German Chocolate Cheesecake

"You know, it doesn't really matter," I said with a shrug.

The AT&T tech looked perplexed by my indifference. I guess customers usually start foaming at the mouth when he tells them he can't get their internet connection up and running. I explained: "I really don't want the internet. You'd be amazed at how much you get done without it."

For instance, things I've been getting done:

  • Napping.
  • Reading My Berlin Kitchen (Luisa of The Wednesday Chef‘s amazing new memoir. You have to read it.) on the couch with Byrd beside me.
  • Unpacking a box every now and then.
  • Arranging things in my new apartment.
  • Rearranging things in my new apartment.
  • Throwing all my windows open and lounging in the gorgeous new autumn.
  • Eating popcorn by the bucketful.
  • Trying to be bendy in yoga.

I'm going to be eating these words once my students turn in the first project for me to grade, but for now, I can't believe how many hours there are in the day. I mean, I don't know what I did on the internet all day to eat up the amount of time I've found myself with in its absence. Some worthy things, obviously: recipe research and development, writing about food, lesson planning, emailing students and their parents. But what consumed the rest of my time? Facebook? People.com? A prolonged email-checking stupor?

Actually, I know exactly why the internet was able to fill my schedule: my insidious addiction to multi-tasking.

I've spent the last, oh, sixteen years of my life running around like the proverbial headless chicken, completing each responsibility roughly 5 milliseconds before its due, and dealing with the not-infrequent crisis when a deadline slips by. I work on at least two things at a time, but usually five or six. For instance, right now I'm writing this, posting comments on two friends' blogs, and reading the comments on Willow Bird Baking's latest Facebook status. I'll do each activity for a few seconds before switching to another, throwing in a glance at my email every few cycles for good measure. Why does my brain think this is an efficient way to manage tasks? And why must there be so many useless tasks available on the internet?

I'm going to go ahead and admit to the entire interwebz that I have a therapist. (I'm not even slightly shy about that fact, by the way -- because I kind of think everyone should have a therapist. If you have one, you know what I mean! They're wonderful. It's like having a coach for life. Yes, please.) One thing she talks a lot about is mindfulness, which is being fully present, aware, and participatory in your every thought and action.

It's amazing how many things we do mindlessly -- things like scrolling through a billion pages of Dog Shaming (baaahaha, okay, I just added that to my list of things-I'm-doing-right-now), eating a whole bag of popcorn while watching a movie, having a phone conversation while working on other things. In fact, I think that if we really examined our daily lives, we'd find that we do most things mindlessly -- or at least with split attention. And the internet reinforces that behavior. Time to confess: how many tabs or windows do you have open right now? (I have 13!) How many other activities are you completing while reading this post?

Having one of my favorite mindless-multi-tasking activities (that is, the internet) pulled right out from under me has made me realize how peaceful and productive mindfulness can really be. Sometimes I sit on my couch with a plate of food and do nothing but take bite after mindful bite, feeling the texture of the food, tasting each flavor, and enjoying the process. There's no book in front of me, no television playing in the background. Nothing but me and the next bite. Eating thus becomes a meditation. Every activity I complete can be distilled down to its sensory components, down to the experience of completing it. And my spirit feels so much calmer and more satisfied.

I can't go forever without the internet -- I'm a food blogger, after all, and I do get tired of having to find a little café with wifi any time I want to check my email -- but I will be using it differently when AT&T figures out what's wrong with my wiring. At least, right after I catch up on Dog Shaming...

One thing I did (mostly!) mindfully Friday night was bake this German Chocolate Cheesecake. I did have soft music playing in the background, but other than that, it was just me, my new kitchen, and each ingredient. I expected the recipe to take forever, but the process actually went rather quickly -- perhaps because I was focused on the tasks. I also have sharper memories of each moment: peeling the blocks of cream cheese off of their silvery paper, sticking the toothpick into the fragrant chocolate cake, stirring the coconut-pecan filling until the cold hunks of butter melted into the hot custard. The experience was just what I needed to make my new apartment into my new home. And I found one of those little wifi cafés just to share it with you!

One year ago: Gooey Cookies & Cream Bars
Two years ago: Bittersweet Marbled Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies
Three years ago: Peach Crisp Pie

P.S. Remembering a very special lady this week and always. We miss you, Rose!

