This easy no-bake maple cheesecake is perfect in the summer as well as in the fall. Refreshing and full of flavour, it has a pecan and biscuit base and lovely bits of roasted candied pecans on top. All sweetened with pure maple syrup, with the exception of the biscuits in the crust, this maple cheesecake is almost entirely refined sugar free.
I am a cheesecake person. I mean, unless you have a problem with dairy, who wouldn’t be a cheesecake person? Cheesecakes are great. And as much as I love baked cheesecakes, I never ever tire of making no-bake cheesecakes. They’re so easy. And so perfect in the summer when it’s too hot to have the oven on.
Maple pecan is usually a flavour combination associated with fall, but why not enjoy this great combo in the summer, too? Or, why not make no-bake cheesecake year round? Here’s a maple pecan cheesecake recipe that is as perfect in the summer as it is in the winter.
Maple pecan cheesecake
Maybe it’s just me who associates pecans and maple syrup with autumn. I got addicted to this combo when I did my internship in Canada. Got to spend three months in Toronto and it happened to be between September and December. When I discovered Tim Hortons’ maple pecan danishes I just couldn’t get enough. How during that stay I also lost weight is a mystery. My body ran on Tim Hortons in the morning and wine in the evening.
To my delight I found back my favourite pastries in Sweden! A country devoted to fresh pastry, Sweden did not disappoint. Local supermarkets have maple pecan danishes among their fika selection. And they’re cheap!! In Sweden I did not lose weight. Or rather, my weight fluctuates a lot here. There must be some correlation with the availability of maple pecan danishes or lack thereof, I believe.
Maple no-bake cheesecake recipe
Set a small amount of whipped cream on medium heat and warm up until it almost boils. Soak the gelatin sheets in cold water for a couple of minutes, then drain, squeeze out excess water and add to hot cream. Stir to dissolve and let cool to room temperature. Whip the rest of the whipping cream to hard peaks and set aside.
In another bowl, mix the cream cheese and maple syrup at medium speed until combined. When the gelatin mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir that in. Lastly, fold in the whipped cream, in two batches. That’s pretty much it, making no-bake cheesecake is really easy. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the pecan biscuit base (instructions below) and distribute evenly. Place in the fridge to set.
The only downside of no-bake cheesecakes is that they take some time to set. A minimum of 5 hours or, better, overnight. That’s why I like to make my no-bake cheesecakes in the evening, so I can leave it in the fridge overnight and the following day I have a cake ready for me from the very beginning of my day! Isn’t that a wonderful thing to wake up to?
How to make the pecan digestive crust
Maple syrup and pecans are a match made in heaven. Sure you could be using other nuts, but the buttery texture of pecans is something I just adore. This is why I decided to infuse the cheesecake base with some ground pecans. My go-to cheesecake crust option is usually very simple and only requires 2 ingredients: Digestive biscuits and butter. For this no-bake maple cheesecake I decided to add a third ingredient: pecans!
To make the cheesecake base you just need to combine the biscuits and pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. If you are not blessed with a proper food processor like me, it’s okay to work in batches or just grind the ingredients separately. Just make sure to combine them once ground. Then you just need to melt the butter and stir it into the ground biscuit and pecan mixture.
In my pecan crust I chose to use salted butter. And no added sugar! Digestive biscuits are not the sweetest biscuits out there, so what’s the trick? No tricks, I intentionally made the cheesecake base non-sweet. Slightly salty, actually. Wait until you eat it together with the sweet maple syrup cheesecake. The use of salted butter in the cheesecake base will yield a wonderful balance in the final product.
Please note that the amount of salt used in butter may vary from country to country. I am based in Sweden and here we have two varieties of salted butter: the regular (1,2 g salt per 100 g) and the extra (1,8 g salt per 100 g). In this recipe I used the regular one (normalsaltat).
No-bake maple cheesecake topping
You can top your no-bake cheesecake with anything you fancy, but my choice would be roasted maple pecans and some maple whipped cream piped here and there. You can choose to only decorate part of the cake top, like I did, or just distribute the decoration all over the cake surface.
To make roasted pecans you just need to chop your pecans and coat them with some maple syrup, then roast in the oven for a few minutes. Whole pecans take about 10 minutes at 200°C, so if roasting chopped pecans 5 minutes will be enough. Just remember to let them cool to room temperature or the hot nuts will melt the cheesecake.
As for the maple-flavoured whipped cream, you just need to sweeten the cream with a couple of tablespoons of maple syrup and whip it to hard peaks. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag and get creative. You can as well just present the cake bare and let the guests take the toppings directly on their slice. Serve the cake with the roasted nuts in a bowl and a couple of piping bags with different piping tips on the side and let everyone get creative.
More no-bake cheesecake inspiration
If you like no-bake cheesecakes, make sure to try this dark chocolate cheesecake with freeze-dried raspberries. Lover of cookies and cream? Try this small Oreo cheesecake. In the mood for more “cold season flavours”? This gingerbread cheesecake will become your next favourite! These are all cheesecakes I really love myself. What is your favourite?
No-bake maple cheesecake with a pecan crust
A maple pecan no-bake cheesecake with a pecan digestive biscuit base. Almost entirely refined sugar free, this no-bake cheesecake is swettened with pure maple syrup. Candied pecans on top and in the base complement the maple flavour.
For the base
- 120 g Digestive biscuits
- 80 g pecans
- 120 g salted butter
For the cheesecake
- 600 g cream cheese
- 240 ml pure maple syrup (1 cup)
- 400 ml whipping cream
- 3 gelatin sheets (or equivalent alternative)
For the decoration
- 100 ml whipping cream
- 60 g pecans
- 2+1 tbsp maple syrup (divided)
To make the pecan crust base
Combine the Digestive biscuits and pecans in a food processor and pulse until finely crushed. Melt the salted butter in a small saucepan. Add melted butter to biscuit mixture and stir to combine. Distribute mixture over the bottom of a springform pan lined with a sheet of baking paper and press down uniformly. Keep refrigerated until cheesecake mixture is ready.
To make the maple cheesecake filling
Soak the gelatin in cold water for about 5 minutes. Warm 50 ml of cream in a small saucepan and take away from heat before it boils. Drain gelatin and dissolve in hot cream. Let cool to room temperature.
Combine the cream cheese and maple syrup and mix with a hand mixer until combined. In another container, whip the cream to hard peaks.
When the gelatin mix has cooled, stir into cream cheese mixture. Lastly, fold in whipped cream. Pour cheesecake mix into pan over the pecan biscuit crust. Let set in the frige for a minimum of 5 hours (better overnight).
For the decoration
Chop the pecans and combine with 1 tbsp of maple syrup. Spread over an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake at 200°C for 5 minutes. Let cool completely before using on the cake, as they may melt the cheesecake if used hot.
Combine whipping cream and 2 tbsp of maple syrup and beat to hard peaks. Pipe onto cheesecake as desired.
For the decoration on my cake I used way less toasted pecans and maple whipped cream as in the recipe. The quantities given should allow for decoration of all the cake. Scale down accordingly if planning to make a smaller decoration, or just enjoy candied pecans and maple cream as a snack.