Recipe by Paula Shoyer

Caramel Vanilla Cheesecake

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Dairy Dairy
Hard Hard
18 Servings
8 Hours, 30 Minutes

Sugary sweet and delightfully doable, this easy cheesecake recipe has fresh vanilla beans and is topped with a generous helping of caramel syrup. For more delicious cheesecakes like this one, see our post The Ultimate Cheesecake Roundup.



  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 2 tablespoons butter


  • 1/2 package vanilla wafers

  • 1/4 cup sugar

  • 7 tablespoons butter, divided


  • 2 pounds cream cheese (not whipped), at room temperature

  • 5 large eggs

  • 1 and 1/4 cups sugar


Prepare the Caramel


To make the caramel, place the sugar and water in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook on medium-high heat until sugar melts, stirring occasionally. After several minutes, the sugar will color. Stir.


When the sugar mixture is a uniform amber color, turn heat to low, remove saucepan from heat and add the cream. Be careful, the mixture will bubble up.


Add the butter and stir. Return to the heat and cook for a minute, or until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool.


The caramel can be made four days in advance. Store covered at room temperature.

Prepare the Crust


Prepare a 9- to 10-inch springform pan: Trace the bottom circle on Gefen Parchment Paper and cut the circle out. Cover the top of the pan bottom with aluminum foil, and then wrap the foil under the bottom. Attach the pan sides to the bottom and lock, and then unwrap the foil and wrap up around the sides of the pan. Rub one tablespoon of butter around the bottom and sides of the pan. Add the parchment circle to the bottom, press in, and grease the top of the circle.


Place vanilla wafers into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until finely ground (should yield one cup). Add the sugar and process a few seconds, or until mixed in.


Place the remaining six tablespoons butter into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 15-25 seconds, until the butter starts to soften, but not fully melt. Add to the food processor bowl and mix into the crumbs.


Spoon up clumps of the mixture and press into the prepared pan. Press to cover the bottom and about an inch up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

Prepare the Filling


Place the cream cheese into the bowl of a stand mixer or blender and whisk or mix until smooth.


Add the eggs, one at a time, and scrape down the bowl each time to make sure all the cream cheese and eggs are mixing in and the mixture looks creamy. Add the sugar and vanilla bean or extract and mix until everything is combined. Make sure to mix the bottom of the bowl to make sure the mixture is entirely smooth.

Bake the Cheesecake


Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.


Scoop up a third of a cup of the caramel and use a silicone spatula to spread it in an even layer on the bottom of the pan, on top of the crumb mixture.


Pour the cheesecake filling on top of the caramel-topped crust. Place into a roasting pan with sides higher than two inches and place pan on the middle rack of the oven.


Boil water and pour into the roasting pan, around the cheesecake pan. The water should reach one-third to halfway up the sides of the pan.


Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the cake in the oven for another hour.


Remove the cake from the roasting pan and let cool on a rack until it is completely cooled. Place in the fridge five hours or overnight.


To serve, remove cake from springform pan and carefully transfer to a cake plate. Drizzle with remaining caramel sauce.


Store in the fridge for five days or freeze for up to three months.
Caramel Vanilla Cheesecake

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Chani Engel
Chani Engel
1 year ago

There is something wrong with the caramel sauce quantities. I think it needs to be 4 T water, 1/4 cup. It also has the preheat instructions at the end of the recipe.

6 years ago

What size package? What size package did you mean when you said 1/2 package of vanilla wafers? My grocery has more than one size package.
Thank You!

Mark your comment as a question
2 years ago

I had to follow a different caramel recipe I found online because the first time I tried this one, it flopped. Seems to not be enough water in it. So my caramel looked nothing like the picture, but the cheesecake was heavenly!!!

Reply to  Nechama
2 years ago

1/2 pack of vanilla wafers is around 7 oz…and sure you should be able to use vanilla sandwich cookies instead