5 from 1 reviews
German Chocolate Cheesecake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Like many of my cheesecakes, this gorgeous German Chocolate Cheesecake would be easy to make over several days. For instance, you could make the chocolate cake layer one day, make the cheesecake the next, and make the filling and assemble the third. Alternatively, you can make it all in one go. Either way, it’s rich, indulgent, and so delicious. Try getting all of your ingredients ready before you begin and baking each component mindfully, letting yourself enjoy the experience. NOTE: This filling calls for 2/3 cup sugar, but I only had about 1/3 cup sugar. I didn’t want to run to the store, so I used some Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping Cinnabon sent me in place of the rest of the sugar, and it was so good! I think you could get the same effect by just using the 2/3 cup sugar below and adding a teaspoon or so of cinnamon, if you’d like. Or just buy the Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping — it really is so yummy. Y’all know I don’t just do product placements for no reason.
Author:
Serves: 14-16
Ingredients
Crust Ingredients:
  • 1 package (about 38) chocolate sandwich cookies, finely processed into crumbs (cream and all – it’ll disappear when you crush them up!)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Small pinch of salt
Ganache Ingredients:
  • 3/8 cups heavy cream (6 tablespoons)
  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used half semisweet and half Ghirardelli 60% Cacao chocolate chips)
Cheesecake Ingredients:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 ounces or about 6 tablespoons chocolate chips, melted and cooled (I used half semisweet and half Ghirardelli 60% Cacao)
Cake Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/8 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/8 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1/8 cup plus 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/8 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Filling Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 ounces butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
Instructions
  1. Make the cheesecake crust: Combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and salt in a small bowl. Toss with a fork to moisten all of the crumbs. Press into a thin layer covering the bottom and sides of the springform pan (at least 3 inches up the sides). It’s hard to get the crust up that high, but keep pressing the crumbs up from the bottom with a smooth-sided glass (twisting the glass as you do so, so the crumbs don’t stick) and working them around — you’ll want it that high to hold the cake layer. Patience helps with this step.
  2. Make the ganache: Bring the cream to a simmer in a medium saucepan (or heat in the microwave for about a minute, watching to ensure it doesn’t boil). Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. Once the cream reaches a simmer, pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes. Whisk in small circles until a smooth ganache has formed. Pour the ganache over the bottom of the crust. Freeze until the ganache layer is firm, about 30 minutes.
  3. Make the cake: While the ganache is freezing, cut a circle of parchment paper and use cooking spray as “glue” to adhere it to a 9-inch round cake pan. Then grease the pan and the paper (I use Wilton’s Cake Release, but you could also use butter and flour). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Whisk the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and coarse salt together in a mixing bowl. Beat the dry ingredients on low until combined before increasing the speed to medium and adding the egg, buttermilk, warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat about 3 minutes until the mixture is smooth. Pour it into the pan.
  5. Place the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 25-30 minutes. Rotate the pan about halfway through so it’ll bake evenly. When you take the cake layer out, leave the oven preheated for the cheesecake. Let the cake layer cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before turning it out onto a sheet of wax paper and leaving it to cool completely. Wrap the cake layer and stick it in the freezer to firm it up for assembly.
  6. Make the cheesecake: While the cake layer is baking, mix cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar in a large bowl until well blended and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing between each, and continue mixing until combined. Add the chocolate and continue mixing until combined. Pour mixture into prepared crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
  7. Bake for 55 minutes or until center of cake is almost set. The top may crack, but it doesn’t particularly matter, since you’ll be covering it anyway. Let the cheesecake fully cool. When almost cool, place it in refrigerator to chill while you prepare the filling.
  8. Make the filling: Place the butter, salt, toasted coconut, and toasted pecans in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, sugar, and egg yolks over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened, coats the spoon, and reads 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Pour this mixture over the coconut mixture and stir until the butter melts. Let the mixture cool completely (I set mine in the fridge once it was almost cool to thicken it some more.)
  9. Assemble the cake: Place half of the filling on top of the chilled cheesecake and spread it out. Carefully place the chocolate cake layer on top. Spread the rest of the filling on top of the chocolate cake layer. Decorate with pecans. Chill for 3 hours or overnight. When completely chilled, loosen the cake from rim of springform pan by wrapping the pan in warm dishtowels. Remove the springform pan and serve.

Disclaimer: I was sent Cinnabon Sprinkle Topping for free to try, but didn't plan to use it in this recipe until a cooking emergency inspired me to. I would never mention a product to you unless it was something I truly enjoyed, and boy did I love this one!

111 Comments on German Chocolate Cheesecake

  1. Nicole de B.
    September 10, 2012 at 1:16 am (3 years ago)

    OMG, Sweet Jesus. Are you trying to kill me!?! I’m hardcore dieting and this just might send me over the edge!! 😛 How fabulous this looks!!!

