This is the best pecan pie cheesecake bars recipe made with a buttery graham cracker crust, a creamy cheesecake filling, and a gooey caramel pecan pie topping to bring it all together. this amazing recipe is simple enough to make yet elevated enough to impress all of your guests this holiday season.
This is the best pecan cheesecake bars
This recipe is one of those treats that will quickly jump to the top of your favorite desserts list. It combines so many holiday favorites into one and takes it to a whole new level. Because a delicious pecan pie on its own is already heavenly. A thick NY cheesecake also is pretty much the embodiment of a delicious luxurious sweet creamy treat now we are putting them together and you might never go back!
These are perfect for any special occasion but even more so for Thanksgiving or even Christmas. I mean we go big for the holidays and this is BIG! It has 3 incredible layers of goodness. A crunchy graham cracker crust, a smooth cream cheese filling, and a crunchy pecan pie topping! It is a great make-ahead dessert that will allow you to save that oven space for your turkey on Thanksgiving day!
Why do you need to make this recipe?
- Perfect for any and all holidays- This combination of pecan pie and cheesecake will make for the perfect dessert for both Christmas and Thanksgiving!
- Yields a super tasty and decadent dessert.
- No water bath required- This cheesecake will have pecan topping so we won’t have to use a water bath to make it. It might have small cracks but those will be covered once we add our sweet pecan mixture on top of the cheesecake itself!
Ingredients for this easy pecan pie cheesecake bars
Here are the ingredients you will need to make this creamy cheesecake bar with pecan pie topping. Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed ingredient measurements.
- Graham crackers
- Granulated sugar
- Cream cheese- Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature otherwise you will end up with a clumpy mess.
- Vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- Pecans– The pecans will be used to make the pecan layer.
- Heavy cream
- Corn syrup
- Brown sugar
What is the best cream cheese to use for this recipe?
I highly recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the best texture. Philadelphia cream cheese is always best for cheesecake recipes because it is smooth and easy to mix!
How to make this pecan pie cheesecake bar recipe
This is how you can make the best pecan pie cheesecake bars EVER! Make sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full detailed instructions!
Make the graham cracker crust
- In a large bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs with the granulated sugar and a pinch of salt.
- Add in the melted butter and mix to coat all the crumbs in that.
- Pour the graham cracker crust onto a parchment paper-lined 8×8-inch pan.
- Press using the back of a cup then bake in the preheated oven.
- Allow the crust to cool down a little while you make the cheesecake filling.
Make the creamy cheesecake layer
- To a large bowl, add brown sugar, granulated sugar, and the softened cream cheese.
- Cream together until everything is well combined and light and fluffy.
- Add in the vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste and one egg at a time and mix until combined. Add in the second egg and mix again,
- Pour the cheesecake batter over the cooled-down graham cracker crust.
- Spread that evenly and bake in the preheated oven.
You can do this step with a stand mixer or an electric mixer.
Make the pecan pie filling
- To a medium saucepan add chopped-up pecans, butter, corn syrup, heavy cream, brown butter, and cinnamon.
- Cook on medium heat until everything is melted and the mixture starts to simmer. Stirring frequently.
- Simmer for 3 minutes while continuously stirring, then remove from the heat and set aside.
- Once the cheesecake has cooled down for 10-15 minutes, pour the pecan pie filling on top and spread it evenly. Make sure you are doing this very gently to make sure you do not mess up the cheesecake layer.
Allow the cheesecake to chill!
- Allow your cheesecake to fully cool down before placing it in the fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight.
- Use a sharp knife to cup the perfect slices and serve!
Frequently asked questions – FAQ
How to store any leftovers from this recipe?
Any leftovers will be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Keep in mind that the longer they sit the softer the crust will become because of the moisture.
Can I freeze these pecan pie cheesecake bars?
You sure can! Once fully cooled down, wrap tightly with plastic wrap, place in a large freezer-safe bag, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Once you are ready to enjoy these, pull them out of the freezer, remove the plastic wrap place them on a flat baking sheet or plate, and thaw in the fridge overnight.
Can I make this cheesecake recipe gluten-free?
You sure can! All you have to do is use gluten-free graham cracker crust for the base. you’d be set.
The best pecan pie cheesecake recipe
The best pecan cheesecake bars
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs about 12 graham crackers
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup butter melted, salted or unsalted
- ¼ teaspoon salt
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- 16 oz cream cheese 2 blocks, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 350°F then grease and line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some overhang on two sides for easy removal.
Graham cracker crust
- In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, salt, and melted butter. Mix until all the crumbs are evenly coated.1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, ¼ cup granulated sugar, ½ cup butter, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan to create the graham cracker crust. Use the back of a spoon or a flat-bottomed glass to create a smooth and compact crust. Bake for 10 minutes then allow it to cool down.
- In a large bowl, cream the softened cream cheese with the brown sugar, the white sugar, and the flour until smooth and creamy.16 oz cream cheese, ½ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla extract.2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pour the cheesecake filling over the graham cracker crust, spreading it out evenly. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the cheesecake has puffed up and has a slight jiggle in the center. Allow the cheesecake to sit for 10-15 minutes before topping it with the pecan pie filling.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the chopped pecans, brown sugar, heavy cream, salt, and unsalted butter.1 cups pecans, ¼ cup light corn syrup, ⅓ cup light brown sugar, ⅓ cup heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 4-5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens slightly.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Add the Pecan Topping
- Carefully pour the pecan topping over the cheesecake layer, spreading it evenly.
- Allow the pecan cheesecake bars to cool in the pan at room temperature fully, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until fully chilled. preferred overnight.
- Once chilled, use the parchment paper overhangs to lift the bars out of the pan. Slice into squares and serve.
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