The Daring Bakers Make Cheesecake: Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake

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Andrea's Recipes - Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake

[NOTE: I made this dessert as part of a Daring Bakers challenge. This means it was an experiment that I most likely only made once, maybe twice, before posting here. Because the recipe has not been thoroughly tested, I cannot guarantee the results.]

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

The infamous cheesecake recipe comes from Jenny’s friend Abbey, and in this challenge we were given lots of room for creativity. We had to use the cheesecake recipe as is, though we could flavor it any way we wanted to. We also had freedom to choose the crust and anything else to go with it. I chose to make a variation on my mini chocolate pecan pies and spotted a recipe in one of my mother’s cookbooks that gave me the idea for how to put it together. Bourbon and pecans are a classic combination, so it seemed natural to flavor the cheesecake and the pecan topping with bourbon.

After being on hiatus for several months, I was glad to get back into the fun of the challenges and enjoyed it thoroughly, especially since cheesecake is my favorite dessert. We liked the combination of flavors, and the cheesecake was a hit with all my neighborhood friends.

Thanks to Jenny of Jenny Bakes for hosting this month. It was a very delicious and fun challenge!

To see all of the beautiful and delicious cheesecakes, visit The Daring Kitchen Blogroll and the Daring Bakers Gallery at Foodgawker.

Andrea's Recipes - Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Cheesecake


Adapted from Abbey T., friend of Jenny of Jenny Bakes.

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake.

Daring Kitchen logo - The Vanilla FairyEquipment

9-inch springform pan, greased, outside wrapped in heavy aluminum foil
food processor
small sauce pan or glass bowl
stand mixer with paddle attachment (or hand mixer and large bowl)
medium mixing bowl
large roasting pan (large enough to hold the springform pan)


16 ounces (453 g) chocolate sandwich cookies (Oreos), cream filling scraped out
6 tablespoons (19 g) unsalted butter, melted

1 cup (175 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

3 (8 ounce/226 g) packages of cream cheese (not light or fat free), room temperature
1 cup (210 g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
1 tablespoon bourbon

3 large eggs, beaten
1/3 cup (58 g) granulated sugar
1/3 cup (37 g) packed brown sugar
8 teaspoons golden syrup or corn syrup
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (75 g) rough chopped pecans

2 quarts (~2 liters) boiled water


1. Preheat the oven to 350° F (Gas Mark 4 = 180° C = Moderate heat).

2. CRUST: Crush the cookies in the food processor until they are crumbs. Pour into a bowl and stir in the melted butter. Press into the bottom of the springform pan. Set aside.

3. CHOCOLATE GANACHE: Melt the chocolate chips and heavy cream in the sauce pan over low heat or in the glass bowl microwave. Stir well, until combined. Pour the chocolate ganache over the crust and spread as necessary. Set aside.

4. CHEESECAKE: In the bowl of the stand mixer (or large bowl with hand mixer) cream cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

5. PECAN TOPPING: In the medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, bourbon, vanilla, and salt.

6. ASSEMBLE: Pour on the cheesecake filling, spreading as necessary. Tap on the counter to burst any bubbles. Sprinkle on the pecans, then pour on the topping.

7. BAKE: Place the cheesecake pan in the middle of the roasting pan and pour the boiling water into the roasting pan. Take care not to get any water in the cheesecake. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done. This can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. (Since this cheesecake has a topping, you won’t see the jiggle so much.) Turn the heat off and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Some of My Previous Daring Bakers Challenges

Andrea's Recipes - The Daring Bakers Make Cheesecake Pops Andrea's Recipes - The Daring Bakers Make Cinnamon and Sticky Buns Andrea's Recipes - The Daring Bakers Make Milk Chocolate and Caramel Tart

[Disclosure: This blog earns a small commission through affiliate links.]


  1. Leona says

    I am new to this blogging business, but I am just having a ball looking at everyone’s cheesecakes. Your’s reminds me of my favorite bread pudding with bourbon sauce. Yummm!

  2. says

    Andrea, “cream filling scraped out”?! That’s the good stuff! Just kidding, obviously the cream filling is not necessary, the cheesecake is decadent enough. Looks beautiful, and I love the pecan/bourbon combo.

  3. says

    You chose some great flavors there! I would have loved this challenge as I’m a HUGE cheesecake fan. Not that I want one of those giant desserts in my house right now though! Danger!!

  4. says

    O-M-G!! What a great combination! I would have to make it without the Bourbon and pecans, though. I love pecan-less pies, and I don’t drink alcohol. I just love the syrup/butter combination in “pecan” pies. Great idea, and beautiful photos!

  5. says

    Okay, I’ve looked at your adaptations, and I’m just floored! I love how you poured ganache on the crust. I bookmarked this and will make it soon with my go-to cheesecake.

  6. says

    So glad to have you back in the swing of DBing :) Love the combo, it looks and sounds fantastic. Really amazed at the variations people come up with! So much fun.

  7. says

    oh andrea this is really absolutely gorgeous. i love the fact that you used oreos – what did you do with the cream ;-)?
    i have to try this!

  8. says

    Thanks everyone!

    Meeta, the cream from the Oreos was scraped into a bowl and eaten by my four boys (husband included). I also had a couple nibbles. :-)

  9. says

    Out of the many, many beautiful cheesecakes I’ve seen today I think yours is one of the prettiest. I’m especially partial to the photo with the fork… I wish I was holding it!