    Reply
  2. Olga @ MangoTomato
    September 10, 2012 at 1:28 am (3 years ago)

    This looks gorgeous! Congrats on the new apartment: have a wonderful time settling in. Oh how I wish I had a slice of that cake right now!!!

    Reply
  3. Kelly
    September 10, 2012 at 1:37 am (3 years ago)

    I’m working really hard at not having 100 tabs open on my computer. I actually just closed a bunch before I opened this post up so there are only 3 tabs open! House is playing on my other computer. Yup, a slow night. I have found that I don’t get a lot done because I’m constantly refreshing twitter, facebook and my email. It’s a sickness.

    As for the German Chocolate Happiness above, I am pretending not to see it. I will not bake this week. I will not bake this week. I will not!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 10, 2012 at 1:41 am (3 years ago)

      I’m the EXACT same way, Kelly!! I can’t believe you can go a week without baking, girl — I know the kind of amazingness that issues forth from your kitchen on a regular basis! So I’ll believe it when I see it 😉

      Reply
  4. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust
    September 10, 2012 at 1:45 am (3 years ago)

    I would not have been so diplomatic. I’d miss dog-shaming too much! :) And this cheesecake….oh man. Like, really…oh man. :)

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 10, 2012 at 1:48 am (3 years ago)

      LOL, I thought about complaining, Dorothy, and then I was like… WAIT, I’ve actually been able to READ BOOKS lately. 😉

      But YES to the dog-shaming and cheesecake love. Absolutely.

      Thanks, girl :)

      Reply
  5. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen
    September 10, 2012 at 4:03 am (3 years ago)

    I wish I could be as Zen as you are when my internet goes down! I feel so cut off from the world :)

    This cheesecake looks crazy good. Two of my fave desserts combined!

    Reply
  6. Jules
    September 10, 2012 at 5:55 am (3 years ago)

    I completely agree with you about the evils of the Internet! I try to go on it only twice a day, once in the mornings, and once in the evenings. Of course, my fail-point is that I’m online for longe than I’d like to be, and still forget to check the weather…

    That cheesecake looks so good! It’s a little warm here for cheesecake, still, but I’m definitely bookmarking this to do for my birthday! And for Karel to make for me after the Little It arrives, hehe :-)

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 10, 2012 at 5:26 pm (3 years ago)

      That’s my flaw, too, Jules — my “internet time” ends up growing and growing… LOL. I’m going to try to be better once I get it connected this time around! :)

      Thanks!

      Reply
  7. Lauren at Keep It Sweet
    September 10, 2012 at 10:35 am (3 years ago)

    I’m also loving My Berlin Kitchen!

    Beautiful cheesecake, Julie! It is always fun baking in a new kitchen!

    Reply
  8. Aimee @ ShugarySweets
    September 10, 2012 at 11:32 am (3 years ago)

    This looks gorgeous. And I love the Cinnabon sprinkles!

    Reply
  9. Dayari
    September 10, 2012 at 1:31 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh wow, this cake looks absolutely amazing! I’m definitely bookmarking this page to try this recipe when I’ve accumulated a bit more baking experience! 😀

    Also, I just wanted to say that your words about Internet multitasking really resonated with me. My behavior is a lot like yours–right now I have 11 tabs open, and I know it’ll be a couple more in half an hour, and even more after that, while the afternoon that I’d originally planned to use for writing quietly passes me by. A couple of months ago, I spent two weeks with no Internet access and aside from the first day of panic, it was actually wonderful. I got so many things done. For example, I cleaned out my whole closet, ironed all my clothes (because honestly, it was an utter, embarrassing mess before!), organized my kitchen cabinets, and got a ton of research done for my thesis. I still have a list of the things I did that I made right after I’d gotten back my Internet access, just to remind myself what the Internet does to my productivity. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Internet, but it’s such a procrastination trap!

    Anyway, I love what you said about mindfulness, and as soon as I read that, I forced myself to read through the rest of this post with no breaks in between to check on Twitter (which I would’ve done even in the middle of reading the most riveting story I’ve ever laid eyes on, so it had absolutely nothing to do with your post!). I actually do feel better now; not that I felt bad before, but still, it’s a noticeable difference. I feel like I’ve broken the vicious circle of procrastination, and like I might actually manage to get some writing done today after all.

