Cake 5: Turtle Cheesecake

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So if you follow the FiftyTwoCakes Twitter (if you don’t you should), or check this blog regularly, you may have read that I nearly burned my house down last night. At least that’s what my neighbors think. Apparently my oven got some peach juice or something dripped in it from the last cake, because it was smoking non-stop throughout this cake! Terrible! My whole house is still smoky, and I have the door propped open with the fan pointed outward in desperate hopes that I’ll be able to breathe non-noxious air any minute now. Maybe the funds generated in this week’s “Cash for Cake” box should go toward some heavy duty oven cleaner. Ha!

Other than the fire code concerns, I think cake #5 – a rich, creamy, delicious turtle cheesecake – turned out great! Well… taste-wise anyway. I got in a hurry and forgot to grease the pan… and then I got in a hurry and opened the springform pan too soon. I served the damn thing anyway, but it is just further evidence that my biggest downfalls on this cake project so far have been PLANNING and PATIENCE. One of these days I will make a perfect cake. *sigh*


  • 2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 5 ounces evaporated milk
  • 14 oz. caramel chips or chunks
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • Chocolate glaze or syrup


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (don’t make the same mistakes I did!). Mix the vanilla wafer crumbs and melted butter together and spread in the bottom of the greased 9-inch round springform pan. Bake this for about 10 minutes while you mix the batter. Melt the caramels with the evaporated milk, and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. Pour it over the vanilla wafer crust and sprinkle it with the chopped pecans. In a large bowl blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well-blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, and blend well. Blend in the semisweet chocolate chips and mix well. (You can also melt the chocolate chips and blend it in that way and get a delicious dark turtle cheesecake – more traditional – but I didn’t this time. Next time and from here on out I definitely will.) Pour the batter over the pecans. Bake for 40 minutes. This thing is decadent.

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Heather is an advertising professional in Kansas City. She is a vegetarian food-lover who finds joy in cooking, baking and finding new restaurants in new cities. She leads a pack of animals, including her beagle Ford, her shepherd-collie-retriever mix, Otto, and cat, Ahab.

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6 Replies to “Cake 5: Turtle Cheesecake”

  1. love: taste. who knew turtles tasted so good?
    hate: projected weight gain since moving to digital group = ~54 lbs.

  2. Cakes can be tricky little things! Mixing must be done correctly, baking can be timely and the cooling is a must! May I suggest something? You might want to consider baking the cake on Tuesday nights, decorating them on Wednesday and Voila….perfect cake! You’ve got the recipes down, you’ve got the taste down…now it’s just a timing thing!! And then you don’t have to burn the midnight oil…literally!

  3. Be careful of things dripping on the heating element. You can end up with a broken oven. In a wonderful attempt at kindness and helpfulness, my father-in-law once baked some sweet potatoes right on the oven rack with no foil around them, or a pan to catch any drippings. Some of the sweet stuff seeped out, landed on the element in the bottom of the oven, baked on, and ultimately (months later – I hate cleaning the oven) ended up breaking pieces out of the element. Who knew?

    1. I do not recommend baking cheesecakes to send to Afghanistan due to the amount of time it takes to get there and how perishable items like cream cheese are.

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