German Chocolate Cheesecake

I’m a little late with this, but I had to brag on my birthday cake. I think many bakers are left to make their own birthday cakes. I, however, have Quinn, who always comes through at the end of August.

Quinn picked this one out all by himself from Junior’s Cheesecake Cookbook. The most impressive thing about this whole process is that he loathes coconut. So much so, that he resorted to handling it with gloved hands. Brave, huh?

German Chocolate Cheesecake features a layer of rich cheesecake between layers of chocolate cake. So decadent and delicious! - Bake or Break

So, I came home from work to find this glorious dessert just for me. (Well, he did save a little bit of cheesecake for himself.) It’s a wonderfully delicious combination of German chocolate cake and cheesecake. It’s way over the top – definitely a special occasion kind of dessert. Honestly, the cheesecake alone is worthy of any special event.

German Chocolate Cheesecake combines German chocolate cake with cheesecake for a delicious and beautiful dessert! - Bake or Break

Obviously, there was a whole lot left after I ate my little piece of cake. My co-workers benefited from the remainder. There were plenty of rave reviews, both for the cake and for Quinn.

German Chocolate Cheesecake | Bake or Break

German Chocolate Cheesecake

German Chocolate Cheesecake


    For the cheesecake:
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • For the cake:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces German sweet chocolate
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • For the frosting:
  • 1 & 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 4 cups flaked coconut, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


To make the cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside and the sides of the pan with aluminum foil.

Using a mixer on low speed, beat 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch until creamy (about 3 minutes). Add remaining cream cheese, 8 ounces at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each. On medium speed, beat in remaining 1 cup of sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in cream just until blended. Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the springform pan. Place pan in a large shallow pan of hot water. Water should come about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake about 1 & 1/4 hours, unitl the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan.

Remove pan from water bath and transfer to a wire rack. cool in pan for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 4 hours. Place in freezer overnight until ready to assemble the cake.

To make the cake:

Butter the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of both pans with parchment paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl. Melt chocolate in water in the microwave and set aside to cool. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed of an electric mixer. The mixture should be light yellow and creamy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Mix in melted chocolate and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, blending well after each.

Beat egg whites and cream of tartar on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold about a third of the whites into the chocolate batter, then the remaining whites.

Divide the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a moist crumb. Cool cakes in pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn onto a cooling rack and peel off paper liners. Let cakes cool completely, about 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to assemble the cake.

To make the frosting:

Preheat oven to 350°. Spread nuts on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toast until golden, about 5 minutes, tossing a couple of times. Set aside to cool.

Toast 1/4 cup of coconut in the same way. Set aside.

Mix sugar and flour in a large saucepan. Add cream, milk, butter, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick and golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in toasted nuts and untoasted coconut. Refrigerate about 30 minutes, until thick enough to spread.

To assemble the dessert:

Remove the cheesecake from freezer and let stand at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Place one chocolate cake layer, top side down, on a cake plate. Spread with some of the frosting. Remove the springform ring from the cheesecake. Place cheesecake top side down on the forsted cake layer. Spread with frosting.

Top with remaining chocolate cake layer, top side up, and frost the top of the cake and the sides of only the top cake layer with the remaining frosting. Sprinkle top with toasted coconut. Refrigerate at least two hours until ready to serve.

Cut cake with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated knife.

Leftover cake can be covered and refrigerated, or wrapped and frozen for up to a month.


Recipe adapted from Junior's Cheesecake Cookbook.

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  1. Mellisa W. October 15, 2009 Reply

    That literally blows my mind. I am not sure that will quit haunting me until I make it. Thanks! I think?

  2. Eliana October 15, 2009 Reply

    WOW – As Melissa Stated – This blew My Mind Too. Totally outrageous. I can only imagine how great this medely of flavors tasted!

  3. Mimi October 15, 2009 Reply

    Wow what a fantastic cake. The favors and textures would be awesome.

  4. sarah October 15, 2009 Reply

    WOW!!! i have this cookbook but am definitely going to have to take a second look at it!

  5. Lauren October 15, 2009 Reply

    No way! We’re making this in my culinary class next week! Yours looks more advanced though.

  6. Shauna October 15, 2009 Reply

    All those Junior’s cakes are pure INSANITY! That is so awesome that you have a husband who would take on such a task. My husband, though adorable and handy around the house, is a disaster in the kitchen. He likes to proclaim things like, “I can make CREPES!” and then you find out the truth, which is that he made crepes after school a few times at his friend’s house, whose mother had an electric crepe pan. 20 YEARS AGO.

    Happy belated birthday!

  7. Tom October 16, 2009 Reply

    This looks wonderful..Happy Birthday Jenny and heres wishing you many more. I have this Juniors book as I’m a fan of triple Chocolate mousse Cheesecakes myself ( and my compliments to Q as I know this was not a easy cake to assemble.

  8. Gary Green October 16, 2009 Reply

    That looks amazing. Lucky you. The only thing I ever find waiting for me when I get home is a fat old whiney cat. Happy birthday to you and please keep the beautiful pictures coming!

  9. wow. that cake looks thick and rich and moist. I want some, and I don’t even like chocolate cake! My husband made me a cake for my birthday last year (first year we were married). He made a Betty Crocker spice cake from a box, then told all his coworkers he baked a cake “from scratch.” I was proud of him though, and very pleased :)

  10. quinn October 16, 2009 Reply

    Tom — triple chocolate mousse cheesecakes? Seriously!?! How did I miss that?

