A perfectly spiced pumpkin cheesecake, creamy and rich, drenched with silky chocolate ganache, caramel sauce, and toasted pecans! This Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake takes a traditional pumpkin cheesecake to the next level.
You’re going to notice a theme this year. A couple themes. I’m not going to spoil the them all right now, but one theme you’re going to notice is pumpkin cheesecake. I think I made 5 variations on a pumpkin cheesecake, starting with this Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Besides a few different pumpkin cheesecake recipes, I also made several other seasonal cheesecakes too. You’ve been warned, I guess.
If you’ve been around here for a while (btw, my blog turned FIVE this month! WHOA.), you’ll know that pumpkin cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts of all time. Specifically these two — a traditional Double Layer Pumpkin Cheesecake and this 10-minute Double Layer No Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake.
Both are layered cheesecakes, as their names might suggest, but one is a classic baked version, and the other is a quick, simple no-bake. I love them both.
I’ve been making both of those since about 2004, and I credit them not only with igniting a love for pumpkin cheesecake, but also just pumpkin in general. I think this was the same year that I discovered this awesome recipe for Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing, and things have snowballed from there.
I always love figuring out different ways to put a new spin on an old favorite, and that’s how I landed on this Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake. I thought that the trio of chocolate, caramel, and pecans would be a fantastic way to give pizzazz to pumpkin cheesecake.
And it is! A Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake was definitely an excellent next step in revamping a standard pumpkin cheesecake.
This Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake starts with an Oreo cookie crust to give it a boost of chocolate at the outset. I also threw in a handful of pecans. I wanted to incorporate the turtle theme from top to bottom, and a chocolate-pecan crust was a perfect start.
Next up, this Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake features a cheesecake layer, of course. A classic pumpkin cheesecake, creamy and rich, and perfectly spiced. The same filling that I use for most of my pumpkin cheesecake recipes!
To top it off, I drenched this cheesecake in a layer of silky semi-sweet chocolate ganache, a heap of melted caramels, and a scattering of toasted pecans.
Turtle desserts are already delightful on their own, as is a pumpkin cheesecake, but you’ll be even more blown away by putting the two together in this Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake!
More to come, but here are a few other favorite pumpkin cheesecake recipes: check out this Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Cheesecake, this Apple Crisp Pumpkin Cheesecake, or this White Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust!
Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 24 regular Oreos (not Double Stuf) or similar chocolate sandwich cookies crushed into fine crumbs
- 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp. butter melted
- 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
- 24 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tsp. caramel extract optional
- 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. clove
- 1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate broken into small pieces
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 11 oz. package caramels
- 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
- In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients, stirring until thoroughly mixed: Oreo crumbs, sugar, butter, and chopped pecans.
- Press into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan. I like to press the crumbs slightly up the edges too, about 1 inch. This is just preference.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.
- Add sugar, beating until smooth.
- Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Beat in extracts, spices, and pumpkin puree, until smooth.
- Pour cheesecake batter over crust.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 75-85 minutes, or until the center is just slightly jiggly.
- Remove from heat, and cool completely.
- Remove the edges of the springform pan, and carefully transfer cheesecake to a serving platter.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine semi-sweet chocolate, heavy whipping cream, and butter.
- Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and continue heating at 15-second intervals, stirring in-between, until mixture is melted and smooth.
- Spread ganache evenly over the cooled cheesecake.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set the ganache.
- In a small microwave-safe bowl, combine caramels and heavy whipping cream.
- Microwave for 1 minute, stir, and continue heating at 30-second intervals, stirring in-between, until mixture is melted and smooth.
- Cool 2 minutes, then drizzle/spread caramel evenly over the ganache - it will be thick. Try to do as little 'spreading' as possible so that you don't melt and move the ganache.
- Sprinkle with toasted pecans.
- Allow caramel sauce to set, about 15 minutes.
- Cut and serve. Store in refrigerator.