    Wow, most of this comment was not even about the recipe–sorry about that! Of course it goes without saying that the cake looks so delicious that I want to nom on my screen. I just really liked what you said about the whole Internet issue, and wanted to let you know. Thank you for this post!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 10, 2012 at 5:30 pm (3 years ago)

      This comment made me so happy, Dayari! I’m noticing the EXACT same effects of doing things mindfully. Even though I’m sure I’ll never be 100% (or even 90%…) mindful, I’d like to try to set aside “mindful” times every day — and also times to do certain important activities (prayer, work, etc.) mindfully. It changes the experience so much!

      By the way, this is a wonderful recipe because each part is very simple — the cheesecake, the cake layer, the filling — and when you put it together, it only LOOKS fancy. I bet you could make it right now! Give it a go 😉

      Thanks for your wonderful comment!

      Reply
  10. karen
    September 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm (3 years ago)

    This post resonated with me. I have 14 tabs open right now, which is pretty typical. I feel like the internet has rewired my brain.

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 10, 2012 at 5:31 pm (3 years ago)

      ME TOO, Karen! I know JUST what you mean. Right now, no joke, I have 27 tabs open. And right after I finish replying to you, I’m going to close as many as I can!

      Reply
  11. Loretta E
    September 10, 2012 at 8:17 pm (3 years ago)

    Why oh why must you make everything look so amazing?!

    Reply
  12. Becky
    September 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm (3 years ago)

    I am listening to my favorite podcast, and reading your post (which I saw on BakeBakeBake) while letting my eggs and butter come to room temperature. Cookie dough night!!!

    The cheesecake photos are making my mouth water. Oh, and I’d CRY without the internet.

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 11, 2012 at 1:05 am (3 years ago)

      That’s how I thought I’d feel too, Becky! LOL. Also, YAY for cookie dough night!!

      Reply
  13. Ala
    September 11, 2012 at 12:22 am (3 years ago)

    21 tabs at this moment? When I was studying for my GRE subjects last year, I went on a once-a-day internet regimen that absolutely worked wonders for my life outside of, you know, the house. Part of me would love to go back to that state; the other part of me wonders if I’ve gone completely off my rocker, but having done it for a solid 6 months, I realized the first week in that I was totally fine without the net. Hope you can keep up the productivity even when you get your internet–I’d love to hear how that’s going for you post-internet-access. Thanks for sharing a great recipe, and have a mindful Monday!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 11, 2012 at 1:07 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks, Ala! I need to make a plan I can stick to for sure! It’s so easy for the internet to creep in and take over!!

      Reply
  14. Jeannie
    September 11, 2012 at 12:55 am (3 years ago)

    This looks so rich and delicious. I can’t wait to try it.

    Reply
  15. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe
    September 11, 2012 at 4:33 am (3 years ago)

    One word: Pinterest. It has been taking up a little bit too much of time lately, and I must put a stop to it! I love this post, Julie – it is such a great reminder to slow down. I often scarf down my dinner while sitting at the computer, doing approximately 7 other things at the same time. I doubt I taste what I’m eating half the time! Something to think about…I would definitely savor each bite of this amazing chocolate cheesecake, my goodness!
    PS. Three cheers for therapists. 😉

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 11, 2012 at 11:56 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks, Amanda! I know just what you mean — I usually eat while watching Hulu!

      Reply
  16. what katie's baking
    September 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm (3 years ago)

    this looks SO decadent!! what an awesome crowd-pleasing recipe!

    Reply
  17. Megan
    September 13, 2012 at 2:41 am (3 years ago)

    This looks amazing!! I have a quick cheesecake question – I’ve never made a cheesecake before, and a lot of recipes I look at say that I should leave the cheesecake in the unopened oven for an hour after they’re done cooking and I’ve turned it off… do you recommend this? I am OBSESSED with your website!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 14, 2012 at 3:20 pm (3 years ago)

      I’ve heard of that, and I think it’s probably doing the same thing cooking cheesecakes in a water bath is doing: giving it a low, even heat that prevents the top from cracking and solidifies that lovely “creamy” texture. If I have time, I bake in a water bath, but to be honest, with these layered cheesecakes, I usually don’t bother! The top cracking doesn’t bother me, since it’s covered anyway (though it usually doesn’t for me), and I always find them plenty creamy.

      Having never used the leave-it-in-the-oven-for-an-hour trick, I wouldn’t recommend it with these, just because it may overbake or dry out the cheesecakes in my recipes. :)

      Thank you, Megan!! So glad you’re here!

