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Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Recipe

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake boasts a smooth creamy cheesecake pumpkin filling over a homemade buttery graham cracker crust and topped with a rich praline topping that melts in your mouth. This drop-dead-gorgeous Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Recipe is exactly what your holiday tables are begging for.

A sideview of a slice of pumpkin cheesecake with a graham cracker crust and a pecan praline topping.

When it comes to the holidays, desserts are everything. I generally make a couple of desserts for when we get together for the holidays, and one usually has pumpkin. It’s just not Thanksgiving without pumpkin. Smooth & Creamy Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Bars are always a big hit and this recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake is a frequent request.

Why You’ll Love My Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Recipe

It’s no pumpkin pie. While I love pumpkin pie, it’s so nice to have an alternative. Making pumpkin pecan cheesecake gives you all the best flavors of pumpkin and Fall, but has a completely different texture and overall flavor profile than the more traditional favorite.

It’s not complicated. A lot of people think a cheesecake as beautiful as this one is going to be really hard to make. It’s not. Unlike many cheesecake recipes, we don’t cover the springform pan with aluminum foil or bake it in a water bath. We mix the filling in a stand-alone electric mixer and don’t use every mixing bowl in the kitchen.

Did I mention it’s gorgeous? This cheesecake will be the talk of the party, the highlight of the meal, the best dessert on your plate, and everything you asked for on a Thursday afternoon when you’ve already had too much to eat. It’s just that good.

Ingredients for Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients needed to make pecan pumpkin cheese cake including graham cracker crumbs, butter, egg, vanilla, cream cheese, lemon juice, sugar, brown sugar, pecans and pumpkin puree.

Crust Ingredients

  • Graham Cracker Crumbs.
  • Pecans. You will need some ground for the recipe and whole pecans for the topping.
  • Butter. We used salted butter for flavor since there’s no additional salt in this recipe. Unsalted butter is fine as well especially if you use salted pecans.
  • Brown Sugar. Light or dark, whichever you prefer.

Filling Ingredients

  • Cream Cheese. Softened to room temperature.
  • Granulated Sugar.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Nutmeg.
  • Vanilla Extract.
  • Eggs. Grade A, Large.
  • Canned Pumpkin.
  • Lemon Juice.

Ingredients for the Pecan Praline Topping

  • Brown Sugar.
  • Heavy Whipping Cream.
  • Butter. I prefer unsalted butter in this topping. Especially if you’re using salted pecans.
  • Powdered Sugar.
  • Vanilla Extract.

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

How to Make Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Step One. Make the Cheesecake Crust.

Preheat your oven and prepare the pan. Blend the dry ingredients and then add the butter, stirring until well distributed. Press the mixture evenly and firmly into the pan. Bake until lightly golden brown.

Step Two. Prepare the Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Filling.

Mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time. Do not overbeat. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Pour the batter over the prepared crust.

Step Three. Bake the Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Bake and then let the cheesecake stand in the oven. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently run a knife around the outer edge to loosen it from the sides. Do not remove the sides of the pan yet. Do not remove the sides of the pan yet. Cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack and then cover. Carefully transfer cheesecake to the refrigerator and chill for 8 to 24 hours. 

Run a warmed, dry knife around the sides again. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer the pecan pumpkin cheesecake to a serving plate.

Step Four. Make Praline Topping for Cheesecake

Bring the brown sugar, cream, and butter to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously. Boil, stirring occasionally for 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand for 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately. Praline will set up very quickly and will prevent you from working with it.

Garnish with whole pecans if desired.

Top down view of a pumpkin cheesecake with the first cuts taking to remove the first slice. Hostess At Heart

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use canned pumpkin pie filling for the cheesecake?

No, pumpkin pie filling is already sweetened and spiced and will cause your pumpkin cheesecake filling to be overly sweet and the spice will be unbalanced.

How do I prevent cracks on the surface of the cheesecake?

Cooling the cheesecake slowly helps regulate the temperature and prevents those pesky cracks. If you do get cracks, the praline topping will cover them up.

Can I make the praline topping ahead of time?

No! The praline topping sets up very quickly, preventing you from pouring or smoothing it out.

Can I make pumpkin pecan cheesecake ahead of time?

Yes! The cheesecake can be made a day to two in advance and stored in the refrigerator. This cheesecake sets as it cools, so making it in advance will help you cut it into beautiful slices.

Closeup tableview shot of a slice of Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Pie showing creamy filling over a graham cracker crust - Hostess At Heart

How do I know when the cheesecake is done baking?

The center should have a slight jiggle while the edges are set. It’s all about that delicate balance. Don’t worry if it seems a bit underdone; it’ll firm up as it cools.

How to Store Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

Cheesecake can absorb other flavors, so make sure it’s covered completely. Wrap the cheesecake gently with plastic wrap or place it in a covered container and store it.

Can I freeze Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake?

Yes. Place each slice in an airtight container or wrap it in parchment paper like a gift, using tape to seal the edges. Freeze a whole cheesecake in an airtight container. Thaw in the refrigerator. A single slice can be thawed in your lunch bag.

