A cheesecake is a classic dessert and Crown Royal is a classic whisky. It’s a real love match when you mix the two. Invite smoke and apples to the party, and you’ve got something magical like this indulgent smoked Crown Apple Cheesecake recipe by champion cook Jackie Milligan. This is, in fact, the recipe that won her first contest and she is sharing with us! 

Team Chupacabra competition cooking

Jackie Milligan was nice enough to share this recipe for her Crown Apple Smoked Cheesecake and Cinnamon Graham Cracker Pecan Cookie Crust. It’s a real treat to have such an esteemed cook and all-around great griller in the GrillGirl family.


Smoked cheesecake recipe, cheesecake recipe, crown apple cheesecake




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Crown Royal Apple Smoked Cheesecake by Jackie Milligan

Crown Apple Smoked Cheesecake recipe

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  • Author: Jackie Milligan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


This smoked cheesecake recipe (courtesy of competition cooking champion Jackie Milligan) incorporates Crown Royal in the apple topping and in the rich cheesecake filling.

All that Crown Royal and apple flavored goodness is held together in a cinnamon graham cracker and pecan cookie crust. Yum!

Let us know in the comments what you thought of this recipe. Don't forget to post photos of your creation on social media and tag @grillgirlrobyn!



Cinnamon Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs

  • ½ cup cookie pieces pecans

  • ½ cup melted butter

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 ⅓ light brown sugar

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 ounce Crown Royal

Apple Brown Sugar Topping:

  • 5 Granny Smith apples

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar

  • 1 tbsp melted butter

  • 3 ounces Crown Royal

Crown Royal topping:

  • ¼ cup apple jelly

  • 2 ounces Crown Royal


  1. Heat smoker or oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mix cinnamon graham cracker crumbs, ½ cup pecan cookie pieces and melted butter. Place mixture into a 9-inch springform pan.
  3. Place in smoker for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Remove from pit and place onto a wire rack to cool.
  5. Peel apples and cut into ¼ inch wedges.
  6. Place apple wedges into a small aluminum pan and mix with ⅓ cup light brown sugar, 1 tbsp melted butter and 3 ounces Crown Royal. Place in pit and smoke until apples are tender, about 20 minutes.
  7. Mix 3 softened cream cheese blocks, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 ounce Crown Royal and 1 ⅓ light brown sugar with a stand mixer until blended and smooth.  Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well blended and smooth.
  8. Pour batter into cooled crust.
  9. Place in smoker for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. Cheesecake will have a nice golden color with a lil' jiggle when done. You may also use a toothpick to check doneness.
  11. Let cheesecake cool.
  12. Drain apple wedges and arrange them on top of cheesecake. Dust with a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  13. On a stove-top, cook ¼ cup apple jelly with 2 ounces Crown Royal in a small saucepan over medium to low heat, stirring constantly, until jelly melts.
  14. Brush jelly mixture over apples.
  15. Chill cheesecake overnight, then enjoy!


  • For a variation perfect for summer, use Cruzan Strawberry Rum in place of Crown Royal, and fresh strawberries instead of apples. It's AWESOME!
  • I don't smoke the strawberries, I just let them soak with the Cruzan Strawberry Rum, white cane sugar and a touch of Patron orange liquor.
  • You can also put a thin layer of whipped cream between the cheesecake and fruit.
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 45 min
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Smoked

About Jackie Milligan

Jackie Milligan competes at the 2019 World Food Championship

Jackie Milligan is a talented pitmaster and fierce competition cook from San Antonio, Texas. As you can tell from her Crown Apple Cheesecake recipe, she’s also an incredible dessert chef. She first started competing at BBQ cookoffs in the dessert categories while her husband was in other categories.

Jackie Milligan now competes as Team Chupacabra. At the 2019 World Food Championships, Jackie and her team won the EAT barbecue portion of the BBQ contest, got 3rd overall in the IBCA portion of the BBQ contest, won the Fire Woman Challenge,  and took 8th overall in the BBQ finals.

Jackie Milligan is a competition BBQ cook

We can’t wait to see where Jackie’s cooking career takes her next!

If you know of a female outdoor cook who we should feature on GrillGirl.com please email robyn@grillgirl.com to let us know!


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