Melissa Sperka

No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake with a Vanilla Wafer Crust And Praline Pecans

When I saw this No-Bake Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake on the BHG website, I thought it looked most delicious. It also had the added bonus of requiring no oven time. Since my friends here at BHG asked that I give the recipes I’m sharing in the month of November a bit of Southern flair, I thought a nice twist would be to change the crust to vanilla wafers crumbs and add a layer of praline pecans.  Pecans are our beloved nut of choice in the South and pralines are immediately identified as a historic Southern confection.  Pralines are candy clusters comprised of buttery caramelized sugar and nuts.  Originating in Louisiana they have a rich history  that dates back to the 1700′s.  Different versions of praline candy have been rotating through Southern kitchens, bakeries and candy stores ever since.



Keeping with the no-bake concept I whipped up the praline pecans in the microwave.  Instead of adding them into the crust, I chose to sprinkle them on top of the crust adding a surprise layer of decadence and crunch. It provides a very tasty twist to a perfect make-ahead Thanksgiving dessert.  I’ll show you  how I did that, then follow the recipe for the cheesecake filling in the original recipe on BHG here.


Ingredients needed for the Vanilla Wafer Crust and Praline Pecans:

For the Praline Pecans:

2 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp heavy cream

3 Tbsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cup pecan pieces

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the crust:

1 cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3 Tbsp butter, melted


To make the Praline Pecans:  [Cooking time is based on an 1000 watt microwave]

In a medium size microwave safe bowl, melt together the butter and heavy cream for  35-45 seconds.  Add the brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt.  Stir until dissolved.  Return to the microwave and continue to cook on high for 1 minute.

The mixture will be very hot, remove carefully from the microwave.  Add  the pecan pieces and stir well.  Return to the microwave and cook on high for  1 minute.


Add the vanilla and stir until the pecans are evenly coated.  Spread on wax paper to cool.  When cooled, break apart into pieces.


To make the crust, sift together the vanilla wafer crumbs, pumpkin pie spice and melted butter until fully moistened.   Press into the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan and chill.  Sprinkle the praline pecans over the crust then proceed with the filling as directed here using half & half in place of the milk and orange juice needed for the filling.


About Melissa: 

Melissa Sperka is the Publisher, recipe developer and photographer of the blog Melissa’s Southern Style Kitchen. Her blog focuses on creating homemade family-style meals, snacks and desserts as well as many classic Southern favorites. Melissa lives in North Carolina and is a busy Mom to 2 boys.  She is passionate about sharing her love of cooking, baking and entertaining. After winning the National Flour Power! contest, she also gained national attention with her blue ribbon “Nested Potato Skins” featured in Southern Living Magazine. You can also find her at as a featured Contributor.


Caramel Desserts













Naomi Robinson

Double-Chocolate Peppermint Pot de Creme

Tis the peppermint season! This is one of my favorite holiday flavors – it’s crisp, fresh and seems to always put a seasonal touch on any dessert dish. This Double-Deck Pot de Creme is no exception.

I love this recipe for its ease of preparation, but most of all—it’s a no-bake recipe that can be made ahead of time. Which of course makes it holiday-perfect when your oven is busy doing savory, your head is crazy with timing each dish, and one hand is busy balancing a cocktail and the other is busy refilling appetizers, all while carrying on multiple conversations. Okay, so maybe not everyone’s holiday soirees are as I described above, but if you are remotely close to that, then you will love this no-fuss recipe even more.

So keep this recipe classic as you see here or melt a 1/4 cup of crushed peppermint candy into the dark chocolate and finish with a sprinkle of it on top for a holiday touch.

*Recommend peppermint candy: Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses, Andes Peppermint Crunch, Ghiradelli Peppermint Bark.


Michael Wurm, Jr.

Doughnut Hole Cake Pops


Living in the Northeast, I like to take advantage of the warm weather and spend as much of the summer as I can outdoors. This means I’m always looking for ways to lessen my time in the kitchen. I was so excited when I discovered these doughnut hole cake pops from Better Homes and Gardens. After making my individual dessert trifles a few weeks ago, I didn’t think dessert could get any easier. I was wrong.

First things first, BHG has a half-dozen ideas for these doughnut hole pops. You can find all of the recipes here. Today, I decided to try the Honeybee Doughnut Pops and the Candy Bar Doughnut Pops. To get things started, you’re going to need some plain cake doughnut holes. Once you have those, it’s time to have fun in the kitchen.

The frosting for the Honeybee Doughnut Pops is really quick to mix up. It’s softened butter, powdered sugar, honey, and a little milk. That’s it.

Once it’s whipped up, just spoon it on top of your doughnut holes and add a wooden stick and an adorable candy bee! I found both of these items at a local superstore.

Once those were complete, I tried the Candy Bar Doughnut Holes. To make these, just dip each doughnut hole into some warmed-up, store-bought frosting. Then just add a little piece of candy, sprinkles, peanuts, or shredded coconut. The options are endless.

I told you this was simple! In less than 15 minutes, I created two desserts that are not only delicious, but so adorable.

Aren’t those little bees the perfect finishing touch?

Again, you can find the recipes for these doughnut hole pops here. What fun combinations are you going to try?

Hope you’re having a fabulous summer!


Michael Wurm, Jr. – Inspired by Charm