Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
Seriously indulgent and creamy, these chocolate peanut butter cheesecake bars are like eating a peanut butter cup in cheesecake form. Quicker to bake and chill than a full cheesecake, these layered bars are the perfect choice when you need a crowd-pleasing dessert thats also portable, easy to serve, and handheld.
Im an author, food photographer, baker, and blogger. And as of today, I can add Cheesecake Ambassador to my list of professional titles too. This chocolate peanut butter cheesecake bars recipe is sponsored by PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, whose products Ive long admired and trusted in my baking. Im thrilled to show off their quality cream cheese today and, as always, all opinions are 100% my own.
Today Im breaking down the barrier to making real cheesecake, showing you that its not only delicious, but approachable for all home bakers. A little more special than a batch of cookies and not nearly as overwhelming as a tall layer cake, cheesecake bars are the perfect solution when you need a crowd-pleasing dessert without complicated ingredients.
After testing the recipe, I made them for girls night the other week. I chose this recipe because theyre really easy to prep ahead of time and are extra convenient for serving. No fork needed! Each person literally said these are the best dessert theyve ever had.
Tips To Make The Best Recipe
- Use a spring-form pan if you can- This makes the removal of the cheesecake so easy!
- Your peanut butter should be smooth and drippy in texture. If you use one that is a little firm, you can microwave it for 20-30 seconds, to get it moving. Unless you want a slightly salty flavor, be sure the peanut butter has no added salt.
- Either an 8-inch pan or 9-inch pan will work. If youd prefer a thicker cheesecake, use an 8-inch pan.
How To Make Oreo Cookie Crust
Step 1 is making your oreo cookie crust! Which is thankfully very easy! Youll need a full-size package of classic oreo cookies and a blender or food processor. Here in the states, a full-size package includes 37 oreo cookies, so if you can find the classic size, just combine smaller packages or buy the family size and just use 37 cookies. But make sure theyre the classic cookie in size and variety, because there are so many flavors out there now. And we want classic, not double stuff or any other variety.
Next, youll place those cookies in the body of your blender or food process, and and pulse until the cookies are fine crumbs! Then combine the cookie crumbs with melted butter and viola! You have an oreo cookie crust!
Youre going to press the crust into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. I like to use a small measuring cup to help me press it firmly into the bottom, and then halfway up the sides of the pan.
Youll partially bake this crust then set aside to cool as you make your peanut butter cheesecake batter! P.S. You can totally use graham crackers and make your favorite graham cracker crust for this recipe instead.
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No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake features a buttery graham cracker crust, creamy peanut butter cream cheese filling, and is topped with thick and fudgy chocolate ganache!
Yield:8 to 10 servings
Taste: Like a giant Reeses peanut butter cup!Texture: Super rich, smooth, and creamy.Ease: Very easy no baking, no water baths, nothing difficult.Pros: Simple and delicious recipe perfect for entertaining.Cons: None!Would I make this again? Definitely.
My obsession with peanut butter will never end!
Especially the most perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter.
Add in the characteristic richness and tanginess of cream cheese and its absolute bliss in every bite.
I particularly love this recipe because theres absolutely no baking involved. You dont even need your stove if you have a microwave!
Typically baking a cheesecake usually takes upwards of an hour. Then you have to let it cool to room temperature before you can send it to the fridge to chill for hours. This recipe eliminates those first two steps to save you time and hassle.
This is particularly helpful if youre already using the oven to cook other foods. Or, if its the middle of summer and you dont want to turn your oven on ever again!
The best part? The peanut butter flavor is completely shines in this recipe. It isnt softened through baking. So the taste is actually better!!
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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Batter
Its crucial your ingredients are at room temperature for this part! That means your eggs, heavy whipping cream, and cream cheese should all sit outside of your fridge for at least 30 minutes. I actually prefer to let my cream cheese sit a little bit longer, because the softer it is the easier it is to blend!
Once your ingredients are good to go, youll blend the cream cheese and peanut butter together in a blender, food processor, or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or whisk attachment! I use JIF peanut butter, but any regular peanut butter brand will work! I dont suggest using low-fat or low-sugar/natural varieties for this recipe! Youll want to beat the cream cheese until its creamy and relatively lump free, then add the remaining ingredients!
What You Need To Make This Recipe
Chocolate sandwich cookies the crust recipe uses about a whole 15.35oz package of Oreos. You can use regular or double-stuffed Oreos. You can use graham crackers if youre not a fan of chocolate sandwich cookies.
Butter to help the crust hold together, youll need melted butter. Make sure to buy unsalted butter to keep the crust from tasting salty.
Cream cheese for the cheesecake batter, I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor. Do not buy the spreadable type from a tub. Cold cream cheese will lead to a lumpy batter so always bring the cream cheese to room temperature beforehand.
