Pecan Pie Cheesecake

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I think we can all agree: Pie is the best, especially during the holiday dessert season. But, when our dessert spread is absolutely filled with delicious pies, sometimes we need to switch it up a bit. Enter: Pecan Pie Cheesecake. Take your pecan pie to the next level by turning it into a rich and nutty cheesecake! Extra creamy base + sweet and sticky pecan topping =  best Thanksgiving dessert ever. 

If you just can't get enough of these two irresistible desserts, follow our top tips to whip up this best-of-both-worlds cheesecake in no time: 

Can I make this in advance? 

Absolutely! The cheesecake itself needs to be refrigerated for an hour up to overnight after baking and cooling, so you can prep the night before you're ready to serve. You can also make the topping up to an hour in advance and keep at room temperature before topping. Make sure to keep it at room temp instead of refrigerating, or else the butter will solidify!

Do the pecans need to be toasted?

They don't have to be! While raw pecans work perfectly in this recipe, toasted would also give a delicious added flavor to the sweet topping.

Do I need to use a water bath?

Nope! It's not necessary to use a water bath for this recipe. However, if you prefer to bake the cheesecake in a water bath, wrap the bottom of pan in foil (to avoid water leaking into your pan) and place in a deep baking pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come up halfway in the baking pan.

Tried making this spin on the classic? Let us know how it came out in the comments below!

Editor's Note: The introduction to this recipe was edited on August 25, 2022.

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Yields: 10 servings
Prep Time: 0 hours 25 mins
Total Time: 5 hours 55 mins
For the cheesecake

Cooking spray


(8-oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened

1 c.

packed brown sugar


large eggs

1/4 c.

sour cream

2 tbsp.

all-purpose flour

1 tsp.

pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp.

kosher salt

For the crust

sleeve graham crackers, finely crushed

5 tbsp.

butter, melted

1/4 c.

packed brown sugar

Pinch of kosher salt

For the pecan pie topping
4 tbsp.


1/2 c.

packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp.

ground cinnamon

1/4 c.

heavy cream

1 3/4 c.

whole or chopped pecans

Pinch of kosher salt

  1. Preheat oven to 325º and grease an 8" or 9" springform pan with cooking spray. Make cheesecake filling: In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment), beat cream cheese and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, then sour cream, flour, vanilla, and salt.
  2. Make crust: In a large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Press mixture into prepared pan.
  3. Pour filling over crust. Wrap bottom of pan in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. (If you want to bake the cheesecake in a water bath, wrap bottom of pan and place in a deep baking pan. Pour in enough boiling water to come up halfway in the baking pan.) Bake until center of cheesecake only slightly jiggles, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Turn off heat, prop open oven door, and let cheesecake cool in oven, 1 hour, then remove aluminum foil and refrigerate cheesecake in pan until firm, at least 5 hours and up to overnight.
  4. Before serving, make pecan pie topping: In a nonstick skillet over low heat, melt butter and brown sugar until bubbly (keep heat low to avoid burning butter). Stir in cinnamon, heavy cream, pecans, and salt until completely coated, then remove from heat and let cool and slightly thicken. (You can make the topping up to an hour in advance and keep at room temperature; don't refrigerate as the butter will solidify.)
  5. Release springform pan from cheesecake and spoon over cooled pecan pie topping. Serve.
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Joel Goldberg
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