Caramel Cheesecake

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.

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Caramel Cheesecake with caramel sauce on top.

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.

Slice of caramel cheesecake on a plate, with caramel on top and salt flakes.

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.

making caramel sauce, adding sugar to the pan, and mixing until melted, then adding butter, and adding the heavy cream.

Cheesecake Crust

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.

making cheesecake crust, mixing the crust with sugar, and then with butter, then pressing on the bottom of the cheesecake pan.

Cheesecake Batter

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.

making cheesecake batter, mixing the cream cheese with sugar.

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.

making cheesecake batter by adding eggs, and adding vanilla and mixing with a mixer.

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.

first picture: adding cheesecake batter to the bottom of a crust. second picture, pouring caramel sauce on top. third picture: adding more cheesecake on top of the sauce. Fourth picture, pouring water into a large roasting pan to make a water bath for cheesecake.

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.

cheesecake on a wooden board.

To serve

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.

first picture: caramel sauce in a bowl. second picture: pouring caramel sauce on top of the cheesecake.

Storage

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.

Slice of caramel cheesecake on a plate, with caramel on top and salt flakes.

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.
Slice of cheesecake on a plate topped with caramel sauce, with caramel on top and salt flakes.

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.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake with caramel sauce on top.

If you like this cheesecake, you might also love these cheesecake recipes:

Slice of caramel cheesecake on a plate, with caramel on top and salt flakes.
Caramel Cheesecake with caramel sauce on top.

Caramel Cheesecake

Camila Hurst
This delicious Caramel Cheesecake features a buttery graham cracker crust, caramel swirled in the cheesecake batter, and is topped with a salted caramel sauce.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Resting time 7 hours
Total Time 8 hours 40 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 329 kcal

Ingredients
  

Caramel Sauce
  • 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)
Cheesecake batter
  • 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

Instructions
 

Caramel Sauce
  • 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.
Cheesecake Batter
  • 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 one at a time to the bowl, mixing until 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.
To decorate
  • 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.

Notes

Caramel sauce: You can use store-bought caramel sauce, or dulce de leche if desired.
Storage: You can store the Caramel cheesecake in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days, covered in an air tight container. The cheesecake can also be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Make sure to place it in an air tight container. You can also freeze the cheesecake first, then once it’s frozen, wrap it with plastic wrap very tightly and then place in an air tight container. This will extend its freezer shelf life.
Crust: You can use digestive biscuits instead of graham crackers. Or use the Biscoff Crust recipe from this Biscoff Cheesecake.
Keyword caramel, cheesecake

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12 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so delicious! I should’ve greased the pan as suggested because it got a little stuck. My bad. I will definitely make this again.

  2. 5 stars
    I have made this 3 times this holiday season and each time has been a huge hit! I am a salted caramel girly and couldn’t get enough of this cheesecake. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  3. If using purchased caramel sauce or dulce de leche, how much do I need to buy? The recipe calls for 1/2 cup in the cheesecake. How much do I need for the topping?

  4. Do you use light or dark brown sugar? The recipe doesn’t specify, it looks like light in the pictures but I just wanted to make sure. Thanks!

  5. Hi, I’m wondering if this can made as mini cheesecakes in a muffin pan & if there needs to be any time or ingredient adjustments.

    Thanks!

    1. baking time will be about 25 minutes. you will have about 24 mini cheesecakes. no water bath needed to bake them. keep the same oven temperature.

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