Turtle Cheesecake Recipe
Turtle Cheesecake Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Turtle Cheesecake Recipe

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"Our guests love this rich, delicious make-ahead dessert," field editor Jo Groth of Plainfield, Iowa relates.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + cooling Bake: 55 min. + chilling
MAKES:14-16 servings
Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 35 min. + cooling Bake: 55 min. + chilling
MAKES: 14-16 servings


  • 2 cups crushed vanilla wafers (about 60 wafers)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 package (14 ounces) caramels
  • 1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 2 cups chopped pecans, toasted, divided
  • 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips, melted and lightly cooled
  • Whipped cream, optional

Nutritional Facts

1 serving (1 piece) equals 492 calories, 31 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 90 mg cholesterol, 232 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 7 g protein.


  1. In a bowl, combine wafer crumbs and butter; blend well. Press into the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of a 10-in. springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack.
  2. In a saucepan or microwave melt caramels with milk; stir until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes. Pour into crust; top with 1-1/2 cups of pecans.
  3. In a bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Add chocolate; mix just until blended. Carefully spread over pecans. Return to baking sheet.
  4. Bake at 350° for 55-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  5. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with remaining pecans and whipped cream if desired. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 14-16 servings.
Originally published as Turtle Cheesecake in Taste of Home April/May 1995, p67

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Reviewed Apr. 23, 2015

"What is not to love...caramel, chocolate and pecans all in a delicious cheesecake! Delicious!!"

Reviewed Feb. 2, 2012

"There's a lot of cheesecake in this cheesecake. It's a richer flavor but very good. I liked the crust and have made it for other cheesecakes I've made also. My only complaint is that the layer of caramel on top of the bottom crust made the slicing of pieces a bit more difficult because it was hard and sticky. Other than that it was delicious."

Reviewed Nov. 9, 2011

"I made this for a rehersal dinner, it was soo good."

Reviewed Jul. 30, 2011

"I made recipe as written, but used all lower-fat Neufchatel cheese with no problems. I would suggest wrapping bottom of springform pan in foil as I had melted butter seep out, which then burns and smokes. Make sure to read recipe to the end--has to be chilled overnight for best result."

Reviewed Mar. 20, 2011

"My family has been making this recipe for YEARS!!!! Every Thanksgiving and Christmas it is made, and visitors ALWAYS rave about it! Definitely one that MUST be tried!"

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