Perfect Pecan Cheesecake Squares

A few years ago I had the best Pecan Cheesecake dessert. It had a soft shortbread crust, then a layer of sweet and smooth cheesecake, topped with pecan pie! My mom loves pecan-anything, so I knew she would love this. So I went on the hunt so I could make it for her for Mother’s Day. After months of trying to find the recipe that was just like my first Pecan Cheesecake encounter, I finally found one that I loved! Thanks to Positively Splendid, my Pecan Cheesecake dreams came true, and I was able to share this perfect pecan treat with my mom! She of course loved it (how can you not) and it is forever our Mother’s Day treat!

Here is the link for Positively Splendid’s Pecan Cheesecake Squares, and I did not change a thing! She hit a home run with this one and it is perfect in every way!

The recipe seems like it will take forever and may seem complicated and overwhelming, but it is really simple, it just takes a bit of time to bake each layer! You will make and bake each layer, starting with the shortbread layer. Now there were a few recipes I tried that had a graham cracker crust, and it was good, but the shortbread is where it’s at!

Grease a 9×13 baking pan, and heat your oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, add your flour, softened butter, brown sugar and finely chopped/crushed pecans. (I throw my pecans in a zip top bag and use my meat mallet to crush them). Mix it all together until it is a crumbly mixture. Then press it into your 9×13 baking pan. Bake it for 10 minutes then let it cool while you make the cream cheese/cheesecake layer.

The cheesecake layer is simple. It is 2 packages of cream cheese, softened so it mixes well, sugar, milk and vanilla extract. I put mine in my mixer so it mixes until smooth. Then spread it on your shortbread crust, and back into the oven for 15 minutes. Let it cook and then cool while you make your Pecan Pie layer.

Now Pecan Pie always intimidated me so I was a little worried when I was making this layer but it has never failed and is so easy! So don’t be nervous. Take your brown sugar, light corn syrup, and melted and cooled butter and mix it together. Then slowly add in your beaten eggs. Mix until combined. Then add your salt, vanilla extract, and pecans (I just used more of the crushed ones, but you can use whole pieces). Spread over the cheesecake layer and back into the oven for 35-40 minutes or until it is set in the middle and a the pecan pie layer turns a rich golden brown. Take it out of the oven and let it cool. Cut into squares and enjoy!

You will love this dessert and it will become a new family favorite! Hope you enjoy!

Perfect Pecan Cheesecake Squares

These Perfect Pecan Cheesecake Squares are the perfect treat for any occasion. They have a soft shortbread crust, a smooth and creamy cheesecake, topped with a layer of pecan pie.
This will make a 9×13 pan


For the Shortbread Layer

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened, room temperature
  • ½ cup finely chopped/crushed pecans see notes

For the Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Pecan Pie Layer

  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • cup butter, melted than cooled a bit
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, whole or chopped/crushed see notes


For the Shortbread Layer

  • Preheat your oven to 350°. Prepare/grease a 9×13 baking pan/dish.
  • In a medium bowl, add the flour, brown sugar and softened butter. Mix until crumbly and well combined. Add the chopped/crushed pecans, mix well. Press into your greased 9×13 pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool while you make the cheesecake layer.

For the Cheesecake Layer

  • In a mixer, mix your cream cheese until smooth. Then add your sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix well. Pour over the shortbread layer and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool while you make the pecan pie layer.

For the Pecan Pie Layer

  • In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, corn syrup and melted/cooled butter. mix well. Slowly add in your beaten eggs and mix well. Add your salt and vanilla, mix well. Add your pecans (whole or chopped depending on your preference.) Mix well. Pour over the cheesecake layer and bake again for 35-40 minutes or until the center of the pecan pie layer is set and the pecan layer is a rich brown color. Remove from oven and let cool.
  • Cut into squares and enjoy!


I put my pecans in a zip top bag and crush them with a meat mallet.  I use the crushed pecans for the shortbread layer and the pecan pie layer.  You have to use finely cut or crushed pecans for the shortbread layer, but you can choose to use whole pecans for the pecan pie layer or crushed. 

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