This decadent caramel pecan cheesecake features a quick and easy creamy caramelized brown sugar cheesecake filling baked in a pecan graham cracker crust and topped with gooey caramel pecans! Absolutely no one will know these holiday cheesecake is vegan, dairy free, and contains no eggs!

vegan pecan pie cheesecake

The Ultimate Caramel Pecan Pie Cheesecake for all eaters

Pecan pie and chocolate pecan pie (let’s face it, pumpkin pie too, of course) get all of the love on Thanksgiving- and for a good reason! They’re downright delicious.

But if we’re being completely honest, I’m more of a cheesecake lover (my vegan chocolate cheesecake and vegan Biscoff cheesecake are two of my favorites! But the classic baked vegan cheesecake will never let you down either!).

So what do we for for the ultimate vegan Thanksgiving dessert? Combine the two for a caramel pecan cheesecake (basically pecan pie in cheesecake form!).

slice of caramel pecan cheesecake on plate

You will be speechless after one bite- this pecan pie cheesecake is creamy, rich, and decadent with the nutty aroma and flavor of roasted sweet pecans throughout. And of course the gooey caramel on top! 

This cheesecake is the epitome of decadence, and is the most welcomed treat after a delicious vegan Thanksgiving dinner so definitely save room!

Pecan Pie Cheesecake Ingredients:

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this caramel pecan cheesecake recipe! Because vegan brands of cream cheese, yogurt, and dairy free milks can vary so much, I wanted to share a few of my favorite brands that I have used with this recipe. 

  • Pecans: Use the halved pecans.
  • Graham crackers: Because this is a vegan pecan pie cheesecake, I used vegan graham crackers by Annie’s. 
  • Brown sugar: This is the main flavor profile other than pecans in this cheesecake! I highly recommend it for the caramel as well, but there is a refined sugar free substitution below if needed.
  • Vegan butter: I love Miyoko’s for this!
  • Vegan Cream cheese: I recommend using Tofutti or Violife. Miyoko’s is also another good option.
  • Arrowroot starch
  • Dairy free milk: You can use vegan heavy cream, like I did, or substitute in a simple dairy free milk, like coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, oat milk, or even coconut cream.
  • Dairy free yogurt: I also love using vegan sour cream here for extra richness!
  • Vanilla extract
sliced vegan pecan pie cheesecake

Ingredient substitutions & recommendations:

I’ve also included some swaps to other main ingredients if needed!

  • Vegan graham crackers: You can substitute in Lotus cookies, or for gluten-free, swap in oat flour or use these vegan gluten free graham crackers!
  • Arrowroot starch: Swap in cornstarch.
  • Brown sugar: You can also use coconut sugar for refined sugar free.

Overview: How to make a vegan caramel pecan cheesecake:

This caramel pecan cheesecake is made in three stages: the pecan graham cracker crust, the caramelized brown sugar cheesecake filling, and of course, the lovely gooey and sticky pecan caramel topping!

We’ll start with the pecan graham cracker crust. I think what really sets this crust apart from other cheesecake recipes is the pecan addition- it’s so wonderfully nutty, and you get the pecan flavor from top to bottom!

Simply pulse together all of the crust ingredients (pecans, graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and brown sugar) in a food processor. Then press the dough into your prepared springform pan. I used an 8″ springform pan for this recipe. Chill the crust in the freezer before par-baking the crust.

Next, we’ll make the filling. Once more, we’ll pulse together all ingredients in a food processor, and simply pour the filling into our par-baked crust. You can also use a hand mixer or electric mixer and large bowl if you’d prefer! However, I find it easiest to use either a food processor or stand mixer with paddle attachment or whisk attachment so that there are no clumps of ingredients. You can mix on medium speed to combine everything until creamy!

Then we’ll bake the pecan cheesecake. Once the cheesecake batter is made, you’ll simply pour it into your prepared crust, and bake! The caramel pecan topping is NOT baked, so we’ll top the cheesecake once it’s rested and set. 

Cool: This is probably the hardest part- allowing your cheesecake to set in the fridge! Give yourself at least 4 hours before the cheesecake is completely set. Ideally, you’ll make this the day before. Then prior to serving, you just serve with a gooey caramel pecan topping!

Make the caramel pecan topping next. You’ll start by making a rather quick and easy vegan caramel sauce in a small saucepan! It’s actually quicker than my vegan caramel sauce that I have on the blog. Then stir in the toasted pecans for the topping!

caramel pecan topping in a small saucepan

Top your vegan caramel pecan cheesecake, and enjoy! I like to add a few dollops of homemade vegan whipped cream on top for good measure. 🙂 And the cute little pie cut outs? I used scraps of pie dough that I’ve frozen and my pie cut outs from Williams Sonoma!

