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Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Pecan Pie Cheesecake with real pecan pie filling on top of a creamy cheesecake base.

front view of a slice of pecan pie cheesecake on a white plate

Fall is officially upon us and I can think of no better way to celebrate than with apple pie cheesecake and pecan pie!

But not just any pecan pie, I'm talking about a pecan pie cheesecake. A rich creamy cheesecake topped with real pecan pie filling. Sounds incredible, doesn't it?

This recipe is a fun way to take two well-loved classics and combine them into one. It tastes so good, you'll want to make it all season long.

Don't let this recipe scare you. I know there are quite a few ingredients and the steps to making the cheesecake look overwhelming but it's really not that complicated.

Why this recipe works

  • There's a lot of crust! This will help hold the filling and topping. Plus there are ground pecans in the crust for more flavor!!
  • The batter for this recipe is from my basic cheesecake recipe. I scaled it back some so there would be room for the pecan pie filling on top. It gets baked for over a half-hour before adding the topping.
  • The filling calls for rum but you could bourbon also. Or if you don't want to use alcohol, you can mix in vanilla extract instead. It bakes up gooey and sticky on top of the cheesecake. It's perfection!
high angle view of pecan pie cheesecake with a fork taking a bite out

Pecan Pie Cheesecake Recipe

This cheesecake got rave reviews with my taste testers. It has a creamy filling, crunchy crust, and ooey-gooey pecan pie topping.

I've retested the recipe, updated the process, and made a video with process shots to help you have success when making it. The biggest challenge is preventing the cheesecake from sticking inside the pan. Even with lining it and spraying it with nonstick spray, the topping seeped down and "glued" the springform together.

I tried so many different ways of baking it and the same thing happened every single time. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to avoid using all the syrup with the topping. I'll go over this in detail down below.


Pecan Pie Cheesecake Ingredients

While the ingredient list is long, most of the ingredients are used in multiple parts of the recipe. Go ahead and measure everything out to save time when putting the recipe together. Also, make sure to bring all the cold ingredients to room temperature before you begin baking.

  • Graham crackers: You need 2 whole sleeves of graham crackers to make enough crumbs for the crust.
  • Pecans: I used ground pecans in the crust and chopped pecans in the topping. Make sure the pecans are raw and unsalted.
  • Sugar: Both granulated white sugar and brown sugar are used in the recipe. White sugar goes in the cheesecake filling. Brown sugar goes in the crust and topping. You can use light or dark brown sugar.
  • Butter: Melted unsalted butter holds the crust together. Then butter also goes in the topping.
  • Cream cheese: Use full-fat brick-style cream cheese for the best results.
  • Sour cream: Full-fat sour cream is best. You could probably use Greek yogurt also but I haven't tested it.
  • Vanilla extract: A high-quality pure vanilla extract will give the best flavor. It's used for both the filling and topping.
  • Salt: Just a tad for flavor.
  • Eggs: Eggs are used as binding in the cheesecake layer. They are also added to the topping to create a gooey pecan pie filling.
  • Dark corn syrup: I prefer dark corn syrup but you can also use maple syrup.
  • Rum: Rum or bourbon adds so much flavor to the topping. If you must avoid alcohol, you can use vanilla instead.
  • Heavy cream: Heavy cream is added to the topping to help create the rich, gooey texture of pecan pie.

To bake this cheesecake you need:


How to make pecan pie cheesecake?

There are several steps to making pecan pie cheesecake. You must first make the crust, then the filling followed by the topping. It takes time so make sure you plan ahead before starting this recipe.

The Crust - I used a scaled-up version of my usual graham cracker crust and added ground pecans. The crust is assembled and baked before the cheesecake filling is added.

The Filling - The filling is about half of my best cheesecake recipe. It gets baked for about 40 minutes before adding the topping.

The Topping - The topping is a from Joy of Baking. It's the best pecan pie filling I've tried.

Step 1: Make the crust

Start by pulsing the graham crackers and pecans in a food processor until finely ground. You can continue to mix the crust in the food processor or transfer the ground crackers and pecans to a mixing bowl.

