This peanut butter cup tart features a crunchy graham cracker crust, mega creamy peanut butter filling, and a smooth chocolate topping. You only need 8 ingredients to get started. The peanut butter filling and chocolate topping are no-bake, but the crust requires time in the oven in order to set. Warning: this dessert is incredibly rich. A small slice goes a long way!
Are there 4 more beautiful words than “giant peanut butter cup?” Honestly.
Tell Me About This Peanut Butter Cup Tart
- Texture: It’s like eating a giant peanut butter cup, only the filling is much creamier and you have a delightful crunch from the crumbly crust.
- Ease: I’m confident a beginner could do this. Mix the crust together with a spoon, use a mixer for the 5-ingredient peanut butter filling, then melt chocolate and peanut butter together for the topping. Simple to assemble, too.
- Baking: The filling and topping are no-bake, but the crust does require a short visit to the oven. Bake it for 13–15 minutes to help it set. Cool it, then spread in the filling and pour on the topping.
- Time: What it lacks in bake time, it makes up for in refrigerator time. The tart must chill in the refrigerator before slicing and serving. 4 hours is good enough, but 6 hours is ideal. Torture I tell ya!
Best Ingredients to Use & Why
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: I tested this recipe with an Oreo crust at first. It was incredible, as you can imagine, but I prefer it with a graham cracker crust. Oreos almost overwhelmed the peanut butter flavor. Graham crackers are more neutral and take on a toasty flavor after baking. Keeping that in mind, feel free to substitute with Oreo cookie crumbs if you’d like. See recipe note.
- Butter: Use melted butter in the crust and softened butter in the filling.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar melts down and binds the crust together.
- Confectioners’ Sugar: Just as we do when making peanut butter bars and peanut butter balls, use confectioners’ sugar in the filling.
- Vanilla Extract & Salt: Both add flavor. If you love the slightly salted peanut butter filling of peanut butter cups, you’ll flip for this.
- Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is the main ingredient and we use it in both the filling and topping layers. For best texture, I suggest a processed creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. Natural style peanut butter works, but the tart may take longer to set up in the refrigerator.
- Chocolate: Use pure baking chocolate, chocolate melting wafers, or high quality chocolate chips. More on this next.
Peanut Butter Cup Tart Chocolate Topping
I make a tart similar to this– my snickers caramel tart. Have you ever tried it? When I first tested that recipe, I used melted chocolate (by itself) as the topping. When pure chocolate sets, it becomes pretty hard. As I cut the slices, all the filling squished out the sides. By melting the chocolate with a little fat (peanut butter), the topping is softer. It still sets, but isn’t a rock hard shell on top. It’s how we make the chocolate topping for peanut butter bars, too.
- I recommend 6 ounces of pure chocolate, such as 1.5 4-ounce baking bars (Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands are great) or use 3/4 cup chocolate melting wafers or chocolate chips.
Can I Make This Without a Tart Pan?
You need a (affiliate link) 9-inch tart pan for this recipe. I don’t recommend making this recipe in a regular pie dish because the tart will be very difficult to cut and remove from the pan. Instead, try my creamy peanut butter pie or try the mini peanut butter cup tarts, detailed next. A 9-inch springform pan would likely work, though I haven’t tested it.
How to Make Mini Peanut Butter Cup Tarts
Don’t have a tart pan or maybe you don’t need a full size tart on your hands? Try using this recipe for about 12 mini tarts either in a mini tart pan or use a lined muffin pan. Divide crust mixture between each, press firmly into the bottom of the mini tart pans or muffin liners, and bake for 8 minutes to help set the crust. Cool completely, then fill each nearly full with filling and spread chocolate topping on top. Chill for at least 2-3 hours before serving.
