This Dulce de Leche Cheesecake features a Graham Cracker Crust. It has swirls of dulce de leche throughout the creamy batter, and is topped with more dulce de leche.
The sweet and mellow toffee taste of the dulce de leche, with a touch of cinnamon, and the tangy cream cheese, make for an incredible dessert that everyone will love!
This is one of the best desserts I’ve made this year. And it’s perfect to bake for any occasion, for a special dinner, to bring to a celebration, or simply for the weekend!
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Recipe
I will show you step-by-step how to make this delicious Dulce de Leche Cheesecake.
Let’s make the cheesecake together. You can find all the ingredients and instructions down below at the recipe, either scroll down, or click the Jump to Recipe button on top of the page.
Make sure to read all the notes, and tips on this post, because they contain a lot of tips for making the best cheesecake.
Graham Cracker Crust
Let’s start with the crust. To make the crust I am using graham crackers. You can use digestive biscuits, or even biscoff cookies, like in this Biscoff Cheesecake Recipe.
In a bowl, pour the graham cracker or cookie crumbs, add the cinnamon, and the brown sugar. Mix to combine. Add the melted butter and mix.
Pour the crust on the bottom of a cheesecake pan. I use a 8″ pan by Fat Daddios. Their pans are taller, so this cheesecake can be made on a tall 8-inch or a regular 9-inch springform pan.
Press the crust on the bottom and up the sides of the pan with a cup, or with your hands, making sure to pack tightly.
Bake the crust in the oven. Let it cool down.
While the crust cools down, make the cheesecake filling.
Beat the room temperature cream cheese with an electric mixer for a few minutes, until creamy and fluffy. Scrape the bowl of the mixer and beat to incorporate.
Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar to the bowl. I use light brown sugar, but dark brown sugar will also work.
Beat for a few minutes until incorporated.
Add the sour cream and mix.
Then, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure one egg incorporates before adding the next. It’s important to scrape the bowl in between additions as well.
Add the sea salt, the vanilla, and mix to combine.
Dulce de Leche Swirl
To make the Dulce de Leche Swirl, mix the dulce de leche with some of the batter, and cinnamon powder. Mix to combine.
I like to mix the dulce de leche with some batter before swirling in the cheesecake, because the dulce de leche swirled by itself can end up with a texture that’s not creamy, but kind of grainy, once baked.
To assemble the cheesecake, grease the sides of the pan with oil spray.
Pour some batter on the bottom of the prepared pan with the crust.
Spread spoonfuls of the Dulce de Leche Swirl on top of the batter. Use a spatula or knife to swirl the batters together.
Top with more of the plain batter, and alternate with the swirl, making layers of the different batters.
Finish with the mostly the plain batter on top, to prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
Tap the pan a few times against the counter, and smooth the batter with a spatula to form an even layer on top.
Wrap the bottom of the cheesecake pan with aluminum foil. I like to get the widest kind of foil, to keep water from leaking through.
Place it in a large baking pan. I use one of those disposable roasting pans you can get at the grocery store. They are great for cheesecake and you can use it many times over since you are only pouring water in and using for the water bath.
Pour hot water on the larger baking pan, it should be a few inches high.
Bake the cheesecake in the oven for about 65 minutes to 75 minutes. Depending on your oven, it can take even longer.
The cheesecake is done baking when it’s set on the edges, and the center is slightly jiggly.
This part is very important, when the cheesecake is done baking, turn the oven off. Leave the cake in the oven for 1 hour, with the door closed.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven. Let it cool down. Then place it in the fridge. Don’t remove the ring until the cheesecake has chilled through. You can run a knife around the edges of the cake once it’s out of the oven, but keep the ring in.
Dulce de Leche Topping
You can make your own dulce de leche or use store-bought.
Making dulce de leche is really easy using a can of sweetened condensed milk. My favorite method to use for making dulce de leche from scratch is the instant pot method, which can be found here.
If using store-bought, I do recommend the brands: La Lechera, Conchita, Alpina, which can all be found at most grocery stores.
And if shopping online, you can find the brands Havanna, and San Ignacio.
To decorate the cheesecake, remove it from the refrigerator. Spread the dulce de leche on top.
To do the decorationg on top with the swirl like I did, simply place the cheesecake on a turntable. Use an offset spatula placed at an angle against the center of the cheesecake and rotate the table while moving the spatula outwards.
Sprinkle salted caramel crispearls, and crushed graham crackers on top of the cheesecake if you wish.
Keep the cheesecake in the fridge. If possible keep it covered, or inside of a container.
You can cut a piece of plastic wrap and stick to the exposed sides of the cheesecake before putting in the fridge, to prevent from drying out.
To freeze the cheesecake, you can freeze the whole cheesecake, then wrap it tightly, place in a freezer bag, and keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. You can also freeze it by the slices, make sure to wrap the cheesecake with the plastic directly on the surface, to prevent it from drying.
Thaw it in the fridge overnight.
Tips for making cheesecake
- Scraping the sides of the bowl several times in between ingredients while making the batter will prevent the cheesecake from being lumpy.
- Make sure the ingredients are at room temperature so they incorporate better.
- Grease the sides of the cheesecake pan, so the batter doesn’t stick when baked.
- Don’t over beat the batter once you add the eggs, because that can cause the cheesecake to rise too much in the oven and then deflate, which will cause it to break.
- Make sure to use a water bath, and to leave the cheesecake in the oven for one hour once it’s done baking, both of those things will also help prevent the cheesecake from breaking.
To make these into mini cheesecakes, you can use smaller pans, like cupcake pans. You can even bake them in a mini cupcake pan, as you can see on the pictures that I have done that with some leftover batter.
Depending on the size of the pan you may obtain up to 24 mini cheesecakes.
If you like this recipe, you may also like these other desserts:
- Caramel Cheesecake
- Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake
- Pistachio Cheesecake
- Biscoff Cheesecake
- No-Bake Cheesecake
- Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 180 grams, or digestive biscuits
- 1/4 cup brown sugar 55 grams
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
- 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
- 1 cup dulce de leche
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 2/3 cup dulce de leche
- crispearls and graham cracker crumbs (optional)
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, the cinnamon, 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.
- Grease the sides of the pan with oil spray.
- 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.
Dulce de Leche Swirl
- Add the dulce de leche to a medium bowl. Pour 1 cup of batter into the bowl with the dulce de leche, and the cinnamon.
- Stir with a spatula to combine.
- To assemble the cheesecake, pour some of the plain batter on the bottom of the cooled crust, you can pour just enough to cover the bottom.
- Spread spoonfuls of the Dulce de Leche batter on top. Use a spatula to swirl it in.
- Pour more plain batter on top.
- Follow up with more of the Dulce de Leche batter, and swirl again.
- Continue to do this, until you are out of batter.
- Swirl the final batter together on top, tap the pan a few times on the counter to smooth it out.
- 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 65 to 85 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, spoon the dulce de leche on top of the cheesecake.
- Spread with a spatula.
- I sprinkled the top with caramel crispearls and graham cracker crumbs.