Deliciously creamy peanut butter cheesecakes are baked on top of soft and chewy peanut butter cookie cups.
These cupcake-sized cheesecakes taste amazing but look and taste even better when topped with whipped cream, chocolate ganache, jelly, or even more peanut butter. Add a tiny peanut butter cookie on top and you have a party-worthy mini dessert.
How fun will these little cheesecakes look on your dessert table at a party? They are the perfect size to serve after dinner or with other mini desserts and appetizers. Each cheesecake is rich and creamy and packed with peanut butter flavor.
I love cheesecake baked on a graham cracker crust but for this recipe, I wanted the peanut butter to be the star of the show. I had recently made homemade peanut butter cookie cups and knew they'd make the perfect crust for these peanut butter cheesecakes. I was right!
The soft and chewy peanut butter cookies not only complimented the silky smooth texture of the cheesecake, but the flavors paired beautifully too.
On their own, the cheesecakes taste great but they look a little plain. I suggest adding some toppings.
If you really want an intense peanut butter flavor, spoon on some creamy peanut butter, add chopped nuts, and a tiny peanut butter cookie (see note). Peanut butter lovers will go nuts with this combination! You can see more topping ideas in the recipe instructions below.
Note: When you bake the cookie cups, you will have leftover cookie dough that you can use to make tiny peanut butter cookies. They look adorable on top of these mini desserts.
So, let's get baking.
Peanut Butter Cookie Cups
- creamy peanut butter - My favorite is Jif but you can use any store-bought peanut butter like Skippy or Peter Pan. Just remember that peanut butter is the pronounced flavor so use your favorite brand. Don't skimp on this!
- butter - Use unsalted butter that has been slightly softened. If you use salted butter, eliminate the salt listed below.
- granulated sugar
- brown sugar - You can use light brown sugar or dark brown sugar (for a more robust molasses flavor).
- egg - It's always best to use room-temperature eggs when baking.
- all-purpose flour - It is always best to weigh flour if possible to get the most accurate measurement.
- baking powder
- baking soda
- salt - The recipe was created using table salt.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling
- cream cheese - Use softened, room temperature, full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor and texture. I highly recommend using Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
- creamy peanut butter - The peanut butter flavor will really shine through in this recipe so be sure to use something you love to eat right out of the jar.
- granulated sugar
- eggs - Be sure the eggs are at room temperature!
- vanilla - You can use pure vanilla extract, imitation vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste.
- sour cream - Set this out on your counter at least an hour before you make the cheesecake filling. You want this to be room temperature too so that it mixes into the filling well.
See the recipe card below for quantities.
- mixing bowl - My favorite 8-cup Pampered Chef Batter Bowls are made of glass and have handles and spouts. They even come with lids.
- silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) - I love my sprinkles silicone spatulas. They look so festive and fun in my utensil holder plus they are great at scraping down the bowl.
- 2 cupcake pans (muffin tins)*
- 18 cupcake wrappers*
- optional medium (2 tablespoons) cookie scoop
- mixer (helpful but not absolutely necessary)
*You will bake the cookie cups and cheesecakes in standard cupcake pans, not mini pans.
Start by making peanut butter cookie dough and baking the cookies in the cupcake pans to create your cheesecake crust.
Melt the butter either using the microwave or stovetop. Pour it into a mixing bowl and allow it to cool slightly.
Mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and peanut butter into the butter until smooth, then stir in the egg.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Mix just until combined. Let the cookie dough rest for 10 minutes before scooping it.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into 20 cupcake liners.
Flatten the cookie dough in the cupcake liners. They should fill about ⅓rd of the cup.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
Scoop and roll 20 tiny balls (about a teaspoon) of peanut butter cookie dough. Flatten the cookies using a fork.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 8 minutes until the cookies turn golden brown around the edges.
Place two room-temperature blocks of cream cheese in a mixing bowl.
Beat on low speed (or use a silicone spatula) until creamy and smooth.