Sally’s Pie Week
This recipe is part of Sally’s Pie Week, an annual tradition where I share a handful of new pie recipes. If you love pies, but aren’t a fan of making pie crust, you’ll enjoy today’s peanut butter cup tart, my banoffee pie, creamy lemon pie, and this chocolate mousse pie. See all of my pie & tart recipes for more ideas.Print
Peanut Butter Cup Tart
- Prep Time: 45 minutes (includes crust cooling)
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 5 hours (includes chilling)
- Yield: serves 8-10
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
This peanut butter cup tart features a crunchy graham cracker crust, mega creamy peanut butter filling, and a smooth chocolate topping. The filling and chocolate topping are no-bake, but the crust requires time in the oven in order to properly set.
Graham Cracker Crust
- 1 and 1/3 cups (160g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10–11 full sheet graham crackers)
- 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp; 57g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
- 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 cups (315g) creamy peanut butter*
- 6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet, bittersweet, or milk chocolate (see Note)
- 3 Tablespoons (45g) creamy peanut butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Make the crust: Stir the graham cracker crust ingredients together. Pour into a 9 inch tart pan and pack in very tightly. The tighter it’s packed, the less likely it will fall apart. I recommend using the bottom of a flat-bottomed measuring cup to pack it into the bottom and around the sides. Bake for 13–15 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before adding the filling. It’s best if the crust is still slightly warm so the filling can properly adhere.
- Make the filling: Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the softened butter on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and salt, and beat until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and beat until smooth and combined.
- Spread filling evenly into tart crust. Set aside as you prepare the topping.
- Make the topping: Using a double boiler or microwave, melt the chocolate and peanut butter together until smooth. If using the microwave, stop and stir every 15 seconds until melted. Pour and spread over filling. (For the pictured tart, I saved 1–2 Tablespoons of the topping and drizzled it on top after the topping set.)
- Chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 4–6 hours (or up to 2 days) before slicing. If chilling for longer than 6 hours, cover it. This crust is crumbly no matter what, but chilling for 6+ hours helps the tart slice a little neater.
- Cover leftovers tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead Instructions: You can bake and cool the crust up to 3 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate until ready to fill. You can also assemble the entire tart, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 days before serving. Tart freezes well up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before serving.
- Crust: Feel free to swap out the graham cracker crust for an Oreo cookie crust (or you could even use Nutter Butter cookies). Reduce butter to 3 Tablespoons and leave out the sugar. Process about 15–16 whole Oreos or Nutter Butters (cookie + filling) into crumbs. Stir in melted butter. Bake for about 12 minutes. For a more traditional tart crust, use the peanut crust from my Snickers caramel tart recipe; follow crust ingredients and steps 2 & 3 from that recipe.
- Peanut Butter: If you don’t mind some crunchy nuts in the filling and topping, feel free to use crunchy peanut butter instead. I strongly suggest using a processed peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. Natural-style peanut butter works in a pinch, but the tart may take longer to set up in the refrigerator and the topping could be oily.
- Chocolate: You need 6 ounces of pure chocolate. Pure baking chocolate is typically sold in 4-ounce (113g) bars, so you need 1.5 bars. I recommend Baker’s or Ghirardelli brands, both sold in 4-ounce bars in the baking aisle. Instead, you can use 3/4 cup chocolate melting wafers (I like Ghirardelli brand), or chocolate chips.
- Can I Make This Without a Tart Pan? I don’t recommend it. The tart will be very difficult to cut. Instead, try my peanut butter pie or the mini peanut butter cup tarts detailed above. A 9-inch springform pan would likely work, though I haven’t tested it.
Keywords: peanut butter tart, peanut butter cup, chocolate
Reader Comments & Reviews
We used a 9 inch spring form pan and worked great. About to make it again right now. 5 stars!
Hello! Any advice for getting the crust to stick to the sides of the tart pan? It’s my very first try and it just wouldn’t stick. Thanks!
Hi Sally, I was wondering if you could use a regular pie and and if you can only use creamy peanut butter?
The weight for the chocolate is wrong. 6 ounces is 168 grams.
OMG this is one of the more amazing things I have made. I go gaga for peanut butter and chocolate and this was perfection. I used my 10 inch tart pan so I just increased the amount of crust a bit. Everything else I kept at the same quantity. I will DEFINITLY be making this again.
