Filed Under: Cheesecake | Chocolate

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
August 8th, 2018
4.72 from 14 votes
4.72 from 14 votes

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake featured a thick fudgy brownie bottom with a luscious layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake all topped with salted caramel sauce. Every bite is heaven!  Download my FREE Perfect Cheesecake Guide here!

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour 15 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Ooooh so delightful. Chocolaty, tangy, salty, and sweet!
Texture: I think this is my favorite part. I just adore the combination of the thick & fudgy brownie with the smooth and creamy cheesecake.
Ease: There’s no advanced technique or skill required here (no water bath!) but you will dirty a fair amount of dishes.
Pros: Fun twist on the classic dessert + can be made ahead of time and feeds a group!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Definitely! I find myself craving this flavor & texture combination often.

You know those recipes that your friends and family ask you to make again and again for every occassion? Well I think this recipe might just be one of them.

This cheesecake combines the best elements of the dessert world for one dreamy result. Every bite is such an explosion of amazing tastes and textures… I can’t wait for you to try it!

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake featured a thick fudgy brownie bottom with a luscious layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake all topped with salted caramel sauce. Every bite is heaven!

What I love about cheesecakes particularly is that you have to make them ahead of time so they’re perfecting for entertaining or serving a group. Plus they’re always such crowd pleasers… who doesn’t love cheesecake?!

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake featured a thick fudgy brownie bottom with a luscious layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake all topped with salted caramel sauce. Every bite is heaven!

So, grab the ingredients the next time you’re at the grocery store, find a fun playlist to jam to in your kitchen, and get to baking this sweet treat!

Brownie bottom salted caramel cheesecake is indulgence at its finest!

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake Recipe Tips

Here are my baking tips for creating a beautiful cheesecake! If you have questions, read through this because I may have already answered them 🙂

Cream Cheese

Be sure to use full fat high quality bricks of cream cheese (not the stuff you spread on a bagel). The most important part? The cream cheese should be at room temperature. This will create a smooth and creamy cheesecake without any lumps and bumps.

Brownie Bottom

This brownie bottom layer is super simple but creates a ridiculously fudgy and rich brownie with tons of chocolate flavor. It uses cocoa powder, so no chopping or melting chocolate. You bake it for about 15 minutes, or just until it begins to set, before adding the cheesecake batter so it cooks through completely into two distinct layers.

If you wanted to take a shortcut and use a brownie mix, you can but I think making this layer from scratch is worth the extra effort!

How to Bake Cheesecake without a Water Bath

There is no water bath required for this recipe! I decided to skip that hassle because even if some cracks form, we’re covering the cheesecake with caramel which will help camouflage some imperfections. Be sure to use a quality springform pan for this recipe.

To prevent cracks without the need for a messy water bath, we use the oven door trick. Once the cheesecake is almost done baking, turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside. Crack the oven door just slightly to allow the oven to lose some of that heat. The key to preventing cracks is to coddle the cheesecake. Any dramatic changes in temperature will cause cracks to form!

If you want more tips for baking cheesecake without cracks, check out my free Ultimate Cheesecake Guide.

That’s why it’s also important to allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature completely before chilling. When it comes to baking cheesecake, it’s always better to err on the side of underbaking than over-baking. The edges should be set and dry, but if the center is still slightly wobbly or jiggly that’s fine. The residual heat will continue to cook the cheesecake even once it’s removed from the oven.

In my online baking class The Magic of Baking, I go in-depth in this concept and others so that you can bake with confidence.

Serving & Storing Cheesecake

The hardest part of this recipe is mustering the patience to let it chill for at least 4 hours before eating! I usually like to let it chill overnight, just to make sure it’s completely set and I’m able to cut clean slices. Use a sharp knife and run it under hot water in between cuts for beautiful bakery-quality slices. Drizzle the caramel on just before serving.

