This Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Cake is another one of my favorite cheesecake cake recipes!
What can I say? I’m just totally crazy about cheesecake cakes. Maybe one of these days I’ll write a cookbook totally devoted to this type of cake. Wouldn’t that be a fun book to have? Goodness, I think I’d gain about 40 pounds writing a book like that! Anyway, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter is appealing to so many people these days, so I thought this would be a good combo for my latest cheesecake cake. There are two layers of chocolate cake, and sandwiched in between the cake layers is a layer of peanut butter cheesecake. The whole cake is covered with peanut butter frosting, topped with chocolate ganache, and then sprinkled with peanut butter cups. IT’S VERY RICH… so a small slice’ll do ya just fine!
I’ve told you about my secret before, right? >> these cake strips?? They are the best baking invention known to mankind. Soak them in water, wrap them around each of your cake layers, and those cake layers will stay nice and flat for your cake. You don’t want to have to deal with rounded mounds of cake! I use them for every cake I bake. They’re cheap ($8.10 for two), and they last forever.
How to make a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Cake:
One chocolate cake layer goes on your platter. I like to slip little pieces of wax paper under the edges so the frosting doesn’t mess up my platter.
A small amount of peanut butter frosting goes on top of the first cake layer.
Then the cheesecake layer goes on next!
More frosting is spread onto the cheesecake layer (the frosting just kind of helps the layers stick together a little better).
The 2nd layer of cake tops the cheesecake.
Then the whole thing is frosted. Once you have everything covered, you can then slip out the wax paper and throw it away.
I added a chocolate ganache to the top. I’m not sure you really need it since the cake is completely and totally decadent and perfect all on its own. It’s totally your call. My chocolate seized up on me a little bit, so it’s not super shiny and beautiful (but it can be!) Otherwise, the peanut butter cups are sprinkled over the top. Don’t skip out on those! The Reeses mini cups can be found in your market’s candy aisle.
Ahhhh, the unveiling of the inside of the cake! You know why I love this cake so much? Because there are three kinds of desserts going on here > cake, cheesecake and candy! You won’t need dessert for a week after eating a slice of this! I served this at a little dinner party I had at my house recently. A friend of mine that I hadn’t seen since high school was in town and we had him and his partner over for dinner. They raved about this cake, which was really, really nice since my friend is a caterer in San Francisco!! I’m so glad it was a big hit. I’m thinking it would be cool for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day too… if your mom or Dad or your dude or chick is into the chocolate-peanut butter combo. It’s a special treat indeed!
Here are a few more cheesecake cake recipes you might enjoy:
- Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake
- Strawberry Cheesecake Cake
- Snickers Cheesecake Cake
- Chocolate Cheesecake Cake
- Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake
- Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Cake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Cake
PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE LAYER:
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1¼ cups creamy peanut butter (do not use natural)
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 8 ounces Reeses minis (or chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups)
- 2 cups granulated white sugar
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
PEANUT BUTTER FROSTING:
- 3/4 cup (1½ sticks) butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups creamy peanut butter, (do not use natural)
- 1/4 cup milk (or a little more, as needed)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
CHOCOLATE GANACHE (recipe from Ina Garten):
- 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
- 8 ounces Reeses minis (or chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups)
PREPARE THE CHEESECAKE LAYER:
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with nonstick spray. It's also nice if you can line it with a round of parchment paper, if you have it. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Mix in the sugar, then beat in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla. Keep mixing until everything is nice and smooth. If you'd like to have Reeses in the cheesecake, stir them in now. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until it is no longer super wiggly in the middle when you (gently) shake the pan. A tiny bit of wiggle is fine, but if there's a lot then it's not quite done yet. It should take between 1 hour and 1 hour and 15 minutes to bake the cheesecake until done (it's completely okay if the cheesecake happens to crack- it will not be noticeable in the cake). Remove from the oven and let cool on the counter. Transfer to the freezer and keep frozen until ready to assemble the cake.
PREPARE THE CAKE LAYERS:
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in water (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
PREPARE THE FROSTING:
- In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the butter and peanut butter. Beat until smooth and well-combined. Mix in 1/4 cup milk, then add in the sugar a little at a time until it is all mixed in. Sprinkle in a little more milk, if needed, and continue to beat until the frosting is a good spreading consistency. It should be creamy and delicious!
ASSEMBLE THE CHEESECAKE CAKE:
- Place one cake layer into the center of a cake plate or platter. Lightly frost the first layer of cake. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer, take off the sides of the pan, and slide a knife under the the cheesecake to release it from the pan and peel off the parchment paper. Use a sharp knife to trim the cheesecake around the edges, as needed to match the size of your cake layers (see *Tips). Place the cheesecake layer on top of the first cake layer. Lightly frost the cheesecake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the cheesecake.
FROST THE CAKE & MAKE THE GANACHE:
- Scoop a good amount of frosting onto the top of the cake. Use a flat spatula to spread the frosting smoothly across the top and down the sides. For the ganache: Cook the chocolate chips, heavy cream, and instant coffee in the top of a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Set aside until slightly cool to the touch, and then drizzle over the top of the cake and let it drip down the sides. Sprinkle Reeses on top.
