Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake is a decadent and fun recipe for a pumpkin spiced cheesecake, topped with caramel, chocolate, and pecans!
Before December hits, I wanted to post one last pumpkin recipe. I made this Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake for Thanksgiving and it was terrible. Just kidding. I mean, just look at it! How could a creamy pumpkin cheesecake combined with all of the deliciousness of turtle-ness be terrible?! As you can imagine, it was rich, decadent, and over the top.
But it was Thanksgiving and calories didn’t count. A fun thing about this cheesecake was how it looked pretty impressive and made it appear like I have some serious cheesecake skills.
Here’s a little secret: if you can drizzle chocolate and caramel, you too can make an impressive looking cheesecake.
I have made this cheesecake countless times since I originally posted it, so here are some tips for success.
Tips for Making a Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake
Start with all of your ingredients at room temperature. In particular, set out the cream cheese and eggs a few hours before starting the cheesecake. This will ensure that they get completely beat together and are super creamy.
Cook the pumpkin cheesecake in a waterbath. This ensures even baking and prevents the cheesecake from cracking on top.
Finally, cool cheesecake COMPLETELY before cutting. This is a very creamy cheesecake and needs an overnight in the refrigerator to cool completely.
That’s it – follow these steps for Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake success!
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Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap a 9-inch springform pan with heavy duty foil around the edges.
To make the crust:
Pulse gingersnaps and pecans in large food processor or put them in a large plastic baggie and roll them with a rolling pin until fine crumbs.
Add melted butter and pulse more until combined. Press into prepared springform pan and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside and reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
To make the cheesecake:
In large bowl with electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Add the pumpkin and mix on low. Scrape down sides as needed.
Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides as needed.
Add heavy cream and vanilla and beat until combined, about 1 minute.
Finally, add the spices and salt and mix well to combine.
Pour batter into prepared crust.
Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan in which the springform pan will fit and add hot water to pan about halfway up the springform pan. Note: I like to place it in the oven before adding the water so I don't have to worry about spilling the water.
Bake the cheesecake in preheated oven for 65-70 minutes, until the edges are set and the middle still jiggles a little.
Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in oven for 1 hour.
After an hour, remove from the oven.
Take the springform pan out of waterbath and let cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Note: it might still look a little jiggly at this point - that's okay! It will firm up completely in the refrigerator.
Lastly, place in refrigerator and let cool completely for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
Once cooled completely, sprinkle pecans on top of cheesecake in your preferred design.
Place semi-sweet chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave in 30 second increments until melted.
Drizzle chocolate over pecans.
Warm caramel sauce in microwave for about 30 seconds.
Finally, drizzle with caramel sauce to your liking.
I made this and OMG was it DELICIOUS!!! Everyone raved that it was so beautiful and tasted so unbelievably good that it should be in a high-end bakery!! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!!
Yay!! Thanks so much for sharing your success with this recipe, Kathy! I’m so happy it was a hit 🙂
This looks so good! What a pretty and yummy way to dress up the pumpkin dessert!
Thinking about making this tomorrow and I don’t have a roasting pan. Would this work the same in the one time use ez foil roasting pan?
I don’t think this would work well in a foil roasting pan – a springform pan is helpful in making sure it is released from the pan easily.
Thanks for sharing! Can I make it very far ahead of time?
What do you mean wrap the pan with foil around the edges? Just the top?
I like to wrap the bottom of mine, where the outer ring meets the bottom, just to ensure that the water from the water bath doesn’t get in 🙂
I made this for Thanksgiving with my family. Everyone loved it, including my Grandfather who typically doesn’t like cheesecake! The recipe was easy to follow, has simple ingredients that work amazingly together and looked sooooo good! Thanks for sharing this absolute gem!
So happy to hear this! I love when grandparents are impressed with new recipes 🙂
When do I take of the springform pan?
You will take off the springform pan once it has cooled. Enjoy!
