In the summertime, sometimes it’s just too hot to turn on the oven. On those days, I turn to desserts like this No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake.
I love this recipe because there’s absolutely no baking involved. You don’t even need your stove if you have a microwave!
Typically, baking a cheesecake takes upwards of an hour. Then you have to let it cool to room temperature before you can send it to the fridge to chill for hours. This recipe eliminates those first two steps to save you time, and to keep the hot oven off during those crazy-hot summer days.
This no bake cheesecake combines the world’s best flavor combination (chocolate + peanut butter, obviously) with the characteristic richness and tanginess of cream cheese.
The best part? The peanut butter flavor completely shines in this recipe. It isn’t softened through baking. So the taste is actually better!
It’s absolute bliss in every bite.
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake Baking Tips
The Graham Cracker Crust
- Since we aren’t baking this crust, we need to make sure it holds its shape and doesn’t crumble too much.
- That’s why we need a generous amount of butter.
- Be sure to spray or grease your baking pan, so the crust slides off more easily.
- You want to finely grind your graham crackers. If they’re too coarse, you’ll get a crumbly result.
- Use a tamper or the bottom of a measuring cup to very firmly press the crust into the pan. Really compact it in there so it holds its shape.
Can I Substitute the Graham Crackers?
You can use the same amount by weight of digestive biscuits, vanilla wafers, Biscoff cookies, or any crunchy cookie you’d like! Please note that Biscoff cookies are a little richer than graham crackers (which are drier), so add just enough butter until it holds together when pressed.
Which Cream Cheese is Best for Cheesecake?
- Use high-quality, full-fat bricks of cream cheese for this recipe.
- Don’t use spreadable cream cheese meant for bagels.
- Make sure the cream cheese is COMPLETELY softened to room temperature, so it blends into a smooth and creamy filling with no lumps.
- Since we’re not baking this recipe, you can fill your springform pan all the way up to the top with the filling.
Which Peanut Butter is Best for Cheesecake?
Use a creamy “commercial” peanut butter like Skippy or Jif, where the oil isn’t separated. If your peanut butter is too oily, the cheesecake filling will separate and not hold its shape well.
How to Serve Cheesecake
- This cheesecake needs to hang out in the fridge for at least 6 hours before slicing and serving.
- I usually just make it the day before I plan to serve it, and allow it to chill overnight.
- For clean slices, use a big sharp knife and run it under hot water and carefully wipe if off in between slices.
- If your cheesecake feels a little loose, try freezing it for 30 minutes or longer before slicing.
How to Store Cheesecake
You can store this cheesecake in the fridge, covered, for up to 1 week. Cheesecake can also be frozen. Wrap whole cheesecake or each slice in plastic wrap and store inside an airtight container or freezer bag for up to one month. Defrost overnight in the fridge before serving.
More Cheesecake Recipes
For the crust:
whole (227 grams) graham crackers
(100 grams) unsalted butter,
For the filling:
(680 grams) cream cheese,
completed softened to room temperature
(188 grams) powdered sugar
(270 grams) creamy peanut butter*
(120 ml) heavy cream,
at room temperature
For the chocolate ganache:
(120 ml) heavy cream
(113 grams) semisweet chocolate
Make the crust:
Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened.
Thoroughly grease the bottoms and sides of 9-inch springform pan.
Pour crust into the prepared pan. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or flat glass, press the crust firmly into the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate.
Make the filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for one minute or until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add in the sugar and continue beating until smooth. Add in the peanut butter, vanilla, and heavy cream, beating between each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
Beat the mixture on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes, or until completely smooth and creamy.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Make the ganache:
In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer then remove from heat and add chopped chocolate. You can also heat the cream in the microwave. Let stand 1 minute then stir until the chocolate has melted. Stir until smooth.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before pouring over the cheesecake.
Return the cheesecake to the fridge to chill for another hour before serving. If the cheesecake is too loose to slice and serve, freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour to firm up. Keep refrigerated or frozen.
*Don’t use a ‘natural’ peanut butter product that separates.
This recipe was created in 2019 and updated with additional recipe tips. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.