Vanilla Cheesecake with Caramel and Salted Pecans. Let’s do this!!!

Inspiration is where you find it! While waiting to board a recent flight at Dallas Love Field, destiny had me sitting, waiting, and reading across the way from the Paciugo Gelato store. It was mid-day,, and I’d had only a very light breakfast so – duh! – why not? The flavor that got my attention was one with swirled caramel (one scoop only – homage to not overdoing it), and turns out it had salted pecans in it. I was taken by that variation on the currently popular salted caramel craze, and filed it away..

Fast forward to the weekend. I was working on updating this blog site (, and with it sunny, but quite cold, out, I decided it was time to get out the springform pan and recreate that gelato flavor profile in a cheesecake. It works. Let’s do it again, right now!

What we’re gonna do is salt some pecans, then top a basic cheesecake with some caramel, then add salted pecans to the top. I like to start by getting the cream cheese and eggs out a good 4 hours before I need them – it gives them time to get to room temperature, and makes the cream cheese not only easier to work, but also creamier. Once those ingredients have ‘acclimated, it’s time to get busy.

Let’s start with the pan. My favorite 9″ springform pan is made by Zenker. It gives me the most uniform look around the outside of the cheesecake, and the glass bottom makes post-baking handling easier (you can even use it as your serving plate.

Spray the pan with non-stick spray (one without flour if going gluten free), line the bottom with parchment, then spray the parchment. Chop 1-1/2 cups of pecans, add 1 tablespoon of melted butter, mix, and press it evenly into the bottom of the pan.. This crust itself is gluten free.

Once your batter is ready, pour it into the pan, then give the pan a jiggle or two, or three, to level the batter in the pan. Then it’s into a 300 deg. oven for 1-1/2 hours. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door with a wooden spoon, and let it rest in the oven for another hour.

Once out of the oven, allow the cake to rest and cool for another hour or so before releasing the outside of the pan. I was lucky to have no cracks in the cake. I put a 8″ baking dish of very hot water on the bottom shelf of the oven when I first turned it on. It really helps, and is easier than a water bath.

I like to put a cheesecake in the fridge for several hours, even overnight, before dressing it. It’s just easier. I topped this with a thick caramel sauce – store bought. (see NOTE below) Sprinkle on the salted pecans,, and you’re ready to go!

Last, and certainly not least, the salted pecans are easy, and something you can make well ahead of time, maybe enough to have some for when friends are over. For this effort, I tossed about a cup of pecan halves with a tablespoon of melted butter, added some salt, and tossed some more. Then put them in the oven at 250 deg for about 15 minutes. Let them cool, and then break them up a little before sprinkling on the caramel. Or, leave them whole and place in a decorative pattern.

You’ll find a few more tips with the cheesecake recipe, but honestly, this is it. Not hard, and a neighbor has already proclaimed it the best cheesecake ever tasted. I’ll take that and stop. Bon appetit!!


Many prepared sweets and sauces, like caramel, are made using corn syrup. If an allergy to corn is an issue, be sure to check the ingredients for corn syrup. An alternative is to make your own caramel using golden syrup. And it’s not a bad idea to keep some golden syrup on hand for your next pecan pie!

5 responses to “Vanilla Cheesecake with Caramel and Salted Pecans. Let’s do this!!!”

  1. Marianne Morris Avatar
    Marianne Morris

    how do you make the carmel top?It looks so delicious!  Marianne


    1. This time it was store-bought. A brand called Mrs. Richardson’s. I think Tom Thumb might carry it.


  2. Looks so fabulous!
    Always love to see what you are cooking.


  3. Yea! Success to you and the new format! ‘So happy you are back to a cheesecake–thank you, thank you! 🙂


  4. Cindy Henneberger Babel Avatar
    Cindy Henneberger Babel

    I am going to make this tomorrow
    for a friend instead of using our old


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