This caramel pecan cheesecake is a creamy, no bake cheesecake that is topped with thick caramel, and finished with crunchy pecans. A show stopping dessert that is perfect to serve during the holiday season!
Come the holiday season, it is all about pumpkins and pecans.
For pies, we have the classic pumpkin pie and pecan pie. For something a little different, we love to make a cheesecake. We’ve already perfected the pumpkin cheesecake and now we have this gorgeous caramel pecan cheesecake.
Why this recipe works
- No baking required. Unlike most cheesecakes, there is no need to turn on the oven.
- Just 5 minutes prep. A simple mixing of the cheesecake ingredients and that is it.
- Healthier. By swapping out the cream for cashews, you have all the creaminess minus the saturated fat.
Can we lament about how good this cheesecake is? 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.
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. White or superfine sugar.
- 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. Always use cream cheese from a block, not a tub.
- 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 to make a caramel pecan cheesecake
Step 1- Prep the crust
I like using a store-bought crust but homemade graham cracker crust also works.
Step 2- Make the filling
Next, prepare your cheesecake filling. In a small saucepan, combine your milk and sugar, and heat 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.
Step 3- Let the cheesecake set
Transfer your cheesecake mixture into the pie crust and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
Step 4- Add the topping
Once firm, spread a thick layer of caramel over the top, followed by the roughly chopped pecans. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Use a spring-form cake pan for easy removal.
- While 3 hours is the minimum 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.
- To store: Leftovers 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 cheesecake recipes to try
Frequently Asked Questions
As we will add a caramel pecan topping, there is no need to cover the cheesecake as it sets.
Yes, let the cheesecake set in the spring-form pan it is in.
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.