See more
Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart  

No-Bake Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel

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.

Cooking Light NOVEMBER 2013

  • Yield: Serves 16
  • Hands-on: 26 Minutes
  • Total: 3 Hours, 36 Minutes


  • Crust:
  • 16 low-fat honey graham crackers (4 large cracker sheets)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Cooking spray
  • Cheesecake:
  • 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
  • Caramel:
  • 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.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 253
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated fat: 6g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1g
  • Protein: 6.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 29.4g
  • Fiber: 0.4g
  • Cholesterol: 31mg
  • Iron: 0.4mg
  • Sodium: 355mg
  • Calcium: 137mg

Go to Full Version of

No-Bake Cheesecake with Pecan Caramel Recipe