Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Turtles

from 1 votes

You may have had chocolate turtles, but you likely haven’t tried Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Turtles. They’re the twist you didn’t see coming! A creamy cheesecake filling gets covered in chocolate, topped with flakey salt and paired with nutty pecans in this easy homemade candy.

Chocolate turtles topped with flakey salt on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Recipe development often results in excess ingredients in my kitchen, and I had some leftover chocolate and no-bake cheesecake mixture (a la my chocolate cheesecake cups) from my DIY candy craze to thank for this happy accident of an invention: cheesecake-stuffed chocolate turtles.

Chocolate turtles have caramel centers that are covered with chocolate (and pecan arms and heads). My recipe is basically the same, but this unique twist on chocolate turtles has cheesecake in place of caramel.

Homemade chocolate turtle candy is surprisingly easy to make. You simply melt the chocolate, position the pecan halves, add the filling and add more chocolate. Honestly, the hardest part is waiting in between steps for things to harden. 

Looking for more easy candy recipes? Check out my Oyster Cracker Toffee Bark and No-Bake Chocolate Cookie Pops.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • No-bake.
  • Serves a crowd.
  • Minimal prep time.
  • Ideal for gifting. And we all know how I feel about edible gifts (hint: they’re the best!).
  • Cheesecake? Chocolate? Enough said.

Ingredients

  • Cream cheese: You’ll want to use full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor. The cream cheese must be at room temperature so it easily combines with other ingredients. 
  • Sugar: Just 2 tablespoons of sugar is enough to sweeten the filling. Use granulated sugar, not brown sugar.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla is a staple in cheesecake for a reason (read: it’s delicious).
  • Lemon: You’ll use both fresh lemon juice and zest for this recipe. Both of these will brighten the cheesecake filling, but won’t make things taste overly lemony.
  • Chocolate chips: You can use semisweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate chips here. I’d just avoid white chocolate, which would likely make things overly sweet.
  • Vegetable oil: Adding oil to the chocolate chips will prevent them from seizing as they melt and keep the chocolate smooth for spreading and drizzling.
  • Pecan halves: These are an essential part of chocolate pecan candies. I would not try to substitute them.
  • Flakey salt: Topping this DIY turtle candy with flakey salt (like Maldon) highlights the sweet flavors beautifully.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.

How to Make Chocolate Turtles

  1. Make the filling. Stir together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and zest in a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a piping bag and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Microwave in 30-second bursts (stirring in between) until the chocolate is fully melted.
  3. Make the base. For this easy chocolate turtle recipe, spread 1 tablespoon portions of the chocolate 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Immediately place 5 pecan halves (rounded side up) around each chocolate circle. Place the baking sheet in the fridge for 10 minutes or until the chocolate’s hardened.
  4. Add the filling. Pipe 2 teaspoons of the filling onto each chocolate circle.
A person using a piping bag to add cheesecake filling to chocolate turtle candies on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Pro Tip:  Instead of a piping bag, you can use a gallon-sized zipper-lock bag for the filling.

  1. Add the chocolate shell. Cover the filling with 2 teaspoons of melted chocolate. Sprinkle with the salt and return the turtles to the fridge until fully hardened (about 20 minutes).
Melted chocolate being added to the tops of chocolate turtles with a cheesecake filling.

Kelly’s Recipe Tips

  • Choose Your Chocolate: I prefer a mix of half-sweet chocolate chips and half-bittersweet chocolate chips for the perfect balance of sweetness paired with the tangy cheesecake filling.
  • Chocolate Quick Fix: If the melted chocolate hardens while waiting for the turtles to chill, simply re-microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it’s smooth again.
  • A Piping Bag Tip: Piping bags are floppy and can be tough to fill. To easily do so, grab a drinking glass. Place the bag into the glass and fold the sides over the glass. You’ll be able to easily fill the piping bag now!

Storage Tips

These quick and delicious chocolate turtle candies can be kept in the fridge, stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are chocolate turtles called turtles?

Chocolate turtles are named such because they look like turtles with their pecan legs and heads and chocolate-covering “shell.”

