This NO BAKE Turtle Cheesecake is made with a chocolate cookie crust, salted caramel pecan layer, luscious cheesecake layer and a thin layer of chocolate ganache. Top it with whipped cream, caramel and pecans for a decadent treat!
If you’ve been around here for a little while now, you know I have a bit of a sweet tooth, and that sweet tooth is especially crazy about cheesecake.
This Turtle Cheesecake has pretty much all of my other favorite things:
- cream cheese
- salted caramel
I’ll be honest and say I can give or take the nuts, but I love the crunch they add to that gooey caramel layer in this Turtle Cheesecake!
I originally shared this cheesecake recipe in December of 2015 so it was in desperate need of an update, but I actually didn’t change that much.
I tried putting the caramel layer on top of the cheesecake, but that was a disaster.
I switched up the caramel to make this recipe even more foolproof and added a thicker cheesecake layer, but in reality, what I discovered was that this Turtle Cheesecake recipe was pretty amazing to begin with.
Here are some tips to make sure you see success!
Tips for making No Bake Turtle Cheesecake:
- I played with this recipe a lot, and though I like to give wiggle room for creativity, when I wiggled this recipe too much, it ended in disaster. A really, really delicious disaster, but it really was a mess. I retested this recipe 3 times just to end up not changing much at all.
- The crust: the crust can be baked or not baked. I find that the chocolate baking crumbs become more bitter during baking, so I prefer it unbaked. If you want, you can bake it for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F and it will be firmer and hold up slightly better.
- Cream cheese: use full fat cream cheese, as it has less water content and will hold up better than low fat cream cheese.
- Cream: heavy whipping cream is 30-36% fat. Any other cream will not work, it will not whip and you will have cheesecake soup 😉
- Caramels: you want the individually wrapped chewy caramel candies for this recipe. Please check out the recipe video to see which ones!
- Whip it good: please do not try to make this without an electric mixer. You need the power and speed to whip it to stiff peaks!
Variations on this Turtle Cheesecake:
- Nut free: you can easily leave out the pecans for a nut free version, just check all of your package ingredients before using.
- You can use gluten free chocolate sandwich cookies for the crust to make this cheesecake gluten free.
- Not big on chocolate? You can skip the ganache and opt instead for a caramel and chocolate drizzle to finish.
More Cheesecake recipes you’ll love!
*This post has been updated since its original posting in December 2015
No Bake Turtle Cheesecake
- 2 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs like Oreo or similar
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- 30 wrapped chewy caramel candies (I use Kraft) - 250g
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt (depending on how salty you like your caramel)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 24 oz cream cheese, room temperature 3 packages, 750g
- 1 1/2 cups powdered icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate or chips 50g
- 1/3 cup milk or cream
- Optional: caramel sauce, whipped cream and pecans for garnish
- Line a 9" Springform pan with parchment paper, pinching it in between the bottom and the outer ring. This isn't necessary but will allow for easy removal.
- Combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan evenly.
- In a medium pan, combine caramels and cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until completely smooth and melted.
- Stir in pecans and pour into crust. Refrigerate for 30-60 minutes until firm/dry to the touch.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth and combined.
- Add cream, and beat on low until incorporated, then high until thickened and fluffy (should nearly hold stiff peaks when you pull the beaters out of the bowl)
- Spread over cooled caramel in pan. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours or until nearly set.
- Combine chocolate and cream in a small pan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and smooth.
- Spread over cheesecake layer evenly.
- Refrigerate a minimum of 6 hours, or overnight for best results. Serve with garnishes as desired.