This super rich, extra decadent, and incredibly good caramel pecan cheesecake is so easy to make and makes a perfect dessert for any occasion. An extra creamy cheesecake filling that’s full of flavor meets a glorious caramel pecan topping!

drizzle of caramel being poured onto a cheesecake

You guys…This!!!: CARAMEL. PECAN. CHEESECAKE.

Y’all, like seriously, I can’t even begin to tell you all the ways in which this cheesecake has my heart (and others’ hearts as well). Hold up, yes I can, this is a blog where I write and all, ha! If you could only make one cheesecake for the rest of your life, this one is it. And you butter believe I’m coming to you with the most humble of brags, of course ♥️

I’ve tested this cheesecake so many times and finally landed on the most creamiest, flavorful, and over the top indulgent treat, ever! This caramel pecan cheesecake is super rich, wildly decadent, and makes the most fun treat for get togethers. Additionally, just watch everyone fight for the last scraps too, there will be no leftovers! I proved this to be true when I brought this cheesecake into work a few weeks ago. Hell, I even saw people trying to scrape the graham cracker crust bits left behind bwahaha. You know a cheesecake is crazy good when we’ve reduced ourselves to the crust, okay.

caramel sauce dripping off a cheesecake with pecans on top

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Ingredients:

To make this easy caramel pecan cheesecake, you will need:

  • Cream cheese: grab the full-fat kind and NOT the reduced-fat kind.
  • Sugar: two kinds in the cheesecake filling: white granulated AND dark brown sugar. The addition of dark brown sugar adds more depth as brown sugar has a molasses content to it.
  • Caramel sauce/topping: make your own homemade caramel sauce or grab some store-bought caramel topping!
  • Eggs: 4 of ’em at room temperature!
  • Corn starch, kosher salt, sour cream, vanilla bean paste, and heavy cream.
  • For the cheesecake crust: graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, granulated sugar and salt.
caramel pecan cheesecake on a wooden marbled cake stand

How Do I Make This Cheesecake Recipe?

It’s easy, I promise.

To water bath or not to water bath? That is the question!

Okay, so this one is totally up to you. For those unfamiliar with this terminology: the water bath method when making cheesecake is used by placing a good amount of foil all around the bottom and sides of the springform pan. In addition, the wrapped springform pan then goes into a large roasting pan with high enough sides to add at least two inches of water. Then we’ll put the springform pan into the roasting pan and place it into the oven and then slowly add water to the roasting pan. Adding just enough water to come up to the sides of springform pan, again about 2 inches.

This method helps the cheesecake to bake slowly and evenly preventing any cracks on the top surface of the cheesecake. I like to do this method whenever I make cheesecake because it helps to ensure a smooth top and yields an evenly layered cheesecake (as pictured in my photos). However, since we’re loading it up with the caramel pecan topping, having a crack-free top is not entirely important. Personally, I also like water bathing because my anxiety is at ease when the cheesecake is baking, ha! But it’s really more of a preference with this recipe here, so you do you on this one!

slice of cheesecake on a speckled ceramic plate with silver fork

Does This Recipe Require a Stand Mixer?

Nah. This caramel pecan cheesecake can be made with a handheld electric mixer for those without a stand mixer. In addition, you could also use a food processor or high powered blender to make the cheesecake filling.

First, to make the cheesecake crust, simply combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized bowl. Add in melted butter, stir to combine and press mixture into a lightly greased 9 or 10-inch springform pan. Transfer pan to a large baking sheet and bake crust in oven for 10-12 minutes. Then remove from oven and let crust cool while you make the cheesecake filling. If using the water bath method, at this stage, wrap bottom and sides of springform pan in foil.

Secondly, to make the cheesecake filling, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in the body of a food processor/blender, or in a large mixing bowl: beat cream cheese at a medium speed until silky smooth and creamy. Make sure cream cheese is free of any lumps. Next, reduce speed to low and add in both sugars, cornstarch, and salt. Then beat again until mixture is light and fluffy. Add in vanilla bean paste and caramel sauce.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lastly add sour cream and heavy cream and continue beating mixture until just combined, while stopping to scrape sides of bowl.

pecans in a caramel sauce sitting on top of cheesecake with pecans on the side

Pour the cheesecake filling into the prepared pan and smooth top of cheesecake with an offset spatula and bake for 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, if using the water bath method: place springform pan into a large roasting pan and into oven. Then pull out oven rack and put enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of springform pan.

