Incredibly indulgent, this pecan pie cheesecake consists of buttery nutty crust, super tall New York-style cheesecake and rich pecan pie topping! A perfect centerpiece for your holiday dessert table.
Oh my goodness, this must be one of my favorite cheesecakes that came out of my kitchen!
Just look that beautiful crust studded with pecan halves, light and airy whipped cream and that enticing pecan pie topping! And you haven’t even seen the creamy rich cheesecake underneath.
If you love pecan pie and cheesecake (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll definitely love every bite of this indulgent cheesecake.
Are you ready bake this beauty with me? Let’s do it!
So we’ll start with baking a classic New-York-style cheesecake, but with brown sugar! Tall, rich and creamy, this cheesecake is the BEST!
HOW TO PREPARE A CHEESECAKE PAN?
To make flawless cheesecake with no cracks, we’ll bake it in a waterbath. Get your roasting pan out and let’s prepare the springform pan. Since we’ll place the springform pan in water, we need to wrap the pan in a heavy-duty aluminum foil to prevent any water seeping into the crust.
But first, I like to line the bottom of the springform pan with a parchment paper. This makes it super easy to transfer the cheesecake from the pan into a platter. (If you’ve baked a cheesecake directly in the springfrom pan, you probably know that it’s nearly impossible to dig out the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan, right?)
- Line the bottom of a springform pan with a parchment paper (not wax paper!), place the ring of the pan over the parchment paper and carefully close it. Trim excess parchment paper on the outside.
- Place 2 long strips of heavy-duty aluminum foil on the counter and put the springform pan in the middle. Wrap each foil around the pan, pressing it tightly. Be careful not to tear the foil!
Now that the pan is ready, let’s make the most deliciously buttery and nutty crust! Lots of it too.
HOW TO MAKE TALL CHEESECAKE CRUST?
We’re going to make tall cheesecake crust to wrap all the creamy cheesecake filling all the way up.
- Place graham crackers and pecan halves in a food processor and pulse until nice and fine.
- Add butter and pulse until well combined.
- The texture should be wet-sand-like, maybe even slightly on wetter side.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
- This step is totally optional, but if you’d like to decorate the crust with pecan halves, then stand up pecan halves all around the edges of the crust. If needed, use the graham cracker mixture to secure the nuts in place.
- Then evenly spread and press the crust mixture onto the bottom and all the way up the sides. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Moving onto the most important part of the recipe: cheesecake filling!
HOW TO MAKE PERFECTLY SMOOTH CHEESECAKE FILLING?
The secret to perfectly smooth cheesecake filling is to bring all the ingredients to room temperature! Bring the cream cheese, eggs, sour cream out of the fridge at least 1 hour before you start baking.
If you try to whisk cold cream cheese, your batter will be lumpy!
5 SECRETS TO PERFECT CHEESECAKE
- Make sure to use a good quality cream cheese, like Philadelphia. And don’t even think about fat-free, or low fat stuff, we’re making an indulgent dessert that’s worth every calorie. Go for full-fat original cream cheese in brick form!
- Again, make sure to bring all the ingredients to room temperature before making the cheesecake batter.
- Don’t over-whip the batter. The goal is to combine all the ingredients well, and not to incorporate air. That’s why I recommend using a paddle attachment, instead of a whisk. Excess air in the batter may cause cracks in the cheesecake!
- Gently bake the cheesecake in a water bath on low temperature and cool it slowly in the oven for at least 1 hour to prevent cracks in cheesecake.
- Don’t open oven door during baking. A sudden temperature change could collapse the cheesecake and cause a crack.
And last, but not least, pecan pie topping!
Seriously, this pecan pie topping couldn’t be easier to make and oh-my, oh-my, does it take this cheesecake to the next level!
To make the pecan pie topping:
- We’ll melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Then add pecans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Butter should turn light brown.
- Stir in sugar, corn syrup and heavy cream. Continue cooking over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly, and stir in vanilla extract.
You can make the topping a day ahead. Simply warm it up over low heat to make it pourable. Cool and pour it over the chilled cheesecake.
Are you ready to indulge?
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
- 16 full sheets of graham crackers 275gr/2 sleeves
- 2 cup 250gr pecan halves, divided
- 10 tablespoons 140gr unsalted butter, melted
- 32 oz 4 bricks cream cheese, at room temperature (Note 1)
- 200 gr brown sugar Note 2
- 5 large eggs at room temperature
- ¾ cup 190gr sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
For pecan pie topping:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups pecan halves
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup white corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For whipped cream:
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- To prepare the pan, layer 2 large heavy-duty foil and put a 9-inch springform pan in the middle, as pictured. Wrap the pan with foil tightly.
- To make the crust, combine graham crackers and 1 cup of pecans in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs, 30-45 seconds.
- Pour in melted butter. Pulse again until the mixture is wet-sand-like texture.
- Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan. If desired, use the remaining 1 cup of pecan half for decorating the crust by standing up each pecan half around the edges of the crust. If needed, use the graham cracker mixture to secure the nuts in place. Then evenly spread and press the crust mixture onto the bottom and all the way up the sides. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling. (See step by step photos in the post above.)
- To make the filling, in a mixing bowl with paddle attachment, combine cream cheese and sugar and mix until nice and smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well before adding the next egg.
- Add sour cream and mix until incorporated.
- Stir in vanilla extract and salt. Mix until nice and smooth.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared springform pan.
- Place the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan and pour 1 cup of hot water into the roasting pan.
- Bake for 75-90 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake is set, but the center is slightly wobbly. Turn of the heat, open the oven door ajar, and cool the cheesecake in the oven slowly for 1-2 hours.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely. Then cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours, or preferably overnight.
- To make the pecan pie topping, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add pecans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Butter should turn light brown.
- Stir in sugar, corn syrup and heavy cream. Continue cooking over medium heat for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in vanilla. Cool the topping and then spread over the chilled cheesecake before serving.
- If desired, make a homemade whipped cream. In a mixing bowl with whisk attachment, beat heavy cream until soft peaks. Add sugar and whip until hard peaks. Transfer into a pastry bag with round tip and pipe it around the edges before spreading the pecan pie topping.