I made this recipe for the baking challenge this month in place of the pumpkin cheesecake. It tasted like a huge peanut butter cup with a crispy graham cracker crust. I did not have a tart pan so I used a springform pan that I was hesitant with that worked out very well!!
I’m glad that worked for you, Kim! Thanks for giving this recipe a try and for participating in the November baking challenge.
How should I make this gluten free? Just use gluten free graham crackers?
Hi Ben, assuming the other ingredients you use are labeled gluten free (some products may be processed in a facility with wheat products), using gluten free graham crackers would make this gluten free.
Hello Sally – thank you for all of your detailed recipes! And books too LOL
You do not mention spraying the tart pan? Should this be done?
Hi Carolann, no need to grease/spray the tart pan. There’s enough butter in the crust– it doesn’t really stick.
Very rich, very decadent, and very delicious! Only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I had problems with the crust. It was very crumbly. Either I didn’t pack it tight enough or it was the fact that I used a 9.5 inch tart pan? Oh well taste great.
Hi Melody, I’m glad you enjoyed it! The crust is definitely crumbly on this one. Perhaps it needed more packing or a few extra minutes in the oven. You could also try adding up to a tablespoon more butter, if you make this recipe again. Thanks for making my recipe!
I’m not giving this any stars, but man this recipe did NOT work for me at all. The crust was too crumbly, basically fell apart and did not stick to the peanut butter filling at all. And the chocolate topping was too hard so when you tried to take a bite it just smooshed down and the peanut butter filling just came out the sides. :/ It was like eating three separate things. I love your site and this is the only recipe that has disappointed — your “unbelievable peanut butter pie” is to die for though and I would encourage that instead.
Thank you so much for the feedback, Samantha! This is certainly a crumbly crust. I wonder if your crust would have benefitted from a few more minutes in the oven. Regardless, thanks for trying it.
Amazing recipe! I will definitely keep this one in my arsenal!
What a great recipe! Comes together quickly and does not disappoint! It truly tastes like a giant peanut butter cup! Will definitely be making it again.
This was completely addictive but the base crumbled apart whenever I cut a slice (I used digestives). I guess in a cheesecake base the moisture from the layer above help binds it while in this the peanut butter layer is oily rather than wet. I’m planning to try a shortbread base next time like the one I use for chocolate caramel shortbread (100g butter beaten with 50g caster sugar and 150g plain flour). Also I think I’d find it easier to slice small pieces from an 8″ square tin – I don’t need any encouragement to overindulge in this!
I had the same problem.
This tart is absolutely delicious! I made mine using a springform pan because I don’t have a tart pan. It came out perfectly. I also made it with a chocolate crust because the more chocolate the better in my opinion!
When I made this the cross completely fell apart when I cut into it to serve. I packed it as tight as I could but that didn’t seem to keep it together. Would adding more butter help?
Hi Kadie, thank you so much for trying this tart recipe. More butter will help. I recommend an extra Tablespoon.
Yum! We made it today and just tried it, peanut butter perfection! My chocolate layer is a little hard though? Would more peanut butter make easier for a spoon to cut through? Absolutely awesome though!
Hi Susan, We are happy to help! The top should still set so that it’s solid – but shouldn’t be rock hard. You can try adding more peanut butter next time, yes. Also you can try slicing the pie with a very sharp warm knife (just run it under hot water before slicing) or letting the pie sit out for a few minutes at room temperature if it’s too hard to slice.
This recipe looks so good that I just ordered myself a tart pan so I can make it! I have never used a tart pan before, when slicing and taking it out of the pan are the any tips/tricks to getting it out of the pan?
Thanks so much.
You will love using your new pan, Andrea! After the tart is completely set you will push up on the bottom of the pan to remove the outer edge and you can slice the tart right on the bottom. It’s so easy!
They are still setting in the fridge, but……
Things I found out: the crust and the filling were enough to make 12 regular size “muffins” and 12 mini “muffins” Muffins being the size of the tins I used. The topping was something else. That I was short on. Had a little bit of chips left, so took them and some peanut butter and finished off what needed topping.
Thought it might help others, thinking about doing a smaller version.
There is a picture on FB of the sizes I made.