Hi! I know this is probably a dumb question but when it says to the wrap the springform pan with tinfoil, do you mean the inside or the outside of the pan? I’ve seen people so both with cheesecake and wasn’t sure which lol
Hi Ali – Not a dumb question! 🙂 You wrap the outside of the pan – I do it just as a precaution when baking my cheesecakes in a water bath.
Can you substitute the springform pan?
It’s tough to substitute a springform pan with a cheesecake, as it helps to have a removable side and the filling is more than a regular pie dish would handle. You could try making them into bars, however the baking time would be different and I’ve never made it this way, so I’m not sure how long you would need to bake it. Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi there, planning on making this today and am reading over the instructions for the crust. It says to pulse gingersnaps and pecans in food processor- got it. Then it says to add melted butter and pulse once more-got it. Bake- got it. Remove from oven and sprinkle pecans over crust- this is where I am confused. The pecans are mixed in with the gingersnaps, right? Is this an extra addition of pecans or am I not suppose to mix the pecans in with the pulsed gingersnaps? Also, the ingredient list calls for 1/2 of chopped pecans. Would this mean that I should not pulse the pecans into fine crumbs as described in #1) under “To make the crust”?
Thank you for clarifying for me! Happy Thanksgiving 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi Haley! I see how that is confusing!! The pecans are mixed in with the gingersnaps for the crust. Then add the cheesecake batter and bake, and then top with the whole and chopped pecans (under topping) along with drizzling chocolate and caramel. I am removing the part about the extra pecans and caramel sauce over the crust – it’s not necessary and confusing! Have a great Thanksgiving!!! <3
Is this really 6 OUNCES of butter in the crust? Seems like too much.
It is 6 tablespoons.
Hi! Thank you for answering a few of the previous questions as I had them too! But one more – I am making this for Thanksgiving tomorrow and curious if the the cheesecake should be covered while in the fridge??
Yes it would be best if the cheesecake is covered in the fridge overnight.
Thank you so much! Happy Thanksgiving!
Made this for Thanksgiving and it was a big hit! It was also easy to make! Thank you for the recipe!
So glad to hear this!
I was wondering if I can make this a day or 2 ahead of the night I’m serving it? Wanted to make it on Thursday for a Friendsgiving on Saturday-do you think it’ll still taste good?
Hi Shannon – Yes this can definitely be made a day or two in advance. I would wait until the day of to add the toppings. Enjoy!
Do you leave it in the springform pan overnight to cool or take out of the pan before placing in the refrigerator?
I leave it in the pan. Enjoy!
Hello! I’m going to try to make this! Just a couple of questions. How can you tell if it only slightly jiggles if you’re supposed to keep the oven door shut when turning it off to keep the heat in and also do you cover the cheesecake in foil while cooking?
So happy to hear this! The cooking time should be pretty spot-on as far as how long to cook it if your oven temperature is accurate – the description of how it looks is just a guide and to assure the reader that it’s okay if it’s still slightly jiggly, as it will set up as it cools 🙂
Hi! Im going to make this recipe tonight for thanksgiving and I am excited! What size of springform pan would be ideal for the measurements of this recipe? Thanks in advance!
Hi Karen! A 9″ springform pan is what I used 🙂
Have you tried this with an Oreo cookie crust?
Thinking of making this tomorrow and I don’t have a roasting pan. Would a one time use foil pan work the same?
At what point do you remove the springform pan?
Once it is cooled.
If you love pumpkin pie, you will probably love this cheesecake. It has more of a pumpkin pie texture than a true cheesecake texture. It is a lot of filling for a 9″ pan, so it could easily be baked in a 10″ springform. The baking time was right on and it baked up pretty. Would have preferred a softer chocolate drizzle (perhaps ganache), so it is easier to cut through the topping without losing the aesthetic. All in all, not what I expected since I was looking for more of a cheesecake rather than a custard type dessert.
I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving & everyone loved it!!
Do you have a plain cheesecake recipe? Could I just remove the pumpkin & spices?
So glad to hear this, Cori! I don’t have a plain cheesecake recipe. I think removing the pumpkin puree would affect the cheesecake too much for me to say if it would work or not.
Can I use fresh pumpkin purée in this recipe?