My 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 truly is cheesecake taken to the next level. Just wait until you try it!

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 into one amazing dessert by making it turtle style.

A closeup showing the top with caramel and chocolate and roasted pecans

Why is it called Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake?

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

Since we’re on the subject of Turtle style desserts, you may want to check out my Turtle Style Chocolate Dipped Oranges for an easy snack or appetizer for entertaining. They look elegant too!

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

New York style cheesecake simply cannot be beaten. After I made this, my husband said this is absolutely the best New York cheesecake he’s ever had (awww). I think the secret is the addition of heavy whipping cream which makes it extra creamy and light.

There is one rule about a New York cheesecake that my New York 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.

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 side like regular cheesecake.

Perfectly balanced Pumpkin spice flavors

Some pumpkin cheesecakes get overpowered with the spices used. I am very pleased with the balance I’ve achieved, which allows the flavor of the pumpkin to shine through. While this Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake is perfectly delicious adorning its birthday suit (below), it’s even better adorned with all of the toppings!

Pumpkin cheesecake perfectly smooth with no toppings

How to prevent Cheesecake from cracking

If you do want to serve the cheesecake plain and looking pretty, the biggest thing is avoiding the cheesecake from cracking (look up ^ mom, no cracks in my cheesecake). Sometimes it can’t be avoided, but there are steps you can take that can really help so here we go:

  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.

How to bake the perfect Cheesecake

Nothing is foolproof when it comes to baking, but we can certainly follow certain tips to try to achieve greatness. Cheesecake is like a custard and it needs slow, gentle heating and protecting. This is why it is cooked in a water bath.

A water bath is when the pan is placed in a pan of shallow water to slowly heat the cheesecake through. This is also what we call ‘combination cooking’ in the culinary world. We are using both dry and moist cooking methods. Brilliant.

Wrapping the Cheesecake pan in foil

Because a springform pan is used (where the side and bottom of the pan come apart), there is a risk of the water seeping in to the cheesecake. We do not want this, ever. So, for extra insurance, I wrap the outside of the springform pan in foil.

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

How many servings in a 9-inch/23 cm cheesecake?

This depends on the size of the slices. Anywhere from 8-12.

If you’ve tried this Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe. You can also ask a question or leave a comment 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.