This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for chocolate and peanut butter lovers! It features a chocolate cookie crust and rich stripes of luscious chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake. Top it with whipped cream and peanut butter cups for maximum indulgence!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with whipped cream and peanut butter cups on top | From SugarHero.com
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A Big, Beautiful Cheesecake

If you look up the definition of “Comfort Food” in the dictionary, I’m pretty sure you’ll find a picture of this cheesecake. Sorry, mac & cheese, you’ve been bumped from top comfort food spot in favor of this Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake–this big, beautiful, bountiful slice of heaven.

I’ve talked before about how I don’t make cheesecakes very often, because my husband doesn’t like them, and my son thinks they’re “good for a few bites, and then they turn gross.” (Thank you, child, for keeping it real and keeping mama humble.) I don’t want to be the only one in charge of cheesecake consumption around the house–although to be honest I think it’s a job I’m really, really good at–so I usually stick to desserts the whole family will eat.

But right now, with the weather turning, the cool bite in the morning air, and the first few days of fall rain, I’m craving comforting desserts in a major way, and only this cheesecake will do. Now if you can’t commit to this specific cheesecake, check out this amazing 10-flavor cheesecake sampler! You won’t be disappointed.

Close-up of decorations on Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake | From SugarHero.com

Table of Contents

This cheesecake starts with a crunchy chocolate base–I used chocolate graham crackers, but you could also use regular graham crackers, chocolate wafers or sandwich cookies like Oreos.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake slice, with whipped cream and peanut butter cups on top | From SugarHero.com

Chocolate Peanut Butter Filling

The cheesecake filling is made with lots of cream cheese and peanut butter (of course!). Then, the filling is divided in half. One half of the filling gets melted semi-sweet chocolate folded in, to make a rich chocolate cheesecake.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake - removing a slice from the whole cake | From SugarHero.com

How To Make the Cheesecake Designs

You could layer the two flavors on top of each other, or do a casual swirl, but I wanted to get a more precise striped effect on the inside, so I placed alternating scoops of batter on top of each other, which produces the pretty zebra pattern you see inside the cheesecake.

As for the design on top, I made that by piping thin lines of chocolate batter on top of the peanut butter, then dragging a toothpick through it in opposing directions. Totally easy, totally gorgeous!

And OF COURSE, I needed to use lots of peanut butter cups as decorations. I could lie and say it’s for aesthetic reasons, but that’s about 10% of the truth. We all know that it’s really because I want to snack on the extras while filming. Sorry not sorry, those suckers are delicious!

Close-up of single slice of Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake | From SugarHero.com

💡Tips and FAQs

Because cheesecakes can be tricky, here are a few tips to getting the perfect cheesecake, every time:

  1. Use a water bath. I know they’re a pain, but they really will improve the texture of your cheesecake. To avoid soggy bottoms, I bought foil that’s 18 inches wide (found it at Costco!) and since I’ve started using it, have had no issues with water leaking in. Tall silicone cake pans are also great for this!
  2. Choose full-fat cream cheese. To get the right texture and flavor full-fat crream cheese is a must, and make sure it is TOTALLY at room temperature. I’m very loyal to Philadelphia brand–I’ve been burned by sketchy store brands too many times.
  3. Turn the oven off when the cheesecake is still jiggly. The inclination is to look for it to be fully set, but if you wait for it to set in the oven, it will be overcooked and stiff. It will continue to cook/set after you turn the oven off, and as it chills overnight. As long as it’s set around the edges, some movement in the middle is fine.
  4. Let it rest in a cooling oven before taking it out. This continues to cook the cake (see above) and also avoids an abrupt temperature shift that might cause the cheesecake to crack.
  5. Stir in the eggs last, by hand. SPEAKING of cheesecake cracks, here’s a great tip I learned from Jen at Baked by an Introvert! Stir in the eggs last, by hand, instead of beating them into the cream cheese. Beating them in in the beginning = more air whipped into the batter = a cheesecake that rises higher while baking = more likely the cake will collapse and crack as it cools. Stirring the eggs in by hand at the end avoids adding excess air to the cheesecake and reduces the chances of cracks. Ever since I tried this method I’ve had zero cracks in my cheesecakes!
Storage Information

To Refrigerate: Leftover baked cheesecake will last for up to 1 week in the fridge. Wrap well with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container.

To Freeze: Cheesecake can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze the cheesecake, wrap it in plastic wrap followed by foil and store it in the freezer. If you are going to freeze it for a long time, you might also consider putting it in an a freezer-safe container after wrapping it. It will need some time to thaw, so place it in the fridge the day before you need it, and let it thaw overnight.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake single slice with a bite taken out | From SugarHero.com

Bon appetit, my cheesecake-loving friends!

