White Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Glaze

White Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Topping

February 6, 2012

They say it’s your birthday. Well, Happy Birthday to You!

Today’s post is part of a birthday surprise for Brandy, a young (oh yes, you are!) blogging friend. I was asked to participate in a Virtual Surprise Party for Brandy’s 30th birthday. You may know her as Nutmeg Nanny (two guesses on that name and one answer is yes, she is a nanny!) but I know her as a sweet, quirky girl who I’ve now seen get engaged, shop for a wedding dress and celebrate an important birthday; all through the magic of Twitter.

This is a communal effort but I love that it’s been kept small and more intimate. Each of us has taken on one course and if given the opportunity I’ll always choose dessert. I love making them. I love eating them. Nuff said?

I’ve been dying to make a cheesecake with some flavors from one of my favorite cakes and now I had the opportunity. To be honest I was CERTAIN that I would include some form of adult libation. I mean how could you NOT include booze in a dessert for a girl who puts on the ‘The 12 Boozy Days of Christmas?’ each year.

As it turns out; this was also Abby Dodge’s subject for February’s #baketogether challenge. Each month Abby gives us inspiration and a recipe and we can run with it. Follow as is or in Abby’s term, ‘Switch It Up’ if we choose. I did choose. I loved the crust with the ground almonds and my guests raved over the salted caramel and chocolate topping.

This was a trial; one of the few times when I struggled to get something to work; to elicit that OMG response upon tasting. I tried, I really did. I started with wanting something that would work with pomegranate arils but also had my heart set on caramel, so I mixed some pomegranate liqueur into a batch of caramel. It was OK. But just OK and that sort of meant I pitched it. I wanted stellar!

I ended up ditching the idea of pomegranate altogether; as gorgeous as they are…they are also so seasonal and I didn’t want to limit this cheesecake to just the middle of winter so moving on..

I decided to make the cake and maybe get an inspiration from the end result.The cheesecake alone is filled with things I love. Almonds in the crust, mascarpone and white chocolate in the base…it seemed easy enough to add just a bit of somethin’ somethin’ to the caramel, right? Wrong! I asked for suggestions on Twitter; I even contemplated making several caramel sauces and doing a taste test but in the end it really was simple. White chocolate in the base. Almonds in the crust? No I did not add a coconut liqueur…but opted to just KISS it (Keep It Simple Stupid) and went with the Scharffenberger Chocolate Liqueur that I had just made for Valentine gifts and a martini. Once that decision was made it was so perfect I was only irritated with myself that I had suffered getting there!

Make this dessert for someone you love. Make it for you. But make it. I made this for Brandy and only wish she could share it with me. Happy Birthday Sweetie!

White Chocolate Mascarpone Cheesecake with Salted Caramel and Chocolate Topping
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A rich cheesecake is covered with a lightly salted chocolate and caramel topping.
Serves: 10-12 Servings
For the Crust:
  • ¾ cup toasted, ground almonds
  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling:
  • 6 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 - 8 oz packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • Boiling water for baking
For the Sour Cream Topping:
  • 16 oz sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the Caramel Sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 oz butter
  • 3-4 Tbsp Chocolate Liqueur (optional)
To Finish:
  • Maldon Sea Salt Flakes
To Make the Crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil
  3. Mix the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor until finely ground. Add the butter and process until combined and moist crumbs are formed
  4. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not up the sides)
  5. Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
To Make the Cheesecake:
  1. Melt the white chocolate gently over simmering water or on low heat in the microwave.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, melted chocolate, sugar and salt in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  3. Beat in the vanilla.
  4. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  5. Pour the cheese mixture over the cooled crust in the pan.
  6. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  7. Carefully put the pan into the oven and bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, 55 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).
  8. Remove the cake from the oven, top with the sour cream topping and return to the oven for 12 more minutes.
  9. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cool for 1 hour.
The Caramel Sauce:
  1. In a small, heavy bottomed pot, melt the sugar with water. Cook over high heat until deep amber in color; do not stir. Remove from heat, and carefully whisk in the cream (it will bubble up considerably; make sure you use a larger pot than you think you will need!). Whisk in the butter; returning the pan to low heat if necessary to get the butter to melt.
  2. Add the Chocolate Liqueur to taste and let cool to room temp. Spread over the top of the cheesecake with a thin layer of the caramel.
To finish:
  1. Lightly sprinkle the top with Maldon sea salt.
  2. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
I've found the best way to cut this cheesecake is with a warm knife. Put some water into a glass and have a paper towel handy. Before each slice; let the knife rest in the water for a few moments, wipe off the water with the paper towel and slice.

I hope you will enjoy our Virtual Birthday Party…visit some of my cohorts for additional courses:

1. Soup Course- Healthy Green Kitchen 

2. Salad Course- Living Mostly Meatless 

3. Pasta Course- Cooking With Books 

4. Meat Course-  Farmgirl Gourmet  

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nelum December 29, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Your recipes look amazing. But I would like to know the exact amount cream cheese you are adding for this recipe.is it 32 oz ?


