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 Reese’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.

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake (Vegan, GF) PrettyPies.com

Can you ever have too much peanut butter and chocolate? No. The answer is no 😉

You’ll also love thees Healthy Reese’s and Reese’s Crunch Bars! (No cooking involved!)

Now, on to the recipe!

Click image below to Save this recipe on Pinterest:Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake (Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free) PrettyPies.com

Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake {Vegan, GF}

A healthier Reese's in vegan cheesecake form! Yaaas.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 12 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

Additional ingredients for Chocolate Layer

  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips I used Enjoy Life
  • 1 Tbs raw cacao powder

Instructions

To make the crust:

  • Pulse the ingredients together in a food processor. Press into a parchment-lined 7" springform pan.

To make the peanut butter layer:

  • 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.
  • In a saucepan, melt together the remaining ingredients on medium heat and whisk smooth.
  • Fold pb mixture into the whipped cream.
  • Spread 3/4 of the pb cream onto the crust. (Reserve 2-3 spoonfuls in a baggie for the topping). Freeze until set while you prepare the chocolate layer.

To make the chocolate layer:

  • Melt chocolate chips using a double boiler (or glass bowl set on a pot of boiling water)
  • Stir melted chocolate and cacao into the remaining pb cream.
  • 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)
  • Refrigerate cake about 4 hours, or until completely solid. Enjoy!

Notes

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases made through referral links in this post (at no additional cost to you). Thank you for supporting Pretty Pies!
What I used:
Nordicware 7” Springform Pan https://amzn.to/2K2Lsep Note: 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 😉 You can also double it!
Nutiva coconut oil: https://amzn.to/2H5V0o2
Mexican Vanilla: https://amzn.to/2vinWYh
I always recommend Thai Kitchen brand coconut milk for best results.
To separate the cream, refrigerate 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk overnight. The cream will solidify and separate from the water. Gently scoop out the cream (Save the water for a smoothie!)
To store: Keep refrigerated or frozen (tightly covered). Should last in the fridge at least a week (or several weeks if frozen).

30 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?

  6. Diane says:

    I am wondering how you can get thick of a top chocolate layer with only 1/3 cup chocolate chips. Is there something missing from the ingredient list?

    • Emily says:

      Sorry if my instructions were unclear. If you look at step 4, you only use 3/4 of the pb cream. The remaining 1/4 is used in the top layer (Stir melted chocolate and cacao into the remaining pb cream.)
      Make sense? 🙂

  7. Keren says:

    Hi Emily! your cakes look so good I can’t wait to try one!
    I have a few questions:
    – If I don’t have time to cool the coconut milk, can I use it as is? or can I put it in the freezer?
    – The almonds should stay with their peel?

    Thank you so much!

    • Emily says:

      Thanks, Keren!
      For the coconut milk, you can buy cans of just coconut cream only (http://amzn.to/2BI27D3) so you don’t have to wait for them to separate.

      The freezer option would not really accelerate the separation process – I think it would just all freeze together.

      But if your house is cold, the cream may already be separated, especially in winter. Mine has been lately! So you can open a can and check. If it’s not separated enough, chill it for a few more hours.

      Yes the almonds stay as is 🙂

      Hope that helps!

    • Emily says:

      Oh no! That is so strange! I’m sorry did you use solid coconut cream (separated from the liquid)? Did you add coconut oil ? That’s what solidifies it. Any changes to the recipe?

  8. Julie haus says:

    I made this as well and ended up with a soupy mess. And yes I separated the cream on top of the coconut milk. The other thing is, mine tastes a lot like coconut. Kinda Leary at this point and waiting to see what happens after it’s in frig for a bit.

    • Emily says:

      It is a liquid before it goes in the freezer to firm up. The coconut oil hardens it. It could take several hours depending on how cold your fridge is. I hope it still turned out for you.

  9. Bronwyn says:

    Would it be okay to substitute the maple syrup with actual white sugar? Also is there another type of oil that could be used instead of the coconut.

    Thanks so much!

    • Emily says:

      I’m not sure if the sugar would work. It would be too gritty.

      Powdered sugar might work ok, but it makes it more dense.

      Side note – You can blend sugar in a small blender for 20 seconds to make powdered sugar.

      Also, you would possibly need double the amount since maple syrup is twice as sweet as sugar.

      For the oil, you can sub palm oil.

      It needs to be an oil that solidifies when chilled (that’s what holds it together so it’s not a bowl of chocolate soup )

      Hope that helps!

  10. Emily says:

    It came out brilliant. Thank you. We used dark choc over 70% instead of choc chips and it was yummy. Would love to hear if anyone made it with almond butter instead and how it tasted.

  11. Sara says:

    Hi! I actually made this for Easter and it was perfect and delicious. My non GF peeps and meat eaters had no clue 🙂

    I made it again but my cream didn’t set up properly in the can… I had soaked some cashews the night before and used those with some of the coconut cream that was salvageable.. blended together and also turned out great! Thanks so much 🙂

    • Emily says:

      Oh yay! Don’t you love when they can’t tell it’s GF/V??
      Glad you were able to save the second one! Cashew cream is perfect
      you are so welcome!

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