This incredibly decadent No-Bake Caramel Turtle Brownie Bottom Cheesecake is nestled on top of a baked brownie and smothered in melted chocolate, homemade caramel sauce and chopped pecans.
Disclaimer: ONLY the cheesecake portion of this recipe is no-bake. The brownie crust will need to be baked. If you want a FULLY no-bake cheesecake, you will need to use a different crust recipe. See crust variations WITH RECIPES below!
Let's talk cheesecake. Have you ever made a no-bake cheesecake before? If not, you are in for a real treat! Baking a cheesecake can sound like such a daunting and intimidating task because of all the steps involved and things that can go wrong like over-mixing, cracked tops, etc. This is the most incredible cheesecake recipe that requires no baking! The flavor is exactly the same as a baked cheesecake. The texture is a bit lighter than a traditional, more firm cheesecake, but I promise you won't even miss it once you taste it!
Why you'll love this recipe
- No-bake cheesecake, you guessed it, does not need to be baked! Perfect for those warm days you don't want to keep your oven on for too long.
- The brownie crust DOES need to be baked though. Short-cut with a brownie mix.
- The brownie bottom combined with he caramel cheesecake filling is absolutely delicious.
- The texture of this no-bake cheesecake is so smooth and creamy, it's addicting!
- This no-bake cheesecake recipe is the perfect make-ahead dessert since it needs time to chill in the fridge!
No-Bake Cheesecake Ingredients
- Cream Cheese: Room temperature, regular full-fat cream cheese for best results.
- Sugar: I use a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar for a deeper flavor.
- Prepared Caramel sauce: Recipe provided below! (You can also use store-bought.)
- Frozen whipped topping: I like to use frozen whipped topping aka cool whip rather than homemade whipped cream because it makes the cheesecake much more sturdy.
- Spices: Cinnamon & Nutmeg
- Brownie Crust: Use your favorite box of brownies. You can also use this base recipe to make homemade brownies for the crust!
Homemade Caramel Sauce Ingredients
- Sugar: Granulated sugar
- Heavy cream: For smooth richness.
- Butter: Unsalted butter to control salt content in this recipe.
- Vanilla Extract: For flavor.
- Salt: Offsets sweetness a bit.
Need a no-bake crust? Recipes here!
- 24 Oreo cookies
- 5 tbs unsalted butter, melted
- 18 graham crackers
- 2 tbs light brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
For both recipes, pulse cookies/graham crackers into a fine crumb in a food processor. Add rest of ingredients until crumbs are moistened. Press into prepared springform pan. No need to bake! Continue on with the recipe as directed.
Substitutions & Variations
- Sub store-bought caramel sauce if you do not want to make it from scratch.
- Leave out spices and caramel in the filling for a classic cheesecake flavored no-bake cheesecake!
Cheesecake Topping Ideas
- To make your cheesecake "Caramel Turtle" style you will need:
- chopped pecans
- prepared caramel sauce
- hot fudge sauce
- Flakey sea salt
- Chopped nuts of choice
- Toasted coconut
How do you make an easy no-bake cheesecake?
Tips for making a perfect no-bake cheesecake
- Use high-quality ingredients: If you splurge on anything in this recipe, let it be the cream cheese!
- Speaking of cream cheese, letting it come to room temperature for about an hour or two before you plan to make the cheesecake will ensure that it will incorporate well with no cold lumps.
- Give the cheesecake time to set up properly. If you don't wait long enough, it will be too soft to cut into slice. While still delicious, you won't have nice clean slices.
- Use a springform pan for easy removal of the cheesecake.
- No-bake cheesecake is the perfect canvas for all sorts of toppings!
How to make homemade caramel sauce
Store cheesecake in the refrigerator wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
After cheesecake is set in the refrigerator, wrap the entire pan in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. It stores extremely well.
Yes, you can make no-bake cheesecake ahead of time. In fact, it will need to be made at least 6 hours ahead of time, or overnight, so that it has time to set and firm up.
I don't recommend this as it will not set evenly.
Yes! Without toppings, wrap the whole pan of cheesecake in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and it will be just as good as the day you made it!
Sure! I would only recommend homemade whipped cream, DEFINITELY not the store-bought can. Be sure to beat your whipped cream until stiff peaks form to ensure it will give the cheesecake enough structure to firm up and cut into slices
More no-bake recipes you'll love
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No-Bake Caramel Turtle Brownie Bottom Cheesecake
- 1 box brownie mix + ingredients on the box
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tbs water
- 6 tbs heavy cream
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch salt
- 16 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- ¼ cup prepared caramel sauce*
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- pinch nutmeg
- 4 oz cool whip
- ¼ cup pecans chopped
- ¼ cup caramel sauce
- ¼ cup hot fudge sauce
- Preheat oven and grease a 9" springform pan. Optional: Cut out a circle of parchment paper and line the bottom of the pan for easier removal.
For the brownie crust
- Combine all brownie ingredients until smooth, pour into prepared pan and bake according to manufacturer's instructions on the box.
For the Caramel Sauce
- In a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot, heat water and sugar on HIGH heat and whisk just until the sugar is dissolved. It's important that you have high heat or you run the risk of seizing up the sugar, turning it into a solid mess.
- Once sugar is dissolved, whisk gently and constantly until the melted sugar turns a dark amber color, this will take about 5 minutes or so. The darker the amber color, the more intense caramel flavor you will have.
- After it turns dark amber, slowly and carefully pour in heavy cream. It will bubble up violently so you will need your whisk to whisk it very fast until it comes back down and it will start looking like caramel at this point. Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla. Allow to cool completely.
For the cheesecake filling
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese and both sugars until smooth. Stir in the ¼ cup of caramel sauce and spices until combined. Fold in cool whip and mix until everything is incorporated and distributed completely. Top the baked and cooled brownie with the cheesecake mixture and spread into an even layer. Chill in refrigerator for minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
- Before serving, garnish cheesecake with remaining caramel sauce, hot fudge sauce and chopped pecans.
- *You can use store-bought caramel sauce, if desired.
- Storage: Wrap tight with plastic wrap or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Without toppings, wrap entire pan in a layer of plastic wrap and then a layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Top with caramel sauce, chocolate and pecans before serving.
The provided nutritional information is an estimate per serving. Accuracy is not guaranteed.