Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on the bottom and up the sides 1-1/2 inches of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract at medium speed with an electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Over beating at this stage can cause your cheesecake to crack while baking. Add pumpkin, and lemon juice, beating until just blended. Pour batter into 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 sides and bottom of 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 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.
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.
Make the day ahead so cake can chill at least 8 hours before serving.
Original recipe from November 2011 Southern Living
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.