German Chocolate Cheesecake

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This German Chocolate Cheesecake is so delicious! It’s a gooey, rich and wonderful chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crust and a coconut pecan topping!

German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!
German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!

German Chocolate Cheesecake

So this past weekend, it felt like a doggy daycare around these parts. Jessie had a lot of friends to play with! And both were last minute too – what are the odds?

On Friday, our neighbors didn’t get their dog to boarding in time, and it was only one night, so we kept her for them. She’s a little miniature pinscher with diabetes. I made the hubs do the shots. Too scary for me.

She went home Saturday morning and then some friends brought over their pomeranian. They had a weekend away planned to celebrate his birthday and because of a mix up with their boarding, they weren’t able to leave the dog for the night like they’d planned.

I couldn’t let his birthday weekend get ruined, so we volunteered. Jessie had a blast.

German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!
German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!

Both dogs were pretty chill, but we had Raleigh, the pomeranian, for a little bit longer. He loves tennis balls. A lot. So Jessie had fun running after balls with him. And despite being smaller, he still went for it.

Whenever we take care of another dog like that, who’s so much smaller than Jessie, I always think we must look so funny when we go on our walks. Me, a 90 lb black lab and a 15 lb pomeranian (aka big fluff ball 🙂 ).

Now Jessie’s back to being an only child. I think she likes having all of our attention to herself, but also likes company, so if she could talk she’d probably tell me she has mixed feels about that.

One thing’s for sure though, there’s no mixed feelings on the subject of this cheesecake. It is the jam.

German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!
German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!

I didn’t even realize how much I loved German Chocolate Cake (and it’s variations) until I made these German Chocolate Cookie Stacks. So darn good. I LOVE the coconut pecan filling. I could eat that straight up. It reminds me so much of the coconut-y goodness of a samoa.

So it was only inevitable that a cheesecake was coming.

I love cheesecake. Let’s be honest, I love all dessert, but cheesecake has been a fave since I was a kid and I love making them. They seem intimidating, but they really are easy to make. They just take a little time. And there are so many ways you can mix up the flavors too.

If you’ve made any of my other cheesecakes, this one shouldn’t be too unfamiliar. A similar process, but with melted german chocolate for the filling. I recommend making the coconut pecan topping first, then after that cools for a bit, make the crust and work on the cheesecake filling.

I added a little topping to the inside of the cheesecake too. You could totally add more to inside, or just put it all on top. You’re call. Either way, it’s terrific and a must make for german chocolate cake and coconut/chocolate lovers. YUM!

German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!
German Chocolate Cheesecake - a chocolate crust, german chocolate filling and coconut pecan topping! So good!

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Image of German Chocolate Cheesecake
Recipe

German Chocolate Cheesecake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This German Chocolate Cheesecake is so delicious! It’s a gooey, rich and wonderful chocolate cheesecake with a chocolate crust and a coconut pecan topping!


Scale

Ingredients

COCONUT PECAN TOPPING 

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 12 oz can evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 2/3 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans

CRUST

  • 2 cups Oreo crumbs (leave filling in Oreos)
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted

CHEESECAKE FILLING 

  • 24 ounces packages of cream cheese, room temperature (three 8 oz packages)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 oz german chocolate, melted
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 3 tbsp cocoa
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

COCONUT PECAN TOPPING 

1. In a large saucepan, combine the egg yolks, milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
2. Add sugar and butter and cook on medium heat for 12-15 minutes, or until thickened (almost pudding-like) and golden brown, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat and add coconut and pecans. Mix well.
4. Allow to cool completely.

CRUST

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine crust ingredients and mix well.
3. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
4. Bake crust for 10 minutes then remove and set aside.
5. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil and set aside.

CHEESECAKE FILLING

1. Reduce oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar, chocolate, flour and cocoa with an electric mixer until combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
4. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed until well combined.
5. Put a little bit of the cheesecake filling in the bottom of the crust. Then add about 1 1/2 cups of coconut pecan topping and spread evenly.
6. Pour remaining cheesecake filling into the springform pan and spread evenly. The pan will be very full.
7. Place springform pan inside another pan. Fill outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
8. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
9. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 20 minutes.
10. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another 20 minutes or until set. This cooling process helps the cheesecake cool slowly to prevent cracks.
11. Remove cheesecake from oven and chill.
12. Once the cheesecake is completely cool, remove springform pan sides from cheesecake and place cheesecake on a serving plate.
13. Top cheesecake with remaining coconut pecan topping and drizzle with chocolate sauce.

