Go Back
5 from 2 votes
mini turtle cheesecakes with caramel and ganache and pecans
Mini Turtle Cheesecakes
Prep Time
45 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins
These Mini Turtle Cheesecakes have a buttery graham cracker crust and a creamy vanilla cheesecake filling. These mini cheesecakes are finished off with rich caramel sauce and chocolate ganache.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: mini turtle cheesecakes
Servings: 12 mini cheesecakes
Author: Michelle
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10-12 graham cracker sheets)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 8oz cream cheese bricks, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
  • 6 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
Other Toppings:
  • Caramel Sauce (or homemade)
  • Pecans
  • Sea Salt, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  1. Mix graham cracker crumbs and sugar together. Add in melted butter and vanilla extract, then mix until combined.
  2. Add 1-2 Tbsp of graham cracker crumbs to each muffin cup. Using the back of a Tbsp or your hands, press the crust into an even layer in each cup. (I like a thick graham cracker crust, so I used about 2 Tbsp in each muffin cup.) Set aside.
  1. With a standing mixer or a hand mixer, beat cream cheese until light, fluffy, and smooth.
  2. Add in the sugar and mix until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Next, add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add in vanilla extract and mix until everything is combined and the cheesecake mixture is silky smooth (remember to scrape down the sides as needed).

  5. Divide the cheesecake batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling each cup about 2/3 - 3/4 of the way full.
  6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the centers of each mini cheesecake jiggles just slightly when the pan is gently moved.
  7. Turn off the oven, crack open the oven door, and let the cheesecakes slowly cool in the oven for 45-60 minutes (this helps prevent each cheesecake from cracking).
  8. Continue to let the cheesecakes cool to room temperature on the counter.
  9. Then, chill in the fridge at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.*
  1. About 1 hour before serving your cheesecakes, make the ganache.
  2. Place chopped chocolate in a heat safe bowl. Set aside.

  3. Heat heavy whipping cream in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl until it is hot, but not boiling.

  4. Pour heavy whipping cream over the chopped chocolate and cover with a towel. Let the mixture sit 2-3 minutes. (The towel traps the heat inside, which helps melt the chocolate.)
  5. Then, whisk the mixture together until the ganache is completely smooth.
  1. Add a dollop of caramel sauce on top of each cooled cheesecake.

  2. Next, add a dollop of ganache on top of the caramel. Carefully spread the ganache over the caramel so it’s almost completely covered.
  3. Press a pecan in the center of the ganache on each cheesecake.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
  5. Chill cheesecakes for 30 minutes or so before serving (this helps the ganache set up quicker).
  6. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Recipe Notes

*Alternatively, once the cheesecakes have cooled to room temperature, you can top with caramel, ganache, and pecans. Then, you can chill the whole thing for at least 4 hours before serving.
*Just note that the caramel and ganache will be firmer/harder if you do it this way.