This pecan pie cheesecake is a creamy brown sugar cheesecake topped with a rich and decadent pecan sauce. A fun and festive dessert to serve during the holidays that looks super impressive, yet is easy to make!
On occasion I like to whip up a fancy dessert for a special occasion, and this pecan pie cheesecake is my go-to recipes. It’s got a layer of crispy graham cracker crust, a creamy brown sugar filling and a gooey pecan topping. It always gets rave reviews from family and friends!
How do you make pecan pie cheesecake?
This recipe starts with a graham cracker crust, which is pressed into the bottom and sides of a springform pan. Bake your crust until it is golden brown. While the crust is in the oven, prepare the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy, then add brown sugar, eggs, heavy cream and vanilla. Pour the filling into the crust and bake until the filling is set. Chill the cheesecake, then prepare the pecan topping. The topping is a mixture of butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, heavy cream, corn syrup and pecans. Let the topping cool a bit after it’s cooked, then pour it over the cheesecake. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Tips for the perfect cheesecake
- When making your graham cracker crust, press firmly to get the graham crackers and butter to form a solid crust.
- Run your graham crackers through a food processor for fine, evenly sized crumbs.
- You can serve this cheesecake as-is, or add rosettes of whipped cream on top of each piece.
- You can coarsely chop your pecans, or leave them in halves. I find that it’s easier to eat the cheesecake when the pecans are chopped into pieces.
- The cheesecake can be made up to 3 days in advance. Add the pecan topping right before serving as it will become hard if chilled in the fridge.
HOW DO YOU KEEP CHEESECAKE FROM CRACKING?
There’s nothing worse than pulling your pecan pie cheesecake out of the oven and finding a giant crack in the middle. Sometimes cracking does happen with cheesecakes, but there are measures you can take to avoid cracks. In this case, the top of the cheesecake will be covered with pecan topping, so any cracks will be hidden from public view.
- Mix your cheesecake as little as possible once the eggs are added to avoid incorporating extra air into the batter.
- Do not open the oven door while your cheesecake is baking. Large temperature fluctuations can cause cracking.
- Do not over bake your cheesecake. The cheesecake is done once the edges are lightly browned and puffy and the center is just set. It’s fine if the center is a bit jiggly, it will firm up as it cools.
Pecan pie cheesecake variations
This recipe is absolutely delicious as written, but you can add substitute in other ingredients to customize the flavors to your tastes.
- Topping: Try using almonds or walnuts instead of pecans for a different flavor profile.
- Crust: You can substitute crushed vanilla wafers or gingersnaps instead of graham crackers.
- Spices: I sometimes add a pinch of warm spices to the cheesecake filling. You can use up to 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, or a mixture of cinnamon and nutmeg with a pinch of cloves.
In my opinion, this is the ultimate dessert. You’ve got all the great flavors of both pecan pie and cheesecake in one package!
More sweet treats you’ll love
Pecan Pie Cheesecake Video
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 7 tablespoons butter melted
- cooking spray
For the filling
- 24 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the topping
- 1/4 cup butter cut into slices
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9" springform pan with cooking spray.
- Place the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter in a bowl; stir to combine.
- Firmly press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan.
- Place the crust in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown.
For the filling
- Place the cream cheese and brown sugar in the bowl of a mixer. Beat until completely smooth, 3-4 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
- Add the flour, heavy cream and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the baked crust and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Bake for 60 minutes or until top is lightly browned and cheesecake is just set. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another 60 minutes.
- Run a thin spatula around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen the sides, then place the cheesecake in the fridge. Chill for at least 6 hours or up to 3 days.
For the topping
- Place the butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a pan over medium heat on the stove. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is bubbly.
- Stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, heavy cream and pecans, then cook for one more minute, stirring often.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Let the pecan mixture cool for 5 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Pour the pecan topping over the cheesecake. Remove the springform pan from the cheesecake. Slice and serve.