This Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake tastes like your favorite candy turned into a delightfully creamy vegan cheesecake. With a chocolate crust, creamy peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache topping, you won’t be able to have just one bite!
So, I’ve had my website for just about 9 years (!!!) and somehow, I’m just finally getting a recipe up for a Gluten-Free + Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake. When I took my first bite of this cheesecake, my first thought was “what in the world has taken me so long to make this???‘
If you’ve been around the block here with me for a minute, you’ll know that I love my chocolate + peanut butter recipes. Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Blondies, Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats, Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge…and that’s just to name a few.
So naturally, a peanut butter cup cheesecake is next in line. I have no doubt that this easy recipe will be a new favorite.
Let’s make a Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake!
To start – let’s chat about the crust. We make it with roasted peanuts, almond flour, cacao powder, maple syrup, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt. You’ll pulse the ingredients together until a sticky dough is formed and press into the pan. It’s rich and chocolatey and SO good!
Next up, the most important part: the luscious peanut butter filling. As with most of my vegan cheesecakes, this one has a base of raw cashews. You’ll soak the cashews in water to soften, and then blend them up with peanut butter, coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, lemon juice (adds that cheesecakey tang!) and vanilla extract. Voila! Pour over the crust, put it in the fridge, and we’re so close to it being finished.
Once the Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake is nice and chilled, we cover it in luscious chocolate ganache. 😋 It’s so simple – just chocolate and coconut milk. Once it’s poured all over the cheesecake, garnish as desired!
Here are some garnishing options:
- Mini peanut butter cups (like I used)
- Homemade peanut butter cups
- Roasted peanuts
- Chocolate chips
- Peanut butter drizzle
With one bite, you’ll be transported to peanut butter cup heaven! This Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake is creamy, bursting with chocolate and peanut butter flavor, and is my personal definition of the PURE BLISS. I hope you love it as much as I do!
If you love this recipe…you’ll also love these:
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites
Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake
For the crust
For the cheesecake
- 1½ cups raw cashews soaked for at least four hours or preferably overnight, drained and rinsed in cool water before using
- ½ cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- ⅓ cup (111g) pure maple syrup
- ½ cup (128g) creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil melted and cooled
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt salt to taste if your peanut butter is salted
For the dark chocolate drizzle & garnish
- 3 oz. dark chocolate finely chopped
- ¼ cup canned full-fat coconut cream just the thick, creamy part from the top of the can
- Mini peanut butter cups
- Grease a 6” springform pan with coconut oil, or line a 6” cake pan or an 8x8” square baking pan with parchment paper for easy removal and grease well with coconut oil. Set aside.
- Add the peanuts, almond flour, cacao powder, and salt to a food processor or high-powered blender and pulverize to break up the peanuts until just small bits remain. Add the maple syrup and coconut oil and pulse until it comes together into a dough, with small peanut bits remaining. Press the dough evenly along the bottom of the prepared pan.
- In a high-powered blender (I used my Vitamix, but most powerful blenders should do the job), combine all of the filling ingredients and blend for about 2 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture is silky smooth and super creamy. Use your tamper and scrape down the sides as necessary to get it to blend smoothly.
- Pour the smooth filling into the prepared pan over the chocolate crust. Smooth out the top and tap the pan hard against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Place in the freezer to set for at least 3 hours, or in the refrigerator to set for at least 6 hours.
- For the chocolate ganache, place your chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the coconut cream in a saucepan or microwave until steaming and just barely simmering and pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes and then whisk until smooth. Spread over the top of the cheesecake, letting it drip down the sides as desired.
Store in the refrigerator or freezer. I recommend running your knife under hot water to warm it up before cutting the cheesecake with the still-hot (dried) knife.
- If serving from frozen, let thaw at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months or in the fridge for up to 5 days.
For a Paleo-friendly version: swap out the peanuts & peanut butter with almonds/almond butter or cashews/cashew butter (or any other nut/seed you prefer).