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Monday, April 4, 2011

Turtle Swirl Cheesecake - Happy Birthday to the Big Guy!

Birthdays are a big deal at our home. Within the past week, we celebrated two - one for the Big Buy and one for our oldest son.  Big Guy enjoys cheesecake so instead of a traditional birthday cake.  So after his birthday dinner of Rock Fish stuffed with Leeks and Gorgonzola Cheese, Parmesan Cous Cous, and Salad, we topped his Turtle Swirl cheesecake with a candle and sang to him.
But don't wait for a birthday to make this easy and oh so delicious Turtle Swirl Cheesecake!  Go ahead and make it!  Turn an ordinary day into a celebration!

Turtle Swirl Cheesecake

-1 box fudge brownie mix (plus the ingredients) - make sure to use a smaller box size, the recipe calls for -19.8-21.5...I’ve found them to be too much for the cake)
-4 (8oz) packages of cream cheese (softened)
-1 ½ C granulated sugar
-5 eggs
-1 t vanilla
-3 T whipping cream (I used skim milk for less calories)
-4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 C litehouse caramel dip (I use any caramel dip, located often in the produce section)
-½ C toasted pecans, chopped
1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray springform pan with baking spray to prevent sticking.
2-Empty brownie mix into mixing bowl.  Add ingredients needed listed on back of box.  I substituted applesauce for the oil listed on the brownie box.  This mix is becoming the crust of the cheesecake.
3-Mix all the needed ingredients together.

4- Pour into springform pan.  You may not need all the mix.  Don't over fill the pan as you will be adding the cheesecake mixture after the brownie is baked.  The bottom of the pan needs to be covered but no more.
The excess brownie mixture I poured into a small baking dish.
5-Bake for 35 minutes.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool while cream cheese mixture is made.
6- Beat cream cheese in mixing bowl until fluffy. Add sugar.  Beat until smooth.

7-  Add eggs, one at a  time. (see my pretty brown eggs!  We buy them from a friend who has cage free chickens.  Recently we even got a green shelled egg in one of our dozens!  So neat!)
8 - Add vanilla to cream cheese mixture.  Mix thoroughly.

9-  In a separate microwavable bowl, add chocolate chips and cream (or milk).  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir.  Heat till melted.

10-  Warm 3/4 cup of caramel in microwave 20-30 second intervals.

11 - Pour 1/2 of the cream cheese mixture over cooked brownie.  Swirl 1/2 of the melted chocolate and warmed caramel over cream cheese mixture.

12 - Take knife and make rows vertically then horizontally to create a swirl affect and lightly mix the chocolate and caramel.

13 - Pour other 1/2 of cream cheese mixture.  Top with rest of chocolate and 1/2 of the caramel.  Swirl again with knife.

14 - Take knife and make rows across then up and down.  Chocolate and caramel will follow the rows of the knife to make pretty design.  There is no right or wrong here - be creative and "knife" the rows as much as you would like.

15- Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Bake in a water bath.  This is simply where you take a larger pan (such as a jelly pan or broiler pan), place cheesecake with bottom wrapped in foil, and pour about 1 1/2 inches of water.  This creates steam that helps to prevent cracks.  I failed to pay attention when the water had all evaporated thus had a few cracks.
16 - Turn oven off after an hour but leave cheesecake in oven for an additional 30 minutes.

17 - Top with remaining warmed caramel and chopped nuts.



  1. Wow, with a cheesecake that gorgeous and dreamy I wouldn't want a cake either. I'd take a big piece of that! I have a sweet treat linky party every weekend on my blog and I'd like to invite you to stop by then and link your cheesecake up.

  2. Emily - Thank you for posting this! This is also one of my Hubby's favs, and I had misplaced my recipe. He will be so happy that I can make this again! This is definitely a wonderful recipe.

  3. Ohh wow!That was so beautiful Emily!Lovely designs you've got here and amazing step-by-step photos!

    I'd like to tell you that I have an event going on at my place and would love it if you cared to drop by!I look forward to see you link up any of your amazing recipes as well;)and the pleasure will all be mine!