★★★★★

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecakes are made in individual portions, topped with pecans, caramel and–of course–a milk chocolate ganache. This turtle version of a classic cheesecake is the ultimate indulgence!

Chocolate cheesecake on pedestal with caramel and pecan.

Easy Individual Chocolate Cheesecakes

Did you know that you can make mini cheesecakes in your muffin tin?

Everyone loves cheesecake but, let’s face it, it’s not always the easiest dessert to serve. When you’re eating with a crowd or bringing the dessert to this year’s holiday party, you need a dessert that you can pass out easily.

This Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake recipe shows you how to make individual mini cheesecakes so you can have your (cheese)cake and avoid the hassle too.

Instead of slicing pieces of cheesecake for everyone, everyone can grab their own mini cheesecake.

No silverware required!

Ingredient Notes

  • Graham Crackers – I used honey graham crackers for a classic cheesecake crust. Chocolate graham crackers would be delicious too.
  • Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder – The darker the cocoa, the richer the chocolate flavor of the cheesecake. Regular dutch processed cocoa powder can be substituted.
  • Caramel sauce – Store bought caramel sauce (that you use for ice cream) is perfect here. If you have a favorite homemade caramel sauce recipe, feel free to use it.

Tips and Tricks

For the crust:

Use the food processor to make the graham cracker crust for turning the crackers into fine crumbs. Once you add the butter and sugar, press the crust into the muffin tins using a tart shaper. If you don’t have a tart shaper, the bottom of a cup works just as well!

For the cheesecake:

Let the cream cheese soften for a few minutes on the counter so it’s easier to beat with the eggs, sugar and cocoa. I recommend filling each muffin tin only about 2/3 of the way full with the cheesecake mixture so you leave room for the toppings!

For the toppings:

I use the microwave for melting the chocolate and the heavy cream, then whisk the ingredients together to form a smooth and silky ganache frosting.

Add the ganache to the baked cheesecakes first, followed by the caramel sauce. Finish of the Chocolate Turtle Cheesecakes by pressing a pecan half into the top of each one before the chocolate sets.

Individual chocolate cheesecake with turtle topping.

Recipe FAQs

Does cheesecake need to be refrigerated?

Yes, store the mini cheesecakes in the refrigerator. You can enjoy them cold like I do or let them come to room temperature before serving. It’s up to you!

How long will turtle cheesecake keep?

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecakes stay good in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Why is it called a “turtle” cheesecake?

Desserts with chocolate, caramel and pecan are referred to as “turtle.” The shape of the pecan on top looks a little like a turtle shell! Feel free to call this a Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake if you prefer. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious!

More Easy Dessert Recipes

Yield: 20-24 cheesecakes

Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 55 minutes

Rich, chocolate Cheesecakes topped with a milk chocolate ganache, caramel, and pecans! Next time you crave Cheesecake, try this Chocolate Turtle version!

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 9 honey graham crackers (whole)
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:

  • 2 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons dark chocolate unsweetened cocoa powder

For the ganache:

  • 2 cups milk chocolate morsels
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup caramel sauce
  • 24 pecan halves

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs. Pulse in sugar. Using a fork, mix in the melted butter. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of crust into the bottom of 20-24 paper lined muffin cups. Press into bottom of paper liner using a tart shaper or bottom of a cup. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla on high for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until fully incorporated. Beat in the cocoa powder. Spoon filling (about 2 Tbsp scoop) into muffin cups until ⅔ full. Bake cheesecakes in a 350 degree F oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
  3. When cooled, begin ganache and frosting. In a glass bowl, add heavy cream and microwave one minute, until warmed. Add chocolate, heat an additional 60 seconds. Whisk smooth.
  4. Spoon about 1-2 Tbsp of ganach over each cooled cheesecake. Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with one pecan halve. Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days. ENJOY.

Notes

  • For the crust: Use the food processor to make the graham cracker crust for turning the crackers into fine crumbs. Once you add the butter and sugar, press the crust into the muffin tins using a tart shaper. If you don't have a tart shaper, the bottom of a cup works just as well!
  • For the cheesecake: Let the cream cheese soften for a few minutes on the counter so it's easier to beat with the eggs, sugar and cocoa. I recommend filling each muffin tin only about ⅔ of the way full with the cheesecake mixture so you leave room for the toppings!
  • For the toppings: I use the microwave for melting the chocolate and the heavy cream, then whisk the ingredients together to form a smooth and silky ganache frosting.
  • Add the ganache to the baked cheesecakes first, followed by the caramel sauce. Finish of the Chocolate Turtle Cheesecakes by pressing a pecan half into the top of each one before the chocolate sets.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

24

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 72mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 3g

*Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

A delicious and elegant dessert that everyone will swoon over. Mini Chocolate Turtle Cheesecakes are perfect for that next potluck, holiday celebration or any time you’re craving a rich chocolate dessert!

About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on September 2, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. Aren’t these just the cutest, most indulgent looking cheesecakes?! I love mini cheesecakes, and with caramel drizzled over the top, even better!

  2. I always need more chocolate in my life…and caramel…and cheesecake…
    I think I really just need these to be FED-EX’d to me ASAP or I’ll die from withdrawal 😉

  3. I love anything with caramel too and Skittles, well, they’re just the best! Caramel Skittles would be just amazing wouldn’t it?! Love these perfect size cheesecakes! 🙂

  4. I so want to see you eating an uncooked potato coated in caramel…too funny! I am a huge fan of caramel goodness too! Love these cute little turtle cheesecakes!!!

  5. Oh yeah, I’m a total caramel fanatic! These look pretty sinful, and being so little, I could do some serious damage!

  6. A. Those look ridiculously delicious!
    B. I am pretty sure I bought a few too many of that same cupcake stand at BB&B today : )

  7. Love caramel! These mini cheesecakes look amazing! Gorgeous and yummy. Definitely pinning to make. 🙂

  8. Oh my goodness! All those layers! *swoon* The caramel and potato cracked me up:). I’ll take it on this chocolate cheesecake! Your pictures are so clear, it’s amazing!

  9. I’m almost a little bit embarrassed to admit I’ve never made a cheesecake. I need to make these and fix that 🙂

  10. Mini cheesecakes are my favorite. I can never take down a whole cheesecake, but I could use a few of these minis!

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