Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Chocolate Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars

I’ve said it before and I’m gonna say it again: living in the South has really opened my eyes to foods that I never tried before. While growing up in Central Florida, in a Hispanic/Jewish/German family, we just didn’t eat a lot of the traditional American foods. One of those foods: pecan pie.

I first tried pecan pie when I moved to Atlanta 5 years ago. It was at a great local Southern restaurant and they served a killer bourbon chocolate pecan pie. I liked it but I didn’t fall in love with it right away. It was made with whole pecans so it was just too crunchy for me. But I loved the custardy, sweet filling with swirls of chocolate. The texture was gooey and I love gooey. So I didn’t give up hope yet.

Sure enough, a local grocery store makes a version with chopped pecans and it was money! So so so good. The pecans were small enough that they roasted during baking and became slightly soft, not too crunchy. And that gooeyness from the filling and richness from the chocolate were still there. Every bite was perfect. And that’s when I became an official fan of pecan pie.

Which brings us to today’s recipe: chocolate pecan pie cheesecake bars. I’m always looking for a new way to make some of my favorite things. I knew I wanted to give ya’ll (it’s the Southerner in me taking over again) a chocolate pecan pie recipe, but how could I make it slightly different? Make them in bars? Add cheesecake? Make the crust out of shortbread? Yes, yes, and yes!

15-fixedchocolate pecan pie cheesecake bars 11-fixed

When I tried the finished product, I was in shock. They were absolutely more than I ever thought they would be. The shortbread crust is so buttery and crunchy, but in a good way. Just like a shortbread cookie. The cheesecake adds a tangy, smooth layer that I didn’t even know it needed. But the best part: all three layers come together to make such a well-balance bar, with textures and flavors that compliment each other so well.

Now, I know there are people that are like me – didn’t love or maybe didn’t even like pecan pie when they first tried it. But don’t let that stop you from making these bars! I’m telling you that the combination of the three layers will change your mind.

2-fixed 3-fixed 4-fixed 20-fixed

Here are some tips for insuring that these bars come out perfectly:

  1. Buy the pecans already chopped. It will save you tons of time. But! For the shortbread crust, you will need to chop the pecans even more because they need to be fine. Since these pecans are for the crust, you don’t want large chunks of pecans spread throughout; you want small little pieces.
  2. Make sure the layers are cooled about 10 minutes before adding the next layer. Otherwise, the layers could blend together.
  3. Let the melted butter for the chocolate pecan pie layer cool before you add the eggs. Otherwise, you’ll get scrambled eggs. Yikes.
  4. Bake the final layer (the chocolate pecan pie layer) until it is complete done. You’ll know when it’s done because it will be dark in color and no longer a light brown. I took mine out too soon and they were a little too gooey in the middle. So let them completely finish before taking them out. If the edges begin to get too brown before the center is done, add aluminum foil to the edges.
  5. Let the bars cool completely before you cut them . Otherwise, they will fall apart. I put mine in the fridge to help them set up. And make sure, when you do cut them, you use a sharp knife so the edges are nice and smooth.
  6. I like to store mine in the fridge because it makes the cheesecake layer dense, which I prefer. If you leave them at room temperature, the cheesecake layer will be softer and smoother. I wouldn’t keep them at room temperature for too long (for entertaining purposes is fine). But it’s safer to keep them in the fridge for long-term storage.

Now you’ve got the tools you need to make these amazing chocolate pecan pie cheesecake bars! I hope you love them as much as I do πŸ™‚

Here are all the kitchen tools and serveware that I used in today’s recipe. For each item sold below, I make a small commission. I only recommend items that I own and love so you can trust that each recommendation is tried and true. Thank you for supporting CPA!

