Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

The added layer of nutty pecan flavor in this pumpkin cheesecake will have you reaching for another slice. Test Kitchen Professional Pam Lolley combined the flavors of three holiday favorites—pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and cheesecake—to create this luscious holiday dessert.

Pumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake
Photo: Jennifer Davick
Hands On Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
11 hrs 32 mins
Yield:
12 servings

Ingredients

Pie

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

Praline Topping

  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup whipping cream

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Garnishes: coarsely chopped glazed pecans, fresh sage leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

  2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)

  3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

  4. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate.

  5. Prepare Praline Topping: Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately.

  6. Pour praline topping slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of edge. Garnish, if desired.

  7. Try This Twist! Sweet Potato-Pecan Cheesecake: Substitute 1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked sweet potatoes for canned pumpkin. Proceed with recipe as directed, baking 1 hour or until almost set.

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