If peanut butter cups are your favorite candy, this Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake will be your new favorite dessert! A creamy layer of cheesecake is loaded with chopped peanut butter cups and sandwiched between a chocolatey Oreo crust and rich milk chocolate topping.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
While I haven’t done any official polling, I think it’s safe to say that Reese’s peanut butter cups are one of the most popular treats in the checkout aisle at the supermarket.
So, naturally, it follows that this Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake will be the hit of your next party. It’s an absolute showstopper—the kind of mile-high cheesecake you just can’t help ooh and ahh over.
And if there’s any dessert that deserves oohs and ahhs, it’s cheesecake. There’s a bit of effort and finesse involved, but I always use the baking method from Mary Crownover’s book, which I’ve found to be foolproof. No messy water bath and no cracking!
You’ll bake the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then, decrease the temperature to 200 degrees and bake for 2 hours more. Run a thin, narrow spatula around the sides of the cake and return it to the oven—this time, the oven should be turned off completely. After two more hours, you’ll refrigerate the cheesecake overnight.
The result is an incredible cheesecake with a rich, creamy texture—and lots of peanut butter cup flavor in every delectable bite.
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card to find the ingredient quantities and recipe instructions.
- Oreo cookies – If you’re lucky enough to happen upon the Oreos with peanut butter filling, they’d be fabulous in this recipe.
- Roasted peanuts
- Unsalted butter – Learn more: Unsalted or Salted Butter: Which is Better for Baking?
- Cream cheese – Let the cream cheese come to room temperature; this allows it to mix smoothly into the other ingredients.
- Light brown sugar – Light brown sugar has a more subtle flavor than dark, which is perfect for this recipe. Learn more: Light Brown Sugar vs Dark Brown Sugar: What’s the Difference?
- Creamy peanut butter
- Heavy cream – Don’t substitute anything lighter! You’re making a cheesecake, so you might as well go all in.
- Vanilla extract – Store-bought or homemade vanilla extract.
- Regular-sized peanut butter cups – Pop them in the freezer for a bit to keep them from sticking to your knife when you chop them.
- Milk chocolate – You could use dark chocolate, but milk chocolate is key to that classic Reese’s peanut butter cup flavor.
- Sour cream
What kind of peanut butter is good for baking?
When you’re baking, you always want to use traditional, shelf-stable peanut butter—not the natural kind that needs to be stirred or stored in the refrigerator.
While we love natural peanut butter on a PB&J sandwich, it’s not ideal for baking. That’s because the oil content and consistency can vary depending on the temperature and whether you’re scooping the peanut butter from the top of the jar or the bottom. That variability means natural peanut butter can be unpredictable when you’re baking with it.
How to Make Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
It does take some time to make this Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake recipe, but the good news is that most of it is hands-off.
Make the Crust:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan.
Make the crust mixture. Combine the cookies and peanuts in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the cookies and nuts are chopped finely and well-combined. Pour in the melted butter and pulse again until the crumb mixture is wet.
Form the crust. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan. Use clean hands to press the crumbs firmly into the bottom and up the sides.
Make the Filling:
Beat the cream cheese and eggs. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to beat the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, until it’s smooth and creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Finish the filling. Add the sugar, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla to the bowl with the cream cheese. Mix until smooth, then fold in the peanut butter cups. Pour the filling into the crust.
Bake. Place the cheesecake in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 200°F, then bake for 2 hours.
Cool. Turn off the oven. Carefully remove the pan and gently run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake back in the oven for 2 hours.
Chill. Cover the cheesecake in the pan and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
Make the Topping:
Melt the chocolate and sour cream. Combine the chocolate chips and sour cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate chips have melted and the mixture is smooth.
Top the cheesecake. Spread the chocolate mixture over the top of the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or until the topping is set.
Tips for Success
Here are some simple tips to ensure that your Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake turns out perfect:
- Use your fingers to press in the crust. Yes, you could use the bottom of a measuring cup and keep your hands clean, but the only way to tell if the crust is firmly pressed into the pan is by touch. (Learn more about how to make a cookie crumb crust.)
- Know when it’s done. An over-baked cheesecake will have a gritty, dry texture, so it’s important to turn off the oven as soon as the cheesecake is done baking. You can use a thermometer to check for an internal temperature of 150ºF (the chocolate topping will cover the hole from the probe) or look for a center that barely jiggles when you give the pan a gentle shake.
- Let the slices sit a bit. This Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake is most flavorful if you plate the slices, then let them sit at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes.
What Is the Easiest Way to Cut a Cheesecake?
Here are a few tips to help you get perfect slices of this Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake:
- Use a sharp knife. A dull knife will just smash the cheesecake and make it difficult to cut clean slices. And unlike with regular cake, you should avoid using a serrated knife!
- Dip the knife in hot water before cutting. Then, use a paper towel to dry it. This will prevent the knife from sticking to the cheesecake and making a mess.
- Start at the center and pull the knife towards the outer edge. Make a firm, confident cut.
- Wipe the knife clean after each cut. This will also help you get cleaner slices.
How to Store
Wrap Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, or transfer leftovers to an airtight container. Store the wrapped cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
If you want to freeze this Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then place it in a freezer-safe bag or storage container. Freeze for up to 3 months; when you’re ready to eat the cheesecake, thaw it overnight in the fridge.
More Decadent Cheesecake Recipes
- Apple Butter Cheesecake
- No-Bake Irish Cream Cheesecake
- Brownie Bottom Chocolate Cheesecake
- Brown Sugar Banana No-Bake Cheesecake