      Reply
  18. kelly @ sass & veracity
    September 13, 2012 at 5:16 pm (3 years ago)

    I swear I don’t know how you do this and teach. I’d have ripped my eyeballs out by now. I bow to your awesomeness. AND? I’m jealous of your therapist. I tried to get one once and she fired me. What. Ever. But the intrawebz, yep. I have 12 tabs, two windows, my computer files, and photos all open right now after having signed up for yet another place to showcase my recipes (which brought me here, btw, and I happily pinned this stunning beauty…) Crazed. I tell you. Crazed. But I did discover that having my office way upstairs does prevent me from coming up here if there are other things to do. Love, love, love this post. Seriously.

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      September 14, 2012 at 3:21 pm (3 years ago)

      LOL, I AM feeling the busy-ness pick up these past few days…!

      Thanks, Kelly! We are totally multi-tasking twins!

      Reply
  19. Javelin Warrior
    September 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm (3 years ago)

    I think I might cry just looking at this cake – it’s the perfect intersection of so many things! It’s torture not getting to taste slice now that I’ve seen it! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution as always). Thanks for always inspiring me with your creations…

    Reply
  20. Gerry
    September 17, 2012 at 9:57 pm (3 years ago)

    I am a little intimidated by ingredients measured in 3/8 cup, 3/8 teaspoon. Would it be possible to provide us with ingredients by weight? That will make life so much easy. I will make this cake as soon as the measurements come by weight. Thank you very much!

    Reply
  21. Tami G
    September 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm (3 years ago)

    This looks wonderful…can hardly wait to try it!

    Reply
  22. LeAndra
    September 29, 2012 at 11:40 pm (3 years ago)

    As always, your cheesecakes do not disappoint. I don’t know whether to refer to this one beautiful or decadent or just holy-smokes! I am curious though, what do you do with all of that cheesecake? The “what do you do with it all” is probably the question I am asked most often about my baking. I eat some of what I make, and I force as much on my friends as they will allow. But sometimes pieces still go to waste, and that does not make me feel good. Do you do anything differently?

    Reply
  23. Samantha
    October 20, 2012 at 6:02 am (3 years ago)

    I made this for my husbands birthday last week and it was a big hit! I was a little annoyed by the weird measurements at first but then I realized it was for a perfectly sized layer of chocolate cake. I’m definitely keeping this one in my recipe box so thank you!

    Reply
  24. Hannah
    October 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm (3 years ago)

    What size pan is the springform? I know the cake is a 9″ cake pan, so should the springform be like a 10″?

    Reply
      • Linda Johnson
        November 30, 2014 at 6:15 pm (9 months ago)

        Had to search for the pan size. Would be helpful to put at top of recipe. Giving it a go!

        Reply
  25. Jen
    November 17, 2012 at 10:27 pm (3 years ago)

    OMG THANK YOU!! This is exactly what I was looking for! I made this for my husband’s birthday and I can’t think of anything he’s been more excited about. 😉

    I figured it’d be a 4 out of 5 in difficulty, but in reality, it was closer to a 2.5 …

    Not having a food processor, I had no choice but to recreate this piece mindfully. (Note: It takes approximately 20-25 minutes to fully crush a package of Oreos with a manual pastry blender.)

    Also, at the last minute, I realized that my round cake pans are actually 8″, not 9″. Luckily, once the whole thing was assembled, it looked perfectly flush, and I was able to remove the springform sides without peeling off the topping.

    Thank you again!!

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      November 17, 2012 at 10:38 pm (3 years ago)

      HOORAY!! That’s so great to hear, Jen!! Happy birthday to him, and congrats to you for pulling off the birthday cake of his dreams :)

      Reply
  26. Jenni
    December 26, 2012 at 6:20 pm (3 years ago)

    Hi Julie! I made this amazing cheesecake for Christmas yesterday, and it was a HUGE hit! I was so worried about the crust coming off with the pan, but your trick with the warm dishcloth worked great! It not only looking amazing, but it tasted fantastic! :) Thanks for such a great recipe!

    Reply
  27. cecilia
    March 17, 2013 at 5:53 am (2 years ago)

    I made this cheesecake! im not a fan of coconut but the whole thing was amazing and my husband refused to share it and almost cried when his family took 3/4 of the cake. and my father in law sticks to his diet and couldn’t keep his hands off the cheesecake. thank you for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
  28. Sherri
    March 29, 2013 at 11:47 pm (2 years ago)

    Have you ever heard of a Coconut Cream Pie Cheesecake? I have had it once in a restaurant and have never been able to find a recipe.

