PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE BARS
These decadent bars have all the peanut butter cup flavor you love in a cheesecake dessert perfect for special occasions! The easy peanut butter cheesecake filling and chocolate cookie crust are made from scratch with regular pantry ingredients. This crowd-pleasing dessert looks fancy, tastes delicious, and is made easily with no water bath or long prep time.
Peanut butter Cheesecake Bars are a tasty, impressive dessert made with pantry staples and everyone’s favorite chocolate sandwich cookies! The buttery Oreo crust doesn’t need any extra sugar, you use the whole cookie so the creme filling helps sweeten and hold the crust together. If you swap out the Oreos for another cookie, like graham crackers, you may want to add a little extra sugar or follow our Graham Cracker Crust Recipe.
These easy and delicious Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars are a peanut butter lover’s dream come true. A decadent cheesecake dessert is perfect all on it’s own, but you could serve them with Whipped Cream on top and a sprinkle of chopped peanut butter cups for an extra special dessert too! During the holidays, you can cut these bars into bite size pieces for your dessert table or gift them to your loved ones.
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- Peanut Butter: A good rule of thumb making a peanut butter recipe is to use regular smooth peanut butter. Natural-style peanut butter is too oily and the crunchy peanut butter is too dry for baking most peanut butter treats.
- Prep: Start with your eggs, butter, and cream cheese room temperature so that they mix easier for smooth texture and to ensure your cheesecake bakes evenly.
- Ganache Topping: Top your Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with a layer of Chocolate Ganache topping for rich, chocolate peanut butter flavor. You could swap half the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips for Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache.
- Make Ahead: You can make these dessert bars ahead of time by preparing them up to the point of baking and then storing them up to 2 days. When you are ready to bake, uncover the cheesecake bars and add 5 minutes to the bake time.
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- Cookie Crust: Instead of the Oreo cookie crust, you can use a traditional graham cracker crust or swap in other crispy cookie crumbs like Shortbread Cookies, gingersnaps, or animal crackers.
- Peanut Butter: You can change the peanut butter to other smooth nut butters like almond butter, cashew butter, or sunflower butter. Whatever nut butter you use, be sure not to use natural or nut butter with the oil separated.
- Peanut Butter Flavor: Add more peanut buttery flavor with peanut butter chips, mini peanut butter cups, melted peanut butter swirl, crushed peanuts. Swap the regular chocolate crust with peanut butter Oreos or other sandwich peanut butter cookies.
- Mix-Ins: Fold in a up to a ½ cup chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, crushed cookie pieces, crushed peanuts, mini M&Ms, or other small candies and nuts.
- Mini Cheesecakes: Line 12 cup muffin tins with paper liners and press 1 tablespoon crust mixture to each cup. Fill with 1-2 tablespoons filling and bake 20-25 minutes, This recipe for cheesecake mixture makes about 3 ½ – 4 dozen mini cheesecakes. You can reduce the servings amount slider in the recipe card by half and make 2 dozen mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes.
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HOW TO STORE
- Serve: Allow your Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars to chill for at least 4 hours before cutting and serving. You can keep cheesecake bars at room temperature for up to 2 hours, but they are best served chilled.
- Store: Transfer set and cut bars to an airtight container or cover the pan with plastic wrap tightly. Store cheesecake bars for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
- Freeze: Once bars are cooled, you can freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight container. Use parchment paper between stacked layers so the bars don’t stick together. Enjoy frozen or thaw first!
- 24 Oreo cookies
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 3/4 cup peanut butter
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/4 cups brown sugar , packed
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup peanut butter cups , chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a 9x13 baking dish with baking spray.
- Add the 24 Oreos and unsalted butter to a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.
- Press Oreo mixture into baking dish evenly.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling:
- Make sure your cream cheese is very soft, if not soft enough warm in microwave on half power until easily mixed with fork.
- In your stand mixer mix the cream cheese until very smooth.
- Add in the peanut butter and mix until completely smooth.
- Add in the eggs and brown sugar until just combined.
- Add in the sour cream, milk and vanilla extract until just combined.
- Carefully spread mixture on the crust.
- Top with chopped peanut butter cups.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, until set and firm.
- Chill completely before serving.