Keywords: german chocolate cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake recipe, chocolate swirl cheesecake, homemade cheesecake, homemade cheesecake recipe, german chocolate cake recipe, best german chocolate cake recipe, best cheesecake recipe, homemade german chocolate cake

Enjoy!

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Recipe rating

96 Comments
  1. Shakhiaya

    Good recipe, amazing cheesecake. Wish you would have put in a tidbit about using parchment paper do the crust doesn’t stick to the pan though

  2. Tracy

    Stunningly beautiful cake, Lindsay!  Want to try it but confused about the chocolate.  Recipe says German chocolate, but in a response to an earlier question about whether to use Baker’s sweetened or unsweetened, you stated unsweetened.  The only German’s baking bar I’m aware of is sweet.  If you would, please clarify.  Also, would it be possible to make the coconut pecan topping and/or the crust a day ahead of time to stagger the workload?  And one final question—how exactly do you spread the topping over the batter in step 5?  Considering the thickness of the topping, that sounds rather daunting.  I would imagine it would just get mixed up in the cheesecake batter.  Any tips on that?  Thanks so much!

    1. Lindsay

      I didn’t look back at that other comment, so I’m not sure about it, but this is the chocolate I used. And yes, making the filling a day ahead should be just fine. As for step 5, you can drop spoonfuls of the mixture over the filling and gently spread it around. I hope that helps!

  3. Rebecca Chereji

    Hello! I am planning to make this dessert for my dads birthday this Saturday, but he does not like things that are overly sweet or rich. Do you have any suggestions of things I could substitute or cut out in order to make it less rich? Thanks!

  4. Cindy Renner

    I made this for my husband’s birthday cake early in case we get quarantined. Too rich for my waistline but those who ate it were doing some serious moaning and groaning. SCORE! MY FIRST in a springform pan. Very very yummy. I will check out more of your recipes. Thank you for a wonderful idea!!
    Cindy

  5. Stacie P.

    This cheesecake recipe looks incredible! I haven’t made it yet, but it gets 5 stars because every recipe you’ve posted that I’ve tried to make myself have been amazing. No doubt this will be any different! I am going to make this for a holiday dinner next week. I need to leave the pecans out of the filling though. Would I just need to replace with an equal amount of additional coconut?

    1. Lindsay

      I’m so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed everything! Yes, you could try adding more coconut. I might add a little less than double and then add more if it seems like it needs it.

      1. Stacie P

        Thanks again! I used slightly less than double the coconut. It was perfect. I just popped the cake out of the pan and can’t wait to cut into it later tonight. I may have reverted to my childhood years and used my finger to scrape the excess off the sides of the pan. Too bad 5 stars is the highest rating. Should get at least 10 🙂

  6. Denise

    Hi Lindsay!

    Just wondering..sweetened or unsweetened Baker’s Chocolate for this recipe?

    I’ve tried many of your recipes, I live them all!

  7. Erika

    Hello! Would it be possible to make this recipe with a storebought oreo crust? Should I halve the recipe? How long should I bake it for? Thanks!

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, you can but I haven’t ever used that before so it’s hard for me to advise. Cutting it in half might not be quite enough better. And I’m sorry but I’m really not sure of the baking time at that size.

  8. Madison

    This was my first ever cheesecake and it was simply easy to make and even easier to eat 😆
    However what I noticed is because it is so rich and chocolatey smaller slices were handed out
    I loved this recipe but I’m looking to make something with key lime or white chocolate raspberry for my moms birthday in less than a week , do you have any suggestions (I’ve noticed that she loves pleasant looking ones such as the German chocolate cheesecake recipe) if you could answer that would be deeply appreciated as it’s a special birthday and she’s turning 40!😌

  9. Apryl

    Hi.  I am making this for my husband for his birthday.  This is my very first time baking a cheesecake and I am wondering when do I release it from the spring form pan? Before putting it in the fridge to chill or after?   Thanks so much.   