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Slice of chocolate peanut butter cheesecake on a round white plate.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

4.91 from 30 votes
This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is the ultimate dessert for chocolate and peanut butter lovers! It features a chocolate cookie crust and rich stripes of luscious chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake. Top it with whipped cream and peanut butter cups for maximum indulgence! 
Prep30 minutes
Cook1 hour 40 minutes
Total2 hours 10 minutes
Yields16

Ingredients

  • 12 oz chocolate graham crackers, (23 crackers, to yield about 2 1/3 cups crumbs)
  • 2.5 oz unsalted butter, (5 TBSP)
  • 2 lbs cream cheese, at room temperature – do not use whipped or light variety
  • 9.37 oz brown sugar, (1 ¼ cups)
  • 9.5 oz creamy peanut butter, (1 cup), do not use natural variety
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 8 fl oz heavy cream, (1 cup), or heavy whipping cream
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten
  • 5 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 6 fl oz heavy cream, (3/4 cup)
  • 1 oz powdered sugar, (1/4 cup)
  • assorted sizes peanut butter cups, for decorating
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Instructions 

For the Cheesecake

  • Preheat the oven to 325 F. Spray a deep 9-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap aluminum foil tightly around the outside of the pan, coming up to the top edge. I like to use heavy-duty 18-inch foil, to prevent any water from leaking into the cheesecake, but if you don’t have 18-inch foil, consider doing 2 overlapping layers of foil to make it more waterproof. Put water on to boil for a water bath.
  • Place the chocolate graham crackers in a food processor and process them until they’re fine crumbs. (Alternately, you can put them in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin until they’re crumbs.) Melt the butter in the microwave, and stir the butter and crumbs together until the crumbs are the texture of wet sand.
  • Firmly press the chocolate crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan, then refrigerate the pan while you prepare the filling.
  • Place the room temperature cream cheese in the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. (A hand mixer can also be used.) Beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it is fluffy and free of lumps. Add the brown sugar and mix it in, then scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl well.
  • Mix in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt, and mix on medium-low speed until well-incorporated. With the mixer running on low, slowly stream in the 8 oz (1 cup) of heavy cream.
  • Finally, stop the mixer and add the lightly beaten eggs. Stir these in by hand with a spatula. At first the mixture will look separated, but keep stirring and it will all come together in a smooth, silky batter.
  • Melt the semi-sweet chocolate in the microwave. Divide the peanut butter cheesecake batter in half, and add the melted chocolate to one half, stirring until smooth and homogenous. Separate out 4.5 oz of chocolate batter (about 1 cup) and place it in a piping bag.
  • To make the striped interior effect, take a large ice cream scoop or 1/2 cup measuring cup and place two scoops of peanut butter cheesecake in the center of the prepared pan. Place two scoops of chocolate cheesecake right on top of it—this will push down on the peanut butter cheesecake and cause it to spread out. Continue this layering, making concentric circles with the two batters, until you’ve used all the chocolate cheesecake and have only a little peanut butter cheesecake remaining. Spread the remaining peanut butter cheesecake on top and smooth it into an even layer.
  • Pipe lines of chocolate cheesecake across the top of the peanut butter cheesecake. Take a toothpick and drag it through the lines, from top to bottom, then move over about half an inch and drag it in the opposite direction, from bottom to top. Continue this pattern across the whole cheesecake.
  • Place the springform pan inside a larger cake pan or roasting dish. Carefully pour the boiling water in the larger pan, coming halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
  • Bake at 325 F for 90 – 100 minutes. After an hour, I like to cover the top with very loosely tented foil so that it doesn’t get too dark. The cheesecake should appear set around the edges but still jiggle in the middle when the pan is tapped—it will firm up as it sits in the oven and rests in the refrigerator overnight. If it does not move when you tap it, it is overbaked.
  • Once done, turn the oven off but keep the cheesecake in the cooling oven for 1 hour. After an hour, carefully remove it from the water bath, peel off the foil, and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours. (Overnight is good, too!)
  • To store, wrap the cheesecake well with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. If you plan to freeze it, add an extra layer of foil over the plastic wrap. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.

For Decorating

  • Release the sides of the pan, and run a thin metal spatula under the crust to remove it from the bottom. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate.
  • Combine 6 fl oz (¾ cup) heavy cream with 1 oz (¼ cup) powdered sugar and whip to firm peaks. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe rosettes of whipped cream all along the outside edge of the cheesecake. Decorate the whipped cream with chocolate shavings and peanut butter cups.
  • For the cleanest cuts, cut the cake when it is still cool, and wipe the knife off between cuts. Store the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to a week, and for the best taste and texture, let it sit at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving so it loses some of the refrigerator chill.

Video

Recipe Notes

This recipe has been updated from when it was originally published. You can find the original version of the recipe here. 
This cheesecake requires a long baking and chilling time, so I recommend preparing it a day in advance and letting it chill overnight in the refrigerator.

