Mini peanut butter cup cheesecakes are cupcake-sized cheesecakes made with a chocolate graham cracker crust, peanut butter filling, and chocolate topping. These individually sized cheesecakes are rich, decadent, and perfect for any peanut butter lover.
Mini cheesecakes are the perfect dessert for holidays, parties, and birthdays. They're individually portioned and easy to serve. Plus, cheesecakes are well loved and always crowd-pleasing!
Chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect combination. The thick chocolate crust is the perfect base for a peanut buttery and tangy cheesecake filling. Then, these mini cheesecakes are topped with a chocolate peanut butter candy coating.
Cheesecake isn't a very sweet dessert, but can be rich and heavy. Mini cheesecakes are the perfect size to keep your portions in control!
For this recipe, you'll need a standard-sized cupcake pan (NOT a mini cupcake pan!).
This Wilton 24 cupcake pan on Amazon is the one that I use.
Ingredients and substitutions
The chocolate graham cracker crumbs can be substituted with crumbled chocolate wafers, oreo cookies, or regular graham crackers.
Your cold ingredients will need to be room temperature before blending your ingredients together. This includes your cream cheese and eggs. Room temperature ingredients blend together into a smooth, creamy filling.
Add your ingredients one at a time and blend until creamy to prevent a lumpy batter.
Each ingredient should only take a short amount of time to mix, so there's no need to over-mix your batter.
Over-mixing can add air to your batter, causing your cheesecake to rise in the oven, then sink in the middles while cooling. Although there is some sinking when making mini cheesecakes, yours may sink more dramatically if your batter is over-mixed.
Before placing your cheesecakes in the oven, I like to gently tap my pan on the counter top a few times to remove any excess air bubbles.
Chocolate candy coating
Your candy coating is made with chocolate chips, peanut butter, and coconut oil.
You're basically making a magic shell topping, that you'd commonly use on something like ice cream. For more information, visit my full post on this recipe: Chocolate Peanut Butter Shell Ice Cream Topping
Try tilting your cupcakes from side to side to cover the entire top.
The best part about this chocolate topping? Not only is it delicious, but it helps cover any imperfections (cracks or sinking) on top of your cheesecakes.
Once all of your cheesecakes have been topped with chocolate, refrigerate until chocolate has hardened.
Tips and tricks
- Use a regular sized cupcake pan (NOT a mini cupcake pan). The term 'mini' refers to the size of these cheesecakes when compared to a regular whole cheesecake.
- Line your cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners for easy removal from the pan.
- Use regular cream cheese, not low-fat or fat-free. I have not tested this recipe with a low or fat-free cream cheese, and cannot guarantee they will turn out.
- Use room temperature cream cheese and eggs. Your batter will get lumpy if you try to mix cold cream cheese with other ingredients.
Do these taste just like peanut butter cups?
In short - no. These mini cheesecakes may look just like a big peanut butter cup, but they taste like a rich peanut butter cheesecake. They have the tangy cream cheese flavor of a cheesecake, not a sweet candy flavor.
This is a cheesecake recipe, so the texture is just like a normal cheesecake - dense, rich, and creamy. The top chocolate layer is really the only quality similar to a peanut butter cup.
If you're looking for a dessert that mimics the taste and texture of a peanut butter cup, I suggest trying my recipe for peanut butter buckeyes instead!
Mini Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 ½ cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners and set aside.
- In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and granulated sugar. Stir to combine. Add melted butter and stir until fully incorporated. Divide crust mixture evenly between your prepared cups. Using the back of a measuring cup, press graham cracker mixture firmly into the bottom of each cup. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, add cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Add granulated sugar, then mix until smooth. Next, add eggs and mix until incorporated. Add peanut butter and mix until incorporated. Last, add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Be sure not to over-mix, just mix until each ingredient is incorporated into the batter.
- Distribute batter evenly between your cups. After filling all cups, gently tap pan onto counter top to level filling and remove any excess air bubbles.
- Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until cheesecake is no longer jiggly in the center. Tops may crack slightly, this is normal. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before removing cheesecakes from the pan. Your cheesecakes may sink in the middle slightly when cooling.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Topping
- In a small bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring every 30 seconds, until completely melted and combined. If preferred, you can melt over a double boiler on the stove top as well.
- Add a spoonful of chocolate topping to the tops of each mini cheesecake. Tilt from side to side until entire top is coated.
- Refrigerate mini cheeseccakes until chocolate topping has hardened. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- This recipe makes 18 cupcake/muffin sized cheesecakes. "Mini" refers to the size compared to a regular cheesecake, and does not refer to a mini muffin tin.
- Room temperature ingredients are important for making a creamy cheesecake filling. If one, or all, of your ingredients are cold, this will cause your batter to be lumpy.
- If you have a lumpy batter, try pressing it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the lumps.