By Karin Calloway

Karin Calloway is a working mom living in Augusta, Ga., with multiple freelance jobs and a ton of dirty dishes.

Pina Colada Cheesecake

Cheesecakes are great "entertaining" desserts because they must be prepared in advance and they feed a crowd. But rather than serve a traditional cheesecake, try my Pina Colada Cheesecake that offers a new twist on the popular tropical drink.

The cheesecake begins with a macaroon-like cake base. The cream cheese layer gets extra creaminess and coconut flavor when a can of cream of coconut is added. And, pineapple ice cream topping and a shot of rum give the cheesecake all the flavors of the classic drink.

While the recipe includes more ingredients and steps than my usual "quick cooking" recipes, none of the steps are complicated, and the ingredients can be purchased in any supermarket. Once you garnish the top with toasted coconut, you’ve got a party in a cheesecake, and lots of happy guests.

Coconut Cake Base

  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 18-ounce jar pineapple ice cream topping, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the base of a 10-inch springform pan. Combine eggs, sugar, vanilla, coconut, baking powder and flour in a medium bowl and spread in the bottom of the pan. Bake 25 minutes, remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Spread with half of the pineapple topping, reserving remaining topping for use later in the recipe.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 8.5-ounce can cream of coconut**
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut*
  • 1 tablespoon rum

Sour Cream Topping

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Remaining pineapple ice cream topping


  • 1/2 cup sweetened coconut*
Place cream cheese in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Beat on low speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat until combined. Add cream of coconut, and beat again. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until well incorporated. Add rum and coconut and beat until just combined. Pour over prepared base and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes.

While the cheesecake bakes, combine sour cream, remaining pineapple topping and the two eggs in a bowl. When the baking time is over, remove the cake from the oven and spread with the sour cream mixture, return to the oven and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and cool at room temperature for 1 hour.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup of sweetened coconut in a glass pie plate and toast in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until it becomes golden. Sprinkle toasted coconut around the outside of the cheesecake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Makes 12 to 16 servings.

*You will need 2 1/2 cups sweetened coconut, in all, for the recipe.
**Coco Lopez brand was used for testing purposes.