Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

There’s not much in the world of desserts that I love more than the combination of peanut butter, chocolate and cheesecake. Give me any of those three on their own and I’d grab a spoon or fork and go to town. Mix two of them together and you enter the land of pure sweets bliss. But all three? Put them together and you have dessert nirvana. I have always had a huge weakness for the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, as well as for cheesecake, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I finally put them all together in a peanut butter-fudge cheesecake. Since then I have been ALL OVER anything that includes that amazing trifecta. Enter these cheesecake bars. A chocolate graham cracker crust holds a peanut butter cheesecake filling, which is topped with a chocolate glaze. Come to mama.

For as much as I love cheesecake, you just can’t beat the ease and simplicity of cheesecake bars. No worrying about a springform pan, water baths, long bake times or long chill times. The bake time is much shorter, which means you can get one of these into your mouth in record time. Plus, I feel much less guilty about grabbing three or four of these rich and creamy squares than downing a slice of cheesecake. A trick of the mind, for sure 😉

One year ago: Cinnamon-Sugar Pull-Apart Bread
Three years ago: Potato-Bacon Torte
Four years ago: Cheddar Ale Spread

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 24 bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes


For the Crust:
2½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Peanut Butter Cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 eggs
½ cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Glaze:
6 ounces milk or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons vegetable shortening (can substitute coconut oil)


1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add the melted butter and toss together with a fork until the crumbs are all evenly moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13-inch baking pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes; remove to a wire rack and cool.

2. Make the Cheesecake Layer: Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, peanut butter and flour on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition. Slowly pour in the milk and then the vanilla extract and beat until combined.

3. Pour the cheesecake batter over the crust and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake layer is set around the edges and still appears slightly soft when the pan is wiggled. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack.

4. Make the Chocolate Glaze: Combine the chopped chocolate and vegetable shortening in a small bowl and microwave on 50% power in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until completely melted. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cheesecake layer. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour, then cut into squares and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


47 Responses to “Chocolate & Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on August 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

    I made cheesecake once and it was a bit daunting. These look a lot easier but just as tasty!


  2. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on August 22, 2012 at 3:23 am

    Oh man. This looks amazing!


  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 22, 2012 at 3:24 am

    they’ve got all my fave things & flavors rolled into one!


  4. IdaBaker on August 22, 2012 at 4:28 am

    What a coincidence. A friend of mine and I were just talking about your favorite candy bars, comparing our lists, and we agreed chocolate and peanut butter is one of our favorites. 🙂


  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar on August 22, 2012 at 6:19 am

    These bars look soooo freaking delicious!


  6. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on August 22, 2012 at 6:52 am

    These bars look awesome! I have a lot of peanut butter and chocolate lovers in my family, so I will have to give these a try.


  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on August 22, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I just love cheesecake and chocolate peanut butter cheesecake sounds amazing!!!


  8. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet on August 22, 2012 at 9:42 am

    My favorite dessert ever!!


  9. Nicole G on August 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

    These look amazing!

    Any tips for turning your other cheesecake recipes into cheesecake bars? Is it essentially the same recipe (or perhaps less filling) but following these steps?


    • Michelle on August 31st, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      Hi Nicole, They are not exactly the same. Much less volume, for sure. But yes, same steps.


  10. colleen @ Secrets fromthe Cookie Princess on August 22, 2012 at 9:55 am

    Yes, these will do just fine. I’ll just take the whole pan….


  11. bridget {bake at 350} on August 22, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I can feel the inches being added to my thighs, but you know what? These would be totally worth it! YUM!


  12. The Brunette Baker on August 22, 2012 at 10:07 am

    The best combination ever. These look incredible! xo


  13. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction on August 22, 2012 at 10:32 am

    This is an amazing trifecta!


  14. Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie on August 22, 2012 at 10:35 am

    I have a weakness for all things peanut butter and chocolate.


  15. maddie on August 22, 2012 at 11:44 am

    yum yum


  16. Jen of My Tiny Oven on August 22, 2012 at 11:56 am

    OMG, I am drooling over here. I need this in my life right now! Your recipes this week are killing me!! YUM!


  17. Margaret on August 22, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    OH! MY Word!! Chocolate, PB AND cheesecake. How well you know me!! This is going to be dangerous, I can see that now. Just how BIG of a mini can I make of this and not feel completely guilty?

    Thanks for this one, I think!!!


  18. Barbara | Creative Culinary on August 22, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever had peanut butter with cheesecake but you’ve done your job. Now I’m craving it. (Though my new love, Biscoff spread, might be given a shot too!).


    • Michelle on August 31st, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      I think Biscoff would be a delicious peanut butter alternative!


  19. RavieNomNoms on August 22, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Um yes. That’s all I have to say about that.


