Best Salted Caramel Cheesecake

A soft and super creamy cheesecake New York Style with the extra portion home made salted caramel! This cake has a thick caramel layer between the graham cracker and cheesecake layer and is topped with the most amazing salted caramel sauce.

A cheesecake recipe with the star ingredient: Salted Caramel! Your caramel craving will not be disappointed.

Secret Ingredient for the best Caramel Cheesecake: Extra Caramel Layer!

The secret of this cheesecake is that it is not just a regular New York cheesecake with a simple caramel topping. No, this salted caramel cheesecake has a thick caramel layer on top of the graham cracker layer. The caramel layer is thickened with cornstarch or flour to stay as a layer and not dissolve into the cheesecake batter.


Homemade salted caramel is super easy to make. All you need is a medium sized pot, sugar, water and salt. The sugar is combined with water to dissolve and evenly caramelize. The best part about making caramel is that you should not stir it while it is cooking. All you have to do is watch it cook at medium high heat and tilt the pot from time to time to evenly distribute the heat. After about 10 minutes the caramel should turn golden brown. Do not stop here as it would lack in flavor. You want to let it cook until it reaches a deep brown but do not let it burn. I always turn down the heat when it has a golden brown color to avoid burning. When it has reached the desired color add salt and the butter and mix it in. Be aware that it might bubble up at this point. When the butter is fully dissolved pour in slowly the heavy cream and mix it in. At this point you have successfully made a salted caramel sauce.

To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe

To thicken the sauce fill 1/3 cup of the caramel into a heat proof bowl or measuring cup. Add cornstarch and mix it in until smooth. When there are no more lumps fill up the measuring cup to the 1 1/2 cups mark. The thickened caramel is going to be a layer on top of the cookie crust. You should have about 3/4 cup not thickened caramel left to cover the cake.

Read here how to get a perfectly smooth cheesecake!

Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Ingredients: for an 8 or 9 inch cake

24 oz (675 g) cream cheese, softened at room temperature

1 cup (200 g) dark brown sugar

3 tbsp flour

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup (245 g) sour cream, at room temperature

1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream


For the Graham cracker crust:

2 cups (200 g) graham cracker crumbs (16 crackers)

6 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp sugar

For the caramel sauce:

7 tbsp cornstarch

1/2 cup water

2 cups (400 g) sugar

1/3 cup (75 g) butter

3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy cream

1/2 tsp salt, preferable coarse salt


1/2 cup toffee bits


For the whipped cream: (optional)

1/2 cup heavy cream

3 tbsp powdered sugar


INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1:

Start off with making the caramel sauce. In a medium sized sauce pan add sugar and water. Let it come to a simmer at medium high heat. Do not stir the water sugar mixture, just watch it caramelizing. When the color starts to change to a golden brown tilt the sauce pan for an even temperature distribution. Let it cook until it reaches a deep brown color. Be aware that caramel tends to burn quickly so keep a close eye on the cooking caramel. When the desired color is reached add the butter and stir it in. When everything is well combined add heavy cream and mix it in. Add salt and separate 3/4 cup of salted caramel for the topping. Add the corn starch or flour into the rest of the caramel which is going to be the caramel layer. It is easier if you separate 1/2 cup of the caramel and mix in the cornstarch until it is all smooth. Then combine it with the rest of the caramel. Mix it in in until smooth. Set aside.

Step 2:

Preheat the oven to 350 °F. To make the Graham cracker crust you need to make cookie crumbs. You can either blend the cookies in a food processor or use a zip lock bag and a rolling pin to make cookie crumbs. Mix the fine crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture in a lined and greased spring form pan and bake it for about 12 minutes. Let it come to room temperature. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 °F.

Step 3:

To make the cheesecake filling, start off with a large bowl or use a food processor. Add the cream cheese in a big mixing bowl and mix it until smooth for about 4 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix until well combined. Mix in flour and eggs, one by one. When it is smooth add sour cream and heavy cream. Mix until smooth for about 2 minutes on low.

Step 4:

Into the cooled cookie crust fill the caramel filling (caramel thickened with cornstarch). Let it chill in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes until it hardened a bit. When the caramel has set pour the cheesecake batter slowly on top. To bake the cake cover the spring form pan in aluminum foil or a silicon baking pan to make sure no water can enter. Place it in a slightly bigger baking pan and fill it 1 inch high with water. Bake the cake in this water bath at 325 °F for about 60 minutes until the top turns golden brown. Do not open the oven as the cheesecake could break. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about 20 minutes. Take it out of the oven and water bath and cut around the top to loosen the cheesecake from the baking pan. Let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Then let it cool over night or for at least 6 hours in the fridge.

Step 5:

To decorate the cake pour the rest of the caramel sauce on top and decorate it with toffee bits. You can add whipped cream swirls with caramel sauce drizzle shortly before serving as the caramel is very soft and will move the whipped cream. Serve directly from the fridge! The longer the cheesecake stays at room temperature the softer it gets!


Enjoy!



**PRO-TIPS**

  • Don’t overbake the cheesecake as it will continue baking while cooling down. When the cake has a slightly jiggly texture in the center it is done baking.

  • When you have left over filling use it for mouth-sized mini cheesecakes! Line up a cupcake baking sheet and fill it with crust and the left over filling. Bake the mini cheesecakes like the regular cheesecake but only for 20 minutes. They are even easier to bake since they don’t need a water bath. Let them cool down at room temperature and let them rest in the fridge for at least 2 hours before eating.

  • To ensure a crack free cheesecake I recommend to read this cheesecake recipe.

  • Add more flavor with a whipped cream topping: To make the whipped cream use a tall measuring cup. Add heavy cream and powdered sugar. Whip it on low for about 30 seconds with a hand mixer using the whisk attachment. When it begins to thicken increase speed and whip until fluffy. Fill it in a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe some swirls of whipped cream and garnish with caramel sauce immediately before serving.

 

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