Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake is a decadent and fun cheesecake recipe for a pumpkin spiced cheesecake, topped with caramel, chocolate, and pecans!

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake drizzled with chocolate and caramel and topped with chopped 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!

Jump to:

Why You'll Love this Recipe

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.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Combine the crust ingredients in the food processor and process until well combined.
  2. Press the crust mixture into a greased springform pan.

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!

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 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.

A slice of Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake on a white plate with chopped pecans scattered around the plate. A forkful has been taken out of the front of the slice of cheesecake.

Recipe FAQs

What is the secret to the best cheesecake?

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.

What is the purpose of a water bath?

A water bath helps keep the oven moist and moderates the heat so the cheesecake bakes evenly.

Can I use low-fat cream cheese in pumpkin cheesecake?

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.

Can I use graham crackers for the crust?

Yes! I have made this recipe with both graham crackers and gingersnaps with great results.

Can I use a pre-made graham cracker crust?

A store-bought graham cracker crust will not be large enough to contain all of the cheesecake filling.

Other Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Consider

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake is a decadent and fun recipe for a pumpkin spiced cheesecake, topped with caramel, chocolate, and pecans!  
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Chill Time: 7 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 540kcal


For the crust:

  • 12 ounces gingersnaps
  • 6 tablespoon butter melted

For the cheesecake:

  • 32 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 2 ½ tablespoon heavy cream at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

For the topping: 

  • ½ cup whole pecans
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • caramel sauce


  • 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.  
  • Serve and enjoy!


  • Start with room temperature ingredients.
  • This can be made up to 2 days in advance. It also freezes well, up to 2 months. 


Calories: 540kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 119mg | Sodium: 419mg | Potassium: 331mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 5130IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @greensnchocolate to let me know!
Need more ideas?Find all of my recipe pins @greenschocolate
Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake

Join The Conversation


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. 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!!

    1. 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?

      1. 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.

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      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 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    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!

  3. 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

    1. 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.


    1. Hi Kelly,
      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!

  4. 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!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. 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

  5. 5 stars
    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??

  6. Hi there!
    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?

    1. 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!

  7. 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?

    1. 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 🙂

  8. 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!

  9. 3 stars
    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.

  10. 5 stars
    I made this cheesecake for Thanksgiving & everyone loved it!!
    Do you have a plain cheesecake recipe? Could I just remove the pumpkin & spices?
    Thank you

    1. 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.

  11. 5 stars
    Made this for Thanksgiving and it turned out so delicious! I used Maple Cream Cookies from Ralph's instead of ginger snaps for the crust, and all the flavors worked far better together than I thought they would! And the pecans on top add the perfect crunch factor. I recommend slicing the cheesecake after it has cooled but before adding the toppings, as my knife kept catching onto pecans and dragging them down through the cake.