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A turtle cheesecake with a slice cut out, on a cake stand.
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Turtle Cheesecake

Inspired by turtle chocolates, this Turtle Cheesecake is so creamy and indulgent! Perfect for the holidays or any upcoming dinner parties.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Chill Time 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours
Servings 8 servings
Calories 993kcal

Equipment

  • Food Processor (optional)
  • Mixer
  • Bowls
  • Baking Sheet

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 20 chocolate sandwich cookies such as Oreo’s
  • ½ cup pecan halves
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter melted

For the Filling:

  • 4 8-ounce blocks cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (220g)
  • ¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour divided (35g)
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips melted and cooled
  • ½ cup caramel sauce (120mL)
  • ½ cup chopped pecans

For the Topping:

  • 1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons caramel sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Position an oven rack to the lowest level and the rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325F. Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.

For the Crust:

  • In a food processor, pulse the sandwich cookies and pecans until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Place in a medium bowl, and stir in the melted butter until well combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate while preparing the filling, or at least 30 minutes.

For the Filling:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup flour, cream, and vanilla. Beat on medium until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the bowl frequently.
  • Remove 1 cup of batter, and place in a small bowl. Stir the melted chocolate into the batter.
  • In another small bowl, whisk together the caramel and the remaining 2 teaspoons of flour. Stir in the chopped pecans. Spread the caramel mixture in an even layer over the cooled crust. Spread the chocolate batter into an even layer over the caramel mixture. Carefully spoon the plain batter over the chocolate filling, and smooth the top. Place on a baking sheet.
  • Bring 8 cups of water to a boil. Place a large roasting pan or casserole dish on the bottom rack of the oven and carefully fill halfway with the boiling water. Place the cheesecake on the middle rack.
  • Bake for 75 to 90 minutes or until the edges are pulling away slightly from the sides of the pan and the center wobbles when gently shaken. Cover the cheesecake loosely with foil after 60 minutes if the top appears to be browning too quickly. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack, for 1 hour. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.

For the Topping:

  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat the cream for 15 to 30 seconds, or until steaming. Add the chocolate chips and let stand for a few minutes. Stir until smooth.
  • Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to release the cheesecake. Remove sides of the pan and transfer the cheesecake to a cake plate. Drizzle the cheesecake with melted chocolate and caramel. Sprinkle with pecans.

Notes

  • Do not be tempted to open the oven to peek at your turtle cheesecake. The hot air will escape, and the cold air from the kitchen can go into the oven, causing the cheesecake to deflate or crack.
  • Accidentally caused a crack on the top of your cheesecake? Simply cover it with more chopped pecans and caramel.
  • To bring your cream cheese to room temperature, leave it out the night before or heat it in the microwave for 20 seconds at 50% power.
  • Just like the cream cheese, eggs mix better into the batter when they’re at room temperature as well. Place your egg into a bowl of warm water for a couple of minutes. Doing so will quickly bring it to room temperature if you have forgotten to take it out of your fridge beforehand.
  • If you do not have chocolate sandwiches for the crust, you can use graham crackers, Biscoff, digestives cookies, Nilla wafers, or shortbread cookies instead.
  • You do not want to bake until the center is firm as it continues to set as it cools. To tell if your turtle cheesecake has finished baking, gently shake the pan. If the cheesecake’s center is a bit jiggly, it’s done.
  • If you do not have chocolate chips, you can roughly chop chocolate bars to melt instead.
  • Let the cheesecake cool gradually. Don’t place it directly into the fridge to speed up the process, or it will develop condensation when covered or absorb scents in the fridge if uncovered.
  • For beautiful, clean slices, run your knife under hot water between cuts.

Nutrition

Calories: 993kcal | Carbohydrates: 79g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 34g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 230mg | Sodium: 611mg | Potassium: 464mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 1930IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 189mg | Iron: 5mg