An alternative to the Thanksgiving pies, this caramel apple, and pecan cheesecake is luxuriously creamy, not too sweet, and has all of the luscious Fall flavors. The best part is this dessert can be made up to four days ahead of the holiday!
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Caramel Apple And Pecan Cheesecake
Just imagine a New York-style, caramel cheesecake with a buttery, graham cracker crust that’s topped with more caramel and sauteed apples and pecans. What could be more luscious or pack in more Fall flavors than that?
This cheesecake is very smooth and rich, not overly sweet, and full of caramel flavor. It’s topped with soft, sauteed apples, toasted pecans, and even more salted caramel sauce. It is a wonderful alternative to pumpkin or apple pie.
- Graham cracker crumbs – If you crush your own graham crackers, you will need approximately 18-20 graham cracker sheets to yield 2 ½ cups of crumbs.
- Dark brown sugar – dark brown sugar will lend a more caramel flavor than light brown.
- Cream cheese – use bricks, not whipped, and full fat for the best results.
- Granulated sugar
- Salted caramel sauce – use a very high-quality sauce. I used Ghiradelli’s.
- Sour cream
- Large eggs
- Granny smith apple
- Pecan halves
Steps To Make This Recipe
- Wrap the bottom of a springform pan with foil
- Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and brown sugar together and press into the springform pan.
- Bake until golden.
- Mix together the cream cheese and granulated sugar together.
- Whisk in the cornstarch, caramel sauce, eggs, and egg yolk.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake.
- Allow to cool in the oven for 30 minutes, then cover in plastic wrap and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Chill for 6 hours or overnight.
- Saute the apples and pecans in butter until the apples are tender.
- Stir in the caramel sauce.
- Pour the mixture over the cheesecake.
- Cut into thin slices and serve.
Tips For The Best Results
- Use full-fat ingredients that are at room temperature so they mix easily.
- Don’t try to hand mix this recipe. You are going to need either a hand mixer or a stand mixer so you have a smooth, not lumpy cake.
- Grease the entire springform pan, not just the bottom. You don’t want any luscious cheesecake sticking to the sides of the springform pan!
- Although it may be a pain in the butt, use the water bath to bake the cake. This adds humidity that will prevent cracking on the top of the cake.
- Lowering your oven rack by one level will help keep the cake from being too close to the heating element. This helps to prevent cracking as well.
- KEEP. THE. OVEN. DOOR. CLOSED!! Don’t peek. Peeking will add moisture to the oven and reduce the oven temp…thus creating, you guessed it, CRACKS!
- You know the cack is done when the edges are slightly puffy and the center wobbles like jello. Don’t use a knife or toothpick to test for doneness. Doing so will create…CRACKS!!
- To prevent cracking during cooling, let the cake cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then run a butter knife around the edges to loosen them from the sides of the pan. Don’t remove the springform ring, allow the cake to cool completely first.
More Thanksgiving Recipes To Try:
- Cranberry Goat Cheese Flatbread
- Broccoli Cauliflower Alfredo Casserole
- Southern Cornbread Dressing
- Sweet Corn Pudding
- Pommes Anna
An alternative to the Thanksgiving pies, this caramel apple and pecan cheesecake is luxuriously creamy, not too sweet, and has all of the luscious Fall flavors.
For the crust:
- 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 10 tablespoons butter, melted
For the cheesecake filling:
- 24 ounces (3-eight ounce bricks) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ cup good quality salted caramel sauce (I used Ghiradelli’s)
- ¾ cup full-fat sour cream, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
For the topping:
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- ½ cup whole pecan halves
- ½ cup salted caramel sauce
Make the graham cracker crust.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil so that the bottom and sides are completely covered and watertight.
Spray the inside of the springform pan lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and butter until the mixture resembles wet sand.
Pour the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. Use the back of a spoon to spread the crumbs evenly over the bottom.
Press the crumbs firmly over the bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden and fragrant.
Remove from the oven and set aside. Keep the pan wrapped in the foil.
Make the cheesecake filling.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar on high speed until smooth and creamy.
Add the caramel sauce and cornstarch. Beat until smooth and well-mixed.
Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, mixing until just combined.
Place the cheesecake pan with the foil in the middle of a large roasting pan.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and smooth out the top.
Pour enough water into the bottom of the roasting pan so that it reaches a 1-inch depth.
Carefully place the roasting pan and cheesecake into the oven.
Bake for 50-75 minutes or until the top looks set, but the middle still jiggles like jello.
Turn off the oven and place a towel to prevent the oven from closing completely.
Allow the cake to cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove it from the oven and take the springform pan out of the water bath.
Allow the cheesecake to cool completely.
Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Make the topping.
In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the apple slices and pecan halves.
Saute the apples and pecans over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the apple slices are tender and some of their juices have been released – about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the caramel sauce and toss until well-mixed.
Cook, stirring constantly, for another minute or until the sauce is hot. Remove from the heat and allow to come to room temperature.
Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator.
Carefully run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake and the pan before unclamping the outer ring of the springform pan.
Spoon the apple-pecan caramel sauce over the top of the cheesecake.
Use a sharp knife to slice the cake into slices, being sure to slice through the crust as well.
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: caramel apple and pecan cheesecake, Thanksgiving desserts, cheesecake recipes, salted caramel, homemade cheesecake, homemade cheesecake recipes