Pecan Pie Cheesecake – Enchanting 2-for-1 dessert featuring Pecan Pie and Cheesecake together in one fabulous dessert. This decadent recipe offers a smooth, creamy, rich cheesecake topped with crunchy pecans and a lavish gooey caramel sauce. The perfect holiday dessert that truly impresses! It’s guaranteed to satisfy your cheesecake obsession. Incredibly indulging, indeed!
Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe
If only you could taste this decadent Pecan Pie Cheesecake because the photos don’t do justice.
There’s no way to describe how delicious this dessert is. It’s like admiring how handsome Johnny Depp is in the movies but then finding out he’s way hotter in person. Pardon my reference as I’m fangirling here. 😂
Anyway, back to our caramel pecan cheesecake…
Cheesecake is already a slice of heaven on a plate, but adding a luscious caramel sauce loaded with pecans on top? Aaah! It’s the ultimate dessert fantasy you could ever dream of. And it’s coming true now. Wow!
Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe
The cheesecake by itself is already a winner with its creamy and velvety texture.
I made it with just the right sweetness to perfectly match the buttery caramel sauce. That way, the crunchy and gooey caramel topping highlights the overall indulgence of our crave-worthy dessert without being overwhelmingly sweet.
You’re certainly gonna love the sweetness of the caramel up against the creamy and tangy flavors of the cheesecake. And it gets better with the addition of the sweet and crunchy pecans.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutes
The best part about this Pecan Cheesecake is that everything in this recipe is pretty basic, affordable, and easily accessible. Some of them might be just waiting for you in your pantry. Instead of buying this luxurious dessert pre-made, you can now bake it at home and enjoy it without breaking the bank. And minus the preservatives! Yay for the double win!
Pecan Pie Crust
- Graham Crackers – It’s the perfect base for our pecan pie cheesecake because it’s not too sweet and tastes best when we mix it with butter. And if you’re not a fan of graham crackers, Oreo cookies, or any hard cookies that aren’t overly sweet are great substitutes.
- Brown Sugar – The sugar helps hold the crust together. When the crust is baked, the sugar melts and then firms up upon cooling. But you can totally skip the sugar without worry but also skip baking it before adding the filling.
- Pecans – The added nutty flavor to our graham base is spot on. Just make sure to crush them finely so they’ll mix evenly with our crushed graham crackers. Or you can skip it, too, if you want. 😉
- Unsalted Butter – Ah! Butter! Not only does the butter act as the binder, but it also adds “buttery” goodness to our pecan cheesecake. Just skip the salt if you’re going to use salted butter for this recipe.
- Vanilla Extract – I wouldn’t skip the vanilla if I were you. Because it gives a flavor boost to our dessert. Oh, and homemade vanilla extract is super easy and economical.
- Cream Cheese – I don’t know about you, but anything with cream cheese is always yummy to me. It’s like a magic ingredient in every dessert. Most importantly, it’s the key ingredient in every cheesecake.
- Sour Cream – To thin out our pecan cheesecake filling while adding moisture and tangy flavor as well. You may replace it with plain yogurt or Greek yogurt if sour cream is not available. I have a list of sour cream substitutes to help you out if you don’t have sour cream.
- Brown Sugar and White Sugar – Of course, we want our baked dessert to be on the sweet side, other than being smooth, creamy, and tangy. And adding brown sugar gives our cheesecake a beautiful faint amber color.
- Egg and Egg Yolks – Other than stabilizing our cheesecake structure, the eggs are also responsible for making our cheesecake creamier, smooth, and custardy.
- Cornstarch or Flour – Adding flour or cornstarch to our cream cheese mixture gives our favorite dessert a firmer structure, especially when we cut it into slices. It also prevents cracking on the top while baking. It’s a failproof move, especially if you’re a beginner in baking a cheesecake. But if you want smoother cheesecake, you may leave out the cornstarch or flour.
- Salt – You’ll be amazed how a pinch of salt can do so much to the flavor of our cheesecake.
Pecan Pie Topping
- Butter – Aside from adding a rich buttery taste to our cake, it also gives nice caramel-y touch when we mix it with brown sugar.
- Brown Sugar – This completes our caramel pecan cheesecake. Sinfully addicting, indeed!
- Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Allspice – They add warm holiday flavors to our cheesecake while making it extra decadent and flavorful.
- Heavy Cream – The addition of heavy cream makes our toppings extra creamy while balancing the sweetness.
- Pecans – Oh, how I love pecans! Besides the nice texture they add to our creamy cheesecake, they also add nice flavors with their natural sweetness and nuttiness. Walnuts, cashews, pistachios, and almonds work, too. But of course, it won’t be called pecan cheesecake anymore.😉
Pecan Cheesecake Variations
- Oreo Madness – This is for Oreo lovers! Yaaay! Just replace the cheesecake base with Oreo crumbs, add some Oreo crumbs to the cheesecake filling, and a handful more for toppings. Oh yes!
