This caramel pecan cheesecake is a creamy, no bake cheesecake that is topped with thick caramel, and finished with crunchy pecans. A showstopping dessert that is perfect to serve during the holiday season!
Pecan Pie Cheesecake
I’m the kind of person who ALWAYS orders dessert at a restaurant. I sometimes even choose my dessert BEFORE ordering my entree. While I *try* to change up my desserts from time to time, 9 times out of 10, I always choose a cheesecake.
A few months back, I had dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. As a cheesecake lover, it was pure torture having to only select one flavor. Naturally, I chose three and took two of the slices home. One of those flavors was the caramel pecan turtle cheesecake, and it was love at first bite. It was SO good, I was determined to make my own version of it.
Now, this cheesecake may look incredibly fancy and elegant, but I promise you it is SO easy to make- In fact, it requires no baking whatsoever.
No dairy, no eggs, and no butter is needed, but you’d never be able to tell. The texture is smooth and creamy, and the caramel topping is sweet and thick, without being overpowering. The chopped pecans on top give it that lovely crunch and nutty flavor.
I served this for some friends the other week, and NO ONE believed me when I said not a touch of dairy or cream was used! Two of them even said they’d serve it for Thanksgiving, as it was a fancier take on the classic pecan pie!
Ingredients to make this recipe
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this caramel pecan cheesecake. Most of the standard ingredients (milk, sugar, and cream cheese) can all be substituted for their dairy counterparts. See my tips below to make the cheesecake sugar free!
- Coconut milk– I find coconut milk has a thicker texture than other milk kinds, but any can be used.
- Sugar of choice– White sugar, or sugar free substitutes, listed below. You can use brown sugar or coconut sugar, but your cheesecake will be darker in color.
- Cashews– Unsalted and raw cashews, that have been soaked beforehand. Soaking the cashews makes them easier to blend, and an extra creamy cheesecake. While soaking for 3 hours is best, you can do a cheats version and soak it in boiling water 30 minutes before using it.
- Coconut oil– Refined coconut oil, to ensure there is no coconut flavor.
- Vanilla extract– Gives a lovely vanilla flavor throughout.
- Cream cheese– Dairy free cream cheese, that has come from a block and NOT from a container. If you don’t follow a vegan diet, you can use standard cream cheese.
- Caramel– A thick and gooey caramel to top the cheesecake with. I used a vegan caramel, but you can use a store bought caramel if you wish.
- Pecans– A mix of halved and chopped pecans. Be sure to use unsalted ones!
How do you make a caramel pecan cheesecake?
Start by preparing your cheesecake crust, if needed. Next, prepare your cheesecake filling. In a small saucepan, combine your milk and sugar, and heat up until the sugar has dissolved, then set it aside to cool slightly. Now, place all your ingredients, except for the cream cheese into a food processor (or high speed blender). Blend very well, until combined and smooth. Add in your cream cheese and process once more, until thick and smooth.
Transfer your cheesecake mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Once firm, spread a thick layer of caramel over the top, followed by the roughly chopped pecans. Let sit for 10 minutes, before serving.
Vegan cheesecake crust ideas
Any cheesecake crust can be used. As I love a graham cracker crust, this is a simple 3 ingredient vegan crust you can use (as pictured).
To make: 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (use a vegan brand, like Nabisco), 1/3 cup vegan butter (melted), 1/4 cup granulated sugar (or sugar free sub).
Mix all your ingredients together until a crumbly texture remains. Transfer the mixture into an 8-inch pie or tart pan. Press the mixture into the pan and refrigerate for an hour, for it to firm up.
Can I make this sugar free and/or Keto?
Yes, if you’d like to make this a low carb and sugar free pecan cheesecake, replace the white sugar with either monk fruit sweetener or erythritol. Also, make this keto caramel sauce below.
To make: 3/4 cup butter, 3/4 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon allulose, 1/4 teaspoon salt.
In a small saucepan, heat up the butter and cream until it begins to simmer. Stir frequently, until it begins to thicken. Add the allulose and salt and continue to mix, until thick and sticky. Remove from the heat and transfer to a glass container. Let sit for 10 minutes, before whisking once more and covering the cheesecake with it.
Tips to make the best pecan pie cheesecake
- Use a springform cake pan, for easy removal.
- While 3 hours is the minimum amount of time for the cheesecake to set, it’s better if you let it sit overnight. This ensures it thickens up well, and the flavors have time to merge.
- Use a mix of chopped pecans and pecan halves, and distribute them all over the top of the gooey caramel.
- You can prepare this cheesecake up to 3 days in advance. Simply let the whole cheesecake sit for 3o minutes to an hour, before serving.
- Serve this cheesecake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or coconut ice cream.
How to store a caramel pecan turtle cheesecake
- To store: Pecan cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator, covered. The cheesecake will keep well for up to 2 weeks. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, prior, so the caramel to soften.
- To freeze: Place slices of the cheesecake in a sealable container and store in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
More delicious desserts to try
- Chocolate Tart
- Salted Caramel Tart
- Apple Crumble Pie
- Blueberry Pie
- White Chocolate Raspberry Blondies
Caramel Pecan Cheesecake
- Prepare your crust of choice into an 8-inch springform pan. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a small saucepan, combine your coconut milk with sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Remove and set aside to cool slightly.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your soaked cashews, coconut oil, cooled milk/sugar mixture, and vanilla extract, until smooth. Add your cream cheese and blend until combined.
- Pour the mixture over the crust and freeze for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Once the cheesecake has set, cover with the caramel sauce and chopped pecans.