking.
  2. The baking cocoa powder is different than hot cocoa and is found in the baking aisle. I used Hershey's brand Special Dark for this recipe.
  3. Sweetened Condensed milk not evaporated milk.
  4. Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce is found both in the ice cream condiment aisle and the coffee aisle. It's deliciously rich and incredibly chocolatey tasting as compared to other brands.
  5. Nutrition is calculated based on the recipe as written. Additions, omissions, or substitutions will change the calculated values shown. The addition, omission, or substitution of ingredients will alter the nutritional information shown. Nutrition percentages are based on a 2000-calorie diet. The FDA recommends 80 micrograms of vitamin K


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 672kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 9gFat: 46gSaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 434mgPotassium: 236mgFiber: 2gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 1082IUVitamin C: 1mgVitamin D: 1µgVitamin E: 1mgVitamin K: 5µgCalcium: 117mgFolate: 40µgIron: 2mgZinc: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

14 thoughts on “German Chocolate Cheesecake”

  1. It is very good. I think I may have done the topping wrong it ended up having a very condensed milk taste but it was good once combined all together. Thank you for sharing the recipe

  2. So you hand mash the Vortman Coconut cookies into crumbs just like you would mash Graham crackers into crumbs to mix with butter to make Graham cracker crust for pies? Should the cookies end up crushed like cornmeal or small chunks?

    • Hi Jerry – I process the cookies into a fine crumb like you would for graham crackers. You can use graham crackers instead of the coconut cookies if you prefer – but the coconut cookie crust was so delicious. I have updated the recipe instructions in step two to clarify the cookie crumb texture. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and ask. I do hope you enjoy this cheesecake. :)

  3. For the topping, you listed evaporated milk in the ingredients, but wrote condensed milk in the directions. Which is it?


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