Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake has a chewy brownie layer topped with a creamy peanut butter cheesecake and drizzled with rich chocolate. The perfect sinful cheesecake for large gatherings or just because.
Peanut Butter Brownie Cheesecake
The first time I made this cheesecake was in 2013. My husband asked me to make a cheesecake for his boss, who was moving on to a new company.
He asked for brownie to be incorporated with a peanut butter cheesecake layer and this is what I came up with and it got rave reviews.
Much like my brownie bottom cupcakes, adding a brownie to just about any dessert makes it that much better.
Why you’ll love this Peanut Butter Cheesecake with a Brownie Crust
Peanut Butter Lover’s Dream – This decadent cheesecake is full of peanut butter flavor that is perfect for peanut butter fans.
Simple Recipe – You know easy recipes are kinda my thing and this one, though it looks fancy, is still really easy. You can use a box mix for the brownie layer or make it from scratch. You do need to allow a little bit of time for the cheesecake to chill though, so plan for that.
Perfect for Chocolate Lovers – The brownie crust and the melted chocolate drizzle over the top of the creamy cheesecake will satisfy chocolate fans.
Equipment you’ll need
- Springform Pan – A 9-inch pan. They’re often even cheaper at HomeGoods.
- Mixing Bowls – These with the grippy on the bottom are my favorite
- Hand Mixer – You could also use a stand mixer, but I opt for my hand mixer more often than not.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Brownie Batter – You’ll need either a 10oz mix (plus the ingredients called for on the package) or a small batch brownie recipe from scratch.
- Cream Cheese – Two (2) 8 oz bricks of cream cheese, at room temperature.
- Eggs – Two large eggs, also at room temperature.
- Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
- Peanut Butter – Creamy peanut butter, not natural. You’ll need it for the cream cheese mixture as well as for the drizzle.
- Vanilla Extract – Pure vanilla extract will give you much better flavor than imitation. I know it’s pricier, but it’s worth it.
- Chocolate Chips – You’ll melt chocolate chips for the topping. I prefer Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet baking chips.
How to make a Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake
This section shows you how to make this recipe, with process photos showing the steps to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- STEP ONE: First, prepare the bottom layer (either from a box brownie mix package instructions or from scratch) and pour the brownie batter into the bottom of the pan in an even layer. Bake brownies for 25 minutes at 325° or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- STEP TWO: Next, while the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake by mixing the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Then, one at a time, add the eggs, mixing on low until just blended. Place the cream cheese mixture into the fridge while the brownies finish baking.
- STEP THREE: Then, pour the peanut butter cheesecake batter over the baked brownie layer and smooth it evenly with a spatula. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes or until the center is almost set. Check it after 35 minutes to see how it’s doing. Once done, let cool on the counter for 10 minutes before transferring to the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours before serving.
- STEP FOUR: Finally, when ready to serve, in a small bowl (make sure it’s microwave safe) melt the chocolate chips with peanut butter in 30 second increments until smooth. Pour the melted chocolate into a small plastic baggie, snip just the tip, and drizzle over the cheesecake. Slice and serve!
What to serve with it
Tips & Suggestions
- If you don’t want to do the chocolate drizzle, try a chocolate ganache, mini peanut butter cups, peanut butter cup halves, or even hot fudge as a cheesecake topping.
- Use full fat cream cheese for the best results.
- Start with room temperature cream cheese and eggs. This is always important in baking but especially in cheesecake where there is a high fat content. Using cold eggs can harden the fat, curdle the batter, and leave you with lumpy cheesecake.
- A cheesecake is done when only a small circle in the center jiggles. After 35 minutes of bake time, jiggle it to see how it’s doing.
How to store leftovers
Leftover cheesecake should be stored, covered, in the fridge.
How long will cheesecake last in the fridge?
Homemade cheesecake usually keeps for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, cheesecake freezes really well. Freeze the entire cheesecake or individual slices by wrapping them in plastic wrap and then carefully placing them in a freezer bag. They’ll keep up to 2 months in the freezer when stored properly.
Do you put flour in cheesecake?
Nope, not in this cheesecake. No starch leaves the cheesecake smooth and dense.
Can you make a cheesecake without a springform pan?
Sure can! I baked my cheesecakes without a springform pan for years. If you don’t have one, line a cake pan, or pie plate, with parchment paper or foil and it should work just fine.
Why does my cheesecake crack after baking?
If you overmix your cheesecake batter, you’ll incorporate too much air, which will make the cheesecake rise too much and then collapse. Cracks also form when the cheesecake gets too dry.
Does cheesecake need to be refrigerated?
Yes. Put this brownie bottom peanut butter cheesecake (and others) in the fridge, covered, to store it.
Need more cheesecake recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of cake and pie recipes.
Originally published July 1, 2013