This easy No Bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake starts with a simple Oreo cookie crust and is filled with a smooth, velvety peanut butter and cream cheese filling that's topped with a rich chocolate ganache. This impressive dessert comes together quickly, requiring minimal effort.
I'm a huge fan of chocolate peanut butter desserts, like my popular Peanut Butter Bars, so I knew I had to try my hand at a no-bake peanut butter cheesecake.
This easy recipe delivers the perfect peanut butter chocolate flavor combo in smooth, creamy layers, with results so impressively decadent you'd think it took hours of work - when really it comes together in minutes! I love recipes like this that look extravagant but secretly require minimal time and effort.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Rich and Decadent - The creamy filling is so indulgent, your peanut butter cravings will be satisfied with just a small slice!
- No Oven - The no-bake instructions make this cheesecake a breeze to pull together. Even the cookie crust holds up without baking! Simply mix up the fillings and layer in the crust to assemble this cool and creamy dessert without turning on the oven.
- Can Be Made Ahead - The easy cheesecake recipe needs to chill for at least 6 hours, so it's easy to prepare the day before serving. It also holds well in the fridge for several days, making it the perfect dessert for peanut butter lovers to make ahead for a special occasion.
This recipe has a similar ganache topping and Oreo crust as my Café Mocha Cheesecake but is so much easier to make since it doesn't use an oven!
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients, including measurements.
Oreos - This recipe uses one package (13.29 ounces) of regular Oreos. While I prefer Double Stuffed Oreos when I eat them plain, that extra filling will add too much moisture to the crust, so stick with regular Oreos. You can also use generic chocolate sandwich cookies or chocolate graham crackers.
Peanut Butter - Use creamy peanut butter for a smooth filling. This recipe was tested using Jif brand. I do not recommend homemade or natural peanut butter as the texture will not be as smooth.
Cream Cheese - It is important that your cream cheese is at room temperature. Use full-fat cream cheese as low fat will not thicken properly.
Heavy Cream - Use heavy whipping cream with at least 36% milkfat so that it will thicken nicely. If you prefer, fold in 2 cups of Cool Whip instead of the homemade whipped cream.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate - I recommend baking chocolate for the best texture, but chocolate chips will also work. I usually love dark chocolate, but find semi-sweet is just the right level of bitterness to balance the sweet filling without being too bitter.
Toppings - How you top this creamy cheesecake is really up to you. It is beautiful with just the glossy ganache. But I love to add dollops of whipped peanut butter cream and chopped Reese's cups because it looks like it came from a bakery!
How To Make Peanut Butter Cheesecake
1) Make the Oreo Crust
- I like to crush the Oreos in a Food Processor because it is easy to get fine crumbs, but they can also be placed in a resealable bag and crushed with a rolling pin.
- After the crumbs are finely crushed, mix in the melted butter.
- Pour the crumb mixture into an 8 or 9-inch springform pan.
- Press the mixtures evenly across the bottom of the pan and up the sides.
2) Prepare the Filling
- Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl before adding the other filling ingredients. Once it is fluffy the other ingredients will be easier to incorporate.
- Next mix the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract into the cream cheese and beat until the filling is smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks.
- Gently fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter filling.
- Pour the creamy filling into the prepared crust and use an offset spatula to spread it evenly.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the filling for at least 6 hours to set.
3) Add the Ganache
- Once the filling has set, warm the heavy cream in a saucepan (or microwave) until it is steaming but not boiling.
- Place the chopped chocolate pieces in a medium bowl.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate pieces and whisk until the chocolate has completely dissolved.
- Pour the ganache over the peanut butter layer and if needed smooth with an offset spatula.
- Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator for at least one hour.
- You can reverse the chill time, refrigerating the filling for one hour before adding the ganache, then refrigerating for an additional 6 hours.
- The important thing is that the filling chills for at least an hour before the chocolate is added and at least 6 hours total.
- Before serving, add your desired toppings.
- The temperature of your ingredients matters. For best results, keep the heavy cream in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it (chilled cream whips up best) but place your cream cheese should be pulled out to room temperature for at least an hour so that it softens and blends smoothly into the other ingredients.
- It is really important that the whipped cream is beaten to stiff peaks. If it is not stiff then the filling may be runny.
- Fold the whipped cream into the filling gently to retain air for a light texture.
- When pouring the chocolate ganache over the cheesecake, start from the center and let it flow outward. This helps ensure an even distribution of the ganache over the entire surface.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake to thicken the filling. Do not freeze the cheesecake to set, as this will cause it to solidify at different rates and result in a gritty texture. Chilling in the refrigerator allows it to smoothly and evenly set up.
- After the cheesecake and ganache have fully set, place the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes before slicing. This helps firm it up slightly and allows you to cut neat, clean slices.
- Dip your knife in hot water and wipe clean between slices for perfect cuts.
Buckeye Cheesecake: Not much is required for this variation because this no-bake Peanut Butter Cheesecake recipe is so similar to Buckeye Bars! All you need to do is swap out the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for Buckeye balls!
