Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake is a decadent and fun cheesecake recipe for a pumpkin spiced cheesecake, topped with caramel, chocolate, and pecans!
Every fall when the pumpkin craze comes around again, there are two things that are first on my Must Make List: Pumpkin Bars with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting and Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake! Of course I plan to make my Pumpkin Overnight Oats and Healthy Pumpkin Muffins but first, cheesecake!
It's a show stopper. Not only is there a luscious pumpkin cheesecake filling but it's topped with melted chocolate, caramel, and pecans! The topping takes no time at all to execute and makes the cheesecake over the top delicious.
Can be made ahead. This cheesecake can be made 1-2 days in advance, meaning there's no messing around with it on Thanksgiving except for slicing it.
Freezer friendly. You can freeze this cheesecake whole and just take it out to thaw in the refrigerator 1-2 days in advance!
Cream Cheese - room temperature cream cheese is one of the main ingredients when making this turtle pumpkin cheesecake.
Brown Sugar and Granulated Sugar - both of these sugars are added to the cheesecake filling to add sweetness.
Pumpkin Puree - unsweetened pumpkin puree is a main ingredient in the cheesecake filling.
Pumpkin Spices - this recipe uses a combination of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, all of which are classic pumpkin spices.
Vanilla Extract - vanilla adds a bit of warmth and vanilla flavor to the pumpkin filling.
Heavy Cream - just a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream will soften the texture of the cheesecake filling and add some moisture.
Eggs - four room temperature eggs are needed in this pumpkin cheesecake recipe.
Gingersnaps - gingersnap cookies are crushed and used in the crust.
Butter - melted butter is used in the crust with the gingersnaps.
Pecans - pecans are a classic ingredient in anything "turtle" flavored.
Chocolate Chips - semisweet chocolate chips are melted and drizzled on top of the cheesecake.
Caramel Sauce - the last part of the topping.
Graham crackers - you can definitely use graham crackers instead of gingersnaps for the crust. I have done this several of times when my grocery store was out of gingersnaps.
Chocolate Sauce - instead of melting chocolate chips, you can definitely use store-bought chocolate sauce/hot fudge to drizzle on the cheesecake.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
4. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugars together.
5. Beat until well combined and creamy, about 3 minutes.
6. Add the pumpkin puree. Beat until well combined.
7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
8. Add the spices and vanilla extract.
9. Beat until well combined.
10. Pour the cheesecake into the springform pan.
11. Bake at 325 degrees F for 65-70 minutes. Let cool completely.
12. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
13. Drizzle with caramel.
14. Top with chopped pecans. Chill until ready to serve. Slice and enjoy!
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 they are 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.
There are two things I always make sure to do when baking a cheesecake - starting with room temperature ingredients and baking in a water bath! This will ensure the ingredients are completely combined and there is enough moisture in the oven while baking.
A water bath helps keep the oven moist and moderates the heat so the cheesecake bakes evenly.
I would not recommend doing this, as you will sacrifice texture and flavor. Also avoid whipped cream cheese. I have only made this cheesecake using full fat cream cheese.
Yes! I have made this recipe with both graham crackers and gingersnaps with great results.
A store-bought graham cracker crust will not be large enough to contain all of the cheesecake filling.