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Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Pecan and salted caramel cheesecake with pieces of pecan on top.

Recently, I read somewhere that 2008 was a big year for salted caramel. I don’t think I’m in any position to agree or disagree with that, but I will say that I had a little love affair with it myself. (Hello, salted caramel hot chocolate!)

This cheesecake is a prime example of salted caramel at its finest. I actually found the recipe while looking for something else. Of course, once I found this I was immediately so smitten that whatever I was looking for was quickly forgotten.

I’m not a big fan of candy-making, and that includes making caramel. It’s all too temperamental for me, and I’m much too temperamental for it. Luckily, I can usually talk Quinn into doing these kinds of things. So, he was responsible for that portion while I made the cheesecake.

Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake takes traditional cheesecake and ups the ante with rich caramel, toasty pecans, and a sprinkling of salt. - Bake or Break

On its own, there is nothing exceptional about the cheesecake. The difference is the caramel. The salt portion is sprinkled on top, so you can use as little or as much as you like. Keep in mind whether or not the pecans are salted when adding the sea salt. I used unsalted, so I added a little extra salt for our tastes.

Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake

Yield 12 to 16 servings
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Up the cheesecake ante with rich caramel, toasty pecans, and a sprinkling of salt. This Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake is calling to you!

Pecan and salted caramel cheesecake with pieces of pecan on top.


For the crust:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the filling:

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 large pinch sea salt


To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined. Press into the bottom of prepared pan. Set aside.

To make the filling:

  1. Mix the cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until light, airy, and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing completely after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix until blended.
  2. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean and the center of the cheesecake is just set. Turn off the oven, leave door slightly ajar, and let the cheesecake cool completely.

To make the caramel:

  1. Stir together the sugar and 1 tablespoon water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Let boil until amber in color, about 3 minutes. Immediately stir in the butter. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Pour the caramel over the cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle with pecans and sea salt.


Recipe slightly adapted from Chow.

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    70 Comments on “Pecan and Salted Caramel Cheesecake”

  1. This looks amazing! I think I could eat this for lunch instead of my salad, the caramel sauce looks so decadent.

  2. This cheesecake was so good. It is not your normal cheesecake but the saltiness is not overwhelming–just right! Thanks for making this for us!!!!!

  3. Oh geez. I really need to make some of that.

  4. Yum–this looks incredible. Awesome photos! I’ll have to try this out!

  5. Carmel and Cheesecake – 2 very temperamental items! Good thing you guys broke it down. 🙂

  6. Wow. I have yet to try the salted caramel (both making it and eating it), but this may change that. Looks awesome!

  7. Salted caramel grew on me (not literally of course) in 2008 in the form of dark chocolate filled with burnt caramel and sea salt. It was heaven and you’re cheesecake looks even better. Bravo!

  8. You certainly do not look like an amateur baker to me, your dishes look absolutely amazing and decadent. I need to add this to my blogroll, it is a great site!!

  9. I’ve had salted caramel recipes bookmarked FOREVER but haven’t made them because I’m afraid of … the candy thermometer.

    I need a Quinn so I can have some of this cheesecake, too!

  10. Looks and sounds decadent. Thanks for the recipe.

  11. This truly looks amazing!!

  12. I’ve noticed that Nan and Jim and SURE lucky when you bake! This looks amazing.

  13. I meant ARE sure lucky…

  14. MMmmm…carmel. The cheesecake ingredients sound like it will be just the way I like cheesecake…very dense. I’m with you on the carmel-making…ask someone to help…actually this recipe looks a little more success-oriented than most others …thanks for sharing!

  15. How do you manage to keep these kinds of treats in the house! This would be our downfall. Way, way down. Looks gorge and delish!

  16. Gracious, that top picture is gorgeous!

  17. Wow. I’m gawking at that almost indecently. I loooooooooooooooooooooooooooove salted caramel. (as you can see from this:

  18. I always come to your site for any cheesecake recipe I am going to make, so I can’t wait to try this one out. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Your pictures are always so mouthwatering and this recipe looks just as good as your others!

  20. Oh. My. Gawd. This recipe is right up my alley. SOOO something that I would make with all of that lovely caramel. The salt addition sounds tantalizing.

  21. This looks like a perfect dessert! I have to make this 🙂

  22. Hello heaven! This is my perfect dessert – yummmmm.

  23. This dessert has it all!! Looks divine!

  24. While I love caramel and salt together, but it has to be really simple like your cheesecake. I recently shared some smoked salt caramels with a friend from a smallish mass-produced retailer and I wasn’t impressed.

    I’m not sure if you’ve see it yet, but I found a salted dark chocolate candy bar at Cost Plus World Market recently that was really good. I want to play with that flavor combination soon.

    I know you’re probably over hearing folks gush over your photos but… sigh. Your photos are so exquisite! I wish I could take lessons from you. Bravo!

  25. this sounds fabulous, and looks even better!

  26. This looks amazing! We’ll have to try it!

  27. Now that’s a cheesecake. YUMMY!

  28. You’ll be the death of me. That looks fantastic!!

  29. OMG, I think I have gone to heaven. Those pictures are soooooooooooo tempting!

  30. I’ve never tried salted caramel before! I guess I’ll have to try it real soon =)

  31. really well done, you make it look so inviting. Like the salted caramel, i´ve tryed it with flur de sel which worked fanstasticly well, also good with chocolate truffles.

  32. I love using salty caramel in my recipes. I will never tire of it. Thank goodness it’s getting popular.

  33. Truly, I have never seen a more luscious dessert photo than the one leading this post. If that doesn’t sell you on trying this recipe, or at least the caramel portion of it, I don’t know what would! My mouth is watering.

