If you love pineapples, here’s another treat for you – a pineapple cheesecake.
This is a cheesecake with a truly tropical twist – a thick and creamy pineapple cream cheese filling baked in an aromatic coconut cookie crust and topped with a layer of scrumptious homemade pineapple filling and whipped cream. Delicious, right?
This is a baked cheesecake recipe. For a truly intense pineapple flavor, I have added a generous amount of my homemade pineapple filling into the cheesecake. Once baked, the cheesecake is topped with more pineapple filling.
Since coconut pairs really well with pineapple, I have given this pineapple cheesecake a tropical twist by adding coconut flakes to its crust.
To complete the cheesecake, I have decorated it with lovely swirls of whipped cream and garnished it with juicy pineapple cubes.
How to Make Pineapple Cheesecake
- Digestive cookies (or Graham Crackers)
- Castor sugar
- Butter (melted)
- Coconut flakes (unsweetened, not toasted)
- Cream cheese (at room temperature)
- Castor sugar
- Plain flour
- Pineapple filling (see ingredients below)
- Vanilla essence
- Lemon juice
- Heavy cream
Pineapple filling (to be included in the cheesecake filling above as well as for topping below)
- Fresh (or canned) pineapple
- Cornstarch (mixed with some water)
- Lemon Juice
- Water (or pineapple syrup if using canned pineapple)
- Pineapple filling (see ingredients above)
- Whipped cream
Preparing the crust
- Start by preparing your tin. Grease and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. This helps in transferring the pineapple cheesecake onto a serving plate after baking and chilling.
- To make the crust, crush the cookies until fine. You can do this by placing them in a ziplock bag and using a rolling pin to roll on them. Or, you can crush the cookies in a food processor until they turn into fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs into a bowl.
- Add in the sugar.
- Add in the coconut flakes and mix well. There is no need to toast the flakes first.
- Melt the butter in a small pot. Let it cool down before adding to the crumbs. Mix until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened.
- Transfer the crumbs into your prepared tin. Press them down evenly and firmly with the back of a spoon or the back of a flat drinking glass. Set the crust aside.
Making the pineapple filling
I have a full post on how to make pineapple filling and you can check it out here. Here is the summary:
- Cut the pineapple into small chunks. If using canned pineapple, drain the syrup first. Measure and place into a food processor. Add water (or syrup if using canned pineapple) as indicated in the recipe card below. Process until smooth and pour the processed fruit into a medium-sized pan.
- Add lemon juice.
- And then add the sugar. Mix and let the mixture cook and simmer over low heat until it thickens slightly.
- Mix cornstarch with water and add to the pan.
- Stir quickly and thoroughly. Continue to cook until the filling thickens further and reaches your desired consistency.
- Remove from heat and let it cool completely before storing it in a container. Keep the filling refrigerated until ready to use.
Making the pineapple cheesecake filling
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and beat until it turns smooth and creamy, for approximately 30 to 60 seconds. If your cheese is cold, you would need a longer time. If warmer, a short time would be sufficient. The rule of thumb is to not overbeat it, approximately 30 – 60 seconds will do. Scrape the bowl at every 10 seconds interval so there is no cheese stuck to the sides of the bowl.
- Next, add the sugar, flour, salt, and lemon juice. Add these all at once. Beat them for approximately 20 seconds until the ingredients are just combined. Scrape the bowl at each 10 seconds interval.
- After that, add both the eggs and vanilla essence and beat the mixture for another 10 seconds. Do not overbeat at this stage as that would incorporate too much air in the cheesecake batter, causing it to have a bubbly surface after baking.
- Next, beat in the heavy cream. Mix until it’s well combined.
- Finally, add the pineapple filling. Beat it in until it is well incorporated too.
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust and level the top.
Water bath (Bain Marie)
Just like all other baked cheesecakes, this pineapple cheesecake requires to be baked in a water bath or bain-marie. For this, you would need to place the cheesecake tin in a dish filled with water in the oven when baking. Here’s how you can do it:
- Place the cheesecake tin in an empty, slightly larger round cake tin.
