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Christmas Piecaken

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This Christmas piecaken is the perfect combination of pecan pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, and red velvet cake. It’s an over the top Christmas dessert that is sure to impress!

Christmas Piecaken sliced and shown sideways

I’m here today with one heck of an extreme totally over the top Christmas dessert – CHRISTMAS PIECAKEN!

Yes, a piecaken.

Which for this recipe is a mix of pecan pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, and red velvet cake all smothered in a creamy buttercream frosting.

It’s definitely on the decadent side of desserts but if you’re looking for a challenge with a sweet reward this recipe is for you!

And while it might look intimidating I’m going to walk you through all the steps complete with tips to make this dessert a total success!

A slice of Christmas piecaken being taken from the cake

What is a piecaken?

I first heard about piecaken from an article I read in The New York Times back in 2015. It was a mixture of spice cake, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and, apple pie.

I literally drooled the first time I saw a picture.

However, I took that idea and transformed it into the Christmas dessert of my dreams!

I went ahead and picked a few of my favorite things – pecan pie, vanilla bean cheesecake, red velvet cake, and put them all together to create my perfect version of piecaken.

Of course, I slathered it all with buttercream because you can literally never go wrong with buttercream.

Christmas piecaken full cake

How do I make a piecaken?

Now, I’m going to start off by saying there is a lot of steps that need to be completed before you even start assembling your piecaken.

However, with some patience I think you can 100% pull this off.

I made each layer individually and then let them all sit overnight in the refrigerator to fully set up.

If you want to make things easier you could always use a store-bought pecan pie or cheesecake.

Christmas piecaken sliced to show the inside of the full cake

Tips for making a piecaken?

Here is the BIGGEST tip:

Make all the layers the day before and let them fully sit in the fridge overnight!

This helps make sure that all the layers all perfectly set and will be able to support the weight of them being stacked.

The other biggest tip is PATIENCE.

Which, I realize can be short this time of the year but anytime you’re about to tackle a cake this size you’ll need just a bit of patience.

I also like to use a disposable pie plate when I make the pecan pie because I can easily cut the plate away from the pie to make for an easy removal.

It’s also super important

Christmas piecaken bite on a fork

Can I use a different type of pie?

Yes, but you’ll want to make sure you use something that is VERY sturdy as this is the base of the Christmas piecaken.

You could try using a firm pumpkin pie or a double crust sturdy apple pie.

Can I use a different flavor cheesecake?

In my opinion this is a much easier substitution.

You can flavor it with pretty much anything but I kept it vanilla bean so it would blend nicely with the flavors of the red velvet cake and the pecan pie.

I think an eggnog flavored cheesecake would be SO GOOD in this recipe.

Can I use a different flavor cake?

Since this is a Christmas piecaken I went with red velvet to keep it festive BUT you could easily substitute with your favorite flavor of cake.

I almost went with chocolate cake (can you ever go wrong with chocolate cake?) but did a last-minute change to red velvet.

Christmas piecaken sliced to show all the layers

How do I store this piecaken?

Unless you have a very large family there is likely going to be a few leftovers!

You’ll need to keep this in the refrigerator since it includes both cheesecake and buttercream frosting.

Carefully cover it in plastic wrap, making sure to push up some against the sides of the cut cake to keep the inside of the piecaken fresh, and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Christmas piecaken slice with a bite taken from the front

Do you love this Christmas Piecaken?

Why not try a few of my other delicious holiday dessert recipes!

Christmas Piecaken

Christmas Piecaken

Yield: 14 servings
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 2 hours
Additional Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 4 hours

Ingredients

For Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1-1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divded
  • 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 large eggs

For Pecan Pie Layer:

  • 1 premade pie crust
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups pecans, chopped

For Red Velvet Cake:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1-2 drops red food color

For Frosting:

  • 8 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6-8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Instructions

