Pecan pie and classic cheesecake with a graham cracker crust meet in handheld, deliciously layered form to create these creamy, crunchy, sweet Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars! They are an irresistible mashup of two favorite desserts and perfect for holidays and celebrations!

Handheld bars are some of our favorite treats for casual parties or gatherings, especially around the holidays, because they are easier to eat by hand. Some of our other favorites are Carmelitas (Oatmeal, Chocolate, Caramel Bars), Oatmeal Fudge Bars, and Lemon Meringue Pie Bars.

A stack of creamy cheesecake bars with pecan pie filling on top and a graham cracker crust.

Did you know that pecans are the official state nut of Alabama? Pecan trees are actually native to North America and the word pecan is Algonquian for "requires a stone to crack." I have a series called American Eats where I'm visiting some of the foods states are known for and these pecan pie cheesecake bars are representing for Alabama!

Why we love these bars

  • If you love pecan pie and cheesecake, then these handheld pecan pie cheesecake bars should win you over easily.
  • The tops and edges of these cheesecake squares are chewy (edge pieces are my favorite) with crunchy pecans in every bite. Plus, who doesn't love a graham cracker crust?
  • The smooth, creamy cheesecake layer in the middle is the perfect compliment in flavor and texture to the sweet pecan topping!
  • They are a perfect Thanksgiving dessert for anybody who isn't a fan of pie.
  • No need for a water bath or other fussy cheesecake techniques.
Pecan pie cheesecake bars stacked on a plate.

Ingredient Notes

  • Cream cheese: For best results, I recommend using full-fat cream cheese that you allow to come up to room temperature for half an hour on the counter. This helps it mix in better so you don't end up with clumps of solid cream cheese in the cheesecake batter.
  • Graham crackers: You can use full sheets of graham crackers and pulse them into crumbs or just buy a box of graham cracker crumbs at the store to save yourself a little time.
  • Pecans: We love pecans and obviously pecan pie is what we are going for with these bars, but really you could sub any kind of nut you like. I think macadamia nuts would be really excellent in this dessert as well!
Labeled ingredients for pecan pie cheesecake bars.

How to Make this Recipe

Because there are 3 components to these bars, the recipe may look a little daunting, but I promise these aren't an overly complicated dessert. Here's how to make the pecan pie cheesecake bars:

  1. Use a food processor (affiliate link) to make the graham cracker crust.  Process 2 sleeves of graham crackers into fine crumbs with a little sugar, then pulse some melted butter and press it into the bottom of a 9x13" pan.
  1. Blend the cream cheese until smooth before adding the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  The biggest difficulty you might run into making this recipe is if you skip blending the cream cheese first until it is smooth, otherwise you might end up with chunks of cream cheese that don't want to mix in with the sugar and eggs. But if you can remember to blend it on it's own first, the rest of the recipe is a breeze.
  1. Make the pecan filling by heating the everything except the pecans and vanilla in a pan and boiling for 1 minute. Then it's just a matter of stirring in the nuts and vanilla off the heat. Let this mixture cool for 20 minutes so it doesn't sink to the bottom of the bars when you add it to the cheesecake layer.
  2. Assemble the bars. Pour the cheesecake layer onto the graham cracker crust and smooth it out into an even layer. Then gently spoon the pecan pie filling onto the cheesecake layer rather than pour it. This helps keep the pecan pie filling from sinking straight to the bottom.
  1. Bake just until set (about 35-40 minutes in a 350 degree F oven), then remove and cool completely. Chill for 4 hours in the fridge, then slice into squares and serve.

FAQ's

Can these be made in a 9x9-inch square pan?

Yes, if you prefer a thicker cheesecake layer and bar, you can use a square pan to make the recipe without adjusting any of the measurements. The bake time will be slightly longer, around 40 minutes. Just watch that your pan doesn't overflow and consider putting a larger baking sheet underneath lined with foil just in case.

Can I substitute the corn syrup with something else?

If you don't have corn syrup or prefer not to use it, you could substitute with honey, although there will be a noticeable difference in flavor. Golden syrup, brown rice syrup, and agave nectar are all supposed to be good corn syrup substitutes, but I haven't tried using them in this recipe.

