Looking for a creamy and decadent treat full of rich chocolate flavor? You need these peanut butter cheesecake brownies in your life!
Yes, you read that correctly. Chocolate. Peanut butter. Cheesecake. In every bite.
The last two weeks have been full of change in my life so I’ve been baking even more than usual. I tend to stress bake but when there’s an elevated amount of change or uncertainty in my life, I start to crave chocolate – anyone else like that? Needless to say when I came up with these peanut butter cheesecake brownies for a potluck a few weeks ago I knew I had created something truly amazing. Anyone who has ever craved chocolate and peanut butter will LOVE these.
Now that the dust has settled and I’m staying with my parents at the beach for the summer, I’m looking back at these photos and drooling over how good these were.
I never thought of cheesecake as an overly divisive but as I started telling people that I was making brownies with cheesecake on them, I was met with mixed reactions. Some thought that these brownies sounded decadent and well-balanced. Others asked me why I was ruining a perfectly good peanut butter brownie by adding cream cheese to it. Without even knowing it, I had stumbled upon a seriously controversial food.
I encouraged some of my cream cheese-hating friends to try these peanut butter cheesecake brownies and they went back for seconds. I know that no dessert is perfect but this one comes pretty darn close to perfection.
Okay, let’s talk about why these brownies are so amazing. First of all, chocolate and peanut butter are the best of friends. They working in partnership and they bring out the best in each other. Okay so maybe they are not best friends as much as colleagues who get drinks and hang out outside of the office. However you want to paint them in a metaphor, they belong together.
If you love cheesecake, you’ll understand when I say that cheesecake only builds upon the amazing combination of chocolate and peanut butter. The smooth cream cheese makes a perfect vessel for the peanut butter brownie topping and it is balanced well with the crunchy candy topping.
- 2 1/2 cups (500g) granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (125g) cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 16 ounces (2 bricks) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cups (133g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons (20g) cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups Reece's Peanut Butter Cups, roughly chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream together the granulated sugar, butter and cocoa powder until and creamy. Add in the eggs one a time, mixing well between each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
- Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer on low and add to the rest of the brownie batter, mixing until just combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared cake pan. Top with the peanut butter and use a knife to swirl it into the top of the batter.
- Bake for ~30 minutes. While the cake is in the final stages of baking, prepare the cheesecake topping.
- Cream the cream cheese and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix in the peanut butter, cornstarch, eggs one at a time and the vanilla extract, making sure to fully combine the batter between each new ingredient.
- Top with the Reese's.
- Bake for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 250 and baking for another 30 minutes.