Caramel Turtle Cheesecake

The perfect cheesecake for caramel fans.
One of my other bucket list cheesecakes is modeled after my favorite candy ever: caramel turtles. Chewy caramely goodness, who could ask for more? The plate can even be decorated prior to adding the cheesecake for that added bit of fancy.

This gourmet cheesecake begins with a triple nut crust covered with a thin caramel cream layer, and a chocolate filling. Sugar Free Pecan Delight candy and fresh whipped cream can be used as an optional garnish.

Of major importance before we even begin: You are looking at a full-on gourmet cheesecake that took me incredible effort to put together. As such, while it might seem unfair to saddle you with such a multi-step process, it is worth it. This is a special occasion gourmet, rich, decadent cheesecake. I myself have an incredibly difficult time eating more than a small portion at a time due to its richness. So while you might scoff at the serving size or the amount of prep work, ingredients and steps, this recipe is not your average cheesecake recipe. Anything worth doing is worth doing with panache.

My preferred spring form pan for this one is the 12″, since it allows easier slicing and for the 16 servings with greater ease.  I haven’t had to add extra nut crust to cover the larger spring form, nor have I had to add baking time, but please note that your experience and times for baking may vary with changes in spring form size.

This recipe does call for pecans in place of almonds, due to the more dense flavor of the pecan. Purchase pecans in the baking aisle.

Please see this post for standard cocoa conversions for semi sweet chocolate, depending on how you plan to proceed (with low carb products or with unsweetened cocoa). This recipe will require a full 8 ounces of ganache.

For Splenda users: Replace bulk of sugar alcohols with Splenda baking mix to taste.
Stevia and other sweetener users: Replace erythritol with stevia based on your product to taste.

Portion Control: You can freeze this cheesecake in slices (I use cling wrap and then bag after the cheesecake has been in the fridge for at least a day so dry it slightly) or you can bake into smaller cheesecakes for portion control. 

At only about 4 net carbs, this is really a wonderful dessert and a little goes a long way, due to its richness.

Cleochatra’s Gourmet Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cheesecake

For the Crust:
1/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/3 cup cashews
1/3 cup pecans
2 Tbsp erythritol
4 Tbsp butter, melted

1 cup low carb Caramel Sauce*
4 Tbsp heavy whipping cream

1 cup chopped pecans

For the Filling:
4 8 ounce packages cream cheese
1/2 cup erythritol
1 cup xylitol
4 eggs
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup (4 ounces) low carb chocolate chips or four ounces Lindt 85% chocolate bar**
4 Tbsp cream
2 Tbsp butter

Making the crust:
Process nuts together until resembling coarse crushed graham crackers. Mix nuts, butter and sweetener. Press in bottom of a 9”-12” spring form pan. Place in fridge to cool for 30 minutes.

Blend caramel topping with cream. Spread over crust. Sprinkle 1 cup chopped pecans over caramel.

Making the Filling:
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a mixer, beat cream cheese with erythritol and xylitol on medium for about one minute. On low, add eggs, one at a time, until just blended. Finally, add sour cream and vanilla and beat just until blended (10-30 seconds).

Melt chocolate chips with heavy whipping cream and butter in microwavable bowl on high for 30 seconds. Stir until a thick chocolate liquid forms. Add to cheesecake batter and blend.

Pour into crust. Bake until set, 75-90 minutes. Cool on rack for 15 minutes before moving to chill in the refrigerator.(I usually remove the sides of the spring form after it’s been in the fridge for an hour or so).

Optional: Pipe room temperature chocolate ganache and caramel sauce over cooled cheesecake to decorate. You can also add a chopped Russel Stover Sugar Free Pecan Delight to each slice as garnish (see image below).

Makes 16 servings.

Nutritional Information for one serving using Lindt chocolate bar: Calories: 439, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 1g, Sugar Alcohols: 20g, Net Carbs: 4g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 41g

Nutritional Information for one serving using Chocoperfection chocolate chips: Calories: 508, Carbohydrates: 31g, Fiber: 7g, Sugar Alcohols: 20g, Net Carbs: 4g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 47g

Nutritional Information for one serving using semisweet cocoa substitute: Calories: 448, Carbohydrates: 26g, Fiber: 1.5g, Sugar Alcohols: 21g, Net Carbs: 3.5g, Protein: g, Fat: 47g

Russel Stover Pecan Delight  as garnish adds: Calories: 75, Carbohydrates:9.5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugar Alcohols: 7.5g, Net Carbs: 2g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 6g

Fresh whipped cream with erythritol adds roughly 2 carbs 

*I used Walden Farms Calorie Free Caramel Dip for this recipe. If you have no caramel dip, you could skip the caramel step altogether, or substitute the caramel layer with a chocolate ganache and a sugar free caramel syrup as the sweetener in the ganache. Make sure to account for the difference in the nutritional information.