[show_shopthepost_widget id=”2458911″]

Print Recipe
Chocolate Pecan Pie Cheesecake Bars
These bars are three layers of amazing desserts: pecan shortbread crust, then creamy cheesecake, and then topped with chocolate pecan pie filling. All the flavors and textures compliment each other so well! Perfect for fall entertaining!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 65 minutes
Passive Time 90 minutes (cooling time)
Servings
bars
Ingredients
For the shortbread crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup butter salted, cold
  • 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped
For the cheesecake layer:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate pecan pie layer:
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter unsalted, melted
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans chopped (but not finely!)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 65 minutes
Passive Time 90 minutes (cooling time)
Servings
bars
Ingredients
For the shortbread crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup butter salted, cold
  • 1/2 cup pecans finely chopped
For the cheesecake layer:
  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the chocolate pecan pie layer:
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter unsalted, melted
  • 3 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans chopped (but not finely!)
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
For the shortbread crust:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray
  2. Mix the flour and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pull the 1/2 cup butter from the fridge. Cut the butter into small cubes. Toss into the flour and brown sugar mixture. Using a pastry blender (or two knives), cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is the size of small crumbs. I usually get annoyed using tools for this and eventually use my hands to break up the butter. Feel free to do that too. This is a judgement free zone.
  4. Stir in 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans with the rest of the crust mixture. Press the mixture into the greased dish until it is firmly-packed into the bottom of the dish. Bake for 10 minutes in a preheated oven.
  5. When crust is done, remove from oven (but keep oven ON!) and set aside to cool for 10 minutes (you can make the cheesecake layer while you wait).
For the cheesecake layer:
  1. Add softened cream cheese to a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat cream cheese until it is smooth, about 1-2 minutes (depending on how soft your cream cheese is).
  2. Add sugar and beat together until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so the mixture is all at the bottom of the bowl.
  3. Add milk and vanilla and mix on low until combined. Scrape down the sides again and mix for another 30 seconds. The mixture may be a little lumpy, but that's okay! It will smooth out while baking.
  4. Pour cheesecake mixture over the cooled shortbread crust. Spread evenly. Place back in preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. When done baking, remove from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes (you can make the chocolate pecan pie layer in the meantime).
For the chocolate pecan pie layer:
  1. Combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter in a medium bowl. Make sure the butter is slightly cooled before continuing.
  2. Gently add 3 beaten eggs, salt, and vanilla to mixture. Stir in pecans and chocolate chips.
  3. Pour chocolate pecan pie mixture over cooled cheesecake layer. Spread evenly. Sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top for a nice presentation (optional).
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the chocolate pecan pie layer has completely set and does not jiggle anymore. If the edges start to get too caramelized before the center finishes baking, cover those areas with aluminium foil so they don't burn.
  5. When the pecan layer is finished, remove the bars from the oven and let them cool completely before cutting. Otherwise, they will fall apart. I like to put them in the refrigerator to help them cool faster. Use a sharp knife to cut them.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Positively Splendid

These can be left at room temperature for entertaining purposes, if needed. But for long-term storage (more than 4 hours), I would keep them in the refrigerator. The cheesecake layer tastes better chilled.

chocolate-pecan-pie-cheesecake-bars

53 comments

  1. Holy smokes this girl can bake! Got to try 1 of these to die for bars and each layer was so sweet and delicious. A lot going on in this bar with each layer being very unique and pairing perfectly well with each other. High five to the CPA on this amazing recipe!

    • Haha thank you!! So super sinful. Thankfully, I can only eat half a bar before being done. They are surprisingly filling!

    • Thank you! Oh that’s great that you are also German! We were just in Munich last year during the winter. Such a gorgeous town. And the beer! I was drinking it for breakfast πŸ™‚

  2. This looks unbelievably delicious! I LOVE pecan pie… and would love to try it with the cheesecake. Also, we have a similar background–I’m Jewish/German, too! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe πŸ™‚ I’m now drooling all over my keyboard…

    • Thank you so much! That’s awesome that we have similar backgrounds! I have a feeling my Jewish roots will show more when I start craving matzo ball soup and latkes πŸ™‚

    • Oh yeah. It’s definitely an American thing, especially in the Southern states. I never tried it before I moved to Georgia!

    • I honestly can’t have pecan pie without chocolate now. It’s just soo perfect! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Aw haha! You got this girl! Check out my tips and tricks in the post for a little boost of confidence πŸ™‚

  3. Omg this looks absolutely amazing!!! I have to make this for our bonfire party we have in a few weeks. Hope mine turns out as good as this looks

  4. These look amazing! I love gooey too and these would be just perfect for a snack. In fact too perfect as I’d probably eat far too many!

Comments are closed.