Store the cheesecake in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Salted Caramel Sauce

You can use store-bought or homemade caramel sauce for the topping. I have a whole blog post & quick video on how to make caramel sauce here. If you’re using store-bought, I like Trader Joe’s salted caramel sauce!

Caramel Brownie Cheesecake featured a thick fudgy brownie bottom with a luscious layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake all topped with salted caramel sauce. Every bite is heaven!

More Cheesecake Recipes:

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

4.72 from 14 votes

How to make
Caramel Brownie Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Chilling Time 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Caramel Brownie Cheesecake featured a thick fudgy brownie bottom with a luscious layer of creamy vanilla cheesecake all topped with salted caramel sauce. Every bite is heaven!  Download my FREE Perfect Cheesecake Guide here!

Ingredients

For the brownie layer:

  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (85 grams) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (62 grams) all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake layer:

  • 24 ounces (680 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste (or vanilla extract)

For the caramel:

  • 1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade

Directions

Make the brownie layer:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Stir until well combined, mixture will be thick. Let cool if the butter is still hot. Stir in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, stirring very well after each addition. Stir until the batter is very well blended. Add the flour and stir again until very well blended. Spread into prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until just starting to set but not fully cooked. Let cool to room temperature then place in the fridge to chill until ready to use while you make the other layers. Maintain 325°F oven temperature if baking cheesecake layer immediately.

Make the cheesecake layer:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and cream and beat until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all cream cheese is being incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating just until smooth. Add in the vanilla.
  2. Pour the batter into the cooled brownie crust and tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 55 minutes to 1 hour, or until the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of under-baking. Turn off the oven and crack the oven door open and allow to cool for 10 minutes (this helps prevent cracking). Remove the cheesecake from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely to room temperature.
  3. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate. Cut into slices and drizzle each slice with caramel sauce. Serve.

Recipe Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Lori Stach — August 9, 2018 at 3:52 pm

    I am madly, unapologetically, in love cheesecake, and can hardly wait to make this!!! Yummmmmers!

  2. #
    Toula — August 9, 2018 at 5:47 pm

    Hi I love this recipe, but further up you are stating that we can only keep cheesecake in the fridge for 2 days.

    Please let me know why only 2 days

    Toula

  3. #
    Sara — December 31, 2018 at 1:58 pm

    I’ve made this recipe several times, and it has always come out perfectly! The rich, fudgy brownie with the smooth, creamy cheesecake and the salty caramel make this a perfectly balanced dessert. It is elegant, delicious and unbelievably simple to make. My guests are always sated and impressed. Anytime I need a dessert idea or recipe, I come to you. Thank you for your delicious and detailed recipes and helpful videos!

  4. #
    Rebecca — May 2, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Hi! Love your recipes!
    I was just wondering if it were possible for convert a large cheesecake such as this into 12 mini cheesecakes. I have made your mini cheesecakes before and absolutely love how cute they are and how easy they are to serve.
    Thanks 🙂

  5. #
    Rebecca — June 6, 2019 at 1:52 am

    Hi! Love your recipes!
    I was just wondering if it were possible for convert a large cheesecake such as this into 12 mini cheesecakes. I have made your mini cheesecakes before and absolutely love how cute they are and how easy they are to serve.
    Thanks

    • #
      GrammaSue — July 5, 2020 at 4:32 am

      She doesn’t seem to be answering ANYONE’s questions…. wonder why?

  6. #
    Angela Buttjes — October 5, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Made this for a birthday, it was SUCH a success! Highly recommend. I had to cook for longer than expected but turned out great. Everyone thought it was store bought.

  7. #
    Kate — October 12, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Hey
    I just made this and was wanting to serve it at my thanksgiving dinner tomorrow (Canadian lol) but was just wondering if I could drizzle the Carmel sauce on pre cut? Just do give it a better visual and cover up some of the cracks?

    • #
      Taryn — October 13, 2019 at 7:10 am

      Made this recipe also yesterday for Thanksgiving dinner today. Mine has a huge crack in the middle, so I just drizzled the sauce in the cracks and on top and added chopped pecans for a better looking presentation. I might bring the extra caramel along in case anyone wants extra.

      • #
        Kate — October 13, 2019 at 3:38 pm

        oh my has a big crack to but the pecans on top is a great idea! so going to do this hope you don’t mind.

    • #
      Melody — March 28, 2021 at 3:26 pm

      I made a chocolate ganache in stead of the caramel and that covers everything and tasts delicious.
      my only question si how much would i have to cook the brownie if i wanted only the firts layer.

  8. #
    Corrie — February 6, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    This is absolutely divine! Also, thank you for the caramel recipe, I love this technique for salted caramel! Everything turned out perfect! All of our friends loved it!

  9. #
    Pamela — February 29, 2020 at 10:19 am

    It looks sooo yummy
    Of course had to try it out
    Right now it’s still baking And it looks perfect can’t wait to eat
    This recipe was so easy too made
    Thank you Amazing recipe

  10. #
    Traci — April 17, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    I made this recipe on Easter as our dessert this year and it was excellent!! The various textures and layers made this cheesecake the perfect blend! I added pecans on top for a little bite and that was it! Thank you!

  11. #
    Kimberly Twomey — May 3, 2020 at 11:02 am

    I am very concerned after making the brownie layer 1 cup of cocoa was way to much. After checking many recipes. I am very worried I. Just ruined my daubght and Don in laws 1st anniversary cake.

  12. #
    Darla — May 5, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    So far looks perfect. Im a beginner and get nervous. .do i need to cover the cheesecake when in the fridge to chill overnight

    • #
      Lynda — May 11, 2020 at 3:34 pm

      Can I swirl some Caramel through the cake before baking?

  13. #
    Kimberly — September 2, 2020 at 8:42 am

    Can I make this using Splenda ?

  14. #
    Christine — January 1, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Oh my goodness! We made this cheesecake for dessert on Christmas. It was insanely good!! I’m so glad I took your advice and made the bottom per your recipe it was rich, chocolatey and amazing! Mine ended up cracking on the top, probably because I was nervous and left it in a few minutes past the stage you suggested. But, after pouring in some caramel topping, no one was the wiser!!

  15. #
    Jan — January 21, 2021 at 6:29 am

    Really want to make this cheesecake, I want to use carnation caramel but how many grams would 1/2 cup
    be in grams.

  16. #
    Belinda — February 3, 2021 at 7:36 am

    Where’s the recipe for the caramel sauce?

    • #
      Tessa — February 3, 2021 at 2:51 pm

      Under the ingredient list, “1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade” click on the red homemade link! Enjoy!

  17. #
    Lindsey — February 13, 2021 at 9:31 pm

    Oh my gosh – it was amazing! I made this cheesecake for Valentine’s Day and we absolutely devoured it. It’s perfect! My 3 year old helped me make it – that’s how simple the recipe is! Will absolutely make again 10/10

  18. #
    Tracey — July 19, 2021 at 12:46 pm

    Amazing and so easy! I made it to share with my neighbors and they loved it!! The brownie bottom brings it to another level

    • #
      Tessa — July 20, 2021 at 10:54 am

      I’m so happy to hear it was such a hit! 🙂

  19. #
    Lauri — August 1, 2021 at 6:51 pm

    Cheesecake is my favorite. This one was absolutely delicious and relatively easy. The brownie part turned out perfectly. The cheesecake filling was fantastic. I was unsure about the caramel, having never made it before, but I followed the directions and at first I thought it would be too runny but upon cooling it thickened up and was just right. I have made many a cheesecake before and this was by far my favorite!

    • #
      Emily — August 2, 2021 at 3:31 pm

      Wonderful to hear that, Lisa! So glad you enjoyed this cheesecake 🙂

  20. #
    Jewel — October 24, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    Yum

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