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Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

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This cheesecake has a creamy, silky, custard-like texture that never fails to get rave reviews. Chocolate and caramel sauces are swirled into the batter before baking then it is placed on a pre-baked brownie bottom for a grand statement of pure bliss.

chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake

This is the perfect dessert to make ahead of time since it needs a full day to set up in the fridge after you bake it. If your planning a dinner party, make this 3 to 4 days in advance then focus your efforts on the dinner plans. With this cheesecake out of the way before you start your dinner, you won’t have to make a last-minute flurry to get dessert ready.

chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake
Chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake

This recipe does not use a water bath. Water baths can be dangerous and awkward. If they aren’t prepped correctly, water can leak into the springform pan and get it wet. It is a step that is not necessary in most cases.

Since water boils at 212°F, the water bath insulates the cheesecake and prevents it from overheating. I have found that I get the same results by lowering the temperature of the oven to 225°F.  

I use a heavy duty springform pan which further insulates the cheesecake. I  really like the Fat Daddio’s pan because it has a wide rim on the bottom, making it easy to grab and move around in the hot oven.

The wide rim makes the outside of the pan almost 12 inches in diameter so if you did want to use a water bath with this pan then the pan for the water bath would be obnoxiously large. I find a water bath to be an unnecessary step and get creamy, smooth cheesecakes without using one.

What IS important with this recipe is that you choose the correct size springform pan. This recipe calls for a 9-inch pan that is a minimum of 2-1/2 inches tall.

The batter will fill all the way to the top of a 2-1/2 inch pan before you bake it so if you use a smaller pan you will have leftover batter. Most springform pans are 3 inches tall,  but be certain to double check the depth of your pan before you pour the batter into the pan.

Chocolate and caramel swirled cheesecake

The brownie bottom is baked separately and placed on the cheesecake after it has set up in the refrigerator. In my opinion, this is the trickiest part of making the cheesecake because you have to flip the cheesecake upside down and place the brownie on the bottom of the cake then flip it back up.

If you have a flat cake board or plate, just cover it with plastic wrap and flip it over onto the board. Now the bottom of the cake pan will be on top and you can place the brownie on.

If you freeze the brownie ahead of time it will be easier to do and you wont crack it like I did but if the brownie does crack, don’t worry it will soon be on the bottom and nobody will notice. Just take your serving plate, place on the brownie layer and flip it back around.

I used a Wilton decorating bag and tip to pipe the whipped cream on top of the cheesecake but it looks great if you just dollop some spoonfuls on it as well.

chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake

More Chilled or Frozen Desserts

chocolate caramel swirl cheesecake

Chocolate Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

Chocolate and caramel sauces are swirled into a creamy, silky smooth cheesecake then placed on a chocolate brownie layer for a scrumptious dessert.
4.90 from 29 votes
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Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 895kcal
Author: Dahn Boquist



  • 3 8 ounce packages cream cheese (24 ounces/ 680 grams)
  • 1-¾ cups sugar 275 grams
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3-½ cups sour cream 968 grams
  • 6 ounces hot fudge sauce
  • 6 ounces caramel sauce

Brownie Bottom

  • 1 stick 1/2 cup butter
  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon instant coffee granules

Whipped Cream Topping

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Bake cheesecake

  • Preheat the oven to 225°. Grease the sides of a 9 inch springform pan (sides should be 3 inches high). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed for 3 minutes or until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs and egg yolks 1 at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally.
    Add the vanilla and salt then beat for 30 seconds to blend well. Beat in the sour cream on low speed until well combined, be sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop 5 to 6 tablespoons each of hot fudge sauce and caramel sauce on top of the batter then use a knife to swirl the sauces into the batter.
    Pour the remaining batter on top and repeat with the caramel and chocolate sauce swirl. The springform pan will be very full.
  • Place the springform pan in the center of the oven. Bake for 75 minutes. The cheesecake will appear jiggly in the center, this is normal, it will firm up after it is completely cooled (if your concerned that it hasn't cooked long enough, check the center of the cheesecake with an instant read thermometer. It should read 150°F).
    Turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven for 1 hour, keep the door closed while it slowly cools down. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for 1 hour until it reaches room temperature.
    When cooled, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. (The cheesecake will be jiggly in the center when you remove it from the oven but will firm up after it is refrigerated.)

Bake Brownie Bottom

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round baking pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a microwaveable bowl. Set aside to let cool.
  • Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.
  • Beat the sugar, eggs, vanilla and coffee granules in a large bowl, then add the chocolate mixture, stir to combine. Stir in flour mixture then pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes until shiny and crackly on top. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Whipped Cream Topping

  • Chill a mixing bowl and the beaters (or a whisk) in the freezer for a few minutes.
  • Place the cream, sugar and vanilla in the cold bowl and begin beating on medium high speed until the beaters or whisk leave tracks in the cream. At this point slow the mixer down to medium speed and check it frequently.
    You want to stop when the cream has billowy mountains when you lift the beater or whisk out of it.

Unmold Cheesecake and Assemble

  • Run a knife or metal spatula around the sides of the cheesecake and open the latch of the springform pan to release it from the cheesecake.
    Place a plastic-wrapped plate or cake board on top of the cheesecake and invert. Remove the bottom of the pan and the parchment then place the brownie layer on the bottom of the cheesecake. Re-invert onto a serving plate so the brownie is flipped to the bottom.
  • Drizzle additional chocolate and caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake. Garnish with whipped cream and pecans if desired.


  • This cheesecake does not need a water bath because it is baked at a very low temperature.
  • If you are not certain that the cheesecake is completely cooked, remove it from the oven, close the oven door to keep the heat in and check the center of the cheesecake with a thermometer. If it reads 150°F in the center, it is done. Place it back in the hot oven. If it has not reached 150°F then let it continue cooking but if it has reached 150°F then turn the oven off and let it cool off slowly as the oven cools down.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 895kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 31g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 255mg | Sodium: 525mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 78g


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Dahn Boquist

Dahn is a retired nurse, recipe creator, home cook, baker, and self-proclaimed foodie. She loves creating in the kitchen and cooking for family and friends. She lives in Washington State with her husband and dog. When she isn't cooking or baking, you can usually find her spending time with her grandchildren or exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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Tuesday 29th of March 2016

Hi! Could you please post the recipes for the caramel sauce and for the hot fudge sauce


Tuesday 29th of March 2016

Hi Yulia, our salted caramel sauce can be found here and we have plans to post our chocolate sauce very soon.

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