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Bourbon Butterscotch Cheesecake with Spiced Pecans

Bourbon Butterscotch Cheesecake!  Luscious cheesecake swirled with bourbon-spiked butterscotch then topped with more butterscotch and, even better, the cake is decorated with crunchy, spiced pecans.

Bourbon Butterscotch Cheesecake

You want this, you know you want this! This is a dessert that just draws you in with it’s decadence. It’s got everything that good food-porn should have; it’s creamy, it’s got dripping butterscotch, and we know it has a billion calories.

But, come on, isn’t this the time of year we let ourselves indulge a little? What’s more indulgent than cheesecake? Let’s throw caution to the wind and dig-in.

The details of this recipe are pretty straight-forward. The cheesecake batter is made with sour cream for a little tang and moisture. When I made the butterscotch for this recipe I replaced the schnapps in the original recipe with an equal amount of bourbon.

Well, bourbon is quite a bit stronger than schnapps and the flavor was a bit much, even for me, and I like a boozy dessert. So I recommend that you use just 2 tablespoons of bourbon instead of a 1/4 cup. You could also eliminate the bourbon all-together if you prefer.

If you look closely in the video you’ll see that there are swirls of color in the cheesecake as it goes in the pan. To tell the truth, there was a bit of editing because I changed the way I put the cake together after shooting the video.

I had the idea that mixing butterscotch into 1/3 of the batter and swirling it together would create a cool, multi-color effect that would be visible when I cut into the cake. Honestly, it was barely noticeable. But the taste was good. So I changed the recipe to just mix the butterscotch into the entire batter. Let’s just pretend that we can’t see those swirls in the video. OK? Thanks!

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I think the flavors in this cake are perfect for the holidays, or any time you want a special treat. Go ahead, indulge!

Here are some more delicious butterscotch recipes: Butterscotch Sauce, Butterscotch Pudding, Butterscotch Blondies and Butterscotch Ice Cream.

If you want to make a cheesecake that breaks all the cheesecake rules check out this recipe for San Sebastian Cheesecake.

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Bourbon Butterscotch Cheesecake.

Bourbon Butterscotch Cheesecake

Bourbon Butterscotch Cheesecake with Spiced Pecans

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Chilling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 15 minutes

Rich, creamy cheesecake swirled with bourbon-spiked butterscotch then topped with more butterscotch and crunchy spiced pecans.


Pecan Graham Crust

  • 1 cup (5 oz, 150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 9 crackers)
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz, 60g) spiced pecans (use the broken pieces, save the whole pecans for the topping)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz, 60g) granulated sugar
  • 6 Tbsp (3 oz, 90g) butter, melted

Cheesecake Batter

  • 3 8-oz packages (24oz, 690g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz, 340g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 230g) sour cream, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature


  1. Make the Butterscotch Sauce according to the recipe, substituting 2 Tbsp Bourbon for the schnapps in the recipe. Set aside to cool. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9" round cake pan with parchment paper (If you prefer to use a spring form pan line the pan with parchment and wrap the outside of the pan with aluminum foil)


  1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, pecans & sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the melted butter and toss to combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until fragrant and lightly browned, about 10 minutes, set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 325°F.


  1. In a mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese & sugar and mix until well combined with no lumps of cream cheese/ Scrape the bowl and mixer attachment to make sure there are no lumps of cream cheese/ Add the sour cream, scrape the bowl and mixer attachment. With the mixer running on low. add the eggs in 2 batches, scrape the bowl and paddle attachment between additions/ Add the bourbon & vanilla/ Stir 1/2 of the butterscotch into the batter. Pour batter into the pan.
  2. Set the pan into a slightly larger pan and pour an inch of warm water between the cheesecake pan and the larger pan. Bake until the cheesecake is mostly set, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. The center of the cheesecake will still jiggle a bit. Set on a rack to cool to room temperature.
  3. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight until completely firm. To remove the cheesecake from the pan, dip the bottom of the pan in a bowl of very hot water, run a knife or spatula around the sides of the cake and flip it out onto a flat plate then flip right side up onto the serving platter. Alternately, you run a propane torch across the bottom of the pan.
  4. Pour the remaining butterscotch sauce onto the top of the cake. Arrange the spiced pecans in circles onto the butterscotch/ Refrigerate until serving


The spiced pecans can be made several days ahead and kept in an airtight container.

The cheesecake can be baked and frozen (without the topping) for several weeks.

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 21st of April 2021

The reviews are in......everyone agreed that this is the BEST cheesecake we’ve ever eaten!

I had some issues with the butterscotch sauce. First batch, I allowed the brown sugar to melt completely. After I added the cream, it lumped up into a big brown sugar tumor. I was able to get it smooth by beating vigorously. But once it cooled, it was very thick — almost too thick to pour. Second batch, I added cream after the brown sugar had BEGUN to melt. It looked fine, but as it cooled, it turned very grainy. Third batch, success! I let the brown sugar melt COMPLETELY before adding the cream, which took longer. Once I’d added the cream, bourbon, etc., I reduced the cooking time — perfect!

Seriously, this is the best cheesecake ever. The taste of bourbon is subtle, not overpowering. And the texture is sublimely creamy. While I thought the candied pecans tasted too salty and clove-y when eaten alone, the salt and spice balanced the sweetness of the sauce and cheesecake. Did I mention that this is the very best cheesecake I’ve ever put in my mouth?!?


Thursday 3rd of December 2020

Hello! This cheesecake looks and sounds amazing! Is it possible to make in a 9 inch springform pan without doing the water step?

Thanks for anyone's feedback!

Eileen Gray

Friday 4th of December 2020

I don't recommend baking cheesecake without the water bath. The cake doesn't bake evenly and will probably puff and crack. If you want to use a springform pan, that's fine. Just wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in foil to prevent water from leaking in.

Amanda Mason

Tuesday 28th of November 2017

Loved your video! You make it look so easy!! Who doesn't love a good cheesecake during the holiday season and that added bourbon...YUM!

Eileen Gray

Tuesday 28th of November 2017

Thanks, Amanda!

Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

Monday 27th of November 2017

Oh, boy!! I sure do want this. The minute I saw the picture with the caramel sauce and those crunchy pecans on top my mouth started watering. This is the perfect finish to a holiday meal!!

Eileen Gray

Monday 27th of November 2017

Thanks, Marisa!


Saturday 25th of November 2017

I feel so conflicted about this, because I love butterscotch and bourbon, but I hate cheesecake! But if there was ever a flavor of cheesecake I was going to love, this would be it!!

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