Turtle Cheeseball

Turtle Cheeseball – If you’re looking for a sweet cheese ball recipe, you’re in the right place. With caramel, pecans and chocolate chips, this is a great dip to serve with apples, animal crackers or grahams.

Turtle Cheeseball: caramel, pecans and chocolate chips around a sweet cheeseball

I love entertaining. Having friends over to share good food and laughs is one of life’s greatest joys.

Whenever we entertain I love to serve a combination of salty and sweet treats. And while guacamole, jalapeno dip, and queso are all delicious choices, sometimes, a sweet dip is equally important.

I find myself taking bites of chips, then of this sweet cheeseball, and back to chips again. It really is a vicious cycle!

But a delicious, vicious cycle.

You don’t need to save this recipe for the holidays, but it’s definitely ideal for any holiday gathering you’re hosting. I love how easy it is to put together, no stove or oven required.

What is Turtle Cheese Ball?

A cheese ball is a cheese based dip, usually cream cheese or another soft cheese variety, served–you guessed it–in the shape of a ball. Surrounded by a wreath of crackers, cheese balls are designed to be shared with a crowd.

Most cheese balls I’ve had are savory, so I’m always on the hunt for good sweet cheese ball recipes. This turtle take on the concept is everything I wanted and more.

It has the signature pecans and chocolate along with two forms of caramel–caramel pieces and thick caramel sauce. Whenever I bring out this sweet cheese ball to serve to company, it gets rave reviews and disappears quicker than just about everything on the table.

You can serve it as an appetizer or alongside dessert for an after dinner treat. (After-tizer? I’ll work on that one.)

Turtle Cheeseball: caramel, pecans and chocolate chips around a sweet cheeseball

Sweet Turtle Cheese Ball Recipe

Here’s what you need to make Turtle Cheese Ball:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Caramel pieces – I used Kraft caramel baking bits because they’re the perfect size.
  • Caramel sauce – Caramel ice cream topping works great!
  • Chopped pecans
  • Mini chocolate chips

Today’s recipe is easy to put together. You can make it the day before if you’d like and keep it in the fridge.

How to make Turtle Cheese Ball:

STEP 1. Mix the cream cheese, butter, sugars and caramel sauce together in a bowl along with half of the chocolate chips.

STEP 2. Drop the entire bowl of cheese ball mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap. I wrap the plastic around it and shape it into a ball, then refrigerate this ball for about an hour.

STEP 3. Unwrap and roll the ball into a bowl filled with the rest of the mini chocolate chips, the pecans and the caramel pits, pressing them into the ball gently. Rewrap your cheeseball into a new piece of plastic wrap.

Keep wrapped until ready to serve!

To serve the dip: Place on the center of a serving platter surrounded by your choice of dippers. You can also serve the ball on the center of a plate with the dippers in separate bowls on the side.

What to serve with a sweet cheese ball

Pretzels, apple slices, and animal crackers are a few of my favorite vehicles for scooping up this dip.

For even more sweetness, crunchy cookies would be delicious. Think Biscoff cookies, shortbread or even Oreos. Of course it’s great spread onto graham crackers too!

If you like a combination of sweet and salty tastes, try scooping the turtle cheese ball with Ritz crackers. (It tastes a bit like those Ritz cracker cookies but with caramel. Amazing!)

How to store cheese ball

You can make this up to a day in advance and keep wrapped in plastic in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. If you end up with leftovers, rewrap what’s left in plastic to maintain the ball shape and keep in the fridge. Enjoy the leftovers within one day.

This sweet cheese ball recipe with all the components of turtle candy is sure to steal the spotlight next time you entertain!

Turtle Cheeseball: caramel, pecans and chocolate chips around a sweet cheeseball

More Appetizer Recipes

Yield: 12 servings

Turtle Cheeseball

Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour

An easy, sweet Turtle Cheeseball recipe with caramel, pecans and chocolate chips! A great dip to serve with apples, animal crackers or grahams.


  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp caramel sauce (I used caramel ice cream topping)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • ¾ cup mini chocolate chips, divided
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup caramel bits (I used Kraft)


  1. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with butter until fully blended. Add caramel sauce and sugar and beat until combined. Add ½ cup mini chocolate chips.
  2. Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on counter. Drop cheeseball onto plastic wrap and cover cheeseball completely. Once covered, shape into a ball. Refrigerate for one hour.
  3. In a bowl, combine remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips, pecans and caramel bits. Unwrap cheeseball and roll into bowl of chocolate chip mixture. Press toppings gently into the cheeseball.
  4. Rewrap in plastic wrap (a new piece) and refrigerate until ready to serve! ENJOY.


If you can't find the Kraft Caramel Bits, you can use Werther's caramels or Kraft Caramels and chop them up!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 23gProtein: 1g

*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?

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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 November 25, 2013

Comments & Reviews

  1. I can see mine isn’t going to firm up either. Adding in another 8oz cream cheese. We will see. Will make again
    using 2 8oz cream cheese and leave butter out altogether and add in powder sugar to taste. May try swirling in Carmel sauce instead of blending. Taste delicious though 😋

  2. I wish I would have read the reviews because my Cheeseball didn’t firm up at all either. It’s for a shower tomorrow so I guess I’ll be serving it as a dip with the pecans and mini chocolate chips sprinkled on top. I’m thinking less butter would help. Maybe 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup. Very tasty though!

  3. Mine didn’t firm up, but it didn’t matter.  The entire thing was eaten, and everyone loved it.  I made it for a baby shower and got a lot of compliments.   I didn’t find caramel bits, so I improvised.  After I put pecans and the mini chocolate chips on the outside, I drizzled some of the caramel sauce over it!!  
    I will be making this again, but will try 1/3 cup butter next time and see if that helps with consistency.  

  4. This was amazing. Definitely needed to put in the fridge to get it to be a little firmer. Delicious. Just delicious.

  5. This will be my first cheeseball.  I’m making it for a Thanksgiving app.  I really hope I don’t meets it up and that everyone will like it.

  6. It did not firm up for me either. I’m going to mix in the topping ingredients and put it in a pretty bowl for dipping.

  7. I made the Turtle Cheeseball for my all girls weekend fun at the lake and it was a great BIG hit!
    Thanks so much for sharing.

        1. Hmmm, others have had that problem as well. Glad you enjoyed it as a dip 🙂

  8. I am considering making this but freezing a small ball of hot fudge first, then building the cheese ball around that? So it has a fudgey center. Of course I am considering doing that when (a) I have never even made the basic cheeseball and (b) it’s for a baby shower with dozens of people. May be a recipe for disaster! We’ll see!

  9. I HAD to pin, save and drool over this cheeseball … then my hubby looked over my should and saw your Peanut Butter Cookie Dip … had to save and pin that recipe too! Now I must share my new finds 🙂 Thank you!

  10. Are those hazelnuts I see along with the pecans and chocolate chips? Looks amazing! Thank you for sharing. Making this for Christmas!

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