Top down view of a slice of pumpkin praline cheesecake topped with toasted pecans - Hostess At Heart

Substitutions and Variations

  • For added flavor, use toasted pecans. You can also swap out the pecans for your favorite nuts. How about walnuts for a richer taste or almonds for a touch of extra crunch?
  • Substitute the pumpkin with 1-1⁄2 cups of cooked sweet potatoes.
  • Add additional chopped nuts to the praline topping.
  • Substitute the graham cracker crust with a gingersnap crust by using cookies instead of graham crackers.
  • Elevate the spice factor by adding a pinch of cloves or ginger to the crust. These warming spices can give your cheesecake a more complex flavor profile.
  • Mix some chocolate chips into the cheesecake batter for a delicious pumpkin-chocolate combination.
  • Make it gluten-free. For our gluten-conscious friends, try a gluten-free graham cracker crust. Use gluten-free graham crackers or even ground nuts for a crust.
Front tableview of a slice of pumpkin pie cheesecake with the first bite taken out. Hostess At Heart

Hostess Tips

Plan Ahead: Set aside a little extra time. While this recipe isn’t difficult to make, following the instructions are important and worth every minute.

Crunchy Crust is Key: For that delectable graham cracker crust, make sure your crumbs are finely ground and well combined with melted butter. We use a food processor the grind them finely and evenly. Press the mixture firmly into the pan–we want a nice, sturdy base! A graham cracker crust can make or break a dessert. This homemade version is so much better than store-bought.

Soften Cream Cheese Right: Softened cream cheese is your ticket to a creamy filling. Take it out of the fridge beforehand, or you can even microwave it on low in short bursts. We’re going for smooth, not melty.

Slow and Steady Mixing: Go easy on the speed when blending the cheesecake filling. Overmixing can introduce too much air, leading to cracks. A smooth, gentle blend is the secret here.

Patience: Once it’s out of the oven, don’t rush. Let your cheesecake cool completely at room temperature and then chill for at least 8 hours in the refrigerator. A sudden temperature change can cause cracks; it needs time to set and let those flavors mingle.

Top down view of a praline cheesecake topped with pecans with one slice being lifted out with a pie server - Hostess At Heart

Pristine Praline: When making the praline topping, keep a watchful eye. The sugar can go from golden to burnt in the blink of an eye.

Slice with Precision: I line my springform pan with a fitted piece of parchment paper. Also, I keep the bottom of the pan under the cheesecake and serve right from it. It can be difficult to remove without cracking or breaking the cheesecake.

When slicing, use a sharp knife and clean it between each cut. A warm knife can help you get those perfect, clean edges. Lifting it with a pie server couldn’t be easier.

More Amazing Pumpkin Recipes

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Tableview of a slice of cheesecake with a pumpkin filling sitting on a graham cracker crust and topped with praline. Hostess At Heart

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake with Praline Topping

Author: Hostess At Heart
Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake has a Praline topping that just melts in your mouth. It’s a beautiful cake for the holiday, or just because.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword: Cheesecake, Pumpkin Dessert, Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake
Servings: 12

Ingredients
 
 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup ground pecans plus additional whole pecans for garnish
  • 5 tbsp butter melted

  • 3 tbsp

    brown sugar


Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Filling

  • 32 oz cream cheese

    (4-8oz packages) softened


  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon optional
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin

  • 1-1/2 tbsp lemon juice

Praline Topping

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Preheat oven to 325 °F.
  • Stir together graham cracker crumbs, ground pecans, and brown sugar together in a bowl until well blended. Drizzle in the melted butter and stir until well distributed. Press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides 1-1/2 inches of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake Filling

  • Using an electric stand mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract together at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Overbeating at this stage can cause your cheesecake to crack while baking. Add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and lemon juice, beating until just blended. Pour the batter over the prepared crust.
  • Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven with door closed for 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven and gently run a knife around the outer edge to loosen from the sides. Do not remove sides of pan. Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and refrigerate to chill in the pan for 8 to 24 hours.
  • Run a warmed dry knife around the sides again. Remove the sides of the pan and transfer to a serving plate. Prepare praline topping; immediately pouring slowly over the top of the cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of the edge. Garnish with whole pecans if desired. If the topping sets up and doesn't allow your pecans to stick to the top, you can put a little extra topping on the back of the pecan before placing them on the cheesecake.

Praline Topping

  • Bring the brown sugar, cream and butter to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan over medium heat, stirring continuously. Boil stirring occasionally for 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately. Praline will set up very quickly and will prevent you from working with it.

Notes

I like to add cinnamon and nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice to the filling. It’s optional. 
Make the day ahead so the cheesecake can chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
Original recipe from November 2011 Southern Living.

Nutrition

Serving: 12gCalories: 422kcalCarbohydrates: 60gProtein: 4gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 228mgPotassium: 125mgFiber: 1gSugar: 51gVitamin A: 2156IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 58mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

What are your family holidays like? Does everyone bring a dish? Do you have a favorite dessert? I’d love it if you would share the recipe!

Top down view of a slice of cheesecake topped with whole pecans - Hostess At Heart

This recipe was originally published on November 25th, 2014, and has been updated with detailed instructions and new images. The recipe has not changed.

Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake3
Recipe Rating




Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze - Lisa's Dinnertime Dish

Tuesday 5th of September 2023

[…] Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake […]

Jeff the Chef @ Make It Like a Man!

Friday 1st of September 2023

Your pumpkin pecan cheesecake looks absolutely delicious! I love the combination of pumpkin and pecans. The praline topping sounds amazing too.

Debi

Thursday 31st of August 2023

This took some time to make but was totally worth it. So luscious.

Rebecca

Monday 28th of August 2023

Wow what a great recipe. I really appreciated all your tips to help make the recipe too. Mine turned out fantastic! And everyone loved it too.

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 30th of August 2023

I'm so glad that you enjoyed it!

Mike

Tuesday 26th of May 2020

I really enjoy cheesecake and the addition of the pumpkin is wonderful

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