My salted caramel cheesecake is perfect for caramel lovers! It has caramel swirled inside and on top, plus plenty of flaky sea salt. Add pecans in the crust for even more flavor! Recipe includes a how-to video!
The Best Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Caramel lovers, you are in for a serious treat! This salted caramel cheesecake isn’t some mediocre slice drizzled with some caramel sauce…no, this cheesecake is bursting with caramel flavor in every single layer!
Why you will LOVE my recipe:
- Incorporates pecans in the crust for even more flavor (but if you don’t like nuts, you can always leave them out, too!).
- Uses my homemade caramel sauce, which is simply incredible. We’ll add this in the cheesecake and on top of it. Just look at that pretty swirl!
- No pre-baking the crust! Yay!
- Includes lots of tips for smooth, crack-free results, so even beginner bakers can be successful.
Want to make your cheesecake even more indulgent? Add a drizzle of chocolate ganache!
What You Need
Room temperature ingredients are extremely important for smooth and creamy final results. Make sure you have the following on hand:
- Cream cheese. Full-fat, brick-style cream cheese is a must here. Do not use the spreadable or low-fat kind! Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, otherwise your cheesecake could turn out lumpy.
- Eggs. Use room temperature eggs and lightly beat them before adding. Make sure to add them one at a time and be very gentle when incorporating so you don’t work too much air into the batter (which can cause cracks!).
- Sour cream. Full-fat greek yogurt would also work. I promise you won’t taste this, but you will notice the subtle tang it provides. To me, cheesecake isn’t cheesecake without it! And yes, this should be room temperature too.
- Caramel sauce. I use my homemade caramel sauce which works great here. Store-bought will work too, but the flavor of the homemade stuff is just incredible! My easy salted caramel sauce would also work just fine here, but I prefer the newer recipe.
- Pecans. Toasted pecans or untoasted pecans will work. While we are adding some to the crust, you could also throw some chopped toasted pecans into the batter of the cheesecake as well!
SAM’S TIP: If you are using my caramel sauce recipe, note that the caramel will begin to slightly spill over the sides of the cheesecake after being cut and as it sits out of refrigeration. Don’t worry–it shouldn’t all run off the cheesecake though, and it will re-firm once it goes back in the fridge.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Salted Caramel Cheesecake
Make the Crust
- Finely chop your pecans using either a knife, food processor, or crush them by whacking with the back of a spoon. Place in a bowl.
- Add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar and stir to combine.
- Pour in the butter and mix until everything is moistened.
- Press into a springform pan, making sure to go high up the sides of the pan. Set this aside–no need to pre-bake!
Make the Cheesecake
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps in this mixture!
- Add the sour cream and vanilla and stir on low speed until everything is smooth.
- Lightly beat one egg with a fork, then stir into the batter. Repeat with the remaining eggs, working one at a time until each egg is just combined.
- Pour half the batter into your prepared crust, then drizzle ¼ cup of caramel sauce overtop.
- Add the remaining cheesecake batter and smooth the surface. Bake at 325F for 50-55 minutes or until almost set; the center will be jiggly but the edges should be set and may have puffed slightly.
- Let the cheesecake sit in the oven with the door open just a few inches for 1 hour. Remove and let cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours.
- Add the remaining caramel sauce on top. I like to pop my cheesecake back in the fridge to let the caramel solidify a bit before slicing–it just yields prettier slices this way!
- Sprinkle with flaky salt, then slice and serve.
SAM’S TIP: For neat slices, use a sharp knife and run it under steaming hot water (and then dry it off) before slicing the cheesecake. Wipe the knife clean, then repeat!
Frequently Asked Questions
My biggest tip for preventing cracks in your cheesecake is to make sure the crust is higher than the cheesecake layer. This allows the crust to shrink with the cheesecake as it cools and removes the tension that can cause cracks.
Speaking of cooling, it’s important to cool your salted caramel cheesecake slowly. I opt to cool mine for an hour in the turned-off oven, then let it sit at room temperature, and finally place in the fridge. Taking your cheesecake directly from the oven to the fridge is sure to cause cracks.
My other tips from my previous cheesecake recipes apply here as well, such as not over-mixing, which can incorporate too much air and can cause cracks. This is especially important when you are incorporating the eggs. Using room temperature ingredients also helps with this immensely!
I typically just store my cheesecakes in their springform pans. To do this, I simply remove the ring once the cheesecake is fully set, serve, then reattach the ring and cover with foil to store.
This cheesecake will last in the fridge (covered, please!) for up to 5 days.
Yes! Place in an airtight container so it doesn’t absorb any odors from the freezer. This cheesecake will keep for several months in the freezer.
Want to go the extra mile? Top your cheesecake with some homemade whipped cream!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
Salted Caramel Cheesecake
- 1 ½ cups (170 g) graham cracker crumbs
- ⅓ cup (40 g) finely chopped pecans (see note)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- 7 tablespoons melted salted butter
- 24 oz (680 g) softened brick-style full-fat cream cheese
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (120 g) sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup (236 ml) thick caramel sauce room temperature, divided (click link for homemade caramel sauce, see note)
- Flaky sea salt for sprinkling optional
For the crust
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, finely chopped pecans, and sugars.1 ½ cups (170 g) graham cracker crumbs, ⅓ cup (40 g) finely chopped pecans (see note), 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, 1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
- Add melted butter to the crumb mixture and mix until crumbs are moistened.7 tablespoons melted salted butter
- Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
For the cheesecake
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and granulated sugar. Use an electric mixer to beat on medium speed until smooth, creamy, and lump-free.24 oz (680 g) softened brick-style full-fat cream cheese, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- Add sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until combined.½ cup (120 g) sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, lightly beat each egg with a fork, then add one at a time to the cheesecake batter, mixing on low speed until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated.3 large eggs
- Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust. Drizzle ¼ cup (59ml) of caramel sauce evenly over the batter, then top with the remaining cheesecake batter.1 cup (236 ml) thick caramel sauce
- Place the pan on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the cheesecake is almost set (center will be jiggly like Jell-O, edges may puff slightly).
- Turn off the oven, crack the door several inches, and let the cheesecake cool inside for 1 hour.
- Remove from the oven to cool at room temperature until cooled completely then top the cheesecake with the remaining caramel sauce and transfer it to the refrigerator to chill completely (6 hours or overnight).
- Once the cheesecake is fully chilled, remove the springform ring, sprinkle the surface of the cheesecake with flaky sea salt if desired, then slice and serve. To store, reattach the springform ring and cover with foil.Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
PecansYou can measure pecans before or after chopping. You can actually chop them, or I’ve also had success placing them in a plastic baggie and smacking them with a rolling pin or the back of a spoon until they’re fine. For nut-free cheesecake, simply omit the pecans, no other changes needed.
Caramel sauceI highly recommend making your own caramel sauce using my caramel topping recipe.
StoringStore covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.