Monday, August 29, 2011

Individual Dulce de Leche Cheesecakes

Individual Dulce de Leche Cheesecakes
The caramel just ooozes out.  Mmmmm...
I love eating cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory.  I know whichever one I select will probably be the best thing I EVER ate.  Their dulce de leche cheesecake happens to be one of my top pics.  It's just magical.  It's a light, sweet, smooth and creamy experience with a little crunch from the toffee topping they sprinkle on top.  Simple, but fantastic.  Although I could never achieve what they do, I think I've come close enough with this.

I have already posted the recipe for a full dulce de leche cheesecake, but since I was going to make this individual version for a family potluck at Clive Elementary School, I figured I might as well blog it up.  So, here's the recipe for what I am currently calling "the best thing I've ever baked."  Creamy, sweet, vanilla caramel goodness.  Too bad I can't claim it's only 100 calories per serving.  Mmmmm...

Individual Dulce De Leche Cheesecakes

Prepare one day in advance and refrigerate overnight for best results.

You can prepare the caramel a day or two ahead of baking.


  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • pinch of salt
  • seeds scraped from one vanilla bean
1. Bring the cream, butter, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup to a simmer over medium high heat in a small saucepan.  If you’re using a vanilla bean, cut the bean lengthwise and scrape seeds out with the back of a knife.  Put the scraped seeds into the cream and whisk to distribute the seeds.   Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed 2-quart saucepan, pouring the sugar into the center of the pan to prevent the sugar crystals from sticking to the sides of the pan.  Cover and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, uncover and continue to boil until the syrup is thick and straw-colored, about 7 minutes (it will register 300° on a candy thermometer).  Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the sugar syrup is golden and just begins to smoke, 1 to 2 minutes (it will be 350°).
3.  As soon as the sugar syrup reaches 350°, or it reaches that golden color & begins to smoke, remove it from the heat, pour about half of the cream mixture into it, and let the bubbling subside.  Add the remaining cream mixture and whisk until the sauce is smooth.  If using vanilla extract, add it now.
Move caramel to a heat-proof container and allow to cool.  If you're doing this ahead of time, once it's cooled, cover and refrigerate until ready to use in the cheesecake.

Preheat oven to 350°

  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
I usually crush my graham crackers in a gallon sized zip top freezer bag.  (1 1/2 cups is equivalent to about 12 large graham crackers, or 1 pkg + 3 more crackers.)  Then mix the sugar into the crumbs inside the bag.  Add melted butter, zip the top and smoosh around until butter is thoroughly mixed in.  Line 36 muffin cups with cupcake liners.  Place about one tablespoon of graham cracker mixture into each cup.  Using the bottom of a shot glass or end of a small rolling pin, press the crust mixture somewhat firmly into the bottom.  Set aside while you prepare the filling. 

  • 4 8oz. cream cheeses @ room temperature
  • 4 large eggs @ room temperature
  • 1 cup caramel (recipe above)
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
1. Cream cream cheese until smooth.  Add caramel &  mix until smooth.  Add eggs & mix until smooth.  Add cream and mix until smooth.   
2. Now, there are a few ways you can get the cheesecake batter into the muffin cups:
A. Pour batter into a spouted container, like a large Pyrex measuring cup or a pitcher, and pour into muffin cups; B. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup to scoop batter in; or C. (my favorite) Pour batter into a gallon-sized zip top bag, cut a 1/4 inch corner off and carefully pour/squeeze batter into muffin cups.
3. Since I like to bake in the middle of the oven, I baked mine in two batches.  Do what works best for you and your oven.
4. Bake at 350° for 15-16 minutes, until cheesecakes are puffed and center is set.
5. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, and then take cheesecakes out of the pan to cool on a wire rack.  When completely cool, transfer to a refrigerator and cover loosely.  Refrigerate at least 24 hours for best results.

Before serving, spoon remaining caramel sauce over the tops of the cheesecakes, about 1 teaspoon per individual cheesecake.

Top with whipped cream (or stabilized whipped cream), if desired.  I also topped these with crushed toffee bits.

Makes 36 individual cheesecakes.

Toppings in process: caramel, whipped cream, and finally the toffee bits.


  1. please think of me if there are any leftovers. holy cow this looks amazingly delicious!

  2. this looks pretty amazing .. i want to try this ,, yummy !!

  3. OMMMGEEE This looks Phenomenal....cant wait to make this.. the caramel sounds good enough to put on everything...

  4. Turffanie--the caramel IS good enough to put on everything--and to eat right out of a spoon. :)

  5. Can this recipe for the cheesecake be frozen after cooking?

    1. I have not tried freezing them, so I can't really say. I can guess that they would taste okay after being frozen, but I would worry about the paper cupcake liner pulling away from the cheesecake. Sorry I don't have a better answer than that.


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