A delicious baked Millionaire’s Cheesecake that has 3 layers of perfection squeezed into each slice. This cheesecake is creamy, soft and transforms a classic Millionaire’s shortbread into a decadent dessert that’s perfect for the upcoming festive season.
It’s unquestionably a labour of love and a long-ish process but results in an amazingly rewarding outcome. The texture is unbeatable! The creamy cheesecake filling combined with a rich dark chocolate ganache and melt in the mouth caramel to make an insatiable dessert.
I feel like this Millionaire’s Cheesecake is great for small get-togethers and can certainly replace a classic layered sponge cake for those looking to try something different. Another thing I love about this cheesecake is that you can bake it in advanced. It’ll last up to 5 days in the refrigerator and a month in the freezer.
The Shortbread Biscuit Base
As with a classic Millionaire’s bar, I used a shortbread biscuit base. It’s as simple as creating crumbs from several biscuits, combining it with butter and salt, then pressing it tightly into the base. As this stage, you want to blind bake it for 12 – 15 minutes until it becomes firm to touch and the edges brown
How to avoid a soggy cheesecake base: A cheesecake base will never be completely crisp as such due to the wet filling naturally seeping moisture into the crust as the cheesecake cools. If you prefer you base to be crisper then you can brush a bit of egg white on top before blind baking the base.
How to avoid a crumbly cheesecake base: Try pressing down hard to ensure that the crumbs are tightly pressed into the springform tin.
How to avoid a hard cheesecake base: Don’t bake it for too long. For a 9-inch cheesecake 15 minutes is long enough. It’ll be done when the edges begin to brown.
The Caramel Cream Cheese Filling
This filling is perfectly creamy. This recipe is actually inspired by a supermarket Millionaire’s Cheesecake that I used to buy. It has dollops of caramel dotted throughout the filling and I couldn’t help but replicate it with this recipe.
There are several steps to ensuring that this cheesecake filling is made to perfection.
Room temperature ingredients: All of your ingredients must be room temperature to ensure that they combine effortlessly. Caramel, sour cream, eggs, everything! It also means no lumps of unmixed cream cheese end up in the filling. Let them sit on your counter for a couple of hours. You can also speed up the process by submerging the ingredients in warm water before opening the packaging.
Don’t overbeat: Overbeating the ingredients will lead to too much air being incorporated into the filling. Any air bubbles trapped inside will expand as the cheesecake bakes and can lead to cracks or even just unsightly holes throughout.
Don’t overbake: The cheesecake will be done when the centre jiggles slightly. The jiggle is perfectly fine and doesn’t mean the centre isn’t cooked. Another visual cue is that the edges will puff up a bit but they will actually shrink as the cheesecake gradually cools.
Why use a water bath to bake a cheesecake?: The water bath helps keep the cheesecake moist. Without it your cheesecake will overbake, curdle and you’ll end up with those dreaded cracks. I placed the 9-inch springform tin in a slightly larger 10-inch cake tin to create a watertight seal.
You can also use foil. The only downside to the foil method is that most sheets aren’t big enough to wrap around the entire base and up a few inches around the sides. If you try to layer the sheets then water will still seep in so I definitely recommend using another large dish to hold the 9-inch cheesecake. If not then make sure you’re using foil sheets that are large enough to cover the entirety of the springform tin base.
The Caramel Sauce: Be generous with it. I buy a standard 397 g can of caramel sauce and only 60 g of that is actually added to the actual cream cheese filling. To truly taste the caramel, you want to scoop spoonfuls of the remaining caramel sauce into the filling.
Initially, it seemed like a lot when I first tested this recipe, but it felt like I had barely added any caramel once I began cutting into it?! Trust me when I say you want to add it all to truly notice and enjoy the caramel.
The Chocolate Ganache
I have a love-hate relationship with ganache. Love it because it tastes absolutely amazing. Hate it because I can’t count the number of times I’ve attempted to salvage a greasy, split ganache. Troubleshooting desserts is part of the fun but I find it near impossible to use a split ganache so here are a few tips to ensure that you master it on your first try.
Overheating: Overheating is the best way to split a ganache. Double cream is sensitive to high temperatures so it’s actually best to heat your ganache on a stovetop.
