Turtle Cheesecake

Turtle Cheesecake has a delicious crumbly crust, chocolate layer, cheesecake layer and to top it off, chocolate ganache, pecans and caramel!!

This particular cheesecake was devoured in minutes and will sure to be a hit at any function, party or holiday coming up. For more delish cheesecakes try No Bake Oreo Cheesecake, Pecan Pie Cheesecake, and Sopapilla Cheesecake.

Turtle Cheesecake slice on a white plate

Better than all the rest

Today’s recipe is one of the best recipes we have ever made for the site!! I’m not a cheesecake maker but my mom is, so she helped out making this mouth-watering recipe, and now I WANT/HAVE to be a cheesecake maker!! If you have ever tried cheesecake before, then you know that it is a little bit of a longer process, but it is so worth it.

That’s how I feel about today’s recipe and after seeing how much my family loved it, I realized that I need to suck it up and make cheesecake more often. The main reason I haven’t done it (other than quick cheesecake recipes) is because of the time. Yes, it requires a little more work but can be made for ¼ cost of buying a whole cheesecake at Cheesecake Factory and will bring tons of compliments!!

Today’s recipe for Turtle Cheesecake is phenomenal and personally, I think it’s better than any cheesecake I’ve tried at Cheesecake factory. With a delicious crumbly crust, chocolate layer, cheesecake layer and topped with chocolate ganache, pecans and caramel, it really cannot be beat!! I mean, we’ve combined two of the best treats out there – turtles + cheesecake, so you better believe it was amazing.

 

Cheesecake in spring form pan.

How to make turtle cheesecake

PREP. Preheat oven to 325. Wrap a greased 9-inch springform pan in two layers of foil all around the outside of the pan. This foil will help keep the water from the water bath (in a few steps) from leaking into the pan. Set aside.

CRUST. Combine flour, brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl and cut into butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of the springform pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

FILLING. Beat cream cheese and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in ¼ cup flour, cream and vanilla. Add eggs and beat on low until just blended. Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and stir in melted chocolate. Spread over the crust.

CARAMEL SAUCE. Mix caramel sauce and remaining flour in another bowl and stir in pecans – spoon over chocolate layer. Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.

BAKE. Place springform pan in a large baking pan (I used an 11×14 pan). Add 1 inch of hot water to the pan to create a water bath (this will help the cheesecake from cracking). Bake at 325 for 1 hour 15 minutes – 1 hour 25 minutes or until the center is set and top appears dull (not shiny).

COOL. Remove springform pan from water bath and remove the foil wrapped around the outside of the pan. Cool cheesecake on rack for 10 – 15 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife (but do not remove sides of spring form pan) and let cool for another hour. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.

GANACHE. To make ganache, place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Add cream to a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until it is smooth – let cool.

SERVE!! Remove sides of springform pan. Spread ganache over cheesecake and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set and drizzle on caramel sauce right before serving. ENJOY!

checking for done-ness:

You do not want overbake this cake, but you do not want to under bake either. One simple way to check for doneness is to see if the center wobbles. Start checking a few minutes before the minimum bake time recommendation. Once the cake looks done you’ll want to tap the side of the pan with a spoon. You are good to go if the very center, only about an inch. If it doesn’t wobble you’ve overcooked it and remove immediately. Bake longer if a section larger than an inch wobbles.

Turtle Cheesecake with chocolate drips and nuts on top

Cheesecake Tips

Just hearing “water bath” as a recipe step sounds daunting, but it’s actually really easy. All that it entails is wrapping your cheesecake pan with foil and then placing that pan in a larger pan that has 1” of water. That’s it! Easy right? The reasons a water bath is important include:

  • Keeps the cake from cracking
  • Evenly heats the cake and keeps it from sinking
  • Keeps the cake from browning

If your springform pan is not 9” don’t worry you can easily use an 8 or 10 inch pan. All you will need to do is adjust the bake time according to the thickness.

You can chop the pecans using a simple knife or use a food processor for a rougher chop. It is really up to your preference, but you can buy “chopped pecans” at the store.

Try adding chocolate cookie crumbles to the crust!

