Planning the dessert portion of a party menu is never much of a dilemma for me.  My biggest issue is always having too many ideas and having to narrow them down to something reasonable.  While planning for the holiday party, the dessert spread came together fairly quickly in my mind but it seemed something was missing.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, but I knew some key dessert element was being overlooked.  Then it hit me – peanut butter and chocolate – that irresistible combination.  Somehow it needed to be a part of the menu.  Then out of nowhere, the idea of mini peanut butter chocolate cheesecakes came to me.  I don’t know if it was a pregnancy craving or what, but I could not let it go.

I did quite a bit of searching but didn’t really turn up a recipe that seemed to be what I had envisioned.  Thankfully, I’m getting better at using my knowledge of ratios and basic baking, so I was able to come up with these on my own.  I’m so glad I took notes as I went because I wouldn’t change a thing.  The cheesecake portion was smooth, slightly dense and peanut butter-y without being too sweet.  My only mistake was making way more ganache than I needed, so I’ve adjusted the recipe below accordingly.  Not that I’ve ever been one to have difficulty with rich desserts, but this bite-sized portion seems just the right way to indulge in this deliciousness without overdoing it.


For the crust:
1 cup chocolate cookie crumbs (I use Oreos)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tbsp. sugar

For the cheesecake:
12 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
½ cup peanut butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
Dash vanilla extract
Pinch of coarse salt

For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Lightly spray a 24-well mini muffin pan* with cooking spray.  To make the crust, combine the chocolate cookie crumbs, melted butter and sugar in a small bowl.  Mix with a fork until evenly blended.  Divide the crust mixture between the wells of the prepared pan, about 2-3 teaspoons in each.  Press the crumb mixture into a flat layer on the bottom of the well.  (The bottom of a shot glass or flat utensil is great for this.  I used the bottom of my whisk handle.)  Bake for 10 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack.

  • 02

    Reduce the oven temperature to 300˚ F.  To prepare the filling, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and peanut butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well blended.  Add in the sugar and mix until incorporated, about 1 minute more, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the egg and egg yolk, vanilla and salt.  Continue to beat until the mixture is completely smooth.  Divide the mixture evenly over the cookie crumb crusts and smooth the tops slightly.  Bake just until set, about 22 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.  Once completely cool, transfer the pan to the refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 3 hours.

  • 03

    Once the cheesecakes are well chilled, carefully remove them from the pan.  To make the ganache, place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the cream to a simmer over medium heat.  Once simmering, remove from the heat and immediately pour over the chocolate.  Let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in small circular motions until a smooth ganache has formed.  Whisk in the butter until completely incorporated.  Let the mixture stand at room temperature until slightly thickened for piping onto the cheesecakes.  (Speed this process in the refrigerator or freezer, but be sure to whisk every 10 minutes or so.)  Once the ganache has thickened, transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip and pipe onto the cheesecakes.  (I used a large, unlabeled tip to decorate these.)  Cover and refrigerate until the ganache is set.

  • 04

    *I find silicone mini muffin pans lend themselves to the easiest removal of baked goods, particularly cheesecakes.  If you don’t have a silicone pan, you may want to consider using mini cupcake liners for easy removal.


  • Oh, geez…. I think I need to make these!

  • Oh my! I crave for it now even I’m not prego. ;) :D Beautiful and love your creation.

  • i feel the same way about too many ideas whenever i need to pick out desserts to make! coincidentally, i also made peanut butter cheesecakes the other day:-)

  • Oh these look fantastic! Cheesecake is my fave dessert and PB and chocolate is my fave combo! Thanks for making these; I can’t wait to make them!

  • Cheryl

    Your dessert looks yummy! I always wondered, not having made any peanut butter desserts yet…What kind of peanut butter do you use when you bake? Is it natural, unsweetened or sweetened like Jif for a PBJ sandwich? Thank you!!

  • Annie

    I just use Jif in baking. I haven’t tried any of the natural sort in baking, but I have heard that it doesn’t always behave quite the same as the “fake” kinds.

  • Kim

    What kind of tip did you use for the ganache? It turned out so lovely!

  • Annie

    The tip I used is not labeled, sorry.

  • Those are so adorable…I shudder to think how many I could pop into my mouth without thinking twice :)

  • A dessert that combines peanut butter, chocolate, and cheesecake? Wow, I will definitely have to make these! For the crust, did you remove the cream filling from the Oreos before crushing them?

  • Annie

    Nah, I never do. I’ve tried both ways and never notice a difference so it’s faster to just leave them whole.

  • I’m almost positive these should be against the law. ;) They look just heavenly.

  • These look great! Cheesecake is my absolute favorite dessert. I made mini ones for Christmas dessert, too. I haven’t tried peanut butter cheesecake before, but I love the PB/chocolate combo, so this is on my to make list!

  • Annie these look amazing!(: They look wayy better than regular cheesecake.

  • You are so creative! These are so cute and I love how small they are so you don’t get sugar overload. Thanks!

