Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is your new favorite cheesecake recipe! Baked peanut butter cheesecake with a chocolate ganache and peanut butter cups.
CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE
Chocolate and peanut butter are delicious on their own, but combine them and you get one of the most loved flavor combinations. Add in a creamy cheesecake and that’s where the real magic begins. Whether you are a chocolate lover, a cheesecake lover, or a peanut butter lover, this dessert has something crave-able for everyone!
Any truly decadent, classic cheesecake is a labor of love but one bite of this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake makes it all worth it. Plan about 6 hours from start to finish for a perfectly firm yet creamy cheesecake. Save yourself the stress and worry about the cheesecake layer setting by preparing this dessert the night before an event.
With the Chocolate Ganache and peanut butter cup topping, Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is a stunning dessert. You can always serve it with Whipped Cream pipped on the edges or give an extra layer of sweetness with a Salted Caramel Sauce drizzle. Get really decadent and add a layer of caramel sauce, freeze for an hour to set, and then top with the ganache.
If this is your first time making a cheesecake, or have had some struggles before, you may be hesitant to tackle a flavored cheesecake. Never fear! Not only are there some tips to below help you make a perfect cheesecake, but just between us… a fancy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake recipe isn’t actually any harder than a regular cheesecake recipe!
Tips for Making Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- The number one tip for cheesecake is not to rush it. If you need a fast cheesecake, check out these Mini Cheesecakes, the bars variation below, or a no bake recipe. But an old school cheesecake recipe is going to take patience and time.
- Start with all room temperature ingredients, including the dairy and especially the cream cheese. This will allow you to combine everything easily without over-mixing.
- You don’t want to over-mix the cheesecake layer so beat on low-medium speed. Over-mixing cheesecakes creates more air and causes the filling to puff up when cooking. Then as it cools, the air releases and your cheesecake collapses.
- Be careful not to over-cook your cheesecake. Unlike a regular cake, a cheesecake is meant to be a little jiggly in the middle. Cooking your cheesecake longer will not make it set, only chilling can do that.
- Using a water bath method cooks the cheesecake evenly. You don’t need fancy equipment, just a springform pan wrapped in aluminum foil and a deep pan. Make sure the pan is deep enough for the spring form pan to rest in flat and water can go up the sides about halfway.
- As with most baking recipes, you should not use natural peanut butter. The oils separate easily in natural peanut butter and will ruin the filling. Use the creamy peanut butter that doesn’t need to be stirred.
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VARIATIONS ON PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE
- Oreo Crust: Make a chocolate crust with Oreo cookie crumbs. Just use butter and 20 Oreos, no need for extra sugar. Try this with Nutter Butter Cookies for a peanut butter crust!
- Pretzel Crust: A salty, sweet pretzel crust can be made with 2 cups pretzel crumbs instead of the graham crackers. Use the same amount of butter and sugar.
- Peanut Butter Ganache: Melt in a medium sauce pan 1 cup peanut butter chips and ½ cup heavy cream to make a Peanut Butter Ganache instead of chocolate.
- Chocolate Chips: Gently fold in ½ cup dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or milk chocolate chips for more chocolate-peanut butter flavor. For extra peanut butter, use peanut butter chips.
- Topping: Top with other peanut butter flavored candies, like Reeses Pieces or Peanut Butter M&Ms. Or you can sprinkle crushed salted peanuts over the ganache before it sets.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
- Serve a crowd by making Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease a 13×9 baking dish.
- Double the graham cracker crust recipe and press into the baking dish.
- Prepare the cheesecake layer per recipe card, do not double ingredients.
- Spread cheesecake filling over crust and bake 40-45 minutes, until set and firm.
- Cool completely and top with ganache and peanut butter cups before cutting into squares.
MORE TASTY CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER DESSERTS:
HOW TO STORE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE
- Serve: Chill for at least 4 hours before serving cold. Peanut Butter Cheesecake can be at room temperature for up to 2 hours.
- Store: Cover your Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Freeze Peanut Butter Cheesecake for up to 3 months wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs , 12 full crackers
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 32 ounces cream cheese , softened
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar , packed
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups Chocolate Ganache , recipe
- 1 cup peanut butter cups , chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Wrap a 9" springform pan in a large piece of foil to protect from the water bath and a large pan of water you can set the springform pan in to bake.
Graham Cracker Crust
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs, ⅓ cup sugar and 6 tablespoons melted butter.
- Press crust into the bottom of the springform pan and 1 inch up the sides.
- 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.
- Pour over crust and bake for 60-65 minutes.
- If using a water bath remove the cheesecake from the water bath gently and let cool in the oven.
- If not using a water bath, do not touch the cheesecake at all.
- Turn off oven and open door a couple of inches (to wear it naturally stays open a crack) and let cool in there completely.
- Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
- Top with chocolate ganache and chopped peanut butter cups, if desired.