 

For those of you who are new to baking cheesecake here are a few tips for success:

  • Make sure your eggs and cream cheese are room temperature
  • Don’t overmix the batter. The more airy the batter is may result in a sinking cake.
  • Place a piece of parchment at the bottom of the pan before adding the crust layer
  • Let it cool gradually. Don’t place it directly into the fridge or it will develop condensation. Once the timer dings I like to turn off the oven,prop open the door a bit and let the cake cool before removing it.
  • If your cake does crack, don’t worry just cover it up with the turtle topping!

Slice of turtle cheesecake with chocolate layer

Storing Tips

To STORE cheesecake for just 2 -3 days, wrap it in a plastic sheet AND keep it in a plastic container before placing it in the fridge.

To FREEZE, cut the cheesecake into portions, or leave it whole. Place the cheesecake on a cardboard round. Wrap it well in plastic wrap, then foil. Freeze for up to 1 month for optimal flavor, 2 months at the most.

Slice of turtle cheesecake on a white plate with a bit missing

For more great cheesecake recipes, check out:

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Turtle Cheesecake Recipe

1 from 1 vote
Turtle Cheesecake has a delicious crumbly crust, chocolate layer, cheesecake layer and to top it off, chocolate ganache, pecans and caramel!!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Refrigerate 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 896 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup pecans chopped

Filling

  • 32 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1/4 cup flour plus 1 tsp
  • 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/3 cup pecans chopped

Ganache

  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp pecans chopped
  • caramel sauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Wrap a greased 9-inch springform pan in two layers of foil all around the outside of the pan. This foil will help keep the water from the water bath (in a few steps) from leaking into the pan. Set aside.
  • Combine flour, brown sugar and pecans in a small bowl and cut into butter until crumbly. Press onto the bottom of the springform pan. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 325 for 12-14 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Beat cream cheese and sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Beat in ¼ cup flour, cream and vanilla. Add eggs and beat on low until just blended. Remove 1 cup of the batter to a small bowl and stir in melted chocolate. Spread over the crust.
  • Mix caramel sauce and remaining flour in another bowl and stir in pecans - spoon over chocolate layer.
  • Top with the remaining cream cheese mixture.
  • Place springform pan in a large baking pan (I used an 11x14 pan). Add 1 inch of hot water to the pan to create a water bath (this will help the cheesecake from cracking).
  • Bake at 325 for 1 hour 15 minutes – 1 hour 25 minutes or until the center is set and top appears dull (not shiny).
  • Remove springform pan from water bath and remove the foil wrapped around the outside of the pan.
  • Cool cheesecake on rack for 10 – 15 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife (but do not remove sides of spring form pan) and let cool for another hour. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours.
  • To make ganache, place chocolate chips in a small bowl. Add cream to a small pot and bring to a boil. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until it is smooth – let cool.
  • Remove sides of springform pan. Spread ganache over cheesecake and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Refrigerate until set and drizzle on caramel sauce right before serving. ENJOY!

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Recipe from Taste of Home.

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About the Author

Kristyn Merkley

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Comments:

  1. Hi, This looks amazing. Just wondered do you make your caramel sauce, or buy it? Any tips – do you have a recipe for caramel sauce (preferably foolproof!)
    Thanks!

    1. I am still trying to find a good caramel sauce. You could use whatever caramel sauce is your fav. If you have a homemade caramel sauce, I’d love to know! Thanks so much!!

  2. FYI – I’ve tried to share some of your recipes on FB and none of the pictures of the foods (recipe) are coming up on FB.

  3. Just an friendly FYI….
    Your Turtle Cheesecake recipe
    is missing an ingredient on the
    Printable copy. DOESN’T list
    Butter in the crust.
    Im excited to see how it turns
    Out though. Your peppermint
    Cheesecake is a tradition now
    After our dinner. A must have!
    My daughter says its the only
    Thing she wants for Christmas!

  4. Also missing in the printed out version of the Turtle Cheesecake, The word dIvided behind the ingredient flour in the filling. I didn’t realize it until i Got to the carmEl layer. Hope this turns out
    Ok because its for someones birthday. But hey, it says “cake” in the Recipe. Im sure it will be fine.