Monday, April 29, 2013

Mocha Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

My little sister Anna was only 10 when I moved away from home, and I'm pretty sure I've been away for all of her birthdays since then.  I insisted on being the one to make her a cake for her 24th birthday.  After deliberating for awhile, she decided that she wanted a cheesecake with mocha and peanut butter.

Well, that sounded interesting.

I searched around and didn't really find much that included both of those flavors - it's a bit of an unusual combination, I suppose.  I ended up altering the Layered Mocha Cheesecake that I've already made and adding some homemade chocolate peanut butter and lots of chopped peanut butter cups in the middle.  I was going to drizzle the extra chocolate peanut butter on top.....and thought it needed a tiny bit of extra sugar. Foolishly, I added granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar, and despite heating it repeatedly, I never got the graininess to disappear.  Oh well, that meant I got to add ganache on top instead.
You can bet I wasn't crying about that.

The cheesecake was a huge hit - the mocha flavor isn't super strong and it is really complemented by the peanut butter and chocolate.  Anna loved it, and that was the most important thing.

Oh, and using Nutter Butter cookies for the crust? Awesome.  Man, I could just eat an entire package of Nutter Butters in one sitting if left unsupervised.  But you could certainly use graham crackers or even Oreos for the crust if you wanted.

Mocha Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

16 Nutter Butter cookies
4 T. butter

Chocolate Peanut Butter: (or you could use purchased chocolate peanut butter)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

14-16 miniature peanut butter cups cut into quarters
3/4 cup chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2-1/2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
1 Tbsp. boiling water
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
4 packages cream cheese, softened
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
Chopped mini Reeses cups for garnish

Preheat oven to 325°.

Place Nutter Butter cookies in a blender or food processor and grind into crumbs. 

Combine cookie crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom of a  9-in. springform pan.

To make chocolate peanut butter, In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Stir well.  Spread 1/2 cup over the prepared crust.  Reserve remaining chocolate peanut butter to drizzle over the top of cheesecake (if not using ganache) or for another use.

Sprinkle 14-16 chopped miniature Reese's cups over the chocolate peanut butter.

To make the filling, in a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, water and cinnamon; set aside.
In another small bowl, melt the 3/4 cup chocolate chips in the microwave and stir until smooth; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Stir in vanilla. Divide batter in half. Stir melted chocolate into one portion; pour over crust. Stir coffee mixture into the remaining batter; spoon over chocolate layer.

Place pan on a baking sheet (to catch spills). Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

To make the topping, chop the chocolate finely and place in a small bowl.  Heat the cream to a simmer (not a boil) and pour over the chocolate.  Allow to sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.  Pour over the chilled cheesecake.  Garnish with more chopped peanut butter cups if desired. Refrigerate until set.  

Sources: Chocolate peanut butter adapted from Judy's Kitchen, Layered Mocha Cheesecake adapted from Taste of Home, This Cheesecake altogether - Rebekah's Original


  1. Wow! What a beautiful looking cheesecake, I bet your sister was one happy gal!

  2. I do believe this is a recipe I will make. Thakns so much for sharing.

  3. YES! This is something I WILL try!!! What will be my excuse?....MOTHER'S DAY!! =D

  4. Everything, from the Nutter Butter crust to the Reese's filling to the mocha strengthening the chocolate flavor is making me so hungry! This is such a stunning cheesecake! I'm 13 years older than my younger sibling, but treasure these days with them because before you know it, you're gone and they grow up! Anyway, beautiful MOUTHWATERING cake!

  5. What does the T stand for in the recipe?

    1. Sorry for the confusion - it stands for Tablespoon. I'll fix it in the recipe.


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