    Reply
  29. Veronica
    April 1, 2013 at 7:53 pm (2 years ago)

    I made this cheesecake today. I was kind of concerned though because as I was baking the cheesecake part, it was smoking. I don’t know if the ganache burned or what?! I put parchment over it and continued to bake it (and air out my house, thankfully it’s spring ;). So I turned the oven down to 325 as well. I don’t know what I did wrong. I’m wondering if it will be okay. It’s for a party tonight =/
    Anyways, to nix the problem next time, I’m going to bake the cheesecake before making the ganache and once the cheesecake is cooled, I pour the ganache over the cooked cheesecake.
    But I was just wondering if that is supposed to happen??? =(

    Reply
    • Julie @ Willow Bird Baking
      April 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Veronica, The ganache is fully covered, so I don’t think that’s the issue. I bake most of my cheesecakes with the ganache layer and no smoking has occurred. I’m wondering if some of the oreo crust burned? Might want to test a bite of the edge to check. That’s all I can think of — I’ve had crusts get burnt before on these bigger cheesecakes because they bake exposed to sit the cake “down into.”

      Reply
      • Veronica
        April 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm (2 years ago)

        I tasted the crust and it’s delish! So I’m guessing there won’t be a problem. I’m excited to try this. Thanks for your recipe, Julie!!!

        Reply
    • Brittany
      July 22, 2014 at 11:26 pm (1 year ago)

      Mine did this too. I put a cookie sheet under the pan and it stopped the smoking, it looked like maybe butter leaked out of the crust? Still turned out great

      Reply
  30. Jane
    April 13, 2013 at 7:27 pm (2 years ago)

    My husband is a CPA and every Friday during tax season, I make a cake for him to take to the office to share with his co-workers. It gives them something to look forward to during the week and they never know what the are going to get in advance. As yesterday was the last Friday of tax season, I wanted something special and this was it! They adored it! They sent home with DH a huge thank you note and four of his co-workers now want me to dump him and marry them. I’m going to try the lemon breakfast buns next and send it on Monday as an April 15th surprise!

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      April 13, 2013 at 7:56 pm (2 years ago)

      Aww, that makes me so happy to hear, Jane!! Hooray!!

      Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      April 28, 2013 at 4:30 pm (2 years ago)

      GORGEOUS!! You did such a wonderful job, Abhay!! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply
  31. Julianne
    June 24, 2013 at 1:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Quick question: Do you think you could let the filling stay in the fridge for a few days before assembling the cake? I made 4 mini-cakes with this recipe and I have to give one away tomorrow and I was planning on freezing the other three cheesecakes and chocolate cakes for a few days until I have to give those three away. I was hoping I could make the filling today, assemble one cake for tomorrow and put the rest of the filling in the fridge for Friday…. what do you think?
    PS I love your blog. I’ve made what I call your gourmet waffles a few times and I have no idea how I am going to give away these four decadent cakes. My kids have lucky teachers this year :)

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      June 25, 2013 at 5:25 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you, Julianne! I think you could do that — I hope your friends love them!

      Reply
      • Julianne
        June 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm (2 years ago)

        The filling was fine in the fridge for a few days. I just put it in the microwave for 30 seconds to make it more spreadable and it worked out fine. I wish I didn’t have to give them all away. The next one’s all mine :)

        Reply
  32. Megan G.
    August 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I made this cake for my husband’s birthday this week, and while it ended up being a big hit with everyone, I had some frustrations along the way with the recipe which had me doubting whether or not it was going to turn out. First of all, the wonky ingredient measurements in nearly every step were really annoying. 3/8th of a cup was easy enough to convert (why not just say 6 TBS, though?), but 3/8th of a teaspoon?? How is anyone supposed to be able to measure that out? I rounded down to 1/4th and it was fine. And the butter being in tbs in one section then in ounces in another didn’t make sense, especially since sticks of butter are always measured in tbs, not oz. Again, not something that I couldn’t get around, but it just further complicated an already difficult recipe. Finally, the baking time. At 55 minutes, the cheesecake was nowhere near done. At almost and hour and a half, it was still pretty runny in the very center, but I decided to call it quits and take my chances. Also, the cheesecake filling nearly filled the pan, leaving very little room for the other layers. Perhaps using a 10-in pan would have solved both of these issues, but since no size was specified, I used the 9-in one I had. I had to slice the chocolate cake in half just so it would fit. I was terrified that the crust was going to stick when it came time to take it out of the pan, especially after baking for so long, but fortunately it came loose with only a few lost bits.

