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The winner of the Shakespeare Theatre Company's 2010 Annual Cheesecake Bake-Off. Homemade maple-bacon-pecan crust and candied bacon topping. This was my very first attempt at a homemade cheesecake. It won best topping, tied for best first attempt, and won overall best cheesecake!


Recipe Summary

1 hr 10 mins
5 hrs 10 mins
6 hrs 45 mins
25 mins
1 9-inch cheesecake


Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Mix graham cracker crumbs, pecans, bacon bits, maple syrup, butter, vanilla extract, and salt together in a medium bowl; mixture will be pretty dry. Press enough mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to get a 1/4-inch-thick crust. Reserve extra crumbs for the sides and edges.

  • Bake crust in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly while preparing the filling.

  • Beat cream cheese, maple syrup, and sugar together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add heavy cream, vanilla, almond, and lemon extracts; blend until smooth and creamy. Push mixture through a sieve to ensure a smooth filling.

  • Wrap outside of the pan in a double layer of foil, covering the underside and extending all the way to the top. Set pan in a large roasting pan and pour in enough hot water to reach about halfway up the sides of the springform. Pour filling into the cooled crust.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until edges are puffed and surface of cheesecake is firm except for a small spot in the center that will jiggle when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour.

  • Turn oven off and open door slightly. Let cheesecake cool until nearly room temperature, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool completely to room temperature, about 20 minutes more. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours but preferably 24 to 48 hours.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two 9x13-inch baking sheets with foil. Lay bacon in a single layer on the pans. Brush about 1/4 cup maple syrup over bacon.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until bacon is halfway crispy, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon onto a wire rack to drain the grease. Return bacon to the baking sheets and coat other side with remaining maple syrup. Continue baking until browned and crispy all over, about 10 minutes more.

  • Cool bacon on a wire rack until safe to handle. Cut into small strips and scatter over the finished cheesecake.

Cook's Note:

Feel free to make any flavor adjustments. I was always adding a little more maple syrup here and there!

Nutrition Facts

527 calories; protein 11.8g; carbohydrates 38.8g; fat 36.5g; cholesterol 143.7mg; sodium 592.3mg. Full Nutrition