  10. Susan

    Hi Lindsay, 
    I’m excited about making this cheesecake to take to a group dinner party.  I have a question and wanted to ask it before I made it.  When reading the reviews one asked about adding the coconut pecan topping on top of the little bit of cheesecake filling that is added on top of the baked crust.  Your answer was the coconut pecan topping is only added to the cheesecake after it’s baked.  Could you please let me know if the recipe is correct in your directions when you are to add about 1 1/2 cups of the coconut pecan topping to the cheesecake before adding the cheesecake filling or is it only for the top of the finished cheesecake?
    Thank you.

    1. Lindsay

      It’s both. 🙂 After putting a little bit of the cheesecake filling in the bottom of the crust (in step 5 of the cheesecake filling), you would then add about 1 1/2 cups of coconut pecan topping and spread evenly. You should have some remaining coconut pecan topping. After the cheesecake is baked and cooled, top the cheesecake with remaining coconut pecan topping. I hope that helps!

      1. Susan

        Thanks so much, Lindsay.  I made the cheesecake yesterday.  I just wanted to comment and see if anyone else had the same issue as I did when I added the melted German chocolate as stated in #2 with the cream cheese, flour, etc.   I used my stand-up mixer so I could use the slow setting and stopped and scraped sides down and noticed that some of the chocolate had hardened on the sides of the bowl and even with a metal spoon couldn’t be scraped off.   I’ve made many cheesecakes over the years and was surprised to see how the chocolate hardened.   After assembling the cheesecake and started the cleanup, I had to taste the batter and all I can say is YUM!!   Like you stated, the filling came up high and after the baking times and cooling, etc. it looks beautiful!  I’m looking forward to put the finishing touches (coconut pecan topping) on today before taking it to the dinner party.   It does take awhile to make but I’m sure it will be well worth the time.  Thank you, again, for replying to my many questions.   I look forward to making many more of your beautifully photographed recipes!!
        Susan

      2. Lindsay

        I’m glad you enjoyed it! As for the little bits of hardened chocolate, it’s a temperature thing. If the melted chocolate hit the sides of the bowl (and it was likely a cool bowl), then that could make it harden a bit. Also, once it’s melted, it’s best to let it cool down just a bit before adding to a cooler batter for the same reason. I hope that helps!

  11. Hayley Brown

    This looks delicious! I’m hoping to make it for a big dinner I’m planning and want to make it at least a week ahead of time. Is it possible to make ahead and then freeze it? What steps should I do before freezing and which steps should I do just before I serve it? Thanks so much 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      I haven’t really tried freezing my cheesecakes, but if you were going to freeze this, I’d do it without the topping and add that before serving.

      1. Lindsay

        No, sorry. I also have a German Chocolate Cake recipe and thought this comment was on that – which doesn’t have cream cheese. Thanks for bringing my attention to that!

      2. Dawn Hanby

        This recipe is so fabulous but extremely rich! I used 4 blocks of cream cheese and upped everything else by 1/3; however, the next time I’ll consider cutting this entire recipe in half…then swirling it into vanilla cheesecake but using the topping and crust.

        Nobody could get thru an entire slice without feeling like they were going into diabetic shock but loved it!

    1. Lindsay

      Hi Sherri, I clearly mis-read your comment in my last response. I also have a German Chocolate Cake recipe and missed that your comment was on the cheesecake. Sorry about that! You added 1/3 more cream cheese to the recipe, so you could also increase the other ingredients by 1/3, or just try baking it with the extra cream cheese and see how it turns out.

  12. Ashlyn

    Hello! I can’t wait to try this recipe. I was wondering if there are any altitude adjustments that I would need to make?

  13. Brooke

    Made this and didn’t want to use an Oreo crust- I can’t stand the artificial ingredients and taste of Oreos.   Used a smitten kitchen recipe for crust (doubled as she suggests) to use 10oz of chocolate  cookie crumbs. Could make your own or use nabisco chocolate wafers.      It’s in the oven and seems to be a big winner. Filing is perfect.    Freezing and thawing the day before my event and making the topping that day to add just to the top

      1. Brooke Barone

        It was amazing. The cheesecake base is one of the best I’ve had. The topping wasn’t my thing- I found it a bit gritty and too sweet.  But I’d use the base recipe in the future for all chocolate cheesecakes. 

  14. Cynthia WillisC

    I made the German Chocolate Cheesecake for the first time this Christmas for a friend. He told me he thought this was the best cake that I had ever made. He cut a large slice for my mother and she thought it was so delicious, she could hardly stop eating it. Thank you so much fot this delicious recipe. Unfortunately for ne I
    haven’t tasted my slice. I was under the weather. I know it’s delicious.