- Fudgy Chocolate – Instead of a caramel topping, you can also make it with fudgy chocolate sauce or chocolate ganache. Plus some more chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, or chocolate chunks on tops. And to make the chocolate flavor more intense, you can also add cocoa powder or melted chocolate to our cheesecake filling. Gaaah! Life keeps getting better!
- Mochaccino – And, of course, you can’t go wrong with a little coffee flavor, too. Subtle but with a pleasantly bitter kick.
- Extra Toppings – I’m thinking of adding marshmallows and chocolate chips, and maybe some coconut flakes, too, to balance the sweetness. Yum! Yum!
- Boozy Delight – You can add a splash of bourbon or rum to the caramel sauce to amp up the flavor of our pecan pie cheesecake.
- Keto-Approved – This one’s a little tricky and needs a separate post. But just to give you a quick overview, just replace crushed crackers with almond flour and omit the cornstarch and flour in the filling. Most importantly, substitute the sugar with keto-approved sugar, such as sucralose, erythritol, monkfruit, or stevia, and you’re good to go.
Serving and Storage Instructions
To be honest, I like my cheesecake served the next day. So it allows more time to absorb the flavor and set properly. And it’s more enjoyable to eat when it’s served chilled. Oh, now I want another slice. That will be my third, BTW. 😂
- Refrigerate – Once the butter pecan cheesecake cooled completely, just cover the pan with cling wrap or foil before refrigerating. You can store it in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freeze – It freezes well, too. So, making it ahead is really not a problem in this pecan pie cheesecake recipe. Just make sure to let it set in the fridge first before freezing. Wrap the cheesecake nicely with cling wrap, ensuring that every part is covered before wrapping it again with foil or a freezer-safe bag.
- Thaw and Serve – Thaw it in the fridge overnight. Let it sit on the counter about 15-20 minutes before serving. Patience, sister, patience! Although, I can eat it a little frozen, too, like ice cream. Yum! 😉
Since we’re making pecan pie cheesecake, it’s more manageable to keep it from weeping. It’s usually because it was baked at too high of a temperature. So don’t overcook it and let it cool at room temperature. That should do the trick.
However, adding too much syrup to the cheesecake may cause it to leak down under the crust and make the crust soggy. Just pour enough syrup to cover the cheesecake and add more pecans instead. The pecans will absorb the syrup keeping our pecan cheesecake weep-free. Yay!
Oven temperature is a significant factor here. Too hot can burn the exterior leaving the center raw and runny. Preheating the oven is a must to prevent this from happening. Also, refrain from opening the oven door too often to maintain the oven’s temperature.
Yes, baking the graham crust yields a firmer crust. Because the sugar will melt while baking and will act as glue to our crust once cooled. That way, it won’t break or crumble when you get a slice of this cheesecake. And if you want to skip baking the crust, you can just let it set in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes before adding the filling.
What Goes With Pecan Pie Cheesecake?
After finishing a scrumptious meal, a slice or two of this pecan pie cheesecake here would be nice. Especially when you pair it with hot coffee or tea. Simple guilty pleasures that make us happy, right? Or you can level up your game with dessert drinks below to get the party started. 😉
More Dessert Recipes To Try
- Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars
- Pecan Pie Bars
- New York Cheesecake
- Chocolate Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
How To Make Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Prepare the Graham Crust
- Preheat – oven to 375℉/195℃.
- Grease – a 10-inch springform pan with butter or baking spray. Set aside. (Photo 1)
- Pulse – In a food processor, add graham crackers and pecans, pulse several times until crumbs are fine. Add sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and melted butter, then continue grinding until thoroughly mixed. (Photo 2-4)
- Bake – Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake until set, about 8-10 minutes. (Photo 5-6)
- Reduce Heat – Remove the crust from the oven. Reduce heat to 200℉/94℃.
Make the Cheesecake Filling
- Combine Dairy, Sugar, and Thickener – In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, sour cream, brown and granulated sugar, salt, and cornstarch until evenly combined – about 1 minute. Scrape sides with a rubber spatula. (Photo 7-9)
- Add Eggs and Vanilla – and mix until fully incorporated. Do not over mix. (Photos 10-11)
- Pour Batter – into the springform pan. Set aside for 10 minutes until bubbles form on the surface. Use a fork to pop as many bubbles as you can. (Photo 12)
- Bake – Make sure the oven is at 200℉/94℃. Then transfer the springform pan to the oven and bake until set. About 2½-3 hours or more. The batter should jiggle a bit when nudged. The center will set as soon as it reaches 180℉/82℃, then you are good to go. Because the temperature is so low, it’s almost impossible to overbake your cheesecake.
