Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Turtle Cheesecake

I’ve been having a lot of fun in the kitchen lately.  First of all, I’m reviewing a product from CSN Stores, a fabulous Boston-based company with over 200 online shops.  They have everything you need for your house, from a vanity to a grill, so stay tuned for that!   Secondly, I made a cake for my good friend Geeti’s surprise baby shower this weekend!  Her expression was priceless when she saw the room full of people and I already can’t wait to meet her little one!

I iced a tall triple layer strawberry cake with a classic vanilla buttercream and then covered it in white fondant and decorated it with a pastel green border at the bottom and blue and yellow circles everywhere else.  It was my first time covering a cake in fondant, so I was a bit nervous, but thankfully it worked beautifully on my first try.

Then I rolled the dice and decided to see if my eggless sugar cookie dough decorations would work well on a cake.  I was inspired by this cake and so happy with how my cute jungle animals turned out – they really spruced up the front of the cake!  Since the dough has butter in it, it’s a bit shiner than fondant, but it also doesn’t dry out as easily.  It’s also a bit more fragile than fondant and the finish isn’t quite as clean and crisp, but boy is it a lot more tasty! I will definitely be decorating with it again.

Anyway, when I saw 30 people were attending the shower I got nervous that the cake wouldn’t be enough, so I decided to whip up a cheesecake as well.  This is the third time I’ve made this cheesecake and I finally nailed it.  I topped a crust of pecan shortbread cookies with a layer of classic creamy cheesecake, and added a layer of eggless chocolate chip cookie dough on top.  Then I crowned the dessert with a layer of homemade caramel, pecans, and chocolate!  It was so rich and sinful and the perfect treat to bring to a celebration!  Congrats Geeti and Puneet!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Turtle Cheesecake
Printable Recipe


8 ounces pecan shortbread cookies, pulsed in the food processor until finely ground (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

Cheesecake Layer:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cookie Dough Layer:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350˚F.  To make the crust, mix the pecan shortbread cookie crumbs and butter in a large bowl until well blended, transfer the mixture to a greased 9-inch springform pan, and press into a uniform layer over the bottom of the pan.

To make the cheesecake, combine the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl and beat on medium-high speed with a mixer for 3 minutes or until smooth.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla.  Pour into prepared crust and bake at 350˚F for 32 to 35 minutes or until edges are set and middle is slightly wobbly.  Cool to room temperature, about one hour.

To make the caramel, place apple juice and sugar in a medium saucepan, stir well, and bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring frequently, or until mixture is a caramel color. Monitor closely so the sugar does not burn! Remove pan from the heat and slowly stir in cream and vanilla. The mixture will boil up. Return pan to the heat and boil an additional 2 to 5 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and allow caramel to cool to room temperature.

To prepare the eggless cookie dough, mix butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl until creamy; add milk and vanilla and mix until well blended. Gradually mix in flour and salt; stir in chocolate chips.  Spread cookie dough evenly over cooled cheesecake layer and top evenly with caramel.  Sprinkle toasted pecans and chocolate chips on top.  Refrigerate for several hours or until cheesecake is chilled.  Allow cheesecake to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.  Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition:  427 calories, 25.0g fat, 1.4g fiber, 5.7g protein per serving
Cost:  $0.69 per serving

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44 Responses to Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Turtle Cheesecake

  1. Juliana says:

    Kerstin…absolutely beautiful!
    The cake covered with fondant is so cute and the cheesecake looks gorgeous…delicious!

  2. Joanne says:

    Should I ever get pregnant and have a baby shower – you are catering, hands down. These look fantastic! your fondant and decorating work is fantastic! And that cheesecake! Moan.

  3. Lauren says:

    Kerstin, can you please be my personal dessert chef? The cake decorations are adorable, and the cheesecake looks to-die-for delicious!

  4. Oooooh my goodness that cake looks like heaven! And it doesn’t help that caramel turtles are my total weakness! What an amazing job you did with the cake decorating, I’m so impressed =)

  5. CaSaundra says:

    That cheesecake just sounds amazing. Cheesecake in general is to-die-for, but with cookie dough, how could it not be good!? :-)

  6. Michelle says:

    Kerstin, the jungle cake looks ADORABLE! You are such a wonderful friend for making something so beautiful for your friend’s baby shower!

  7. Judy says:

    OMG, everything looks fantastic. I don’t believe that cake you made and decorated, so beautiful. You really are talented, girl.

  8. Cara says:

    That is one gorgeously decorated cake but the cookie dough turtle cheesecake would put me out of control ;) I bet it was really tough on you to have to make it three times to experiment, right? kidding!

  9. Sues says:

    That was your first time using fondant?!?! The cake looks AMAZING!! I’m so impressed!! And, of course, the cheesecake looks absolutely heavenly! I need to make that very soon :)

  10. I cannot believe that’s your first cake–amazing! I am so impressed. And I think I gained a few pounds just LOOKING at that cheesecake–incredible!

  11. Shannon says:

    oh my gosh, that cake looks incredible!!!! and that cheesecake! *swoon* u like to add cookie dough to everything, eh? :)

  12. Mary says:

    That cake… wow, incredible! And that cheesecake ::drool:: That’s my absolute fav! I’m totally going to have to try this!