- Take a separate, larger cake tin (should be larger than the tin holding the cheesecake tin) and fill it with water until about ⅓ high.
- Place the cheesecake tin along with the cake tin it was placed in in step 1 above into the tin filled with water.
- This way, the water will not seep into the springform pan.
If you don’t have as many fitting tins, the other option would be to wrap the bottom and sides of the cheesecake tin with foil and place it in a larger tin filled with water.
Baking the cheesecake
- To bake the pineapple cheesecake, position the cake tin in the lowest rack in your oven (with the fan function turned off) and bake until the sides are firm and the middle is still wobbly (for 60 minutes). After baking, turn off the oven and let the cake rest in the oven for about 10 minutes before removing it.
- Once removed, let it rest at room temperature for another 10 to 15 minutes before loosening and removing the sides of the cake tin.
- Refrigerate the baked pineapple cheesecake (along with the bottom of the cake tin) for at least 4 hours (or overnight). It is highly advisable to refrigerate the cake with the bottom of the tin still intact and only remove it once the cake has been thoroughly chilled. This will help ensure the crust does not break as you try to transfer the cake. To transfer the cheesecake into a serving plate, run a jam knife between the parchment lining and the cake tin to loosen it. Use a spatula to help slide the cake (along with the parchment lining) onto the serving plate.
- Garnish the pineapple cheesecake top with a thin layer of pineapple filling.
- Pipe swirls of whipped cream.
- Add pineapple cubes before cutting and serving.
Oven temperature should be reduced
- Cheesecakes require a lower baking temperature compared to normal cakes. A general guide would be to lower it by at least 10 degrees Celsius from the temperature used for baking normal cakes.
- A high baking temperature will result in overly browned cheesecake tops. There is also a possibility for the top of the cheesecake to crack due to high heat.
Cheesecake batter should not be overmixed
- Unlike normal cakes (made using the creaming method) which require the butter and sugar to be well creamed until light and fluffy, cheesecake batter, on the contrary, does not require to be beaten to such an extent. Suffice if the cheese is beaten until it turns creamy. Ideally, this is should be within 60 seconds.
- The sugar and eggs are added separately, and each time, these only require 20 to 30 seconds of beating each.
- Over mixing a cheesecake batter will result in it incorporating too much air. Too many of these air bubbles will cause the top of your pineapple cheesecake to have unsightly bubbles on the surface after baking.
Position the cake in the lowest rack in the oven
- This step would help prevent your pineapple cheesecake from browning too much at the top. It would also help prevent cracks in your cheesecake.
Bake the cheesecake in a water bath (bain marie)
- Cheesecakes require a moist oven interior when baking. This is to help the cakes from cracking. One way to keep the interior of the oven moist is by placing a tin of water in the oven when baking. The heat in the oven will cause the water to turn into steam and the steam helps to keep the interior of the oven moist. This method of baking is known as a water bath or bain-marie.
- When baking a cheesecake, place your cake tin in a baking dish filled with water in the oven and let the cake cook with the water in the oven.
- When using a spring-form pan, to avoid water from the baking dish seeping into the cheesecake, you can wrap the sides of your pan securely with foil and then place it in the water-filled baking dish.
- The other way is to place your springform tin in another slightly larger baking tray and then place both in the water-filled baking dish. This will also prevent the water from seeping into the cheesecake as it is baking.
Disable the ‘fan’ setting in the oven
- If your oven comes with a fan function, disable the fan function. This helps in avoiding the top of your pineapple cheesecake from over-browning as well as avoid any cracks.
Do not overbake cheesecakes
- Overbaking can result in the cheesecake texture becoming hard and leathery. It can also cause cracks in the cheesecakes.
