I’ve recently become obsessed with turning cocktails into cheesecake flavors. Not really sure where this obsession sparked, but I will say that these flavors are turning out FANTASTIC. I went to the liquor store yesterday to load up on some different types of liquor, and it gave me a chuckle that most of these would be used in recipes instead of cocktails. I LOVE a good cocktail, so turning them into a cheesecake is just flat out mind-blowing. You’re welcome.
If you’re wondering what a Coquito is, it’s the combination of rum, cinnamon, and coconut. In this recipe, I decided to throw in a little bit of light brown sugar for some added flavor. This sold out immediately at Krafty Draft when I put it on the menu, so I can only hope people were buying it and wolfing it down. A childhood friend’s mom ordered an entire cheesecake because her daughter-in-law is from Puerto Rico and makes a killer Coquito. After talking to her about it, she suggested to bring out a little more of the coconut flavor, so I made some modifications to the recipe and have the final product. Now, I want to make a Coquito cocktail to enjoy with my Coquito Cheesecake. Double win.
For the Crust:
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup cornstarch
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup frozen grated coconut, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon coconut extract
1 teaspoon rum extract
2 oz. light or dark rum
2 oz. coconut rum
2 oz. heavy cream
For the Topping:
frozen whipped topping, thawed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Double-wrap the outside of a 9 inch springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, place inside a 12 inch cake pan. Place graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small mixing bowl, toss together. Add the melted butter and mix with your hands until thoroughly combined. Rub butter all along the bottom of the springform pan, then press graham cracker mixture evenly along the bottom. Place pans in the oven to bake for 7 minutes, remove pans from oven and set aside.
In a standing mixer (or mixing bowl and using electric mixer), add 8 oz. cream cheese, cornstarch, grated coconut, and 2/3 cup light brown sugar. Beat at medium speed with the paddle attachment until mixture is smooth. Add another 8 oz. cream cheese, along with 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until smooth. Add remaining cream cheese and granulated sugar, one at a time, until smooth. Slow mixer to stirring speed, add extracts and one egg at a time, scraping down the sides. Turn on to stirring speed and slowly add rum and heavy cream, beat just until mixed in (do not overmix). Spoon batter into springform pan on top of graham cracker crust and spread into an even layer.
Pour warm water into the larger cake pan, creating a water bath (this prevents cracks). The water should come up at least 1 inch around the springform pan. Carefully place pans in oven and bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until lightly browned on top. Remove pans from oven, pull the springform pan out of the larger pan and place on a cooling rack for about 4 hours to cool completely. Remove aluminum foil from around pan.
Cover springform pan with plastic wrap and place in freezer to set for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight. Remove plastic wrap from springform pan, release and remove sides of springform. Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on top of cheesecake, turn upside down onto a flat surface. Carefully remove bottom of pan, turn back over onto a serving plate.
Cut into slices with a sharp, straight edged knife, wiping knife between each cut. Store cheesecake in refrigerator until ready to serve for up to 7 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. Garnish with whipped topping, sprinkle of cinnamon and coconut, if desired.