    I do a lot of baking and this was definitely the most complicated recipe I’ve come across. I think with a few clarifications, it would be a lot easier for anyone else attempting it. Oh, and definitely give yourself several days to work on this. If I hadn’t started this two days before the party, I’m not sure it would have had time to fully chill after being assembled since the cooking time ended up being longer and the odd measurements slowed things down.

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      August 12, 2013 at 1:01 am (2 years ago)

      Well, that comment was a downer. I did a lot of work to create this recipe. I’m sorry you found it so incredibly frustrating.

      Reply
    • Brittany
      July 22, 2014 at 11:22 pm (1 year ago)

      I too was worried about this. My cheesecake wasn’t ” golden” but I took it out and it was done. It was taller than I expected but shrank as it cooked so I could layer with the whole cake. Very awesome recipe! We’ll worth it

      Reply
  33. Rachelle
    October 14, 2013 at 3:12 pm (2 years ago)

    Wonderful recipe! Made it for my friends birthday. It was easy to make and delicious. Everybody loved it. I will do it again. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      October 14, 2013 at 3:14 pm (2 years ago)

      Hooray! That’s great to hear, Rachelle!

      Reply
  34. Jeanne Lawson
    November 21, 2013 at 6:38 am (2 years ago)

    I just made this Tuesday. Other than using a chocolate graham cracker crust, I followed your recipe and instructions completely. It all came together much more quickly and easily than I expected. It is delicious–just what I hoped for!

    That being said, I did feel that the cake layer was a bit thick and a bit dry–just my opinion, of course. I, also, feel that the ganache layer got rather lost—personally, I’d put it between the cheesecake and the cake layers.

    While my end result wasn’t “picture perfect” it still was attractive and impressive. I’m sure I will make it again.

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      November 21, 2013 at 7:26 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Jeanne, I’m glad you enjoyed the cake! I’m sorry your cake layer was dry — try baking for a shorter amount of time. You can also do a simple syrup drizzle over your cake if it’ll be chilling for more than a day or so.

      Reply
  35. janis starling
    November 23, 2013 at 10:54 am (2 years ago)

    What size springform pan? I couldn’t seem to see it in the recipie, I wuold really hate to ruin all that deliciousness.

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      November 23, 2013 at 10:58 am (2 years ago)

      I use a 9″ but the most important thing is just that your springform size matches your cake pan size — other than that, just check early and often when baking. With the cheesecake, you’re looking for mostly set up with barely-there jiggle in the middle. With cake, you’re looking for a few moist crumbs on a toothpick inserted in the middle. Happy baking!

      Reply
  36. Taniesa
    February 3, 2014 at 7:17 pm (2 years ago)

    iI made this for superbowl/husbands birthday party yesterday, everyone loved it! Especially the ginache layer on top of the crust. I dont know if i did something wrong, i used a 9in spring pan but the cheesecake was filled all the way to the top lol so the cake looked way huge after I put the cake layer on it ha.. but none the less, I got compliments! I haven’t tried it yet, maybe today I’ll see for myself. lol

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      February 3, 2014 at 7:18 pm (2 years ago)

      I’m so glad everyone loved it, Taniesa! You know, sometimes that happens with the cake if the crust wasn’t built up as tall, so maybe you have a shorter springform than me? If you make it again, you can make a 2/3 batch of cheesecake to account for the height issue — or just make a tall one again 😉

      Reply
  37. Melissa
    February 13, 2014 at 7:32 am (2 years ago)

    Can I let the crust and ganache freeze longer than thirty minutes? Could the cake part freeze as well?

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      February 13, 2014 at 11:04 am (2 years ago)

      Yes and yes!

      Reply
  38. Madeline
    April 20, 2014 at 11:12 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Julie
    I am dying to make this cake…it sounds soooo yummy!
    My concern was the removal of the bottom of the spring form pan. I want to give the cake to a friend but I don’t want to lose the bottom of my pan. Is there a way to remove the bottom before serving? Thx

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      April 20, 2014 at 11:43 am (1 year ago)

      You can definitely remove the cake very delicately using two big spatulas (have the serving plate very close). Alternatively, you could try placing a round of parchment paper in the pan before you make the crust for easy removal. It can definitely be done, I just usually don’t bother.

      Enjoy!!