  15. Shera Eichler

    This recipe is pure perfection. Made this cheesecake and the day before Thanksgiving and served it at Thanksgiving dinner for dessert. It stole the show!  The scrumptious pecan pies and rich bread pudding got skipped over this year in favor of this cheesecake. I followed the recipe exactly with the only exception being that I had to cook the Coconut Pecan Topping about 10 minutes longer than the suggested time to get it to the right thickness. But that’s likely due to my mom’s old stovetop. But otherwise, no alterations were necessary. It tasted and looked phenomenal!!!

  16. Emma

    Hi!! Just pulled this beautiful thing out of the oven! And omg it looks and smells amazing. Your step 11 is to chill once it comes out of the oven after cooling inside…should I cool down on countertop or send it right to the fridge, even though it’s still quite warm? Thank you for the recipe!!! 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      You can put it right in the fridge, if you like. Although putting it on the counter for a bit won’t hurt it either.

  17. Janet A Bissonette

    Hi Lindsay, I want to make the German Chocolate Cheesecake recipe and would like to switch out the oreo crust for another. I have a stomach problem with way too much chocolate. The cheesecake recipe looks so very interesting but the crust looks way too rich for me. I wondered if you could suggest another crust that would go really well with the German Chocolate Cheesecake.
    Do you think if I used a plain Graham cracker crust it would taste good?
    I have a tip for ‘any’ frosting that might be too sweet? All you have to do is add one cup of whole milk with three tbsp of flour, a teeny pinch of salt, 1 1/2 tsp of sugar, together over medium heat until all is incorporated stirring constantly. As it thickens take it off the heat and add half a tsp of vanilla, cool completely. It will thicken a lot this is okay. If you think there are lumps run it through a sieve before it cools down. When you put your frosting together add the thickened completely cooled milk.
    It cuts the sweetness and makes any frosting more like whipped cream no matter the flavor. I don’t make my frosting any other way.
    YUM.

  18. Rose

    Is possible to tweak this into a no-bake version? My apartment doesn’t have an oven, so my baking days are on hold. Looks heavenly, though. ????

  19. Jemila

    This was a hit and came out so good. Very rich but that just means it needs more friends to share with 🙂 Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it for one of my best friend’s grandma’s 63rd birthday. She said she hadn’t had it since college and it was exactly what she remembered. You helped make a birthday wish come true.

  20. Jemila

    I am trying this recipe out right now for a friend’s grandma’s birthday this afternoon. So far it is looking good. I was wondering for the chocolate sauce, do I use Hershey syrup or a fudge topping I have to microwave?

  21. trista

    I don’t have a big enough pan to put the water in. What else can I do? Can I up the oven temp and bake less time?

    1. Lindsay

      So first I’ll say that without a waterbath, cheesecakes tend to brown a bit on the edge and fall in the center while cooling. They still taste great, they just don’t have the same nice look. To bake without a waterbath, I’d reduce the bake time to 50-60 minutes, then follow the same cooling steps (steps 9 and 10).

  22. Erin

    Hi there, what kind of pan did you use to place the springform pan in and fill with water? Just a larger cake pan? Is the foil just to prevent leaking?

    1. Lindsay

      I use a 12 inch cake pan, but some people use roasting pans or other types of pans. The foil prevents the water from the waterbath getting into the cheesecake, yes.

    1. S

      Haha I’m so sorry for the many never ending questions. But when it is done, and I am supposed to take it out of the oven to chill in room temperature am I supposed to take the springform pan out of the larger pan that has water in it or is it supposed to cool down in the larger pan?

      xx

      1. Kim

        whoa hold on…your recipe says evaporated milk. That is way different than sweetened condensed milk which is it?

      2. Lindsay

        I think you are confused. The “sweetened” that I’m referring to in this comment is the coconut, not the milk. The recipe calls for evaporated milk and sweetened shredded coconut.

  23. S

    Hi Lindsay,

    I’m making this for my mothers birthday this weekend and just have a few questions I would love if you could answer.

    About the pecan topping, it just says vanilla in the ingredients. Do you mean vanilla extract? And how do I shred the coconut? Also how small/big should the pecans get chopped into? And is the filling in the Oreo cake supposed to stay? Do you use a food processor or just mix it by hand when crushing them? And what kind of chocolate did you use? Bittersweet, semi sweet or milk? And does it have to be German? (don’t know where to find German chocolate in my country.) and do you just melt it by itself before putting it with the rest of the Cheesecake ingredients?