  • deb in sc

    I love your website and almost all of your recipes. I am only disappointed because lately, I cannot ‘copy’ the photo at the top of your blog to put at the top of my recipes. I copy all of your recipes into word and change the font to LARGE so that I can read them. I love to have a picture of the recipes, and I uesed to be able to copy yours to my word docutment, but no longer. Is it possible for you to make that available again?

  • Annie

    No, unfortunately I have a lot of problems with people using my photos without permission and taking credit as if they were their own.

  • oh these are so darling! they look scrumptious too!
    these will definitely be on the top of my list of things to bake ASAP!

  • Erin M

    Can’t wait to try these! I’ve made mini cherry cheesecakes in a similar fashion and they’re always a hit. Thanks for another great recipe!

  • Nida

    How did you get the cheesecake layer on the cookie layer so evenly? The recipe doesn’t say. Did you move the cookies back to the muffin tray and use that or did you have another method?

  • I agree..chocolate and peanut butter are irresistible. I have never seen them in such a beautiful presentation!

  • Annie

    I don’t understand your question. Do you mean this? “Press the crumb mixture into a flat layer on the bottom of the well.” These aren’t individual cookies, but cookie crumbs that make the crust.

  • Those look so elegant and yummy!

  • I love peanut butter and chocolate! Add cheesecake and it sounds even more fabulous!

  • I love these! Mini desserts are my favorite…especially cheesecake :) Hope you had a great holiday!

  • Megan

    These look wonderful! I will be sure to try them! Just a little tip (in the event a silicone pan and/or mini cupcake liners are not available. I have had great luck using parchment paper to help facilitate the removal of mini cheesecakes from muffin pans. Line muffin cups with one – 2 inch (5 cm) wide x 6 inch (15 cm) long strip of parchment paper. (The ends will hang over the sides of the cups to be used as handles to lift out the baked cheesecakes.) Works great every time!!

  • I LOVE these. And the dainty size is perfect for a dessert buffet. Bravo!

  • Congratulations, you have created the PERFECT dessert! I will be making these! Beautiful presentation too.

  • These are really lovely!

  • I’m so keeping this recipe! It sounds simple and delicious! I so don’t know about getting my ganache to look as gorgeous as yours but I’ll try! Thanks!

  • Stephanie

    These look divine, but I’m wondering if the recipe will translate well to a full pie instead of minis, what do you think?

  • YUM Annie! I am going to make these for a New Year’s eve party this weekend (and probably blog about it after!). Thank you!


  • Annie

    Doubt it, it probably wouldn’t be the right proportions to fill a pan.

  • HB

    May make these this wknd for my FIL… Love that the recipe makes a reasonable # too.
    Will you be do a post of the entire holiday party itself???

  • Annie

    No, unfortunately some guests arrived about 15 minutes early which was my intended picture taking time. It really threw things off!

  • Julie

    What a great recipe!! If I didn’t want to make minis do you think the filling is enough for a store bought graham crust? Also, did you have any problems getting the ganache to set? Mine often does not; it will stay too soft.

  • Annie

    Regarding the full size, I answered this question above. As for the ganache, if you use the correct proportions, it always sets eventually. You just have to be patient.

  • Julie

    Thank you Annie! Keep up the good work and may God bless you!

  • This looks so amazing, just found your blog and i love it so much :) especialy theese mini cakes :)

  • Megan

    Did you put the crust back into the muffin pan after cooking for 10 min. to add the filling and recook?

  • Annie

    You do not remove the crust from the muffin pan. Leave it in, pour the filling over it, bake.

  • Melissa

    Hi Annie,
    Congratulations on your pregnancy!
    I would love to bake these for my pregnant co-worker’s last day on Friday, but unfortunately, I don’t have a silicone pan :(
    I was thinking of baking this in a 9×13 pan, but as you have said, the proportions of this recipe wouldn’t be right for that. So I was wondering, because this recipe uses the exact same ingredients for the filling as your lemon blueberry cheesecake bars (substituting the lemon/blueberry for peanut butter of course), do you think this recipe would work in a 9×13 pan if I used the same measurements as the lemon blueberry bars and baked it for 35 minutes at 325°F? Or perhaps even a higher measurement of ingredients? Because I like a high cheesecake slice :)
    …or would the peanut butter makes things work differently?
    Sorry to be a pain, but I’m sure you’d know more about this than me!
    Thanks for your help, Annie. All the best with your family!

  • Annie

    The only way to know is to try it and see. Good luck!

  • Stephanie

    Hi Annie – I love your blog, and I just had your chicken quesadillas for dinner tonight! I was thinking of making these for dessert, but all I have on hand is graham crackers for the crust. Do you think that taste alright together? I’ve never had a chocolate type of cheesecake with plain graham cracker crust, and I just can’t decide if the flavors would work together. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!

  • Annie

    Only you can decide if it will taste good or not since everyone’s tastes are different. The only way to know for sure is try it and see. Good luck!

  • Melissa

    How long do they hold for? Can we freeze them a couple days in advance?

  • Annie

    I’m not a food scientist so I don’t know exactly. I probably wouldn’t freeze them myself, but I think they would do okay in the fridge.

  • Katrina Banzon

    I think I may understand what Nida was asking, because it’s similar to the question I have =] After baking the crust, you transfer them to a wire rack. When you’re ready with the cheesecake filling, do you put the crust back into the muffin pans and then pour the filling over it?