Do I need to toast the pecans first?

There's no need to toast the pecans. The long bake time is plenty of time to draw out the flavor of the pecans without the extra step.

Recipe Tips

  • Storage: These will last for 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. They taste amazing cold straight out of the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze these bars once they have cooled completely. I recommend wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, then storing in an airtight container. Let the bars thaw on the counter at room temperature or in the fridge overnight before serving.
  • Go slow when adding the pecan pie layer. If you pour it onto the cheesecake layer, the pecan pie mixture will sink to the bottom. By spooning it on gently, this helps keep a more distinct layer on top.
  • Line your pan. Be sure to line the bottom and sides of your pan with a parchment paper sling so it's easy to remove the bars. Otherwise the pecan mixture really wants to stick to the sides and it can be difficult to remove the bars cleanly.
Three pecan pie cheesecake bars on a white plate.

More Pecan Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

4.38 from 8 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Additional Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 servings
Pecan pie and classic cheesecake with a graham cracker crust meet in handheld, deliciously layered form to create these creamy, crunchy, sweet Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars! They are an irresistible mashup of two favorite desserts and perfect for holidays and celebrations!

Ingredients
  

Crust

  • 2 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs about 18 full sheets
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup butter melted

Cheesecake Layer

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Pecan Pie Layer

  • 1 cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups pecans chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x13-inch baking pan by lining the bottom and sides with a parchment paper sling.

Crust

  • In a food processor, pulse the graham crackers with the sugar until combined into fine crumbs. Drizzle in the melted butter and pulse again until combined. Transfer to the baking dish and press into an even, flat layer using the flat bottom of a measuring cup.

Cheesecake Layer

  • In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until completely smooth. Add the sugar, eggs, and vanilla, and beat again until smooth. Pour over the graham cracker crust.

Pecan Pie Layer

  • In a medium saucepan, heat the brown sugar, corn syrup, cream, butter, and salt over medium heat until the butter is melted an the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat and immediately add the chopped pecans and vanilla.  
  • Let the pecan pie filling cool for 20 minutes, then spoon gently over the cheesecake layer so it doesn't sink to the bottom.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until set, then remove from the oven and cool completely before transferring to the fridge for 4 hours to chill. Slice into squares and serve!

Notes

  • Storage: These will last for 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. They taste amazing cold straight out of the fridge.
  • Freezing: You can freeze these bars once they have cooled completely. I recommend wrapping them individually in plastic wrap, then storing in an airtight container. Let the bars thaw on the counter at room temperature or in the fridge overnight before serving.
  • Go slow when adding the pecan pie layer. If you pour it onto the cheesecake layer, the pecan pie mixture will sink to the bottom. By spooning it on gently, this helps keep a more distinct layer on top.
  • Line your pan. Be sure to line the bottom and sides of your pan with a parchment paper sling so it's easy to remove the bars. Otherwise the pecan mixture really wants to stick to the sides and it can be difficult to remove the bars cleanly.

Nutrition

Calories: 321kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 531IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

This post was originally published in May, 2018. The photos and content were updated in November, 2021.

More States I Have Visited in my American Eats Series

Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • IdahoIllinoisIndianaIowa • KansasKentuckyLouisiana • MaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMontanaNew YorkOregonPuerto RicoSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTexasUtahWisconsin

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 1 star
    I am making this for Thanksgiving. I followed the exact directions and the pie has now been in the oven for 55 minutes and it is like soup. I have increased the temperature, hoping the pecan pie filling sets up at least a little bit. What could cause this?

    1. Oh no! Either the oven temperature wasn't hot enough or something got measured wrong. Cheesecake is usually a little loose until it sets up after baking, but it definitely shouldn't be like soup.

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious and easy. A total hit with the family. I usually try out one or two new recipes for our family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas. This was the new recipe for this year and it was a total hit. What wasn't eaten right away was swarmed by the family, completely packed up and taken home. It may become one of the revolving regulars. I've made it a number of times to share with coworkers and friends as well.and will be making a batch tonight at my youngest's request to take back to college with him. My oven runs cool so I bake it at 360 degrees for 40 minutes.