A decadent Reese's peanut butter cheesecake with chocolate ganache and topped with crumbled peanut butter cups. I pretty much could stop now, aside from also mentioning that is is crazy easy AND no bake, and I'd have you on board.
I don't know if there is more complimentary flavors than peanut butter and chocolate. It is a favorite of so many people and there is so many ways to enjoy them together. From peanut butter cookies dipped in chocolate to no bake peanut butter bars, creating a decadent cheesecake recipe with peanut butter and chocolate was kind of a no brainer.
Why you'll love this recipe
- It is full of peanut butter flavor. The cheesecake base is made with both crunchy and smooth peanut butter for the ultimate peanut butter flavor.
- It is sophisticated enough to serve at a dinner party, but is simple enough as a no bake dessert to whip up for any night of the week.
- The presentation is stunning. This Reese's cheesecake with a shiny dark chocolate ganache draped over the top looks incredibly impressive. Chopping up some Reese's peanut butter cups as a final touch really puts this over the top.
No bake cheesecakes are fairly simple with only a few ingredients, and Reese's peanut butter cheesecake is no exception. Here what you need:
- Cream cheese. Use the full fat block cream cheese NOT whipped cream cheese in a tub.
- Peanut butter. Smooth and chunky for this cheesecake. Reese's makes a smooth peanut butter that is one of the best ones out there (surprisingly) and I used that and JIF crunchy peanut butter.
- Heavy cream. This is for both the cheesecake base and the chocolate ganache on top.
- Chocolate. I use dark, but you could use milk chocolate like a true Reese's peanut butter cup if you wish.
- Powdered sugar. Using this instead of granulated ensures it totally mixes in and isn't grainy (because it is a lot of f;ing sugar)
- Graham crackers. For the crust. You can also us vanilla wafers instead of graham crackers.
- Brown sugar. For the crust.
- Butter. For the crust.
- Reese's peanut butter cups. Chopped up for a garnish on top.
To make the crust
This really is a no bake cheesecake - not even the crust gets baked. This is a great recipe for a crust that uses graham crackers, melted butter and brown sugar. Using brown sugar helps to add moisture to the crust and keep it crunchy without baking.
How to make the peanut butter cheesecake base
Making a no bake peanut butter cheesecake base couldn't be easier. Because it is no bake it is softer and creamier than a baked cheesecake base and will need sufficient time to firm up in the fridge - just keep that in mind when making this.
Start with beating your heaving cream to stiff peaks with your stand mixer. Set aside and then beat together the cream cheese and peanut butter until well blended. Add your powdered sugar and beat on LOW (otherwise you will end up with a blizzard of powdered sugar in your kitchen). Beat in your vanilla last. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter cream cheese mixture and you're done!
The base gets poured and smoothed over into the crust and then into the fridge it goes to firm up. It will need about two hours to firm up before topping with the chocolate ganache.
Ingredient swaps and variations
- Use something else for the crust. Oreos would make for an extra chocolatey cheesecake.
- Use milk chocolate in the ganache instead of dark chocolate.
- Use only smooth peanut butter.
Tip for success
- Absolutely do not use natural peanut butter. Not even a little bit as a substitute or to fill in because you're just short. It doesn't mix with the other ingredients AT ALL. It is softer and oilier and separates - and it is gross. Even the littlest bit, so make sure you enough to make 2 cups of hydrogenated (whatta terrible word, right?) peanut butter.
- Do not add sugar to the crust. I think vanilla wafers and graham crackers are sweet enough all on their own. And when you see how much sugar is in the cheesecake, you'll likely agree with me, no extra sugar is needed.
- Consider using dark chocolate for the ganache. I know Reese's peanut butter cups are made with milk chocolate. But using dark chocolate makes this a touch more sophisticated. Dark chocolate is richer, less sweet and an excellent slightly bitter contrast to the sweet peanut butter filling. You don't have to trust me, but consider it.
Other cheesecake recipes you'll love
Cheesecakes are one of the most impressive desserts you can make. And most are as easy as this no bake Reese's peanut butter cheesecake with chocolate. Here are some other great cheesecake recipes you should try:
For the crust
- 1 ½ cup graham crackers or vanilla wafers crumbs make in your food processor or buy graham crumbs
- 5 tablespoons of butter melted
For the cheesecake
- 2 packages 1 pound of cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 cups of peanut butter I used half chunky and half smooth, use what you want but DO NOT use natural peanut butter
- 2 ½ cups of powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of cold heavy cream
For the ganache
- ½ cup of heavy cream
- 4 ounces of dark chocolate chopped or chocolate chips
- Reese's mini peanut butter cups chopped
To make the crust
- Heat the oven to 350
- Stir together the cookie/graham crumbs and the melted butter. Press down and up the sides of a 8- or 9-inch springform pan. Bake in oven about 8 minutes or until you can smell it a bit and a peek at it shows a light golden color. Take it out and cool completely (I put it outside in winter to super cool quick - if it is dry out).
To make the filling
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large bowl (to use a hand mixer), beat the heavy cream until it becomes whipped cream with stiff peaks. Use a spatula and move the whipped cream to another bowl and set aside. In the same mixing bowl of your stand mixer (or hand mixer), put in the cream cheese and peanut butter and mix until light and well blended. Add the confectioners sugar and on LOW, begin mixing it into the cream cheese and peanut butter. Gradually increase the speed (if you start off on medium or high you'll end up with a powdered sugar snowstorm in your kitchen, and you'll be pissed). Add vanilla and mix until totally incorporated. Add back in the whipped cream and mix until totally combined.
- Pour the cheesecake into the prepared crust and put in fridge for at least three hours, but honestly I almost always do double that at a minimum.
To make the ganache
- Put your chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a bowl (I have has separation by skipping this and just putting chocolate directly into the suacepan f hot cream). Put your cream in a saucepan and heat n stove until just barely simmering. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let is sit fir a few minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir with a spatula to fully combine.
- When cheesecake is properly cooled, and chocolate is still warm, pour over the cheesecake and spread smooth. Top with the chopped Reese's candies and chill until serving.