2 Creative Culinary December 29, 2012 at 10:29 pm

The recipe calls for 2 – 8 oz packages of cream cheese and also 16 oz of mascarpone cheese. If you want to use all cream cheese then yes, it would be 32 oz total. Hope that helps.


3 Eleni May 5, 2012 at 5:15 am

Ooh this looks gorgeous! I’d love to try it. A quick question, any ideas on what I could use instead of sour cream? We can’t get it here in Greece :( Many thanks


4 Creative Culinary May 5, 2012 at 8:38 am

I often substitute Greek yogurt for sour cream Eleni; I’ve never done that but you could try it. Since it’s already thinner, I might be a good idea to let it drain a bit first before mixing it with the sugar and applying it to the cheesecake. I’ve also heard of people combining 3/4 cup yogurt with 1/4 butter for a sour cream substitute but I’m not sure how well that would apply in a baking environment. Please let me know what you do and how it works!


5 Peter Langdon April 24, 2012 at 2:06 pm

Just made this, it’s wonderful! The sour cream layer adds a silky smooth, tangy element that, together with the salted caramel makes this really intriguing and sexytasty!


6 Creative Culinary April 24, 2012 at 6:15 pm

Nothing please me more than someone making something and loving it…especially thinking it’s sexytasty; that’s a new one and I love it! Thanks Peter.


7 Patty February 21, 2012 at 1:27 am

looks fabulous, love to bake it and taste it!


8 Patty February 21, 2012 at 1:26 am

try it


9 Georgie February 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm

Holy schmolly! That is one beautiful cheesecake!


10 Creative Culinary February 16, 2012 at 11:27 pm

I don’t always go through spam to see if good comments got caught by mistake but glad tonight that I took a peek. Holy schmolly…that made me chuckle! Thanks Georgie.


11 Sanjeeta kk February 11, 2012 at 7:45 am

I love that perfect slice of cheesecake..and caramel topping sounds yummy!
Sanjeeta kk Most Recent Post: Steamed Pumpkin Soup with Shallots and AFBHLS Guest Post by Harini of Tongue Ticklers


12 Lannie February 10, 2012 at 9:16 pm

This looks delicious!!


13 Vicky February 10, 2012 at 7:04 am

Looks absolutely delicious. I’ve never made cheesecake with mascarpone before — think I’ll make this one for my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day!
Vicky Most Recent Post: Kale, White Bean and Tomato Soup


14 Hanaa February 9, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Wow, this looks amazing. You did a really great job! I have a couple of questions and I hope you don’t mind. You mention adding chocolate liquor to the caramel but I don’t see it in the ingredients list. How much did you use? Also, does the caramel remain chewy and soft, or does it become hard(er)?



15 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Oops…I fixed that Hanaa; thanks. Just a couple of Tablespoons and it’s even optional if you don’t have it. I also made my own chocolate liqueur which is what I used.


16 Jeanne @ CookSister! February 9, 2012 at 7:56 am

You had me at hello!!! I have a weakness for cheesecakes, but it was the salted caramel that really did me in. Swoon!
Jeanne @ CookSister! Most Recent Post: Chicken breasts in a mushroom marsala sauce with roasted beets


17 vianney February 9, 2012 at 1:38 am

what a sweet event.. sweet and salty treats rock!! so glad I hopped over to check out your creation! pinning!!


18 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Thank you so much! Glad to have you stop by and thanks for the pin.


19 Sally Evans February 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm

I am so delighted that I found your website but I can see that I shouldn’t read it when I’m hungry because everything looks so good! The combination of the flavors in this cheesecake sounds heavenly. Who needs dinner, anyway?
Sally Evans Most Recent Post: Valentine’s Day Gifts


20 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

You are a woman after my own heart Sally!


21 Linda February 8, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Gorgeous and richly delicious!! I love that you used mascarpone and the caramel topping just blends beautifully. Must taste amazing!!


22 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I had a large group over and served it for dessert. It might have gone over well. :)


23 EA-The Spicy RD February 8, 2012 at 1:18 pm

I love pomegranate, but I’m sure glad you ditched it and went with the salted caramel here! This looks absolutely amazing!! Pinning it right away!
EA-The Spicy RD Most Recent Post: Lemony Kale, Pasta, and Pistachio Salad


24 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Me too; it would have been pretty but I can plan that for next Christmas can’t I?


25 Regina February 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I love this, looks amazing. love the sweet and salty way this would taste. On my to do list.

