No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake

This creamy no-bake caramel cheesecake is nestled on top of a baked brownie and smothered in lots of chocolate, caramel sauce and chopped pecans.

No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake - Sprinkle Some Sugar

Before I get started on this glorious cheesecake, story time. So, this weekend we had Mike’s sister & fiance’s housewarming party. We were all ready to go and as I go to put on John’s shirt he flung his arms up in the air and poked me RIGHT in the eyeball. I thought I was fine even though I was in so much pain. I was like, eh, I’ll just go and hopefully it will be better in an hour or so. Three hours went by and I was in even more pain than before and could barely open my eye! Everyone urged me to go to the ER so off Mike and I went. Turns out I have a scratched cornea! So freakin painful! Luckily, by the next day (Sunday) it was soooo much better, just pretty sore and blurry but I could open it. Thank the Lord! And now today it’s pretty much better, just still pretty blurry. Such a nightmare, my little guy is lucky he’s so cute!

No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake - Sprinkle Some Sugar

Anyways, let’s talk cheesecake. Creamy, delicious, incredibly decadent, rich caramel cheesecake with a brownie bottom. And it’s NO-BAKE! Seriously, you guys.. How have I never made a no-bake cheesecake before? I always thought it would just come out not even tasting like cheesecake or with an odd texture or something but I was completely wrong! This has changed my cheesecake making for LIFE. I’ll never spend a million hours making a regular cheesecake again because there is just no need to. This cheesecake comes out extremely creamy and has so much amazing flavor thanks to the homemade caramel sauce baked inside. This is my new favorite cheesecake especially because it is ridiculously easy!

The texture of a no-bake cheesecake is slightly softer I guess you can say than a traditional cheesecake. It’s just not as firm. I guarantee your guests would NEVER know that this cheesecake is no-bake! It’s so delicious, it’s impossible to tell the difference!

No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake - Sprinkle Some Sugar

For the brownie I just used a box mix. You can use whatever you’d like, homemade, box, whatever. Once the brownie is baked up and cooled completely, just beat all of the cheesecake ingredients together, spread them on top of the brownie in an even layer and you’re DONE!! Garnish with whatever you’d like once the cheesecake is set. If you’re making this “turtle” version, you’ll need chopped pecans, caramel and hot fudge topping. I love making caramel from scratch, I’ll have the recipe posted below.

No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake - Sprinkle Some Sugar

If you are skeptical about no-bake cheesecakes, I URGE you to give this no-bake caramel cheesecake a try! You will look at cheesecake making in a completely different light. Also, if you are scared of making a traditional cheesecake, this is the perfect way for you to start!

(Let’s count how many times I said “cheesecake” in this post…)


No-Bake Brownie Bottom Turtle Cheesecake

Yield: 1 9" cheesecake


Brownie Layer
1 box brownie mix + ingredients on the box (I love Ghiardelli Triple Fudge!) or homemade
Caramel Sauce
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
Caramel Cheesecake
16 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup caramel sauce
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
4 oz cool whip
chopped pecans
caramel sauce
hot fudge sauce


Grease a 9" springform pan. Combine all brownie ingredients until smooth, pour into prepared pan and bake according to manufacturer's instructions on box or recipe you are using.

While brownie is baking, prepare caramel sauce. In a small pot, heat sugar with water on medium-high heat whisking and swirling the pot until sugar is all dissolved. Once dissolved, keep swirling the pan often keeping an eye on the color until it turns a slightly dark amber color (the darker the color, the bolder the caramel flavor. Do not whisk! Only swirl the pot using the handle. You do not want to disturb the caramelization process too much or it will seize up and you will need to start over. Once it's the color you desire, slowly and carefully pour in the cream. The mixture will bubble up violently for a few seconds and once it settles down, whisk until smooth. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, vanilla and salt. Set caramel to the side to allow it to cool completely and thicken up slightly. Once brownie is done, remove outer ring of pan and allow brownie to cool completely also.

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and both sugars until smooth. Stir in the 3/4 cup of caramel sauce and spices until combined. Fold in cool whip and mix until everything is incorporated and distributed completely. Place the outer ring to the springform pan back on. Top the baked brownie with the cheesecake mixture and spread into an even layer. Chill in refrigerator for 3-4 hours.

Before serving, garnish cheesecake with (leftover) caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and chopped pecans.

This No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake will stay creamy and fresh for up to 6 days stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

No-bake cheesecake recipe slightly adapted from Life, Love & Sugar.


