I grew up with fridge-set cheesecakes but once I tasted baked cheesecakes, I was torn. This Baked Salted Caramel Cheesecake recipe is the indulgent baked cheesecake you know and love but with super simple steps. No water bath required!
Why you’ll love it
There are many reasons you’ll love this baked salted caramel cheesecake.
- Indulgent, rich and creamy
- Simple to make
- Celebration worthy
- Can be made ahead of time
Baked cheesecakes have a firmer texture than their fridge set siblings, but are super creamy and silky smooth. Definitely an over the top indulgence that I love to share around. Be warned, a little of this cheesecake goes a long way.
- I use a food processor to turn the cookies to crumbs but you can use a plastic bag and a rolling pin to gently bash them.
- A handheld beater will be fine for this recipe, or a stand mixer if you have one
- An 8 inch springform tin
Baked cheesecakes have a reputation of being difficult to make, however, I seem to make more baked cheesecakes than fridge set these days.
Why is this one so easy – well first there is no need for a water bath or bain marie situation with this one.
Just throw it straight onto the middle shelf of the oven and bake. Cooling the cheesecake in the oven for half an hour after you’ve turned it off not only makes sure it’s fully baked, but also stops any cracks. Even if it does crack – no matter, just call it rustic.
Lets talk about that simple caramel sauce
I am ever so slightly (read: completely) obsessed with salted caramel and I’ll love it long after the fad has died out. Liquid gold. Of course, learning to make it myself was an extremely dangerous and wonderful day.
This version though is an easy caramel sauce. This caramel is the same one I use for my Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars and it’s totally lush. Oh and it takes all of 5 minutes to make.
Just mix some store-bought chewy caramels (I like Werthers) with a little cream, in a saucepan over low heat until it melts into a divide runny caramel. Add a little salt and it’s done. Let it cool just slightly before making the cheesecake.
How to make a perfect cheesecake crust
These are my 6 steps to a perfect cheesecake crust or cheesecake shell. This recipe uses cookie crumbs and melted butter so it’s a very simple cheesecake crust to make but sometimes getting the right shape can be tricky. You know, thick in some spots, loose and falling apart. This is how you get it just right.
- Start by tipping the right ratio of cookie crumbs to melted butter into a greased and lined round spring form tin. Use a spatula or you finger tips to spread the crumbs out to the edge and a little up the sides (don’t pay too much attention to the middle right now)
- Use your fingers to pull the cookie crumbs up the sides, at the same time pressing them against the sides to firm it up
- Now ball up your fist – it’s the perfect shape. The bottom part of your fingers push into the sides, while your middle knuckle presses into the corners and the middle parts of your fingers press down on the bottom. The reason for this step is to get all the cookie crumbs firm around the edge and getting a true corner. Some people use a glass for this but I find them too slippery and you need one with a sharp corner.
- Press the bottom so that it’s all even, then very gently run a finger around the top edge of the crust to level it out.
- Use the pointy end of a dinner knife to get into the corners and scrape a little of the crumbs away, being careful not to poke a hole through the crust. I do this because the corners of a cheesecake can often be thicker than the rest of the crust and hard to cut through with a fork or spoon.
- Use the palm of your hand to secure any loose crumbs in the middle.
How to make cheesecake
This is the easy part.
- Combine your caramel sauce, a tiny bit of brown sugar and cream cheese and beat until smooth.
- Add the eggs, vanilla and sour cream and beat a little more.
- Pour the mixture into your biscuit base and smooth out as much as possible.
Can this cheesecake be made ahead?
Yes. This baked cheesecake can, and should, be made at least the day before. It will keep in the fridge well for 3-4 days and can even be frozen.
Store in the fridge, in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze cheesecake and how to freeze cheesecake?
Yes, you can freeze cheesecake, so if you have lots leftover here’s how to store it in your freezer so you can have more whenever you like.
- Cut it into slices first (so you can grab a slice whenever you feel the urge).
- Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap – two layers.
- Place it inside an airtight container and freeze.
- Thaw a slice on the bench top for 3-4 hours or the whole cheesecake in the fridge for 24 hours.
If you’re looking for a truly decadent dessert to treat your family and friends with, you can’t go past this Baked Salted Caramel Cheesecake. It’s simple, it’s delicious, is there anything better?
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Baked Salted Caramel Cheesecake
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL
- 270 g soft caramels, shop bought (I use Werthers) (9.5oz)
- ¼ cup thickened (or heavy) cream
- 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
FOR THE CHEESECAKE
- 250 g crushed sweet biscuits (8.8oz) (notes 2)
- 100 g unsalted butter, melted (3.5oz)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 500 g cream cheese, room temperature (17.6oz / 1.1lb)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (notes 1)
- 2 teaspoons teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 200 ml sour cream (3/4 cup +1 Tbsp / 6.8 fl oz)
FOR THE SALTED CARAMEL
- Save 1/4 cup caramel for drizzling
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the caramels, cream and salt. Begin pushing them around the pan and as soon as they move freely, turn the heat down to low and continue to stir until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature before proceeding.
- You can make the base of the cheesecake while you wait.
FOR THE CHEESECAKE
- Preheat the oven to 160C / 320F / 140C fan forced.
- Grease and line the base and sides of an 8 inch round spring form tin. Use a food processor or blender to process the biscuits to fine crumbs. Add the cinnamon and ginger and process to combine. Add the melted butter and blitz one more time to combine completely. Tip the mixture into your prepared tin and press down all over the base and up the sides about 2 inches (notes)
- Set aside 1/4 cup of caramel for drizzling later.
- Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla beating until each is well incorporated. Beat for a further 2 minutes on a low to medium setting. Add the sour cream and beat until just combined.
- Pour the filling into the biscuit base and smooth over the top as much as possible.
- Place the tin onto the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for around 55-65 minutes or until the centre is almost set. There should be a very slight wobble in the centre. Leave it to cool in the oven with the oven off and the door ajar for 1/2 an hour then take it out and let cool at room temperature for at least 45 minutes. Finally, transfer to the fridge to cool completely.
- Mix a little water into the leftover caramel and heat for 15 seconds in the microwave. Drizzle over the top of the cake and the slices once served.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- I use Arnotts granita Biscuits for the base but you could use any digestive biscuit or graham crackers
- To make the base: Gently spread the biscuit crumbs out, push them towards the sides. Now used your fingers to press them towards the sides of the tin. Now ball your hand into a fist. With the top, flat part of your fingers pressing on the base, press your knuckles into the corners and the smaller side of your fingers to push into the sides. Your fist is the exact shape you want. Some people use a glass but I find them slippery and frustrating. This method works for me every time. Use your finger tips to firm up the sides a little bit. Now, use the point of a dinner knife to gently scrape around the corner, all the way round. This will remove excess crumbs from the corners, where cheesecake shells often become too thick. Lastly use your finger to carefully level out the top edge and it’s done.
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