This Salted Caramel Cheesecake mixes two of the best desserts ever. A smooth creamy perfect cheesecake with a rich decadent homemade caramel mixed in. All over a delicious shortbread crust.
How I created this Salted Caramel Cheesecake recipe
There isn’t much I love better than caramel. It’s good in pretty much every dessert, cakes, ice creams, marshmallows, brownies, cookies, etc…. So when National Caramel day came up for our “Celebrating Food” this month I had a hard time narrowing it down! There are SO many caramel recipes I haven’t shared yet. I settled on Salted Caramel Cheesecake, and I’m SO glad I did.
Deciding on the caramel cheesecake turned out to be the easy part… did I want to add pecans, toffee, chocolate or salt? You can go in SO many directions with this. I decided to stick with the salty side. THEN for the crust??? Rather than a traditional cookie crust I made a shortbread that I added chopped macadamia nuts to, but you can go in any direction with this. You could always use crushed shortbread cookies in a traditional crust for a similar flavor.
Don’t forget I have a ton of cheesecake tips and tricks (that work with all cheesecakes) on this dense and creamy cheesecake recipe, along with this cheesecake video sharing those tips and tricks while making a cheesecake.
Just take me to the Caramel Cheesecake Recipe already!
If you’d rather skip my tips and tricks for creating your own cheesecake flavor, tips for the prefect cheesecake, links to my cheesecake making tools and links to other cheesecake recipes and get straight to this delicious cheesecake recipe – simply scroll to the bottom of the page where you can find the printable recipe card.
Tips and tricks for creating your own Cheesecake flavor
- Change the crust – you can turn any cookie into a crumb crust – graham crackers, nilla wafers, oreos, etc…
- Change the crust – you can use a different dessert as the base – cake, brownie, cookie, macaroon, etc…
- Change up the filling – Add some kind of flavoring – maple extract, lemon zest and juice, peanut butter, caramel sauce, melted chocolate, etc…
- Add mix ins – Bacon, chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, oreo cookies, lemon curd, marshmallows, nuts, etc…
- Add toppings – caramel bacon pecan topping, lemon curd, meringue, hot fudge, sour cream topping, mousse, whipped cream, caramel sauce, etc…
Tips and Tricks for baking the Perfect Cheesecake with no cracking
- Room temperate ingredients are key for a smooth texture.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar as much as you want, make it smooth, but once you add the eggs, do NOT overbeat, just mix on low until they are barely incorporated, beating after you add the eggs is what often leads to cracking.
- Make sure your oven is the correct temperature (I love my oven thermometer)
- TRY not to open the oven door, like ever, if you can help it.
- I used to hate water baths – the foil always leaks and I don’t like mushy crusts – but waterbaths keep cheesecakes more evenly baked and nice and flat – so now I recommend a silicone waterbath pan!!!
- If you run out of water in the water bath pan make sure to boil any water you add so it doesn’t stop the baking process.
- Cook your cheesecake until it’s puffy and set on the outer edge but it’s still a bit jiggly in the center, like a loose jello jiggler, but not liquid, in the center 4-5 inches. It will keep cooking afterwards a bit, and IMO better to be slightly under cooked than overcooked.
- Turn off the oven and crack open the oven door to let it cool slowly, this will help it finish cooking but not cool TOO fast and crack
- Do NOT eat it right away, cheesecake sets and gets BETTER with time in the fridge, at LEAST 8 hours
What equipment I use to make the perfect cheesecake recipe:
- Food Processor
- 9″ Spring form Pan
- 9″ parchment cake circles
- silicone water bath pan
- 12 x 3 inch cake pan
- Stand Mixer
- Hand Mixer – (I adore my bosch hand mixer but they are hard to find as they don’t currently sell them stateside)
- oven thermometer
Maple Bacon Cheesecake Recipe
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If you love cheesecakes you’ll love these other decadent recipes too!
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To watch a video of me making my classic cheesecake check the video under the recipe card.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Recipe
- 1/2 C butter
- 1/3 C packed light brown sugar
- 1 1/4 C all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C finely chopped macadamia nuts
- 2 lbs full fat cream cheese softened
- 1/2 C granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 C caramel sauce
- 2 lrg eggs room temp
- 1 lrg egg yolk room temp
- preheat the oven to 350F,
- In your mixer beat the butter until fluffy
- Add brown sugar and mix well,
- Add flour and mix until a dough forms
- Mix in the nuts
- Spread into 10 inch cheesecake pan, poke holes
- Bake 18 mins
- Let cool.
- Reduce oven to 300 and place baking dish full of hot water on the bottom rack to create moisture (leave this in while baking).
- Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on med until light and fluffy, about 30-60 sec.
- While beating on low add the caramel sauce
- Scrape the bowl, beat 45 sec more - make sure it's smooth with no chunks.
- Lightly whisk the eggs and yolks together and add to cream cheese mixture
- Mix on low speed until they are incorporated and the batter is velvety, about 30 sec, scrape the bowl and mix 10 sec more - do NOT overbeat.
- Pour the filling over crust, bake on the center rack about 1 hour +.
- how to tell cheesecake is done - When you open the rack and shift the pan the center 3-4 inches will jiggle - not like soup, like a loose jello jigglers.
- Turn the oven off and crack open the door and let the cake cool then refrigerate overnight.
- The next day pour the rest of the caramel over the top of the cake
- Sprinkle the fleur de sel over the top of the cheesecake, as much or as little (I'm all for MORE is better)
When it's slightly cool press some plastic wrap down across the top so the sauce doesn't get a "skin". It will be slightly warm when you add it to the filling.
You'll probably need to warm it up just a bit before adding it the top of the cheesecake so keep it in a microwave safe container.
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