- Let it Cool – Remove from the oven and let cool it cool for 5-10 minutes. Then run a paring knife between the cheesecake and the side of the springform pan to make it easier for the cheesecake to come off when ready to slice the cake. It will also help keep it from cracking.
- Refrigerate – Let it cool down; this might take approximately 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firmly set, at least six hours or preferably overnight.
Make the Toppings
- Roast the Pecans – Preheat the oven to 325°F/163℃ and spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for 7-10 minutes or until just fragrant. (Photo 13)
- Cook – In a medium saucepan over low heat, add butter and sugar. Reduce heat and let it cook, frequently stirring until it bubbles and sugar dissolves. (Photo 14)
- Stir – Add heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pecans and continue stirring with a wooden spoon or until well blended. (Photo 15)
- Boil – Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping down the sides occasionally, and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it sits. (Photo 16)
- Remove From Heat – Remove the pecan sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Release – the cheesecake from the springform pan.
- Spoon – Then spoon the cooled pecan pie topping over the cheesecake. (Photos 19-20)
- Slice – To get the pretty, clean pieces, dip your knife in hot water. Then dry it off and slice. The warm knife will cut cleanly for beautiful slices.
Watch How To Make It
This blog post was first published on October 2013 and has been updated with new photos, a recipe, an additional write-up, and a video.
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cup or 170 grams graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup or 65 grams pecan
- ¼ cup or 50 grams brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, optional
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoon or 85 grams unsalted butter, melted
- 3 8-ounce package or 681 grams cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup or 4 ounces sour cream
- ¾ cup or 150 grams brown sugar
- ½ cup or 100 grams granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon or 15 grams cornstarch or flour
- 2 large egg
- 2 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon or 5 milliliters vanilla extract
Pecan Pie Topping
- 1½ cup or 195 grams whole or chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoon or 57 grams unsalted butter
- ½ cup or 100 grams brown sugar
- ⅓-½ cup or 79-118 milliliters heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅓ teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Graham Cracker Crust
- Preheat oven to 375℉/190℃.
- Grease a 10-inch springform pan with butter or baking spray. Set aside.
- In a food processor, add graham crackers and pecans, pulse several times until crumbs are fine. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and melted butter, then continue grinding until thoroughly mixed.
- Press graham cracker mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake until set. About 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Reduce heat to 200℉/94℃.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, sour cream, brown and granulated sugar, salt, and cornstarch until evenly combined – about 1 minute. Scrape sides with a rubber spatula.
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Pour batter into the springform pan. Set aside for 10 minutes until bubbles form on the surface. Use a fork to pop as many bubbles as you can.
- Bake – Make sure the oven is at 200℉/94℃. Then transfer the springform pan to the oven and bake until set. About 2½-3 hours or more. The batter should jiggle a bit when nudged.
- The center will set as soon as it reaches 180℉/82℃, then you are good to go. Because the temperature is so low, it's almost impossible to overbake your cheesecake.
- Remove from the oven and let cool it cool for 5-10 minutes; run a paring knife between cheesecake and side of the springform pan to make it easier for the cheesecake to come off when ready to slice the cake. It will also help keep it from cracking as it cools.
- Let it cool down, this might take approximately 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold and firmly set, at least 6 hours or preferably overnight.
Pecan Pie Topping
- Preheat the oven to 325°F/163℃ and spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake them for 7-10 minutes or until just fragrant.
- In a medium saucepan over low heat, add butter and sugar. Reduce heat and let it cook, stirring frequently until it bubbles and sugar dissolves.
- Add heavy cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and pecans and continue stirring with a wooden spoon or until well blended.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, scraping down the sides occasionally, and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it sits.
- Remove the pecan sauce from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Release cheesecake from the springform pan.
- Then spoon the cooled pecan pie topping over the cheesecake.
- To get pretty and clean slices, dip your knife in hot water. Then dry it off and slice. The warm knife will cut cleanly for pretty slices.
Tips & Notes:
- Baking the graham crust makes it firmer and more stable to cut.
- Adding cornstarch or flour to the cheesecake mixture yields firmer and denser cheesecake. On the other hand, skip the flour or cornstarch if you want a smoother and custard-like cheesecake.
- Refrigerating the cheesecake before adding the topping is a must. So plan ahead if you’re going to serve it on a holiday or any occasion.
- Do not overbeat and overmix your cheesecake batter. We don’t want to incorporate so much air so it won’t rise too much and collapse after. Make sure to cream sour cream, cream cheese, and sugar before adding the eggs to avoid overmixing.
- Aside from baking the pecans in the oven, you can also roast them in the pan.
- Dip your knife in hot water before slicing, wiping the knife with a paper towel or clean cloth before each cut to ensure a clean cut or slice of our pecan cheesecake.
- Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.