Sour cream to make the cheesecake filling soft, moist, and tender, youll need full-fat sour cream. It also provides a nice tangy flavor to the cheesecake. If you forgot to pick some sour cream up, try making my homemade sour cream with only three ingredients.
Peanut butter make sure you buy creamy and not chunky peanut butter. I dont recommend using natural peanut butter for the filling, as itll be too runny for the cheesecake filling.
Eggs eggs help make the filling smooth and give it a rich texture.
Heavy whipping cream youll need heavy whipping cream to add moisture and soften the texture of the cheesecake. Itll also be the base of the ganache.
Chocolate I recommend using high-quality pure chocolate baking bars for the chocolate ganache as they melt smoother than chocolate chips.
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Note About Ovens And Oven Temperatures
All my recipes are tested and developed with a conventional oven. I always bake my baked goods on the rack placed in the MIDDLE of my oven. This way the heat coming from the bottom will not burn my baked goods.
If you are baking with convection , please adjust the recipes accordingly. Be also prepared that the convection oven can cause your baked goods to dry out quickly and still be raw inside. Be aware that it takes at least 15-20 minutes for a standard American Oven to be fully preheated. I highly recommend investing in an Oven Thermometer.
What Pan Do I Need To Make Peanut Butter Cheesecake
For my small peanut butter cheesecake recipe, youll need a 6 inch springform pan.
You need to remove the sides so the cheesecake retains its shape, hence the springform pan. Cheesecake is too delicate to invert like you would with a cake.
The pan I bought is this 6 x 2 inch springform pan , which is the perfect size for your small cheesecake.
You can also buy a 6 x 3 inch springform pan . That just means youll have slightly more pan room at the top.
This recipe will not work in a round cake pan because itll be too challenging to remove.
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Trishs Tips And Tricks
- Plan aheadwhen making this no bake cheesecake. It does require a good six hours of chilling time to properly set up. I prefer to let this chill overnight for optimal texture.
- Make sure cream cheese is at room temperature so it mixes in easily.
- Make mini cheesecakes by piping the filling into a lined muffin tin. Use an OREO for the crust to make it extra easy.
- Add a layer of chopped Reeses to the top of the crust before adding the filling for even more Reeses flavor.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
If theres nothing you love more in the world than the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, you must try this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake recipe! Oreo crust, creamy peanut butter cheesecake filling with chocolate chips, milk chocolate ganache, and a pile of chopped Reeses cups on top, equals pure bliss!
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Layers Of Cheesecake Goodness
There are 4 layers in this cheesecake. Yep 4 layers of goodness!
First is the base. I don’t know about you but for me, the base is an important component in a no bake cheesecake as it gives the texture and that salty touch to balance out the sweetness of the whole cheesecake.
So yes, I do count the base as 1 layer.
And then the chocolate layer. Ohh wow!
Do you know how difficult it is to restrain yourself from not taking a spoon of that yummilicious chocolate cheesecake layer when filming this video? Well it’s very difficult, trust me.
Apart from restraining myself, I have to keep slapping somebody’s hand from stealing some also.
And who says cooking is easy, eh?
So, I’m using semisweet chocolate that I melt before I start making the cheesecake. This is so that the chocolate has a chance to cool a bit by the time I mix it with the cream cheese mixture.
Talking about cream cheese, let’s remember to always use it at room temperature ok?
I chill the chocolate layer in the fridge for a while so that it gets a chance to set a bit before I start making the next layer.
Talking about next layer. Peanut butter layer!
Try use toasted peanut butter, it makes such a difference. I’m using smooth peanut butter to get that smooth texture. If you don’t mind and prefer the crunchy peanut butter, then by all means use it.
I also heat the peanut butter a bit in the microwave to that it’s a bit runny. This will make it easier when I mix it with the cream cheese mixture later. So a tip for you.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe
I hope youve been enjoying my blog about Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe! In this blog post, Ill be outlining the ingredients and equipment required for the peanut butter cheesecake recipe. I hope this information will come in handy for all you budding chefs out there!
While I love chocolate, I also love peanut butter and chocolate. This homemade peanut butter cheesecake recipe for is one of my favorites. With the holidays coming up, this is a perfect choice for your Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dessert table.
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Which Cream Cheese Is Best For Cheesecake
Use high quality full fat bricks of cream cheese for this recipe. No spreadable cream cheese meant for bagels. Make sure the cream cheese is COMPLETELY softened to room temperature so it blends into a smooth and creamy filling with no lumps.
Since were not baking this recipe, you can fill your springform pan all the way up to the top with the filling.
The Peanut Butter
Use a creamy commercial peanut butter like Skippy or Jif where the oil isnt separated. If your peanut butter is too oily the cheesecake filling will separate and not hold its shape well.