  20. Katie @ Blonde Ambition on August 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    Yep, this is truly the trifecta to end all trifectas! Too funny, I wish you had posted this yesterday – I was hosting a French friend who loves cheesecake but never finds it in France! We bought one for him from the store, but these would have been better 🙂


    • Michelle on August 31st, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      Ah, bummer! One day too late!


  21. Amber on August 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    My boyfriend and I would LOVE this! Love chocolate and pb. Definitly putting this on my recipe list.


  22. Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust on August 22, 2012 at 9:31 pm

    Oh wow. This is beyond amazing. PB&C is flippin’ awesome. In cheesecake? Perfect!


  23. Kate on August 23, 2012 at 9:06 am

    Looks delicious. Great classic flavors.


  24. Riley on August 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    Chocolate and peanut butter? YES PLEASE! These look so great!


  25. Andrea Bukowski on August 24, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Could you please tell me how you take your pictures? They look amazing. oh, and btw..I am making these bars today, they look great! Thanks


    • Michelle on August 31st, 2012 at 8:14 pm

      Hi Andrea, I’m not sure what type of specifics you are looking for, but I take them in my kitchen using natural light. I have a Canon T2i camera and for most of my food photos, I use a 100mm 2.8 macro lens. I hope that helps!


  26. Javelin Warrior on August 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Wow, you did come up with the trifecta! This looks absolutely perfect (and kind of reminds me of a Klondike bar) – I know I shave have to try this! I’m featuring this post in today’s Food Fetish Friday (with a link-back and attribution). I hope you have no objections and thanks for the inspiration…


  27. Home Inspections Chicago on August 27, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Potluck dessert recipe!!!


  28. Shelley on August 28, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    I made these over the weekend and they took a while but were delicious!! All of my coworkers loved them!


  29. mahoots on September 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

    They look awesome ….i’ll hav to try them out before the week runs out!


  30. Danielle on September 3, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    These look great!! I just finished making a batch, and found out I won’t be going to the event I planned on bringing them to until next week. Do you think freezing them would be ok?


    • Michelle on October 5th, 2012 at 10:58 am

      Yes, you could definitely freeze these!


  31. Anita at Hungry Couple on September 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    Given the fact that those are my favorite words in the food language, all I can say is OMG!


  32. Amanda on October 23, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I just made these and am still waiting for them to cool but they seem to have turned out a bit rubbery in texture….or jello like. Any ideas why??? I thought the texture would be the same as a regular cheesecake–is it supposed to be different?? Also, I only baked this for 30 minutes and the edges had already started to burn. I did use slightly less sugar, and crunchy pb instead of smooth, but other than that I followed the recipe to a t…any suggestions from anyone???


    • Michelle on October 25th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Hi Amanda, If you decreased the sugar, that could certainly have an effect on the final outcome. The peanut butter shouldn’t, but that’s not to say it didn’t.


  33. Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking on October 25, 2012 at 11:16 am

    my favorite sweet treat is chocolate cheesecake but add some peanut butter and you have me on my knees.
    Beautiful bars Michelle, thanks for sharing, linked to them in my 100 chocolate recipes from 100 bloggers


    • Michelle on October 25th, 2012 at 3:30 pm

      Hi Roxana, Thanks so much for sharing these bars in your roundup!


  34. Rachel on January 31, 2013 at 3:12 am

    I just want to clarify, after baking the crust am I to remove the crust and let it cool on a wire rack and then put it back in and pour the cheesecake over it to bake it again? I got confused at that part and want to be sure before I start so that they turn out just as good as they do in the photo!


    • Michelle on January 31st, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      Hi Rachel, You remove the crust from the oven and allow it to cool. Once you make the cheesecake filling, you pour it over the crust, and put the pan back in the oven.


  35. Rachel on February 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    Note: Although it says 1 hour and 10 minutes it actually takes a lot longer because you have to let the crust cool and then the cheesecake cool completely before putting on the glaze. Don’t start it at 9pm if you’re tired 🙂

    Living in Australia I was forced to butcher the recipe because they don’t have Graham crackers (more’s the pity) so I used oreo cookies. Then, they were out of the good smooth peanut butter (and they never have Jif to begin with) so I had to use the cheap kind. Then, I accidentally made too much chocolate and made the top glaze thick so that when I tried to make perfect squares, it cracked and they were left looking more rustic than square.

    And after all that, they were AMAZING 🙂


  36. allison on April 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    It seems like every time I google a recipe for something I want to make, the best result I find is always on this site. So thanks – again. 🙂


  37. Marie on November 26, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Hi sorry I was thinking of making this but without the peanut butter. Would that affect the cheesecake in any way if I just take it out?


    • Michelle on November 27th, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Hi Marie, Yes, it will definitely affect the final texture.


  38. Nicole on August 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

    I absolutely love this recipe! It has become my new go-to dessert to take to a party. It has been a big hit every time:) I have also used regular graham cracker crumbs for the crust when I didn’t have chocolate and it still turned out great. I’ve also mixed the two kinds. Thanks for sharing!


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