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Layered peanut butter cheesecake bar topped with 2 mini peanut butter cups

Cheesecake Peanut Butter Bars

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Cheesecake Peanut Butter Bars are outrageously delicious with a dreamy cheesecake filling and luscious ganache topping. An easy way to get your chocolate peanut butter fix. But be prepared to swoon!!

This Peanut Butter Bars Recipe has the perfect proportion of cheesecake to chocolate and much easier to make than an ordinary cheesecake!  If you love peanut butter cups, you’ll be an instant fan of these cheesecake bars.

Side view of 3 cheesecake bars on a white tray

Cheesecake Peanut Butter Bars

I had just stocked up on cream cheese and finished up a batch of Stuffed Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats, and still had a hankering for a peanut butter dessert. More peanut butter bars weren’t out of the question, so I whipped up these creamy cheesecake bars flavored with peanut butter. The recipe makes 3 tasty layers, starting with an Oreo crust, then the peanut butter cheesecake, followed by a silky smooth chocolate ganache. Topping these with mini peanut butter cups make them extra festive if serving to company or making for a special occasion.

Overhead view of 3 cheesecake bars on a rectangular white tray

How to Make Cheesecake Bars

I’ve made numerous cheesecake bars over the years, including these Twix Cheesecake Bars, Blackberry Cheesecake Bars, and these Strawberry Cheesecake Bars. All unique, yet there are tips that are essential for helping to make them creamy and beautiful.

  • First, this may seem obvious but read through the recipe once or twice before starting the process. More than once, I’ve found I’m missing an ingredient. And it’s so inconvenient to have to run to the market for just one item!
  • Next, prep your pan properly. This will help you remove the bars more easily for cutting and serving. I love using non-stick foil so I can lift out the whole batch and remove it to a cutting board. This works better for an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch dessert than with a larger pan.
  • Aim for even layers. This will make the best presentation when they’re cut. Tamp in the crust (can use your hands or even the bottom of a measuring cup). Use an offset spatula to level out the cheesecake layer. And use the same spatula to spread the ganache, then gently shake the pan back and forth to level it even more.
Layered peanut butter cheesecake bar topped with 2 mini peanut butter cups

Tips for making the Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars with a layer of cheesecake!

When cheesecake is involved, there are a few simple tricks to making it ultra-creamy. It’s worth the minimal extra effort for a spectacular dessert. Here are my tips:

  • When making the peanut butter cheesecake, have your cream cheese and eggs at room temperature. This will drastically improve the texture as these two ingredients will blend in more smoothly if not cold.
  • Use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer to minimize incorporating air into the batter. The goal is for a dense and creamy cheesecake. If you’re using a hand mixer, be sure not to overmix by whipping on the highest speed or for too long.  Use a lower speed and stop once the mixture is combined and homogeneous.
  • Don’t overbake the cheesecake layer. It can still have a wee bit of a jiggle in the center as this will set as the cheesecake cools.
  • Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until cold before adding the ganache. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cheesecake Bars:

How Do You Store Cheesecake Bars?

Since the cheesecake filling can spoil, cheesecake bars must be stored in the refrigerator. Cover with plastic or foil to keep them fresh.

Can You Freeze Cheesecake Bars?

Yes. Most cheesecake desserts freeze well. Just make sure they’re in an airtight container before freezing. Freeze up to 3 months. To defrost, put them in the refrigerator overnight. Watch for condensation on the lid (or wrap) when you remove it after defrosting. Water droplets will leave marks on the chocolate topping if they drip onto it.

How Do You Serve Cheesecake Bars?

Cheesecake tastes much better if brought out of the refrigerator about an hour before serving. Cut them while cold for the cleanest look, then bring them out to the counter to take the chill off. I like to garnish for company. These peanut butter bars look terrific topped with mini peanut butter cups.

More Peanut Butter Desserts You’ll Love:

This recipe is part of a series where my friend, Danielle, of Hugs and Cookies XOXO, and I make a dish from each other’s blog. I made her yummy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars, and as usual, they were magnificent. Pop over to her blog to see what she made from my blog! Check out her Facebook and Pinterest pages, too.

I do not like peanut butter straight up. No peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter on crackers, or peanut butter off a spoon! But I do love a delicious peanut butter dessert. Here are some more ideas for you to peruse.

Layered peanut butter cheesecake bar topped with 2 mini peanut butter cups

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Luscious Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars with an Oreo crust, peanut butter cheesecake filling and a chocolate ganache glaze.

Ingredients

For Crust:

  • 36 Oreos, processed to crumbs in food processor
  • ½ cup salted butter, melted

For Cheesecake:

  • 24 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 eggs

For Chocolate Topping:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or 6 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Line a 9x13 pan with nonstick foil.

To make the crust, combine cookie crumbs and butter and press evenly into the bottom of the pan.

Bake 10 minutes.

To make the cheesecake, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, then thepeanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix just until incorporated. Pour the batter over the crust and smooth with an offset spatula.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or until cheesecake looks mostly set. There can be a slight jiggle in the very center.

Cool to room temperature on a wire rack, and then chill until cold.

To make the chocolate topping, melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave.

Stir until smooth and pour on cold cheesecake. Chill at least an hour before cutting.

Notes

You can make half a batch in an 8 x 8-inch pan. You will need to use 1 1/2 eggs. For the half egg, whisk a whole egg in a small bowl, then remove approximately half of the mixture to use in the recipe. If you have a set of the small OXO liquid measuring cups, they come in handy for small liquid measurements.

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