Light & creamy no-bake cheesecake made with white chocolate that’s caramelized for a toasty, caramel-like flavor. Enrobed in an oreo crust and set in a puddle of caramelized white chocolate ganache.
How to Make Caramelized White Chocolate
Simply by breaking up pieces of good quality white chocolate (or using feves/wafers), spreading them on a clean metal pan (or you can use a silpat mat) and baking it on low for about 45 minutes, turning it every 10 minutes to get even browning. That’s it! What does this do? It caramelizes the sugar in the white chocolate giving it this intense, butterscotch-like flavor (but better – I’m not joking).
I have a complete tutorial for you on this page with lots of step-by-step photos. This is the easiest, most delicious thing you can make in your oven and if you haven’t yet tried it, you absolutely must.
Tips to make the perfect no-bake cheesecake
- Baking the crust: I know I called it a no-bake but that’s more in reference to the filling. Baking the crust makes it firm and gives you nice clean cuts when you slice it.
- Cold whipping cream: the colder it is (don’t let it freeze solid but it should be quite cold) the quicker and better whipped cream will get to the necessary stiff peaks which help a no-bake cheesecake set.
- Softened cream cheese: soft & at room temperature, the cream cheese blends more easily with the rest of the ingredients. You want to avoid overbeating the cream cheese (turns the texture kind of gummy) and avoid lumps which will affect the creamy texture you’re going for.
- Allowing for chill time: If you slice into it the day of or even just a couple of hours into it’s chill time, you’ll have messy overly soft slices. Giving it time to set overnight ensures that the cheesecake sets up nicely.
Ingredients for No-Bake Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake
White Chocolate: Use a good quality white chocolate – check to make sure the ingredients list cocoa butter. You’ll caramelize a little more than you need for the recipe as some of it is lost as we’re transferring it from pan to food processor to container. Feel free to use even more than what’s listed – you’ll want it for other things! Most of the flavor of the cheesecake comes from this.
Cream Cheese: I like a firm cream cheese, especially for a no-bake cheesecake so I usually get Philadelphia. You’ll need two blocks or 16oz and they should both be at room temperature so they mix well with the sugar and won’t leave lumps.
Heavy Cream: Whipped to medium/stiff peaks, this is what will help the cheesecake ‘set’.
Powdered Sugar: I almost left this one out but found the cheesecake really lacked flavor and sweetness so don’t skip it! I like organic powdered sugars made with tapioca starch (not corn). Sift it before you mix it in.
Butter: Unsalted or salted is fine, I don’t think it matters much here. Cold is fine too, you’ll melt it and immediately mix it with the crumbs.
Cookie crumbs: I used chocolate sandwich cookies (the 365 brand) and remove the cream from them before I grind them into a powder. You can use oreos, or
FAQ on No-Bake Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake
Can I make the Caramelized White Chocolate ahead of time?
Yes you can and should. It takes awhile to make (about an hour) and it’s best to use it when it’s cool (it’s piping hot when it comes out of the oven). You can store it at room temperature or in the freezer.
Can I make mini no-bake cheesecakes from this recipe?
Absolutely. I’d venture this would make about 12 if using tall muffin liners and more if using regular.
What kind of chocolate should I use to make caramelized white chocolate?
I always use Lindt white but brand doesn’t matter as much as the ingredients: look for high quality bars that have cocoa butter in them.
What else can I do with the caramelized white chocolate?
So many things! Use it in these brownie cookies, use it to make buttercream, fudge or a baked cheesecake.
Can I make a different kind of crust?
Sure! Any kind of dry cookie will work like graham crackers or digestives.
Can I leave off the ganache?
I don’t recommend leaving it off because it really drives that cwc flavor home. Don’t skip it!
My white chocolate didn’t caramelize correctly. What did I do wrong?
If you used a good quality white chocolate and followed the directions exactly, chances are there’s nothing wrong with the chocolate. At some point it will be hard and crumbly, this is totally normal. Even if it doesn’t smooth out at the 45 minute mark, once you place it into the food processor it will turn into a smooth liquid.
Can I buy the caramelized white chocolate (Dulcey feves)?
Don’t be mad at me, but I’m going to say no because the flavor isn’t as strong. I think that dulcey feves are tempered with white chocolate (to make them smooth and snappy – all the things you want from a good chocolate bar). However this reduces the intense caramel flavor and since there’s already lots of creamy things that are going to mute it, we want to reduce that. Make your own – you won’t regret it!
Do I have to bake the crust?
Nope. You can make the crumb/butter mix, press it and freeze it. It will be more crumbly but that’s all.
No-Bake Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe
Makes: One tall 8 or 9” round cake. Serves 10-12.
Takes: 30 minutes, plus an overnight chill.
- 2 cups oreo crumbs, cream removed
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold is fine
No-Bake Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients
- 7 oz caramelized white chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
- 1 ½ cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
- 2 packages cream cheese (16 oz), at room temperature
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
- 1-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
Caramelized White Chocolate Ganache Ingredients
- 3.5 oz caramelized white chocolate
- 2.5 oz heavy whipping cream
To make the caramelized white chocolate: preheat the oven to 250 F. Break up 12 oz of chocolate and spread onto a clean metal pan. Bake it for about 45 minutes, using a rubber spatula to stir it for even browning every 10 minutes. When it’s done, pour it into a food processor and process on high until smooth. Pour it into a parchment lined pan and let it cool then set it in the freezer.
How to make No-Bake Caramelized White Chocolate Cheesecake
- Prepare an 8 inch springform or cake pan by lining it with parchment paper (for the springform, place it on the bottom only, for the cake pan grease the pan and then press the parchment into it and use metal clips to hold it in place.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter (microwave is fine) and mix it with the cookie crumbs. Press it into the bottom of the pan and up the sides. Use the back of a measuring cup to get it into an even layer.
- Bake the crust for 10 minutes and then let cool. Once at room temp, you can stick it in the freezer to firm up further.
- In a bowl, whip 1 cup of the heavy cream to stiff peaks and set aside.
- Very finely chop 7 oz of the white chocolate and set in a heatproof bowl. Warm ½ cup of the heavy cream in a pot over medium heat until the sides begin to bubble. Pour it over the chopped chocolate and mix until it’s smooth. If you have trouble getting all the chocolate to melt, stick it in the microwave for 10 seconds.
- In a bowl beat the cream cheese with the powdered sugar, salt and vanilla. Pour the ganache over it and mix to combine.
- Fold the whipped cream with a rubber spatula, slowly so as not to deflate it.
- Pour filling into the prepared crust and set in the fridge overnight.
To make the caramelized white chocolate ganache (before serving):
- Finely chop 3.5 oz of chocolate and set in a heatproof bowl.
- Warm the cream until the sides begin to bubble and then pour over the chopped chocolate.
- Stir until smooth. Pour over the firm, chilled cheesecake and serve.
- Store leftovers in the fridge. Uncovered is fine.