Do turtles come in dark chocolate?

My easy chocolate turtle recipe can be made with any kind of chocolate, including dark chocolate chips. 

What nut is in a turtle? 

Chocolate turtles are made with pecan halves.

Chocolate turtles on a parchment-lined baking sheet with bowls of pecan halves and melted chocolate beside the baking sheet.

More Unique Holiday Chocolate Recipes

Craving more? Subscribe to Just a Taste to get new recipes, meal plans and a newsletter delivered straight to your inbox! And stay in touch on Facebook, TikTok, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
Dessert

Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Turtles

This twist on a candy classic includes creamy, no-bake cheesecake filling sealed inside chocolate and pecan pockets that are topped with sea salt.
Author: Kelly Senyei
5 from 1 vote
Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Turtles recipe on justataste.com
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 36 turtles

Ingredients 

  • 4 ounces (½ of an 8-ounce package) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups semisweet, bittersweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • 2 Tablespoons large flake sea salt

Instructions 

  • In a bowl, stir together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon zest and lemon juice until well combined. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag and refrigerate.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (The baking sheet will be placed in the fridge, so if necessary, use two smaller baking sheets.)
  • Combine the chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until the chocolate is fully melted and smooth. (Alternately, you can melt the chocolate with the oil in a double boiler.)
  • Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the melted chocolate onto the baking sheet, spacing each portion about 2 inches apart. Using the back of the spoon, spread each portion of chocolate out into a circle and then immediately place five pecans on top of the chocolate facing outward to mimic the shape of a turtle. Transfer the baking sheet to the fridge for 10 minutes until the chocolate has fully hardened.
  • Remove the baking sheet and cheesecake mixture from the fridge. Pipe 2 teaspoons of the cheesecake mixture in the center of each turtle then top the cheesecake with about 2 more teaspoons of melted chocolate so that the cheesecake is fully covered. Sprinkle the tops of each turtle with sea salt then return the pan to the fridge for 20 minutes until the chocolate has fully hardened. If not serving immediately, store the turtles in an airtight container in the fridge.

Kelly’s Notes

  • I prefer a mix of half semisweet chocolate chips and half bittersweet chocolate chips for the perfect balance of sweetness paired with the tangy cheesecake filling.
  • If the melted chocolate hardens while waiting for the turtles to chill, simply re-microwave it in 30-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until it’s smooth again.
  • Piping bags are floppy and can be tough to fill. To easily do so, grab a drinking glass. Place the bag into the glass and fold the sides over the glass. You’ll be able to easily fill the piping bag now!
  • ★ Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

Nutrition

Calories: 111kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 11mg, Potassium: 83mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 50IU, Vitamin C: 0.2mg, Calcium: 13mg, Iron: 0.8mg

Shoutout

Did you try this recipe?

Share it with the world! Mention @justataste or tag #justatasterecipes!

This post may contain affiliate links.

Recipe by Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste. Please do not reprint this recipe without my permission. If you'd like to feature this recipe on your site, please rewrite the method of preparation and link to this post as the original source.


Feeling social?

Share this recipe!

Categories

Related Recipes

Check out more crave-worthy favorites

Kelly Senyei holding a copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook

love the recipes on just a taste?

Check out my cookbook!

Order your copy of The Secret Ingredient Cookbook featuring 125 brand-new family-friendly recipes with surprisingly tasty twists!

This post may contain affiliate links.

5 from 1 vote

Join the Conversation

Rate and Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. I love how these look, and I bet they taste amazing! Definitely pinning! (Plus, I love the Property Brothers. My whole family is a little addicted to that show!)

  2. Although I rarely eat chocolate turtles, I love them. You just took this candy to a whole new level by adding a cheesecake filling. My grandmother’s birthday is in a few weeks and I know these will be a hit! Thank you.

  3. Wow, you are amazing! This looks seriously delicious and artistic, almost like a wall paper! I’m craving these now!

  4. How stinking cute! I love the look of these guys. Cheesecake > caramel in my world, so I think they’re perfect.