Once cheesecake is done baking, turn the oven off and leave cheesecake in there with the door cracked for at least one hour. This helps the cheesecake to continue cooking and cool at an even rate. *Taking the cheesecake out of the oven immediately causes a sudden drastic change in temperature that may cause cracking.* Then carefully take cheesecake/roasting pan out, removing springform pan from the roasting pan, and discard foil.

Take an offset spatula and run it around the edges of cheesecake to loosen and prevent any sticking. Place cheesecake onto a wire rack to continue cooling for another hour or two. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap/foil and transfer to fridge to let cheesecake refrigerate overnight.

The day of serving, make easy caramel pecan topping, take cheesecake out of refrigerator and remove sides of springform pan. Pour topping over cold cheesecake and use a sharp knife soaked in a cup of hot water to slice into cheesecake. This helps prevent sticking and allows for clean slices. Enjoy!

slice of cheesecake on a speckled ceramic white plate

Phew, that was a lot of information, right?

This caramel pecan cheesecake is seriously one of my top favorite desserts, y’all. It’s beyond good. BEYOND, I say.

I’m so sure that you will enjoy this one and as the holidays roll around; I’m even more positive that this decadent dessert will be an absolute stunner on your holiday table, too. Leave me a comment with any questions!

REMEMBER TO LEAVE A ⭐️STAR RATING⭐️AND TAG ME ON THE ‘GRAM IF YOU MAKE ANY OF MY RECIPES! I ALWAYS LOVE TO SEE IT WHEN YOU DO!

Until next time…love and butter,

Q.

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slice of cheesecake on a speckled ceramic plate with silver fork

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 15m
  • Cook Time: 1hr 30m
  • Total Time: 1hr 45m
  • Yield: 68 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This super rich, extra decadent, and incredibly good caramel pecan cheesecake is so easy to make and is a perfect treat for any occasion. An extra creamy cheesecake filling that’s full of flavor meets a glorious caramel pecan topping!


Ingredients

Scale

Crust:

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing springform pan

Cheesecake Filling:

  • (4) 8-ounce bricks cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup caramel topping
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Caramel Pecan Topping:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 2 cups whole pecans

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Crust:

  1. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with butter or baking spray. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Add in melted butter and stir to combine.
  2. Press mixture into springform pan. Use the back of a measuring cup to help press mixture evenly. Place on a baking sheet and bake crust for at least 10 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let crust cool for 15 minutes. If using water bath, thoroughly wrap bottom and sides of pan with foil and place into a large roasting pan with high sides.

Cheesecake Filling:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in the body of a food processor/blender, or in a large bowl using a handheld electric mixer: beat cream cheese at medium speed until silky and smooth, about 5-6 minutes. 
  2. Reduce speed to low and add in both sugars, cornstarch, and salt. Continue beating until fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Be sure to scrape sides of bowl if needed. Add vanilla bean paste and caramel topping.
  3. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition. Add in sour cream and heavy cream and continue beating until just combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Careful not to over beat mixture.
  4. Pour cheesecake filling into prepared springform pan and either use an offset spatula to smooth top or gently tap pan to let out any air bubbles. Place springform pan that is in large roasting pan (if using water bath) into oven. Pull oven rack out and pour enough boiling water into roasting pan so that it comes halfway up the sides of springform pan.
  5. Bake cheesecake for 1 1/2 hours. Once done cooking, turn oven off and leave cheesecake in the oven for at least 1 hour with door slightly cracked. Then remove cheesecake/roasting pan from oven and take cheesecake out of roasting pan and discard foil. 
  6. Using a small offset spatula, run it around cheesecake while in pan to loosen and prevent sticking but not removing cheesecake from springform pan. Let cheesecake cool on a wire rack for 1-2 hours then cover and refrigerate overnight.
  7. Take cheesecake out of fridge, top with caramel pecan topping and serve. Enjoy!

Caramel Pecan Topping:

  1. In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium low heat. Add sugar and mix until all sugar has melted. Then add in heavy cream and vanilla bean paste and mix until mixture gets slightly bubbly. Toss in pecans and mix until just combined.

Notes

  1. Cheesecake will keep, covered, in refrigerator for up to one week.
  2. When cutting into cheesecake, it helps to use a sharp knife that is soaked in a cup of hot water to prevent sticking for clean slices.

Keywords: dessert, cheesecake, baking