Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 18 minutes

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

These lasted 2 MINUTES! Everyone loved them. Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The classic turtle combination of pecans, caramel, and chocolate is to die for!!
Texture: Sooo many textures, just the way I like it.
Ease: Much quicker and easier than a full-sized cheesecake.
Appearance: Absolutely adorable.
Pros: Perfect bite-sized treat for any occasion. These are a total crowd-pleaser.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

These lasted 2 MINUTES! Everyone loved them. Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

Did you have a nice Thanksgiving?

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

I hope it was filled with the most magnificent food you’ve eaten in a while. Or, at the very least, good company! Between testing out Thanksgiving recipes to share with you, Friendsgiving, and multiple Thanksgivings with different parts of the family, I have certainly had my fair share of Thanksgiving food!

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

Actually, I made these Mini Turtle Cheesecakes for Friendsgiving and they literally didn’t last longer than 5 minutes on the table before they vanished. Cheesecake is usually a guaranteed crowd-pleaser but I think mini cheesecakes are even better for a party. They’re much easier to make, transport, and eat. Win win win!

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes Tips

  • I used this mini cheesecake pan. The bottoms are removeable just like a springform or tart pan so you can pop out each cheesecake and keep it perfectly in tact. If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, you could use a muffin tin. Just be sure to line it with nonstick paper or foil liners, otherwise the graham cracker crust might crumble and the cheesecake might stick when you go to remove them.
  • These babies are topped with caramel sauce, I prefer salted caramel. I have a full step-by-step video tutorial on making homemade caramel here. To make the recipe easier, you can of course use store-bought. Just make sure it’s high quality! I love Trader Joe’s Salted Caramel sauce.
  • Keep the cheesecakes well chilled until serving so the caramel doesn’t run too much.

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

000
Yield 12 mini cheesecakes     adjust servings
Prep Time 15 minutes Cook Time 18 minutes Total Time 33 mins

Mini Turtle Cheesecakes feature a thick graham cracker crust, vanilla cheesecake filling, and are topped with caramel, toasted pecans, and chocolate!

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg

For the topping

  • Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, cream, salt, and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the topping:

    Once chilled, top each cheesecake with a spoonful of caramel sauce, just enough to cover but not too much that it completely overflows. Press pecans into the caramel.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Transfer to a small ziptop bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Return to the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

by

Recipe Notes

Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat or in a 325°F oven until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

About Tessa...

Tessa is a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. She loves to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. She’s on a mission to make the world a more unapologetically DELICIOUS place. Tessa lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Find Tessa on  

28 Responses to “Mini Turtle Cheesecakes”

  1. #
    Kristina — November 30, 2015 at 7:25 am

    OMG these sound sooo delicious. I can imagine why they were gone so fast. This is definitely something that needs to get on my baking list!

  2. #
    Jasmine — November 30, 2015 at 7:30 am

    Seeing this made me happy. They look so adorable, thank you for posting. 🙂

  3. #
    Roxana — November 30, 2015 at 10:17 am

    These are so beautiful and are making my mouth water! Oh how I wish I had some! Guess I’ll just have to make some! ;D

  4. #
    Payton — November 30, 2015 at 4:08 pm

    These look too good to be true.
    Wish I had one of here on my plate right now,
    I agree that cheesecakes are surprisingly easy to make.
    Thanks Tessa

  5. #
    June @ How to Philosophize with Cake — December 2, 2015 at 5:06 am

    What adorable little cheesecakes! They look so rich and delicious–turtle flavors can’t go wrong, especially in cheesecake 🙂

  6. #
    Laura — December 2, 2015 at 10:55 am

    I just went to Amazon to buy the mini-cheesecake pan. I think that says it all!

    • #
      Tessa — December 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Woohoo!! Hope you have fast shipping 😉

  7. #
    Stacey — December 2, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    I’m making these right now, but I don’t see where/when to put in the heavy cream?

    • #
      Tessa — December 2, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Yay! Just fixed it – thanks for pointing that out. PS – I always list ingredients in the order they’re used so that might make following the recipe easier too 🙂

  8. #
    Heather — December 3, 2015 at 10:48 am

    I love an excuse to break out mini cheesecake pan- especially when it involves salted caramel!

