Is it a pie? Is it a cheesecake? Well, you're in luck! Pecan pie cheesecake is the best of both worlds. It's got all the flavors of your favorite pie, but with a creamy, cheesy filling that everyone will love. So why not skip the traditional pie this year and try something new? Your guests will be glad you did!
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💭 Why you'll love this recipe
If you're a fan of pecan pie, then you're going to love this pecan pie cheesecake recipe. Made with a creamy cheesecake filling and a crunchy pecan pie topping, this dessert is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This recipe needs just five ingredients, about 20 minutes of active preparation time, and doesn't even need an oven! Think about all the oven time and stress it'll save you on Thanksgiving. You also don't need any special equipment, only a 9-inch springform pan (though you can also use a simple pie pan or make pecan cheesecake bars instead if that's easier).
📋 Ingredients and notes
To make this recipe, you'll need five simple ingredients: crackers, butter, caramel sauce, cream cheese, and toasted pecan halves.
Notes and Variations
- Make it vegan: This recipe is super easy to veganize. You'll want to swap the butter with Country Crock plant butter (or a vegan butter of choice), the cream cheese with a vegan cream cheese of choice (I use Kite Hill) and then make sure to pick up Nabisco crackers (which are vegan off the shelf!) For the caramel, you can either pick up a vegan caramel of choice, or you can make this amazing vegan butterscotch caramel. Then follow the exact same instructions, and you'll be all set.
- Use a pecan shortbread crust: To take this a notch further, you can replace the traditional Graham crackers with homemade or storebought pecan sandies (or pecan shortbread cookies instead). This gives the crust additional pecan flavoring and really blows the cheesecake out of the park.
- Add pecan caramel under the cheesecake layer: You can also add an extra pecan caramel layer before you add the cream cheese filling. To do this, simple add some finely chopped pecans to half a cup of caramel sauce and add it over the crust before you add the cream cheese filling.
📖 Make the best pecan pie cheesecake!
Make the pie crust
Making the pie crust is really simple, and can be done with or without a food processor, and either by using regular Graham crackers or pecan shortbread.
If using a food processor: add the crackers and pulse until they're crumbly. Then, add melted butter to the food processor and pulse until it forms a crumbly dough.
If you're not using a food processor: add the crackers to a bag, lay it flat on the counter and smash it with a rolling pin (or something heavy) until crumbly.
Then, transfer to a mixing bowl and add melted butter.
Combine to form a crumbly dough. Pour the dough into a 9-inch springform pan (or a pie pan) and press down to make a smooth even layer. You'll wait slightly raised edges. Once done, put this in the fridge to cool down while you make the filling.
Make the filling
This couldn't get any easier. Seriously. Just add cream cheese and caramel sauce to a mixing bowl and give a good hearty whisk.
Though the filling is rich and decadent, it's also pretty forgiving, so don't worry if you accidentally overmix it. Just give it a good stir until everything is well combined, and you'll be good to go. The hard part is done!
Assemble the pecan pie cheesecake!
Remove the pan with the crust from the fridge and pour the cheesecake filling into the crust. Use a silicon spatula or a spoon to spread the filling evenly and smooth out the top. Cover with a plastic or beeswax wrap and put it back in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours, but ideally overnight.
Have extra cream cheese? Make this super simple cream cheese fruit dip!
Make the crunch pecan topping
A few minutes before serving, make the crunchy pecan topping. This crunchy topping is made with chopped pecans and leftover caramel sauce, so it's sweet, nutty, and delightfully chewy. So not only will you be able to sink your teeth into every bite, you'll also be able to enjoy a whole world of textures in every bite.
Add the halved pecans to a mixing bowl and top with caramel sauce. Use a silicon spatula and toss to coat evenly. Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and arrange the caramel-coated pecan halves on top of the filling.
Serve with an extra drizzle of caramel sauce, a large dollop of ice cream, or both! Enjoy this delectable treat!
👩🏽🍳Top tips and FAQs
This pecan pie cheesecake recipe is super easy to make (hey, you don't even need to turn on the oven!) But in case you have questions, check out these troubleshooting tips.
Yes! You can replace the ingredients with vegan equivalents and follow the same instructions. When I tested the recipe, I used Nabisco crackers, Country Crock Plant Butter, Kite Hill cream cheese, and a homemade vegan caramel sauce, and it turned out absolutely delicious.
Yes, you can freeze this cheesecake! After it has set in the fridge, wrap it with plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. It can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Since this is a no bake cheesecake, you don't really have to worry about cracking! That said, avoid overmixing the filling if you can!
🍴 Serving and storage suggestions
To store this pecan pie cheesecake, you can loosely cover it and place it in the fridge for a couple of days (up to 1 week). You can freeze the dessert for a month or two! If you're freezing, do it without the pecan topping. This way, you can add a fresh crunchy topping right as you're going to serve it.
If you like this recipe, check out my other easy dessert recipes:
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No Bake Pecan Pie Cheesecake (+ Vegan Version)
- 2 cups crackers, ~240 grams, see notes for types and vegan variation
- 8 tablespoons butter, see notes for vegan variation
- 24 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup caramel sauce
- 1½ cups pecan halves, toasted
- ¼ cup caramel sauce, see notes for vegan variation
- Add 10-15 crackers to a food processor and pulse until crumbly. You can also add the crackers to a ziplock bag and smash it with a rolling pin. See notes for shortbread crust replacement.
- Melt 6 tablespoons of butter. Add cracker crumbs and butter to either the food processor or a mixing bowl and combine into a coarse dough.
- Pour the crumb mixture into a 9 inch circular pie pan or springform pan, and then press this crumb dough o form a nice smooth crust, with a slightly raised edge. Place this in the fridge while you make the filling.
- Add 24 oz of cream cheese with 1 cup of caramel sauce and whisk it well to make the cheesecake filling.
Fill and Chill!
- Scoop the filling on top of the crust, and then smooth it so it covers the full crust and has a smooth top. Cover the pan with plastic or beeswax wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours to chill, or ideally, overnight!
Top with Pecans
- Right before serving, add 1½ cups of toasted pecan halves to a mixing bowl and add ¼ cup of caramel sauce, and toss to coat evenly. Use the caramel-tossed pecan halves to top your cheesecake. Serve with a drizzle of caramel sauce on top, and.a nice scoop of ice cream!
- Vegan variation: This cheesecake is super easy to make vegan! By using vegan butter and vegan cream cheese in place of the dairy versions, and make sure to grab yourself a box of Nabisco crackers (which are vegan as-is!)
- Shortbread variation: Instead of using Graham crackers, you can also use pecan sandies or pecan shortbread cookies to further enhance the flavor profile. You'll need about 10 oz of shortbread cookies to make a crust!