Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake is a decadent and fun recipe for a pumpkin spiced cheesecake, topped with caramel, chocolate, and pecans!
Note: This post for Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake has been updated with new photos on November 5, 2018. The original post was posted in November 12, 2011, and the post content remains the same.
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.