This is really really good. My daughter’s eyes kind of rolled into the back of her head when she tasted it.
Hi, Sallie! Can I use almond butter instead of unsalted butter for this recipe?
I mean, instead of peanut butter?
Hi Kyra, we haven’t tested this recipe with almond butter, but the tart may take longer to set up in the refrigerator and the topping could be oily. Let us know if you give it a try!
Hi Sally – My son-in-law loves any recipe combining peanut butter and chocolate but he is vegan. I’ve made a couple of things using Earth Balance vegan stick “butter” and it seems to work OK. I’m not concerned about using it in the crust but do you think it will work for the filling?
Hi Jackie, We have not tested this recipe using vegan butter but let us know if you give it a try!
Is there anyway I could easily adjust this recipe to make it for an 11 inch tart pan?
Hi Jessica, you could stretch this to fit an 11-inch tart pan, but it will be pretty thin. You could also try 1.5x the recipe for a thicker tart. Bake the crust for a few extra minutes.
Can I use a regular pie pan?
Hi Christina! I don’t recommend it – the tart will be very difficult to cut. You might like my Peanut Butter Pie instead, or making this recipe as mini tarts. More details are in the post 🙂
Ho Sally – this looks amazing! But my husband is allergic to peanut. Could this be made with something else? Almonds? Hazelnuts?
I know you have a coconut almond recipe but the crust on this looks amazing. What can I use in place of peanut butter and peanuts?
Hi Lucysg, We haven’t tested this with almond butter but you can certainly try – just make sure it’s not the super oily kind. Or you can use a graham cracker crust for the Chocolate Coconut Almond Tart. Let us know what you try!
Quick question about the topping. I see you can use 3 different chocolates, but can you mix them? I have one bag of chocolate melting wafers, but plenty of chocolate chips. Will probably do the mini version, so I can share.
Absolutely! You could certainly mix them until you have 6 ounces or about 3/4 cup total.
I’m sorry to keep bothering you, but before I get started on the, have a question about my mini tart pans. They are a bit smaller than the one you gave the link for and are fluted. I tagged sallysbakingaddiction on FB with a picture. If anyone gets a chance to check them out and let me know, if you think they will work, I’d appreciate it. Also, wondering if I should spray them?
Thanks as always.
Hi Sheila, You can use your smaller tart pans. If they have a removable bottom then no need to spray them. If they are more like a muffin or cupcake pan then we suggest lining them vs spraying. I hope this helps!
This looks delicious, and great pictures! I come here almost daily for delicious recipes. Thank you for all the great food I am complimented on! Is there any way to make this in a springform pan? That’s also 9″.
Thank you so much! I can’t see why a springform pan wouldn’t work. Let me know how you like it.
Ms. Sally, I have a grandson who loves Peanut Butter and chocolate period, what do you think about a peanut butter cookie crumb crust? I AM going to make this for his dessert, I always make each a dessert with each of them in mind. Plus a pumpkin pie for Turkey Day Tradition and A “Mother’s Nut Cake” which is our own family recipe for Family Tradition. We were a military family so they missed those great big family meals where someone ALWAYS makes your favorite whether it’s turkey, or ham or fried chicken, and so many desserts. So just trying to decide whether to try it with a peanut butter cookie crust. Or bear with me, do ya think a graham cracker crust made with the sugar, but melted peanut butter instead of butter?
Hi Cathy, a peanut butter cookie crust would be fantastic! I recommend Nutter Butter cookies. Follow the same instructions in the recipe notes.
This recipe looks right up my alley. I love peanut butter cups, so putting that into a tart sounds like perfection. I’ve never made a pie from scratch but this looks like the perfect recipe to try for that.
I’m more than ready to make this tart! Two questions: can I use a 10” tart pan and do you have make ahead instructions…can it freeze?
Hi Connie! You can use a 10 inch tart pan, but each of the layers will be thinner. Freezes well up to 3 months.
Hi Sally this looks great. Could crunchy peanut butter be used in this recipe?
Absolutely! You’ll have some peanut chunks in the filling and topping, of course.