Enjoy this flawlessly creamy and smooth dulce de leche cheesecake with a sprinkle of sea salt. Step-by-step photos, lots of tips for success and video tutorial are included below.
Why you’ll love this recipe:
It’s no secret I love cheesecakes. The taller and creamier, the better! And preferably with lots of crust. If you do too, this cheesecake is for you!
- Tall, buttery and crumbly crust
- Smooth, creamy filling
- Indulgent dulce de leche topping
- Sprinkle of chunky sea salt to offset the sweetness
Don’t let the fancy name to fool you! Dulce de leche is nothing but cooked sweetened condensed milk. And I have an easy tutorial to make it at home!
This easy cheesecake is a perfect make-ahead dessert for any occasion!
You only need 10 ingredients to make this cheesecake.
- Graham crackers – I use regular plain graham crackers, but you can use any flavored graham cracker you like. You can also use digestive biscuits if you’re outside of the U.S.
- Cream cheese – Be sure to use brick-style full-fat cream cheese for the creamiest and tastiest cheesecake. That means no whipped or low-fat cream cheese.
- Sour cream – Adds incredible creaminess to the filling. You can substitute plain Greek yogurt, if you’d like.
- Dulce de leche – Use either store-bought or homemade dulce de leche, or substitute caramel sauce, if needed.
How to make this recipe:
1. Prepare the pan
To ensure smooth, evenly-cooked cheesecake with no cracks, we’ll cook it in a water bath. And to prevent soggy crust we need to wrap the springform pan in a foil first.
- Arrange 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil criss-cross pattern on top of each other. And place the springform pan in the middle.
- Ensure at least an inch of foil on each side of the pan.
- Gently wrap the foil up the sides of the pan.
Be careful not to tear the foil and make a hole, or it’ll defeat the whole point.
2. Make the crust:
We’re going to make a tall cheesecake crust to wrap the creamy cheesecake filling all the way up.
First, we’ll crush the crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs. Then stir in sugar, followed by melted butter. The mixture should be evenly moistened and resemble a wet sand.
The texture of the crust should be wet-sand-like. It should ball up when you squeeze it in your palm.
Now, transfer the mixture into the prepared springform pan, then evenly spread and press the crust mixture onto the bottom and all the way up the sides.
Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
3. Make the filling:
First, we’ll whip the softened cream cheese with a paddle attachment until nice and fluffy.
Then add dulce de leche, sugar, vanilla extract and salt. Mix until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl half way.
Stir in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Try not to incorporate too much air bubbles in the mixture by mixing the filling on medium low speed.
Pour the filling into the prepared pan and tap the pan on the counter couple of times to pop any trapped air bubbles.
Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and pour 1-2 cups of hot water into the pan.
Bake the cheesecake for about an hour at 350°F.
Once the cheesecake is set around the edges and slightly wobbly in the center, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven slowly for at least an hour.
Then cool completely on a cooling rack and refrigerate for at least an hour, or overnight.
Spread reserved dulce de leche and sprinkle some sea salt flakes before serving.
Cheesecake Tips for Success:
- Be sure to soften the cream cheese for the smoothest filling. Simply bring cream cheese out on the counter about an hour before you start.
- Room temperature eggs incorporate easier into the batter.
- Avoid mixing the filling on high speed when adding the eggs to prevent incorporating too much air into the batter, which is #1 reason for cracked cheesecake.
- If you don’t have a large roasting pan to fit your springform pan, simply place a pan of water on the bottom rack.
- Avoid sudden temperature change, which may cause a crack, and cool the cheesecake gently in the turned off oven for about an hour.
- Sprinkling some sea salt on top balances out the sweetness. I love this Maldon sea salt flakes, it’s the best stuff!
1. Don’t incorporate too much air bubbles by avoiding high speeds.
2. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath.
3. Avoid sudden temperature change.
Water bath helps to cook cheesecake evenly and gently, ensuring a nice and flat cheesecake without a crack.
Yes, sure. If you just want to skip the whole water bath thing, you can do that too.
But if you don’t have a large enough roasting pan, then either place another baking pan filled with hot water on the bottom rack. Or you can purchase a cheap foil pan instead of a roasting pan.
This cheesecake is a perfect make-ahead dessert.
- Store cooled cheesecake, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Or freeze for up to 1 month.
- Refrigerate leftover cheesecake, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
I really hope you’ll try this sweet and creamy treat! And if you do, please share your feedback in the comments below and give a star-rating!!
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake
- 16 graham crackers Note 1
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 10 tablespoons (140g) unsalted butter melted
For cheesecake filling:
- 24 oz (700g) cream cheese softened Note 2
- 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
- 1 can (400g/14oz) dulce de leche divided
- ½ cup (125g) sour cream
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- Sea salt flakes for dusting optional (I love this Maldon sea salt flakes.)
To prepare the pan:
- Layer 2 large heavy-duty foil and put a 9-inch springform pan in the middle, as pictured. Tightly wrap the pan with foil, being careful not to make a hole.
To make the crust:
- Crush graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. And add sugar and then melted butter and pulse until the crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Transfer the crumbs into a 9-inch springform pan. Press the mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate while working on filling.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
To make the filling:
- In a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in sugar, about ¾ of dulce de leche, sour cream, vanilla extract and salt. Beat the mixture until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl halfway.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition on medium low speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl again and mix for another 30 seconds.
- Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Tap it on the counter couple of times to burst any trapped air bubbles.
- Place the cheesecake in a large roasting pan and pour 1 cup of hot water into the roasting pan. (Alternatively, place a baking pan of water on the bottom rack, if you don't have a large enough roasting pan to fit the cheesecake pan.)
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour, or until the edges of the cheesecake is set, but the center is slightly wobbly.
- Turn off the oven heat and cool the cheesecake in the oven slowly for 1-2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely. Then cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour, or preferably overnight.
- When ready to serve, run an offset spatula (or a butter knife) around the edges, and remove springform sides.
- Spread the reserved dulce de leche on top and sprinkle flakey sea salt, if desired.
Tips & Notes:
– This cheesecake is a perfect make-ahead dessert. Store cooled cheesecake, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 1 month.
– Refrigerate leftover cheesecake, in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
This recipe was originally published on June 9th, 2016.
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