Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

July 16th, 2014
3 from 4 votes
3 from 4 votes

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars have a salty pretzel crust with chocolate peanut butter ganache drizzled over the peanut butter cheesecake!

Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 42 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like a peanut butter chocolate covered pretzel, but with tangy cream cheese! Texture: The crust is ultra crunchy yet buttery, the filling is creamy and rich, and the ganache is ultra luscious and thick. There's a hidden layer of chocolate on top of the crust and before the cheesecake as well. Ease: Much easier than making a full on cheesecake, though you will dirty a few dishes. Appearance: Adorable! Pros: Fun salty-sweet dessert with all my favorite flavors. Cons: None! Maybe the delayed gratification in having to wait for the cheesecake to cool then chill. Would I make this again? Oh yeah.

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

I have an addiction. You guys, I’m hopelessly addicted to those chocolate covered peanut butter pretzels from Trader Joe’s. Luckily I don’t live super close to a TJ’s but when a bag of that chocolate crack does make its way into my house it doesn’t last long at all. I recently finished a bag that had miraculously lived a week in my house, that required a lot of discipline and self-sacrifice. When it was all gone and I stared at the crumbs at the bottom of the foil bag, I realized I had to transform those pretzels into a full-fledged dessert. Something with all the elements that make them so dang good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars Recipe

That’s how these Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars came to be! I *love* the chocolate-peanut butter combination but when you add in the salty-sweet element with pretzels AND turn it all into cheesecake, it’s pure bliss for me. I think these cheesecake bars will be pure bliss for you too! By the way – that ganache drizzled over the bars is chocolate PEANUT BUTTER ganache. You can thank me (or maybe curse me) after you’ve inhaled a giant spoonful of the stuff.

What treats or snacks are you addicted to at the moment?

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

3 from 4 votes

How to make
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

Yield: 9 large bars or 16 smaller bars
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 42 minutes
Inactive Time 3 hours 3 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cheesecake Bars have a salty pretzel crust with chocolate peanut butter ganache drizzled over the peanut butter cheesecake!


For the pretzel crust:

  • 4 cups pretzels, crushed into fine crumbs (about 1 1/2 cups crumbs)
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

For the chocolate peanut butter ganache:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter


For the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the pretzel crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to pack very firmly into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Bake for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and smooth the melted chocolate chips with an offset spatula. Let cool completely.

For the filling:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Add in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt and beat until just combined. Pour over the cooled crust.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set at the edges but ever so slightly jiggly in the middle. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill the cheesecake in the fridge until very cold, at least 3 hours. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

For the topping:

  1. Place the cream in a glass measuring cup. Microwave for 25 seconds, or until steaming hot but not bubbling. Add in the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Let sit for 2 minutes. Stir until smooth. Remove to a zip-top bag, snip a very small hole in one corner, and drizzle over the cheesecake. Serve or refrigerate.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Cynthia McGowan — November 30, 2023 at 9:07 am

    OMGEEEE, I made this last night and THEN read all the comments. I thought I wasted all that time because of the reviews. I made it in a spring form round pan. I just have to say that it came out fantastic! I wasn’t too excited to taste it because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I followed all of the directions you listed, step by step and it turned out perfect. The crust hed together nicely and cutting through the chocolate was not difficult. I will definitely make this again

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 30, 2023 at 1:53 pm

      So happy to hear that, Cynthia!!! 🙂

  2. #
    Ashley — April 8, 2023 at 8:24 pm

    Crust fell apart and chocolate chip layer didn’t melt enough after the two minutes, so I went for longer. Cheesecake part was actually fine along with the topping. I will be making changes to it next time.

  3. #
    Becca — July 17, 2022 at 5:44 am

    I was really looking forward to this, the pictures look amazing! But I’m very disappointed. The crust completely fell apart when I tried spreading the chocolate. I ended up having to mix the chocolate into the pretzels to see if that worked, but it was still really hard to cut into and there wasn’t much flavor at all. The cheesecake filling was easy to make and smelled so good, but it ended up being a little under baked and didn’t have much flavor. Overall, a very disappointing result after an hour of preparation and a whole night of waiting to eat it. I wish I had read the comments before attempting this instead of just going off the pictures.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 19, 2022 at 9:10 am

      Hi Becca! I’m sorry to hear that these bars did not turn out as you had hoped! Please feel free to email us at [email protected] if you would like any assistance troubleshooting here! We are always more than happy to help!