  10. says

    You know just the other day I was having a conversation with someone about bourbon … clearly I was meant to have some of your delicious cheesecake!

  11. Kim da Cook says

    I am not a huge fan of cheese cake but this looks really delicious, and I am sure that my husband will love me forever if I make this for him.

  12. says

    i liked that you combined the classic pecan pie with cheesecake, it’s rather ingenius really. i’m not a fan of pecan pie, i just didn’t grow up with it, but i think with your combo i could be convinced that it’s a rather awesome dessert! :)

  13. aishoka48 says

    Tried this recipe yesterday but had some trouble with it. Any suggestions as to what I may have done wrong? The first trouble I had was with the ganache–it didn’t spread evenly, and when I tried to even it out it got very clumpy.
    That wasn’t so bad, but for some reason the liquid part of the pecan topping didn’t stay on top–it soaked through the cheesecake part, and the whole thing didn’t really set.
    I’d like to try it again–can anyone help?

    • says

      Hi Aishoka. I hope I can help! First, make sure the ganache is warm and pourable. When you dip a spoon in the ganache it should run easily off the spoon. If it clings or clumps to the spoon, it’s too cool. As for the pecan topping soaking into the cheesecake, was the cheesecake mixture appropriately dense or was it loose and watery?

  14. Nancy C. says

    THIS RECIPE DOESN’T WORK AS WRITTEN. I made it EXACTLY as directed–using premium ingredients in the exact measurements called for–and the same thing happened to me that happened to alshoka48: the topping doesn’t sit on top of the cake, it sinks into it. I’ve been baking for over 25 years, and I was skeptical of the ability of the topping to rest on top of the unbaked cheesecake filling, but I wondered if perhaps it would rise to the top during baking. No. It doesn’t. The only way I can see this recipe working properly is if the cheesecake filling is baked first, and the nuts and topping baked on later.

    • says

      Hi Nancy. I’m sorry to hear the recipe didn’t work for you. Did the pecan topping sink into the filling as you were assembling it or while baking? Did any hot water get into the cheesecake pan during baking?

      • Nancy C. says

        The problem occurred while I was assembling it: the pecans more or less floated on top, but the topping sank right in. (It ended up in puddles on the bottom of the cheesecake layer.) That having been said, I figured out a work-around while the cake was still in the oven (but after I posted my previous comment). About 45 minutes into the baking, I made a second batch of topping and poured it over the cake and turned the oven temperature up to 400 degrees for 10 minutes, before shutting it off. (And yes, some hot water did get into the pan despite my best efforts with aluminum foil and string.)In the end, the result was DELICIOUS, even with the problem. So thanks for the terrific recipe.

        Two ideas: 1) You don’t specify how “beaten” the eggs should be for the topping. It’s possible that if they were extremely light, the topping might have floated, but I’m still skeptical.
        2) I still maintain that this would work much better if the instructions said to assemble the crust, ganache and cheesecake filling, bake it for 40 minutes, then add the pecans and topping, turn the oven up to 400 for 10 minutes, and then leave the cake in a turned-off oven for one hour. What do you think?

        In any case, a DELICIOUS combination of flavors. I will definitely make it again. (And unlike a previous poster, I had no trouble with the ganache. If it was too thick to spread smoothly, I would have just added a little extra cream.)

  15. dan says

    I have never made a cheesecake before, so perhaps it isn’t wise to start with such a delicious looking complicated one. But I haven’t seen any recipes that require baking the cake in a roasting pan of boiling water – how come this is necessary?

    Also, can I sub sour cream for heavy cream? Will it make any structural difference or just taste?

    I think the pecan topping will be too much for me to handle – would the pecans stays if I just sprinkled them on top?


    • says

      Hi Dan. Baking cheesecake in water (aka a water bath) helps the cheesecake to retain moisture and keep it from cracking on top. You can use sour cream instead of heavy cream and it shouldn’t have a very noticeable difference in the texture. You can sprinkle plain pecans on top, though remember they will be in the oven for a long time and might dry out.

  16. Linda Kazlowsky says

    I just saw this on Huffingtonpost! I am definitely looking forward to making some cheesecake for Christmas!

  17. Tina says

    So, as others, the first attempt resulted in the topping falling through and making a big mess. The second time I cooked the pecan syrup a bit, which worked, but didn’t look as pretty. I make a LOT of cheesecakes, and had success on the third try. Here’s the deal: I use a ten inch pan, this is a lot of cheesecake. When you make the cheesecake filling, mix it a little longer than you normally would mix a cheesecake batter. The heavy cream in the cheesecake batter will firm up a little, then put it on the crust. Oh, and don’t sub the heavy cream for sour cream, because it will not be the same stiff batter. This will help keep the topping from falling through. Next, you need to use a lot more pecans, enough to fill the top of the cake thoroughly. I used two cups on a ten inch pan. Then, when you mix the syrup, whisk it a little more until the eggs firm up a bit. Pour it from a regular bowl, not one with a spout, and keep it as close to the cake as possible. I used these modifications and it came out beautiful, looked just like the one here, the taste is amazing, a very special cheesecake. Oh, I cook all cheesecakes on 325, in a water bath, regardless of the recipe. it works for me. Thanks for the recipe.


  1. […] next week and the week after that school starts back. So the cheesecakes I’m making are Bourbon Chocolate Pecan and Caramel Pumpkin Pecan Gingersnap. I think they will be the first entries on Cooking Hijinx. […]

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