- Ideally, cheesecakes require to be baked until the sides are set but the center still wobbly. The cakes will continue to cook as they cool down in the oven after baking (turn off the oven and leave the cakes in the oven for 10 minutes after baking).
- Letting the cakes rest in the oven after baking helps them to cool down gradually. This gradual cooling down process also helps avoid cracks in cheesecakes due to sudden temperature changes.
Texture of the pineapple filling in the cheesecake
- For easy cutting, it is best that the pineapple filling used in the cheesecake is of a smooth texture (you can read more about this in my posts on pineapple filling recipe and pineapple topping recipe).
Baking a larger pineapple cheesecake
- This recipe makes one 7 inches round pineapple cheesecake. If you wish to make a larger cake, simply double the recipe and bake it in a 9 inches round springform tin. Increase the baking time by 10 minutes.
Pineapple Cheesecake Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my pineapple cheesecake recipe. For best results, don’t miss the recipe notes above. They are absolutely crucial for making the best pineapple cheesecake ever!
- 100 g Digestive cookies or Graham Crackers
- 50 g butter melted
- 15 g granulated sugar
- 25 g coconut flakes unsweetened, not toasted
Cream Cheese Filling
- 450 g cream cheese at room temperature
- 125 g castor sugar
- 125 g pineapple filling (see the ingredients below)
- 20 g plain flour
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- 120 g heavy cream
- ⅛ tsp salt
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 275 g pineapple chunks
- 60 ml water (or pineapple syrup in using canned pineapple)
- 100 g brown sugar
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ tbsp cornstarch (mix with 1 tbsp water)
- Whipped cream
- Cubed pineapples
- Pineapple filling
- Preheat oven to 160°Celsius.
Making the crust
- Crush the Digestive cookies into crumbs by processing them in a food processor or by putting them in a zip lock bag and pressing them with a rolling pin.
- Place the crumbs in a bowl. Add the sugar and coconut flakes. Mix well.
- Melt butter. Let it cool down before adding to the crumbs. Mix well.
- Transfer the crust mix into a parchment paper-lined 7 inches round springform pan and press it down evenly and firmly. Set aside.
Making the pineapple filling
- Cut pineapple into small chunks. If using canned pineapple, drain the syrup. Measure the fruits and add into a food processor.
- Add water (or pineapple syrup) and blend to a smooth paste.
- Pour the pineapple paste into a medium-sized pan. Add sugar and lemon juice.
- Cook over low heat until the pineapple thickens slightly.
- Mix cornstarch with water and pour it into the pineapple filling. Stir quickly and thoroughly.
- Continue to cook until the filling thickens further. Check by gathering it to the center of the pan. If it does not spread out too quickly, it is done and can be removed from heat. Let it cool completely before adding into the cheesecake filling.
Making the cheesecake filling
- In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth for 30 – 60 seconds.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the sugar, flour, and salt. Beat again for 20 seconds.
- Add in both the eggs and vanilla essence. Beat for about 10 seconds until the eggs are well combined. Scrape the bowl and continue beating for another 10 seconds until the batter is all smooth and creamy. Do not overbeat to avoid the batter from incorporating too much air.
- Beat in the heavy cream until it is well incorporated into the batter, followed by the pineapple filling.
Baking the cheesecake
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake in a water bath for 60 minutes at 160 °Celsius. When done, the sides should be firm and the center of the cake still wobbly. Turn the oven off and leave the cake in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let the cake cool for another 20 minutes before loosening the cake tin and removing the cake out.
- Let the cake rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Garnish the cake with a layer of pineapple filling. Whip the heavy cream and pipe swirls on the cake. Decorate with pineapple cubes.
- Keep leftovers refrigerated.
And that’s my pineapple cheesecake for you.
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- How to Peel a Pineapple
- Pineapple Filling Recipe
- Easy Cheesecake Recipe – A Simple Baked Cheesecake
- Ultimate Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Oreo Crust
- Pineapple Jam Recipe – How to Make Pineapple Jam without Pectin
Happy baking 🙂