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Coconut Cheesecake

This Coconut Cheesecake is hands down, my favorite dessert to date. Graham cracker coconut crust, creamy coconut cheesecake, whipped cream and toasted coconut – it’s the ultimate coconut lovers treat.

Coconut Cheesecake from What The Fork Food Blog | @WhatTheForkBlog |

Gluten Free Coconut Cheesecake

Hi, friends. It’s been a loooong time. I’ve been super busy doing things like celebrating my birthday and summering (yes I made it a verb) and I am now officially 30. You’re probably tired of hearing about my whining about that though so I won’t mention it again. Until I’m turning 31.

I wanted to pop in and tell you about this dessert. Ohmygosh this coconut cheesecake. Since coconut is my fav, I decided it wouldn’t be right to celebrate a birthday without my favorite flavor. So, hello gorgeous, delicious gluten free coconut cheesecake – so nice to eat meet you! And goodbye because you don’t stand a chance against my fork.

Coconut Cheesecake from What The Fork Food Blog | @WhatTheForkBlog |

I first tested this recipe out over a month ago for my grandmother’s birthday party. I’d say it passed the test with flying colors because my cousin asked if the recipe was up on my blog after one bite and the entire cheesecake disappeared faster than I could bring Mackenzie inside and change her diaper. That my friends, is a recipe success!

I also had no idea my family was as crazy for coconut as I am. Thank god because now I can seriously make #allthecoconut recipes I want and have plenty of happy taste testers.

Coconut Cheesecake from What The Fork Food Blog | @WhatTheForkBlog |

The very first time I made this recipe, I was in a hurry to get out of the house so I completely rushed the cooling process. Instead of leaving the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed, I cracked it open. Not only was the oven door cracked, but a huuuuge (seriously not an exaggeration) crack formed in the cheesecake. The crack was literally an inch deep and went straight through the ENTIRE cheesecake. Nothing a little whipped cream couldn’t hide and it definitely did not affect the flavor but I knew it was there.

This time around, I left the cheesecake in the oven with the door closed a full hour and a half before cracking it and then for another hour in the oven with the door cracked and then I cooled it to room temperature on a wire rack before putting it in the refrigerator. This time around, there were no cracks, not one single little line. Perfection.

I am aware that all of the cooling time in the recipe may seem excessive. In my opinion, it’s necessary. Cooling a cheesecake slowly will prevent those cracks from forming! And I know, you just want to dive right in. Patience, my friends. Patience. All good things come to those who wait. And by good things, I mean COCONUT CHEESECAKE.

Coconut Cheesecake from What The Fork Food Blog | @WhatTheForkBlog |

And yes, I am aware that baking a cheesecake in a water bath may help prevent cracking but that’s just way too fussy for me. Any fussy step I can skip, I will. And I did. Just don’t open that oven!

I almost didn’t want to put the whipped cream on top just to show off the beautiful coconut cheesecake without a single crack. I decided that yes, the coconut cheesecake still needed the whipped cream because it really makes this dessert sing. And by sing, I mean taste like heaven. The toasted coconut on top is optional but it does add a nice textural element. Also, if you love coconut as much as I do, try my gluten free coconut cake or coconut cream pie. Enjoy!

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Coconut Cheesecake

4.83 from 28 ratings
This Coconut Cheesecake is hands down, my favorite dessert to date. Graham cracker coconut crust, creamy coconut cheesecake, whipped cream and toasted coconut – it’s the ultimate coconut lovers treat.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 12 slices
Print Rate Pin


For the Crust

  • 1 1/2 C gluten free graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 5 Tbsp butter melted

For the Filling

  • 3 8 oz. packages cream cheese room temperature
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 C cream of coconut the sweetened kind used for drinks*
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt

For the Whipped Cream Topping:

  • 1 C heavy whipping cream
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin
  • 4 tsp water
  • 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes toasted


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with aluminum foil (to catch any dripping butter).
  • In a medium bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs, coconut, 2 tbsp sugar and melted butter. Mix well until the crumbs are completely moistened. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan and press evenly along the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the crust is set and slightly toasted. Let sit on a wire rack to cool slightly while preparing the filling.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the eggs one at a time until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Mix in the sugar, cream of coconut, cornstarch, vanilla, coconut extract and salt. Mix well, about an additional minute.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees for 60-75 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine took exactly 1 hour. The center will still be jiggly (think jello jigglers) but should not be liquid. Turn the oven off and keep the cheesecake in the oven with the door CLOSED for 1.5 hours. Then crack the oven door and let it cool in the oven with the door cracked for another hour and then remove from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Once the cheesecake is room temperature, let it chill in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To make the topping, add the gelatin and water to a small sauce pan and stir to combine. Heat the gelatin over medium-low heat until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and cool while preparing the whipped cream - DO NOT LET IT SET.**
  • In a large bowl, use a handheld mixer to whip the heavy cream and powdered sugar together until soft peeks form. Mix in the gelatin and whip until firm peaks form. Evenly spread the whipped cream over the top of the cheesecake and top with the toasted coconut for garnish. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


I've used both Coco Lopez and Coco Real in this recipe. I prefer using the Coco Real squeeze bottle since I'm not using a whole can in this recipe.*If the gelatin sets before you are ready to add it to the whipped cream, reheat it on the oven until dissolved and cool a few minutes before adding it to the whipping cream.I recommend placing a baking sheet on the rack beneath the cheesecake while baking to prevent any butter from leaking out of the pan and dripping onto the bottom of your oven.


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Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.

Did you make this?Mention @whattheforkfoodblog or leave a comment rating below!

Other gluten free cheesecake recipes you’ll enjoy:

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes

Easy No Bake Cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

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Recipe Rating

  1. Anchal says:

    Do you put the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake before you put it in the fridge overnight ? Or do you put the whipped cream closer to when you want to serve it ?

    • Shay says:

      Since it’s a stabilized whipped cream, you can make the whipped cream ahead of time. Just don’t add the whipped cream on top until the cheesecake is chilled completely.

  2. Michelle says:

    I need to ask, why is gelatine needed in the whipped cream topping? I don’t care per say, i just don’t want spend money on gelatine when I’ve never needed it to hold up well whipped cream? quite intrigued 🙂

    • Sharon says:

      Hi Michelle – the gelatin stabilizes the whipped cream. That way you can make it in advance and the whipped cream won’t get watery as it sits over time. It’s perfect if you know you’re going to have leftovers and you’ve already topped the entire cheesecake with the whipped cream. You could skip it and then add the whipped cream when you serve if you prefer. You could also make my white chocolate ganache whipped cream as that is also a super stable whipped cream that won’t get watery if it sits for a few days.

  3. Linda says:

    Can I freeze this after making?

  4. Lori says:

    This cheesecake was amazing. I made the crust with Keebler pecan short bread cookies because my family does not like graham cracker crust and I doubled the cream on top. I am now trying to figure out what I can replace for the cream of coconut to make a chocolate version for my friend who does not like coconut. This recipe is a keeper.

  5. Agnes says:

    It looks delicious. It is probably a silly question but do you remove it from the pan before you put it in the fridg?