  34. I’m a big fan of salted caramel too, although like you, I don’t necessarily love making it.

  35. your pecan pie looks amazing. i never tried salted caramel or even thought of the idea but nontheless sounds incredible. thanks for this new concept (for me anyways).

  36. Oh, your opening picture is tantalizing! I’d like to crawl into your cake and pull that blanket of caramel right up over me. I recently had my own delicious encounter with salted caramel in the form of salted caramel ice cream. Loved that combination of sweet and salty!

  37. Looks & sounds wonderful. Fantastic photos,

    I’ve yet to try salted caramel. One day soon I hope!

  38. I like your blog because you bake recipes that I would choose too — simple, good, and nothing over the top. This cheesecake looks like a winner!

  39. Hi! I just found your website. Oh happy day! I think the first recipe I’ll try is the Brown Sugar Cinnamon Biscotti cookies. They sound so good, plus I love cinnamon. Love it. My question: What are the Cinnamon Chips you ordered like? Are they just tiny cinnamony crunchies, or are they chocolate covered cinnamony crunchies? Would you put them in an apple pie? (The pie you did with the leaf cut-outs looks amazing!)

    Another question. I was reading your post on Martha Stewart’s Crumb Cake and like, a, where is the recipe? Looked high and low on the page and no luck. I have to say with Martha’s recipes it’s a hit and miss for me too. Either they’re great or awful or someone didn’t reread the recipe and left something out or wrote 2 TBL when it should have been 2 tsp. Not a good thing, Martha.


  40. Part II. Oops. I found the recipe for Martha’s Classic Crumb Cake. Sorry.

    But I forgot to ask about the size of the cinnamon chips. Are they the size of mini-chocolate chips or the regular size Nestle’s Chocolate Chips? Again, thanks.

  41. Marie, welcome! The cinnamon chips I’ve used are mini-sized, like mini-chocolate chips.

  42. Hey girl, I made the cheesecake tonight–it is cooling as we speak. I think I may have over cooked the caramel, but as soon as it is cooled a little I’ll taste it–if it’s burnt, I have enough cream for another go at it.

    Nothing like cleaning burnt sugar out of your cookware!

    Hope mine turns out as well as yours!


  43. That looks so good!

  44. Wow you definitely are an authority when it comes to cheesecakes!This looked so lovely and mouthwatering!

  45. OMG, I Have an affair with Starbuck’s salted caramel hot chocolate too. It’s the BEST drink in the world!!!!!
    I have a clone recipe on my blog, which is still pretty-darn good, if I do say so myself! Check it out,

  46. I absolutely love salt and sugar together, this looks wonderful and it’s begging me to make it!

  47. oh wow, that cheesecake looks divine! worth every calorie! 🙂

  48. Just found your site today…doesn’t look like that is going to be a good thing for the non-dessert lovers in my house. Out with the savory and in with the sweet…and salty! Yum!

  49. Wow! That looks divine! I love the sweet / salty combo, not used enough! Thanks for the recipe!

  50. Wow! That looks divine! I love the sweet / salty combo, not used enough!

  51. This blog BLOWS my mind.
    Amazing photography of amazing food from amazing recipes. What more could a boy ask for?
    Mind if I pop you on my blogroll? 🙂

  52. this looks so good… Caramel and salt.. 🙂
    A must try … thanks for posting the recipe

  53. This sounds amazing…I loved salted caramel and made some recently so it is my current obsession!

  54. Woww, this looks amazingg. I love the contrast from the sweet caramel with the salt. Delicious!

  55. I love anything with salted caramel! I just made salted caramel custard pots and now I want this! Its looks delicious!

  56. Mmmm. Yum. I went to graduate school in Texas and worked in New Orleans for a long time. Pecans were an everyday part of my life (or so it seemed). I love New Orleans and I love chocolate too! I had a friend in grad school who shared my love of chocolate. Whenever I make chocolate cheesecake, I always smile as I remember New Orleans those times together. Here’s my friends’ recipe for the most delicious chocolate amaretto cheesecake, hope you enjoy it:

  57. Love this recipe! Cheesecake is my favorite and I always love the combination of caramel and pecans!

  58. For the caramel … Ingredients list cream, instructions indicate butter. Which are we to use?

  59. kidchan, the caramel ingredients and instructions list both butter and cream.

  60. Oh look at this beautiful creamy caramel! Wow, I need to make this cake this weekend for my man! He will love this!

  61. I made this for Christmas using my own cheesecake recipe with a brown sugar graham cracker crusts It was beautiful and delicious. The caramel sauce was easy to make and I have already received requests to make it again. Love this!!

  62. My daughter made this dessert last night and I have to say “this is to die for”. I did’nt want to finish the slice I was eating, I wanted it to be an unending slice. YUMMMMM!

  63. Looks so delicious! Pecan plus caramel in a cheesecake sounds like a wonderful combination.

  64. I was so excited to see this recipe. I am making it right now and although i was concerned about the short cooking time, i went ahead as instructed and assumed carry over time must aid in finishing cooking. After 40 minutes, my cheesecake is nowhere near set.

  65. Just a query about the amount of water used for the caramel – I found it impossible to dissolve the sugar. Is there a trick or did I misread the amounts? Otherwise the cheesecake was divine.

  66. is the cooking time 40 or 45 minutes. I see two different cooking times.

  67. Just wondering if this could be made ahead and frozen? Would you freeze without the caramel and add that prior to serving or freeze it all together?

    • Hi, Serena. Cheesecakes generally freeze really well, so you shouldn’t have a problem. If you have the time to make the caramel fresh before serving it, I think that would be better. But it will likely freeze fine with the caramel. I would suggest that you wait to garnish until you’re ready to serve.

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