  • Annie

    The crusts are never removed from the pan.

  • Nabilah Yen

    How do u get it to be so smooth????….do u actually spread the mixture onto the crust/base???… do you get the crust out without breaking them???..and how do u spread the mixture onto the crust evenly???…does the mixture stays on the crust without and liners???… u line your muffin trays or you just put the crumbs inside????

  • Annie

    All of this is described in the directions. I do not use liners. The crusts should not be removed from the pan before the cheesecakes are baked.

  • Nabilah Yen

    how do u get it out so smooth???

  • Nabilah Yen

    i dont hv silicone muffin trays…will normal ones work???….if i were to use cupcake liners will it be as smooth as yours?

  • Annie

    If you are referring to the sides of the cheesecakes, that is from the pan.

  • Annie

    Yes, normal pans are fine. Of course they won’t be as smooth if you use liners and then remove them.

  • Sarah

    When you say mini, does that mean like regular cupcake sized or mini cupcake sized?

  • Annie

    Mini cupcake

  • ellie


  • Alina

    i asssume that cream cheese you used is about 33% milk fat, do you think it’s possible to replace part of it with low-fat cream cheese?

  • Annie

    Please read my FAQ page regarding substitutions.

  • Kanika

    Hi Annie,
    THANK YOU for sharing this recipe! These are absolutely delicious!
    I made these last night and brought them into work this morning!
    That was 30 mins ago and they are ALL gone! :)
    You’re awesome!

  • Made these yesterday. Wowzers, so much yumminess in a little package! :) Even tastier the next morning with coffee. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

  • You are definetly a cooking genie, cant say that there is someone that cooks like you, i tried doing this delicious mini penaut butter chocolate cheescakes, and they are like the cutest, delicious, things, i admire you, and obviously your my idol, keep up doing creative things annie, love love love EVERYTHING, you do :p

  • Kristen

    These were the clear favorite from our holiday party. You can’t go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate. Everyone thought they were delicious and adorable. They were also easy to make. These will be added to our most frequently made list.

  • mariam

    Hey Annie, these look amazing, I love chocolate and peanut butter!
    I once made a peanut butter chocolate mousse cake and the crust wasn’t just oreo, it had rosted pecans a touch of cinnamon and brown sugar and it was AMAZING! You should all try this with the crust.

  • Hamsa

    Hi, this might be a completely silly question but do you blend the entire oreos or without their cream filling and only the biscuit? I can’t wait to try these out!!

  • annieseats

    You can do it either way. I usually just leave the filling in because I don’t want to take the time to get it out. Haha! Enjoy.

  • Do you think you could use this method (with the mini silicone pans) to make your raspberry swirl cheesecake cupcakes into minis?

  • annieseats

    I think that would work.

  • Yay! Also, is your silicone pan an unknown brand? I did look on your amazon equipment, wasn’t there. All the reviews of seen for numerous pans are a little disheartening, so I was wondering what works for you?

  • annieseats

    Yeah, it was just from Target years ago.

  • Ha! The one I’m thinking of getting is from Target, actually. It’s pink! Thanks for putting up with my numerous equipment questions :)

  • annieseats

    Mine is pink too! Maybe it’s the same one. (Although now that I think of it, I do have two – the Target one and a blue one from C&B. I like the C&B one better.)

  • I did a thorough site and internet search, it doesn’t look like C&B sells silicone mini muffin pans anymore, sad day! Target it is then.

  • Mary

    SO yummy! I just wanted to share that I didn’t have a pastry bag so I simply poured the ganache (without letting it thicken) onto the bites and it worked out great. Thank you for this recipe!!

  • angela

    I absolutely love it that I read that you made this up! I am so totally a make it up as I go girl in the kitchen! And I usually find myself ‘making’ wonderfuls involving cream cheese!…cheesecake! I am especially happy to know that the best of best friends are chocolate and peanut butter..they get along better together than anything in the world! :) And they also both appreciate the value of cheesecake….a most wonderful union of 3 fabulous ingredients! A definite win win! Thanks for sharing. (My problem is that I normally don’t take notes…just have. To remember the best I can and wing it again!)… glad you took notes!

  • Sophie

    Annie, these look amazing and I’m definitely going to try them! Thank you for sharing!

    I have one question though: What kind of sugar did you use for the cheesecake mixture?

  • annieseats

    Granulated. Enjoy!

  • disqus_VtiyWG8OJj

    Hi can I use thickened cream in place of heavy cream?

  • annieseats

    I haven’t heard of thickened cream before, so I’m not sure of how it would work as a substitution. Sorry!

  • disqus_VtiyWG8OJj

    Hello. Thank u for yr prompt reply. I cant find heavy cream. Can I use whipping cream instead? Or any oth substitute

  • annieseats

    Whipping cream and heavy cream are interchangeable.

  • Mira Appleby

    These look amazing and I would like to make them for a party – i’m hoping to do as much as I can in advance…do you think I could make these the day or night before? Thanks!

  • annieseats

    Sure, I always make cheesecake in advance. Enjoy!