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Pecan Cheesecake Bars

Pecan Cheesecake Bars are really just delightful. They have such wonderful flavor, and they’re easy to make, too!

sliced Pecan Cheesecake Bars on a white serving tray

Easy Pecan Cheesecake Bars

If you’ve spent much time browsing the recipes here at BoB, you’ll know that I have a weakness for certain ingredients. Two of those are cream cheese and pecans, which are both wonderfully represented in these lovely Pecan Cheesecake Bars.

I first made these Pecan Cheesecake Bars way back in the early days of BoB, so they were definitely due for an update. The original recipe is so good that I don’t alter it much. I like to add just a bit of salt to the crust and topping. That is, of course, optional but I really like that little salty bite it adds.

This recipe is a great go-to when you want a dessert that is super easy to make and has wonderful flavor. With a short list of ingredients and very little prep time, you’ll have these beauties baking in short order.

What You’ll Need

Get excited about this wonderfully short list of ingredients! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the ingredient quantities and directions.

For the crust and topping:

  • All-purpose flour – Measure by weight or spoon and sweep. Learn more: How to Measure Flour
  • Light brown sugar – Be sure to pack the brown sugar firmly when measuring or measure it by weight.
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Soften the butter before mixing. Learn more: How to Soften Butter
  • Pecans – You’ll need chopped pecans, but you can also add some larger pieces to the topping.

For the filling:

  • Cream cheese – Bring this to room temperature so it mixes easily and smoothly. Full-fat cream cheese works best.
  • Sugar
  • Milk – Bring the milk to room temperature, too.
  • Vanilla extract

Where are the eggs?

Unlike most cheesecake recipes, this one doesn’t require eggs in the filling. Eggs are usually present to help hold the filling together and to give the cheesecake a creamy texture. Because these bars are quite a bit thinner than a traditional cheesecake, they aren’t needed for structure. And they’re plenty smooth and creamy even without the eggs!

a Pecan Cheesecake Bar on a round white plate

How to Make Pecan Cheesecake Bars

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Set out an 8-inch square baking pan. If you like, line the pan with parchment paper. There’s enough butter in the crust that you shouldn’t need to coat the pan with cooking spray.

Make the crust and topping. Stir together the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. You can use a pastry blender, a fork, or just your fingers to mix. Add the butter, and mix until the mixture forms crumbs. Mix in the pecans.

Form the crust. First, set aside about 3/4 cup of the crust mixture to use for the topping. Then, press the remaining crust mixture into the bottom of the pan.

Bake the crust. Place the pan in the oven, and bake until lightly browned (12 to 15 minutes). Set aside while you make the filling.

Make the filling. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed. Continue mixing until thoroughly combined and smooth.

Assemble the bars. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved crust mixture over the top, and lightly press it into the filling..

Finish baking. Place the pan back in the oven, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The filling should appear set.

Cool and chill. Remove the pan from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack to allow the bars to cool completely. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.

Ideas for Variations

There are plenty of simple variations you can try. Substitute another type of nut for the pecans if you like. Hazelnuts, almonds, macadamias, and more would be great choices. If you’re a cinnamon fan, try adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the crust and topping mixture. Or how about a little orange zest in the filling? So many possibilities!

Tips for Success

  • Chop the pecans finely. I recommend chopping the pecans fairly well so that they’ll mix well with the rest of the crust and topping mixture. If you like, coarsely chop a few more pecans to sprinkle over the top of the bars. It’s not a necessary addition, but it’s a nice aesthetic touch.
  • Use full-fat cream cheese. Be sure to grab the kind in the brick, not the whipped kind in a tub.
  • Use a light-colored metal pan. Your cheesecake bars will bake more thoroughly and evenly.
overhead view of Pecan Cheesecake Bars on a white platter

How to Store

Once cooled, cover tightly with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Store these cheesecake bars in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Can These Cheesecake Bars Be Frozen?

Yes, you can freeze these cheesecake bars. I recommend wrapping the slices individually in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and then storing in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Properly stored, they should keep in the freezer up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Pecan Cheesecake Bars

Yield 16 2-inch bars
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes

Pecan Cheesecake Bars are a delightful dessert that can be made quickly and easily. A great go-to recipe for a simple dessert without a lot of fuss.

sliced Pecan Cheesecake Bars on a white serving tray

Ingredients

For the crust and topping:

  • 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup (67g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped pecans

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces (227g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

To make the crust and topping:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine the flour, brown sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture forms crumbs that hold together when pinched. Mix in the pecans.
  3. Set aside about 3/4 cup of the crust mixture to use for the topping.
  4. Press the remaining crust mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

To make the filling:

  1. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese, sugar, milk, and vanilla until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  2. Spread the filling mixture evenly over the partially baked crust.
  3. Sprinkle the top of the filling with the reserved crust/topping mixture. Lightly press the topping into the filling.
  4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is set.
  5. Cool completely. Cover and chill for at least an hour before cutting into bars.

Notes

Store the bars in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic wrap up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Wrap the bars well in plastic wrap and place in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months in the freezer.

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More Easy Cheesecake Bar Recipes

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    19 Comments on “Pecan Cheesecake Bars”

  1. These look yummy.  Can’t wait to try them.

  2. Hey these pecan cheese cake bars are delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  3. I made these for Bunco and we nearly polished off the pan. Husband and son were very sad-faced that so few bars were left … so I’m making them again tomorrow! They are delicious!

  4. These are amazing! I ate them for lunch the day I made them, and need to make more just a few days later.

  5. hey Jennifer…! amazing your cheesecake bar and looks too delicious and yummy & i will tried to make it like you. thanks for this sharing and keep shared your new ideas & recipe….!

  6. hi Jennifer….! am also reads your post but this is one of my favorite recipe….and looks so yummy and delicious….thanks for sharing this amazing recipe….!

  7. Perfect combination of flavours ! Thank you so much !

  8. Wish they wouldn’t comment until they try recipe.

  9. shouldn’t these pecan bars have 1 or 2 2 eggs in the filling??? pat rutledge

  10. I made these cheesecake bars today.  Easy. Yummy but a bit bland.  Next time I’ll try lemon zest.   The instructions did not call for greasing the pan so I used parchment paper. 
    Love your recipes !

  11. So easy to make & so yummy. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Hi, If I double the cream cheese recipe, how long should I bake? Thanks for your reply.

    • Hi, Phyllis. I’ve not tried that, so I can’t say for sure. I would add 5-10 minutes and then check from there. You’ll be adding quite a bit of volume, so it will likely be difficult to get it baked thoroughly without over-baking the edges.

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