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This Pecan Praline Cheesecake is a pecan lover’s dream! The rich, creamy filling is full of brown sugar and toasted pecans and topped with a delicious, caramel-y pecan praline sauce! Every bite is pure heaven!
Pecan Praline Cheesecake
So after mastering my Best Southern Pecan Pralines Recipe last year, I was excited to make another dessert with a praline spin on it. I just love the combination of caramel-y flavor with the toasted pecans. So much awesome flavor and texture.
When I set out to make this cheesecake, I knew it was going to be all about the topping. I wanted it to be just like a praline, but softer. I have to say that I nailed it and am in love with it. The topping stays sliceable when cold, but is nice and gooey when it’s closer to room temperature. The flavor is wonderful and it’s hard to stop eating it. When you combine it with the thick, creamy cheesecake, it’s truly a special treat.
How to make Pecan Praline Cheesecake
Like my other cheesecakes, this one really isn’t hard to make. It just takes some time. Cheesecake baking is kind of a process, but it’s totally worth it in the end.
For the crust, I started with my Graham Cracker Crust Recipe and swapped out regular white sugar for brown sugar for a little extra flavor.
Combine all the ingredients and press them into the bottom and up the sides of a springform pan. Bake the crust and set it aside while you make the filling.
Brown Sugar Pecan Cheesecake Filling
To make the filling, you’ll start by mixing your cream cheese, brown sugar and flour together. Be sure that your cream cheese is room temperature so that it incorporates well with the other ingredients and you don’t end up with lumps.
Next, you’ll add your sour cream and vanilla extract. Once those are all combined, you’ll add your eggs one at a time.
Be sure when you’re mixing that you’re using a low speed and not over mixing things. You don’t want to incorporate too much air into your filling. Air bubbles can end up floating to the top of your cheesecake and giving you cracks.
Finally, fold in the pecans – and don’t forget to toast them first! Their flavor and texture is so much better when they’re toasted.
Now it’s time to bake the cheesecake, which is where the bulk of time is with cheesecake. Fortunately, you don’t have to do anything but wait. Let the cheesecake bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. You want to be sure that the outer edges of the cheesecake are set and have the inner couple of inches be somewhat set, but still jiggly.
Then, turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. This will keep the heat in the oven so that the cheesecake finishes cooking, but also begins to cool slowly.
When that’s done, crack the oven door and let it cool for another 30 minutes. This will further cool the cheesecake slowly. After the slow cooling process, let it cool completely in the fridge. You can absolutely bake the cheesecake the day before you need it and let it cool overnight. That’s one of the great things about cheesecake – it holds up well for days and can easily be made ahead.
Pecan Praline Topping
Speaking of making ahead, the topping can be made ahead as well. Perfect for a busy holiday season!
So making the topping is much like making pralines, but with more cream and a little fewer pecans so that the topping isn’t too firm. You’ll add the sugars, cream and butter to a pot and heat over medium-low until the butter and sugars are melted.
Then, turn up the heat to medium and bring things to a boil. Cook until it reaches 220 degrees, about 2 minutes. It actually happens very quickly once it starts boiling.
Remove the sauce from the heat and add the pecans, salt and vanilla.
Give the sauce a good, vigorous stir for about a minutes to help it thicken just slightly, then set it aside to cool. It’ll be very thin when it’s done and it may seem like there’s no way it’ll thicken up enough, but it does.
Then you’ll add it to the top of your cheesecake. You can let it cool to room temperature and then add it right away (and either serve or refrigerate the cheesecake), or make the topping ahead and put it in the fridge on it’s own. Then just heat it up for about 20 seconds or so until it’s about room temperature and pourable and then add it to your cheesecake prior to serving. Both ways work great!
Perfect Fall and Thanksgiving Dessert
This Pecan Praline Cheesecake is seriously SO good! It’s kind of addicting. And with all that caramel-y flavor and those pecans, it’s just right for Fall and Thanksgiving. And since this time of year is so busy, it’s also ideal because it’s perfect for making ahead. You really can’t go wrong. If you’re a lover of pecans, this cheesecake definitely needs to be something you try.
More Great Pecan Recipes
Pecan Praline Cheesecake Video Tutorial
This Pecan Praline Cheesecake is a pecan lover’s dream! The rich, creamy filling is full of brown sugar and toasted pecans and topped with a delicious, caramel-y pecan praline sauce!
- 2 1/4 cups (302g) graham cracker crumbs (about 17 full sheet graham crackers)
- 5 tbsp (70g) packed brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 10 tbsp (140g) unsalted butter, melted
- 24 ounces (678g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (180g) light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 3 tbsp (24g) all purpose flour
- 1 cup (230g) sour cream, room temperature
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup (107g) chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 cup (104g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (113g) packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup (ml) heavy whipping cream
- 4 tbsp (56g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3/4 cup (80g) chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil so that water from the water bath cannot get in (see how I prepare my pan for a water bath). Set prepared pan aside.
5. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F (148°C).
6. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, brown sugar and flour on low speed until well combined and smooth. Be sure to use low speed to reduce the amount of air added to the batter, which can cause cracks. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and mix on low speed until well combined.
8. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing slowly to combine after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure everything is well combined.
9. Gently stir in the toasted pecans.
10. Pour the cheesecake batter into the crust.
11. Place the springform pan inside another larger pan. Fill the outside pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
12. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. The center should be set, but still jiggly.
13. Turn off the oven and leave the door closed for 30 minutes. The cheesecake will continue to cook, but slowly begin to cool as well.
14. Crack the door of the oven for 30 minutes to allow the cheesecake to continue to cool slowly. This process helps prevent cracking.
15. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and water bath wrapping and refrigerate until cool and firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
16. When you’re ready to make the topping, add everything but the pecans, salt and vanilla extract to a medium pot and heat over medium-low heat until the butter and brown sugar is melted.
17. When the sugar has melted, turn the heat up to medium. When it begins to foam and boil, stir constantly until it reaches 220 degrees, about 2 minutes. Don’t cook it too long (past 220 degrees) or the topping may end up too firm.
18. Remove from heat and stir in the pecans, salt and vanilla extract.
19. Stir vigorously and continuously with your spatula for about 1 minute
20. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature, then add to the top of the cheesecake and spread evenly.
21. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve. The topping will firm up in the fridge, but you will still be able to cut through it easily.
The topping can be made ahead and refrigerated until you’re ready to use it. If you refrigerate it, you’ll need to heat it in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften it just a bit and be able to add it to the top of the cheesecake.
Keywords: pecan praline cheesecake