Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie bars are a next level dessert. They are made with a fudgy brownie layer on the bottom and topped with cream cheese, peanut butter, and whipped topping.
This from scratch recipe is perfect for a stressful day, just try not to eat the whole pan!
You might just find that it has quickly become one of your favorite things to make when you’re craving something sweet.
Peanut butter cream cheese brownies are stored in the fridge and are delicious the next day. Chocolate and peanut butter fans rejoice!
You can get the ingredients for these peanut butter cheesecake swirl brownies at your local grocery store:
- Granulated sugar: You most likely have some white sugar already in your pantry.
- Brown sugar: You can use all granulated sugar instead of a combination if you’d like.
- Eggs: Be sure the eggs are fresh, and the egg yolks are bright yellow.
- Vegetable oil: Use any neutral oil that doesn’t have a strong flavor.
- Salt: A little bit of kosher salt balances the rich flavors.
- All-purpose flour: Flour helps the brownies rise and determines if they will be cakey or fudgy.
- Cocoa powder: All the best brownies have cocoa powder!
- Chocolate chips: Use your favorite brand. I like to use Ghirardelli’s.
- Cream cheese: Don’t use low-fat cream cheese as it will make the topping too soft.
- Peanut butter: The best kind of peanut butter is regular and smooth. You don’t want crunchy or natural peanut butter for this recipe.
- Confectioners sugar: Sift the powdered sugar to get rid of any lumps.
- Vanilla extract: In any recipe, pure vanilla extract tastes better than imitation vanilla.
- Cool whip: Thaw frozen cool whip to use in this recipe.
How to make peanut butter cheesecake brownies:
Here’s a brief overview of how to make peanut butter brownie cheesecake. See the recipe card below for the specific recipe instructions.
First, we’ll bake the Brownie Layer:
Heat oven and line a baking pan with parchment paper, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine the sugars and eggs in a medium bowl using a whisk, then add the oil and stir well.
Combine the flour, salt, and cocoa in a separate large bowl, then stir into the sugar mixture.
Stir in the chocolate chips, then spread evenly in the pan.
Place in the oven and bake until cooked through.
Let them cool completely on a wire rack before adding the peanut butter layer. This could take at least an hour.
How to Make the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Layer:
Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together with a hand mixer on medium speed till whipped and creamy.
Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix it in.
Fold in the cool whip, then spread over the top of the brownie batter for best results.
Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving to harden the whipped topping.
Cut and serve.
Tips for success:
Here are a few tips for success and variations you can try to make this the best peanut butter cheesecake brownies you’ve ever had.
- The brownies are nice and soft and will harden up nicely in the refrigerator.
- Keep this dish refrigerated so the creamy cheesecake will stay nice and firm.
- This is best made in an 8-inch pan. If you use a 9-inch pan, the brownies won’t turn out as soft and nice. You could also use a springform pan.
- Bake the brownie layer first.
- Use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese.
- The eggs and cream cheese need to be at room temperature before baking.
- Make them keto-friendly if you prefer.
- You can use a box mix if you’d like to take a shortcut, but the original recipe is so much better made from scratch. If you’d like to use a boxed mix, you can choose your favorite brownie mix or use Betty Crocker.
- Place aluminum foil over the top of the brownies if they begin to get too done on the top before the middle is cooked through.
This peanut butter cheesecake brownies recipe is topped with an even layer of whipped cream cheese, but you can add so many other tasty treats on top of that. Here are some options:
- Chocolate ganache layer
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter chips
- White chocolate chips
- Graham crackers
- Mini Reeses cups
- Mini marshmallows
- Reeses chips
- Drizzle with melted peanut butter or chocolate
To swirl or layer?
This chocolate peanut butter brownie recipe is made with two distinct layers. The bottom layer is baked brownies, and the top layer is whipped peanut butter, cream cheese, and whipped cream topping.
This creates a beautifully layered brownie that is chewy on the bottom and cool and refreshing on the top.
You can swirl these two layers together and bake or add the cream cheese layer on top after the remaining brownie batter cools.
How to tell when your brownies are done baking
There are a few different ways to tell if your brownie batter is cooked through.
First, look at the brownies and check that the top is dry and no longer wet. The brownie crust will also pull away from the sides of the square pan.
Second, stick a toothpick in the center of the brownie mixture and pull it out. If there are dry crumbs on the toothpick comes out completely clean and dry, the brownies are overbaked.
You can also use a digital thermometer to check that they are between 200° – 208°F, depending on how gooey you like them in the center.
How to store cheesecake brownies
Refrigerator: Keep the leftover brownie squares in an airtight container in the refrigerator for five days.
Freezer: Freezing these brownies doesn’t work well since the whipped cheesecake topping isn’t baked. The texture will be grainy compared to smooth when they’re cooked the same day.
Although regular baked cheesecake can be frozen, I don’t recommend freezing this dish since it isn’t baked with eggs. The cream cheese may separate when thawed.
Serve: Serve these peanut butter chocolate brownies in squares with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Fudgy brownies have a higher fat-to-flour ratio and fewer eggs making them more dense and gooey.
Cakey brownies are fluffier and have a higher flour-to-fat ratio and more eggs to help them rise. They are not as gooey as fudge brownies but are just as delicious.
You’ll need to cook the brownie batter first and then add the peanut butter cheesecake layer separately. Baking the brownies takes about 20 minutes.
Let the brownies cool completely before adding the cream cheese peanut butter mixture. This can take up to two hours.
If you want to make these peanut butter brownies into blondies, you can easily do so. Blondies are brownies that don’t have cocoa powers.
Leave out the cocoa powder in the brownie base for blondies to make them.
Since these chocolate brownies have cream cheese, they need to be refrigerated.
If you like these brownies, try these other great recipes!
- Patriotic Brownie Mix Cookies
- Berry Cheesecake Pudding Pops
- No Bake Strawberry Lemon Cheesecake
- Lemon Curd Cookies
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars
Be sure to check out my tips and tricks in the post. Scroll up to read!
- 2/3 cup granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Layer:
- 8 ounce cream cheese room temp.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup cool whip
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
- Combine the sugars and eggs together in a bowl, then add the oil and stir well.2/3 cup granulated Sugar, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 2 large eggs, 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, salt and cocoa, then stir into the sugar mixture.1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- Stir in the chocolate chips, then spread evenly in the pan.1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The brownies may have a little lingering dough when a toothpick is inserted.
- Let cool completely before adding the peanut butter layer. This could take at least an hour.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Topping Instructions:
- Beat the cream cheese and peanut butter together with a hand mixer till whipped and creamy.8 ounce cream cheese, 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, mix it in with the mixer.1 cup confectioners sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Fold in the cool whip, then spread over the cooled brownies.
- Place the pan in the refrigerator for 2 hours before serving.
- Cut and serve.
Nutrition information is estimated. For the most accurate info, always doublecheck with your ingredients.