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slice of turtle cheesecake on a plate with a fork taking a bite out of it and the rest of the cheesecake in the background

Turtle Cheesecake

This turtle cheesecake features a creamy chocolate cheesecake and a thick layer of caramel and pecans. It's relatively easy to make and it doesn't even require a water bath!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 28 minutes
Chilling time 8 hours
Total Time 1 hour 3 minutes
Servings 12
Author Kelsie

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs from about 12 sheets graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 11 ounces soft caramel candies unwrapped
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 16 ounces full fat cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted
  • whipped cream and additional pecan halves for serving optional

Instructions

Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray and set pan aside.
  2. Stir the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt together in a mixing bowl until the crumbs are evenly saturated in the butter. Press into the bottom and partway up the sides of the prepared pan.
  3. Pop the pan in the freezer for 10 minutes and leave it in the freezer while you make the filling.

Filling

  1. Combine the caramel candies and evaporated milk in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and the mixture is smooth. (It will take quite a bit of stirring before the caramels start to melt.)
  2. Pour the caramel into the frozen crust and sprinkle the chopped pecans over the top.
  3. Place the cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until very creamy. Add the sugar and beat until well combined.
  4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the eggs and vanilla and beat to combine.
  5. Add the melted chocolate chips and beat on low speed until fully combined. Scrape into the crust and smooth the top. Bake for 28 to 34 minutes, until the edges are set but the center of the cheesecake still jiggles a little if you tap the pan.
  6. Remove cheesecake from the oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Once cool, refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.
  7. When you’re ready to serve, top with whipped cream and pecan halves (optional). Slice and serve.

Recipe Notes