If you use a microwave, make sure to regularly check the heat of the double cream by stirring it and using a spoon to drip a bit onto the back of your hand. It should be warm to somewhat hot but it shouldn’t be so hot that it burns. It can be a hard balance but take your time and heat it in intervals.
Whisking too much: Use a little balloon whisk to combine the chocolate and double cream then stop! Don’t repeatedly whisk. Agitating the ganache can also cause it to split.
Using it whilst warm: Let it cool down before using. It should be room temperature but still runny. Your cheesecake should be cold. This will allow it to set without too much dripping around the edges.
I used a turntable and palette knife to make the swirl pattern on top and then added gold leaf and lustre dust to decorate the cheesecake.
How To Store A Baked Millionaire’s Cheesecake? Can I Freeze It?
Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
This cheesecake tastes great defrosted and can be left in the freezer for up to 1 month. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight then eat within 1 – 2 days.
If you have any questions or enjoyed this cheesecake let me know below! I’d love to hear your thoughts. Click here for more decadent recipes to try.
Millionaire’s Cheesecake (Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake)
The perfect cheesecake with three layers of pure deliciousness.
Shortbread Biscuit Base
- 250 g Shortbread biscuits
- 70 g (5 Tbsp) Salted butter, melted
- ¼ tsp Salt
- 650 g (2 ⅔ Cup) Full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- 100 g (½ Cup) Light brown sugar, sifted
- 48 g (¼ Cup) Dark brown sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsp Plain flour
- 120 g (½ Cup) Sour cream, room temperature
- 400 g (1 ¾ Cup) Caramel sauce (dulce de leche), room temperature
- 1 Tsp Vanilla extract
- 3 Large eggs, room temperature
Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 120 ml (½ Cup) Double cream
- 75 g (5.2 oz) Milk or dark chocolate
Preheat your oven to 180 C (350 F) and line a 9-inch springform tin with parchment paper.
Add shortbread biscuits into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin until fine crumbs form. Add the melted butter and salt to the bag then give it a good shake until the butter evenly saturates the crumbs. Alternatively, you can make the biscuit crumbs using a food processor.
Press the shortbread base tightly into your springform tin and bake for 12 – 15 minutes. Turn your oven down to 150 C (300 F) and set the base aside to cool.
Add the room temperature cream cheese to a bowl and use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer to beat it until soft and creamy. This will take approximately 1 minute. (For hand mixers – use the beaters attachment. For stand mixers – use the paddle attachment)
Sift the light and dark brown sugar into another bowl then add the flour and mix. Add the flour-sugar mix to the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer to a medium speed and whisk until combined. Scrape the edges and fold the filling using a silicone spatula.
While the mixer is still running add the sour cream, vanilla extract and 4 tablespoons of caramel sauce to the filling then whisk until combined. Now add the eggs, one at a time and whisk. Once the first egg is fully incorporated, add the second egg. Repeat the process with the final egg and stop as soon as a smooth, creamy batter forms.
Add ⅓ of the cheesecake filling to your springform tin and spread it evenly over the biscuit base. Scoop half of the remaining caramel sauce in spoonfuls throughout the base then spread another ⅓ of cream cheese filling over the caramel sauce. Add the remaining caramel sauce then spread over the last bit of cream cheese filling. In this order: ⅓ filling > ½ caramel sauce > ⅓ filling > ½ caramel sauce > ⅓ filling.
Tap the springform tin against your kitchen surface several times to allow any large air bubbles trapped inside the filling to rise to the top.
Place the cheesecake in either a larger baking tin or wrap the base and sides with a large sheet or foil. It should be watertight. Position a large oven tray in the middle of your oven then fill it with water. Place the sealed cheesecake into the water bath.
Bake the cheesecake for 75 – 90 minutes. It'll be done when the middle jiggles slightly and the edges are puffed. Crack the oven door open halfway and allow the cheesecake to cool gradually in the oven for another hour. Now place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to cool completely for at least 1 hour or overnight then carefully remove it from the springform tin.
Add the double cream and chocolate to a saucepan and simmer on a low heat whilst mixing until the chocolate melts. Transfer the ganache to a bowl and allow it to sit for a few minutes until it reaches room temperature then spread it on top of the cheesecake.
Place the cheesecake back in the refrigerator to set for another 30 minutes. Enjoy!
- Please refer to the blog post for a full breakdown on how to avoid mistakes when making this cheesecake.