Add brown sugar and melted butter to the ground graham crackers and pecans. Mix until everything is well mixed and resembles wet sand.

process shots for making graham cracker pie crust

Line the inside bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan then wrap the bottom with tightly with foil.

There is a chance that some of the topping will seep down under the cheesecake and leak out of the pan. Wrapping it will foil will help prevent it from spilling in the bottom of your oven.

Press the crust tightly into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. There's enough crust to work it pretty far up the sides. This will help hold topping once it's added.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes then set it aside to cool while you make the filling.

Step 2: Make the cheesecake filling

Using either a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it is smooth and creamy.

Then add sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Mix on medium speed until you have a lush, creamy consistency. Lightly beat eggs and add them to the batter. Fold them in gently with a silicone spatula.

I use this method for adding eggs in every single one of my recipes. It helps prevent adding extra air which is the main cause of cracks in cheesecakes.

process shots for making pecan pie cheesecake filling
pecan pie cheesecake filling in a graham cracker crust

Spread the batter evenly into the bottom of the prepared crust and bake it for 40 minutes. The cheesecake will be just set enough to hold the filling without collapsing.

Typically, I'd recommend using a water bath for cheesecakes but it's really not necessary for this one since we are topping it with pecan pie filling.

Step 3: Make the pecan pie topping

Start on this step while the cheesecake is baking!

Melt brown sugar, dark corn syrup, rum, and butter together in a medium saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow it to boil for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat and set aside to cool while the cheesecake bakes.

process shots for making pecan pie topping

After the cheesecake has baked for 40 minutes, remove it from the oven and continue with the making the topping.

Whisk eggs, heavy cream, and salt together in a small bowl or 2-cup measuring cup. Gradually pour the egg mixture into the slightly cooled syrup while whisking continuously until everything is well combined.

Stir in the chopped pecans making sure all the pecans are coated in the syrup.

Use a large spoon to gently spoon the topping over the cheesecake.

TIP: Don't add all the syrup! Spoon the pecans on first, then add just enough syrup to fill the crust. If the syrup goes above the crust, there's a high chance that it will leak down under the crust. This causes the crust to become runny and the syrup will "glue" the springform pan together.

Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for an additional 50 minutes. The top should look golden brown and crisp.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven an allow it to cool completely.

overhead view of baked pecan pie cheesecake

Pecan pie cheesecake does need to be refrigerated for at least 4 hours before serving but it's better if you let it chill overnight.

When you are ready to serve it, remove the sides of the pan and transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter.

To cut the cheesecake, use a sharp knife and run it under hot water to warm the blade. Carefully wipe the water off the blade then make a cut in the cheesecake. Repeat this step with each cut and your slices should come out perfect.

TIP: I also recommend freezing the cheesecake for 1-2 hours before slicing it. Do this if you have time because a frozen cheesecake slices neater. Then allow the slices to thaw before serving. Thawing will only take about 30 minutes at room temperature.

closeup of pecan pie cheesecake with a fork taking a bite out

Can pecan pie cheesecake be frozen?

Yes, it certainly can. After it has set in the refrigerator, remove the springform pan and wrap the cheesecake tightly with plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil.

It can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw the frozen cheesecake overnight in the refrigerator.


Tips for making pecan pie cheesecake

  • As with all cheesecakes, this one needs time for preparation and refrigeration. Plan accordingly.
  • No water bath is needed for this recipe. The cheesecake will remain creamy and any cracks that may form will be covered with the topping.
  • Bake this cheesecake on the middle rack.

More cheesecake recipes you'll love

  1. Red Velvet Cheesecake
  2. Strawberry Cheesecake
  3. Pumpkin Cheesecake
  4. Eggnog Cheesecake

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front view of a slice of pecan pie cheesecake on a white plate

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Yield: one 9-inch cheesecake
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 20 minutes

Pecan Pie Cheesecake with real pecan pie filling on top of a creamy cheesecake base that's nestled in a graham cracker crust.

