Reese's Cheesecake Brownie Bars have a chewy, fudgy brownie base, creamy and smooth peanut butter cheesecake, rich chocolate ganache topping, and crushed Reese's cup decor. This treat is decadent, indulgent, and dangerously simple to whip up!
Cheesecake Brownie Process
- Prepare Brownie Base (30 minutes total)
- Allow Brownies to Cool (1 hour)
- Create Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling (15 minutes)
- Spread Cheesecake on Top of Brownie Base (2 minutes)
- Prepare Chocolate Ganache (10 minutes)
- Spread Ganache on Top of Peanut Butter Cheesecake + Decorate (5 minutes)
- Chill Reese's Cheesecake Brownies Bars (at least 6 hours)
This brownie base is the exact brownie recipe from my Thickest Oreo Stuffed Brownies. Because these are a base to the bars, one batch of the recipe is perfect for a 9x13 pan.
These brownies are made in one bowl, do not require a mixer, are made using cocoa powder, and have melted butter to make the preparation SO easy.
Not only are they incredibly easy, but they are consistently fudgy, chewy, dense, rich, and flavorful. I swear by this recipe as long as the directions are followed and the brownies are not overbaked.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Ingredients
This is a no-bake cheesecake. Due to the fact that there is no egg in the base, this cheesecake simply needs to firm up in the fridge before devouring. It's made using super simple ingredients, but there are a few important things to note about the recipe:
- Cream Cheese: It's important to use brick cream cheese rather than cream cheese spread. You will not see the same results, meaning they are not interchangeable. Additionally, making sure the cream cheese is softened is critical for the smooth, velvety texture of the cheesecake base. Simply leave your cream cheese out 1-2 hours before baking or heat in short increments (5-10 seconds) in the microwave in slices. The cream cheese should be cool to the touch and not melted whatsoever, but you should be able to easily make an indent with your pointer finger.
- Heavy Whipping Cream + Powdered Sugar: This combination basically creates a whipped cream. You will beat the mixture until stiff peaks form. This means that a beater lifted out of the mixture will create a peak that stands up straight and does not sink or curl. You'll fold this mixture into the cream cheese mixture to help create a smoother, creamier cheesecake.
- Peanut Butter: It is incredibly important to use creamy peanut butter to ensure success in this recipe. You'll heat the peanut butter for a few seconds in the microwave. This will make it easier to fully combine into the cream cheese mixture.
The secret to fudgy brownies is in the mixing and baking. When mixing, be sure to whisk the sugars and eggs together for the full 2 minutes to create the best texture. When adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix only until you see the dry ingredients disappear into the batter. Do NOT continue mixing, as this will create drier cakier brownies. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with slightly moist batter. It should not come out clean or even with formed crumbs, as this is a sign the brownies have been overbaked.
This cheesecake is no-bake, as it does not call for an egg. The main ingredients are cream cheese, powdered sugar, peanut butter, and heavy whipping cream. The cheesecake does, however, need to chill in the fridge for at least 6 hours to firm up.
Not only do these bars need to set in fridge after the cheesecake and ganache are added, but they should also be stored in the fridge. They should be kept covered or in an airtight container to preserve them. They should stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tips + Tricks
- Cooling Brownies: You absolutely must wait for the brownies to fully cool before topping it with the peanut butter cheesecake base. You will risk ruining the fudgy, chewy consistency of the brownies when you put them in the fridge and you'll risk melting the peanut butter cheesecake base when you put it on the warm brownies... AKA you could potentially ruin ⅔ components of these bars. Even if you are in a rush, it's so important to let the brownies cool before proceeding onto the next steps!
- Ganache: I highly recommend sticking to dark chocolate chips when creating the ganache, as different chocolates create different consistencies even when using the same ratio of heavy cream to chocolate.
Reese’s Cheesecake Brownie Bars have a chewy, fudgy brownie base, creamy and smooth peanut butter cheesecake, rich chocolate ganache topping, and crushed Reese’s cup decor.
For the Brownies
- 1 cup (240g) light brown sugar
- 1 cup (225g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature (200g)
- 1 cup (220g) unsalted butter, melted
- ½ tablespoon (6g) vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140g) all purpose flour
- ¾ cup (67g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¾ teaspoon (8g) salt
For the Cheesecake
- 12 oz (336g) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup (120g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon (4g) vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon (2g) salt
- 1 cup (288g) creamy peanut butter, slightly heated
- 1 cup (240g) heavy whipping cream + 2 tablespoons (15g) powdered sugar
For the Ganache + Decor
- 2 cups (350g) dark chocolate chips (about 12oz)
- 1 cup (215g) heavy whipping cream
- 6-7 Reese’s cups
For the Brownies
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, mix light brown sugar, granulated sugar, and room temperature eggs for two minutes with a whisk or electric mixer.
- Add melted butter and vanilla extract to the batter and mix until combined.
- Carefully, whisk all purpose flour, cocoa powder, and salt into the batter. Do not overmix, as doing so will lead to drier, cakier brownies. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the ingredients are properly incorporated. Batter will be thick.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan, using a knife or spatula to spread the batter evenly across the pan.
- Bake for 18-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with slightly moist batter. The toothpick should not come out clean but should not be wet. The top will look slightly wet and shiny.
- Allow brownies to fully cool before proceeding.
For the Cheesecake
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat softened cream cheese until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium speed.
- Slowly, add powdered sugar to the cream cheese and beat on medium speed until smooth and velvety in texture. Add ⅛ teaspoon salt and vanilla extract to the mixture and beat until incorporated.
- In a microwave safe bowl, heat peanut butter for 10-15 seconds. Stir the peanut butter before adding it to the cream cheese mixer. Beat on low speed and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure the peanut butter fully incorporates.
- In a separate, large bowl, beat heavy whipping cream and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar on medium/high speed with an electric hand mixer or in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Beat until the mixture forms stiff peaks. This should take several minutes, but be patient. The mixture should look white, fluffy, and should look much greater in volume. When you remove the beater from the mixture, it should create a peak that sticks straight up and does not curl.
- Carefully, fold the whipping cream mixture into the cream cheese mixture with a spatula. Continue folding until there are no longer streaks of white from the whipped cream.
- Transfer the cheesecake mixture to the cooled pan of brownies. Use a knife or spatula to spread the cheesecake evenly across the pan of brownies.
- Place the pan in the freezer while preparing the ganache to create a firmer surface to spread the ganache over.
For the Ganache + Decor
- Place dark chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl.
- In a small saucepan, heat heavy cream until the mixture just starts to boil. It should be slightly beyond a simmer but should not fully bubble.
- Immediately, pour the hot heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Use a knife or spoon to push the chocolate chips under the heavy cream, as the ganache may have some unmelted chunks of chocolate chips if you do not ensure they have all been touched by the hot cream. Let the mixture sit for about 3 minutes.
- Using a whisk, start by making small circles in the center of the bowl. As you start to see the mixture coming together in the center of the bowl, slowly begin working outside the center, moving further towards the outside of the bowl as the ganache combines.
- Pour the ganache over the cheesecake and spread using a knife or spatula.
- Crush Reese’s cups over the top of the ganache for garnish.
- Place the pan, covered with a piece of cling wrap to maintain freshness, in the fridge for at least 6 hours to allow the cheesecake to set.
Keywords: No Bake Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Cheesecake, Fudgy Brownies, Reese's Brownies, Reese's Cheesecake