Our decadent turtle cheesecake takes all the best flavors of turtle candy and adds them to creamy cheesecake for an out-of-this-world dessert.
Prep Time20 minutesmins
Cook Time1 hourhr30 minutesmins
Rest/Chill Time9 hourshrs
Total Time10 hourshrs50 minutesmins
Keyword: Turtle Cheesecake Recipe
Graham Cracker Crust
1½cupsfinely crushed graham crackers
¼cupfinely chopped pecans
½cupsalted sweet cream butter,melted and cooled
1cupKraft caramel bits
1½cupssemisweet chocolate chips
32ouncescream cheese, softened
4extra largeeggs,room temperature
2teaspoonspure vanilla extract
¾cupdulce de leche
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Add the crushed graham crackers, chopped pecans, and sugar to a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir. Add the melted butter and stir to completely coat the graham cracker mixture.
Spread and press the coated crumb mixture evenly in the bottom of the prepared pan. (I usually use a flat-bottomed 1-cup measuring cup to press the buttered crumbs.) Bake for 10 minutes on the middle rack.
Add the caramel bits and 1 tablespoon of water to a small heat-safe bowl. Microwave in 45-second intervals, stirring well after each interval, until the caramel bits are melted and smooth.
Remove the crust from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 325°F. While the crust is cooling, sprinkle the 1½ cups of chocolate chips over the crust. Drizzle the caramel over the chocolate chips. Place the crust in the refrigerator to chill while you make the cheesecake filling.
Add the granulated sugar and cornstarch to a small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set it aside.
Using a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese and sour cream for 1 to 1½ minutes until smooth. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl as you go to make sure all ingredients are well-mixed.
Add in the sugar mixture and continue mixing for another 1 to 1½ minutes until well incorporated.
Lower the mixer speed to medium-low. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each egg until no yellow streaks remain.
Keep the mixer speed on medium-low and add the vanilla extract. Mix just until incorporated.
Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Tear 2 large pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Wrap the outside of the springform pan. Be sure both pieces of foil are large enough to cover all the way up to the top outer edge of the pan. This will help ensure no leakage from the water bath.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared and foil-wrapped pan. Tap the pan a couple of times on the counter to remove any air bubbles.
Place the cheesecake pan into a large roasting pan and place the roasting pan into the oven on the middle rack.
Pour boiling water into the roasting until it comes up about 1 inch on the side of the cheesecake pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and crack the oven door open about 1 to 2 inches. Leave the cheesecake to sit in the oven for 1 hour.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath. Remove the foil. Carefully run a knife with a thin blade around the sides of the cheesecake. Cover the top of the springform pan with foil and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
Just before you are ready to serve, add ¾ cup dulce de leche to a small heat-safe bowl. Microwave for 45 seconds. Add the heavy cream and stir well until the mixture is smooth.
Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Release the springform pan sides. Use a sturdy spatula to remove the cheesecake from the bottom of the springform pan. Place the cheesecake onto a serving plate or a disposable cake circle.
Spread the dulce de leche mixture over the center of the cheesecake top. Be sure to avoid the very edges. Lightly drizzle the chocolate syrup over the dulce de leche. Sprinkle the chopped pecans. Keep the cheesecake refrigerated before slicing and serving.
It is helpful to use parchment paper circles at the bottom of the springform. This will help your graham cracker crust release from the bottom of the pan when transferring the turtle pecan cheesecake to a serving plate.
Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your crust as the suggested baking time approaches.
It is very important that all of your cream cheese is at room temperature before mixing. This will help ensure your filling is smooth and creamy.
Take caution when mixing, as overbeating the cheesecake will add too much air to the batter, leading to it puffing during baking and then cracking while cooling.
It is very important to be patient while you are baking the cheesecake. The lower temperature and longer baking time will help keep the cheesecake from cracking.