No-Bake Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel

No-Bake Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Recipe
Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart


Since we've nixed the baking (even of the crust), you save tons of time; you don't have to wait for the cheesecake to cool out of the oven. Make the cheesecake up to 3 days ahead, but prepare the caramel shortly before serving. It hardens quickly to a yummy praline-like texture.


Serves 16
Total time: 3 Hours, 36 Minutes

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 26 Minutes
Total: 3 Hours, 36 Minutes

Nutritional Information

Calories 253
Fat 12 g
Satfat 6 g
Monofat 3.4 g
Polyfat 1 g
Protein 6.8 g
Carbohydrate 29.4 g
Fiber 0.4 g
Cholesterol 31 mg
Iron 0.4 mg
Sodium 355 mg
Calcium 137 mg


16 low-fat honey graham crackers (4 large cracker sheets)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Cooking spray
12 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
12 ounces fat-free cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup crème fraîche
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons cold water
2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
1 cup fat-free milk
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


1. To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor; process until finely ground. With motor running, add 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons melted butter to cracker crumbs through food chute; process until blended. Place crumb mixture in a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray; press evenly into bottom of pan. Freeze 20 minutes or until firm.

2. To prepare cheesecake, combine cheeses, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and crème fraîche in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Beat in vanilla and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Combine 3 tablespoons cold water and gelatin; let stand 2 minutes or until gelatin dissolves. Heat milk in a small saucepan to 180° (do not boil). Stir gelatin mixture into hot milk, stirring well. Beat gelatin mixture into cheese mixture. Pour cheese mixture into prepared crust; chill 2 hours or until set.

3. To prepare the caramel, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and next 3 ingredients (through 1/4 teaspoon salt); stir with a whisk just until sugar melts. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 5 minutes (do not stir). Remove pan from heat. Stir in bourbon and toasted pecans. Cool slightly.

4. Slice cheesecake into 16 wedges. Place 1 wedge on each of 16 plates; drizzle 1 tablespoon caramel over each serving.

Julianna Grimes,

Cooking Light

November 2013
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