Thanks Regina


26 Priscilla - She's Cookin' February 8, 2012 at 11:44 am

Ahh, but the suffering paid off royally in the end! Simply delicious – can we start this virtual birthday celebration with the dessert course :)
Priscilla – She’s Cookin’ Most Recent Post: EB Be Mine Heart Healthy Brunch


27 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Sure…but you know it was the only course I had. Was sure happy to have friends coming over. They can smell when I’m baking and are always eager to be my testers.


28 Jamie February 8, 2012 at 8:00 am

Hmmmm where is MY birthday cheesecake? Really anything with mascarpone and salted butter caramel will do! This is just stunning! Absolutely beautiful and I am so loving the flavors! You are an incredible cook/baker….


29 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Ahem. When you come to the states and drop in via parachute as I have suggested; I will have this cheesecake waiting. And more. :)


30 Tickled Red February 8, 2012 at 6:51 am

Girl! This looks DA-Vine! Going on my list of must try cheesecakes asap. I would say more but I’m busy drooling :D
Tickled Red Most Recent Post: Surf & Turf ¦ Rum BBQ Kabobs


31 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

Wipe your chin girl!


32 Catwoman February 8, 2012 at 6:35 am

Hmmm…that’s what I’d call delicious… I’m a big fan of cheesecakes so Ijust can’t wait to give your recipe a try as soon as possible! Thanks for sharing it!


33 Liz February 8, 2012 at 4:14 am

This is one exquisite cheesecake…ALL my favorite flavors!
Liz Most Recent Post: Lentil and Sausage Soup~


34 Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen February 8, 2012 at 1:11 am

Hello salted caramel deliciousness, I want a piece!
Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen Most Recent Post: Hot Spiced Cashew Coconut Milk | For a Cold Night


35 Creative Culinary February 9, 2012 at 12:22 pm

I can not tell a lie. I would probably go nuts over liver with salted caramel on top. :)


36 SMITH BITES February 7, 2012 at 7:06 pm

well you know this has my name written all over it, right???? salted caramel?? on cheesecake??? i really hope there is salted caramel in heaven . . . or i’m not goin’ . . . just sayin’ . . .


37 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:43 pm

I’m with you Deb. My first experience I can remember was a salted caramel hot chocolate I bought for my daughter MANY years ago…have been hooked, line and sinker, ever since.


38 Mary February 7, 2012 at 2:49 pm

This looks insanely delicious! Wow. What a work of mouthwatering art.


39 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:38 pm

Thank you so much Mary; very much appreciated.


40 Megan's Cookin' February 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

You can make me one for my birthday! :) I have always wanted to try a cheesecake with Mascarpone cheese. That salted caramel just sends it over the top. Drooling!
Megan’s Cookin’ Most Recent Post: 100_2355_edited-1


41 Kristina February 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

Nice job! And yes, great minds do think alike. ;-) I also struggle at times with keeping it simple.
Kristina Most Recent Post: Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust and Salted Caramel


42 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I actually love a relatively plain lemon flavored cheesecake so much that I hesitate adding a lot of anything to the basic recipe but this…these were a couple of subtle but perfect elements…once I got that liqueur thing right. :)


43 Xean February 7, 2012 at 4:41 am

This is simply amazing..! Cheesecake is one of my favorite cakes and the way you baked it, looks so delicious! I’m gonna share this to my mom because she loves baking new recipe.

Happy birthday to you! :)
Xean Most Recent Post: Celebration Coffeecakes


44 Maris (In Good Taste) February 7, 2012 at 4:04 am

OMG! This cake looks incredible! Happy Birthday to Brandy!
Maris (In Good Taste) Most Recent Post: Meatless Monday: Savory Acorn Squash


45 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:34 pm

Thanks Maris…and glad to see you stop by. XOXO


46 Lisa February 7, 2012 at 3:08 am

Will you please stop making every kind of food, sweet or sacory, that I love? I’m one of the few people who feels white chocolate should be let into the ‘real chocolate’ club just because it’s soo french vanilla wonderful – why not french vanilla chocolate – the hell with picky cocoa bean llquor/butter crap? Salted caramel? Fuhgeddabout it, I’d be begging at your doorstep.
Lisa Most Recent Post: Rustic Chocolate Raspberry Almond Valentine Cake for SRC and #chocolatelove, plus, Bad Boy First Love Part Three


47 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:33 pm

I agree wholeheartedly…it adds a great element to this cheesecake without making it chocolate chocolate. Let’s start a campaign!


48 Baker Street February 7, 2012 at 1:07 am

You know how much I love cheesecake! I hopped over as soon as I saw the title. The salted caramel glaze sounds divine.
Baker Street Most Recent Post: Muffin Monday: Cranberry Carrot Muffins


49 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:32 pm

It is, it is…I had some left over. I had no problem eating it with a spoon. True confession.