    Delightful Bitefuls

  13. Monica H says:

    Oh wow! Everything looks great and that cake is super cute. great job!

  14. dani says:

    don’t be surprised if u see some version of this on my blog in the near future!!!!

  15. grace says:

    yes, the cheesecake is wonderfully scrumptious-looking and drool-worthy, but i’m so impressed by your little jungle critters! bravo, kerstin–they’re adorable. :)

  16. Stephanie says:

    That cake is absolutely adorable! Great job! The cheesecake looks to die for too!

  17. Nicole says:

    WOW! You are amazing! That cake was your first try?! Crazy. But then again, maybe I’m the crazy one for being surprised. You continue to impress me with your culinary skills. And that cheesecake was insane as well. Nice job, Kerstin!

  18. chaya says:

    This sounds extraordinary. I want to make it but I shouldn’t but I do want it but but but……

  19. Reeni says:

    The cake is adorable Kerstin! The decorations came out so good. And the cheesecake is absolutely sinful!

  20. sophia says:

    Kerstin, how can a person be SO talented!! That cake is beautiful, and the cheesecake…oh wow, how luscious!

  21. Melissa says:

    Great job on the cake! It looks so professional! And that cheesecake looks AMAZING!

  22. Julie says:

    I just adore that cake, super cute!

  23. Geeti says:

    Hi Kerstin,
    The cakes were so beautiful and so delicious that I cannot stop talking about them. I am so touched that I am short of words. You made my day! Puneet and I just loved the decoration of cute jungle animals. I don’t know how many times I have already seen the picture of that cake and everytime I look at it, it brings smile on my face :)!!

  24. L'Chicken says:

    Lady, your talents never cease to amaze me. Your friend looks so happy– and with a culinary pal like you and a new baby to look forward to, why shouldn’t she!

  25. Lori says:

    What a great idea with the sugar cookie dough! I bet that does taste a lot better. The animals turned out so great. And the cheesecake, well that leaves me speechless.

    Thanks for swinging by my blog. Your PB Cookie Dough Brownies are the regular take-to-an-event dish around here. :)

  26. Elina says:

    Kerstin, the first cake looks professional. I am SO impressed with your “fondant” work. The little animals are adorable. What a perfect thing to bring to a shower!!
    And that second cheesecake is something I’d love to have a piece of immediately, if not sooner. I’m saving the recipe. I think it would be something I can handle (cakes scare me!). Happy Friday :D

  27. Felicia says:

    All I can say is. . .WOW! Kerstin the triple layer strawberry cake you made for Geeti’s shower is simply picture perfect, and I was told it tastes as good as it looks! Great job! : )

  28. I am very impressed, to say the least. That fondant cake is gorgeous and it looks like it was born from very seasoned fondant using hands.

  29. Blond Duck says:

    I must make this and sub. PB chips for the chocolate. Oh sweet wounded wuffles you’re going to make me fat.

  30. Biz says:

    Kerstin – your fondant cake looks beautiful on the first try! And definitely think that cheesecake is insulin worthy!

    Hope you have a great weekend!

  31. Lucie says:

    Your cake is adorable!!! And that cheesecake…ahhhh! I just finished up breakfast and just might have to go eat a piece of cake too!!

  32. That’s an adorable cake! I love the idea of the cookie dough used like fondant. And, wow, what a cheesecake. Looks amazing.

  33. yasmeen says:

    Excellent work,the cake looks so cute and artistic.Best wishes to Geeti :D

  34. Sophie says:

    Kerstin, you come up with the most georgous dessert creations!!

    I also love your apart cheesecake!!

    MMMMMMMMMMM,…excellent work you did!

  35. ingrid says:

    Kerstin? Serious? That’s your first time working with fondant? WOW, you did a great job. Cheesecake looks darn tasty, too!

  36. Josh Smith says:

    these cakes look so delicious they make me want to make a cake just like them. Also i was wondering if you have a great fondant recipe that you could post or posted. because that would be great.

  37. Thanks everyone! I’d made fondant decorations one time before, but had never attempted to cover a cake with it.

    Joanne and Lauren – Anytime :)

    Cara – It was a tough job ;)

    Shannon – I was waiting for sometime to say that, haha – I’m addicted!

    Nicole – I’ve missed you! I hope you get back to blogging soon!

    Geeti – I’m so glad you liked it :) We’re so excited for you!!

    Josh – I made this marshmallow fondant (the link isn’t showing up pink for some reason but just click on “marshmallow”)

  38. Meghan says:

    Kerstin – that cake is amazing!!!! I love your idea of using cookie dough instead of fondant! Your cheesecake looks perfect too :)

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  40. Amanda says:

    Hi Kerstin!

    Once again, your dessert looks amazing! I’m getting ready to try out using fondant for the first time and I wondered what you used as the base of your cake’s icing? Did you put buttercream underneath? If so, do you have either of those recipes you used? I’m definitely excited to try your eggless cookie dough recipe for the decorations. Thanks again!

  41. Hi Amanda! Yes, I put a layer of buttercream on first and can’t remember what recipe I used for it actually. But, the fondant was marshmallow and the recipe can be found here: Hope your have fun :)

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