Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars – stuffing peanut butter cups into peanut butter cheesecake bars layered on a cookie crust and then drizzling them with chocolate is always a good idea! There’s no water bath involved or even the need for a springform pan which means even beginner bakers can handle this one with amazing results.
Coming from someone who isn’t a fan of cheesecake, I must say, these are pretty unforgettable!
However, I do love Reese’s peanut butter cups and the chocolate and peanut butter combination which is why I also love a slice of Brownie Bottom Peanut Butter Cheesecake!
There are distinct layers of a cookie crust and peanut butter, chocolate, and cheesecake in every bite. It’s a creamy peanut butter cheesecake with a surprise peanut butter cup in every slice. Although they’re pretty indulgent, they’re super easy to make. This is especially helpful when the holidays roll around!
Serve it warm and gooey or chilled and slightly firm. Enjoy it as a handheld portable cheesecake bar or get fancy and use a fork.
Either way, you’re going to find this cheesecake dessert as irresistible as I do!
Why you’ll love Reese’s Cheesecake Bars
They’re So Good! – Did I mention they’re made with a crunchy cookie crust on the bottom, a baked peanut butter cheesecake with a hidden Reese’s peanut butter cup inside?
Customizable – You can make these as is or switch up things like the kind of cookie crust you use and what toppings you add.
Easy to Make – There are a few moving parts just because that’s the nature of cheesecake, but each layer is super simple to create.
Makes a Big Batch – One batch makes at least 15 bars. More if you cut them a little smaller!
Equipment you’ll need
- 9 x 13 baking dish – I love that this one has a lid.
- Food processor – for crushing the cookies. I have this mini one.
- Pretty spatulas – for smoothing out the batter.
- For The Crust – Nutter Butter Cookies and Unsalted Butter. Once the cookies are processed into a fine crumb, either by placing them in a zip-top bag and crushing them with a rolling pin, or using a food processor, the melted butter holds them together to bind the crust.
- Cream Cheese – Bring it to room temperature ahead of time so that it’s soft enough to cream easily. Use cream cheese from a block, not the tub of spreadable stuff, which contains more water.
- Granulated White Sugar – Since cream cheese is quite tart and peanut butter can be a bit salty, we need the sugar to balance it out and make it all kinds of dessert-y!
- Peanut Butter – Use commercial smooth peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy) and not natural peanut butter. The natural stuff tends to separate and is much thinner which will change the consistency of the cheesecake.
- All Purpose Flour & Large Eggs – This is a baked cheesecake, so we need flour and eggs to create structure and to make it light and fluffy.
- Milk – This will help to thin out the thick cream cheese into a pourable batter. I use 2% milk.
- Peanut Butter Cups – Full size, no skimping here!
- Chocolate Drizzle – Chocolate Chips and Creamy Peanut Butter.
How to Make Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars
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: Combine the crushed cookies and melted butter and mix until it looks like wet sand. Then use your hands or a spatula to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of a prepared 9 x 13 baking dish. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to smooth and level it out.
- Step Two: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and flour on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Then, add the eggs one at a time, while continuing to beat. Stir in the milk.
- Step Three: Pour the batter onto the prepared crust and spread it out evenly. Gently press the peanut butter cups into the batter, making sure to evenly space them out. You want every bar to have one. Press them far enough in so that they are hidden. Use a spatula to smooth the batter evenly across the top.
- Step Four: Bake the peanut butter cheesecake bars for 10 minutes in a preheated 325° F and then reduce the heat to 250° F and bake for another 40 minutes. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on the counter for 30 minutes before moving it to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.
- Step Five: To make the drizzle, microwave the chocolate chips and peanut butter for 10 seconds at a time, stirring in between each interval. Use a plastic baggie with the tip snipped, a fork, or a spoon to drizzle it on top of the bars. Place them back into the fridge to set before slicing.
What to Serve with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake Bars
These don’t need much as they are decadent! However, I don’t know anyone that would decline a scoop of chocolate or vanilla ice cream on the side.
This is the kind of chilled bar that would also go great with a hot cup of coffee for brunch or a Drunk Rudolph Milkshake for dessert!
Tips & Suggestions
- This recipe yields about 15 bars of a very generous size. You could also cut them in half to make 30 bars that would still be a decent size.
- Swap the Nutter Butters with a different cookie for a twist on the crust. Try an Oreo cookie crust or a Graham cracker crust instead. A peanut butter cookie dough bottom would also be great!
- Instead of placing whole peanut butter cups into the batter, you could chop them up and sprinkle the chunks throughout.
- Make sure to spray your dish with nonstick cooking spray for easy removal. You can even line it with aluminum foil and keep the edges hanging over. That way you can lift the entire thing out before slicing.
- For clean slices, use a plastic fork. Or, wipe the cake cutting knife clean between each slice.
How to Store Reese’s Cheesecake Bars
How to store leftovers
Once completely cooled, you can store these peanut butter cup cheesecake bars in an airtight container.
How long will they last in the fridge?
They have quite a bit of dairy in them, so as soon as they’re cooled, you want to keep them in the fridge. They will keep fresh for up to 4 days.
Can I freeze homemade Reese’s cheesecake bars?
Sure you can! Once completely chilled, wrap them well with plastic wrap and then foil. I like to wrap the bars individually so that I only need to thaw what I will be eating.
Transfer them to a freezer bag or freezer-safe container and keep them frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Tons! I love it with simple peanut butter and chocolate drizzle, but you can get as creative as you’d like. Add some chopped peanut butter cups or mini cups on top. Try adding M&Ms, a caramel drizzle, or crushed peanuts on top!
The sides will be firm and there will be a slight jiggle in the middle. It will continue to set as it cools. If it is soupy, however, it’s not quite ready yet.
You don’t! Everything bakes nicely at the same time which is part of what makes this recipe so easy.
Need More Cheesecakes & Bars? Try These:
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Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
Originally published January 15, 2013