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Island Crunch Cheesecake

Inspiring ideas come from many places, and often when we least expect them. I enjoy making cheesecakes for family and friends, and I came up with this recipe after eating ice cream on vacation. Featuring pineapple and coconut, this cheesecake will remind you of a trip to an island paradise. —Ellen Batenhorst, Omaha, Nebraska
  • Total Time
    Prep:45 min. Bake: 1 hour. + chilling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 1-1/2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (about 45 wafers)
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (8 ounces) crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1 tablespoon creme de cacao
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange liqueur (Grand Marnier)
  • 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening


  • Place a greased 10-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla and salt. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
  • Remove half of the mixture to a small bowl. Fold in pineapple and coconut; pour into crust. Stir cooled chocolate and creme de cacao into plain cream cheese mixture; fold in chocolate chunks. Carefully spoon over pineapple layer, spreading evenly.
  • Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of boiling water to larger pan. Bake at 325° until center is almost set, 50-60 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes. For sour cream layer, combine all ingredients in a small bowl; spread over cheesecake. Bake 5 minutes longer.
  • Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove rim from pan. Sprinkle toasted coconut and macadamia nuts over cheesecake. In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Drizzle over top.
Editor's Note
To toast coconut, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 618 calories, 42g fat (25g saturated fat), 160mg cholesterol, 325mg sodium, 54g carbohydrate (45g sugars, 2g fiber), 9g protein.

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Average Rating:
  • kathleennadeau
    Nov 7, 2013

    My family loved this cheesecake...

  • kofronb
    Aug 13, 2013

    I followed recipe exactly except for the time which I added extra 15 minutes. I won two first places with this!

  • apalermini
    Sep 2, 2012

    No comment left

  • aunthilby
    Aug 27, 2012

    No comment left

  • ronjon3
    May 30, 2012

    May be the best cheesecake I ever made.

  • kshea
    May 29, 2012

    After setting up in the fridge one night, I thought this was good, my husband thought ok. The next night, I thought it was great and he thought it was good. Much better the 2nd night. Also, I let it cook on 350 for 60 minutes and 10 minutes for the topping. I didn't put the coconut and nuts on until I served it. I think some of the other cooks had to let it cook longer because you have to let your waterbath heat up in the oven for at least l/2 hour before you put the pan in and then add more boiling water. If you put it in a cool pan and add water you will have to cook longer.

  • ellenkb
    May 11, 2012

    This has been a huge hit with everyone who has tried it. I did bake it at 350 degrees instead of 325. For the sour cream layer, I baked it 10 mintes.

  • mrtnlaur3
    May 10, 2012

    I bake several different cheesecakes for my churches fish fries. This cheesecake has quickly become one of the favorites.I have also taken this cheesecake to a couple of potlucks and come home with a clean plate.I do bake this cheesecake in a 350 degree oven. I baked it for 70-75 minutes and then put on the sour cream layer and baked 5 minutes.

  • Dixie7777
    May 10, 2012

    Never made a cheesecake before....everyone raved!!!

  • kristinscotth
    Apr 14, 2012

    This cheesecake is yummy, but not perfect... but has the potential to be better. For the chocolate chunks, I used the bag of Toll House semisweet chunks. If I were to make this again, I would not use these, OR, I would cut them smaller. Having such large chunks made it difficult to cut nice slices of cheesecake. If I were to make this again, I would either use mini chocolate chips OR buy a block of chocolate and cut it up, because that usually yields smaller pieces of chocolate (as opposed to the chunks in the Toll House bag). I baked my cheesecake for 55 minutes, spread on the sour cream layer, and baked it for 8 minutes more. I've baked many cheesecakes, and I think this one was a tad underdone. Also, be VERY careful taking the water bath pan in and out of the oven. I always bake cheesecakes in a water bath, and I never get water inside the foil, but I think with this recipe, since I had to take the cheesecake out of the oven and put on that sour cream layer, then put it back in the oven, it sloshed the water around a little too much causing some water to get inside my foil collar. However, it wasn't ruined (the crust was a little moist). Just be careful! I also loved garnishing with lots of toasted coconut and macadamia nuts. It gave such a pleasant crunch to the overall dessert. But I wouldn't garnish until right before serving, so if you're not going to serve it all in one day, I would wait to garnish it a slice at a time. The coconut won't be as crunchy if it sits on top of a moist cheesecake over time. I would probably make this again. I was skeptical, but curious, of this recipe because it has a pina colada-ish layer on the bottom and chocolate on top, but I really enjoyed all the flavors together. I would definitely make some changes for the next time--using smaller pieces of chocolate and baking it a little longer. Oh! I didn't use the creme de cacao. I just added a little more vanilla to that layer. I hope this helps!