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Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake is sinfully indulgent but so worth it!
This cheesecake begins with a buttery Oreo crust topped with creamy peanut butter cheesecake with Reese’s peanut butter cups swirled within. Then this cheesecake is drenched in a rich chocolate ganache sprinkled with a mound of peanut butter cups on top.
I made this cheesecake for the first time when my best friend and her husband came up to the mountain for a visit many moons ago. I hardly ever make dessert for just David and me, so I wanted to make something indulgent for dessert. That’s when I decided on this Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake.
I have made this cheesecake many times since then. It never fails; it’s a hit for parties, and especially for the holidays.
What I Love About This Cheesecake
What’s not to love, right?!? Perhaps the following reasons will persuade you to make this cheesecake:
- Make-Ahead: I encourage you to make this cheesecake well in advance. As the cheesecake sits, the peanut butter and chocolate flavors meld together and intensify.
- Simple Ingredients: This recipe uses simple pantry staple ingredients—nothing over the top or too fancy.
- Feeds a Crowd: This cheesecake goes a long way because this cake is so rich and decadent. Thinly sliced, this cheesecake can serve 20 people! However, it’s so good most are going to want a chunk!
- Freezer Friendly: This cheesecake is freezer-friendly. Keep reading to find out more on how to freeze cheesecake.
Tips for Making Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- Room Temperature Ingredients: the cheesecake comes together better when the ingredients are at room temperature. Especially the cream cheese can be chunky instead of smooth when it is cold.
- Scrape Down the Bowl: To ensure a smooth, creamy texture be sure to scape down the sides of the bowl after each addition when mixing the ingredients.
- Do Not Overmix: Overmixing the ingredients can cause cracks. However, overmixing is hard not to do, especially using a mixer. Try not to overmix the ingredients, but if you do, IT IS NOT the end of the world. If your cheesecake cracks, it provides a nice crevice for the chocolate ganache to pool into, and no one will ever see it with all the peanut butter cups on top anyway!
- Miniature Peanut Butter Cups: In my opinion, miniature peanut butter cups have the best chocolate peanut butter ratio. They work the best for this cheesecake.
- Stir in Peanut Butter Cups: When the cheesecake is mixed, stir in the peanut butter cups with a spatula to not break them up too much into the cake.
- Always Use a Waterbath: A water bath is essential and creates the perfect baking environment for baking a cheesecake. Keep reading to learn more!
- Don’t Overbake! Overbaking is the leading cause of cracking. Although the edges of the cheesecake will be slightly puffy, there will be a 2 to 3 inch wobbly area in the center when it is finished baking. Just turn the oven off. It will form up as it cools.
- Don’t Rush Cooling: To prevent cracks from forming, let the cheesecake cool inside the oven after baking. Then remove it from the oven and let it come down to room temperature. The gradual temperature change is ideal for this delicate cake.
- Chill The Cheesecake: When the cheesecake is down to room temperature, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for a minimum of 2 to 3 hours before adding the ganache.
The Cheesecake Water Bath
Cheesecake batter is a delicate form of custard with eggs and cream that loves a humid environment. Therefore, a cheesecake should bake in a round springform placed inside a larger pan with hot water inside. Inside a water bath, the cheesecake bakes slowly and gently inside, which helps prevent curdling, darkness, and cracks.
Tips for Making a Water Bath:
- Use Hot Water. Don’t rely on the oven to bring the water temperature up. Instead, use a kettle or pot to heat the water before pouring it inside the pan for baking.
- Wrap the Springform Pan In Foil: To prevent water from spoiling the cheesecake, use a double layer of aluminum foil that goes high up on the edges of the springform pan.
- I found that using a large roasting pan with handles works the best. Use one if you have one, but any pan that will hold the 9-inch springform will work.
Watch a Video on How To Make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake
How to Make Peanut Butter Cheesecake
A detailed list of ingredients is provided in the recipe card at the end of this post.
3-Ingredients: 1 package of Oreo Cookies, unsalted butter, and salt.