5 Tips for making vegan cheesecake:

  • Bring your ingredients to room temperature: You’ll need to allow a few hours for the ingredients to really come to room temperature. This ensures that when you mix everything together, it all combines properly without any clumps!
  • Use a food processor for the filling: You can use a hand mixer, but I find a large food processor so much easier to just quickly blend everything together and pour!
  • Don’t skip the water bath! Cheesecakes like super moist environments, and ovens tend to dry them out. Using a simple water bath (I quite literally just use a jelly roll pan and boiling water placed on the rack below the cheesecake!) ensures that our cheesecakes won’t crack! Then you also don’t need to worry about placing foil around your springform pan to prevent water from coming in. 
  • Toast the pecans: I do this before I stir them into the caramel coating. It adds a really strong and lovely nutty flavor throughout! 
  • Run a butter knife along the edges of the cheesecake: Prior to removing the springform pan, simply run a butter knife along the edges of the cheesecake. Then undo the springform and remove the wall of the pan. 
bitten slice of vegan caramel cheesecake

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

pinterest pin for pecan pie cheesecake

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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bitten slice of vegan caramel cheesecake

Creamy & Rich Vegan Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Recipe

  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This decadent caramel pecan cheesecake features a quick and easy creamy caramelized brown sugar cheesecake filling baked in a pecan graham cracker crust and topped with gooey caramel pecans! Absolutely no one will know these holiday cheesecake is vegan, dairy free, and contains no eggs!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Pecan Pie Cheesecake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (160 g) vegan graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) raw pecan halves
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) organic brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 g) vegan butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 24 ounces (454 g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces (228 g) vegan dairy free yogurt cream (such as Forager Project)
  • 1 cup (240 mL) unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) organic brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 34 cups boiling water, for water bath

Caramel Pecan Topping:

  • 5 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2/3 cup (160 g) organic brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) vegan heavy cream or coconut cream
  • 2 cups (260 g) toasted pecan halves
    1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Prep: Line a 8 or 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper. Grease the edges of the pan with a bit of cooking or coconut oil as well.
  2. Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse together the graham crackers, pecans, and sugar until mixed. Add in the vegan butter, and pulse again until it becomes a sticky dough. Press the dough onto the bottom of the springform pan. Place the pan into the freezer to chill while you preheat the oven to 400F. Once preheated, poke a few holes into the bottom of the crust, and place the springform pan into the oven with a baking sheet underneath it to prevent any drips. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the crust turns lightly golden. Remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the filling.
  3. Make the cheesecake filling: In a large food processor, stand mixer with whisk attachment, or large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the cream cheese and dairy free yogurt until smooth. Add in the brown sugar, dairy free milk, vanilla, and arrowroot. Cream together again until smooth. Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan, and smooth the top.
  4. Create the water bath: Be ready to move to the next step immediately after finishing this step. Make sure that you boil the 3-4 cups water prior to pouring the water into the pan. Pour the boiling water into the pan.
  5. Bake the cheesecake: Carefully place the baking sheet into the oven on the low rack. Then place the cheesecake onto the middle rack and quickly close the oven to bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the the top of the cheesecake lightly golden. The center is set but still wiggly. Turn off the oven, and allow the cheesecake to sit in the oven for 10 minutes. The water should also be completely dissolved. The cheesecake will still be very wiggly. This is completely fine and should be that way.This cheesecake will not seem cooked at all when you first turn off the oven. 
  6. Chill the cheesecake: Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool at room temperature for 15 minutes. Then place the cheesecake into the fridge to chill for 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
  7. When ready to serve, make the pecan caramel topping: In a small saucepan on medium low heat, melt the vegan butter and brown sugar together until the brown sugar is nearly melted (being careful not to burn the sugar. This should take about 3-5 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low, and add in the cinnamon and heavy cream. Continue stirring vigorously until the cream combines with the sugar butter mixture. Add in the toasted pecan halves, and stir to combine.
  8. Top the pecan pie cheesecake: Plate the pecan cheesecake and remove the springform pan sides. Pour the pecan topping on top of the cheesecake.
  9. Serve and enjoy! Store any leftover cheesecake in an airtight container and in the fridge for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.


Notes

Make ahead: Prepare the pecan pie cheesecake the day before through Step 6. Then make the topping the day of and top the cheesecake to serve!

Pie cut outsI used Williams Sonoma pie cut outs for cute little toppings with leftover vegan pie crust

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slice of vegan pecan pie cheesecake