If your cream cheese is really soft (left out at room temperature for at least 3 hours), you can cream it quickly and easily. It took me about 30 seconds to cream it using a hand-held mixer on low speed. If it's too cold, you will have to beat it longer which will add more air bubbles.
Add the creamy peanut butter.
Cream on low speed until combined.
Stir in the granulated sugar.
Then, stir in the eggs and vanilla.
Add the sour cream.
Beat just until combined.
Do not overmix the cheesecake filling or you will incorporate too many air bubbles.
Divide the batter over the 20 baked cookie cups.
It will fill up the cupcake cups to the top. Do not overfill them.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 14-16 minutes until they look dry around the edges but are still jiggly in the center.
Let the cheesecakes cool completely in the pan. Then remove and peel off the paper if you plan to serve them immediately.
If you don't plan to serve them immediately, you can refrigerate them for up to 4 days in their wrappers.
Tips: I suggest you place the cheesecakes in an airtight container (like a Rubbermaid container) and lay some paper towels over the inside of the lid. Close the lid so the paper towels get stuck in between the lid and the sides of the container. The paper towels (stuck to the roof of the container) will wick up any moisture so your cheesecakes won't become sticky and wet.
If you remove the cheesecakes and they have some moisture on top, blot it off using paper towels.
If you prefer, you can bake these cheesecakes on a graham cracker crust. See my Mini Cheesecakes Recipe for instructions.
For a different flavor profile, swap out cashew butter or almond butter for peanut butter.
If you don't have sour cream on hand, you can use plain Greek yogurt instead.
Have fun adding your favorite toppings to these mini peanut butter desserts.
Pipe a swirl of whipped cream, vanilla frosting, or white chocolate mousse over the cheesecake.
Sprinkle on chopped peanuts and insert a tiny peanut butter cookie into the swirl.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Cheesecakes
Make PB&J Cheesecakes by adding your favorite jam, jelly, or preserves. Warm it if needed so it is pourable.
Sprinkle chopped peanuts over the jelly then add a cookie on top.
Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
Or add the chocolate sauce and some whipped cream or white chocolate mousse, nuts, and a cookie. Toffee bits would be a nice addition too. Or perhaps a drizzle of caramel sauce. Yum!
I tried every one of these variations and my absolute favorite was the peanut butter cheesecake topped with chocolate ganache, Reese's Cups, and the peanut butter cookie. Seriously, WOW!!!
Store the peanut butter cheesecakes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Be sure to lay paper towels on the underside of the lid of your container. The paper towels will wick up the moisture so your cheesecakes won't get too wet and sticky.
You can freeze the plain cheesecakes for up to 3 months too. I use the paper towel trick here as well. I also recommend thawing the frozen cheesecakes overnight in the refrigerator. This will also help with condensation.
I served these for dessert on Father's Day and had a few leftovers. They were already topped and they did fine in the refrigerator. I would only do this for a day or two though. Just note that whipped cream can melt or weep if it isn't stabilized. Use Cool Whip or stabilized whipped cream to avoid this issue.
Use room-temperature ingredients whenever making cheesecake recipes.
Set your cream cheese on the counter for at least 3 hours or cut the blocks into small pieces and set them in your mixing bowl so they aren't on top of each other. They should soften in an hour or so.
Set the sour cream on your counter for one hour.
Use room-temperature eggs that have been set on the counter for several hours. Or, fill a bowl with hot tap water and set two whole eggs in their shells in the water for five minutes. Remove the eggs from the water. They will be ready to use.
This hot water trick is also a great way to know if you are using fresh eggs. If your eggs float, they are not fresh. Throw them away. One egg in a carton may be bad while the others are still fresh.
The cheesecakes should look dry around the outer edge and still jiggle in the center. Shake the cupcake pan to see if they still jiggle. If the centers look overly wet, give them another minute or so in the oven.
