These Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars have a flourless peanut butter cookie base, with a creamy cheesecake loaded with tonnes of peanut butter, and topped with a rich and silky chocolate ganache. These cheesecake bars are so easy to make, and naturally gluten free so no fancy, expensive ingredients are needed! They’re a must try!
As a food blogger, I’m constantly trying to think of new recipe ideas to test out, flavour combinations to try and technical bakes to master. I have a long list of ideas on the notes on my phone, which range from fully formed ideas to just two ingredients/flavours I want to try putting together, to everything in between. This long list is probably a pretty good look into how my brain works, but I like to keep it secret, for no real reason, I just do!
As you can imagine, this list never seems to get any shorter, even when ticking off ideas I have tried (whether they end up being successes or failures). Part of the reason for that is because I have a million ideas swirling around my head and only so much time to try them out, and the other part of the reason is things like these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars!
This idea never made it to my list. I was just sitting at home and suddenly had the urge to make Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars, naturally! The idea was already fully formed in my head too, it would have a baked, flourless peanut butter cookies base, creamy peanut butter cheesecake and a silky layer of rich chocolate ganache. It was like fate! I went out and grabbed the ingredients and got baking.
It was actually a pretty easy recipe to develop, since I used my Snickers Cookies base for the cookie base, I wasn’t 100% this would work as a baked cheesecake base but luckily it was perfect, it turns into a dense, chewy, totally peanut buttery thick base! Not your traditional cheesecake crust, but it totally works! And I have a delicious, needs no changes cheesecake recipe that is so easy to change to whatever flavour your heart desires! So it was just a matter of deciding how much peanut butter should go in the cheesecake, in the end I went with a truck load! There’s so much peanut buttery goodness in these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars, it really is a peanut butter lovers heaven! How many times can I say “peanut butter” in one sentence?!
The other important part about these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars is, well, the gluten free part! As you may remember from a few posts ago, I’ve been experimenting with gluten free baking, it’s been a very long, and hard project but I’m starting to get the hang of it. It turns out that gluten isn’t the main problem, if I am gluten intolerant it is only minor (my problem may, in fact, be dairy, but I’m not ready to admit that yet!). However, I am still going to try and limit the amount of gluten I have as it did help a little and I also want to carry on with the gluten free baking adventure. So you may see a mix of gluten and non-gluten desserts in the coming months – it’s good to keep things mixed up right?!
Anyway, with all the frustrations of learning to bake gluten free, these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars were a refreshing break. This is because they are naturally gluten free, no figuring out how to work with flour blends and substitutes to get the right texture and flavour. These babies contain no gluten in their original form, you can’t beat that! My cheesecake mix contains no gluten ingredients, chocolate ganache contains no gluten ingredients (make sure you check you chocolate labels though, make sure they haven’t sneaked any of that in!) and my peanut butter cookie recipe is flourless, and therefore contains no gluten ingredients! Perfect!
The immense peanut butter flavour throughout and the naturally gluten free ease aren’t the only things that are gonna make these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars rock your world – they’re sooooo easy to make too! I find bars to be a little more forgiving than proper cheesecakes, I’m not sure why. I do still use my regular cheesecake tricks to stop it cracking, which I will include in the recipe. But the great thing about cheesecakes that have a topping is it’s not the end of the world if it does end up cracking in the oven/during cooling, because you’re gonna over that shiz up anyway! So really, the only downside to these Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars is waiting for them to bake and cool so you can dig in! But, good things come to those who wait, right?
We better get on with the recipe, so we can all have these peanut buttery bites of heaven in our mouths ASAP!
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars - flourless peanut butter cookie base, with creamy cheesecake loaded with peanut butter, topped with silky chocolate ganache. So easy, delicious and naturally gluten free
For the peanut butter cookie base:
- 230g (1 cup) creamy/smooth peanut butter
- 200g (1 cup) white sugar
- 100g (1/2 packed cup) brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the cheesecake:
- 450g (16oz) full fat cream cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 100g (1/2 cup) white sugar
- 120ml (1/2 cup) greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 350g (1.5 cups) creamy/smooth peanut butter
For the chocolate ganache:
- 240ml (1 cup) double/heavy cream
- 250g (9 oz) dark chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
To make the cookie base:
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Line an 8" x 10" brownie pan with parchment paper.
- Add all the cookie ingredients to a bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth and combined. Spoon into your lined pan and press down into an even layer.
- Bake for 15-20 mins, until the top is starting to turn golden brown and is set. Leave to cool before adding cheesecake batter.
For the cheesecake:
- Put the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl and beat together until combined, I use a hand held electric mixer for the cheesecake stage. You can use a stand mixer or a wooden spoon/rubber spatula if you prefer.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, until combined. Once the eggs have been added, you want to limit the amount of air you beat into the batter to avoid cracking while it bakes, so from now only beat until everything is just combined.
- Beat in the greek yogurt and vanilla.
- Beat in the peanut butter until combined, I switch to a rubber spatula at this stage to avoid over mixing.
- Pour the batter on the cooled cookie base. Place a large roasting or brownie tin with about 3 inches of boiled water onto the bottom shelf of the oven. This creates steam and helps your cheesecake bake more evenly and not crack.
- Bake for 45 mins, until the edges have set and the centre looks a little wet still (it will continue to set and bake as it cools in the pan).
- Remove from the oven and cool for an hour on a wire rack. Then put it in the fridge to chill for about 4 hours.
To make the ganache:
- Heat cream until it just starts to bubble, I do this in a small saucepan on the stove, but you can also do it in the microwave (heat in 30 second intervals)
- Put the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl, and pour the hot cream over the top. Leave to sit for 60 seconds, then stir until all chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth.
- Pour the ganache on top of the cooled cheesecake.
- Pop back in the fridge for 1-2 hours until the ganache is set
- Cut into squares and serve.
Keep tightly covered in fridge for up to 3 days
What’s your favourite cheesecake flavour?