Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

4 September 2012

Post image for Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

In my last post, I was complaining about the bout of hot weather which we have had recently in Zurich. It seems that the weather has now turned too soon and summer has somehow disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. For all of my complaining, I miss those breezeless afternoons spent on the balcony, lazing about with a good book or magazine. But the return of cooler weather has meant a return to the television room, a somewhat neglected room in our home because we hardly ever watch TV, although I do have a soft spot for watching back-to-back episodes of TV shows on DVD when time permits.

One thing I love to do when the rain is bashing outside is to pop on a cooking DVD; I somehow never seem to tire of listening to Nigella Lawson or Jamie Oliver going about their kitchen with their enthusiasm for the recipe at hand. I was recently watching an episode of Nigella’s Kitchen where Nigella was making a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake, a calorie-laden recipe which is quite true to her kitsch junkie style, not to mention that she made the whole thing whilst wearing a black satin nightrobe, all the while miraculously managing to avoid spilling anything on herself. Perhaps if I, too, donned a silk nightrobe instead of a frilly apron everytime I entered the kitchen, I might make less of a mess??

I was all inspired to recreate the same cheesecake, up until the moment when Nigella popped the cheesecake into the oven. I realised then, disappointedly, that I would never attempt this recipe. Despite Nigella’s confident instructions to bake the cheesecake until there is still a hint of “inner-thigh wibble”, baked cheesecakes have never worked for me, sadly. These days, when the craving for a baked cheesecake ensues, I head down to my local Starbucks and order a serve of their baked New York cheesecake; I think it’s the perfect cheesecake and am happy to concede that some (ok, many) shop-bought cakes cannot be improved upon.

But if I were to make a cheesecake at home, I always turn to the no-bake variety. Not only do they taste delicious but there is no pfaffing about with water baths and oven temperatures – you can rarely find a more stress-free recipe than a no-bake cheesecake.

So it was a coincidence that I was flicking through Margaret Fulton’s latest baking compendium, aptly titled Baking, that I stumbled across a recipe for a no-bake chocolate peanut butter cheesecake. I hardly needed any encouragement to make it promptly, although I did have difficulties finding willing volunteers to share in this high-calorie dessert. Thankfully, the combination of chocolate and peanut butter is quite exotic in Switzerland and I was able to lure my neighbours over for a sampling before sending them off for a jog in the nearby forest.

As you will see from the recipe below, this no-bake cheesecake is a breeze to make. I love how, in Margaret Fulton’s introduction to this recipe, she states that the recipe originated in the US where peanut butter is very popular, but that she had adapted the recipe to suit Australian palates. By that, I presume she means that her version is less sweet and decadent than its American counterpart. Although the peanut butter has a subtle presence, you can definitely taste it. The chocolate biscuit base and peanut butter are certainly a novel pairing for a cheesecake, but somehow it really works. You could use any chocolate biscuit for the biscuit base, although chocolate wheaten biscuits might fool you into thinking that the cake is healthier for it.

All in all, a lovely, simple no-bake cheesecake recipe which I would love to make again.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Recipe adapted from Baking by Margaret Fulton
Serves 10


{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

TheSpicySaffron 4 September 2012 at 8:10 pm

My my, look at that, how indulging! …. the last photo takes my breath away! However calorie rich it may be, who can say no to this divine treat? I am sure your volunteers would not have regretted the sampling.
Can’t praise you enough for your neat step by step photos. The chocolate wheaten biscuits looks delicious too :)


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 12:14 pm

Thank you! When you think about it, I don’t think it was indulgent as it seems … there’s only 3/4 cup of peanut butter in this cheesecake. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself! And the natural version of these biscuits are really delicious. This was the first time I had tried the chocolate version which are pretty good as well :-)


Denise 4 September 2012 at 10:30 pm

I’m the same! Cheesecakes are just better when prepared in the oven, don’t know what that is;) But your version looks so gorgeous and indulgent!


thefooddept 4 September 2012 at 10:46 pm

Looks divine!


Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar 4 September 2012 at 11:59 pm

This looks soooo tasty! YUM!


Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies 5 September 2012 at 5:49 am

I totally agree… the no bake cheesecake is the way to go! Plus, I love peanut butter and chocolate. What an impressive dessert!


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 12:15 pm

Thanks, Jen! Glad to know of another no-bake cheesecake fan :-)


manu 5 September 2012 at 8:23 am

Gran Cereale, what a great idea!!!!
Your cake looks stunning!
Have a nice day


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 12:16 pm

Gran Cereale were the closest I could find to chocolate wheaten biscuits, and I think they were perfect in this recipe. I often eat the natural version and this was my first time trying the chocolate ones. I think you can get them too in Italy?


manu 7 September 2012 at 4:34 pm

Yes, here there are several versions of them! Actually I don’t like them a lot but I’m going to give it a go as a base for a cheese cake!


Mathilda 5 September 2012 at 8:29 am

Looking also for no bake cheesecakes, but not for the same reason : I don’t have any oven ! If I dont’t add milk and use the dought in a classical-cheesecake way, I am sure I can manage ^v^ Thank you very much !


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 12:18 pm

That’s right, I remember that you don’t have an oven at the moment! There are lots of recipes for cheesecake bases which don’t require baking, and they would be perfect here. The baking just helps to keep everything in shape, I think, otherwise you could certainly leave out the milk and just leave the base in the fridge for it to firm up. Good luck!


