Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

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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.

Overhead view of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake on a white plate with a blue napkin beside it.

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.

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.

A slice of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake on a white plate with a fork taking a bite out.

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.

High angled view of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake on a white plate.

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

Overhead view of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake on a white plate with a blue napkin beside it.
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.
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Serving Size 20

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 2 ½ cups (250 g) fudge filled cookie crumbs, about 30 sandwich cookies, such as Oreos
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 24 ounces (681 g) cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (516 g) creamy peanut butter
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the glaze

  • ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 8 ounces (226 g) semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions

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.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure the peanut butter you use is not natural. Choose a brand such as Jif®.
  • Stir the peanut butter well before using. Sometimes the oils will separate from the peanut butter and you need all that oily goodness to keep the cheesecake from drying out.
  • Start checking on the cheesecake after 30 minutes into baking. Oven temperatures vary and you may not need the full hour of bake time. Turn the oven off as soon as the edges of the cheesecake firm up but the center remains jiggly.
  • Prevent a soggy cheesecake! Read through my helpful tips on how to create a leakproof water bath
Make ahead tip
  1. The cheesecake will keep for up to 4 days covered and stored in the refrigerator.
  2. The cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 546kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 42g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 371mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 799IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

72 Comments

  1. Hi – this looks divine. If I have already blended natural peanut butter and refrigerated it so there is no oil separation, so you still not recommend it? Do you think it will separate during baking? I don’t really like other pb that has sugar in it.
    Thanks
    Helena

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      Regardless of how the natural peanut butter is stored, it is not recommended for any type of baking. It will separate during the baking process and the recipe may not turn out as desired.

  2. Have you ever made this without a crust? If so, does the time/temp change?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I haven’t made this without the crust before but I imagine the time and temp would remain the same.

  3. Hi, why not regular oreos? Why fudge? I wonder because cheesecake is easily overwhelmed by chocolate. Thank you.

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can use regular Oreos if you wish. I used chocolate-filled Oreos because this is a chocolate peanut butter cheesecake and wanted the chocolate flavor there to complement the peanut butter.

  4. Hi there. Do I still need to wrap the cheesecake pan in foil if I place the roasting pan with water on the lower rack? Thanks!

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      It’s fine to skip that step since you’re not putting the cheesecake in the water bath.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for my mom for mothers day and it couldn’t have turned out more perfect!! Thank you so so much!!

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I’m so glad to hear that!

  6. 5 stars
    I made this for my mom for mothers day and it couldn’t have turned out more perfect!! Thank you so so much!!

  7. Hi,

    How should I adjust the temp/bake time for smaller cakes like a 4 inch cake?

    Thanks!

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      I’ve not made this cheesecake in a 4-inch pan so I’m not sure how long it will need to bake. Maybe start checking for doneness after 30 minutes and go from there. The oven temperature should remain the same.

  8. 5 stars
    Hi! How long will this cake keep? Can I keep it in the freezer for longer?

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      The cheesecake will keep for up to 4 days covered and stored in the refrigerator. Or up to 3 months in the freezer. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  9. 5 stars
    Hi! How long will this cake keep? Can I keep it in the freezer for longer?

  10. 5 stars
    My very first time making a real cheesecake and it turned out absolutely perfect!!! Not a single crack and the texture is perfect. I was terrified if ruining it with the water bath so I put an inch of boiling water in a hand sheet cake pan on the rack directly under the cake and it worked like a charm. Thank you so much! I’m going to try another variation fur Christmas.

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