Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars.

Thick peanut butter cheesecake filling on top of a salty pretzel crust, stuffed with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and a chocolate drizzle on top.

Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars. All of my favorites in one! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m really sorry for doing this to you today.  Really, I am.

Apparently I’m all over the place this week. Sunday night I treated myself to a Wendy’s Frosty. Yesterday I made a large detox smoothie.  Today I’m stuffing my face with peanut butter cup cheesecake bars.

If there is such a thing as dessert A.D.D. – I have it.

Pretzel Crusted Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars. Salty, crunchy crust with a decadent and creamy peanut butter cheesecake filling.  Topped with a decadent chocolate drizzle! sallysbakingaddiction.com

I adore the combination of peanut butter, chocolate, and pretzels. A-DORE. I have plenty of recipes on this website filled with desserts combining the three!  It’s the perfect trio. Salty, sweet, chocolatey, crunchy, peanut buttery, decadent.

I probably love cheesecake as much as I love peanut butter (yes, it’s true!), and these scrumptious bars have been on my to-do list for ages.  They will totally blow your diet, but they are worth every single minute on the treadmill!

You’re going to start with a pretzel crust. Yes, a buttery crust made from pretzels!  Crushed pretzels, sugar, and melted butter. Told you – this is not diet food!  You’ll need 1.5 cups of crushed pretzels, which is about 3 cups of actual pretzels.  Grind the pretzels up as much as you can. And make sure no one is sleeping in your house when you do so.  Hard pretzels in a food processor is L-O-U-D. Sorry I woke you up, Kevin. 😉

How to make a Pretzel Crust for pies and dessert bars. Read more at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Mix the ground up pretzels with the melted butter and sugar and press into your pan.  Bake the crust for about 10-12 minutes as you prepare the filling.  This salty pretzel crust can also be used for my S’mores Brownie Pie, Key Lime Pie Squares, or these Snickers Cheesecake Bars (yum!).

The pretzel crust is sort of crumbly.  There’s no way around it.  Pretzels cannot be ground up as finely as graham crackers, so just expect a few crumbs when you cut into and bite into these bars. Have a napkin handy!

The cheesecake filling is easy peasy. Cream cheese, egg, sugar, vanilla extract, and creamy peanut butter.  Beat all that together until smooth and mix in several Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (the more, the merrier!). Pour on top of your pretzel crust.  Bake for 30ish minutes.  Chill the bars for 3 hours before cutting into squares. Waiting is torture. Pure torture.

Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars. Unbelievably good. sallysbakingaddiction.com

A little chocolate drizzle is the cherry on top, no?  Melt a few chocolate chips with some peanut butter (yep, more peanut butter), and drizzle on top of each cheesecake bar. The drizzle is completely optional, but I never say no to more chocolate and peanut butter.

These cheesecake bars are so good it’s scary.  If you do NOT like sweet and salty desserts, this recipe is not for you.  The crust is made from salty pretzels, so yes – the crust will be salty!  The peanut butter cheesecake filling is undoubtedly the creamiest cheesecake on the planet. And there’s enough peanut butter cups mixed inside the filling to make my No-Bake Reese’s Bars jealous.

What I love most about these bars is how thick the filling is.  You won’t even believe it will fit into a tiny 8×8 pan. It will practically fill the entire pan.  These bars are so thick and monstrous.  It’s glorious.  They’re crunchy, creamy, salty, sweet, and dangerously addicting.  Quite frankly, I think I found my new favorite dessert!  And yours, too. 😉

Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars. Unbelievably good. sallysbakingaddiction.com

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Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

Print Recipe

Baking a cheesecake as bars is so much easier than an entire cheesecake! This recipe makes 16 cheesecake bars.

Ingredients:

Pretzel Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (120g) very finely ground salty pretzels (about 3 cups whole pretzels)
  • 3 Tablespoons (35g) granulated sugar
  • 7 Tablespoons (100g) unsalted butter, melted

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling

  • 16 ounces (448g) cream cheese, softened to room temperature (not fat free)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 10 regular sized Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped (or 20 small)

Chocolate Drizzle

  • 1 Tablespoon (15g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup (45g) chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8x8 or 9x9 baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.

For the crust: In a food processor or blender, pulse salty pretzels into a fine crumb. See photo above for how it will look. Stir the pretzel crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together in a medium sized bowl. Press evenly into the lined pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.

For the filling: Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract together with a hand or stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 full minutes. Fold in the chopped Reese's cups and spread the mixture over crust. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool completely in the refrigerator for at least three hours. Lift the foil out of the pan and cut into squares.

For the drizzle: Melt the peanut butter and chocolate chips together in a small bowl in the microwave. Stir until smooth and drizzle over squares.

Store bars in a covered container for up to 10 days in the refrigerator. Recipe can easily be doubled and baked in a 9x13-inch pan, baking time will vary - about 45-55 minutes.