50 Terra February 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

WOW!!!! Now that is a dessert I would love, would a perfect sweet treat for any birthday celebration!!!! Love that top, the caramel looks so perfect! Hugs, Terra
Terra Most Recent Post: ChocolateLove – Cherry Cordial Brownies


51 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Thank you Terra…I guess I have to admit; if it’s got a caramel topping, how could it not be good? :)


52 Lora @Cakeduchess February 6, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Well, I think I will just start with the tasty crust. Lounge around in the cheesy center and leave room to finish off the caramel topping….and I’m not referring to just a slice. I’d like the whole thing, please;)


53 Creative Culinary February 7, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Traveling through a cheesecake huh? Loved your comment…let’s lounge together girlfriend.


54 Nancy@acommunaltable February 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm

WOO HOO!!! You definitely made the right decision Barb – that one definitely gives the Cheesecake Factory a run for it’s money!! If I could ship it, I’d be making it right now for the oldest since he LOVES cheesecake! Alas, I may just have to make it for… me!!
Nancy@acommunaltable Most Recent Post: Mustard Greens with White Wine Vinaigrette and Homemade Croutons


55 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:21 pm

I think Cheesecake Factory is overrated anyhow…but thanks so much. I did suggest you make it for yourself. Do it!


56 Julia February 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

I mean, I GUESS pomegranate would have been ok, but the flavor combo you landed on is outrageous! Can you make this, for reals, for my birthday? It’s not til November, so you have a few months ;)


57 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I was sort of stuck on how pretty pomegranate would have been but then it seemed too holidayish so glad in all ways I went another direction. I appreciate the heads up…yes, you have given me plenty of time. Whew.


58 Wendy Read - Sunchowder February 6, 2012 at 8:48 am

Oh, I can’t wait to try this, your photos are gorgeous as always! So nice to be a part of Nutmeg Nanny’s party too :) Great idea to make courses.
Wendy Read – Sunchowder Most Recent Post: Photo Shoot with Edible Orlando Magazine..an afternoon to remember


59 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:19 pm

It was fun…I liked the fact that it was directed and made of courses too…created synergy in abundant ways.


60 mick February 6, 2012 at 8:15 am

HEAVEN on a plate!
mick Most Recent Post: Scallop Secrets


61 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:18 pm

Thank you Mick…always a special feeling when the chef from Tony’s gives his seal of approval! Much appreciated.


62 Rosa February 6, 2012 at 7:35 am

That is one divine looking and sounding cheesecake! The caramel glaze is so irresistible. A perfect dessert.




63 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Thanks so much Rosa…isn’t it though. Who doesn’t like cheesecake? :)


64 Kate @ FoodBabbles February 6, 2012 at 7:25 am

Oh my!!! I just want to dive into that cheesecake head first! I’ve been on such a salted caramel kick lately and this would be just the thing to hit the spot right now… And yes, it’s 9am here in NJ ;) Wonderful wonderfully recipe and I will definitely be making this some time.


65 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:16 pm

I love salted caramel too Kate…just enough to balance what can often be an almost achingly sweet caramel. Fabulous on cheesecake.


66 Nelly Rodriguez February 6, 2012 at 7:12 am

You’ve outdone yourself! This looks amazing and perfect to celebrate another year in Brandy’s life!
Nelly Rodriguez Most Recent Post: An Elegant Birthday Dinner: Brandy’s Virtual Party!


67 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Only wish we could actually be together celebrating. Sob…but it was fun doing it with you and the others. A great bunch.


68 Karen Harris February 6, 2012 at 7:08 am

Wow, you really made up for lost time this month! What an inspired recipe. There’s not much better than salted caramel. This looks great Barb.
Karen Harris Most Recent Post: A Treat for My Valentine: Pan de Polvo Pancakes


69 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:14 pm

Thanks my friend. I have some in the freezer. Just sayin’!


70 Paula February 6, 2012 at 7:01 am

Happy Birthday to Brandy! I’m betting that she’s wishing she could celebrate it with you IRL and with this gorgeous and scrumptious looking cheesecake. With 2.4 teaspoons of your homemade Chocolate Liqueur in the topping and an almond based crust I know this is a true winner.
Paula Most Recent Post: Vintage Valentines


71 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

It was so good Paula…really sometimes I think I overthink!


72 Jessie February 6, 2012 at 6:20 am

This looks SO good! Can I have some for breakfast instead?
Jessie Most Recent Post: Michigan Salad & A Happy Birthday


73 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Shh…don’t tell but I did the other day. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do, right?


74 Winnie February 6, 2012 at 6:12 am

OMG Barb this looks fantastic. Cheesecake is my weakness :)
Winnie Most Recent Post: Slow Cooker Moroccan Red Lentil Soup with Harissa


75 Creative Culinary February 6, 2012 at 7:09 pm

Mine too Winnie. And caramel. Together I’m in trouble. I had a party so it was mostly finished off but I have a small piece in the freezer. Now I want to go thaw something. :)


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