This Maple Cheesecake is the perfect dessert to impress your friends and family this holiday season! Rich and creamy maple-flavored cream cheese and mascarpone filling baked in a toasted pecan crust -finished with maple whipped cream!
This maple cheesecake is a nice departure from the pumpkin cheesecake that graces most Thanksgiving and holiday tables. No doubt, pumpkin cheesecake is delicious, but this maple-flavored variation is truly something special.
This cheesecake is delicate and rich -and it looks gorgeous with piped maple whipped cream and a sprinkle of maple flakes (I found them at Williams-Sonoma). It is also the perfect make-ahead dessert! It’s just as delicious after it’s frozen and thawed. Every time I make this maple cheesecake, everyone raves about it and requests the recipe, so here it is. Enjoy!
FOR THE CRUST:
- Flour: is the base and structure of the crust. It creates a soft, moist and crumbly texture.
- Brown Sugar: deepens the color, adds sweetness and helps the crust brown.
- Butter: helps moisten the dough, adds rich flavor and holds everything together.
- Toasted Pecans (chopped): The chopped nuts are optional, but I love the bit of crunch they add to the crust. You could also use walnuts or almonds
FOR THE CHEESECAKE:
- Cream Cheese (room temperature): is key to making the richest, creamiest cheesecake. It’s soft, tangy and delicious.
- Mascarpone Cheese (room temperature): is similar to cream cheese in texture but a little sweeter. It gives the cheesecake filling the perfect fluffy texture.
- Brown Sugar: I went with brown sugar for this cheesecake because of the warm toffee flavor it adds.
- Pure Maple Syrup: This recipe showcases maple syrup. For the best maple flavor, you want to use quality maple syrup.
- Half and Half: helps thin out the filling making it smooth and creamy.
- Flour: strengthens the filling and helps keep the top from cracking (ideally).
- Vanilla: flavors the filling with a pleasantly sweet flavor.
- Eggs (room temperature): give cheesecakes their smooth, thick and custardy texture.
FOR THE MAPLE WHIPPED CREAM:
- Heavy Whipping Cream: has a high-fat content and gives whipped cream its luscious texture.
- Pure Maple Syrup & Vanilla: to sweeten and flavor the whipped cream.
- Whip-It (optional): is a whipped cream stabilizer that helps homemade whipped cream hold its shape for hours.
- Maple Flakes (optional): Sprinkle maple flakes over your cheesecake! These freeze-dried bits of maple syrup are a great way to add intense maple syrup flavor and some crunch.
- Mixing Bowl
- Pastry Cutter
- 10″ Springform Pan
- Standing Mixer
- Piping Bag
How to Make // The Steps
Step 1: Preheat.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Step 2: Make the pecan crust.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter and then stir in the pecans.
Step 3: Bake crust.
Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10″ springform pan. Then, bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned. Make sure to let the crust cool completely before adding the filling.
Step 4: Beat cheeses together.
In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and the mascarpone cheese together until smooth.
Step 5: Mix.
Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, half-and-half, flour and vanilla to the bowl. Mix until smooth.
Step 6: Beat in eggs.
Then, crack in the eggs and beat until just combined.
Step 7: Bake.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the cooled crust and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until about 3″ around the perimeter is firm and the middle still jiggles.
Step 8: Cool and chill.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing from the ring from the pan. Run a knife around the edges to remove the ring. Let the cheesecake continue to cool for 2 hours, and then transfer the pan to the fridge, covered, to chill for at least 4 hours -preferably overnight.
Step 9: Make maple whipped cream.
Mine cracked a little, so I made a maple-flavored whipped cream to hide it (no one was the wiser). In a bowl, beat the heavy cream and Whip-It together until soft peaks form. Add in the maple syrup and vanilla and continue to whip until the cream thickens.
Step 10: Decorate and serve.
Pipe or spread the maple whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with maple flakes. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks //
- The trickiest part about this is timing it right. If you overbake it, it will lose its creaminess, which is what this cheesecake is all about. That said, keep an eye on the oven, and don’t overbake your cheesecake.
- When it’s ready, It will look like the center is underbaked, and that’s perfect.
- Unless you get started in the morning, maple cheesecake needs to be assembled and baked at least a day in advance. You’ll need at least 6 hours for the cooling/chilling process.
- Baking your cheesecake in a water bath will help it cook evenly and keep the top from cracking. Double wrap your springform pan in foil to prevent leakage, and then place the pan in another pan a few inches wider. Fill the outer pan with a few inches of boiling water and then bake.
Why is Maple Cheesecake So Good?
- Cheesecakes are surprisingly really easy to make -the most challenging part is timing it just right.
- Adds variation to the cheesecake and dessert options at your next holiday gathering.
- It’s just SO good. It’s next-level creamy and perfectly maple.
- The maple whipped cream is perfect and super simple to throw together. However, your topping and garnish options are limitless.
Feel free to change up the topping and garnishes. Check out the list below for more ways to serve maple cheesecake.
Drizzle any of these delicious homemade sauces over your cheesecake:
I like my cheesecake with a bit of texture on top. Chopped nuts, Heath crumbles and mini caramel chips are great. You could also sift cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar over the top. So many options!
Storing & Freezing //
You can make the cheesecake a few days ahead or freeze it, but I would add the whipped cream and garnishes before serving.
Fridge Storage: Store cheesecake in an airtight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freezing is a bit more time-consuming, but it will taste like a freshly made cheesecake once thawed. Bake and cool/chill your cheesecake in an aluminum pan with a lid. Place the chilled and finished cheesecake in the freezer (covered) for a few hours or until the cheesecake hardens. Then, wrap the entire cheesecake in a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze in an airtight bag for 1 to 2 months.
Thawing: Pull your cheesecake out of the freezer a few hours before serving and thaw in the fridge. Garnish as you please and enjoy!
Yes -if you’d like to save a few steps and use a premade crust, that’s okay. A graham cracker crust or walnut crust would work here.
Baking in a water bath isn’t necessary. You can certainly make a perfect cheesecake without one. However, baking cheesecake in water baths maintains the heat and moisture during baking, so the edges do not cook faster than the center and burn
The jiggle test! Wearing oven mitts, shake the pan. If the perimeter of the cheesecake appears set and the center still has some jiggle, it’s ready.