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You’re going to LOVE this Turtle Cheesecake!

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This Turtle Cheesecake with caramel, chocolate, pecans, and an Oreo crust is a dessert that gets talked about long after the plates are cleaned. Sweet, decadent, and almost magically delicious, this cheesecake steals the show.

Irresistible Turtle Cheesecake

Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake

I make this cheesecake only once or twice a year and it is always by request. Just the smallest sliver really is a serving.

Decadent, rich, and worthy of any special occasion, this is a masterpiece of a cheesecake. It steals the spotlight at any dessert table and has been known to cause more than one person to sigh with joy.

Turtle Cheesecake

The cheesecake starts with an Oreo cookie crust that is covered in caramel sauce, then a layer of creamy cheesecake. Once cooled, it is sprinkled with toasted pecans and drizzled with both caramel and chocolate.

This Turtle Cheesecake beats just about any cheesecake I’ve had from a bakery. No exaggeration at all, my friends.

The crisscrossed swirls of caramel and chocolate drizzle make this cake look especially stunning. And it tastes even better than it looks!

Turtle Cheesecake with an Oreo Crust

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

Served for dessert with a strong cup of coffee, this is pure chocolate caramel cheesecake bliss. This is the dessert to bring when you want to wow a crowd!

While this cheesecake looks gorgeous and tastes even better, it’s not a fussy recipe at all. I’m happy to tell you that this dessert is much MUCH easier to make than you might expect.

Can’t get enough of that chocolate and caramel “turtle” flavor? Flourless Chocolate Turtle Cookies happen to be naturally gluten free yet decadently tasty.

I make at least a couple batches of Shortbread Turtle Cookies and Chewy Caramel Turtle Bark to include in my holiday cookie trays every year. Pecans, chocolate, and caramel go so well together!

Creamy Cheesecake on a caramel oreo crust is a winner

Cheesecake with Oreo Crust

It’s an easy swap to make this a gluten-free cheesecake. Simply substitute your favorite gluten-free cookie for the Oreo cookies in the crust.

Gluten-free chocolate sandwich cookies are easy to find at most grocery stores these days and work just as well as traditional sandwich cookies.

I’ve made this recipe for turtle cheesecake with both gluten-free cookies in the crust and regular Oreos. My family couldn’t tell the difference between the two; they’re both delicious!

Turtle Cheesecake with caramel, chocolate, pecans, and an Oreo crust!  - get the recipe at barefeetinthekitchen.com

Turtle Cheesecake Recipe

The buttery caramel combines with the rich chocolate crust and silky cheesecake center to make this one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had.

I’ve said it once already and I’ll continue saying it. This cheesecake is so much more than the sum of its parts. It tastes like a much fancier dessert than it actually is!

Every time I bring a Turtle Cheesecake somewhere it gets a ton of compliments and requests for the recipe. Everyone’s always amazed when I tell them how simple the recipe is to make.

This is the same basic nine-ingredient recipe that I made for the first time straight off the back of the Philadelphia cream cheese package over 20 years ago.

Chocolate, caramel, and pecans add up to an awesome Turtle Cheesecake

kitchen-tip: I use a reliable springform pan when making this recipe. Both 9-inch and 10-inch pans work well for this cheesecake recipe.

You can also use a smaller-sized cheesecake pan but will need to adjust the baking time accordingly. When I make this cheesecake in an 8-inch pan it requires an additional 10 – 15 minutes of baking time.

To make this recipe:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Crush the cookies in a large freezer-weight zipclose bag. You can use a rolling pin or mallet to crush them. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse them in a food processor.
  2. Combine the crumbs with the melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-10″ springform pan. Pour ½ cup of the caramel sauce over this crust and spread it out lightly with a spatula. Refrigerate the caramel-coated crust for 10 minutes.
  3. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed just until each one is blended. Pour this mixture over the refrigerated crust. Place the spring-form pan on a large baking sheet prior to placing it in the oven. (If you line the baking sheet with foil first, clean up will be a breeze.) Some of the caramel in the crust will drip through the pan onto your oven if you forget the baking sheet.
  4. Bake 65 – 70 minutes, until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the edges of the pan while it is still warm. Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before removing the sides of the pan.
  5. Once the sides of the pan have been removed, sprinkle the pecans across the top of the cheesecake and then drizzle with the remaining caramel and the melted chocolate. Store the remaining cheesecake in the refrigerator.
Gluten Free Turtle Cheesecake

Check out all of the Gluten Free Dessert Recipes on this website and for another decadent cheesecake to try, this Coffee Cookies and Cream Cheesecake is creamy chocolate perfection!

For a cheesecake outside of the chocolate family, this Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie never fails to impress. It’s a fabulous addition to any Thanksgiving menu but we’ve been known to enjoy it all year long.

In the summer time when I’m craving light, tart citrusy desserts, a No-Bake Lemon Cheesecake from 365 Days of Baking fits the bill nicely.

Light and fluffy No Bake Caramel Cheesecake Mousse and Berry Cheesecake Mousse Cups pack rich cheesecake flavor into easy-to-make treats.

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Services: 16 servings

Prevent your screen from going dark

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Crush the oreo cookies in a large freezer-weight zipclose bag. (You can use a rolling pin or mallet to crush them. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse them in a food processor.)

  • Combine the crumbs with the melted butter and press the mixture into the bottom of an 8-10″ springform pan. Pour ½ cup of the caramel sauce over this crust and spread it out lightly with a spatula. Refrigerate the caramel-coated crust for 10 minutes.

  • Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed just until each one is blended. For this mixture over the refrigerated crust. Place the spring-form pan on a large baking sheet prior to placing it in the oven. (If you line the baking sheet with foil first, clean up will be a breeze.) Some of the caramel in the crust will drip through the pan onto your oven if you forget the baking sheet.

  • Bake 65-70 minutes, until the center is almost set. Run a knife around the edges of the pan while it is still warm. Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight before removing the sides of the pan.

  • Once the sides of the pan have been removed, sprinkle the pecans across the top of the cheesecake and then drizzle with the remaining caramel and the melted chocolate. Store remaining cheesecake in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

I typically use a 9″ springform pan and I have used a 10″ pan for this cake as well in the past. It simply makes for a shorter height cheesecake. An 8″ pan will work too, simply adjust the cooking time accordingly. The smaller pan may take as much as 10-15 minutes longer to cook.

calories: 373calories · Carbohydrates: 33g · protein: 5g · Fat: 25g · Saturated Fat: 13g · Cholesterol: 89mg · Sodium: 306mg · Potassium: 141mg · fiber: 1g · Sugar: 19g · Vitamin A: 756UI · Calcium: 60mg · Iron: 2mg

{originally posted 12/14/12 – photos and recipe notes updated 12/16/22}

Turtle Cheesecake - a chocolate, caramel dream come true!

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