Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

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Or try my Nutella swirl 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

Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. 

More cheesecake recipes to try!

  • Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars
  • Peanut Butter Cup Pretzel Cheesecake Bars

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
  • 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:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

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© 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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

 

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

 

 

147 Comments

    1. Hey girlie!! I knew you’d love these cheesecake bars! Hope you are doing well and having an awesome summer! xo

  1. Made these for a work potluck and they were completely gone by the end! So delicious! I may have added some extra reeces cups on top of the drizzle, but I would definitely recommend. The crust is crumbly, but everyone said that didn’t matter. Maybe add extra butter to keep it more together?

    1. Hi Emily! I’m so glad you loved these cheesecake bars. Adding more butter to the crust could make it too moist and not crunchy at all. Though I’ve never tried it before, I don’t think it would solve the problem.

  2. This look positively delicious for me, but I am wondering what could be used in place of the peanut butter cups for a grandchild with a peanut allergy, any suggestions.

    1. Hi Bonnie – there is also peanut butter in the cheesecake as well. You culd just leave it out and use chocolate chips instead of the pb cups.

  3. Sally, as of last night I was a first time visitor. After I made this recipe this morning, I think I’m hooked for life! Thanks so much for this phenomenal recipe and keep up the amazing work!

    1. Libby – welcome! I am so happy to have you as a follower. And I’m glad you love these cheesecake bars. They are SO good!

  4. I am making these today—-they look fabulous! I need to make a larger batch—can I double the recipe and put in a 9×13 pan?

  5. Hi Sally, I have a question, am planning to make this for my huss who is a PB freak. If I half the quantity will I be able to make it in a 7.5″ square cake pan… Thanks in advance…

  6. Hi again,Sally!Carlotta here.Just wanted to let you know,that this recipes is really to die for.Personally,I’m not really a big fan of pretzels,but after an afternoon of baking some of these for a cousin of mine’s surprise birthday party and tasting one of them,I fell in love.Sweet and salty crust,topped with Reese’s pieces and chocolate syrup,this is certainly a recipe to go bananas for!;)

  7. Sally I made these, but something was off. The cheesecake part wasn’t sweet enough. Would you suggest I add more sugar? Thank you!

  8. Made these today and…wow!! So tasty and indulgent but at the same time not so heavy I regret eating it after! I love this site and it’s teaching me to live a little and not make everything have to be healthy 🙂 I think something homemade like this still beats store bought any day! At least I know what’s in it!

    1. You could try that – though my crust does hold up well, only slightly crumbly. That’s what you get with pretzels. Let me know what you try.

  9. Sally,

    I’ve been baking recipes from your blog for a few months now…it has become my go-to website when I want to find a great recipe!! These bars look scrumptious and exactly the kind of dessert I was looking for to make for Mother’s Day. I will use gluten-free pretzels for my son; in fact, I used Gratify Sea Salt Thins the last time I made a pretzel crust and they work even better than wheat pretzels. They don’t break your ear drums when you process them and the texture of the crust turns out just right!

    I can’t wait to try taste these tomorrow!!

    Connie

  10. Sally! If you remember me, i make alot of desserts from your blog and it always comes out amazing so im planning to make this too, one question though, do we bake the crust when the oven is preheated or when its still preheating? Please answer, thank you 🙂

  11. love Reese’s peanut butter cups but this recipe was not my favorite. I think it would be better with a plain cheesecake filling and the peanut-butter cups instead of the peanut-butter cheesecake filling with the cups. It’s like eating a peanut butter pie. I wanted to taste the different flavors but all I tasted was peanut butter. The Reeses’s may have stood out more in a plain cheesecake batter.

  12. 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…

  13. 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!

  14. 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!

  15. 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!!!

  16. 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!

  17. 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?

  18. 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.  

  19. 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 

  20. 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!

  21. Hi Sally! I just made these with cookie butter instead of peanut butter and my roommates are swooning and I can’t wait to have my boyfriend and his daughter try them. I will also be bringing some to my workplace tomorrow, the Fort Collins Bike Co-op, to share with our wonderful dedicated volunteers. I thickened up the pretzel crust a little (I have made the original before & I am a total pretzel crust devotee as the result) using 3.5 cups whole pretzels, 4 scant tbsp sugar and 1 whole stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter. They came out great & I’ll tag you in the pics I post to Instagram here shortly. Thank you for all that you do: this is my main go-to recipe blog, everyone in my life always goes nuts over anything I make from here and it gives me confidence in trying new twists on recipes as I have made a good number of your recipes and learned a lot about baking in the process. I can’t begin to tell you how you’ve impacted both my approach to and confidence in my baking prowess and how much I appreciate it. Baking has become a meditative science for me and has been hugely helpful in my ongoing recovery from a chronic illness. Again, many thanks to you.

  22. Wow these are incredibly good! I had a bunch of leftover pretzels from an appetizer party I wanted to somehow use. I had all of the other ingredients so I thought I’d give this recipe a whirl. So glad I did. The pretzel crust is EVERYTHING!

    The recipe is creative and easy to follow. Comes together quickly. Thank you so much, it’s a keeper for sure.

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