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I'm not quite sure which part of this caramel pecan cheesecake I love most. Between the butter pecan cookie crust, velvety filling, and caramelized pecan topping, there is a symphony of flavors and textures in each and every bite!

The buttery crust features toasted pecan nuts which really emphasizes the flavor you would usually get from baking a pecan pie. However, this vegan cheesecake recipe is no-bake and made without eggs which makes it an incredibly easy alternative to baking pie!

vegan pecan cheesecake on a ceramic plate with caramel pecan topping oozing down the sides. There is a bite taken from the cake, showing the creamy consistency.Pin
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📖 Recipe Overview

  • Flavorsome - You can expect tangy vanilla cheesecake, sweet brown sugar caramel, toasted pecans, and a hint of bourbon and warming cinnamon.
  • Incredible Texture - The creamy cheesecake filling melts in your mouth and is complimented by the sticky caramel and crunchy nut topping.
  • Great Make-Ahead Dessert - This cheesecake has the option of setting in the freezer, which means you can prep the cake well in advance of serving it. Simply defrost in the fridge overnight and prepare the pecan caramel topping on the day of serving.

🧾 Ingredients Needed

Here are all the ingredients you need to make this pecan caramel cheesecake from scratch!

ingredients to make pecan cheesecake measured out in bowls on top of a wooden table with text overlay.Pin

Ingredient Notes

  • Vegan Cream Cheese - I recommend either Violife or homemade dairy-free cream cheese.
  • Vegan Greek-Style Yogurt - I've been adding vegan yogurt to pretty much all of my cheesecake recipes for years now. It adds that tangy flavor as well as a lightness that helps make the filling creamy rather than heavy. You can also use vegan sour cream.
  • Cashews - These add richness, creaminess, and structure as well as giving this vegan pecan pie cheesecake its distinctive "cheesecake" flavor. 
  • Pure Maple Syrup - As well as being the perfect liquid sweetener for vegan cheesecake recipes, maple syrup, and pecans are a flavor match made in heaven!
  • Coconut Oil - This helps the cheesecake to set. If you're not a fan of coconut flavor you can try using odorless coconut oil or go for cacao butter instead.
  • Bourbon - This is completely optional but it adds a nice flavor to the caramel topping. You can also use whiskey or brandy instead.
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🥣 How To Make Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

This no-bake pecan cheesecake is so easy to make, no fussing around with ovens or water baths. Here's a visual of how it's done:

crushed vegan cookies in a food processor.Pin

Step 1: Add toasted pecans, cookies, and salt to a food processor and blitz for a minute or so until it reaches a fine crumb consistency. Add vegan butter and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a soft dough consistency.

no bake cookie crust in a lined cake pan.Pin

Step 2: Press the cookie crust into the base of the loose-bottomed pan or springform pan lined with parchment paper. Set it aside in the freezer while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

pecan cheesecake filling blended in a blender jug.Pin

Step 3: Add all of the ingredients for the filling to a high-speed blender. Blitz for several minutes until smooth and creamy with no lumps.

creamy no-bake cheesecake filling in a lined cake pan before going into the fridge to set.Pin

Step 4: Pour the cheesecake batter into the cake pan and place in the fridge to chill and set.

toasted pecans in a saucepan.Pin

Step 5: Caramelize the sugar and water then stir in the butter, followed by vegan cream, bourbon, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the pecans and let cool to room temperature.

closeup of gooey pecan caramel topping on a vegan cheesecake.Pin

Step 6: Once cooled, spoon the pecan pie topping over the set cheesecake. The caramel sauce will flow over the sides a little, this is fine!

🍁 Variations

While I love this pecan pie cheesecake recipe as written, here are some ways you can adapt the recipe to suit your dietary needs or preferences:

  • Gluten-free option - Swap out the biscuits for gluten-free cookies or with more pecan nuts.
  • Without pecans - If you don't have them to hand or have allergies, you can use walnuts or peanuts in their place.
  • Pumpkin pecan pie cheesecake - You could add a third of a cup of canned pumpkin to the cheesecake filling to give it even more of a festive twist!
  • Pecan pie cheesecake bars - Make this cheesecake into bars or slices by using a square or rectangular tin. I recommend using an 8x8" or similar. Line all sides with parchment paper to create a sling to make it easy to remove the cake from the tin once set. Cut into bars, slices, or whatever shape tickles your fancy!

💬 FAQs

How to store pecan cheesecake?

Store this vegan pecan pie cheesecake in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days.