No-Bake Caramel Turtle Cheesecake - Sprinkle Some Sugar



  1. says

    I am a sucker for cheesecake, I Just love it. Thanks for a new recipe idea to try for dessert or a special occasion. My chocolate loving family members will be very happy!

  2. Megan says

    I’m trying to make the caramel right now. I dissolved the sugar and water and it boiled and then turned crystaly again, now there are chunks… Am I doing this right? Can you list your steps for making the caramel sauce please?

      • Jessica says

        I’m sorry this happened, guys. This has happened to me before and I usually find that it happens when I stir the mixture too much. Here’s what you can do to fix this problem: Follow the first step of whisking the water/sugar mixture to dissolve the sugar. After this step, you need to just swirl the pan (ONLY) a few times and not whisk at all. By whisking and stirring too much, this disturbs the caramelization process causing it to crystallize. Hope this helps!! Did either of you get it to work eventually?

    • Jessica says

      I’m sorry but I don’t understand your question.. As the instructions state for the filling, you beat the cream cheese and both sugars until smooth, stir in caramel sauce and then fold in the cool whip. That mixture goes on top of the cooled, baked brownie. Hope this helps!

      • christie says

        I just made the cheesecake left it in the fridge overnight and most of today. But when went to cut the cake it was a soupy and unable to cut. Shouldn’t it have stiffened a little bit?
        Followed the instructions.

        • Jessica says

          Yes, it should have. While no-bake cheesecake is a much softer cheesecake than traditional, it should now have been soupy or unable to cut. Perhaps you didn’t allow the caramel to cool to room temperature?

  3. Susan flynn says

    This looks delicious! I would love to make it this weekend but we live int the UK and don’t have Cool Whip, could I use fresh cream that I have whipped? x

  4. Ami says

    how long will the extra caramel sauce keep? At least a day or two? I want to make it a few days ahead of Easter. Thanks!

  5. SusAn says

    I made this for a family bbq thiS weekenD and it was a hit ! I may freeze it instead of just cool in the fridge as we thought it was quite soft. Very much enjoyed by all.

  6. Cynthia says

    Maybe you can tell me what I did wrong. My cheesecake layer is about half the height of yours and too soft. Do you think putting it in the freezer for a bit would help the texture?

  7. Carole B. says

    Sorry to hear about your eye – I had same injury caused by a snapping plastic skirt hanger – VERY painful!

    This recipe immediately made me think of the turtle pie we used to get at the ice cream shop (no longer made/very different now) which was my spouse’s fav – think I’ll try this for Father’s Day. Love that it is easy too!

    • Jessica says

      Thanks! Ouch, I forgot about that little eye incident lol, so painful. This is perfect for him then! Even though it’s not ice cream, cheesecake is the next best thing.

  8. Amerie says

    This looks so yummy! I was a little disappointed that this “no bake” dessert has a BAKED brownie crust. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure it’s worth it (and I plan to try it one day), but I was looking for a truly no bake recipe. I may try using a pre-made chocolate cookie pie crust instead (no oven will be available so have to sub something for the brownie crust). Thanks for sharing!

    • Jessica says

      The No-Bake was intended for the cheesecake because you don’t have to bake it. Sorry for the confusion! Yes, a pre-made cookie crust will be delicious too. I hope you enjoy it!

  9. Izabella says

    I think the ratio for the caramel sauce is incorrect. It won’t thicken as written. Looking into other caramel sauce recipes… they call for 1 cup of sugar (brown) to 1/2 cup to cream.

    • Jessica says

      Nope, it is not incorrect. I use this recipe all the time. It thickens up perfectly when it comes to room temperature.

  10. Nawal says

    Hi Jessica! This looks divine!!

    I am planning to make this on coming weekend. As you said above in response to one comment, that instead of cool whip we can use fresh whipped cream as well, will we be required to whip the cream with extra sugar (apart from what is required in the cheesecake filling i.e. 1/2 cup granulated sugar & 1/2 cup brown sugar) or simply whipping the fresh cream will be fine?


  11. Deborah says

    LOVE this cheesecake.. it’s everything you promised and more in the flavor department. It is absolutely decadent and looks so impressive too. The only thing I’d change is the name ~ you do have to bake the brownie crust, so the no bake name is misleading.

    • Jessica says

      The “no-bake” is aimed towards the cheesecake portion of the recipe. If you have an issue with baking the brownie, simply pour the cheesecake mixture into a chocolate graham cracker crust.

