Turtle Chocolate Cheesecake - The most outrageously decadent dessert with a chocolate graham cracker and pecan crust, ooey-gooey caramel cream cheese filling, and crazy good caramel chocolate turtle topping.
Why is it called Turtle Cheesecake?
Its called Turtle Cheesecake mostly because of the way it looks.
The pecan nuts on the cheesecake coated with caramel and chocolate have an uncanny resemblance to the big back of the turtle.
Hence since 1918 when it was first made by DeMet's Candy Company this has been called a Turtle Cheesecake.
What is Turtle Cheesecake?
Basically Turtle Cheesecake contains everything that appeals to the heart. There is:-
- Pecan Nuts - which is a fall favorite
- Caramel - something without which we cannot imagine fall
- Chocolate - something that no one can hate
What do i need to make a turtle cheesecake?
Here are the ingredients needed to make turtle cheesecake:
Ingredients for the Chocolate Pecan Crust
- chocolate graham cracker
- brown sugar
- pecan nuts
Ingredients to make the Caramel Sauce
- all purpose flour
- heavy cream
- pecan chips
Ingredients for Chocolate Layer
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
- Heavy Whipping Cream
Ingredients for Cheesecake filling
- Cream Cheese
- vanilla extract
- brown sugar
- all purpose flour
- sour cream
How to Make Turtle Cheesecake?
- STEP 1: Make The Crust
Combine chocolate graham crackers, salted melted butter, brown sugar, and pecan nuts until crumbly. Line a springform pan with parchment paper. Press the crust into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake the crust for 10-minutes and then allow it to cool down completely.
- STEP 2: Make Caramel Sauce
Add sugar to a saucepan. Keep whisking until it's light brown/amber colored. Take it off the heat. Whisk in butter, pecan chips or chopped pecan nuts and heavy whipping cream. Set aside 1 cup of caramel sauce for the topping.
- STEP 3: Spread Caramel Sauce into the bottom of the pan
Pour and Spread the caramel sauce into the prebaked crust. Make sure the crust has cooled down completely.
- STEP 4: Spread Melted Chocolate over Caramel Sauce in the crust
In a bowl combine semi-sweet chocolate chips with warm heavy cream. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the bottom of the pan. Spread into an even layer
- STEP 5: Make Cheesecake Batter
In a bowl combine
- Best Quality Philadelphia Cream Cheese,
- vanilla, and
- brown sugar on low speed until fluffy.
- flour and
- sour cream. Beat on low speed until smooth.
- 3 eggs one at a time. Beat well after each addition. Stop in between to scrape the sides and bottom.
- STEP 4: Pour the filling into the cheesecake crust
Pour this cheesecake filling into the bottom of the pan over chocolate. Spread into an even layer.
- STEP 5: Create a Water bath to bake the Cheesecake
Cover the springform pan with aluminium foil on the sides. Place it inside a larger baking dish. Fill the larger baking dish/ the outside pan with enough hot water so that it is halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- STEP 6: Bake for 1 hour 35 minutes
Bake the turtle cheesecake in a preheated oven at 300°F (148°C) for 1 hour 35 minutes. The center should be jiggly but set.
- STEP 7: Crack the oven door for 30-minutes
Now that you've baked your turtle cheesecake. Allow your cheesecake to cool down completely. Crack the oven door for 30-minutes. This will allow your cheesecake to cool slowly.
- STEP 8: Remove Cheesecake From the oven
Remove cheesecake from the oven. Remove the water bath. Unwrap the aluminium Foil.
- STEP 9: Pour remaining Caramel Sauce over the Cheesecake
Pour the remaining Caramel Sauce over the Cheesecake. Obviously, your caramel must have thickened by now. So heat it for about 10-seconds before pouring.
- STEP 10: Refrigerate Turtle Chocolate Cheesecake for 5-6 hours.
All good things comes with a lot of patience. And this is completely true for this decadent Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cheesecake.
Allow 5-6 hours in the refrigerator for the cheesecake to set completely. But make sure you cover it with a lid before refrigerating.
When cheesecake has chilled completely, remove from the springform pan and place it on a serving dish.
- STEP 11: Drizzle Chocolate and remaining Caramel Sauce
In a bowl combine semi-sweet chocolate chips with warm heavy whipping cream. Whisk well until smooth. Pour this along with the remaining caramel sauce over the cheesecake.
- STEP 12: Sprinkle Pecan Chips and enjoy
Sprinkle Pecan Chips. and then enjoy.
how to make turtle cheesecake topping?
The question how to make turtle topping for cheesecake has a very simple and easy answer.
The turtle topping comprises of a layer of thick caramel sauce and then another layer of melted chocolate.
And, finally the last layer of chopped pecan nuts or pecan chips.
So, there you have it. That's exactly how to make turtle topping for cheesecake.
what flavor does brown sugar add to turtle cheesecake?
Brown sugar makes a gorgeous amber brown caramel which adds a distinct sweetness to the turtle cheesecake.