      Reply
  39. Olivia Gallegos
    April 21, 2014 at 10:02 pm (1 year ago)

    Yum

    Reply
  40. Kiki
    July 5, 2014 at 2:38 am (1 year ago)

    I caught this recipe a week or so ago when it was featured in a Buzzfeed thing about amazing cheesecakes. I decided I had to make it for our 4th of July BBQ. It was such a hit! (I’m talking, like, the sounds my family were making made me vaguely uncomfortable because I shouldn’t ever have to hear such intimate noises from them.) I’m reveling in the last of my slice right now, and this is some seriously amazing stuff. Also, I’ve never been great at baking, so I’m particularly pleased at just how well this turned out for me! Thank you thank you thank you for such good directions and a new family recipe 😀

    Reply
  41. Lorraine
    August 4, 2014 at 5:28 pm (1 year ago)

    How many cups of cookie crumb does 38 cookies make? I have lots of crumb already …. :)

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      August 4, 2014 at 5:36 pm (1 year ago)

      I’m sorry so say that I don’t know! I’d try it with the crumbs you have — you can always pulverize some more if it turns out to run short.

      Reply
  42. farmerswife518
    August 13, 2014 at 5:09 pm (1 year ago)

    O.M.G. AHH.MAZE.ING. This was absolutely incredible. Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      August 13, 2014 at 10:57 pm (1 year ago)

      Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!!

      Reply
  43. victoria
    September 7, 2014 at 4:23 pm (12 months ago)

    Just want to let you know that i made this for a friend for her birthday and took it to work to share and everyone loved it! Although it was very time consuming to make, this is such a good recipe and I will be keeping it handy because now someone else has asked me to make this for them. Also, the 3/8 c and 3/8 tbsp through me off was wondering if you could convert it? Thank you!

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      September 7, 2014 at 4:46 pm (12 months ago)

      Hi Victoria! So glad to hear you all enjoyed it! 1/8 cup equals 2 tablespoons, so 3/8 is 6 tablespoons. As for 3/8 teaspoon, I usually just do a little less than 1/2 teaspoon.

      Reply
  44. Michelle
    November 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm (10 months ago)

    This looks absolutely delicious… but a friend of mine is DEATHLY allergic to nuts. Any recommendations for what might be substituted in place of the pecans?

    Reply
  45. NZap
    November 24, 2014 at 2:41 pm (9 months ago)

    I’m planning on making this for Thanksgiving and wanted to know what size springform pan to use. Thanks!
    NZf

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      November 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm (9 months ago)

      It’s a 9-inch springform!

      Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      November 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm (9 months ago)

      P.S. But if you use a 9-inch springform, use a 9-inch cake pan too. Hope you enjoy it!!

      Reply
  46. Linda Johnson
    November 30, 2014 at 7:40 pm (9 months ago)

    Noticed that you left out the vanilla in the cheesecake directions. :)

    Reply
  47. Linda Johnson
    November 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm (9 months ago)

    Sorry if you got this twice. I’m not seeing it. I had suggested that you put the springform pan size at the beginning. I had to search through comments. Cheesecake is baking now. I’m pretty excited about this! Gonna be awesome!

    Reply
  48. Karen @ Pieces of Contentment
    January 26, 2015 at 5:50 pm (7 months ago)

    My daughter and her friend made this cheesecake a few days ago. We just finished eating it yesterday – it looked and tasted amazing. Thank you!
    Mindfulness is a wonderful tool for life, one to be used daily…..

    Reply
  49. Stephanie
    March 6, 2015 at 10:32 pm (6 months ago)

    I don’t see on here what size the pan is. I used a pan that was too small. I don’t have room for the cake. :(

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      March 6, 2015 at 11:04 pm (6 months ago)

      Hi Stephanie,

      Has your cheesecake already cooled? It rises right to the top while baking, but then settles way down as it cools and chills. Don’t worry even if it’s tall — you can pop it out of the pan before placing the cake on top and topping with the coconut mixture. In terms of diameter, all that matters is that your springform and cake pan are the same diameter. I used 9-inch pans.

      Reply
  50. NickieJ
    March 28, 2015 at 7:19 pm (5 months ago)

    I am more of cook than a baker. My daughter found your recipe on Pinterest and announced, “This is my birthday cake!” in the link she sent me. I was scared to make it, but it turned out amazing. Inspired with a new sense of baking confidence I am going to tackle a few more of the fabulous recipes I have seen on your site. I especially enjoy the stories that go with the recipes. They make me smile. :o)

    Reply
    • Julie Ruble
      March 28, 2015 at 8:43 pm (5 months ago)

      That makes me so happy to hear, Nickie!! Hooray!! I hope you love everything you make!

      Reply

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