This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake starts with an Oreo cookie crust, followed by a rich peanut butter filling, then topped with chocolate ganache and chopped peanuts. It’s a decadent dessert that is well worth the effort of making a baked cheesecake.
It’s no secret I love cheesecake. I have so many different cheesecake recipes on the blog and will continue to add to the collection.
Today’s recipe is a play off my popular Nutella Cheesecake. The recipe is pretty much exactly the same with the exception of using peanut butter instead of Nutella.
Make sure you read through my post on how to make the best cheesecake. There you’ll learn all of my favorite tips and tricks for making a perfect cheesecake. If you follow these tips, your cheesecakes will come out creamy and free of cracks.
Chocolate cookie crust
The chocolate peanut butter cheesecake begins with a chocolate crust made with chocolate filled Oreos just like my peanut butter pie recipe. You can use any fudge-filled sandwich cookie that resembles an Oreo.
Pulverise 30 cookies in a food processor or smash them in a zip-top bag with a rolling pin. You should end up with about two and a half cups of cookie crumbs.
Mix the crumbs with melted butter and press it into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350°F.
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Peanut butter cheesecake filling
The creamy peanut butter filling calls for cream cheese, heavy cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, peanut butter, and eggs. Basically, your staple cheesecake ingredients with the addition of peanut butter.
I have a specific order for adding the ingredients to the filling. The reason behind this is to achieve an ultra creamy filling. So be sure to follow the recipe exactly when mixing the filling.
First, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Then mix in the sugar, salt, vanilla until well combined. Beat in the cream until the filling is light and creamy. Mix in the peanut butter next. And finally, fold in lightly beaten eggs.
Don’t use the mixer to beat in the eggs! It’s important that you fold them in with a spatula. Using a mixer will whip too much air into the eggs causing the cheesecake to puff up during baking. It will then deflate as it cools causing cracks to form on the surface.
I preach this with every cheesecake I share with you. I’m sorry for constantly repeating myself but it’s really the most valuable cheesecake advice I can give you.
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 don’t do it. Trust me on this. Leave the door closed to allow the oven to cool down slowly.
This is a process you don’t 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 it’s 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.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
For the crust
- 2 and 1/2 cups (250 grams) fudge filled cookie crumbs about 30 sandwich cookies, such as Oreos
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
For the filling
For the glaze
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream
- 8 ounces (226 grams) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Make the crust
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Wrap the outer bottom of a 9-inch springform pan tightly with aluminum foil. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and about 2-inches up the sides of the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool while you make the filling.
Make the filling
- Reduce the oven temperature to 300ºF.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Add the sugar, salt, and vanilla, beat on low speed until well combined. Add the heavy cream and beat on low speed until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Using a silicone spatula, gently stir in the eggs just until combined.
- Pour the batter over the crust in the prepared pan. Place the cheesecake inside a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. (Alternatively, you can place the roasting pan filled with water on the lower rack of the oven.)
- Bake for 1 hour, OR until the edges are set and the center is slightly jiggly. Turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in the water bath in the oven for another hour.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and run a small knife around the outer edge of the cheesecake to loosen it from the pan. Allow it to cool completely to room temperature. (The cheesecake should not feel the slightest bit warm.) Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Make the glaze
- Remove the sides of the pan and place the cheesecake on a serving platter.
- Bring the cream to a low boil over medium-low heat. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate in a medium bowl and stir to combine. Pour the glaze over the top of the cheesecake and use an offset spatula to smooth it over. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until the glaze has set.
Make ahead tip
- The cheesecake will keep for up to 4 days covered and stored in the refrigerator.
- The cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.