How to serve cheesecake:
This cheesecake needs to hang out in the fridge for at least 6 hours before slicing and serving. I usually just make it the day before I plan to serve it.
For clean slices, use a big sharp knife and run it under hot water and wipe if off in between slices. If your cheesecake feels a little loose, try freezing it for 30 minutes or longer before slicing.
How to store cheesecake:
You can store this cheesecake in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week.
Bake The Cheesecake Low And Slow
Bake the cheesecake in a water bath at 300°F for one hour. Then, turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for another hour. Do not crack the oven door.
I know a lot of other recipes tell you to crack the door, but dont do it. Trust me on this. Leave the door closed to allow the oven to cool down slowly.
This is a process you dont want to rush because it also helps keep the top from cracking.
After the cheesecake has cooled in the oven for an hour, it needs to sit at room temperature until its completely cool to the touch. Then, refrigerate it for at least 4 hours but overnight is best.
I decided to top the cheesecake with chocolate ganache and garnish it with chopped peanuts.
The ganache is super simple. Just warm heavy cream in a saucepan and pour it over chopped chocolate. Let it sit for a minute then stir it until melted and smooth. Spread it over the top of the cheesecake and pop it back in the refrigerator until it sets.
Cheesecakes are extremely time-consuming but one bite of this chocolate peanut butter cheesecake will make it all worthwhile.
Did you try this recipe?I would love for you to leave me a 5-star rating or comment. This way, I have a better understanding of which recipes you like and can create more of them.
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Tips To Make The Cheesecake Batter
- Room temperature ingredients- Pull out all the dairy ingredients out at least 2 hours before baking. The cream cheese, sour cream, heavy cream, and the eggs. If any of these are too cold, you will get a lumpy batter.
- Full fat ingredients- Use full fat cream cheese, sour cream, and heavy cream. If you use less fat on any of these it will dramatically change the texture and bake.
- Peanut butter- Use JIF or Skippy creamy peanut butter. Natural peanut butter is too loose of a texture for this recipe.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter- Add these in one at a time, but these all need to be beaten on high. The goal is to make the mixture as creamy as possible.
- Add in sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla- Mix these in, and make sure it is super smooth batter at this point. Lumps can’t be fixed after adding in the eggs
- Add in the eggs- The eggs need to be mixed in one at a time. Mix these in on low. Right before the last egg is mixed in, scrape the bowl to make sure it is all combined. Stop mixing once just combined. Adding too much air at this step will cause air bubbles that lead to cracked cheesecake.
- Scrape the bowl- Scrape the bowl often during this process. This step is crucial.
Do I Need A Water Bath For Cheesecake
Yes, you need a water bath for your peanut butter cup cheesecake.
Because a 6 inch cheesecake is thick, you need a water bath to ensure the middle finishes baking before the top is too brown.
First, wrap your springform pan in foil so water doesnt sneak in and ruin your crust.
After filling your springform pan, place it inside an 8×8 pan or larger.
Next, pour hot water into the outside pan until the springform pan is halfway submerged in the water. Be careful you dont accidentally splash water into the foil.
Now carefully transfer your pan to the oven and bake until finished.
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Time To Bake Cheesecake
You made it! Its time to pop that beautiful peanut butter cheesecake in the oven! Youre going to place your foil wrapped pan into a large roasting pan or skillet and place it on the middle rack in your preheated oven. Slowly fill the pan up with 2 inches of hot water, then carefully push the cheesecake into the middle of the rack, close the door, and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes!
Once the cooking time is up, youll leave the cheesecake in the oven, with the door shut, but the oven turned off, for another 20 minutes. Then remove the cheesecake and place on a wire rack to cool completely. Finally, place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight!
How To Make The Ganache
This ganache-covered cheesecake is perfect for a party. Peanut butter and chocolate are always a delicious combination. To make the chocolate ganache topping for this peanut butter cheesecake you’ll need heavy cream and chocolate chips. You can use semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips- it’s up to you! Combine chocolate chips in a bowl with the heavy whipping cream and slowly melt them. It’s easy to use a microwave for this step, just be sure not to burn the chocolate!
It’s best to heat it for 30 seconds at a time. When everything is melted, mix it well until it’s creamy and glossy.
Now for the best part: pour the ganache over the cheesecake and let some drip over the edge. This makes the most beautiful cake design. Then top it with mini Reese’s Piece, chopped peanut butter cups, or quartered Reese’s chocolate candies! You can even add peanut butter chips for some extra peanut buttery flavor.
If you have leftover ganache, you can store it in the refrigerator for up to a week and use it as a topping on a hot brownie topped with even more Reese’s cups! The combination of the Oreo crust with chocolate and peanut butter makes this an amazing cheesecake.
This peanut butter cheesecake is now ready to enjoy!
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