**Both Lindt 85% chocolate and the Chocoperfection chocolate chips yield a quality result for chocolate in a recipe. It is important to note here that you can also make your own cocoa chocolate substitute. To use cocoa conversion, see this post

Ganache and caramel piped through a cake decorating tip in crosshatch pattern

Feel free to use the recipe for your own private purpose at home, but please only link to this recipe online to prevent my having to compete with my own work for pageviews. Thanks so much.

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  1. danyelle6974 says

    What are these caramel turtles then? LOL I'm in the UK.

    I have the English Toffee and the Vanilla (they were out of the French Vanilla) Da Vinci Sugar Free Syrup.

    About the Da Vinci's: Is the Caramel any good? What about the Butterscotch? They also do a Pancake?
    It costs about £8GBP for me to get a bottle so I like recommendations first LOL

  2. cleochatra says

    I haven't used the caramel but I've heard the Torani and the Davincis brands are both decent.

    I couldn't tell you about the butterscotch or pancake flavors. Pancake is where I draw the line. lol!

    Russell Stover's sells caramel turtles. They're chocolate, pecans and caramel. You don't need them to make the cheesecake. They're just a topping option that further represents the inspiration for the recipe.

  3. I have used all the flavors of syrups and they are very good.. lemon was my least fav… but ok..

  4. Erica Gott, aka Erratica says

    OMG, this looks fantastic! I'll be making this one when I get back to Texas, Jamie.

  5. Keepbooks2 says

    Danyelle, you can get the Russell Stovers and the Turtles at

    The fresh baked low carb rolls and the Mama Lupes Low Carb Tortillas they carry are rather expensive, but well worth it.

  6. danyelle6974 says

    Can't find stovers or turtles when I search What am I missing? LOL If poss please post a link…

  7. I just fainted from joy!

  8. My HCG Diet says

    Uhmmmm, yeah, I am happily married with children but I think I love you. For sure I love your recipes!

  9. The Lindt chocolate bar(85%) is only 3.5 oz. Think it will make a diff?

  10. Cathy Piacentino says

    Good morning. I don’t use xylitol as it is deadly to pets. Can you recommend a substitution?


  11. I have to say, this was the best cheesecake i have ever made. I made it last night and it was a hit in our household. Didn’t even realize today was national cheesecake day. We just celebrated a day early. I had put extra pieces in the freezer so I pulled some out so we could have a piece on this special day. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!

  12. I’m in the process of baking this Caramel Turtle Cheesecake AS I TYPE. I have meticulously followed the directions so I have spent quite a bit of time on it so far. I blended the various sugars (sub.sweetener/xylitol blend and brown sugar), made the caramel sauce, and assembled the crust last night. Then this afternoon I mixed up the cream cheese and melted the chocolate and popped in the oven (at 325 degrees, of course). I used to sell cheesecakes and I have dearly missed the smell throughout the house. However, I am a bit concerned since I have now checked on the doneness four times! Wasn’t done enough at 1 hour, so I added the additional 30 minutes. No biggie since it’s still per instructions. I have now added two more 20 minute times and have had to cover the top with ballooned up aluminum foil to keep the top from burning but it’s still very jiggly in the center! Ack!! I’m keeping my fingers crossed as I have $10 in Xylitol ALONE invested in this recipe. [Updates to come later if my comment doesn’t *disappear* like the last 2 have!]

  13. I am making this divine looking cheesecake this weekend! Can not wait to try it 🙂

  14. Wow! I’ll be making this for Mother’s Day! THANK YOU FOR THIS RECIPE!

  15. I made the list for the items I didn’t have. I’ll let you know how it turned out after we have some. Probably Sunday. This sound fabulous and as with all of your recipes and tips, I’m sure it will be.

    My sister, Niki and I recently started the induction phase, so finding this was allowable made me tickled pink! Thanks for all of your hard work to bring us great, healthy recipes.

  16. I think you’re going to really love this dish, and you’ll spoil everyone else in the process. I froze extra sections of the cake because it’s so rich, and they freeze/thaw beautifully!


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