  12. Emily says

    This tasted and looked great. However I ended up having to buy the caramel sauce after failing to make it myself twice. I think that if the instructions were a little more clear I probably could have figured it out. Also, the cheesecake part never stiffened up, even after I put it in the freezer for a couple of hours. It was very hard to cut and serve. I followed the instructions, so not sure why the cheesecake wasn’t as stiff as it should have been (when I took it out of the freezer, it was the same texture as when I first mixed the ingredients together). Tasted good, but was still disappointed

    • Donna says

      Usually when we make a cheesecake and is to runny we gradually add powdered sugar to help thicken. Do sugar little bit at a time for thickness

  13. Renae says

    Has anyone tried to freeze this?? Wanting to make for Christmas baking but don’t want it to go bad before I can get all my goodies out.

    • Jessica says

      You can definitely freeze it! Make sure it is wrapped very well with plastic wrap and foil. Just remove it from the freezer the morning of and it should be perfect in time for dessert.

  14. Rebecca says

    Indeed it is delicious! I made this for hubby’s birthday because he loves turtle anything. Actually made it twice now. I used one egg with the brownie mix was still plenty thick. First time I melted caramel candies with sweetened condensed milk for the caramel sauce. I had plenty leftover I could use to dip apples in. Then I actually froze it for 4-5 hours which didn’t set it as much as I would have like. I put on the topping before serving. We really enjoyed it. I refrozen the leftovers and it was better the next day. The caramel got kinda chewy, the crust too but I liked the filling extra firm better. Now I am trying the caramel sauce in the recipe. Will definitely refrigerate the sauce overnight it is runny, maybe my bad. Either way thank you for the recipe, I’m sure I will keep making it as everyone loves it!

  15. Tessa Stokes says

    I didn’t use both sugars in the mix as I thought it would be too sweet. And it was the right thing to do , as it was so rich even without the brown sugar. It one of the BEST puddings/cheesecakes I’ve ever made & all my family LOVED it. Try it everyone , you will not be disappointed.

  16. Cheryl says

    I made this and while it was delicious, it was extremely “goopy,” for lack of a better word. It did not have nice clean, straight edges when I cut it–it was super soft, and started to sink into the open spots as soon as I’d remove a piece. I think I still have the pics; I can send you’re curious. I accidentally used “light” Cool Whip; do you think that could make that much difference? Need to make another cheesecake again today for a family function (boyfriend’s family) tomorrow and would love to try this again but am nervous….

    • Cheryl says

      P.S. I’m sure this is assumed but I followed the recipe to the letter other than the “light” whipped topping oversight.

    • Jessica says

      I’m sorry that happened to you! I am unsure if the light cool whip played a role in it being goopy.. I have had a few readers tell me that this happened to them also, although I’m unsure why, they had great success freezing it for an hour before serving for a firmer texture – it will still very creamy. I hope you decide to make it again! If you do, I’d love to hear how it came out.

  17. Morgan says

    This cheesecake turned out okay. Has way to much cinnamon in it, it ended up tasting like a cinnamon roll with caramel which isn’t bad just not what I wanted. Definitely have to freeze it for it to set up.

  18. Louise says

    Lol, it looked amazing and said no-bake then the first instruction was to bake something. Moving on.

    • Jessica says

      “This creamy no-bake caramel cheesecake is nestled on top of a baked brownie and smothered in lots of chocolate, caramel sauce and chopped pecans.” So sorry you’ll have to miss out.

      • Lexi says

        Geez people. You don’t have to bake the brownie,use something else… I don’t know why everyone is giving her such a hard time, it is still a no bake cheesecake and she was kind enough to share it with you

  19. Judi says

    There are a couple of ways you can make this cheesecake a little firmer. First you can add a little unflavored gelatin you to the Cool Whip before you mix it into everything else. Or as an alternative: there is a powdered mix you can make called Dream Whip in the baking aisle. Instead of following the directions on the package for making it, short your liquid a bit and it will make a whipped topping that is considerably stiffer. I keep it on hand because it takes so little space to store.

  20. Brenda says

    This certainly was a BIG hit for this thanksgiving dessert. I was nervous trying first time making and serving to my guests. Wow so delish !! We have more company next week for dinner and my husband has requested to make again. I’m sure it will freeze well too. I’ve never made a cheese cake before. Thanks for the recipe.

  21. Desiree Arpin says

    I made this dessert for the first time for Thanksgiving at my inlaws. It was a huge hit!! I had the best dessert. Thank you so much for this recipe.


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