The only thing better than Pecan Pie Cheesecake? Easy Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars! Featuring a crunchy graham cracker crust, creamy cheesecake filling, and pecan pie filling on top, this dessert recipe is a total showstopper. Perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas!
Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars Recipe
Thanksgiving is right around the corner! So I know a lot of you probably already have your menus set in stone. But just in case you don’t… I’m popping in to share the most epic dessert recipe with you: EASY PECAN PIE CHEESECAKE BARS!!!
Seriously, these are so so good! And much easier than baking a whole cheesecake because they don’t require a water bath or a springform pan. Instead, these pecan cheesecake bars are baked in a 9×13-inch baking dish and only take about 3 hours to firm up in the fridge. The pecan pie layer comes together in a just a few minutes, and then you simply pour the mixture over the cooled cheesecake bars. It’s surprisingly easy!
Ingredients for Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars
- graham crackers crumbs: you can use crushed graham cracker crumbs or buy the sleeves of graham crackers from the store and crush them yourself. The easiest way to do this is by placing them in a blender or food processor and pulsing until completely crushed. Then measure and use the amount called for.
- pecans: you’ll use these for the gooey pecan pie topping. I prefer using whole pecans, because I like how it looks. But I will say that chopped pecans work fine, and make slicing the cheesecake MUCH easier!!!
- dark brown sugar: adds a subtle molasses flavor to the cheesecake!
- granulated sugar: when I was recipe testing, I found half brown sugar and half granulated sugar works best for the batter!
- salt: to balance the flavors!
- butter: salted or unsalted work!
- cream cheese: for the best taste and texture, use full-fat blocks of cream cheese. We love Philadelphia brand (not sponsored lol)! Bring you cream cheese to room temperature before using it in this recipe; it should be very soft
- sour cream: full-fat works best! You’ll also want this ingredient at room temperature.
- heavy cream: also known as whipping cream!
- pure vanilla extract: Just a dash enhances all of the other flavors.
- bourbon: love it… or leave it?! It’s up to you! I love adding a dash because I love bourbon pecan pie, but if you don’t, simply omit!
- eggs: you’ll want to use large eggs, that are at room temperature. This recipe calls for 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks. Discard the remaining egg whites, or save it for a later use. You’ll have about 1/2 cup leftover, which is perfect for an egg white omelette!
- cinnamon: adds a subtle spice!
PRO TIP: BE SURE NOT TO OVERBEAT YOUR CHEESECAKE BATTER! THIS ALLOWS TOO MUCH AIR INTO THE BATTER, AND WILL CAUSE THE CHEESECAKE TO EXCESSIVELY RISE IN THE OVEN, THEN COLLAPSE WHEN REMOVED. TO MAKE A SILKY SMOOTH BATTER WITHOUT OVERBEATING, BE SURE TO FULLY BLEND THE CREAM CHEESE AND SOUR CREAM BEFORE ADDING THE REMAINING INGREDIENTS.
How to make Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter: mix well to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack until needed. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees (F).
- In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large bowl using a hand held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth. Add in both sugars, cinnamon, and vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks and beat until combined.Add in the bourbon, if using, and beat until combined. Stir in the flour.
- Pour filling on top of prepared crust, and spread evenly. Check to ensure your oven has cooled to 325°F, then place the pan in the oven and bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until the edges have set and the middle is still a little jiggly. The cheesecake will firm up a lot as they cool.
- Remove the bars from the oven, and cool completely at room temperature, about one hour. Then chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
When you’re ready to serve, make your pecan pie topping!!! In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar has melted and mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.Add in the cinnamon, heavy cream, and salt and whisk to combine. Add in the pecans and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the liquid mixture until they’re completely coated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon. Cool slightly, about 15 minutes, then scrape the mixture on top of the cheesecake. Slice and Serve.
Can I Freeze Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars?
Yes, of course! Baked cheesecakes freeze great! And these cheesecake bars are no exception! Simply cool the cheesecake bars completely, then wrap the whole slab, or slices, in multiple layers of saran wrap, and then place in a freezer bag and freeze. These cheesecake bars will keep, stored properly in the freezer, for up two months. I do find this cheesecake freezes best without the pecan topping.
How do you Defrost?
To defrost these pecan cheesecake bars, simply thaw the wrapped cheesecake in refrigerator overnight. Do not attempt to thaw cheesecake in the microwave or oven!
AND IF YOU TRY THIS PECAN PIE CHEESECAKE BAR RECIPE, LET ME KNOW! LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW AND DON’T FORGET TO SNAP A PIC AND TAG IT #BAKERBYNATURE ON INSTAGRAM! SEEING YOUR KITCHEN CREATIONS MAKES OUR DAY.
More Pecan Pie Recipes:
Easy Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Bars:
- 3 (8 ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs + 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons bourbon (optional)
- 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
For the Pecan Pie Topping:
- 12 Tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces)
- 1 and 2/3 cups dark brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups pecans, whole or chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons bourbon (optional)
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, allowing two of the sides to overlap (you want an overhang of at least 2-inches on two sides) and spray lightly with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter and, using a rubber spatula, mix well to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom - and slightly up the sides - of the prepared pan.
- Bake the crust in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the crust from the oven and set aside on a cooling rack until needed.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees (F).
For the Cheesecake Bars:
- In the body of a high power blender, food processor, stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using a hand held electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until completely smooth.
- Add in both sugars and vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of bowl as needed. Add in the eggs and yolks and beat until combined.
- Stir in the bourbon, if using, and and beat until combined. Finally, stir in the flour, mixing just until combined.
- Pour filling on top of prepared crust, and spread evenly.
- Check to ensure your oven has cooled to 325°F, then place the pan in the oven and bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until the edges have set and the middle is still a little jiggly. The cheesecake will firm up a lot as they cool.
- Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for one hour. Then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
For the Pecan Pie Topping:
- In a large skillet over medium-heat, melt the butter. Add in the brown sugar and cook, stirring with a whisk, until the sugar has melted and mixture is bubbling, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the cinnamon, heavy cream, and salt and whisk to combine. Add in the pecans and, using a rubber spatula, fold them into the liquid mixture until they're completely coated. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and bourbon.
- Cool for 15 minutes, then scrape the mixture on top of the cheesecake. Slice and Serve.