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Get ready for one of the best pieces of life (and baking) advice you'll ever receive: never skimp on maple flavor. For this maple pecan cheesecake, that means adding not just a full cup of real maple syrup to the rich, creamy batter, but a highly recommended splash of maple extract. It's the secret to a maple cheesecake that actually tastes like maple syrup—even when it's blanketed in a crunchy, silky sweet pecan caramel.
While the maple extract is optional for this recipe, it really helps to brighten up the flavor of the maple syrup, so it’s a worthwhile addition if you have it on hand. If you happen to be out of it, this cheesecake will still be delicious with just the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
The caramel topping will significantly increase in size when the cream is added, so make sure your pot is big enough to accommodate at least double or triple the volume of your ingredients so you don’t end up with a caramel overflow on your hands.
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