Pumpkin Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust & Brandy Pecans

Kicking off the holiday season with a weekend full of Christmas decorating and recipe developing…while of course eating all the Thanksgiving leftovers! Including this pumpkin cheesecake with shortbread crust & brandy pecans.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Every Thanksgiving for as long as I can remember, I’ve made a pumpkin cheesecake. To be honest, I’m not that much of a pumpkin pie fan. But, this pumpkin cheesecake? Very much into it.

I added a few special touches to this year’s pumpkin cheesecake – a buttery shortbread crust and sweet caramel pecans flavored with brandy to spoon over top. The cheesecake itself is light and fluffy, flavored with warming spices and a splash of vanilla. I top it with very softly whipped cream and of course the pecans (which are completely optional, but highly recommended).

Pumpkin Cheesecake

The key is to use room temperature ingredients for a creamy cheesecake batter. The cheesecake can be made up to two days in advance so it’s easy to get out of the way if you’re making this for a dinner party or holiday gathering.

It’s very decadent and the perfect holiday dessert to make all season long! Especially alongside this leftover turkey & dumpling soup…which is exactly my plan over here tonight. Enjoy!

Print

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust & Brandy Pecans

Pumpkin Cheesecake

pumpkin cheesecake with a buttery shortbread crust and topped with whipped cream & sweet brandy pecans

yield: 1 (9″) cheesecake

  • Author: Kayla Howey
Scale

Ingredients

Shortbread Crust

  • 1 ½ sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  • 24 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 3 eggs + 1 egg yolk, room temperature
  • 15 oz pumpkin puree
  • 2 oz sour cream
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Brandy Pecans (optional)

  • 4 tbsp (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt

Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Shortbread Crust

  1. Combine the softened butter, brown sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, cream together until light and fluffy.
  2. Add the flour. Mix until the dough comes together, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  3. Press the shortbread into a 9” springform pan to form a flat, even layer.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add the softened cream cheese to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a paddle attachment, beat until smooth. Whisk the sugars, flour, and spices together in a small bowl. Add to the cream cheese and mix until combined.
  2. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Add the pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again until smooth.
  3. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the shortbread crust. Bake for 1 hour until set. Turn off the oven, crack the oven door, and allow the cheesecake to sit for 15 more minutes. Transfer the cheesecake to a cooling rack and cool completely. Cover the cheesecake and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Slice the cheesecake and top with the brandy pecans and whipped cream (recipes below).

Brandy Pecans

  1. Let the butter melt in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, water, and brandy. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for about 3 minutes until thickened.
  2. Stir in the pecans and salt. Cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat. Allow to cool just slightly so it’s still “spoon-able”.

Whipped Cream

  1. Add the cream to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using a whisk attachment, beat the cream until foamy.
  2. Add the sugar. Continue to beat until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat or else the whipped cream will be stiff.

Pumpkin Cheesecake

share your thoughts below...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.