Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pumpkin-Pecan Praline Cheesecake

Praline Topping RecipePumpkin-Pecan Cheesecake

You may have seen this cheesecake on the cover of the Southern Living November edition for Thanksgiving.  You can find it on their website, here, too. And I'm pretty sure everybody knows that the front cover of the Thanksgiving issue of a magazine has a got to be pretty darn good.  So I had no doubts that this cheesecake would be spectacular.  In fact, I was planning on making it for Thanksgiving from the second I laid my eyes on it.  And let me tell you:  it was even better than I expected. Hands down, way better than the Cheesecake Factory's pumpkin cheesecake.  And I really liked the Cheesecake Factory's.  However, the first time I made this, it wasn't that great.  Honestly, I was kind of disapointed.The cheesecake layer just lacked flavor.  But the second time I made it, it was absolutely fantastic.  What did I do differently?  I swirled Pumpkin Butter in it.  Oh yes...say hello to my best friend named: William Sonoma Pumpkin Butter.  I swirled it in just like I would swirl in the strawberry sauce in a strawberry cheesecake, and it made the cheesecake have so much more flavor.  The original recipe lacks pumpkin flavor and spice, so I was pretty bummed...since this is the recipe on the FRONT COVER.  Since the pumpkin butter has spices and is sweetened, it just made the taste of the cheesecake to die for.  This dessert was the only one of the six desserts that had been completely finished at my Thanksgiving feast with my family.  It disappeared in the first five minutes... I'm not even kidding you.  No one could stop talking about how good it was.  It looks so pretty too; I garnished it with whole glazed pecans starting toward the outside and spiraling to the center.  This is a dessert that you will want to have as a staple to your Thanksgiving menu every year.


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Praline Topping (below)
  • Garnish: Pecan Pie-Glazed Pecans (below)


  • 1. Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • 2. Beat cream cheese and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. (Pan will be very full.)
  • 3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 hour). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.
  • 4. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping; immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/4 inch of edge. Garnish, if desired.

Praline Topping:


  • 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately.

Pecan Pie Glazed Pecans:


  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • Parchment paper
  • Vegetable cooking spray


Stir together corn syrup and sugar. Add pecan halves; stir until pecans are coated. Line a jelly-roll pan with parchment paper; coat parchment paper with cooking spray. Spread pecans in a single layer in prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until glaze bubbles slowly and thickens, stirring every 3 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack. Spread pecans in a single layer, separating individual pecans; cool completely. Cooled pecans should be crisp; if not, bake 5 more minutes.

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