Turtle Cheesecake

If you made a New Year’s resolution to eat less cake, I would totally break it for this turtle cheesecake. A classic, creamy cheesecake on top of a chocolate graham cracker crust is topped with homemade caramel sauce, chopped pecans, and a drizzle of dark chocolate. It’s decadent and so delicious that you shouldn’t feel bad about breaking any health-conscious resolutions.

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I made this cheesecake for a friend’s birthday and needed to transport it, so I lined my springform pan with parchment paper. Doing this makes it easier to remove the cheesecake from the pan and onto a board, but if you’re just making this for your family at home or don’t mind your friend having the bottom of your pan, feel free to skip this step.

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Ingredients

Chocolate Crust

  • 1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers, crushed
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Plain Cheesecake

  • 4 8 oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs, room temp

Caramel Sauce

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, room temp
  • 2 Tbsp butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Other Toppings

  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a bowl until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press into the bottom of the springform pan with your fingers. Bake crust for 10 minutes and let cool.

While crust is cooling, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a stand mixer until blended. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing after each addition, until mixture is smooth.

Pour cheesecake batter over crust. Bake 55 minutes or until center jiggles slightly when moved. Run a knife along the edge of the pan to loosen. Cool in the fridge 4 hours or overnight before removing the pan.

After cooling, move the cheesecake from the pan onto a board. (I find the easiest way to do this is to flip it onto one board, remove the bottom of the pan, and peel off the parchment, and then flip onto another board.)

Put the cheesecake back in the fridge and make the caramel sauce.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, and water. Heat over high heat, swirling pan occasionally (do not stir) for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden. Remove from heat.

Slowly whisk in the heavy cream (the mixture will foam). Add butter and whisk until melted. Whisk in vanilla. Pour into glass measuring cup and let cool. Don’t put in the fridge as it will get too thick to pour easily.

When the caramel is slightly thickened and cooled, pour over the cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle chopped pecans over the still-wet caramel. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the cheesecake. Chill before serving and enjoy!

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