- Refrigerate this cake until ready to serve (see tips below for serving and storage).
- *Measure your cheesecake layer against the cake layers. If the cheesecake layer turns out to be slightly larger size round than your cake layers, move it to a cutting board and use a knife to gently shave off some of the exterior of the cheesecake.
- *If you are serving this cake at a party, it’s perfectly okay to leave the cake at room temperature for a couple of hours (the cheesecake thaws very quickly). Otherwise, keep it stored in the refrigerator. It also freezes perfectly. Freeze it as is, then wrap it in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer until it is needed. Leftover slices may also be wrapped and frozen.
This cake was heavy, rich and superlicious!!! It paired well with a glass of dry, red wine!
Everyone loved it ! This is definitely a keeper recipe for my peanut butter loving friends & family.
Ok so, I’ve made this before and it was AMAZING! & I don’t even like chocolate that much. But I don’t remember if I used salted or unsalted butter.. which do you recommend because I wanted to make another for Easter.. thanks sooo much this really is a great recipe.
I usually use salted butter because I like the flavor– and it balances out the sweet.
Cheesecake is outstanding! I only made the cheesecake middle and topped it with the ganache. Perfect birthday cake!
This recipe did not turn out for me at all. I followed everything to a T and pre measured all my ingredients. The cheesecake turned out an egg like consistency and the frosting was like soupy..if I added more powdered sugar it would get grainy. Really disappointed it didn’t turn out.
Something must have gone wrong! Sorry it didn’t work for you.
Could I use 8″ pans and have the same result?
Possibly, but do you have an 8-inch cheesecake pan? Those are usually 9-inches…
About how tall does this cake end up being?
I don’t recall- it has been a while since I’ve made it!
Wondering if anyone has ever used fudge sauce for top using instead of ganache?
I’m Looking forward to making this one too . I made your red velvet cheesecake for a birthday it was amazing! Wondering if I could make ahead of time? Do cake layers and cheese cake layers keep in the freezer?
Yes, if you wrap each layer well then it should be fine in the freezer!
Oh my gosh this was absolutely delicious and a huge hit on Thanksgiving. It has several steps, but it’s so worth the time spent. The ganache was a great final touch. I did not add peanut butter cups to the cheesecake. Garnishing the top was just right. Definitely one of the most favorite desserts I’ve made and will be making it again.
So happy to hear you loved it!
I made this cake and it was good but very rich. Thanks for the recipe
I’m making the cheese cake right now and I was wondering if I had to freeze it or can it just be refrigerated
Freeze- it will be easiest to handle when you need to put it in between layers.
Fantastic cake! Not hard to make, and everyone loved it!
Sugar overload. Gotta try this. Trying adding a touch of karo syrup to the ganache, keeps the choclate smooth & shiny.
Hey Lori. Recently, I made this cheesecake for my lil sister’s b’day & it turned out amaaaaazing. The recipe/cake was a hit n super delicious too. Got double thumbs up from my family.
I just altered it a bit by not frosting the entire cake, instead I covered the cake with chocolate peanut butter swirl ganache. Wish I could upload & show you it’s picture. Bdw thanks for such a wonderful recipe.
This has been one of my husband’s favorite cakes. It
turned out amazing!
This looks amazing! I’m going to bake one this weekend just because…
A quick tip on seized ganache: it basically has too much fat. Try stirring some plain old lukewarm milk into the ganache, one teaspoon at a time, until it comes back together. (I use full cream milk, but any other type will do). No more wasted ingredients!
I made this for my husbands birthday and it was a huge success! Thanks so much!! I want to make this same one for my father in law but I want to do classic cheesecake rather than the peanutbutter. Is there anything I need to add to the cheesecake? Of course I would omit the peanutbutter.. But would that alter the whole recipe and not turn out?
You can use the recipe for classic cheesecake in this recipe: https://www.recipegirl.com/2011/11/28/red-velvet-cheesecake-cake/
Made it for a family gathering, it was a big hit ! One sibling said it was the best cake he’s ever had his whole life ! Thanks for the recipe 🙂 wish I could post pictures on here. Anywho what I did for the top was went along side with Reese minis and added shredded chocolate in the middle. Great success! Thx
I made this cake and it was DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for this recipe! How can I send you a picture?? Love from Guatemala ????
Hi Lori! I just finished making this cake for my brother-in-law’s birthday! He loves chocolate and pb! It looks awesome! Thank you for the recipe!!
Amazing recipe. I’m praying you get this and respond right away. I am preparing this tonight (Tuesday), so it’s ready for Thanksgiving (Thursday). So i’m wondering if I should freeze the cheesecake for a 1/2hour o or so to give it some extra time to cool and then prepare the cake with frosting and all tonight or freeze it and wait till thursday to frost. I’m just afraid if I don’t frost the cake tonight it will dry out, but I am also afraid that if I do put the layer of cake on top of the cheesecake it will not keep up under the weight and not frozen. I hope that made sense.
