This cheesecake combines the best elements of the dessert world for one dreamy result. Every bite is such an explosion of amazing tastes and textures… I can’t wait for you to try it!
What I love about cheesecakes particularly is that you have to make them ahead of time so they’re perfecting for entertaining or serving a group. Plus they’re always such crowd pleasers… who doesn’t love cheesecake?!
So, grab the ingredients the next time you’re at the grocery store, find a fun playlist to jam to in your kitchen, and get to baking this sweet treat!
Caramel Brownie Cheesecake Recipe Tips
Here are my baking tips for creating a beautiful cheesecake! If you have questions, read through this because I may have already answered them 🙂
Be sure to use full fat high quality bricks of cream cheese (not the stuff you spread on a bagel). The most important part? The cream cheese should be at room temperature. This will create a smooth and creamy cheesecake without any lumps and bumps.
This brownie bottom layer is super simple but creates a ridiculously fudgy and rich brownie with tons of chocolate flavor. It uses cocoa powder, so no chopping or melting chocolate. You bake it for about 15 minutes, or just until it begins to set, before adding the cheesecake batter so it cooks through completely into two distinct layers.
If you wanted to take a shortcut and use a brownie mix, you can but I think making this layer from scratch is worth the extra effort!
How to Bake Cheesecake without a Water Bath
There is no water bath required for this recipe! I decided to skip that hassle because even if some cracks form, we’re covering the cheesecake with caramel which will help camouflage some imperfections. Be sure to use a quality springform pan for this recipe.
To prevent cracks without the need for a messy water bath, we use the oven door trick. Once the cheesecake is almost done baking, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside. Crack the oven door just slightly to allow the oven to lose some of that heat. The key to preventing cracks is to coddle the cheesecake. Any dramatic changes in temperature will cause cracks to form!
If you want more tips for baking cheesecake without cracks, check out my free Ultimate Cheesecake Guide.
That’s why it’s also important to allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature completely before chilling. When it comes to baking cheesecake, it’s always better to err on the side of underbaking than over-baking. The edges should be set and dry, but if the center is still slightly wobbly or jiggly that’s fine. The residual heat will continue to cook the cheesecake even once it’s removed from the oven.
In my online baking class The Magic of Baking, I go in-depth in this concept and others so that you can bake with confidence.
Serving & Storing Cheesecake
The hardest part of this recipe is mustering the patience to let it chill for at least 4 hours before eating! I usually like to let it chill overnight, just to make sure it’s completely set and I’m able to cut clean slices. Use a sharp knife and run it under hot water in between cuts for beautiful bakery-quality slices. Drizzle the caramel on just before serving.
Store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Salted Caramel Sauce
You can use store-bought or homemade caramel sauce for the topping. I have a whole blog post & quick video on how to make caramel sauce here. If you’re using store-bought, I like Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce!