Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

4.87 from 44 votes

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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.

sliced dulce de leche cheesecake on a white serving platter.


 

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!

A slice of dulce de leche cheesecake on a small plate.

Key Ingredients:

You only need 10 ingredients to make this cheesecake.

Dulce de leche cheesecake ingredients.
  • 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.

  1. Arrange 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil criss-cross pattern on top of each other. And place the springform pan in the middle.
  2. Ensure at least an inch of foil on each side of the pan.
  3. Gently wrap the foil up the sides of the pan.

Tip

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.

Step by step photos of making cheesecake crust.

Tip

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.

Spreading graham cracker crust in springform pan.

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.

Step by step photos of making cheesecake filling.

Tip

Try not to incorporate too much air bubbles in the mixture by mixing the filling on medium low speed.

4. Bake

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.

Step by step photos of baking cheesecake.

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!
sliced dulce de leche cheesecake on a white serving platter.

Cheesecake FAQ:

How to prevent cracks in a cheesecake?

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.

Why is it important to bake cheesecake in water bath?

Water bath helps to cook cheesecake evenly and gently, ensuring a nice and flat cheesecake without a crack.

Can you make cheesecake without a water bath?

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.

Storing Tips:

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.
A slice of dulce de leche cheesecake on a small plate.

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!!

Video Tutorial:

Watch How to Make This Below!
sliced dulce de leche cheesecake on a white serving platter.
4.87 from 44 votes

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Enjoy this flawlessly creamy and smooth dulce de leche cheesecake with a sprinkle of sea salt.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
4 hours
Total: 5 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12 servings

Ingredients

For curst:

  • 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.)

Instructions 

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.

To bake:

  • 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

Note 1: You’ll need 2 sleeves of graham crackers, equivalent to 260g of crackers.
Note 2: Use full fat, brick-style cream cheese. No whipped or reduced fat cream cheese for the best result.
Storing Tips:
– 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.

Nutrition

Servings: 1 slice
Calories: 432kcal
Carbohydrates: 27g
Protein: 6g
Fat: 34g
Sugar: 16g
Sodium: 378mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published on June 9th, 2016.

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Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

4.87 from 44 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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142 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect! Never fails to impress!
    If you are looking for a dessert that everybody will love, this is the ONE!

  2. 5 stars
    I’ve come back to make this recipe multiple times, and it’s been a hit every time I made it. I’ve been told it tastes like it came from a professional bakery!

  3. 5 stars
    i am not one to leave reviews, but this cheesecake was amazing! i made it four days in advance and left it in the fridge, it was so good and held together perfectly. thanks for a great recipe !

  4. 1 star
    I am a professional baker. I followed the recipe exactly as written. In 12 years of baking I have never received a bad review. The customer said in couldn’t be eaten it was so bad.

  5. 5 stars
    Delicious. For the crust, I used boxed graham cracker crumbs (rather than use my food processor with crackers) and weighed out 260 grams, then stirred in sugar and then butter. Worked great. When baking, at the one hour mark, the cake was very jiggly so I added 5 minutes. In that 5 minutes, the top got quite brown and the edges cracked, so I won’t do that again. Also, this was not much of a water bath — one cup of water evaporated pretty quickly. Next, time I would use more, maybe 4 cups.

  6. 5 stars
    I followed this recipe exactly and it turned out great. I almost always modify a recipe whether I’m cooking or baking. I didn’t mess with this one and wouldn’t change anything!

  7. Thé cheesecake was very good and creamy. this was my first attempt at making a cheesecake, and it did not have the traditional cheesecake texture. I followed the recipe exactly so not sure what I did wrong. Any suggestions?

  8. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and have to say that it was one of the best cheesecakes to ever come out of my kitchen! Can’t wait to make it again as it is now a favorite. Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    What a delicious cheesecake. Yummy. Everyone loved it. It was pretty easy to make. I also made my own dulce de leche.

  10. 5 stars
    Hands down is the best cheese cake I’ve ever made and eaten! It’s not too sweet with hint of salt and so creamy , my family’s and I loves it , definitely a winning recipe