Paula 5 September 2012 at 9:44 am

Surely I would say the same with every PB cheesecake: “I have to try it!”. But yours, wow, it has something specian in that crust that I love!! I need a box, of two, of that biscuits!! One for the cake, the other for me, 😛

And, wow, it sounds funny your experience with cheesecake, but, believe me, you have to try again the oven type!! If I can, you can’t!! You make soooooooo cute recipes, you must be also the queen of baked cheesecakes!!

Then, you can not use the bain marie, and then, if it cracks on the top, using lots and lots or jam, jajajajaj

But, anyway, I love something of this tipe of cheesecake! You can make a little batch, using a small mould, for that, it’s perfect!!

Sorry for my english, I think that this morning I have made too many mistakes, upsss


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 12:22 pm

Hi Paula!

I don’t know why I can’t get baked cheesecakes right. Often, the edges are over-cooked but the centre is under-cooked. Or the overall texture is just not very smooth and silky like a cheesecake should be. Or by the time I have baked it long enough for the centre to cook, the whole cake is over-cooked and doesn’t taste right. Maybe I just have high expectations??

That’s a great idea about making this chocolate peanut butter cheesecake in small moulds, or perhaps even glasses … I will have to remember that! Thank you for this wonderful idea!!


thelittleloaf 5 September 2012 at 10:23 am

I love cheesecake in any form but this looks especially delicious! Love the chocolate peanut butter combo (as you’ll see from my latest post too!) :-)


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 12:25 pm

Just saw your post on your chocolate peanut butter mousse cake – how divine!! It looks really impressive, too. Chocolate and peanut butter are a marriage made in heaven, aren’t they?


Anna Tran-Nguyen 5 September 2012 at 12:45 pm

Thanh – this looks amazing!! It’s not helping my super sweet tooth and sugar cravings :) I do love anything peanut butter and chocolate. Love your work!! x


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 2:42 pm

Thanks Anna! Now that you have a shiny new KitchenAid, you will have no excuse to whip up simple desserts like these! This cheesecake really hit the spot for me :-)


Dianne 5 September 2012 at 12:51 pm

That looks just delicious! I do love your photos with all of the steps included in them. It is a really lovely way to read a recipe. I must remember to use this idea when I’m putting recipes together for my students on occasion. And yes – how does Nigella stay so clean???


eat, little bird 5 September 2012 at 2:45 pm

Thanks, Dianne! I quite enjoy developing the step-by-step recipe photos for my blog. At first, it was a bit daunting but I find that it also helps me when I am making the actual dish myself. Also, I rather like telling the recipe through photos like these. I’m glad that you like them!


Hannah 5 September 2012 at 3:58 pm

oh my when I’m off the diet this is first on the list! Everything I love combined!


Russell at Chasing Delicious 6 September 2012 at 2:29 am

Boy oh boy this looks incredible. And I love all your overhead ingredient and instructional shots. What a great way to present the information!


Elaine 6 September 2012 at 6:00 am

I love the unbaked cheesecakes! I made a lovely light lemon cheesecake. The recipe was from Cook’s Country and when I took it to work, my coworkers went nuts. It really was a delicious and light dessert, but so very lemony..
I am thinking I must try this one next..


eat, little bird 12 September 2012 at 12:26 pm

Your co-workers are very lucky to have you around! When I lived in Australia, the local supermarket used to sell unbaked lemon cheesecakes, as well as mango ones … I should try to recreate those at home!


anita menon 11 September 2012 at 10:49 am

This is pure indulgence. Love the recipe and the photographs! never mind the calories, they just settle somewhere!!! Also you can compensate by eating light a few days. But this treat is not to be missed!


eat, little bird 12 September 2012 at 12:27 pm

Thanks, Anita! Maybe it this cheesecake sounds high in calories, but I wonder if it might be no different to other cheesecakes or cakes … everything is moderation is ok 😉


Angela 11 December 2012 at 9:44 pm

Just made this for my husband for his birthday cause my oven is not working and I wanted to make something rather than buy. Boy that was easy (but he doesn’t have to know)! Of course I had a little taste of the filling and I think it is going to be just perfect! Thanks for the recipe!


eat, little bird 12 December 2012 at 1:59 pm

You’re welcome! Great to know that this recipe can work in an emergency :-) I hope your husband will enjoy this cheesecake, and happy birthday to him!


Sarah 10 January 2013 at 10:46 pm

This recipe looks lovely, but I just have a quick question before I attempt to make it. In the ingredients list you have 1/2 cup or 250ml of milk. Just a bit confused cause 250ml is 1 cup, so am I to add 1/2 or 1 cup of milk? Thanks so much.


eat, little bird 10 January 2013 at 11:07 pm

Thank you for pointing out this error to me! I have just corrected the ingredients above. The correct measurement is 1/2 cup of milk (or 125 ml). I hope you will enjoy this cheesecake. Many thanks again :-)


Addy 17 June 2013 at 3:08 am

I have made this cheesecake twice now and it is an absolute favourite!! The flavour balance is perfect. The second time I crunched reeses peanut butter chips (the smartie sized ones) and sprinkled them on top! Thanks for the great recipe!


eat, little bird 21 June 2013 at 2:09 pm

I’m so glad that you’ve enjoyed this recipe! And I love the sound of crunched Reese’s peanut butter chips on top … I must try that next time. Thanks for sharing your tip!


Megan Prothero 9 July 2014 at 5:16 pm

Just made my own (slightly adapted version) thank you for the wonderfully simple step by step guide, the mix tasted delicious – just gotta wait till tomorrow to try the finished thing now!


Eat, Little Bird 9 July 2014 at 6:06 pm

Thank you! I’m glad that the recipe was easy to follow. I hope you will enjoy the finished product tomorrow :-)


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