This no-bake peanut butter cheesecake has an Oreo cookie crust, creamy peanut butter flavor, and peanut butter cups on top. It’s decadent, tangy, peanut buttery-y, and ridiculously easy to make. Big reward with little effort.
**This post was updated on October 8, 2020 with new photos, tips and a slightly updated recipe for a creamier cheesecake**
Tangy cheesecake, creamy peanut butter and Oreo cookies come together to make this delicious peanut butter cheesecake. Better yet – it takes very little prep time and is way easier than making a traditional cheesecake recipe because there’s no need to turn on the oven and zero risks of your cheesecake cracking. The recipe starts with a simple chocolate cookie crust. Then the filling is a creamy, slightly tangy, and almost like a peanut butter mousse. It’s peanut butter heaven.
The Perfect Peanut Butter No-Bake Cheesecake
This recipe is similar to my favorite peanut butter pie recipe – only because it’s a cheesecake – it’s tangier, a little thicker, and well, more like cheesecake and less like a mousse. We’re also topping it with chocolate ganache and peanut butter cups. Now I love making a traditional peanut butter cheesecake, but when you’re short on time or it’s too hot outside to turn on your oven – then this recipe is definitely the way to go.
The recipe starts with an Oreo cookie crust. I love to make a thick crust that goes up the sides of the pan (about ⅓ – ½ way) because it really supports the cheesecake, which is especial for no-bake varieties. Plus it tastes delicious. The filling of the cookies actually acts as additional “glue” to hold the crust together. Crushed cookies get mixed together with melted butter, then pressed into the bottom and up the sides of your springform pan.
Then the filling is an easy, creamy, tangy peanut butter delight. It’s surprisingly not too dense but still sets well. Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese to ensure that the cheesecake sets properly. Then for the peanut butter, you want to use classic, smooth peanut butter instead of natural or homemade. Natural and homemade peanut butters separate – which will definitely wreak havoc on the recipe.
You’ll start by beating together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Then mix in the peanut butter and sour cream. Sour cream adds a little extra tanginess that’s required for cheesecake and makes it smoother in texture. Then you’ll fold in whipped cream. The whipped cream makes the texture lighter and creamier. It’s important when folding in the whipped cream to be gentle to keep the volume in the whipped cream so it doesn’t deflate. Then you’ll spoon the filling over the crust, smooth it over and place in the fridge to set.
After the cheesecake has set in the fridge, it gets topped with chocolate ganache and peanut butter cups. I typically make the cheesecake the night before I plan to serve it. Then I’ll make the ganache topping sometime during the day and pop the cheesecake back in the fridge for the ganache to set. You can either top the entire cheesecake with ganache (like it’s pictured) or make the ganache right before serving and let each guest drizzle it on top of their own piece. You could easily leave out the chocolate topping. Alternatively, it’s delicious with whipped cream on top instead.
Creamy, delicious and completely no-bake – this peanut butter cheesecake ticks all the boxes. And if you’re looking for more delicious no-bake cheesecake recipes, be sure to try:
- Classic No-Bake Cheesecake
- No-Bake Chocolate Cheesecake
- No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake
- No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake Bars
No-Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake
- 9-inch springform pan
For the Oreo Crust
- 35 Oreo cookies wafers and filling
- ⅓ cup unsalted butter melted
For the Cheesecake Layer
- 24 ounces full-fat cream cheese* softened to room temperature
- 1 ¼ cup smooth peanut butter do not use natural or homemade
- 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream full fat
- 1 cup whipping cream at least 33% MF
- 4 oz dark chocolate* or semi-sweet
- ½ cup whipping cream or heavy cream
- 1 5.3 ounce bag miniature peanut butter cups
- Lightly spray a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray.
- Pulse the Oreo cookies (wafers and filling) in a food processor until fine crumbs. Or place in a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin.
- Mix in the melted butter.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides (about ⅓ - ½ of the way) of the springform pan. Place in the fridge as you make the filling.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar until no lumps remain.
- Beat in the peanut butter, followed by the sour cream. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as necessary.
- In a separate large bowl, beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form.
- Carefully fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture using a rubber spatula. Gently fold the mixture until you no longer see and streaks of whipping cream.
- Spoon the mixture over the crust and smooth the top. Cover and chill in the fridge for the cheesecake to set - at least 6 hours. I typically make the cheesecake the night before I plan to serve it.
- When ready to serve, chop the chocolate into very small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl.
- Heat the cream until almost boiling.
- Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Then whisk until smooth.
- Remove the cake from the fridge. Trace around the outside of the cake with a sharp knife, then unclamp the springform pan.
- Pour the ganache over the cheesecake, letting it drip over the sides. Optionally, sprinkle the top with chopped peanut butter cups.
- Return the cheesecake to the fridge for the ganache to set (about 30 minutes).
- Slice into pieces using a thin, sharp knife, being sure to cut through the crust. For clean cuts, wipe the knife in between each cut.
- Make sure to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese. Do not use lite or spreadable - otherwise, the cheesecake will not set properly.
- Store leftovers covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- For the chocolate topping - I recommend using 50% dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate. If you'd like to use chocolate chips, 4 oz is ⅔ cup.
- Nutrition information is an estimate only and based on 1 slice with chocolate ganache and peanut butter cups on top, assuming that the cheesecake is cut into 14 equal pieces.
I’m making this for a picnic and wondering would a chocolate ganache work as the topping. I won’t have access to a microwave to heat up the chocolate chips. I’m making these in mini Masson jars for the perfect picnic dessert. Also I am swapping the Oreo crumb crust for one using homemade chcolate wafer cookies. Can’t wait to try these out.
That’s so smart to make these in mason jars. It would definitely be fine to add the chocolate before hand. I might add 1-2 teaspoons of butter to the melted chocolate just so it’s a little softer. Have fun at your picnic! 🙂
My boyfriend doesn’t like Oreos. Can I use Graham cracker crumbs instead?
Can you use cool whip instead of making your own whipped cream. Thank you
That would be fine. You’ll want to thaw the cool whip in the fridge, then measure out about 2 cups. (1 cup whipping cream makes about 2 cups whipped cream).
Would it be possible to put this in the freezer to have it chill faster? Hopefully this isn’t a silly question.
You could put it in the freezer. It would be more of a frozen peanut butter pie then. Also, the crust can be quite hard to slice through if it’s been frozen. It’s definitely possible to place in the freezer, but it won’t be the same mousse-like texture.