If you love a good chocolate and peanut butter combo then you need The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake! With the first bite you’ll be saying OMG, this is the best!
Rich and creamy peanut butter cheesecake topped with a silky smooth chocolate ganache, flaky sea salt, puppy chow, pretzels and Cheez-its all in an Oreo crust. Yes, you heard right! ALLLL THE GOOD THINGS!
You might be wondering, Cheez-its?! Yes, Cheez-its. They make a delicious topping with the chocolate and peanut butter flavor. Although I can’t take all the credit for that idea.
There is a pie and biscuit shop in Chicago called Bang Bang Pie & Biscuits where I first saw this idea. Several years ago they had a pie for the Super Bowl that had chocolate, peanut butter and was topped with Cheez-its and puppy chow.
I liked it so much I decided to create my own cheesecake version of it. And thus, The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake was born!
Can you freeze cheesecake?
You sure can! Cheesecake freezes really well and The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake is no exception. There are a few things to remember to get the best result when freezing cheesecake:
- You can freeze it with or without the ganache on top. Chocolate ganache freezes really well too however you will want to leave off the other toppings. The flaky sea salt, puppy chow, pretzels and Cheez-its, they will end up soggy.
- Let the cheesecake cool completely before freezing. I like to let mine cool on the counter for 2-3 hours before refrigerating it to chill the rest of the way.
- You’ll need something to freeze it on. If you’re not planning to use the bottom of your spring form pan for the next month or so then go ahead and leave it on that. Otherwise, you can buy cardboard rounds or use a plate.
- Wrap it well. I like to triple wrap with plastic wrap and then 1-2 layers of foil over the top of that to prevent freezer burn. I don’t recommend freezing the cheesecake for longer than 4 weeks.
- Thawing The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake. Remove the whole cheesecake or slices (however you chose to freeze it) and place in the fridge for 4-12 hours. Slices thaw faster than a whole cheesecake.
- Top The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with flaky sea salt, pretzels, puppy chow and Cheez-its. Ready to serve!
How long does cheesecake last in the fridge?
You can keep The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake in the fridge for up to 7 days. Here are a couple steps to follow for the best result:
- Let the cheesecake cool for 2-3 hours on the counter top before refrigerating it. This will help avoid cracking and temperature shock
- Refrigerate the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake for about 4-5 hours uncovered first
- Cover the cheesecake with several layers of plastic wrap to ensure air isn’t reaching it
- If you’re making the cheesecake ahead of time and refrigerating the whole thing then leave off the flaky sea salt until right before serving. It will melt and cause moisture on top of the ganache
- The Best Peanut Butter Cheesecake can be eaten chilled or brought to room temperature
Ingredients for The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Oreos – The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake has an Oreo crust
- Butter – I use unsalted butter for the crust and add my own salt in
- Kosher Salt – The best addition to sweet is salt
- Cream Cheese – Softened cream cheese is the base for the peanut butter cheesecake
- Brown Sugar – I use brown sugar here because I like a hint of molasses with my peanut butter
- Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract will give the best flavor
- Sour Cream – Sour cream gives your cheesecake a creamy and moist texture
- Heavy Cream – I use both sour cream and heavy cream to give an ultra cream texture to the cheesecake. It is also used to make the chocolate ganache
- Eggs – Eggs and egg yolks will help with the smooth and rich texture
- Semi Sweet Chocolate – I like semi sweet chocolate for the ganache but you can use dark chocolate if you prefer
- Puppy Chow – Puppy Chow is used to top the cheesecake for decoration and flavor. You can use homemade or store bought
- Pretzels – Pretzels are used for a topping because pretzel, peanut butter and chocolate is a match made in heaven
- Cheez-its – It may sound odd but Cheez-its go well with this flavor combo
- Flaky Sea Salt – Because all chocolate and anything sweet is better with flaky sea salt on top
- Food Processor – I use a food processor to blend up the ingredients for the crust
- Spring Form Pan – You will need a 10 inch springform pan
- Stand Mixer or Electric Hand Mixer – You can mix the cheesecake batter in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer
- Large baking or roasting pan – The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake needs to be baked in a water bath to prevent cracking. A roasting pan works well for this
Tips for The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Drop the cheesecake on the counter. Before putting The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake into the water bath, drop it on the counter a couple times to release any air bubbles
- Use a water bath. I know you may be tempted not to but the results will be so much different. Pour warm water about halfway up the side of the springform pan
- Wrap the springform pan in foil. You need to wrap the pan in multiple layers of heavy duty aluminum foil to prevent getting a wet crust
- Fully chill before slicing. This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake needs to be fully chilled before cutting into it. Let the cheesecake cool on the counter top for 2-3 hours then place it in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours, if not overnight
- Make sure the bowl for the ganache is COMPLETELY clean and dry. If the bowl has even a drop of water then the chocolate can seize up
- Simmering not boiling. When making the chocolate ganache just bring the heavy cream to a light simmer, DO NOT BOIL IT
- Stir the chocolate ganache slowly. Use a metal spoon or rubber spatula and mix slowly to prevent air pockets or grit in your ganache
- Trouble shooting ganache. If you’re having trouble with the ganache, head to this blog post from Sally’s Baking Addiction and scroll down to the “trouble shooting” section
- Take the pan off after cooling. Your Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake should pull away from the sides of the pan as it cools. Just leave the side on until its fully chilled
How to make The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Making the crust
Start with the crust! Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly spray the springform pan with non stick cooking spray. Blend all crust ingredients in the food processor until you have a fine crumb.
