My husband’s birthday, like everyone’s, rolls around only once a year. He’s a low-key guy who doesn’t like a fuss made over him. He’s a wonderful husband, father, and friend. He’s my biggest fan and I just adore him. Honestly, he’s 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.
I always try to do something special for his birthday every year – he doesn’t want me to take him to a fancy dinner; he says he’s a simple man with very simple tastes. I make his favorite dinner, usually hot wings (hey- I said he was low key), and his favorite cake. He isn’t much of a sweets guy but he does love German Chocolate 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.
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.
But let’s talk about that coconut pecan topping! If you judge German Chocolate anything by that readily available canned topping, you will totally be missing out on this delicious dessert! Making the topping yourself has such tremendous flavor! It’s so delicious. We usually save any extra for ice cream topping. Try it, it’s amazing!
German Chocolate Cheesecake
If you judge German Chocolate anything by that readily available canned topping, you will totally be missing out on this delicious dessert! Making the topping yourself has such tremendous flavor! It's so delicious. We usually save any extra for ice cream topping. Try it, it's amazing!
For the Crust:
- 2 cups coconut cookie crumbs, like Vortman brand
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
For the Cheesecake filling:
- 3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1-pkg (4 oz German Chocolate squares), melted [See Note]
- 1 tbsp flour
- 3 tbsp powdered baking cocoa, special dark variety [See Note]
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Coconut Pecan Topping:
- 2 egg yolks
- 6 oz condensed milk, about 1/2 the can
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 stick (8 tbsp or 1/2 cup) butter
- 1-1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cups pecans, chopped
- Ghirardelli Chocolate Sauce [See Note]
- Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and butter and 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. 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. 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 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).
German Chocolate is found in the baking aisle of the supermarket and is a chocolate formulated especially for baking.
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.
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.