Hi Mandi, Just getting this now… what did you decide to do?
I’m in the process of making this as I type! I do have a question about the gnache though.. Do I let it cool before I put it on the cake? Thank you!
sprry, you said ” do not use natural peanut butter ” what does it mean ? i have bought the SKIPPY , is it right ?
yes, Skippy is fine.
This looks amazing, Lori! I’m not a big fan of PB (looks so tempting though) but my husband loves it… I might surprise him one of these days with your cake. Thanks for the recipe!
chocolate and pb is delicious! yum!
You don’t need the baking strips if you preheat the oven at 350 and as soon as you put the cakes in the oven, turn it down to 325. No dome; and money in your pocket.
We made this cake, my friend and i, we had half each, everyone that had a slice was in cake heaven.
well i just got to say that i had never heard/seen those cake strips before and though oh yeh some more money wasted, but did send for them you never know they may just work. My friend and i are in the process of making this cake, i used the strips and oh Boy i can certainly recommend them they WORK. the cake is looking good so far we just have to assemble it now.
Aren’t they great!!?
I put chunky peanut butter in the frosting and in the chocolate cake. This cake has been a crowd pleaser. Thank you love the recipe!
This Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake is ALL TIME amazing!
I’ve always loved your cheesecake cakes…but this is definitely my favorite yet!
Whoa!! The peanut butter cup topping grabbed me, but this whole recipe is a show-stopper. And I love the cake strips…gotta get me some. All-around fabulous.
Does this cheesecake need a water bath? I noticed on your other cheesecake cake recipes you specify a using a water bath in your directions (I am a newbie baker 🙂 ) I did not use one and my cheesecake turned out tasting like peanut butter fudge. So yummy, but did it take on a denser consistency because of the lack of water?
The water bath should not affect the consistency of the cheesecake (it just prevents cracking). I’ve stopped using the water baths for my cheesecake cakes since it doesn’t really matter if the cheesecake cracks or not.. since the layer is hidden between two layers of cake. This cheesecake is rich and dense, for sure!
Oh boy, this is sounds and looks fantastic! I think I just gained 5 lbs just by looking at it. Haha
My jaw is on the floor. I LOOOOVE everything about this cake!
This is over the top amazing! I love the idea of layer a cheesecake in the middle, so delicious!
Oh my good lord. What have you done?! There’s a cheesecake in your cake! Aaaah!
I love it I love it. Honestly. I’m kind of freaking out here.
I love pb cup desserts. The first layer cake I made when I was about 11 was a pb one, haven’t made one since but I think this would be a great addition to my to bake list!! And yes a small slice, but a small slice every hour 😉 LOL
Oh Lori! You’ve done it again! This looks absolutely incredible! Can’t wait to bake it!
I’m not the biggest fan of peanut butter but that looks tempting 😀
Woah!! The cheesecake layer alone deserves a cheer. Love this cake!
You really need to open up a sweet shop Lori, You could sell this cake for $50 bucks and people would line up at your door to buy it, I know I would!
YES!!!! It was a big hit with your caterer friend, moi, lol…..
OMG, we soooooooo loved it, the best damn dessert we have ever consumed in our life, not kidding. I catch myself daydreaming about it from time to time….like now!
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed- come back again and I’ll make another one!
I think I want to marry you!
Amazing! I can’t even handle it. Love cheesecake and cake together – yum!
Whoa, totally decadent and awesome! I haven`t yet tried making a cheesecake cake. Haha. Making just either cheesecake or cake is already time-consuming for me. LOL! Love this combo, of course!
Lori this cake is amazing!
This cheesecake cake looks so rich and delicious! I love chocolate and peanut butter, and combining it with cheesecake would be pure heaven. ????
three kinds of desserts going on here > cake, cheesecake and candy! = AND THAT is why this is the perfect dessert! As you said, you won’t need dessert for a week, okay maybe a few days for me, but this is seriously one of your best ever. It ranks up there with that red velvet showstopper you made about 6 months ago. You make the best yeast dough and the best fancy layer cakes! pinned
I’ve been wanting to try out those baking strips but was worried they didn’t do anything. Glad to know they work! Also this cake is blowing my mind!
OMG Lori, this looks so very sinful; I feel guilty about pinning it. I would LOVE to make this ASAP! Chocolate & cheesecake 😀
Gah! So decadent! I would drool over a cheesecake cookbook 🙂
This is my favorite of your cheesecake cakes, Lori!! Amazing!!!
This is amazing. Love the different layers!
Oh my gosh, I can’t believe this is for reals!! This is the kind of cake I would want – all of my favorite things! I love that there is a cheesecake layer in between and you decorated it beautifully 🙂 Pinning!
I can’t even handle the amazing of this! First off, those cake strips? GENIUS! I didn’t know.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are my favorite treat…and cheesecake is my favorite dessert. Combined with cake? Mind blown.
This. is. epic.
Your cakes always impress me! Love this one so freaking hard!