Can you freeze pecan pie cheesecake?

Absolutely! This cheesecake will freeze beautifully, so you can wrap up any leftovers and keep them for "future you". Store it in an airtight container and freeze for up to a month.

How to avoid a crumbly cheesecake base?

A lot of cheesecake recipes will ask you to melt the butter before adding it to crushed biscuits. I'm personally not a fan of this method as I find that it can lead to a crumbly base.

Instead, I like to first grind down the biscuits before adding solid vegan butter to the food processor. Then blend again until the mixture is almost like a paste. Think of it like mortar that needs to be set (probably not the most appetizing comparison ha!) but the butter wets and coats the biscuit crumbs and once chilled forms a nice solid base with less chance of crumbling.

a slice of pecan cheesecake being lifted on a cake slice with caramel sauce dripping down the sides.Pin

🍰 More Vegan Cheesecake

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This recipe was originally posted in September 2021. It has since been modified and improved to simplify ingredients and instructions and now features a caramel sauce without cornstarch.

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake (Vegan, No Bake)

4.89 from 59 votes
PREP TIME: 35 minutes
Chilling Time: 4 hours
TOTAL TIME: 4 hours 35 minutes
Servings: 14
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Description

This easy vegan caramel pecan cheesecake is the ultimate fall or Thanksgiving dessert. A buttery no-bake crust and tangy vanilla cream cheese filling with a brown sugar bourbon caramel pecan pie topping!

Ingredients

Crust

  • 50 g (½ cup) pecans
  • 140 g (14 cookies) ginger nut or digestive biscuits, or vegan graham crackers
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 60 g (7 ½ tbsp) vegan butter

Cheesecake

  • 200 g (1 ½ cups) cashews, soaked *see note 1
  • 300 g (1 ⅓ cups) vegan cream cheese
  • 100 ml ( cup) pure maple syrup
  • 120 g (½ cup) vegan Greek-style yogurt, or vegan sour cream, or ⅓ cup soy or coconut yogurt
  • 55 g (¼ cup) coconut oil, solid
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Topping

  • 100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar, *see note 2
  • 100 g (½ cup) brown sugar, *see note 2
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) water
  • 60 g (7 ½ tbsp) vegan butter, cubed
  • 120 ml (½ cup) vegan heavy cream, room temp *see note 3
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste, or vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Bourbon, optional
  • 150 g (1 ½ cup) pecans

Instructions

  • Prepare: Line the base and sides of a 7" or 8" cake tin (with a removable base) with parchment paper.
  • Crust: Add the pecans for the crust to a skillet and toss over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until they have browned slightly and start to smell toasted. Add the pecans to your food processor with the cookies, cinnamon, and salt, and blitz for a minute or so until it reaches a fine crumb consistency.
  • Add the butter and blend again until the ingredients stick together to form a soft dough consistency. Press the mixture into the base of the pan, using a spatula or flat-bottomed glass to smooth it out. Set aside in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
  • Filling: Add all of the filling ingredients to a high-speed blender and blitz until smooth and creamy without any lumps. Pour the mixture into the cake pan and refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours (or overnight) until set. Alternatively, you can set it in the freezer in 4 hours.
  • Once set, remove the cheesecake from the cake tin (if frozen do it while it is still frozen). If needed, carefully run a knife or cake scraper around the edges to smooth it out. Refrigerate the cake until ready to decorate.
  • Caramel: Add the sugar and water to a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep caramel color. Whisk in the butter - it will bubble up so be careful.
    Slowly drizzle the cream into the caramel whilst whisking until combined. Lastly, whisk in the salt, vanilla, and bourbon.
    Remove from the heat, stir in the pecans, and let the mixture cool to room temperature.
  • Topping: Once cooled, spoon the caramel pecan topping over the cheesecake.
  • Storage: Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4-5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze in an airtight container for up to a month. You can also freeze any leftover portions that you don’t want to serve right away. To defrost, place them on a plate in the fridge overnight.

Notes

  1. Soaked cashews - Soak the cashews in water for 4 hours, rinse, and drain.
  2. Sugar - You can use all granulated, all brown sugar, or a mixture of both. Brown sugar will give a darker color.
  3. Vegan Heavy Cream - You need double cream such as dairy-free Schlagfix or Emlea which are designed for whipping. Alternatively, use full-fat coconut milk or coconut whipping cream.

Nutrition

Calories: 410kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 319mg | Potassium: 200mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 337IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 2mg
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