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Turtle Cheesecake

Turtle Cheesecake. An easy to prepare, creamy vanilla cheesecake sits on a chocolate cookie crumb base and is topped with toasted pecans, gooey caramel and chocolate; perhaps our most decadent cheesecake yet.

Turtle Cheesecake

Turtle Cheesecake

When a regular reader of ours, who wanted a decadent Turtle Cheesecake to serve at her upcoming Thanksgiving dinner, asked me to post a  recipe, I was hesitant because there is no shortage of them online. I was flattered by her response when I asked why she wanted one posted here.

“Well, your site is my first stop when I search for any recipe, so it would be nice to find it here.”

Soft Caramel Candies close up photo on white background.

Individually wrapped soft caramel candy are what I use in this recipe.

While I was surprised and flattered by that, it did make me reflect a lot on the last 10 years of writing Rock Recipes. With over 1600 recipes on this website now, it has become a trusted database for many of our loyal readers. 

You need only to read the responses to posts over on our Facebook Page to see that is quite true. I consider it a great compliment that folks trust my tried and true recipe style and my advice when it comes to cooking and baking.

Turtle Cheesecake close up photo

Turtle Cheesecake

Rock Recipes has grown a lot over the last 10 years. In my first day online back in 2007, I think there were 86 page views on this website, yesterday set a new record with just under 60,000 and the last 30 days have seen over 1 million page views. 

So yes, Susan, the loyal reader I mentioned above, I am posting this just for you… well, for all of you who have been part of making this blog such a success over the years. 

Mini Turtle Cheesecake?

Another loyal reader loves the idea of mini cheesecakes, like our Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes or our Mini Coconut Cream Cheesecakes, and a few others to be found here. I have already set to breaking this recipe down into a mini cheesecake version and will post that very soon as well.

2019 UPDATE! It took me long enough but the mini cheesecake version of this recipe is now posted. Find my recipe for Mini Turtle Cheesecakes here.

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes photo with title text for Pinterest

If you’d like to use the bain marie method of baking this cheesecake, take a look at this recipe for Just a Vanilla Cheesecake.

If you liked this recipe you may also want to try our Triple Chocolate Cheesecake!

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake

Originally published Nov 2017. Updated Aug 2020

Like this Turtle Cheesecake recipe?

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It’s easy to keep up with the latest home style cooking & baking ideas from Rock Recipes. Be sure to follow Rock Recipes Facebook Page and follow us on Instagram

Plus you’ll see daily recipe suggestions from decadent desserts to quick delicious weekday meals too. 

Turtle Cheesecake image with title text.

Turtle Cheesecake

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Turtle Cheesecake
Yield: 16 servings

Turtle Cheesecake

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes

Turtle Cheesecake - a creamy vanilla cheesecake sits on a chocolate cookie crumb base and is topped with toasted pecans, gooey caramel and chocolate; perhaps our most decadent cheesecake yet.


For the cookie crumb crust

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter

For the cheesecake layer

  • 3 eight ounce packages ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup whipping cream, minus 1 Tbsp needed for the caramel later

For the topping

  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans
  • 24 soft caramel candies, I used Kraft brand
  • 1 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


To prepare the cookie crumb crust

  1. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, sugar and butter.
  2. Press into the bottom of a lightly greased 9 or 10 inch springform pan. (Grease bottom only!) Wrap a layer of aluminum foil around the outside of the pan to prevent melting butter seeping out into the bottom of your oven and
  3. Alternatively you can line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper which will help to release the cheesecake from the pan.

To prepare the cheesecake layer

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and sugar.
  2. Add the eggs , one at a time beating well after each addition.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Finally blend in the whipping cream.
  5. Pour over the prepared base and bake in at 325 degrees F for 60 minutes to 70. The cheesecake should just be beginning to lightly brown at the edges (although it need not brown at all to be done) and the surface of the cheesecake should lose any shine when the cake is properly baked. It can still be slightly wobbly just at the centre at this point.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife completely around the edge of the pan. This will allow for the cheesecake to shrink as it cools and hopefully not crack (but who cares if it does? I am never bothered by a crack or two in the surface) Allow the cheesecake to cool thoroughly on a wire rack at room temperature. (NOT in the fridge).
  7. When at room temperature refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

To prepare the topping layer

  1. Toast the pecans in a single layer on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. tossing them halfway through that time.
  2. When cool, snap each pecan into 4 pieces with your fingers
  3. Spread the pecans evenly over the surface of the cheesecake and press down sightly so they get good contact.
  4. Add the caramel candies and whipping cream to a small saucepan and melt gently over low heat.
  5. Drizzle over the pecans.
  6. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Cool for an hour before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size

1 slice (16 slices per cheesecake)

Amount Per Serving Calories 386Total Fat 21gSaturated Fat 8gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 67mgSodium 430mgCarbohydrates 40gFiber 1gSugar 31gProtein 10g

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Karen Byers

Friday 24th of February 2023

This cheesecake is as delicious as it is easy to make. The hardest part is the caramel topping which simply takes a little patience. My neighbour said it was the best cheesecake she had ever tasted.

Lea Humphries

Thursday 9th of December 2021

I make my own caramel sauce and I was wondering if I could use it 9nsyead of pre-made caramels

Lynn Parsons

Saturday 11th of December 2021

Sure give it a try!


Saturday 30th of October 2021

I have made many cheesecakes before, but this is the first time I have used whipping cream. After baking, the cake was so cracked it was almost split in two; hoping the refrigeration melds it back together. I’ll afraid the topping is going to sink right in.I was asked to make this for a special occasion, so I would like it to be presentable- any tips to avoid the monstrous crack for my next try?

Lynn Parsons

Friday 19th of November 2021

It seems like it was overbaked


Friday 15th of October 2021

Delicious recipe, I’ve also used Epicure Carmel sauce on this.


Sunday 7th of February 2021

I’ve made the turtle cheesecake twice! It is so good!! Instead of melting caramel candy down I used Hershey caramel topping and it was delicious ❤️

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