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Maple Walnurt Cheesecake is plated with a drizzle of thickened maple syrup.

Maple Walnut Cheesecake

I’ve wanted to do this recipe for some time now and honor a true Vermonter, John Smith. I met John through my friend and his partner, Patty. John and Patty were very involved in community activities, and they especially enjoyed volunteering their time in support of groups and events that benefited the environment.

I could count on seeing John before the St Albans Maple Festival to pick up the maple products he would need for his baking entry. He spent a significant amount of time sourcing his products and was always very particular. That’s why I took great pride in the fact that he made a special trip to the Carman Brook Farm to purchase his maple products. The day he came to pick up his maple syrup for this cheesecake he handed me a copy of it on letter size paper. Most recipes I rewrite on an index card, but there was always something special about keeping this recipe as it was gifted to me.

Mouthwatering cheesecake made with maple syrup and a walnut topping.

John passed away in the fall of 2019. Every time I make this decadent dessert, I can’t help but think of him. His obituary proclaims that he was an award-winning cook even stating that he was named "Vermont's Best Maple Cook" in 2016 for his original maple walnut cheesecake recipe. 

Maple Cooking Contest

Vermont Blue Ribbon recipes from the St Albans Maple Festival, 15 years of winners.

Every year the Maple Festival holds a cooking contest where bakers and chefs can enter their creations to compete in their event category and try to win the coveted Vermont’s Best Maple Cook for the year. The previous year’s winners are posted on the website for a year. But if you want to get your hands on a festival cookbook of 15 years’ worth of award-winning recipes, you can purchase the “Vermont Maple Festival Blue Ribbon Recipes” cookbook.

Well, the funny thing about that is when I talked to Patty, she said that everyone always thought that this was his recipe, but it was originally hers. With a chuckle, she said she just let that go.

I’ve written the instructions just as John wrote them out with the brands of products that passed his high bar of excellence. As with any shared recipe there are always some things left out that are assumed. For instance, he never states what size springform pan he uses. I just use the one I have, I think his was deeper as he had a better layer of crumbs. Apply what you know, and good luck. It's a delicious rich dessert to enjoy with coffee or tea after a holiday meal.

Nabisco Graham Cracker Crumbs

I’ve always used what I had available in my pantry for the graham cracker crumbs. It is nearly impossible to find the “Nabisco Graham Cracker Crumbs” unless you are a food service and are planning on purchasing a 5-pound bag. If decadent desserts are your thing this may be a really good buy. Otherwise, you’ll need to buy a box of the original Nabisco graham crackers and run them through your food processor.

Graham cracker crumbs pressed into the bottom of a spring form pan to make the foundation for the cheesecake.

Putting it together

Be sure to mix in the eggs one at a time.A few things to know while you are putting this cheesecake together. I did mix the eggs in one at a time. There is so much cream cheese and butter, that I think it helps to incorporate the eggs throughout the mixture and it adds a lot of air.
This recipe makes as full eight cups plus of cheesecake mixture.

I use an 8 cup Pampered Chef measuring cup for mixing and you can see how full it was before putting into my 10 inch spring form pan with 3" sides. So plan accordingly. If you have small spring forms, I would make two.


After sitting an hour in the oven, put the cake on a wire rack to finish cooling and then hit the fridge.

While baking, do not open the oven door. Let your cheesecake cook, shut your oven off and wait the entire hour. I finish the cooling on a wire rack and move the cheesecake to the fridge overnight.


I'm always a little worried it isn't cooked fully, but after sitting over night in the fridge, it seems to come together. It is very smooth and creamy. If anything slightly undercooked as opposed to overcooked. I think you could add an extra 15 minutes to the baking time if you want a firmer cake. 

Maple Walnut Cheesecake Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust

Combine and press into the bottom of a spring form pan:

Cheesecake Filling


  1. Mix the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Gradually add the sugar.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each.
  4. Add vanilla, cinnamon, maple syrup, and lemon juice.
  5. Pour into pan.
  6. Bake 500 degrees F for 6 minutes
  7. Bake 225 degrees F for 1 ½ hour
  8. Cool in the oven for 1 hour.
  9. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.


Before serving you can top off your cheesecake with a variety of toppings. John used caramel sauce drizzled over the top and allowed it to run down the sides. He liked 2 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs sprinkled over the sauce followed by a cup of crushed walnuts. I boil 3/4 cups of maple syrup to thicken it up a bit and drizzle that over the top of the crumbs and walnuts.

There are many toppings that would make this cheesecake your own, you can use any grade of maple syrup, maple cream, maple sugar, pecans, almonds, a few chocolate chips, and pretty much anything else you can think of that combines nicely with maple.

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