Rich and creamy cheesecake, sweet and gooey caramel, and toasty pecan come together for a one of a kind dessert experience. Caramel pecan cheesecake is perfect for dinner parties, birthday parties, Thanksgiving and more!
Creamy caramel pecan cheesecake is layer after layer of rich goodness baked into one decadent dessert. It is a showstopper, but is relatively easy to make.
The combination of caramel, pecans and cream cheese makes for the perfect treat. But don’t take my word for it, make one to see for yourself.
I originally shared this recipe back in 2017. It was part of a virtual baby shower for my friend Angie, who runs the site Big Bears Wife.
It was my interpretation of a recipe my mom’s friend, Kathy, had shared with her. The recipe is so good, I had to make it again.
So I thought I would update the pictures and share them with you in case you didn’t see it the first time around. Hopefully these new pics will make you want to make it. It is worth it, that is for sure!
Like most cheesecakes, this recipe starts with a graham cracker crust. However, instead of using granulated sugar you use brown sugar to help play up the caramel notes.
You could use other cookies if you want to. Vanilla wafers would be a good option, or pecan sandies.
Using a food processor makes quick work of making the cookies into fine crumbs. You could also just pick up a box of graham cracker crumbs at the grocery store if you don’t want to mess with it.
Add the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter to the bottom of a springform pan. Mix them around until well combined and then press them into a crust across the bottom of the pan.
If you can, form a small lip of crust around the sides of the pan as well. Just 1/4-1/2 of an inch will do. That will help to keep the caramel layer from sticking to the sides of the pan.
Now we make a simple caramel sauce from chewy caramel candies and sweetened condensed milk. Pour that over the graham cracker crust.
Sprinkle chopped pecans over the caramel sauce. Bake it for about 10 minutes to set the crust and hold everything together.
Then set it aside to cool. You want the caramel to be all the way back to room temperature before you add the cheesecake layer to ensure distinct layers.
The Cheesecake Layer
Any time I am making a cheesecake, I reach for our favorite condensed milk cheesecake base. It is just so easy to put together and always makes a perfectly creamy cheesecake.
Beat the room temperature cream cheese really well before adding anything else. This is your only real chance to get all of the lumps out.
Once you start adding more liquid, it gets harder to beat out chunks of cream cheese. So make sure it’s softened, beat it well and scrape the sides of the bowl a few 5imes before you move on.
Add the remaining ingredients a bit at a time to make sure they incorporate well. It’s worth taking a couple of minutes to do it right.
Once you start adding the eggs, keep the mixer on low. You don’t want to incorporate air at this point.
Give the cheesecake a couple of good taps on the counter before you put it in the oven. That helps get any air bubbles out.
Rather than using a water bath, we just cook the cheesecake low and slow. Then allow it to cool slowly as well, this will help to avoid a crack in the baked cheesecake.
The Caramel Topping
Once the cheesecake has slowly cooled to room temperature, go ahead and stick it in the refrigerator to chill until closer to time to chill. When you are ready to top it, all you have to do is whip up a simple caramel sauce using the rest of the caramel and condensed milk.
Pour the warm caramel over the cheesecake and quickly spread it out to form an even layer. I like to garnish with pecan halves around the border.
You could also add more chopped pecans if you prefer. Or use even more pecans and make a design on top of the cheesecake.
The possibilities are endless, so do whatever you think will look great. For even more flavor, lightly toast the pecans a bit before using them.
If you want your caramel sauce to be gooey, go ahead and serve the cheesecake while the caramel is warm. For a more set caramel, refrigerate it for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
More great cheesecake recipes
If you like this cheesecake, you are also going to love pecan pie cheesecake. It has a swirl of pecan and brown sugar goodness in the creamy cheesecake base.
Apple butter cheesecake is creamy and delicious. It has just a hint of spice, a great apple flavor and beautiful texture.
Or make chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake. It was my favorite dessert growing up!
If it is the caramel and pecans that drew you in, you make also like caramel pecan pie. It is a caramelly twist on the Thanksgiving classic.
Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
- 1 sleeve graham crackers crushed (about 1-1 1/2 cups crumbs)
- 4 Tablespoons butter melted
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 11 oz caramels or caramel bits
- 28 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup chopped pecans
- 24 oz. cream cheese softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup of whole pecans preferably lightly toasted
- Preheat your oven to 300°F.
- In the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in the butter into the mixture until it resembles wet sand. Then press the mixture to form a crust that covers to bottom of the pan. Try to form a small lip of crust around the edge of the pan as well to keep the caramel sauce contained.1 sleeve graham crackers, 3 Tablespoons brown sugar, 4 Tablespoons butter
- In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt about half of the caramels and half of one can of sweetened condensed milk until it is smooth and creamy. Gently pour the warm caramel over the graham cracker crust and sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then set aside to cool½ cup chopped pecans
- In your mixer, beat cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl and the mixer paddle to ensure there are not lemps.24 oz. cream cheese
- Slowly incorporate the second can of condensed milk into the cream cheese until the mixture is smooth.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until full combined after each. Don’t over mix at this point, you don’t want to whip too much air into the batter. Stir in the vanilla and pour cheesecake over the cooled crust. Tap the pan on the counter a couple of times to release any trapped air.3 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Bake for about an hour or until the middle is just set. Turn off the heat and open the oven door just a crack to allow the cheesecake to cool slowly. After about an hour, run a knife around the edge of the springform pan to allow the cheesecake to release later. Then transfer the cheesecake to the fridge to cool completely.
- Before serving, remove ring from the springform pan. Melt together the remaining caramels and sweetened condensed milk until creamy. Pat the top of the cheesecake dry if there is any condensation, then spread melted caramel over the cheesecake. Garnish with pecan halves.1/2 cup of whole pecans
- Store any leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Please take some time to check out all the amazing recipes we made for Angie’s virtual baby shower!
Simple Southern Sweet Tea from Love and Confections.
Spicy Southern Deviled Eggs from This Gal Cooks.
American Pierogi Casserole from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen.
Banana Pudding Layered Dessert from High Heels and Grills.
Mickey Mouse Candy Pops from The Decorated Cookie.
Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Bars from The Bitter Side of Sweet.
Classic Yellow Butter Cake with Fudgy Chocolate Icing from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.