- Use a food processor or blender to blend the cookies up into crumbs.
- Pulse in the butter and salt. The cookie crumbs should resemble moist garden soil once combined.
- Use a glass or flat round surface to help press the cookie crust down into an even layer.
- Use your fingers to pull the crust ¼-inch up on the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
- Bake inside a 325 degree F preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow the crust to cool while preparing the cheesecake.
Heat a kettle or pot of water for the water bath while combining the cheesecake.
7 Ingredients: Cream cheese, eggs, brown sugar, smooth peanut butter, cream, vanilla, and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups.
- Beat the room temperature cream cheese with a mixer until smooth, scraping down the sides at least once.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Add brown sugar, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla; beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times while beating. It will take a few minutes to get the peanut butter mixed in.
- Gently fold in the chopped peanut butter cups with a spatula.
- Cover the bottom of the springform pan with a double-layer of aluminum foil that goes high up on the sides. Then pour the mixture onto the cooled crust inside the foil bottom-covered springform pan.
Bake the Cheesecake:
- Place the foil-lined springform pan inside a larger pan. Carefully pour the hot water into the larger pan until the water is about 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake until just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. There will be a 2 to 3-inch wobbly area in the center. A wobbly center is completely normal!
Cooling the Cheesecake:
- Turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake inside. Allow the temperature to come down gently inside the oven.
- Let the cheesecake sit for about an hour, then remove the cheesecake from the oven.
- Cool completely, then refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 to 3 hours before topping.
The Ganache Peanut Butter Cup Topping:
Only 3-ingredients: Semi-sweet chocolate chips, cream, and peanut butter cups.
- Pour the cream into a small saucepot. Heat until simmering, but not boiling.
- Remove from the heat and pour in the chocolate chips.
- Allow the mixture to sit for a couple of minutes, then stir until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the cheesecake, allowing it to drip down and ooze down the sides.
- Sprinkle the peanut butter cups over the top of the cheesecake or decorate however you like.
Surprisingly, this beautiful looking Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake is very easy to make. A dessert this good only deserves to be shared with the greatest of family and friends!
I hope you will share it with yours!
More Cheesecake Recipes?
If you like this recipe, please check out our other cheesecake recipes:
This is an updated recipe from April 2014.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- 1 package Oreo cookies
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 pinch salt
- 32 ounces cream cheese (4) 8-ounce packages
- 5 eggs
- 1 ½ cups brown sugar
- 1 cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 12 ounces Reese’s peanut butter miniature cups unwrapped and roughly chopped
- ½ cup cream
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 8 ounce package Reese’s Minis
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Put the cookies in a food processor or blender and blend until the crumbs look like garden soil.
- Pour in the melted butter and a pinch of salt; pulse a few times to combine.
- Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, making sure that the crumbs go about ¼ of the way up the sides of the pan.
- Place the pan into the preheated oven; bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, then set aside to cool. When the spring-form pan has cooled, wrap aluminum foil around the sides.
- Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after the addition of each egg.
- Add in the brown sugar, peanut butter, cream, and vanilla; beat until combined. Scrap down the sides of the bowl a few time while beating. It will take a few minutes to get the peanut butter mixed in.
- Gently fold in the chopped up peanut butter cups with a spatula, then pour the mixture into the cooled crust.
- Heat a medium pot of water on the stove until steaming.
- Place the foil-lined spring-form pan inside a larger pan. Carefully pour the hot water into the larger pan, until the water is about 1 inch up the sides of the spring-form pan.
- Bake the cheesecake until just set, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven, but leave the cheesecake inside. Allow the temperature to come down gently inside the oven. Let it sit for about an hour, then remove the cheesecake from the oven. Cool completely, then refrigerate until completely cool, about 2 to 3 hours before topping.
- Pour the cream into a small sauce pot. Heat until simmering, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and pour in the chocolate chips. Allow the mixture to sit a couple of minutes, then stir until smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the top of the cheesecake, allowing it to drip down the sides. Sprinkle the peanut butter cups over the top of the cheesecake.
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