Besides that I like to add brown sugar in the crust as well. It pairs well with the salty butter and semi-sweet chocolate crust.
- No Bake Turtle Cheesecake: This is a separate recipe in itself and I will definitely make it sometime. But you can learn how to make No bake turtle cheesecake from The Recipe Rebel.
- Turtle Cheesecake Bites: You could make the same recipe in a muffin tin or you can use a mini cheesecake pan to make bite sized turtle cheesecakes. See this recipe for Mini Turtle Cheesecake bites from Handle the Heat.
- Turtle Cheesecake Fudge: Another decadent dessert with almost the same concept. Try the best turtle cheesecake fudge from Inside BruCrew Life.
Calories in Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake
You can definitely label chocolate turtle cheesecake as an unhealthy dessert. Since one slice of this cheesecake contains 772 calories.
But, when it's time for the holidays, these calories don't matter. You can always burn it off later in the gym.
- Orange Cranberry Cheesecake with gingersnap crust
- Eggnog Cheesecake Bites (NO-BAKE)
- Mango Mascarpone Cheesecake (No-Bake)
- No-Bake Gingerbread Cheesecake
Recipe for Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake
Quick Turtle Cheesecake Recipe
Ingredients to make the crust
- 2 cups (270g) chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 1 stick salted butter melted
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup chopped pecan nuts or pecan chips
Ingredients for Caramel Sauce
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 stick butter (salted)
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream to add in the caramel sauce
- 5 tbsp all purpose flour sifted
- ¼ cup pecan chips
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoon heavy whipping cream to melt chocolate
- 24 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
Final layer of chocolate topping
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
Make the Crust
- Preheat oven to 325°F and line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
- Combine the ingredients for the crumb until crumbly.
- Press down the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and also up the sides.
- Bake the crust for 10-minutes and then allow it to cool down completely.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F.
Making the Caramel Sauce
- Either use Caramel Candy or Just add 2 cups (414g) sugar in an even layer into a large saucepan.
- Heat on medium heat and whisk slowly. It should take you around 10-minutes for the sugar to melt completely. The sugar will clump together like a ball in the beginning. But, then it will start melting.
- Once the sugar has melted completely, stop whisking and allow it to cook for few more minutes until it changes into amber brown color.
- Quickly remove the caramel from heat. Don't allow it to get too dark. It might burn.
- Add 1 stick (113g) butter and whisk lightly until the butter melts completely.
- Slowly pour in 1 cup (240ml) heavy whipping cream and keep whisking until smooth and creamy. I find adding a little cream at a time helps the caramel incorporate the cream completely.
- Set aside 1 cup (236ml) of caramel sauce for topping.
- Add 5 tablespoons (40g) sifted all purpose flour and ¼ cup (37.5 g) pecan chips into the remaining caramel sauce. Whisk well until fully combined.
- Pour this flour and pecan chips combined caramel sauce into the bottom of the crust. Spread it into an even layer.
- In a small bowl place ½ cup (4 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Heat 90 ml or 6 Tablespoons of Heavy Whipping Cream in a large bowl until it just begins to boil.
- Pour boiling heavy cream over chocolate chips. Allow it to rest for 2-3 minutes. Then whisk until smooth, creamy, and chocolaty.
- Pour this mixture of melted chocolate into the bottom of the pan over caramel sauce in the cheesecake crust.
Make Cheesecake Filling
- In a large bowl combine 24 oz (680g) cream cheese with ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract and 1 cup (213g) of light brown sugar. Whisk on low using a handheld whisk until light and fluffy.
- Whisk in 3 Tablespoons (24g) of all purpose flour and 1 cup (240g/ 8.6 oz) of sour cream on low.
- Whisk in 3 large eggs, one at a time until rich, light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the pan after each addition.
- Pour this cheesecake filling into the crust over the chocolate layer. Spread out evenly.
- Wrap the sides of the springform pan with aluminium foil. Place it in a larger pan.
- Pour hot water in the outer pan/larger pan until halfway up the aluminium foil.
- Place in a preheated oven for 1 hour 35 minutes. It should be set but jiggly at the center.
- Once the cheesecake is baked. Crack open the oven door for 35-40 minutes and allow the cheesecake to cool down further in the oven.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Unwrap the aluminium foil. Remove the water bath.
- Pour ½ cup of the remaining caramel sauce over the cheesecake. Spread into an even layer. If the caramel has firmed up then heat it up in the oven for 10-seconds.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake and allow it to cool down completely for 5-6 hours.
Final Turtle topping
- Remove from springform pan and transfer to a serving dish
- Place ½ cup chocolate chips in a medium sized mixing bowl. Heat 4 tablespoon (59ml) heavy whipping cream until just boiling.
- Pour boiling heavy whipping cream over chocolate chips. Allow to sit for 3-4 minutes. Then whisk well until smooth and creamy.
- Drizzle remaining caramel sauce and chocolate sauce over the cheesecake. Sprinkle with few more pecan chips. Refrigerate until ready to serve.