I made this cheesecake for my brother-in-law, Kenny’s, birthday last week. Young Ken turned 23 and has evolved into a self-proclaimed “non-dessert lover.” A bit strange, even freakish, if you ask me. Nonetheless, he does still hold a special place in his heart for cheesecake. So, I forced him to choose a birthday cheesecake I could make for him, and he requested chocolate peanut butter.
I did some research online and found this recipe from Taste of Home. It got great reviews and I made a few minor changes to it- like using homemade fudge instead of store bought, upping the Oreo amount in the crust, and being more liberal with the Reese cups (because how could that ever be a bad thing?).
Unfortunately, the day the cheesecake was served I was out of town attending one of my dear friend’s bridal showers and I didn’t get a chance to get a good picture of it pre-feast. Robert’s family and extended family were in town that day and I came home to find only a small sliver left. It was a success. I will definitely be making this dessert again, most likely for special occasions or after I’ve burned thousands of calories.
If you’re looking for a true crowd-pleaser, look no further.
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
Yield: 14-16 servings
For the crust:
- 1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup crushed Oreos
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (doesn’t go in crust)
For the filling:
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup hot fudge
- 16-20 mini peanut butter cupcakes, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, cookie crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Cover the outer bottom and sides of the pan with tin foil (to prevent water in water bath from seeping into crust in later steps).
- Place on a baking sheet and bake for 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, heat peanut butter on high for 30 seconds or until softened. Spread evenly over the crust. Top with hot fudge and about 1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cups.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour 1 cup into a bowl; set aside. Pour remaining filling over peanut butter/fudge layer.
- Using 1/4 cup warmed fudge, fold into reserved cream cheese mixture. Carefully pour and spread over filling.
- Place pan in a pan or pot with about 1 inch deep water to prevent the cake from cracking while baking. Carefully place in the oven. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
- Spread remaining hot fudge over cheesecake. Garnish with peanut butter cups. Refrigerate overnight before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.
Source: Taste of Home