Bourbon-Praline Cheesecake

5.0
(7)

The praline topping takes this cheesecake over the top.

Bourbon-Praline Cheesecake and Vanilla Custard with Bourbon-Caramel Sauce
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop styling: Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
30 mins
Bake Time:
1 hrs 10 mins
Cool Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
Chill Time:
6 hrs
Total Time:
9 hrs 10 mins
Servings:
12

During the holidays, there are quite a few things that Southerners hold near and dear to our hearts. Of course, family and friends come first, but next up on the list? Bourbon, pralines, and cheesecake. This recipe has all three. No, you're not dreaming. Plus, you can share this Bourbon-Praline Cheesecake with your family and friends, and they'll be singing your praises all the way to the New Year.

If pralines are your favorite candy, you'll love this cheesecake topped with a gooey mixture of bourbon, pecans, and brown sugar. The dark brown sugar gives each layer a deep sweetness, and the bourbon takes it to another level. Sour cream brings a unique tang to the cheesecake filling, which is supremely light and fluffy. The secret to achieving a silky-smooth cheesecake? Using room temperature cream cheese. We mean it, y'all—leave that cream cheese on the counter overnight to make sure it's completely softened. You'll want to use room temperature eggs as well to ensure that they properly incorporate into the filling.

This stunning cheesecake is sure to steal the show at your holiday party. If you have any praline topping leftover, it'll be fantastic spooned over ice cream.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from 1 [13 ½-oz.] pkg. graham cracker crumbs)

  • ½ cups finely chopped pecans 

  • ½ cup butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

Filling

  • 4 (8-oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened to room temperature

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

  • ¼ cup sour cream

  • ¼ cup (2 oz.) bourbon

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Praline Topping

  • ¼ cup butter

  • ¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

  • ¼ cup whole milk

  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz.) bourbon

  • 1 cup toasted pecan halves

Directions

  1. Prepare the Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, pecans, butter, and brown sugar in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture into bottom and 1 ½ inches up the sides of prepared springform pan. Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. (Do not turn off oven.) Transfer Crust in springform pan to a wire rack; cool completely, about 30 minutes.

  2. Prepare the Filling: Beat cream cheese with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until fully combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add eggs 2 at a time, beating until just combined, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed using a rubber spatula. Add sour cream, bourbon, and vanilla. Beat until just combined, about 1 minute, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed (do not overbeat).

  3. Pour Filling into cooled Crust. Gently jiggle pan to smooth top. Place cheesecake in a plastic slow-cooker liner; place cheesecake in liner in a large roasting pan. (Or double wrap the springform pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil.) Place roasting pan in oven. Pour warm water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of pan (do not let water get into slow-cooker liner). Bake at 350°F until cheesecake center is slightly jiggly, about 1 hour. Turn off oven; prop oven door ajar about 4 inches. Let cheesecake stand in open oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and from slow-cooker liner. Place in refrigerator until fully chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the Praline Topping: Cook butter and brown sugar in a saucepan over medium-high, stirring often, until melted and beginning to bubble, 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; whisk in milk and bourbon. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in pecans. Transfer to a heatproof bowl. Cool 1 hour or up to 4 hours. Cover; chill until ready to serve, up to 24 hours.

  5. Remove cheesecake from pan. Drizzle with Praline Topping before serving.

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