Drizzle: Add extra drama by drizzling chocolate sauce and caramel sauce each slice of cheesecake before serving. You could also pour a layer of hot fudge onto the crust before adding the cheesecake mixture.
Peanut Butter Swirl: To create a visually appealing peanut butter swirl on top of the cheesecake, warm a small amount of peanut butter and drizzle it over the ganache before it sets. Use a toothpick or a small knife to gently swirl the peanut butter into the ganache.
Candy Mix-Ins: Add one cup of chopped Reese's cups or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to the filling for added texture and flavor.
Banana Peanut Butter Cheesecake: Spread half of the filling into the pan, then add a layer of sliced bananas. Top the bananas with the remaining filling and refrigerate.
Mini Individual Cheesecakes: Instead of making one large cheesecake, use a muffin tin or mini springform pans to create individual servings. This is perfect for serving at parties. You can find more tips for success in this mini no-bake cheesecake post.
Parfait in a Jar: Make this completely crustless, or follow the steps in this cheesecake in a jar recipe, layering the cream cheese mixture and Oreo crumbs in a mason jar.
Storage and Freezing Information
This creamy peanut butter cheesecake will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 5 days when stored in an airtight container. Cover the top with plastic wrap before putting the lid on to prevent the ganache from drying out.
For longer storage, this cheesecake can be frozen. Place the whole cheesecake into the freezer while still in the springform pan. After several hours, remove the pan. Wrap the cheesecake in plastic wrap and then heavy-duty aluminum foil and return to the freezer for up to 3 months.
To thaw, place the cheesecake on a serving plate and thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Add the toppings before serving.
For more information, check out this comprehensive post on cheesecake storage, freezing, and shelf life.
Is no-bake cheesecake as good as baked cheesecake?
No-bake cheesecake has a lighter, fluffier texture compared to baked cheesecake, which is dense and rich. They are just different styles and both delicious in their own right. No-bake is perfect in the heat of summer when you want to skip turning on the oven. Learn more about the differences in this post on baked vs. no-bake cheesecake.
Why is my no-bake cheesecake not firming up?
If your no-bake cheesecake hasn't set and is still runny, a few things could be the issue. Be sure to use full-fat cream cheese, whip the cream to stiff peaks, and chill it thoroughly, for at least 6 hours.
How do you thicken a no-bake cheesecake?
To thicken a runny no-bake cheesecake, try chilling it longer, up to overnight. You can also blend in a teaspoon of unflavored gelatin that has been softened in a few tablespoons of cold water. This will add stability without changing the taste.
What kind of cream cheese is best for cheesecake?
Use full-fat brick-style cream cheese, avoiding spreadable varieties. Philadelphia brand cream cheese is the gold standard for cheesecake filling as it has the least amount of moisture. Always check expiration dates and pick the freshest bricks possible.
Can I use peanut-free butter?
Sure, just replace the peanut butter with your favorite creamy almond butter, cashew, or sunflower butter. You can even use almond butter cups as the topping!
More No-Bake Cheesecake Recipes
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No-Bake Peanut Butter CheesecakeRecipe by:
- 33 Oreo cookies wafers and filling (13.29 ounce package)
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
- 24 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 ¼ cups creamy peanut butter
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Topping
- 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
Optional Cheesecake Toppings
- 12 snack size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups chopped
- 1 ½ cups peanut butter whipped cream
Oreo Cookie Crust
- In a food processor or blender, pulse the Oreo cookies (wafers and filling) until they turn into fine crumbs.33 Oreo cookies
- Mix the melted butter with the Oreo cookie crumbs until well combined.½ cup unsalted butter
- Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan to create the crust.
- Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the softened cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.24 ounces cream cheese
- Add the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract to the cream cheese. Beat until the filling is smooth, about 1 minute.1 ¼ cups creamy peanut butter, 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a separate bowl, beat the heavy cream on high speed for several minutes until it reaches stiff peaks.1 ¼ cups heavy whipping cream
- Transfer the whipped cream to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold it in until the mixture is a uniform color.
- Pour the peanut butter cheesecake filling into the Oreo cookie crust. Smooth the top with an offset spatula to create an even layer.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 6 hours or overnight to set.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache Topping
- Place the heavy cream, remaining peanut butter, and semi-sweet chocolate pieces into a small saucepan.4 oz semi-sweet chocolate, ½ cup heavy cream, ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
- Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture is simmering, reduce to low heat and continue stirring until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Allow the ganache to cool for 5 minutes, then pour it over the chilled peanut butter cheesecake.
- Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator to cool for an additional hour.
- When ready to serve, carefully run a thin knife around the edge of the springform pan to loosen the cheesecake. Unclamp the collar and remove it.
- Pipe on the peanut butter whipped cream, if using, and sprinkle the chopped Reese's over the center of the cheesecake.1 ½ cups peanut butter whipped cream, 12 snack size Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
- Slice the cheesecake into pieces using a sharp knife, wiping the knife clean between cuts for neat slices.
- If you prefer, replace the whipped heavy cream with 2 cups of Cool Whip.
- Chocolate graham crackers can be used instead of Oreos.
- For a peanut-free dessert, substitute almond butter, cashew butter, or Sunbutter.