  4. #
    Blimey — May 9, 2022 at 6:45 pm

    I can’t wait to try this it sounds sooooo good!
    Quick question…. can these be made a head of time & frozen?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 16, 2022 at 2:08 pm

      Hi there! Unfortunately, we have not tried freezing these. If you do wish to try, I would recommend wrapping them well in plastic wrap and storing in an airtight container. You would then just thaw them overnight in the fridge. Let us know how it goes 🙂

  5. #
    Chassidy N Wolf — June 21, 2021 at 3:48 am

    Can you make this as a Cheesecake?

    • #
      Tessa — June 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm

      I haven’t tried baking this in anything but an 8 by 8-inch pan, so I can’t say for sure how it would turn out. Let me know how it goes if you give it a try!

  6. #
    Jess — August 21, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    This sounded really good so I went ahead and made it despite some discouraging comments. Cheesecake portion is really good, but pretzel crust falls apart super easy & you can’t really eat this with a fork because the layer of chocolate is really hard once refrigerated.

  7. #
    Lorraine — July 19, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Made this last night!!
    Very, very delish!!!
    Will make it again!!
    We ALL loved it!!
    Thank you for giving me another evil in my life!!

  8. #
    Sue frost — July 1, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    can this be doubled and still turn out,like I’m thinking a 13×9 pan?

  9. #
    Sophia — March 24, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    I love, love this cheesecake

  10. #
    Brianna — July 6, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    I made these for our 4th of July party and they were just OK for everyone. They look better than they hold together. The pretzel crust didn’t work for me either. It completely falls apart and some either got all cheesecake or all pretzel bits. I wonder if the pretzel part would go better between the chocolate towards the bottom and the cheesecake on the top. Or maybe add more butter & sugar to keep the pretzels binded together. Thanks for the idea!

  11. #
    Emilee — February 26, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    These were amazing. Mine turned out fabulous!! I am sad I have to share these and I can’t eat all of them. Delicious recipe!!! And as Lauren said…the ganache is awesome!!!

  12. #
    Lauren — November 28, 2016 at 5:47 pm

    I made these for thanksgiving. They tasted okay. Not worth all the work in my opinion. The chocolate and cream cheese layer separates easily the ganache was amazing though!

  13. #
    Jane — March 3, 2015 at 10:11 pm

    Your site is a SURE go to for EXCELLENT recipes, always turning out GREAT! But unfortunately this one didn’t work for me. The pretzel crust was just pretzel crumbs, the melted chocolate chips wouldn’t spread leaving cheesecake portion to seprare. I followed the recipe exactly. If I had to do over, I would probably use graham cracker crust instead.

  14. #
    Jen — November 18, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    These were honestly disappointing. I was sooo excited to make them, but the crust was crazy hard – maybe my pretzels were crushed too finely? – and the cheesecake layer didn’t stay on the chocolate layer. Everything tasted fine, but it was just difficult to serve and eat.

  15. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — July 17, 2014 at 11:35 am

    Tessa! I’m head over heels for these. They’re over the top in the best way possible my friend.

    • #
      Joanne — May 27, 2023 at 10:27 am

      I was not sure because of the reviews but if it has Sally’s approval, I am game. I have another recipe site due to Sally’s review.

  16. #
    Thalia @ butter and brioche — July 17, 2014 at 12:09 am

    so glad i stumbled across your blog.. your killing me with all your delicious recipes. this look AMAZING… definitely craving one now. thanks, ill be back!

    • #
      Tessa — July 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks so much!

  17. #
    Maybelline — July 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I have found Satan’s blog.

    • #
      Tessa — July 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm


  18. #
    Gaby — July 16, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    This is my kind of dessert – so irresistible!

  19. #
    ashley – baker by nature — July 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    Omg, Tessa – these look EPIC! I want some now.

  20. #
    Beth @ bethcakes — July 16, 2014 at 1:17 pm

    These bars look wonderful! I love that thick chocolate peanut butter ganache drizzle. And the pretzel crust sounds perfect with chocolate and peanut butter! Yum. 🙂

  21. #
    Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts — July 16, 2014 at 11:06 am

    chocolate, peanut butter, pretzels, cheesecake???! I NEED this in my life!!

  22. #
    Chelsea @chelseasmessyapron — July 16, 2014 at 4:26 am

    These look absolutely amazing! Your photos are just incredible! And what a perfect combination – all of my favorite things in one delicious bar! Pinned 🙂

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