Pumpkin Cheesecake with Shortbread Crust & Brandy Pecans

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

yield: 1 (9″) cheesecake

  • Author: Kayla Howey



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


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.