Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake {Vegan, GF}

Who else is an absolute peanut butter addict? (I confess!) The only thing better than peanut butter is adding chocolate. If you love Reece’s peanut butter cups, you will LOVE this cheesecake! And the best part?? It’s made with simple, whole-food ingredients (no gluten, dairy or refined sugar!) Yay for healthy desserts!

The entire recipe uses only ten (real) foods. None of the junky chemical stuff or trans fat found in Reece’s. And it’s easy to make. Promise! (Waiting for it to set is the hardest part! … BUT you can totally lick the mixing bowl clean! lol that’s what I always do! Can’t resist.)

The crust is a chewy, NO-BAKE chocolate cookie made with nuts, dates and cacao (so it’s grain-free & gluten-free!) Just pulse together the ingredients in a food processor and press into your pan. Literally takes less than 5 minutes. Easy.

The middle layer is a thick layer of peanut buttery, creamy cheesecake yummyness. (But unlike traditional cheesecakes, this one is dairy-free, egg-free and refined-sugar free!) It has just a few simple ingredients: peanut butter, maple syrup and coconut.

To me it tastes like both a cheesecake and a pie… a chi? Piecake? Haha, whatever you want to call it, it’s SO good!
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake PrettyPies

The top layer is made by simply adding in some melted chocolate and a bit more cacao to the peanut butter cream. So now it’s a basically a giant peanut butter cup! Heck YES. But you won’t feel sick to your stomach after eating it! No sugar bombs here. The fiber, protein and healthy fats slow the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream to prevent spikes in your blood sugar, crashes and post-consumption cravings. #winning

I marbled the layers a little bit with by poking and swirling the top of the cake with a knife before it was set. So each piece I cut had a different pattern inside. Pretty! 🙂

Save a few spoonfuls of the peanut butter cream to swirl on top (to make it pretty, of course!) and to add more peanut butter deliciousness!

Side note: my favorite peanut butter is from Aldi! Do you shop there? They have really amped up their organic and natural foods selection and I am quite impressed! A jar of Simply Nature organic peanut butter is only $3.89 per jar! Score!! AND it’s JUST peanuts and salt! NO oils, sugar, preservatives or other stuff I don’t want in my pb. The flavor and texture are perrrrfect.

Can you ever have too much peanut butter and chocolate? No. The answer is no 😉 Now, on to the recipe!





Print Recipe
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake {Vegan, GF}
A healthier Reece's in vegan cheesecake form! Yaaas.
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake | Pretty Pies
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Chocolate Crust
  • 1 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 cup medjool dates
  • 2 1/2 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Splash of water
Peanut Butter Cream Layer
  • 2 cans coconut milk solid cream only
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup + 2T maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup +1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
Chocolate Layer
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips I used Enjoy Life
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao powder
Prep Time 30 minutes
Passive Time 4 hours
Servings
slices
Ingredients
Chocolate Crust
  • 1 1/4 cup almonds
  • 1 cup medjool dates
  • 2 1/2 Tbs raw cacao powder
  • Dash of salt
  • Splash of water
Peanut Butter Cream Layer
  • 2 cans coconut milk solid cream only
  • 1/2 cup (heaping) peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup + 2T maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup +1 Tbs coconut oil
  • 1 Tbs vanilla
Chocolate Layer
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips I used Enjoy Life
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao powder
Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake | Pretty Pies
Instructions
To make the crust:
  1. Pulse the ingredients together in a food processor. Press into a parchment-lined 7" springform pan.
To make the peanut butter layer:
  1. Scoop out the solid cream from 2 cans of coconut milk (refrigerated overnight to separate the cream). Add the cream to a large mixing bowl and whip until light and fluffy.
  2. In a saucepan, melt together the remaining ingredients on medium heat and whisk smooth.
  3. Fold pb mixture into the whipped cream.
  4. Spread 3/4 of the pb cream onto the crust. (Reserve 2-3 spoonfuls in a baggie for the topping)
To make the chocolate layer:
  1. Melt chocolate chips using a double boiler (or glass bowl set on a pot of boiling water)
  2. Stir melted chocolate and cacao into the remaining pb cream.
  3. Pour chocolate layer on top of pb layer. (Optional: swirl layers with a knife. Snip off corner of baggie and pipe on reserved cream to decorate)
  4. Refrigerate cake about 4 hours, or until completely solid. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Refrigerate 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk overnight. The cream will solidify and separate from the water. (Save the water for a smoothie!)

I used a small springform pan to make this cheesecake. If you use a traditional 9" pan, your cheesecake will be flatter, but still delish 😉

Keep refrigerated or frozen (tightly covered). Should last in the fridge at least a week (or several weeks if frozen).

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11 comments

  1. Erica says:

    This looks incredible! My stomach can’t handle coconut cream (weird, I know), do you know what I could sub the coconut cream for? Regular whipping cream? Cream cheese? TIA!

    • Emily says:

      Thanks Erica!
      Hmmm… I would probably use cream cheese, or maybe 3/4 part cream cheese and 1/4 whipping cream (whipped)
      If you try it, please let me know how it turns out 🙂 Hope you enjoy!

  2. Renee says:

    Hi Emily,

    How does the cream on top of the can of coconut milk compare to a can of coconut cream from Trader Joe’s in terms of adhering to the recipe? I assume the amounts aren’t equal.

    Thanks so much! I can’t wait to try this! 🙂

  3. meggan says:

    this looks AMAZING … but how much, in volume cream are we going for? i want to get the right consistency and quantity and not all “cans of coconut milk” are equal in terms of size and cream and whatnot =) thanks!

  4. Gwen T says:

    Hi Emily, This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try. I’m not a big fan with coconut oil. Is there something you recommend fora sub? Thank you!

    • Emily says:

      Thanks, Gwen! There is no clear sub that I know of. The coconut oil solidifies when chilled and holds the cheesecake together . I cannot taste any coconut flavor in this since the peanut butter and chocolate have such strong flavors.
      But if you really want no hint of coconut flavor, you can use refined coconut oil which does not have a coconut flavor. Hope that helps!

  5. Marta says:

    Could you use almond butter in place of peanut butter for this recipe? Or omit the peanut butter altogether and use more coconut cream?

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