These Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars are like three desserts in one! A creamy cheesecake filling is layered with cookie dough and Reese’s cups on a homemade graham cracker crust. The ultimate cheesecake bar for chocolate and peanut butter lovers!
Why this Recipe is Best
Never made cheesecake before?
Cheesecake bar recipes like this one are the perfect place to start. The cheesecake layer is covered with cookie dough and filled with real peanut butter cups for a decadent sweet treat no one can resist.
- Cookies, peanut butter cups and cheesecake: three of life’s bet things in one dessert!
- Packed with mini Reese’s cups.
- Perfect graham cracker crust.
- Cut into bars for easy serving.
If you love today’s chocolate and peanut butter combo, you’ve got to try our favorite no bake peanut butter pie!
- Graham cracker crumbs – Make your own by pulsing whole graham crackers in a food processor until they form fine crumbs.
- Cream cheese – Use the blocks of cream cheese (not cream cheese “spread” that comes in a tub) for your cheesecake filling.
- Peanut butter morsels – I like the Reese’s peanut butter chips best in these peanut butter cheesecake bars. They taste just like the center of a Reese’s cup.
- Mini peanut butter cups – These are baked in with the cheesecake so you get the irresistible combo of chocolate and peanut butter plus smooth vanilla cheesecake all in one bite. You can make our homemade peanut butter cups and cut into pieces if you like.
PRO TIP- We love making our own homemade vanilla extract, but if using store bought, be sure it’s pure extract, not imitation (for best flavor).
How to make the graham cracker crust:
Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and sugar. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom of a rimmed baking dish. Evenly distribute few mini peanut butter cups on top of the unbaked crust.
For the cheesecake filling:
Beat together all the filling ingredients with an electric mixer. Pour over the crust.
For the peanut butter cookie layer:
Combine the butter and sugar first, then stir in the remaining dough ingredients until combined. Fold peanut butter chips into the dough. Drop the dough by large scoops on top of the cheesecake.
Press the rest of your peanut butter cups into the top of the dough. Bake the cheesecake bars until the cookie layer is golden brown.
Tips and Tricks
- Chill for at least 3 hours. The bars need several hours to get nice and cold. I recommend making these the day before so they can chill in the fridge overnight.
- More chocolate: You can make this crust with Oreo cookie crumbs or chocolate graham crackers for even more chocolatey flavor.
- How to store: Keep them tightly covered in the fridge. These peanut butter cheesecake bars stay good for several days in the refrigerator. You can freeze them for longer storage too!
- Use our favorite peanut butter cookie dough for the topping instead!
I make these cheesecake bars in a standard 13 x 9 inch baking dish with raised sides (like a sheet cake pan or brownie pan).
To freeze peanut butter cheesecake bars, place the cut bars on a sheet pan in a single layer. Freeze for 1 -2 hours or until solid. Then transfer the frozen bars to freezer bags with a sheet of wax paper between layers. Let frozen bars thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
When the cookie layer looks lightly browned, the bars are ready to come out of the oven. The filling will continue firming up as the bars cool.
More Peanut Butter Desserts
- Peanut Butter Mousse Pie with chocolate ganache. You will want to make this recipe. SOON.
- The name says it all: Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Bars. No bake bites of deliciousness!
- Peanut Butter Buckeyes: an Ohio favorite
Can’t decide between peanut butter cookies and cheesecake? Make them BOTH with this easy Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bar recipe.