    Jennifer — can you remember this for March? 😉

  11. Alicia October 17, 2009 Reply

    How lucky are you? That cake looks sooooo good – and totally naughty!

  12. Shandy October 17, 2009 Reply

    YUM! I have the Junior cookbooks and am looking this recipe up now. What a beautiful, decadent, and delicious birthday cake!

  13. katie October 19, 2009 Reply

    What a fantastic birthday cake! Utterly divine

  14. The Nomadic Gourmet October 19, 2009 Reply

    Cool idea and I bet it tastes great. I love cheesecake AND I love german chocolate cake, so together they should be excellent…

  15. Laila October 19, 2009 Reply

    Looks absolutely delicious ..

  16. Monica H October 19, 2009 Reply

    That’s what you call love! That last picture has me trying to lick the screen. What a great birthday dessert.

    Happy belated birthday!

  17. The Food Hunter October 20, 2009 Reply

    Looks delicious! Happy Birthday

  18. kimberleyblue October 20, 2009 Reply

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better looking cheesecake. That would be my heaven, that cake right there. Wow.

  19. Talita October 20, 2009 Reply

    Wonderful! Looks so yummy!! Love chocolate cake!

  20. Abby October 20, 2009 Reply

    What a great idea! The pictures are totally making me drool.

  21. Lindsey from Food Monger October 20, 2009 Reply

    Two of my favorite cakes! Wow, that looks amazingly delicious and rich at that! Top that off with a nice glass of Milk and I’d call that perfection : )

  22. Leigh Ann October 21, 2009 Reply

    Wow! Just… wow!! Wish someone would make this for my birthday. As it stands, I’ll probably have to make it myself :)

  23. Michael October 23, 2009 Reply

    this looks yummy!
    Check out my food blog and tell me what you think:


  24. Theresa October 23, 2009 Reply

    You have an awesome man!!!!!!

  25. CaSaundra October 24, 2009 Reply

    Wow, I think I just gained 5 lbs looking at this–yuuum!

  26. Moody Food Reviews October 24, 2009 Reply

    This cake looks divine! I love your blog and would love to do a featured post on it on my blog. Come stop by and check out my blog.

  27. Nan October 26, 2009 Reply

    Yum, yum and yum. This dessert is not for the faint-hearted. You can almost divide a slice and eat twice from it…not that I would do that. Oh, no. It is all or nothin’ with me. There are so many textures with this cake that it is like an explosion of goodness in your mouth. Good stuff, Q!

  28. auntjone October 27, 2009 Reply

    Does anyone else see the weightloss ad at the bottom of the post? It is the “1 tip for a flat belly” schtick. I don’t think they’re referring to this cheesecake. I’m thinking it should be outlawed! Thanks for the post.

  29. ingrid October 27, 2009 Reply

    I’m not fond of chocolate cake but that has me seriously reconsidering and giving it another try!

    That really is awesome of your honey! Happy belated B-day!

  30. Rylan: Art and Appetite October 31, 2009 Reply

    What a nice twist for a cheesecake. Yum!

  31. Lufflee November 5, 2009 Reply

    Yummy! This reminds me of the german chocolate cupcake from martha stewards cupcake book. ^__^ Except this looks like… a trillion times yummier! ^__^ Lucky youuu!

  32. Palaisdeslys November 8, 2009 Reply

    Oh my god, fantastic, amazing, delicious….

  33. April November 9, 2009 Reply

    This looked so good I had to make it & it was AWESOME!

  34. Ashley November 14, 2009 Reply

    That looks soooo yummy!

  35. I just made this cake for a family gathering and what a smash hit! It is so delicious! You can taste each and every layer. My mouth is watering right now thinking of another piece! I have tried many recipes off other websites and 90% of the time, they don’t work out or taste that good. So far, I’ve made 2 of your recipes and both times, 100% success! Thank you so much!


  36. Amanda December 23, 2009 Reply

    It looks amazing. I wish a cake fairy would leave me a surprise on my counter just once! You’re a lucky gal.

  37. Trish January 11, 2010 Reply

    I don’t even know what to say…this looks like BLISS! Can’t wait to try it out!

  38. This looks sinful! :)

  39. lexa February 10, 2010 Reply

    your line about bakers making their own birthday cakes made me giggle :) great looking blog and what a crazy recipe! i’ll have to share this one with my brother – german chocolate is his go-to birthday cake! thanks!

  40. Houston employment attorney February 26, 2010 Reply

    Oh hello german choco cake! I’m not a sweets person, but for some reason this is making me crave dessert. Yum!

  41. I’m making this right now!! The cheesecake is cooling and the cake layers are baking. I was searching for a picture of it, so thanks! Was just wondering about the icing only on the top layer. That seemed strange. Apparently it didn’t matter! :)

  42. Jaclyn April 7, 2011 Reply

    I made this cake last year for my birthday and people were totally blown away…they still talk about it :)

  43. MonicaMT January 30, 2012 Reply

    need the recipe right away!!

    • jennifer January 30, 2012 Reply

      Monica, the link to the recipe is above the top photo.

  44. Cynthia October 27, 2012 Reply

    WOW! This looks unbelievably amazing!

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