Measuring Tips

Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.

Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?

Nutrition

Calories: 648kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 48g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 322mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 1316IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 124mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Snap a pic and hashtag it #SugarHero. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @elabau.

Meet Elizabeth!

Hi, I’m Elizabeth — a trained pastry chef, cookbook author, video instructor, and your new Baking BFF! I’m going to teach you everything you need to know to be a sugar hero. ❤️

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116 Comments

  1. If you want to make this without the flavored creamer, could you substitute 1/2 of half and half for the creamer? Or just add 1/4 more of heavy cream?

  2. Sorry, my comment made no sense. If you choose not to use the flavored creamer, can you sub in 1/2 c. Of half and half for the creamer, or an extra 1/4 c. Of heavy cream?

  3. This cheesecake is gorgeous! Thanks for the tip about hand mixing the eggs. I’ll have to try that next time I make a cheesecake!

    1. Thank you! Definitely give it a try…all of the cheesecakes I’ve made since reading this trick have turned out beautifully!

    2. First cheese cake I’ve ever made and it turned out great! Not as daunting as I thought either. Just read the instructions right? Lol
      Definitely going to try some new flavours. Excellent recipe for beginners.

  4. This looks amazing and your directions with all the little details are so helpful and appreciated!! Thank you! Just wondering if you have any tips for moving the cheesecake from the pan onto a serving plate?

    1. Update: I went back to the store and started again. I took the pie out after 55 min at 325 and, while I wish I’d taken it out 10-15 min earlier, there was minimal cracking and it turned out delicious. Note that I’ve cooked this in both a convection oven and now a traditional oven and for both 90-100 minutes was nearly double the optimal cooking time for a soft, sunburnt, crack-free pie. Also, this time I tried eggs and cream cheese right out of the fridge and unlike last time, they weren’t too runny to do the zebra-stripe effect and the toothpick trick – both worked out great! I’m not sure how you avoided these problems with room-temp ingredients and such a long cooking time, but this is my 2 cents for anyone who may be struggling with the same problems. Otherwise an indescribably good recipe!

    2. Freeze it!! use parchment on the bottom. work slow and turns out perfect! Also slice your cheesecake while frozen for “perfect” cheesecake!

    3. My question is about the butter. Do you use unsalted butter or salted butter? Because as you read the ingredients. It calls for 1/2 tsp of salt. Can you share the correct information and also makes changes to your recipe if needed about the butter. Thanks.

      1. Hi Lu! Sorry for the confusion. I use unsalted butter. If you are using salted, I would recommend reducing the salt by half (so 1/4 tsp). Please let me know how it works out for you!

  5. First of all I love your blog!! I want to make this for a loved one’s birthday. They are diabetic can I substitute brown sugar Splenda for the brown sugar in the cheesecake?

  6. Cannot wait to try this… my hubby loves Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, and when I came across the creamer, I KNEW I had to buy it. Just hope the store continues to carry it (the store buyer is the one who controls the products’ inventory)! He also LOVES cheesecakes, and this one is right up his alley. Thanks, Elizabeth!

  7. Hi Elizabeth, I had a couple of questions for you. Did you use whipping cream or Heavy cream for the cool whip and what size cake pan did you use to Cook the Cheesecake in? Not the Springform pan.

    1. Hi Taylor! I used heavy cream for decorating the top, and I baked the cheesecake in a 12″ round pan. If you don’t have one this large, a rectangular cake pan works, or even a disposable foil roasting pan would be good!

      1. Hey! I’m making this for Thanksgiving this year, and I’m so excited!! One thing I noticed is that the directions call for a 9″ springform pan, but your comment above ^^ states that you use a 12″ pan. Which is best?!

  8. This was a HUGE hit for my teenage son’s birthday!
    Peanut Butter & Chocolate = The Way to a Man’s Heart!
    I followed the recipe exactly…it needs no alternation.
    Thank You!

    1. Laura, I’m so thrilled to hear that the cheesecake was a hit! Thank you for the comment, and happy birthday to your son! 😀

  9. Hi Elizabeth. I made this recipe yesterday and left it to cool all day today in the oven but it turns out it wasn’t cooked all the way 🙁 the top half an inch is firm but the remaining 2 inches are still cream cheese consistency. I though I had taken it out at the right time, since I did the wiggle test and only the middle moved like your video. Any tips for next time?

  10. Thank you, so much Elizabeth for the quick response, but I have just one more question for you. How do you think crunchy peanut butter will work for this recipe? My dad really wants crunchy peanut butter.

    1. Hi Taylor, I think crunchy PB would be good! (But then, I am a crunchy fan always.) You’d lose the silky smoothness of the cheesecake filling, but I personally like a bit of texture in my cheesecakes, plus the crust is crunchy, so I think it would work well!