  9. #
    Stacey — December 20, 2015 at 4:48 pm

    These were really good and really beautiful too…even with oozing caramel. The crusts were a bit crumbly; the addition of 2 or 3 T. of brown sugar really helps hold them together. Thanks for another awesome recipe! Keep the mini cheesecake recipes coming!

  10. #
    Laura Migliore — February 7, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Has anyone tried making these in a mini muffin pan with the mini paper liners? Thanks

  11. #
    Laura Migliore — February 13, 2016 at 5:56 am

    I just made these yesterday to test them for a ladies luncheon next month. I wasn’t sure how mini they were, but they worked really well in a regular muffin cup with white paper liners. The liner peeled off easily without disturbing the crumb. Cooking time was exactly right, and they were absolutely delicious! I liked the look of this recipe because, not only were they the perfect size , they were not overly sweet. The ones I could salvage from my family, I popped in the freezer and with another batch will have plenty. These are definitely 5 star.

    • #
      Tessa — February 13, 2016 at 8:03 am

      Thanks so much Laura! So happy you enjoyed the recipe.

  12. #
    Lou — February 14, 2016 at 7:39 am

    This recipe looks delicious! I would like to make them for a wedding and am planning ahead.
    How well do the mini cheesecakes freeze?
    If they freeze well, at what point do you freeze them: after they are completed? before the sauce and chcoloate drizzle? Thank you for your tips!

  13. #
    Jody Peterson — June 8, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I want to make these for a party, I don’t have time to order the mini cheesecake pan.. Any thoughts on making them in a 9X9 ( pan and using a small circle cutter to cut shapes, verses mini cupcake foil wrappers?

  14. #
    Kris — October 16, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Tried two batches both fell. It could be my oven?? I’m wondering if heavy cream is heavy whipping cream or half and half?

  15. #
    Vanessa — November 16, 2016 at 1:23 pm

    Can these be made in a regular cupcake pan and baked with cupcake liners?

    • #
      Tessa — November 17, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Hi Vanessa, did you see my tips written in this post? “I used this mini cheesecake pan. The bottoms are removeable just like a springform or tart pan so you can pop out each cheesecake and keep it perfectly in tact. If you don’t have a mini cheesecake pan, you could use a muffin tin. Just be sure to line it with nonstick paper or foil liners, otherwise the graham cracker crust might crumble and the cheesecake might stick when you go to remove them.”

  16. #
    Stephanie — November 24, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I made these beauties for Thanksgiving and they are just absolutely amazing!!! Seriously!!!! I will be searching for more of your recipes!!! Keep up with the inspiration!!!

  17. #
    Hani — January 12, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Hi, just wondering if the heavy cream can be substituted with a whipping cream instead? Thanks!

  18. #
    Diane — February 28, 2017 at 7:01 am

    I would like to add a sour cream topping separate from the filling. After baking the filling take out and add the sour cream, how many additional minutes would you bake the mini cheesecakes?

  19. #
    Jodi Oughton-Schmidt — June 26, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I made this tonight for company. Everyone loved them. I think that my mini cheesecake tin must be smaller than yours though as I had extra of everything. I will definitely be making these again. Can’t wait to try your other mini cheesecake recipes. I think I’ll attempt the s’mores next.

    Thanks again for all your great recipes!!!

  20. #
    Dianna — August 12, 2017 at 1:17 pm

    At what point do you remove the baked cheesecakes from the pan?

  21. #
    Pam — November 11, 2017 at 6:59 am

    When do you remove the mini cheesecakes from the pan…after allowing to completely cool and before refrigerating? Thanks

    • #
      Tessa — November 12, 2017 at 1:42 pm

      They’re easiest to remove when they’re cool out of the fridge IMO!

  22. #
    Charlene — November 20, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    I have made them before and they are delicious 🙂 However, I am making this for a large group and would be easy, faster as a cake. Can they be made in a 9×9 spring form pan? Maybe doubling the recipe?

  23. #
    Rema — December 15, 2017 at 10:07 pm

    These were the most delicious little desserts. The center of mine sunk in, what can I do to prevent this? I tried cooling in oven and also pulling out of oven and cooling on counter with similar results.

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