PB & J Cheesecake
This strawberry-infused, peanut butter crust cheesecake is topped with a melty fruit preserve, homemade peanut brittle, and fresh berries for some serious PB & J vibes. You can even pack it for lunch if you want to! Refrigeration required.
1 hr 5 min
1 hr 5 min
1 hr 5 min
1 hr 5 min
for 8 servings
- nonstick cooking spray, for greasing
- 1 graham cracker, 4.8-ounce sleeve (136 G)
- 1 ½ cups salted peanut (185 g), roasted
- ¼ cup brown sugar (55 g)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, melted
- 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
- 1 cup sour cream (245 g)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberry (25 g), finley ground
- hot water, for water bath
- ¼ cup water (60 mL)
- ½ cup sugar (100 g)
- 1 cup salted peanut (125 g), roasted
- ½ cup strawberry preserve (120 g), melted
- 3 strawberries, halved
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Make the crust: Grease a 7-inch (17 cm) springform pan with nonstick spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.
- Add the graham crackers to a food processor and process until broken down into coarse crumbs.
- Add the peanuts and brown sugar to the food processor with the graham cracker crumbs and grind into fine crumbs.
- Add the melted butter and peanut butter to the food processor and pulse until well combined, about 1 minute.
- Transfer the crust mixture to the prepared springform pan and, using your hands, press the crust in an even layer against the bottom and about 1 inch (2.54 cm) up the sides of the pan.
- Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with 2 layers of foil, going about halfway up the sides. This will prevent water from leaking into the pan when placed in the water bath.
- Make the filling: Add the cream cheese to a large bowl. Beat with an electric hand mixer on medium speed until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sugar and beat for another 3–5 minutes, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the sour cream and beat to incorporate. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating between each addition. When the eggs are well incorporated, beat in the vanilla and lemon juice. Fold in the freeze-dried strawberries.
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Place the springform pan in an 11-inch (27 cm) round pan or roasting pan. Fill the larger pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the springform, being careful not to splash any onto the cheesecake. Carefully transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 45–55 minutes. The center of the cheesecake should still jiggle slightly when you shake the pan.
- Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake inside for 1 hour to cool.
- Carefully remove the cheesecake from the water bath and let cool at room temperature for another hour, then transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- Make the candied peanuts: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large, nonstick skillet, combine the water, sugar, and peanuts. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until the sugar has caramelized and browned and the nuts are evenly coated, 10–15 minutes.
- Spread the candied peanuts on the prepared baking sheet. Let cool until safe to handle, then break apart with your hands into bite-size pieces.
- Once the cheesecake has chilled, use a knife or offset spatula to loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the pan, then release the springform. Transfer the cheesecake to a serving platter.
- Using an offset spatula, spread the melted strawberry preserves over the top of the cheesecake. Top with the fresh strawberries and candied peanuts.
- Slice and serve.
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