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2 cups (272 g) graham cracker crumbs, about 18 whole crackers
  • 1 cup (100 g) pecans, finely ground
  • ¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 16 ounces (452 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (114 g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten

For the topping

  • 1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ⅔ cup (227 g) dark corn syrup - SEE NOTE 1
  • 1 tablespoon rum - SEE NOTE 2
  • ¼ cup (56 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ½ cups (260 g) coarsely chopped pecans

Instructions

Make the crust

  1. Move the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350°F. Line the inside bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray lightly with nonstick spray. Wrap foil around the outside bottom as well and set aside.
  2. Stir the graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, brown sugar, and melted butter together until it resembles wet sand. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. (There's enough crust to go pretty far up the sides of the pan. You need it to be at least ¾ of the way up so it's tall enough to hold the filling and topping.) 
  3. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.

Make the filling

  1. Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
  2. In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on medium to medium-high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat on medium speed until well combined. 
  4. Using a silicone spatula, gently stir in the eggs just until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly into the bottom.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes. Once the cheesecake goes into the oven, begin working on the topping.

Make the topping

  1. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, rum, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat until it reaches a boil, stirring constantly. Continue to boil for 2 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let cool while the cheesecake is baking. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, salt, and cream together; set aside.
  3. Once the cheesecake has baked for 40 minutes, remove it from the oven.
  4. Slowly whisk the egg mixture with the cooled sugar syrup until well combined. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  5. Gently spoon the pecan topping over the cheesecake. (Spoon the pecans over then add just enough of the syrup to fill the crust. If the topping goes above the crust, there's a chance it will leak down under the crust and make the crust soggy. It will also "glue" the springform together.)
  6. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for another 40-50 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crisp. (If the edges of the pecan topping are over-browning during baking, cover with foil.)
  7. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

To serve

  1. Slowly loosen the sides of the springform pan. (Hopefully, the topping hasn't run down and glued the pan together.) If the sides seem stuck, gently run a butter knife around the edges of the cheesecake to loosen it and press the bottom of the pan upwards. Once the sides and bottom of the pan are free of each other, lift the outer ring of the pan to remove it.
  2. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter. I recommend freezing the cheesecake for 1-2 hours before slicing. This makes it easier to get neat slices.
  3. Run a sharp knife under hot water and carefully dry the blade. Make a cut in the cheesecake. Repeat with rinsing the blade under hot water, carefully dry it, and make the next cut. Do this for each slice.
  4. If you froze the cheesecake before slicing, let the slices sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  1. If you don't want to use dark corn syrup or don't have access to it, you can substitute with maple syrup or honey. Keep in mind these will change the flavor slightly.
  2. Rum or Bourbon can be used. If you don't want to add the alcohol, you can use pure vanilla extract in its place.
  3. It is important to press the crust up the sides of the pan also. Try to get it at least ¾ of the way up. This will help hold the pecan pie filling once it is added to the cheesecake.

Make ahead tip

  1. The baked and chilled cheesecake will keep for up to 4 days covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator.
  2. Pecan pie cheesecake will keep for up to 2 months covered tightly and stored in the freezer. Slice while frozen then allow the slices to thaw before serving.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 323Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 118mgSodium: 358mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 1gSugar: 12gProtein: 10g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the values shown are just an estimate.

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MARGARET

Sunday 17th of October 2021

What does the sour cream add to the cheesecake.? Could I leave it out?

Aj

Monday 7th of June 2021

Would this be ok to make in an 8x8 pan instead of the springform pan?

Jen Sobjack

Tuesday 8th of June 2021

This recipe makes too much to fit into an 8x8 pan.

Niamh

Thursday 4th of February 2021

Hi, do you need to bake this cheesecake in a water bath? I've never made a baked cheesecake before and noticed a lot of other recipes recommend to do so.

Jen Sobjack

Thursday 4th of February 2021

Typically, I'd recommend using a water bath for cheesecakes but it's really not necessary for this one since we are topping it with pecan pie filling.

Gessica

Monday 14th of December 2020

Hello, Do you save the leftover syrup for topping individual slices? Or add it to the cheesecake after it’s fully cooked? Or do you just discard it? Thanks!

Jen Sobjack

Wednesday 16th of December 2020

Since it contains uncooked eggs, I don't recommend saving it for later. It's best to discard it.

Gwen Bailey

Sunday 6th of December 2020

I have made the Pecan cheesecake and it came out wonderful.

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