Fall may be fast approaching but that doesn’t mean the summer fun has to end! I’m clinging to the last remnants of sunshine and warmth with my newest recipe, a festive Piña Colada cheesecake with all the essential elements of the classic cocktail: Coconut, pineapple, cherries, and – of course – the Rum!
In this latest collaboration with Paradise Fruit Co., the candied cherries and pineapple really take this dessert to the next level. Soaking them in coconut rum for a week before folding them into the filling creates warm boozy bursts of flavor and texture throughout the otherwise silky pineapple-coconut cream cheese layer. This step is totally optional, but definitely worth it! In all honesty, I rum-soaked multiple containers of pineapple and cherries, snacking on the drunk fruit from time to time.
A crunchy coconut and macadamia nut shortbread base and coconut
rum whipped cream garnishes round out this delightful treat.
As it’s a baked cheesecake, the recipe is a little complex, so put on your favorite tunes and let’s get started!
Creamy, Boozy Festive Piña Colada Cheesecake
End your summer on a high note with this tropical treat! Rum-soaked candied cherries and pineapple add a burst of flavor to this creamy piña colada-inspired baked cheesecake with a crunchy coconut and macadamia nut base.
111.03-Ounce packageShortbread cookies (Approx 20 cookies)Homemade or store-bought are fine
1/4CupUnsweetened flaked coconut
1/4CupToasted Macadamia nuts
48-Ounce PackagesCream cheeseRoom temperature
115-Ounce canCream of coconut (Like Coco Lopez)(Not Coconut Milk)
1CupSour creamRoom temperature
18-Ounce CanCrushed Pineapple, drained
18-Ounce containerCandied CherriesSoaked in Coconut Rum, sliced in half
18-Ounce containerCandied PineappleSoaked in Coconut Rum
1/2CupAll purpose flourIf you prefer a more dense cheesecake
For the crust
In a food processor, put your shortbread cookies, Macadamia nuts and flaked coconut. Pulse until the texture of fine sand.
Pour melted butter into the sandy crust mixture and press firmly into a 10-inch springform lined with parchment paper, pressing up the sides. Bake in the oven at 325 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes, then pull out and allow to cool.
In stand mixer attached with paddle, beat cream cheese on medium high until light and fluffy.
Add one at a time, beating between each addition: Sugar, Sour Cream, Cream of Coconut, rum, and coconut extract.
Add five eggs into the batter, one at a time, mixing on low between each addition.
If opting for a denser cheesecake, add flour, mixing just until combined.
Pull bowl off mixer and with spatula, carefully fold in drained, crushed pineapple, candied pineapple and candied halved cherries.
Pour cheesecake batter into 10-inch springform pan over cooled crust.
Put cheesecake into the oven at 325 degrees fahrenheit and set timer for 80 minutes.
To prevent cracking, place narrow oven-safe dish (like a bread pan) half-full of water to create steam in the oven. I waited until my cheesecake had baked for an hour before adding this.
After 80 minutes, turn oven off and wedge a wooden spoon into the door to allow the oven to cool slowly. After an hour or 2, Take the cheesecake out and put in the fridge to finish cooling and setting, at least 6 hours or overnight.
When cheesecake is completely cooled, set and ready to garnish, carefully flip out onto a cake board or large dinner plate and peel the parchment paper from the crust, then flip back onto your final serving dish.
Garnish any way you like. I whipped up some heavy cream with a little sugar and coconut rum and piped it onto my cheesecake before setting some rum candied cherries and fresh pineapple slices onto the whipped-cream rosettes. Sprinkle with a little coconut and enjoy!