Luscious pumpkin cheesecake paired with pecan and caramel flavors throughout. Silky pumpkin cheesecake made with layers of caramel topping, pecan flavored crust, pecan buttercream frosting, and some more caramel and nuts on top. Beautiful fall dessert for your holiday dinner.
Pecan Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
There is something about cheesecakes that is so irresistible. It makes a beautiful dessert for any occasion and holiday.
Every year, I like to make a new version of pumpkin cheesecake. A traditional pumpkin pie is just fine for a Thanksgiving menu but why stop there? Why not take it to another level and bring out a pumpkin cheesecake instead?
With all the traditional turkey and side dishes that I make for the holiday, I feel like dessert is something I can put my own spin on. So I often go for a pumpkin cheesecake.
Cheesecakes make an impressive dessert and look much harder to make than it actually is. Best part is that the whole cheesecake or parts of it can be made ahead of time.
Although, the best part of it I would actually be the taste. This dessert has a beautiful combination of fall classic flavors like pumpkin and pecans and combined with caramel as well. Smooth, silky texture of the cheesecake with a little crunch of pecans is very pleasant.
Caramel flavors that are present throughout this cheesecake are mild and beautifully mixed. There is a layer of caramel topping over the pecan flavored crust, in the middle of the cheesecake itself, and drizzled over the top.
You will find crushed pecans mixed in with the graham cracker crust and in the frosting. The frosting on this cheesecake is actually pecan buttercream. It’s so good, you’ll want to spread it on everything.
Before making the cheesecake:
Before making the cheesecake, prepare the springform first. There have been a few occasions when my springform let in some water so now, I always wrap it in aluminum foil. Even thought only one of my forms that tends to let in water, I take the extra step to wrap all of them.
Wrapping the form with foil on the outside will lower the chances of water getting in. Do note that there is still a chance the form will let in a little bit of water. It won’t ruin your cheesecake though.
Get two long (about 20 inches long) sheets of aluminum foil and place them criss-cross on the counter. Place an empty baking springform in the center. Gently bring up all the edges, covering the springform up the sides. Rub the sides and bottom to secure foil flush with the baking form. (Be firm but gently so you don’t rip the foil.) Spray inside of the springform with some oil spray.
How to make pumpkin cheesecake:
Using a food processor or a blender, pulse 1.5 cups of pecan halves (or crushed pecans) until it turns to crumbs. Set it aside for crust and frosting.
For crust, mix graham crackers, cinnamon, and pecan crumbs until evenly combined. Then, pour in melted butter and mix everything very well.
Spread crumbs evenly all over the bottom of the springform pan and press it in firmly.
When preparing the cheesecake batter, start by beating softened cream cheese for a couple of minutes. It will be light and fluffy.
Begin adding eggs, one at a time, and then add sour cream, pumpkin puree, sugar, and vanilla.
Remember to stop mixer and scrape sides and bottom of the bowl every couple of additions.
Set speed to low and add corn starch and cinnamon.
Drizzle some caramel all over the crust and pour in half of the cheesecake all over the top. Drizzle some caramel over the batter and pour in remaining batter evenly. Make sure it’s spread evenly and set the pan inside a bigger roasting pan.
Carefully pour water into the roasting pan, enough to cover cheesecake about half way up the springform.
Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven and bake according to the recipe.
How to make pecan frosting:
You will need a paddle and the whisk attachments for the stand up mixer.
First, beat softened butter with paddle attachment in an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, for a couple of minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, add heavy cream, and beat for another couple more minutes until light and fluffy.
Switch to whisk attachment, set speed to low, and pour in powdered sugar, pecan crumbles, and cinnamon. Beat on low until sugar is incorporated and raise the speed to medium-high. Beat for 3-4 more minutes.
Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cold cheesecake. Transfer most of frosting into a piping bag and decorate the cheesecake.
Here are some more cheesecakes you will enjoy:
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Pecan Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup pecan crumbs
- 4 tbsp butter melted
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 4 tbsp caramel topping
- 24 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp sour cream
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp corn starch
- 4 Tbsp caramel topping to drizzle in the middle
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1/2 cup salted butter room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 3/4 cup pecan crumbs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup crushed pecans
- 1/2 cup caramel topping
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and grease a 9 inch springform pan. You will need a large roasting pan that’s bigger and longer than the springform pan. (I use the aluminum foil disposable ones). If you are not sure about your springform holding up in water, you can wrap the outside of the springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil from bottom up to the sides.)
- Using a food processor or a blender, pulse 1.5 cups of pecan halves (or crushed pecans) until it turns to crumbs. Set it aside for crust and frosting.
- In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and pecan crumbles, mix very well. Add melted butter and mix until all evenly incorporated.
- Spread crumb mixture in the bottom of the springform pan, evenly, and press it over the bottom and a little up the sides.
- Drizzle caramel topping over the crust.
- In a bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Scrape sides and bottom on the bowl and beat for another minute.
- Add eggs, one at the time, beating after each addition.
- Add pumpkin puree, vanilla, sugar, and sour cream, beat until incorporated. Scrape sides and bottom on the bowl.
- Lower speed and add cinnamon and corn starch. Make sure that all ingredients are well combined. Scrape sides and bottom on the bowl and beat for a few more seconds, until all smooth.
- Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the pan with crust, over the caramel. Drizzle some more caramel over the cheesecake batter. Pour in remaining cheesecake batter evenly over the top. Make sure the batter is spread evenly in the pan.
- Set the pan inside a bigger roasting pan. Carefully pour water into the roasting pan, enough to cover cheesecake about half way up the springform.Carefully place the roasting pan in the oven.
- Bake for 70-75 minutes. Turn off the oven and open the oven door half way. Let cheesecake rest for about 10 minutes and take it out of the oven (out of the roasting pan and carefully take off the foil).
- Let it rest for 15 minutes on the counter and then gently run a greased butter knife between sides of the cheesecakes and the springform to carefully separate it. (You don't actually have to take the cheesecake out of the pan until ready to serve.)
- Cool cheesecake for an hour and then place in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for about 4 hours before adding the frosting.
- You will need a paddle and the whisk attachments for the stand up mixer.
- First, beat softened butter with paddle attachment in an electric mixer, on medium-high speed, for a couple of minutes. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, add heavy cream, and beat for another couple more minutes until light and fluffy.
- Switch to whisk attachment, set speed to low, and pour in powdered sugar, pecan crumbles, and cinnamon. Beat on low until sugar is incorporated and raise the speed to medium-high. Beat for 3-4 more minutes.
- Spread a thin layer of frosting over the top of the cold cheesecake. Transfer most of frosting into a piping bag and decorate the cheesecake around the edges, leaving some room in the center for the nuts.
- Spread pecan in the center and drizzle caramel topping over the top of the cheesecake