Bake or Break

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Brownie Crust

slice of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I often feel like cheesecakes are some great secret in the baking world. They always look and taste so impressive, yet are so simple to make. So, I guess that secret’s now out of the bag.

With National Cheesecake Day on the horizon this week (July 30th!), I knew that there would need to be a cheesecake celebration here on BoB. I thought it only fitting to celebrate one of my favorite desserts with a couple of my favorite flavors – chocolate and dulce de leche!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Brownie Crust is an amazingly delicious combination of rich dulce de leche and dark chocolate brownie. - Bake or Break

The crust is simply a variation of my basic brownie recipe baked right in a springform pan. Then, the cheesecake filling is a fancied up with some dulce de leche. After many other considerations, I decided that the perfect thing to top off this beauty is even more dulce de leche. So, I made a simple whipped cream flavored with a bit more of it.

I’ve been very fortunate in my baking adventures in that I’ve had very few cracked cheesecakes. However, if your cheesecake does crack, the dulce de leche whipped cream is the perfect way to hide any imperfections.

Rich dulce de leche cheesecake sits atop a brownie crust, and it's all topped with whipped cream flavored with even more dulce de leche! - Bake or Break

As always, I used PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese for my cheesecake baking. It’s been the only cream cheese I’ve used for many years. It’s made with fresh local milk and real cream. All that freshness goes from the farm to fridge in just six days. (And, don’t forget that original PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese has no preservatives.)

My taste testers and I agree that this is one of our favorite cheesecakes ever. It’s so rich and creamy and really just amazingly delicious. I feel confident that I’ll be making this one again and again!

For more cheesecake recipes, browse the Recipe Index.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Brownie Crust

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 35 minutes

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Brownie Crust is an amazingly delicious combination of wonderful flavors. Irresistible!

slice of Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 24 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dulce de leche

For the whipped cream:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dulce de leche
  • chocolate shavings, for garnish

Instructions

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat at half power in microwave in 30-second increments until butter has melted and chocolate melts when stirred. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Combine the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Add the chocolate mixture, mixing until combined. Add the flour and salt, mixing just until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Set the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Add the dulce de leche and mix until combined.
  3. Pour batter onto the cooled crust in pan. Spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce oven temperature to 200°F. Continue baking for 2 hours.
  6. Turn off the oven. Remove the cheesecake from oven and gently run a knife around the edges of the pan. Return the cheesecake to oven. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 2 hours.
  7. Then, cover loosely and refrigerate overnight.

To make the whipped cream:

  1. Place the cream in a large, cold mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer with a whisk attachment, beat at medium-high speed until the cream begins to thicken.
  2. Sprinkle the sugar over the cream. Whisk until combined. Add the dulce de leche.
  3. Continue beating until you can lift the whisk out of the whipped cream and a peak that curves downward forms in the cream. This should take 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Spread the whipped cream over cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Disclosure: I have been chosen by Kraft Foods to be a spokesperson for PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. I have been provided with compensation for my time. All opinions written are my own. For more cheesecake inspiration, be sure to visit www.creamcheese.com.

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    61 Comments on “Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with Brownie Crust”

  1. Loving that brownie crust! This cheesecake is a babe!

  2. Jennifer, that looks amazing and a perfect one for a National Cheesecake Day (deserves its own day!!). I can’t wait to try it. Still working my way through a few of your recent ones using berries and cherries. Those are so amazing right now it is hard to focus on recipes without fruit. Thanks for another great one!

  3. This looks heavenly! It’s hard to go wrong with a brownie crust and dulce de leche filling!

  4. How do I make the dulce de leche part? Do you buy it? Thanks!

  5. How does one make dulce de leche?

  6. I’m not sure if my stores dulce de leche either, but it sounds like we could substitute with caramel if needed.

  7. Ummmm, this looks like heaven on a plate!!! My mouth is watering looking at it haha! Francesca

  8. Beautiful dessert, Jennifer! It would be perfect for my husband’s birthday next weekend. One question: Do you think the cake, without the whipped cream topping, could be made ahead and frozen without any adverse effects? If so, should I remove the outside of the pan before freezing. I’m thinking it would be just for a few days, then I would take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge overnight.

    Philadelphia cream cheese is the BEST. The very few times it was unavailable in the past, ie. the store ran out, I have tried other brands and never will again, as I regretted it. It’s just not the same result – Philly cream cheese all the way!

    • Hi, Marla! Yes, you can freeze the cheesecake. It will freeze best if you’ve made it with regular (not fat free or low fat) cream cheese. I would chill in the refrigerator, then remove the outside of the pan, wrap it tightly and freeze. I’d give it a full day in the refrigerator to thaw.

  9. Thanks so much, Jennifer!

  10. This is the most amazing cheesecake I have seen in a very long time. I want to face plant right into it.

  11. I’ve lucked out with many of my cheesecakes also, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to smother them in whipped cream! This looks fabulous.

  12. This looks amazing, just wondering what setting the oven is? (Like fan forced etc). Thank you 🙂

  13. To make your own dulce de leche: This caramel sauce comes from Argentina and we have two methods to make it. One is a very long process in which you boil fresh milk, sugar and baking soda and stir the preparation constantly for hours. The other is long but you just let it cook on its own. Stovetop: This method takes a long time, but it allows for the most control over the consistency. Remove label from a 24 ounce can of CONDENSED milk. Pierce three holes in the formation of a triangle on top of can (this is critical to release the pressure from the heat or else the can may explode.) Place the can in a saucepan and fill the saucepan with water three-quarters of the way up the side of the can.

