Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake is an extra creamy cheesecake with a graham cracker crust made New York style. Topped with caramel, chocolate sauce and toasted pecans, this is cheesecake taken to the next level.

A slice of pumpkin cheesecake on a plate

It’s pumpkin season and cheesecake is my husbands favorite, in particular New York cheesecake. I’ve been promising him a cheesecake for some time, so I combined both of his favorites all into one amazing dessert by making it turtle.

A closeup showing the top with caramel and chocolate and roasted pecans
Why is it called turtle pumpkin cheesecake?

Original turtle candies are pecans and caramel dipped in chocolate and their shape looks like a turtle from the early 1900’s. So apparently it seems that any dessert that features pecans, caramel and chocolates are popularly labeled as ‘turtle’.

Pumpkin cheesecake from overhead decorated with caramel and chocolate sauce stripes and pecan halves

What is the difference between a New York cheesecake and  regular cheesecake?

New York cheesecake uses heavy whipping cream that is whipped to make it light and airy. Regular cheesecake does not use this method and the cheesecake is denser using more egg yolks. Also, New York cheesecake does not have the crust up the sides like regular cheesecake.

New York cheesecake cannot be beat and my husband he said this is the best New York cheesecake he’s had (awww).  I think the secret is the addition of heavy whipping cream which makes it extra creamy. There is one rule about a New York cheesecake that my NY born husband told me, the crust does not go up the sides. I don’t know why, that’s just how they do it. Good to know.

Some pumpkin cheesecakes get overpowered with the spices used, but I am very pleased with the balance which allows the flavor of the pumpkin to shine through. While this pumpkin turtle cheesecake is perfectly delicious in its birthday suit (below), it is even better adorned with all of the toppings.

Pumpkin cheesecake perfectly smooth with no toppings

Cheesecake baking tips to prevent cracking: If you do want to serve the cheesecake naked and looking pretty, the biggest thing is avoiding the cheesecake cracking (look up ^ mom, no cracks). Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but there are steps you can take that can really help:

  1. Oven temperature calibration. Get a thermometer so your oven is really at the actual temperature it is supposed to be because not all ovens are correct.
  2. The cream cheese needs to be as soft as it can otherwise it will not mix well and because this cheesecake has an orange hue, any un-mixed cream cheese will stand out.
  3. Bake in a water bath. This is a large oven-proof vessel filled with water that the cheesecake sits it. The steam helps keep it moist.
  4. Don’t open the oven door!  A change in temperature can contribute to cracking. If you want to look, hopefully you a lovely window in your oven door.
  5. Bring the temperature down gradually when the cheesecake is done. Even a sudden temperature change from oven to room temperature can cause cracking so leave it in the oven with the oven off until to help cool it gradually.

These are my tips that helped achieve this perfect cheesecake and I hope they work for you.

If you’ve tried this Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out in the comments below. I love to hear from my readers!

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Yield: 12 -16

Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake

A white plate decorated with chocolate and caramel with a slice of pumpkin turtle cheesecake

Extra creamy cheesecake with a graham cracker crust made New York style. Topped with caramel, chocolate sauce and toasted pecans.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 15 Graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 32 ounces (904 grams) cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cups (266 grams) granulated sugar
  • 15 ounces (425 grams) 1 can, pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (150 grams) pecan halves, roasted at 350° for 8 minutes then cooled
  • Chocolate sauce
  • Caramel sauce


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/177°C.
  2. Grease the sides and bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan. Add a circle of parchment paper to the bottom of the pan and wrap the outside with foil.
  3. Add the graham crackers to food processor and blend until they are crumbs. With the processor running drizzle in butter until well mixed.
  4. Press the cracker crumbs into the base of the pan, not up the sides.Press firmly until even.
  5. In medium bowl mix the pumpkin puree with the cinnamon, ground ginger and cloves.
  6. To a mixer (or a large bowl to use a hand mixer) add the cream cheese and sugar. Mix on low until sugar is mixed in. While mixing the cream cheese add the cream, then the pumpkin and vanilla. Mix in the eggs one at at time Don't over beat, stop when everything is well mixed.
  7. Place the springform pan in a deep roasting dish and fill the springform pan with the batter.
  8. Open the oven and pull out the rack, place the roasting pan on the rack and add hot water to the roasting pan until it reaches half way up the side of the springform pan.
  9. Bake for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and leave for 1 more hour without opening the door.
  10. The cheesecake should have pulled away from the sides of the pan.
  11. Carefully remove from the roasting pan from the oven, then lift the cheesecake out onto a towel and remove the foil, there will be water in the foil.
  12. Place the cheesecake onto a cooling rack and allow to cool for 2 hours in the pan until it is room temperature.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight in the pan, uncovered.
  14. Roast pecans on a baking sheet at 350°F for 8 minutes, allow to completely cool.
  15. Serve topped with pecans, chocolate and caramel sauce.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 652Total Fat 35gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 12gCholesterol 135mgSodium 633mgCarbohydrates 65gFiber 16gSugar 27gProtein 26g

This nutrition calculation is provided by Nutronix that is only a guideline and not intended for any particular diet.

Pumpkin Walnut Muffins on a cooling rack