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

 

Try my Snickers Cheesecake Bars next!

8 Ingredient Snickers Cheesecake Bars - no one can resist these!

 

Here are 15 Sweet & Salty Pretzel Recipes.

See more peanut butter recipes.

See more sweet & salty recipes.

See more cheesecake recipes.

Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars. Unbelievably good. sallysbakingaddiction.com

 

 

   

143 Responses to “Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars.”

  1. #
    80
    Jaclynposted August 23, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Hi looking to make these…have you ever made ahead and froze them? Cheesecake usually freezes ok but not sure about this crust ppl keep commenting on…

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 23rd, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      I have never tried to freeze these, so I am unsure.

      Reply

  2. #
    81
    Susieposted August 26, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    I made these today for a teacher’s “back-to-school” potluck picnic. I am excited for my colleagues to try them. I’ve been snitching as I arranged them on the plate, and my oh my….how YUMMY! I did make a pretty major change though, and I’m very happy with the outcome. I used the Oreo crust from your Snickers cheesecake bar recipe instead of the pretzel crust. I was apprehensive to read about the crumbly-ness of the pretzel crust, so tried the Oreo crust hoping it would hold together better, and it was beautiful….no crumbling! AND very tasty with the peanut butter cups. Thanks for sharing TWO AMAZING recipes!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on August 27th, 2014 at 7:53 am

      Your version sounds great Susie. Thanks for reporting back!

      Reply

  3. #
    82
    Leiaposted September 19, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    Oh those look amazing!! What a great combination of all my favorite flavors. 🙂 Found this on Pinterest, and repinned.

    Reply

  4. #
    83
    Jenposted November 16, 2014 at 3:30 pm

    Hi Sally,
    If I want to make these a little less thick (so I can get more bars out of the recipe), could I use the recipe as is in a 9×13 pan and just bake for a shorter length of time? I have the recipe as is in my oven now and I can’t wait to try them!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 17th, 2014 at 10:16 am

      I fear a 9×13 size pan would really be stretching it. But give it a shot! Let me know.

      Reply

  5. #
    84
    Joannaposted December 17, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Yummy! And very easy to make. I used chocolate cream cheese instead of the regular stuff and about 30 Reese’s minis, and I baked in an 8×8 pan with fantastic results.

    Next time, I might do do half pretzels, half graham for the crust in the hopes that it sticks together a little better. And for more of a salty-pretzely kick, I’ll add pretzel pieces to the cheesecake-part itself. Maybe some salted caramel on top, too. Oh, my sweet tooth is gettin’ excited!!!

    Reply

  6. #
    85
    Caleesposted December 18, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    So I am shocked that of all the add-ins people have thought of, no one has thought of drizzling caramel on top, sprinkled with sea salt! I will be making these in two days, the day before a Christmas family reunion. I can’t make it any sooner for risk of eating them all beforehand! I can’t wait to try these!

    Reply

  7. #
    86
    Krissyposted February 22, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    I will be dying with anticipation unti I can bake these for something!! I had to tell my husband about them so I wasn’t miserable alone. 🙂 You are just brilliant. Do you think I could use an 8 or 9 in springform pan?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on February 23rd, 2015 at 6:26 am

      Yep, a round springform pan will work. The cheesecake will be a little thin and not as tall/thick as regular cheesecakes.

      Reply

  8. #
    87
    Jennaposted March 7, 2015 at 11:28 am

    Is it possible to use maybe a Graham cracker crust instead of pretzals crust?

    Reply

  9. #
    88
    Faithposted July 9, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    I have been eyeing up this recipe for several weeks.  I finally made it for my family over the 4th of July weekend.  It turned out to be disappointing though.  I don’t know if I did something wrong but it was kind of dry and lacking in peanut butter flavor.  I baked it the minimum amount of time and the edges were only slightly brown.  Unfortunately, I ended up taking over half of the pan home with me as no one seemed to care for them.  

    Reply

  10. #
    89
    Miss Iposted July 24, 2015 at 3:56 pm

    I made this with my friend. Omg, it was so delicious.  Neither of us are bakers but the recipe and instructions were so easy to follow.  It was sooooooo good.  I literally dream about this every day. I wish I could eat it again but it will be a special occasion treat 

    Reply

  11. #
    90
    Kasey Elainaposted September 26, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    Hello! Can the salted pretzels be easily substituted with graham crackers? 

    Reply

  12. #
    91
    Lizposted November 30, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    Hi Sally,
    I made these last night and followed your recipe exactly, and they are literally the most delicious cheesecake bars I’ve ever eaten in my life.  Thank you so much for the best dessert recipe out there!  You’re a dessert genius!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on November 30th, 2015 at 8:56 pm

      So glad Liz! Thanks for reporting back!

      Reply

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