Press the crumb into the bottom of the springform pan and slightly up the sides. Use a measuring cup to help press down firmly on the crust. Bake for 10-12 minutes then set the pan aside on a cooling rack to cool. Turn the oven down to 325°F.
Making the cheesecake filling
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute. Add the sugar and salt then mix on low until incorporated and smooth.
Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time until fully incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Mix in the sour cream and peanut butter on low speed until smooth.
Baking the cheesecake
Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil. Make sure to do multiple layers, you want to prevent any water getting into the crust.
Stir in the heavy cream on low speed until fully mixed then pour the cheesecake batter into the cooled Oreo crust. Drop the cheesecake on the counter a couple times from about 1/2 inch up to release air bubbles.
Place the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake into the roasting pan then using a pitcher, pour warm water about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake. Bake at 325°F for 1 hour and 15 minutes then turn the oven off, leave the door shut and the cheesecake inside the oven for another 45 minutes.
Remove The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake from the oven, it may be a bit wiggly still. Place the cheesecake on a cooling rack on the counter for 2-3 hours then chill it in the fridge for at least 4-5 hours or overnight if possible.
Making the chocolate ganache
Bring the heavy cream to a light simmer. Do not boil the cream. While the cream is coming to a simmer, chop the chocolate and place it in a heat proof bowl.
The smaller you chop the chocolate, the easier it melts. Pour the cream over the top of the chocolate then cover with plastic wrap. After 3-4 minutes, uncover the bowl and slowly stir with a metal spoon or rubber spatula.
This will take a couple minutes so be patient. Once the ganache is smooth then let it cool for a couple minutes and it’s ready to spread on top of the chilled cheesecake.
After spreading the chocolate ganache on then top the chocolate peanut butter cheesecake with pretzels, Cheez-its and puppy chow. You can either let the cheesecake sit on the counter for the ganache to set or refrigerate it.
I prefer to refrigerate it because I am impatient. After the ganache is set then sprinkle The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake with flaky sea salt right before serving.
Try my Strawberry Crunch Cheesecake Cones whenever you have a cheesecake craving but don’t want to put in much effort. No bake cheesecake filled waffle cones with strawberry compote and strawberry crunch topping hits the spot!
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The Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- 1 springform pan 10 inches
- 1 food processor
- 1 roasting pan 12-13 inches for water bath
- 1 oven
- 1 small sauce pot
- 1 medium heat proof bowl
- 28 Oreos
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 32 oz cream cheese room temp
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 eggs room temp
- 2 egg yolks room temp
- 1¼ cups peanut butter I use Skippy Natural Creamy
- ⅔ cup sour cream room temp
- 1¼ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate good quality
- ½ cup puppy chow store bought or homemade
- ½ cup pretzels
- ⅓ cup Cheez-its
- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
Making the Crust
- Preheat the oven to 350°F then lightly spray the inside of the springform pan with non stick cooking spray
- Blend the Oreos, melted butter and kosher salt in the food processor until you have a fine crumb
- Press the crumb into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the springform pan. Use a measuring cup to help press down firmly. If the crust sticks the measuring cup then just wipe the cup off and give it a light spray with non stick cooking spray
- Bake for 10-12 minutes then cool on a cooling rack
- Turn the oven down to 325°F
Making the Cheesecake Batter
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on low for 1 minute
- Add the sugar and salt then continue mixing on low until fully blended and smooth
- Mix in the vanilla extract
- With the mixer on low, add the eggs and yolks one at a time. Mix fully after each addition and scrape down the sides of the bowl
- Mix in the peanut butter and sour cream on low until smooth then add the heavy cream and mix until fully incorporated
Baking the Cheesecake
- Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Do multiple layers to ensure you don't end up with a wet crust
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the cooled Oreo crust then drop the pan from about ½ inch above the counter several times to release air bubbles in the filling
- Place the springform pan inside the roaster pan then add warm water until it's reached halfway up the side of the springform pan
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 15 minutes at 325°F then turn the oven off, leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door shut for an additional 45 minutes
- Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool on the counter on a cooling rack for 2-3 hours before moving it to the fridge for an additional 4-5 hours or overnight
Making the Chocolate Ganache
- Heat the cream in a small sauce pot over low to medium heat until it reaches a light simmer. Do not boil the cream
- While the cream is coming to a simmer, chop the chocolate and place it into a heat proof bowl
- Pour the cream over the top of the chocolate then tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap for 3-4 minutes
- Remove the plastic wrap then SLOWLY stir the ganache with a metal spoon or rubber spatula until smooth
- Let the ganache set for a few minutes then spread it on top of the chilled cheesecake
Topping the Cheesecake
- After spreading the ganache on the cheesecake add the puppy chow, pretzels and Cheez-its. Allow the ganache to set either on the counter or in the fridge
- Once the ganache has set then add the flaky sea salt directly before serving