This truly decadent Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake combines a buttery, chocolate wafer crust with a creamy, peanut butter cheesecake filling that's mixed and topped with pieces of Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups. It's the perfect dessert to share with those who love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and for those that can appreciate a really good tasting cheesecake!
Recipe updated, including fresh new photos! 1.29.2020
how to make this Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecake recipe
Made in a 9-inch springform pan, you only need seven ingredients to make this cheesecake!
- Cream Cheese - you'll need 4, 8 ounce blocks for this recipe, and it's very important that they are softened and at room temperature.
- Light Brown Sugar - adding the 1 1/2 cups of light brown sugar versus regular granulated sugar lends itself well for a really nice boost of flavor.
- Creamy Peanut Butter - only a 1/2 cup is needed to give this cheesecake that perfect peanut buttery taste! Make sure to use regular, creamy peanut butter and not the natural style as the oil can do some not-so-nice things to your cheesecake batter!
- Vanilla Extract - just one teaspoon does the trick for this cheesecake recipe!
- Eggs - this is the ingredient that brings the cheesecake together! The 4 large eggs needed should be at room temperature and slightly whisked.
- Heavy Whipping Cream - adding heavy whipping cream versus sour cream gives this cheesecake a very creamy texture!
- Miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups - you'll need 1, 10.5 ounce bag which will give you the 2 1/2 cups needed for the cheesecake batter. You'll chop these up into small bits, and fold them in at the very end. If you want more to top the cheesecake with, buy an extra bag.
making the chocolate wafer crust
I love this chocolate wafer crust because it requires very little ingredients. It's a slightly crunchier style crust because of the peanuts, but it pairs very well with the Reese's peanut butter cheesecake filling!
To make this chocolate wafer crust you'll need:
- Chocolate Wafers - I used Nabisco's Famous Chocolate Wafers which can be found in the cookie aisle, most likely by the Oreos. You'll need approximately 28 wafers from the 9 ounce sleeve. You can save the leftovers to sprinkle over the top of the cheesecake or you can just eat them!
- Unsalted Roasted Peanuts - This gives the crust a nice little added peanut butter kick! You can use salted roasted peanuts if you prefer, but omit the pinch of salt that's called for.
- Light Brown Sugar - Only 2 tablespoons are needed, but again, it gives this cheesecake and crust a nice flavor.
- Unsalted Butter - You'll need 5 tablespoons which gets melted and added to the crust to bring it all together.
- Salt - Just a pinch is needed, but eliminate if using salted peanuts!
Before starting your chocolate wafer crust, I like to prep my 9-inch springform pan by generously spraying it with a flour-based baking spray. Then I line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, respraying again with the baking spray.
This chocolate wafer crust should be packed down as tightly as you can make it. You can use the bottom of a measuring cup, spatula, or glass to do this.
6 helpful tips for making a cheesecake
Making a cheesecake can be quite tricky and a little nerve-racking! And I'll be honest, I was always a little intimated by the thought of baking them myself!
All of the horror stories I've heard about how they can crack, the middle can sink, they can dry out, or how it can get stuck in the pan—it's enough to shake the confidence of any baker!
Here are some tips I have learned a long the way that I hope will help ease your mind while baking your first or next cheesecake!
paddle attachments are key
Use the paddle attachment with your stand mixer for making the cheesecake which will avoid beating any extra air into the batter. Having that extra air can cause your cheesecake to crack. Another key point with this—don't over beat your batter!
buy yourself a springform pan
Cheesecakes are best baked in a springform pan because the sides can easily be removed after it's cooled. Trying to get a cheesecake out of a non-springform pan is just way too complicated and you end up cursing a lot.
I speak from experience here friends.
wrap it up
Wrap the sides of your springform pan in 4-5 layers of heavy aluminum foil. In addition to using a well-made springform pan, having this extra later of protection will help your cheesecake from leaking. I haven't had any leak yet, but this tip is always a good one for those "just in case" moments.
don't forget the water bath
A water bath is an important and helpful tip that can save your cheesecake from drying out, sinking, or cracking. Having one creates a nice steam bath inside your oven, like a little sauna, and all that moisture will help keep your cheesecake nice and well, moist. Out of all the tips listed here, this is probably the one you don't want to skip.
keep the oven door closed
Do not open the oven door as your cheesecake bakes. Doing so will let out all that nice steam your oven created with the water bath.
I repeat. Do not open the oven door.
have a little patience
This Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake recipe takes a minimum of 55 minutes to bake, 45 minutes to cool down in the water bath with the door closed, then another 45 minutes to an hour to let it sit at room temperature. And that's before letting it chill in the refrigerator to firm up for a minimum of 4 hours. Overnight really is the preferred option here though. So yeah, this recipes takes time.
It's well worth the wait though. Trust me!
