Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars

These peanut butter cheesecake brownie bars are made with moist creamy layers of dark chocolate brownie and peanut butter cheesecake.  The yummy peanut butter and rich chocolate flavors throughout make this an irresistible treat!  This recipe will be your first choice when you need an ooey gooey homemade dessert that everyone will go crazy over!

If you are like me and love the amazing combo of cheesecake and brownies, then try Hershey’s chocolate cheesecake brownies recipe or hot fudge peanut butter cup cheesecake brownies or chocolate chip cheesecake brownies.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars on a wooden cutting board with two eggs in the background.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars

It has been so gloomy here in Utah the past couple of weeks. We really have only had the sun out a couple of days in the last little while here. The snow has all melted and we have been getting quite a bit of rain. I am so ready for some sunshine and warmth to come our way!  Until then, I am making my own sunshine in my kitchen with my favorite ingredients peanut butter and cheesecake.  When I bite into that soft and sweet brownie bar it takes my day from gloomy to sweet!

As soon as I saw this recipe, it was love at first site. I baked them the night before and that was a bad idea. Square by tiny little square they were getting eaten and going fast. I was wondering if I would even have some left to take a picture of! Cheesecake is one of my all time favorite things. And I love peanut butter. The two combined were absolutely amazing! It was so creamy and delicious on top of a dark and rich chewy brownie. I especially loved the chocolate chip layer in between the cheesecake and brownie layer. Oh man. These were phenomenal! All of my favorite things balanced out in this perfect dessert.

Ingredients to Make Bars:

Brownie Layer:

    • Butter: Combine with chocolate and melt either in the microwave or in a double broiler.
    • Dark chocolate: Chop the chocolate so it will melt easier and more consistently.
    • Sugar: If you need a sugar substitute, some common subs are honey, maple syrup, agave, or stevia.
    • Brown sugar: packed
    • Vanilla: Just as salt brings out flavors in savory dishes, vanilla brings out the flavors in sweet desserts like this one and also adds its own depth of flavor.
    • Eggs: Eggs act as the binding ingredient and add moistness.
    • All-purpose flour: Do not sub for cake or bread flour. The more flour you add the more cake like your brownie will be.  Less flour equals a more dense result.
    • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: Adding these extra chocolate chips will make your brownie even more fudge-like and rich!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Layer:

  • Cream cheese: Softened to room temperature .
  • Butter: Softened to easily mix with the cream cheese using a paddle mixer.
  • Egg: Thickens the cheesecake and gives it the smooth texture.
  • Sugar: The main role of sugar in this cheesecake is sweetener.  Cheesecake does adapt very well to sugar subs like splenda which will help hold the integrity of the end product.
  • Salt: Just a pinch!
  • Vanilla extract: The vanilla is in both the cheesecake and the brownie for a luxurious flavor throughout.
  • Creamy peanut butter: Use store bought peanut butter for the best results.

Let’s Make Some Dessert!

  1. Preheat and Prep: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9×13 inch pan with aluminum foil for easy removal of the bars. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate: In a microwave safe bowl or using a double broiler, melt the 3/4 cup of butter and chopped dark chocolate. Stirring ever 30 seconds being careful not to let the chocolate burn.
  3. Whisk in ingredients one at a time: Add sugar and brown sugar to the melted chocolate mixture. Then, add the vanilla and eggs until it is fully incorporated. Lastly, stir the flour until incorporated.
  4. Pour into pan and sprinkle with chocolate chips: Pour this mixture into your prepared 9×13 inch pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cups chocolate chips and set aside.
  5. Make cheesecake layer: In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and softened butter about 2 minutes until fluffy. Mix in the egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high for another 2 minutes. Mix in the peanut butter for 2 minutes.
  6. Stack the cheesecake and brownie layers: Pour the cream cheese layer over the brownie layer and spread it out so that it is smooth on the top and completely covers the brownie layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The top and edges should be slightly golden and the center is set.
  7. Let cool: Allow the bars completely cool and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before serving.

Process of making Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars.

Tips to Make the Best Cheesecake Brownie Bars:

Brownie Tips:

  • You only need a small amount of flour to get the fudge-like texture we all love in a brownie!
  • Be sure not to add too much flour.  To avoid this, level out the flour when you measure it.
  • Traditional commercial peanut butter, such as creamy Skippy or Jif, tends to work best for baking. “Natural” peanut butter products don’t work well because either the oil separates and causes problems, or the butter is too dry and leads to a dry crumbly final texture. I found baking with something like Skippy results in the best texture and the strongest peanut flavor.

Cheesecake Tips:

  • Line your pan with parchment paper and leave an overhang, then spray with a nonstick spray.  (This will allow the cheesecake to be lifted easily out of the pan after cooking and easily cut into servings.)
  • Use a metal pan – it conducts heat more evenly so you don’t end up with an under-cooked center.
  • Use a big, sharp knife to cut.  Run under hot water and wipe it off between slices for clean cuts.

How to Store: Store the cheesecake brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.  You can also freeze the bars in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars on a wooden cutting board.

More Delicious Dessert Bar Recipes:

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Author Alyssa Rivers
Servings 16 Bars

A delicious fudgy brownie bottom with creamy peanut butter cheesecake on top!

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword bar recipes, brownie bars, peanut butter cheesecake brownie bars

Ingredients

Brownie Layer:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 6 oz dark chocolate chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Layer:

  • 1 block cream cheese 8 oz. softened
  • 1/4 cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 inch pan with aluminum foil for easy removal of the bars. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

  2. In a microwave safe bowl or using a double broiler, melt the 3/4 cup of butter and chopped dark chocolate. Stirring ever 30 seconds being careful not to let the chocolate burn.

  3. Whisk sugar and brown sugar to the melted chocolate mixture. Then add the vanilla and eggs until it it is fully incorporated. Lastly, stir the flour until incorporated.
  4. Pour this mixture into your prepared 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle with 3/4 cups chocolate chips and set aside.

  5. To make the cheesecake layer, in a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the cream cheese and softened butter about 2 minutes until fluffy. Mix in the egg, sugar, salt, and vanilla on high for another 2 minutes. Mix in the peanut butter for 2 minutes.

  6. Pour the cream cheese layer over the brownie layer and spread it out so that it is smooth on the top and completely covers the brownie layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes. The top and edges should be slightly golden and the center is set.
  7. Let the bars completely cool and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight before serving.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Bars
Amount Per Serving
Calories 478 Calories from Fat 261
% Daily Value*
Fat 29g45%
Saturated Fat 14g70%
Cholesterol 72mg24%
Sodium 269mg11%
Potassium 264mg8%
Carbohydrates 50g17%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 39g43%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 422IU8%
Calcium 36mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Alyssa Rivers

I am Alyssa and the blogger behind The Recipe Critic. I started my blog in June of 2012 as a place to share my passion for cooking. I love trying new things and testing them out with my family.

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Comments

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  1. These look extremely yummy! Can you tell me please, is the dark chocolate you used sweetened or unsweetened? Is there a brand you recommend? Thank you!

    1. I used unsweetened. But it is totally personal preference on that! I also just for the bakers brand box that has them in squares. 🙂

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