Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake

bourbon pecan pumpkin cheesecake

This recipe has been in the works for a loooong time. I had to make sure it was just right for you guys!

So over the course of a couple of years, I’ve been enduring the difficult task of making (and eating) this cheesecake.

It’s been rough.

bourbon pecan pumpkin cheesecake

I can’t lie – it was delicious right from the start. Pumpkin + cheesecake + bourbon + pecans = win. But I felt it wouldn’t be just if certain quesitons weren’t brought to light.

What if I added 1/4 teaspoon more cinnamon?

Organic pumpkin puree vs. regular?

Proper ratio of pecans to graham cracker in the crust?

The only way to address these pressing matters: make another cheesecake. And another. And another.

pecan graham cracker crust

The crust was subject to the most experimentation. I tried all kinds of crazy combinations of cookies and nuts.

The answer, of course, turned out to be the simplest: equal parts ground pecans and graham cracker crumbs.

cheesecake filling

And the filling? Well I took the usual cheesecake suspects, then dumped a bunch of spices, some pureed pumpkin and bourbon on top!

Everything is better with bourbon on top. I’ve done studies.

bourbon pecan pumpkin cheesecake

So after much careful testing, I’m proud to finally share one of my favorite desserts with you.

A not-too-sweet, spicy, pumpkiny, slightly boozy sky-high slice of indulgent goodness.

Bring it to a holiday party! People will like you.


Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake

If you don't have bourbon or don't want to use alcohol for any reason - leave it out! It'll still be plenty delicious.



  • 8 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup finely ground pecans
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt


  • 2 lbs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin puree*
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

*I've found varying levels of water content in different brands of pumpkin puree. My favorite is Farmer's Market Organic Pumpkin, it's dense and rich. If you have a puree that's on the watery side, place it in a few layers of paper towels and give it a gentle squeeze to get rid of some of the excess water.


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Wrap the outside of a 10" springform pan with foil. Brush the inside of the pan with some of the melted butter, then combine the remaining butter with the other crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan, packing it tightly and evenly. Bake the crust until golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil and start on the filling.
  2. Beat the cream cheese and sour cream in a mixer until smooth. Add the brown sugar and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl once or twice. In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, bourbon, vanilla, salt and spices until well combined. Add this to the cream cheese mixture and beat until just combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and fold a few times to make sure the mixture is uniform.
  3. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and place the springform pan inside of a roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour the boiling water in the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the outside of the cheesecake is set but the center is still loose, about 1 hour 45 minutes.
  4. Turn off the oven, crack the door, and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the springform pan from the roasting pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake and refrigerate for several hours (until fully set) or overnight.


1 10" cheesecake

Posted in: Cheese & Dairy, Desserts, Fall, Pies/Tarts, Vegetarian

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23 Responses to “Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Cheesecake”

  1. Mom says:

    Mmmmm…this was so rich and decadent; we absolutely LOVED it! Thank you for making this on Thanksgiving Day sweetie!

  2. Amy says:

    Been lurking a while. Your site is so refreshing! Thank you!

  3. Cocosmom says:

    Mine is baking in the oven as I type. Can’t wait to see how it turns out for me. I’ll update by Wed!! -Merry Christmas and thanks for posting this wonderful recipe.

  4. Simply Tia says:

    This cheesecake sounds amazingly delicious!!!! I love the combination of all these delicious flavors. Yum!

  5. Kelly says:

    So what is the pot of water for? I didn’t see it used in the filling section of the recipe.

    • brittany says:

      The water gets poured into the roasting pan that the cheesecake bakes in, which just ensures that it cooks evenly.

  6. Renee says:

    Hi Brittany… Quick question on the brown sugar. You mentioned in your assessment that it’s not too sweet, but 2 cups of brown sugar feels like a lot to me. Have you tried it with less and would you recommend that? Wanting to make the perfect pumpkin cheesecake for my Friendsgiving Party this Sunday 🙂 Others I’m comparing it to are: and and they’re all pretty different. I love the bourbon in yours so I’m leaning toward your recipe, just nervous about the sugar, especially for my diabetic husband. Would love your insight!! Thanks!

    • brittany says:

      Hi Renee! 2 cups is a lot of sugar, but keep in mind that this cheesecake also has 2 lbs of cream cheese, 1 whole can of pumpkin puree, sour cream, eggs… there’s a lot of filling to sweeten up here. It’s a huge dessert!! The other recipes you mentioned have less sugar, but they also have less filling overall. So to answer your question: it is sweet, I just don’t think its overly sweet, as many cheesecakes are. I haven’t tried it with less, but if you’re worried about the sugar content you can certainly cut out 1/4 or 1/2 a cup; it shouldn’t change the texture much if at all. I hope this is helpful – Happy Friendsgiving! 🙂

  7. Amy says:

    Hi Brittany,

    I am getting ready to make this incredible cake and was wondering how long you think it will keep in the fridge? Or, in other words, how far in advance of Thanksgiving can I make this? Wishing you a wonderful holiday, and thanks, Amy

    • brittany says:

      Hi Amy!

      It’s fine to make it Tuesday to serve on Thursday. Once it’s fully chilled, cover it in plastic wrap and you’ll be set! We’ve never had any left in our fridge after a few days, so I can’t really tell you how fresh it would taste after that point, but up to 3 days later it’s still fantastic. 😉 Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Thuan says:

    If I use a 9 inch springform pan would the cooking time change?

    • brittany says:

      It will probably be close to the same, just keep an eye on it. The 10 inch takes about 1 hour 45 min; I’d check the 9 inch at 1 hour 15 min to get an idea of how it’s coming along and just look for that same signal of doneness – set on the outside, a little loose in the center.

      • HKRB says:

        FYI – I made this as a 9″, used almost all of the batter (left about 1/2″ to 3/4″ around the top and it rose significantly), and it definitely took the FULL cooking time. I’m glad I didn’t take it out early – the texture was AMAZING. People raved about this and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever made, honestly. AND, I hadn’t made a cheesecake in at least ten years. Perfect recipe! A++++++

  9. Samantha says:


    I made this cheesecake last year and it was a HUGE success! I am making it again this year, but I was wondering how well this freezes? I have a few things to make (and probably more than one of these!), so I’m trying to stay ahead of the game. Thanks!! And Happy Thanksgiving!

    • brittany says:

      Hi Samantha!
      I haven’t frozen this cake yet, but I would imagine you could freeze it the same way you would any other cheesecake. Let it cool completely, remove the side of the springform pan, wrap a few times in plastic wrap, then in foil. Thaw it overnight in the fridge and you should be good to go! Happy Thanksgiving!

      • Samantha says:

        Thank you!

        One more question: have you ever substituted the various spices for pumpkin pie spice? I think I tried it last year, and I kind of just eyeballed it and tasted it as I went. Is this something you would recommend? If so, about how much spice do you think would be an accurate substitution? If I forget to check back, I’ll try and remember to measure what I use in case anyone else is curious!

  10. Callie O says:

    Just popped 1st cake in the oven. I am using a 9″ pan and the filling was about 1/8 from top. I did take some filling out to give it 1/2″, just wanting to make sure that is ideal. The filling is soooo yummy and I can’t wait to taste it Thursday!!!

    • Callie O says:

      Update: it was definitely a good idea to add the additional space in the 9″ pan. I used the extra for a mini cake and it’s AMAZING! Thanks for such a great recipe!

  11. Allison says:

    Got your recipe on Pinterest and tried it out for Thanksgiving. I was sooo worried the water bath invaded the springform pan and ruined it but the crust was still crunchy and everything was perfect at serving time. Huge hit with my family. Thank you!


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