Turtle Cheesecake

Turtle Cheesecake

Kristina Vanni

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 45 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: Serves 10-12

Turtle candies are a sweet confection developed in the early 1900s as a combination of whole pecans topped with caramel and dipped in chocolate. The shape looked like a turtle, so the name stuck. Today, any dessert with this signature pecan, caramel, and chocolate flavor combination is often referred to as "turtle."

This cheesecake is prepared with a sweet pecan and graham cracker crust, then filled with a classic cream cheese filling. Once the cheesecake comes out of the oven, a homemade caramel topping is poured on top. Finally, more chopped pecans and mini chocolate chips are sprinkled all over the caramel topping. For added flair and beautiful presentation, whole pecans adorn the edge of the cheesecake.

Ingredients

  • For the Crust:
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 (8-ounces) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 3 large eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1 (8-ounce) carton sour cream
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Topping:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups pecans (halved)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  2. For the crust, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, chopped pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter in bowl until crumbs are moistened. 

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  3. Press mixture over bottom of lightly buttered 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate to chill. Heat oven to 375 F. 

    Tip

    Wrap your springform pan in heavy duty in foil to prevent any leaks spilling out onto your oven floor. A rimmed baking sheet can also be placed beneath the cheesecake as it bakes to catch any drips.

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni 
  4. For the filling, put cream cheese, eggs, sour cream, granulated sugar, vanilla, and salt in large mixer bowl. Beat until well blended. 

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  5. Pour the filling over chilled crust. Bake until the edges are set and the center is still slightly loose, about 60 minutes or until the cake has puffed and trembles just slightly when shaken. Do not overbake. The cheesecake will settle and firm as it cools. 

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  6. Remove cheesecake from oven. Cool on wire rack until completely cool. Cover lightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate to chill, several hours to overnight.

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  7. For the topping, put 1 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup butter, and cream into medium saucepan. Heat to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Cool slightly but not completely. 

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni 
  8. Pour the topping over the top of the chilled cake while still warm enough to pour.

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  9. Sprinkle the chopped nuts and mini chocolate chips over the topping.

    Turtle Cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni
  10. Arrange the pecan halves along the rim of the cake in a circle. 

    turtle cheesecake
    Kristina Vanni 
  11. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy!