This delicious Caramel Cheesecake features a buttery graham cracker crust, caramel swirled in the cheesecake batter, and is topped with a salted caramel sauce.
The salted caramel sauce is rich and indulgent, with amazing flavor. It pairs so nicely with the creamy cheesecake, and the salt flakes.
Each bite of this dessert is decadent, sweet, with a slightly salty taste to balance out the richness and sweetness of the cake.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
I will show you step-by-step how to make this delicious Caramel Cheesecake recipe.
First thing to do is make the caramel sauce. You will need it to come to room temperature before making the cheesecake. All of the ingredients and the instructions are located below on this page.
If you don’t want to make the homemade caramel sauce, you can use store-bought, or use dulce de leche instead.
Salted Caramel Sauce
To make the caramel sauce place the granulated sugar in a saucepan with a heavy bottom. Make sure to use a stainless steel pan, not non-stick.
Start melting the sugar over medium heat. Continue to stir to make sure to melt the sugar evenly.
Once the last bit of sugar melts, the syrup should be a golden color. Add the butter to the pan. Be careful not to burn yourself.
Stir until the butter melts.
Then start adding the heavy cream slowly to the pan, while stirring and cooking the caramel sauce over medium-low or low heat.
Once all the cream is incorporated, remove from the heat and pour in a bowl.
Add the vanilla and salt. Stir to combine.
To make the crust, add the graham crackers and brown sugar to a large bowl. Stir to combine.
Add the melted butter and stir.
Press the crust on the bottom of a springform pan. I used a deep 8″ pan. You can also use a 9″ pan.
Bake the crust for 10 minutes in the oven.
To make the cheesecake batter, beat the cream cheese until creamy.
Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar, beat to combine.
Then add the sour cream and mix.
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to incorporate one egg before adding the next one.
It’s important to scrape the bowl in between additions to ensure everything is getting nicely incorporated together.
Add the vanilla extract and salt.
The batter is ready.
Assemble the Caramel Cheesecake
To assemble the cheesecake, pour half of the cheesecake filling to the bottom of the prepared pan with the baked crust.
Spread 1/2 cup of caramel sauce on top of the batter.
Pour the remaining batter on top.
Wrap the bottom of the cheesecake pan with aluminum foil. Place the pan in a larger pan so you can set up the water bath. I like to use those disposable roasting pans from the store. They are inexpensive and you can use several times since you’ll only be putting water in it.
Fill the roasting pan with hot water.
Bake the cheesecake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour. It can take longer or less time depending on your oven. Sometimes it can take even up to 75 minutes on my oven.
The cheesecake is done baking when the center is slightly jiggly, and the edges are set.
Turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in there. Leave the door closed for one hour.
Remove the cheesecake, run a knife around the edges to make it come off the sides of the pan.
Let the cheesecake cool down. When it’s cool, place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.
Before serving the cheesecake, microwave the caramel sauce gently since it was stored in the fridge and should have hardened. Pour 1/2 cup of caramel sauce over the cooled cheesecake. Spread it around with a spatula.
Place it back in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Top with flaky sea salt.
Store the Caramel Cheesecake in the fridge for up to 5 days, in an air-tight container.
You can freeze the cheesecake for up to 2 months, either sliced, or the whole cheesecake. Freeze it first, and then wrap it once frozen, it should make it much easier to store. If you don’t want to cover the caramel sauce on top and ruin it, you can either freeze without the sauce, or you can simply store it in an air-tight freezer container instead of wrapping it.
Serving suggestions and substitutions
- You can drizzle some melted chocolate on top of the cheesecake along with the caramel sauce.
- Another option is to add whipping cream to the top of the cheesecake before serving.
- You could use the crust recipe from this Biscoff Cheesecake instead, it will make the cheesecake so delicious in place of the graham crackers.
- Use dulce de leche instead of caramel sauce.
Tips for making Caramel Cheesecake
- For better and richer texture use full fat cream cheese, and full fat sour cream.
- Don’t over beat the batter once you add the eggs in. That can cause the cheesecake to break.
- The middle of the cheesecake should still be jiggly when you turn the oven off.
- Don’t immediately remove the cheesecake from the oven, turn the oven off, and let the cheesecake rest in it with the closed door for at least 1 hour before removing. The sudden temperature changes can also cause the cheesecake to break.
- Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake as soon as you remove it from the oven.
If you like this cheesecake, you might also love these cheesecake recipes:
- Biscoff Cheesecake
- Cannoli Cheesecake
- Pistachio Cheesecake
- No-Bake Cheesecake
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- Lemon Cheesecake
- Cranberry Cheesecake
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter 85 grams
- 1/2 cup heavy cream 120 ml
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 180 grams, or digestive biscuits
- 1/4 cup brown sugar 55 grams
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter melted (85 grams)
- 907 grams cream cheese softened (4 packages of 8 oz.)
- 1 cup brown sugar 220 grams
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar 50 grams
- 1/2 cup sour cream 120 grams
- 4 large eggs room temp
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- To make the Caramel Sauce, you will need the heavy cream to be at room temperature, so let it sit out for 10 to 15 minutes before making the recipe. Or microwave it gently just to take the chill off.
- Add the sugar to a saucepan with a heavy bottom. The pot you are using should be stainless steel, don’t use non-stick pan to make the caramel.
- Place the pan over medium heat, and stir until the sugar melts. It’s important to stir constantly, to make sure the sugar melts evenly. Continue to stir the sugar, and when the last bit of sugar melts, the syrup should be a golden color. Be aware that the sugar can turn from golden to burnt in just under a minute, so you should pay a lot of attention when making this recipe.
- If the syrup is becoming too dark but there are still bits of sugar unmelted in it, remove the pan from the heat and continue to stir to help the sugar melt.
- As soon as the last bit of sugar melts, add the butter. Be aware the syrup may splatter, which can burn your hands if you aren’t careful.
- Stir the mixture until the butter melts.
- Add the heavy cream, a bit at a time, while stirring non-stop. Continue to cook the caramel over low heat, until all the cream has been added.
- Remove from the heat, once the caramel is smooth.
- Pour in a bowl, add salt and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Let the caramel come to room temperature.
- You can make the caramel ahead. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 month.
Graham Cracker Crust
- Pre-heat the oven to 325ºF.
- Place the graham cracker in a food processor and process to obtain fine crumbs.
- Add the brown sugar and mix to combine.
- Melt the butter and mix with the crumbs and sugar.
- Press the mixture on the bottom of an 8” or 9” cheesecake pan. If using an 8” springform pan, it must be deep.
- Bake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Remove it from the oven and let it cool down.
- Some cheesecake pans, such as my own, require the sides to be greased before adding the batter in, or the cheesecake sticks, so I always spray the sides of my pan with oil before pouring the cheesecake batter in.
- Beat the cream cheese for 3 minutes with a mixer at medium speed, until creamy.
- Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the cream cheese and beat for another 2 minutes at medium speed.
- Scrape the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds.
- Add the sour cream and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl.
- Make sure to scrape the bowl a few times during the mixing process, to avoid the cream cheese from forming lumps in the batter.
- Add the eggs to the batter, mix just until combined. It’s best to add one egg at a time, waiting for one egg to be incorporated before adding the next one.
- Avoid over mixing once the eggs are added, to prevent cracking of the cheesecake.
- Add the vanilla, salt, and mix briefly.
- Pour half of the cheesecake batter in the pan, over the baked and cooled crust.
- Next, pour 1/2 cup of the caramel over the cheesecake batter. The caramel should be at room temperature. If it was stored in the fridge, heat it in the microwave for 5 to 10 second intervals, stirring in between. Store the remaining caramel in the fridge until you are ready to serve the cheesecake.
- Pour the remaining batter over the caramel. Use a spatula to spread the cheesecake batter evenly on top.
- Wrap the bottom of the pan with a few layers of foil.
- Place the pan in a larger roasting pan, and add hot water to the roasting pan, to form a water bath. This is very important so the cheesecake doesn’t crack.
- Bake the cheesecake in the pre-heated 325ºF oven for 60 to 75 minutes.
- To check if the cheesecake is done baking, give the pan a little wiggle, it should jiggle slightly in the center, but the edges should look set.
- Turn the oven off, and leave the cheesecake in there for 1 hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
- Before serving, remove the remaining caramel from the fridge and in the microwave for a few seconds until it’s runny.
- Pour over the cheesecake and spread with a spatula.
- Place it back in the fridge for at least 20 minutes. Top with salt flakes around the edges.