What have been some of your most helpful tips when it comes to baking a cheesecake? I'd love to hear them in the comments below!
last minute Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecake tips
- Suggested baking times listed for recipe do not include the additional time needed after baking for water bath cooling (45 minutes), room temp cooling (60 minutes), and refrigerator chilling (4 hours). Total time from start to finish is 8 hours.
- When mixing the cream cheese, it's best to cut it into smaller pieces. This makes it easier on the paddle attachment or if you're using your hand-held mixer.
- After baking the crust, don't forget to reduce the oven temp to 350ºF to 325ºF.
- Do not open the oven door to check on your cheesecake during baking.
- After turning off your oven, do not open the oven door while the cheesecake cools down in the water bath.
- Your cheesecake will be jiggly in the center. This is okay. It will set while it continues to cool and when it sets in the refrigerator during chilling.
Calling all the cheesecake lovers in the world! This rich and creamy, peanut buttery, chocolatey Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake recipe is a must-make and a must-share with friends and family!
chocolate wafer crust
- 1 1/2 cups (192 grams, approximately 28 wafers) Chocolate Wafers, finely crushed
- 1/2 cup (76 grams) Roasted Unsalted Peanuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon (or pinch of) Salt
- 5 tablespoons (72 grams) Unsalted Butter, melted
Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cup (282 grams) Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
- 1/2 cup (150 grams) Creamy Peanut Butter
- 4, 8 ounce packages (908 grams) Cream Cheese, softened, at room temperature, and cut into small cubes
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 4 Large Eggs, room temperature and slightly whisked
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) Heavy Whipping Cream
- 1, 10.5 ounce bag or 2 1/2 cups (327 grams) Reese’s Miniature Peanut Butter Cups, unwrapped and chopped into small pieces
chocolate wafer crust
- Adjust your oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Using a flour-based baking spray, generously coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan, then line with parchment paper, and respray. Set to the side.
- Using a food processor, pulverize the chocolate wafers into fine crumbs. Add in the unsalted roasted peanuts and pulse until the peanuts are finely chopped and blended with the wafer crumbs.
- Transfer the chocolate wafer-peanut crumb mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the light brown sugar, and salt. Then add in the melted butter and mix together using spatula until completed blended.
- Press the chocolate wafer crust mixture into the bottom of the prepared 9-inch springform pan, then place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350ºF.
- When done, remove from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack to cool.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325ºF.
- Once chocolate water crust has cooled to the touch, wrap the bottom of the springform pan in 4-5 overlapping sheets of heavy aluminum foil. The foil should come up high along the sides which will help keep water from the water bath from getting into the cheesecake.
Reese's peanut butter cup cheesecake
- Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened, room temperature cream cheese on medium-high speed for about 4-5 minutes or until it's light and very smooth.This will help eliminate any lumps later.
- Add in the light brown sugar, creamy peanut butter, and vanilla and continue to mix together on medium-high speed until blended.
- Reduce the mixer to a slower speed, adding in the heavy whipping cream and slightly whisked eggs, mixing together until just combined. Do not over mix the cheesecake batter.
- Fold in the chopped Reese's Miniature Peanut Butter Cups using a spatula.
- Pour the cheesecake mixture into the cooled crust. Don't forget to have the springform pan wrapped in foil before the next step!
- Using a large microwave safe glass measuring cup, boil close to 4 cups of water in the microwave.
- Place the cheesecake into a roasting pan, then place onto the middle rack of the oven. Before closing the door, carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for approximately 55-60 minutes at 325ºF. When done, turn off the oven and, keeping the door closed, allow the cheesecake to cool in the water bath for 45 minutes.
- Carefully remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan, placing it on a trivet or wire cooling rack to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour.
- Once cooled, remove the aluminum foil layers, then loosely cover the top of the cheesecake with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours or, my preference, overnight.
- When ready to serve, release the sides from the pan, slice, and enjoy!
Suggested baking times listed for recipe do not include the additional time needed after baking for water bath cooling (45 minutes), room temp cooling (60 minutes), and refrigerator chilling (4 hours). Total time from start to finish is 8 hours.
When mixing the cream cheese, it's best to cut it into smaller pieces. This makes it easier on the paddle attachment or if you're using your hand-held mixer.
After baking the crust, don't forget to reduce the oven temp to 350ºF to 325ºF.
Do not open the oven door to check on your cheesecake during baking.
After turning off your oven, do not open the oven door while the cheesecake cools down in the water bath.
Your cheesecake will be jiggly in the center. This is okay. It will set while it continues to cool and when it sets in the refrigerator during chilling.
Recipe adapted from A Taste of Bedminster Elementary Cookbook.
Keywords: reese's peanut butter cheesecake, peanut butter cheesecake, cheesecake, water bath for cheesecake, reese's peanut butter cups, peanut butter, chocolate
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