Everyone loves cheesecake! Well, at least everyone that I know! In my baking career, I have developed a few different cheesecake recipes, and most of them are fall/winter recipes for the holidays. I make a killer sweet potato cheesecake! But, that’s for another day and another blog post! This holiday season I wanted to do something that I haven’t done before. There is a cake filling that is one of my customer’s favorite. It is my pecan praline filling. I also use it for a pecan praline tres leches. Again, for another blog post. But, I was thinking that I could combine my pecan praline with cheesecake! Genius, right?? I know!! And the best thing about this recipe is that you can use the different components for different recipes. Use the crust for other deserts. You can use the cheesecake recipe on its own or with other toppings. And the topping can be used on whatever you like! So here is all you need to make a Pecan Praline Cheesecake!
The first thing that any cheesecake needs is a graham cracker crust:
What you need:
1 ½ cups ground graham crackers
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
6 Tbsps. melted butter
To start, use a food processor or blender to ground up your graham crackers. If you don’t have either, put the crackers in a large plastic bag and beat it with a rolling pin!
Then add the sugar and cinnamon. Give it a quick mix in the food processor. Add the melted butter and give it a few more pulses until fully combined. And that’s it! So, easy!
Line the bottom of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper. (If you don’t, you might have a hard time getting it out of the pan!) Dump your crust mixture in and use your fingers to press it down firmly to the bottom of the pan. You can also use the bottom of a glass. It should all stick together and form a crust. You can bring it up about a ½ inch to an inch around the edges. It may look like there isn’t enough to fill the bottom, but keep working with it. I promise it’s enough!
Bake at 350F for about 10 minutes.
Set your crust aside to cool while we make the cheesecake filling! Lower your oven temp to 325F.
Ingredients for Filling:
4- 8oz packages of Cream Cheese
4 Large Eggs
1 cup granulated Sugar
1 cup Sour Cream
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Make sure all your ingredients have come to room temperature!!
In the bowl of a stand mixer, (you can use a hand mixer if that is all you have) mix cream cheese with the paddle attachment on medium speed until it is smooth. Add in the eggs and mix one at a time. Slowly pour in the sugar while mixing. Change the mixer to a slow speed and add the sour cream and vanilla, and mix. It is important to make sure everything is incorporated and smooth! Pour your batter into the cooled crust!
Water Bath! Cheesecakes love humidity and moisture. Using a water bath prevents the cheesecake from cracking!
Take a sheet pan and fill the bottom with water. Put this on the lower oven rack. Put your cheesecake pan on the upper oven rack to bake. Bake for about an hour depending on your oven. You will need to watch it closely. The edges of the cheesecake will be set, but the center will still be jiggly. Once it’s cooled it will be firm. You don’t want to overbake! Once you see the cheesecake approaching this point, turn your oven off. We will cool the cheesecake in the oven with the door of the oven cracked open.
Once the cake has cooled to room temperature in the oven, we will put it in the fridge to cool more. It’s important to let the cheesecake cool completely before putting it in the fridge because we don’t want cracks! If you do get cracks, don’t freak out though because we are putting toppings all over it. I just think it’s a huge accomplishment to bake a cheesecake with NO cracks!!! LOL
Alright you guys, we are almost to the end of this! While your cheesecake is in the oven, you can make the pecan praline topping. You can also make this ahead of time if you like. These are the things you need:
12 oz. can Evaporated Milk
1/3 cup granulated Sugar
¼ cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 Tbsp. Butter
½ cup-1 cup of Chopped Pecans
Okay, so making the pecan praline is super easy, but also super easy to burn! Lol, so don’t leave your pot!
Put the milk and sugars in a saucepan on medium heat. Continue stirring and watching your pot until the mixture thickens. Do this low and slow. If you try to put the stovetop on high heat, you can easily burn the bottom! You want it to get thick, but not too thick because it will thicken once it’s cooled. Once it thickens, remove from the heat and add the butter, vanilla, and pecans. Mix and let cool.
Once everything has cooled, remove your cheesecake from the springform pan and put on a platter or cake plate. Top with the praline sauce and you are done!!
This is the most amazing decadent cheesecake recipe that I have come up with thus far! If you need a visual, go ahead and click on the video below. Subscribe to my blog to get more recipes and Kake stories sent to your email! Also, subscribe to my YouTube channel to get all the visuals and cake decorating videos!! Thanks for stopping by!