Here's a cheesecake that's the perfect addition to a tropical summer soiree! This recipe uses sweetened shredded coconut in two ways, both toasted and untoasted. The toasted coconut is incorporated into the crust and also used as a garnish on the finished cheesecake. The untoasted coconut is folded into the batter.
To give the dessert even more island flavor, a can of cream of coconut is also incorporated. Cream of coconut is made from tender coconut meat blended with cane sugar, resulting in a pure, smooth consistency that's ideal for cheesecakes.
- For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (melted)
- For the Filling
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 (15-ounce) can cream of coconut (such as Coco Lopez)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- For the Garnish
- 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
Gather the ingredients.
Toast 2 cups of sweetened shredded coconut. (1 1/2 cups will be used for the crust and the remaining 1/2 cup is reserved for garnish.)
Make the crust. Wrap outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch sides with foil. This helps keep any leaks from the springform pan from spilling onto your oven floor.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, 1 1/2 cups of the toasted coconut, and sugar.
Add the butter and mix to blend.
Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Chill while preparing the filling.
Preheat oven to 325 F. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in the egg yolk.
Add the cream of coconut, heavy whipping cream, and shredded coconut. Beat just until blended.
Pour filling into chilled crust. Bake cheesecake until puffed and golden, about 1 hour 25 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Refrigerate until well chilled.
When ready to serve, garnish the rim of the cheesecake with remaining 1/2 cup of toasted coconut.
- To toast coconut on a stovetop: Place the desired amount of coconut in a large dry skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the flakes are mostly golden brown. Watch the coconut carefully as it will continue to brown even after you remove from the heat. This method provides a bit more control over the toasting process since you are able to keep an constant eye over coconut. Also, frequent stirring allows for a more evenly toasted finished product.
- To toast coconut in the oven: Spread the coconut out on a rimmed baking sheet and place in a preheated 350 degree oven. Toast until golden brown, stirring every 3 or 4 minutes to prevent burning. The process should take about 5-10 minutes. Once toasted, set the baking sheet aside to cool.
- Sweetened coconut tends to toast faster than unsweetened coconut.
- This cheesecake can be made up to 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.