    Bring water to a simmer and keep it there for 3-4 hours or until desired consistency. For a thicker more syrup-like texture cook closer to 4 hours. When ready, use tongs to remove can, allow to cool slightly and pour dulce de leche in a bowl and whisk to smoothness. Let cool before storing. Good luck!

  14. Lovely recipe! I’d like to ask, how do you make the whipped cream so neatly spread over the top? What tools and method do you use? Thanks

  15. Hi Jennifer,

    I was wondering if it is a vital necessity to leave the cheesecake in the turned off oven for the second 2 hours? I really want to make this cake for my partners birthday this Friday, but will have to make it after work on Thursday evening. Short of going to bed in the early hours of Friday morning, I’m wondering if it’s possible to let the cheesecake cool after being in the oven for the first 2 hours and then put it straight into the fridge?

  16. Hi Jennifer!
    I was wondering if this could be made in a cupcake pan, instead of a spring pan?

  17. I remember when you posted this back in July, and knew it would be perfect for my husband’s birthday. I made this yesterday for the occasion and it was a smash hit! He always goes for cheesecake at restaurants and requests one for his birthday most years. We have plenty left over for the rest of the weekend!

  18. How does the brownie crust not burn when you place it back in the oven with the cream cheese layer????

    • Hi, Dena. The brownie won’t burn. The initial baking of the brownie is just enough to get it set so the cheesecake layer will stay separate. If you make it as described in the recipe, it will be just fine!

  19. hi
    Have to say made this and it came out perfectly ( even after converting it all into English measurements!) just one question, how long will it keep in the fridge for once completed?

  20. To make dulce de leche is just boil for about 2-3 hours condensed milk on low heat, occasionally adding water to keep jar in the water, other wise it will explode :(.

  21. Hi Jennifer, this dessert looks amazing I can’t wait to try it. I love the idea of having the brownie crust.

  22. Hi Jennifer

    I am making this recipe for Christmas and wonder if I should use the Eagle brand Dulce de leche or a jar of presidents choice Dulce de leche
    It sounds wonderful!!

  23. These look delicious!! Can’t wait to make them but I have a question, I noticed there is no whipping cream inside the filling, will the cheesecake be creamy though or hard?
    Thank you!

  24. Delicious looking DULCE DE LECHE CHEESECAKE. Thanks a lot for it’s introduction to the masses. I have jotted down all the recipe.Hopefully try sometime…Thanks once again JENNIFER.

  25. Dear Jennifer, just wanted to thank you for sharing this amazing recipe with all of us! After returning from our Argentinian vacation, my boyfriend was obsesses with a dulce de Lethe cheesecake we had tried at London cafe in BA so I surfed the Internet for days until I found your recipe. So far I’ve made this cheesecake for over three times  (trying to perfect it each time) and everybody LOVES IT! I’m not even joking how popular this dessert has made me among my family and friends (lol!) . Just wanted to stop by to say thanks and share my experience <3

  26. How long before serving can I top the cheesecake with the whipped cream without it going flat?  Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with brownie crust. 

  27. Hi i just want to know about the dulce the leche? Is this a syrup ? Im leaving in south of france so really hard to find the american & english product? Thank you so much & hopefully to hear from you !!

  28. Multiple people thought this cheesecake turned out very well. I was especially taken by the cream on top. Delicious in its own right.

  29. Can I substitute the brownie crust with G/Free brownie boxed mix?  Thank you. 

  30. Brilliant, thanks. I could tell right away by the ingredients this would be a winner. Silly question though, when do I remove cheese cake from springform and what type of chocolate shavings would you recommend for the garnish?  Can’t wait to serve this!

    • Remove the sides of the pan when it’s completely chilled and you’re ready to serve. For chocolate shavings, I use a Microplane grater to grate a good quality chocolate. I most often have Guittard.

  31. I was just going through IG pages seeking inspiration for my birthday cake this week, and found this mouthwatering recipe. If I substituted a graham cracker crust, would you recommend a different baking time? Thank you!

  32. If I only have medium or extra large eggs for the filling, which one do I use?

  33. If i was to make this into cupcakes, would it require same temp. and bake time?

    • Hi, Melinda. I’ve not tried that, so I can’t say for sure how it would need to be changed. I generally only use this cheesecake baking method for standard size cheesecakes. Take a look at my mini cheesecake recipes and find one that’s the size you’re wanting to make. The baking temperature and time for that should give you a good starting place.

  34. Hello, 
    Does it have to sit overnight in the fridge?  Mine has been in the fridge for 4 hours.. is that enough ?

  35. This is the best cake I’ve ever made according to my family! 
    It was the first cheesecake I made that wasn’t a disaster… 
    I turned off the oven’s fan for the baking process and followed the instructions and my cake came out fabulous.
     The cake has to stay in the fridge for at least 4 hours, otherwise it’s still too warm to put the whipped cream on it.
    I used maple syrup dulche de leche. 

  36. Hi Jennifer,
    After the cake stayed to cool in the oven, do we continue to cool it on the counter or put it straight in the refrigerator?
    Thank you.

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