    How much is a little bit when pouring a little bit of the cheesecake filling in the bottom of the crust? And its not supposed to have the pecan topping layer on top when going into the oven right? I put that on before serving? So where do you store it, do you cover it so it won’t “dry” or anything while the cake is in the oven? Do you keep it in room temperature or in the fridge? And how do you make your chocolate sauce? And last but not least.. How long will it take for it to cool completely?

    Hope you can answer my 101 questions haha.. really want to make this, but I am a perfectionist and need to have all the answers first. But seriously, it is such a lovely looking cake that probably tastes like chocolate heaven!

    xx

    1. Lindsay

      Yes, vanilla extract. Shredded coconut should be able to be purchased already shredded. Chopped pecans will likely vary in size – and can also be bought already chopped. The filling does stay in the Oreos and I use a food processor to crush them. I usually use German chocolate in this recipe, but if you can’t find it semi-sweet will work fine. Yes, the chocolate is melted by itself, then added.

      You should add just enough filling to thinly cover the crust. No, the topping is added to the top before serving. I’d cover and refrigerate it until ready to use. I buy chocolate sauce at the store. It will likely take 4-5 hours to cool completely.

      I hope that helps! 🙂

      1. S

        Thank you for answering my 1000 questions! Here is ofc another one. After taking it out of the oven is it supposed to chill in room temperature to cool down until ready to serve? And did you cover yours while doing so?

        xx

  24. Colleen

    This is now my husbands absolute favorite…..along with my inlaws, kids, neighbors….. a definite winner and keeper! Awesome and Thanks!

  25. Kelly

    What kind of butter do you use? Salted, unsalted? Is there a preferred brand? I know some are higher in oil and not good for some recipes.

  26. Erin

    Wow! Not only does this look amazing (I came very close to licking the screen!) but your post was about your dog-child. I think I’ll be staying awhile, this is my kinda blog! 🙂

  27. Lisa @ This Pilgrim Life

    This looks SO good! I love German chocolate cake. Now to come up with a reason to make this…

  28. Stephanie | Worth Whisking

    Lindsay, this cheesecake looks out-of-this-world delicious! I could eat that coconut pecan topping with a spoon! Your cheesecakes are beautiful, as always. 🙂

  29. Beth @ bethcakes

    Your cheesecakes are always so perfect! I love all the chocolate and am totally dying for a slice. It look so rich and decadent!

  30. Kimberly@The Little Girls Bakery

    Wow, this looks incredible! Your cheesecakes are always such show-stoppers! This looks delicious. I normally don’t like coconut, but I’ll have to give this a try anyway!

  31. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    Man, this would’ve come in handy for Father’s Day! My dad has had German Chocolate Cake every year for his birthday since I can remember. I will definitely be pinning this to make for him next year. 🙂

  32. Humeyra

    Hi! I just love your blog – you just post the most delicious things and I love you bake them myself! But I have a question – can I use another thing than evaporated milk? Hope you’ll answer as fast as possible, because I’m thinking of making it as soon as possible.

    ~ Hümeyra 🙂

  33. Renee @ Tortillas and Honey

    Cheesecake and German chocolate sounds absolutely divine. And, dude, you totally put a bottom layer of the coconut filling so I’m sold!

  34. Sammie

    This Cheesecake looks amazing. What type of coconut do you put in it please? Here in the UK it’s hard to get hold of sweetened shredded coconut (we have hideous dessicated coconut instead v dry). Also love the cake stand, totally makes the photos. Sammie x https://www.feastingisfun.com

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Thanks Sammie! It does actually use sweetened shredded coconut. Do you know of a good substitute for that there?

  35. June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    Wow what a cheesecake! German chocolate cake is always good, so I’m sure this creamy cheese version is too 🙂

  36. Mir

    Pomeranians are like giant puffballs with eyes. It’s hard to believe they’re real sometimes. I expect them to be pillows and then they move and bark.
    This cheesecake is amazing. How do you make it so dang tall?!

  37. Catherine

    Dear Lindsay, my brother would absolutely adore this dessert. His two favorites are German Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake, Pinning for later. xo, Catherine

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

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“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12