These mini cheesecakes will keep in the refrigerator for at least 4 days. If you want to keep them longer, freeze them for up to 3 months.
You baked the cheesecakes either for too long or at too high a temperature. Be sure to check the cheesecakes at the 14-minute mark and be sure your oven temperature is accurate.
No, these small cheesecakes bake quickly enough that a water bath is not necessary. You can add a pan of boiling water to the oven shelf below the cheesecakes to add more moisture to your oven. You will guarantee a silky smooth texture if you do that extra step.
Looking for other cheesecake recipes? Try these:
Deliciously creamy peanut butter cheesecakes are baked on top of soft and chewy peanut butter cookie cups. Serve plain or topped with whipped cream, chocolate ganache, jelly, Reese's Cups, and tiny peanut butter cookies.
- ½ cup 114 grams unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup 120 grams creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup 106 grams light brown sugar
- ½ cup 100 grams granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 192 grams 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour (see notes)
- ½ teaspoon 3 grams baking soda
- ½ teaspoon 2.84 grams baking powder
- ½ teaspoon 3.5 grams table salt
- 16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs (room temperature and lightly beaten just to break up the yolk)
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
- ⅔ cup sour cream (room temperature)
- whipped cream, chocolate ganache, jelly, peanut butter, chopped nuts, chopped Reese's Cups
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Place 20 cupcake liners in your cupcake pans and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Melt the butter in the microwave for 45-60 seconds on high power or on the stove over medium-low heat then pour it into a mixing bowl. Let it cool slightly.
Stir in the peanut butter, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.
Pour in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together, then pour it over the peanut butter mixture.
Mix just until blended. Do not overmix the flour or your cookies can become tough.
Let the cookie dough rest for 10 minutes.
Scoop out a little less than 2 tablespoons of dough and press it into a cupcake wrapper. Repeat, making a total of 20 peanut butter cookie cups.
Press the cookie dough down into the cupcake wrappers. They will fill about ⅓ of the cup.
Scoop out the remaining cookie dough into 20 very small (about 1 teaspoon) balls of dough. Set them on the parchment paper lined baking sheet and use a fork to flatten them in a cross-hatch pattern.
Bake the cookie cups for 10-12 minutes until the edges of the cookie cups turn golden brown.
Remove and let the cookies cool in the pan.
Bake the tiny peanut butter cookies for about 8 minutes until the edges look set.
Let the mini cookies cool completely.
Use a hand-held mixer, silicone spatula, or wooden spoon to beat the softened room-temperature cream cheese until smooth and creamy. If using a mixer, beat on low speed. You want to make sure there are no lumps remaining.
Add the peanut butter and beat (on low) until fluffy.
Sprinkle in the sugar and beat on low until smooth and creamy.
Pour in the lightly beaten eggs and vanilla and stir just until combined.
Finally, add the sour cream and stir just to incorporate.
Do not overmix or your cheesecakes will have lots of air bubbles.
Pour over the cooled peanut butter cookie cups.
Bake for 14-16 minutes until the edges of the cheesecakes look dry but the center still jiggles.
Remove and allow the cheesecakes to cool for 30 minutes in the pan. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then remove them from the pan. This will make them a little more firm so they are easier to remove from the pan.
Before serving, add optional toppings like a swirl of whipped cream, a spoonful of chocolate ganache, jelly, or peanut butter, and chopped peanuts, Reese's Cups.
Add a tiny peanut butter cookie on top and serve.
Use room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, and eggs. Set your cream cheese on the counter for at least 3 hours. Or, open the package and cut the cream cheese blocks into 8 slices. Separate them and allow them to sit at room temperature. They may be ready in an hour or so depending on the temperature in your kitchen.
Refrigerate your plain cheesecakes for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Add paper towels to the lid of your container to wick up moisture so your cheesecakes won't become wet and sticky.
The calorie count is approximate and it includes 20 cheesecakes and 20 tiny peanut butter cookies. Topping are not included.