Creamy Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Chocolate Chip Cookie Crust
Impossibly creamy cheesecake with chocolate chip cookie crust and dulce de leche swirls.
Let me start by saying this: my husband and I are bonafide cheesecake snobs. We’ve eaten the best of the best in NYC (and no, it is not Junior’s), and tear down every which way that a cheesecake falls flat or doesn’t make the cut. So believe me when I claim this dulce de leche cheesecake to be damn near perfect. I mean it.
What makes a perfect cheesecake?
The crust is thick, as it should be. The cheesecake is dense, but luxuriously creamy (a must have). And the dulce de leche? It’s kind of the icing on the cake. Er, cheesecake.
Is a graham cracker crust the way to go? Not here!
This whole thing came about as a way to use up hard, stale cookies. I purchased a container of chocolate chip minis from our local store, came home, took one bite, and almost spit them out. They were inedibly hard. A sane person may have gone straight back to the store to exchange them, but in a battle of sanity versus laziness, the latter won out.
Pro tip: throw your not-so-fresh cookies in a food processor, pulse, then substitute in any sweet recipe that calls for graham cracker crumbs.
So for longer than I’d like to admit, I sat with a container of crushed chocolate chip cookies. They were staring at me, begging to be used. In my heart of hearts, I know I did them justice.
Finally, I landed on a cheesecake. But with a chocolate chip cookie base, I felt like it needed to be elevated somehow.
What’s so special about dulce de leche?
First, let’s talk about what dulce de leche is. It’s made by slowly heating sweetened condensed milk on a stovetop (or baked in the oven) until it turns into rich, thick, creamy, caramel-like dulce de leche.
Creamy dulce de leche cheesecake is the dessert of my dreams. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted, and that I didn’t know I needed. But now that I’m down to my very last slice – ugh! – I’m getting twitchy.
If you’re looking for a 7″ springform, I have this one – it’s great!
5 Tips for Making the Best Cheesecake
- Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature to avoid lumps!
- Don’t be afraid to let the cheesecake mixture continue mixing for a few minutes (I recommend at least 2 to ensure it’s well incorporated and super creamy).
- Resist the urge to open the oven door while baking or you increase the chance of cracks.
- You want the cake to have a little jiggle in the middle – this is normal! DO NOT OVER BAKE until cake is firm in the middle! Just don’t do it!
- When cheesecake has finished, crack the door of the oven slightly and let it continue to cool for 1 hour inside the oven before removing. Do not skip this step!
If you make this Dulce de Leche Cheesecake, please let me know by leaving a review below!
For more dinner party worthy desserts, check out the following:Print
For the crust
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chip cookie crumbs
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
For the filling
- 2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, (softened)
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, (lightly beaten)
- ¼ cup dulce de leche, (melted (canned is fine!))
- 7” springform pan
- heavy duty aluminum foil
Make the crust
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Combine cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar in a small bowl. Pour into a greased 7-inch springform pan, then press into an even layer along the bottom, reaching up maybe a ¼” on the sides. Wrap tightly in heavy duty aluminum foil (trust me on the ‘heavy duty’ part) and bake for ~10 minutes, or until the crust turns a deep golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool while you make the filling.
Make the filling
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides, then add eggs and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated and mixture is well mixed and fluffy.
- Pour melted dulce de leche on top of cheesecake mixture, then use a knife to swirl into the batter.
- Place springform pan in a large baking pan, then fill about ~1” with hot water. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until edges of cheesecake turn golden brown and pull away from the sides. The middle of the cheesecake will be a little jiggly.
- Per my friend Sam over at @frostingandfettuccine ’s advice, turn the oven off and crack the door just slightly. Let cheesecake cool for an hour in the oven, then remove and continue at room temperature until fully cool. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 558
- Sugar: 29g
- Sodium: 371mg
- Fat: 40.7g
- Saturated Fat: 24.6g
- Carbohydrates: 41.5g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 9.5g
- Cholesterol: 180mg
Keywords: chocolate chip cookie, chocolate chip cookie crust, water bath, baking, cheesecake, dulce de leche, caramel