Cheesecake Layer:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick spray and line the bottom with parchment paper for easy removal later. 
  2. In a small bowl mix together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 cup granulated sugar.
  3. Mix together until well combined.
  4. Press firmly into the bottom and sides of the prepared pan.
  5. Bake for 5-7 minutes or until the crust is just lightly toasted.
  6. Let cook while you prepare the cheesecake batter.
  7. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, cream the cream cheese for 2-3 minutes or until smooth and there are no lumps. 
  8. Gradually add in the sugar and flour and mix until well combined. 
  9. Add the vanilla bean paste and mix until just combined. 
  10. Add in the heavy cream and start on low speed and slowly increase to high and mix for 1 minute.
  11. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for 30 seconds to one minute to make sure there are no lumps. 
  12. Add the eggs last, one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. 
  13. Pour the batter into the springform pan and gently tap on the counter 5-6 times to release any air bubbles. 
  14. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
  15. Reduce heat, without opening the oven door, to 200 degrees F. and cook for an additional 50-55 minutes or until the center slightly shakes. (Like Jell-o, it shouldn’t look watery) 
  16. Turn off the heat and let the cheesecake set in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes.
  17. Then slightly crack the oven door and let the cheesecake slowly cool for about 15 minutes. 
  18. Remove from the oven and allow to come to room temperature.
  19. Place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Pecan Pie layer: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch aluminum pie dish with non-stick spray, set aside.
  2. Roll your refrigerated pie crust to about a 12-inch circle and place it in the pie dish. Cut off any extra dough. 
  3. Place the crust in the refrigerator as you prepare the filling. 
  4. Add corn syrup, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and butter into a medium saucepan.
  5. Heat over medium heat until the butter is melted and both sugars are completely melted. 
  6. Remove from heat and add in the vanilla extract. 
  7. Let the sugar mixture cool slightly.
  8. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy.
  9. Slowly pour the eggs into the slightly cooled sugar mixture while vigorously whisking to combine. (Pro tip: If you see bits of scrambled egg in your mixture, just run through a strainer and you will be good to go) 
  10. Spread out the pecans on the bottom of the pie crust and carefully pour the sugar mixture over the pecans. 
  11. Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until the center slightly jiggles but the outside is set. 
  12. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
  13. Refrigerator overnight.

Cake Layer: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray a 9-inch cake pan with non-stick spray and dust with flour, set aside. 
  2. Add the egg, vegetable oil, buttermilk, granulated sugar, vinegar, and vanilla extract into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
  3. Whisk on high speed until combined. 
  4. In a smaller mixing bowl mix together flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture and slowly whisk until fully combined.
  6. Add the red food coloring and mix until you get the desired color. 
  7. Pour into the prepared cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. 
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature and then turn out onto cling wrap and wrap well.
  9. Place in the refrigerator overnight. 

Frosting: 

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment, add the butter.
  2. Mix on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until the butter is smooth and fluffy. 
  3. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar one cup at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.
  4. Add the cinnamon and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and give a quick mix. 
  5. Next, add the vanilla and heavy cream and mix on high speed for 1-2 minutes or until you have a “whipped” consistency. 

Assembly: 

  1. Remove the pecan pie from the pie dish and if desired remove any extra crust and place it on a cake stand or serving plate.
  2. Top with about 3/4 cup frosting and smooth evenly. 
  3. Top with the cheesecake layer and top with about 3/4 cup frosting and smooth. 
  4. Finally, place the cake layer on top and smooth half of the remaining buttercream over the entire cake filling any holes in the layers. (It does not have to be pretty; the point is to fill the cracks and seal in the crumbs) 
  5. Place the cake in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes or until the buttercream slightly hardens. 
  6. Smooth the remaining buttercream over the cake and pipe a border around the top if desired.
  7. Top with crushed pecans and serve.

Notes

  • You want to prepare each layer at LEAST one day before you plan to assemble. Each layer must be set completely before stacking.
  • I found it was easier to use an aluminum pie pan when baking so I could just cut off the pan to remove the pie instead of trying to remove it from a traditional glass pie dish. 
  • I also cut off the extra crust from the pie before stacking, I found this was easier to stack and frost, but it is a personal preference. 

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 2481Total Fat: 86gSaturated Fat: 42gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 39gCholesterol: 247mgSodium: 257mgCarbohydrates: 437gFiber: 2gSugar: 415gProtein: 7g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Did you make this recipe?

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