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Layered cheesecake - any advice?


It is my husband's birthday on Friday and he would like a layered peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. I've searched the boards and found much cheesecake wisdom, but nothing specifically about making layered cheesecakes. Has anyone had any experience with this? I've made chocolate cheesecakes before, but never tried peanut butter.

I'm hoping to keep it fairly simple - nice thick graham cracker crust with crushed peanuts, a layer of dark chocolate cheesecake, a layer of peanut butter cheesecake and maybe some chocolate ganache over the top.

I was wondering if the cheesecake layers will stay separate if I pour them on top of each other? Or if I should pour one layer in, chill to firm up and then pour the next layer on before baking?


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  1. I would just layer and bake but you still probably will have to refrigerate the chocolate layer as you mix the pb one.

    1. It's not a cheesecake per se, but if you google Emeril's chocolate peanut butter pie, it sounds very much like what you're describing and is wonderful.

      1. I've done a marbled cheesecake. If you can't find a satisfactory method, you could try that.
        Did you try a google search? I put in "baking a layered cheesecake" and got these results.

        1. I have made a layered cheesecake (tho it's been a few years!), and the one I did had a significantly lighter in texture - and weight o nthe top than the bottom.

          My concern with choc/PB layers, is they both are pretty heavy and dense - hopefully, enough that the bottom can 'hold' the top without it sinking in. If you have a kitchen scale, you might figure the weight of the layers, and have that help you figure out which should hold what up. I agree that for looks, it would be best to have chocolate on the bottom, but PB is pretty heavy, so I wonder if that will stay up on top. Just some thoughts.

          You can certainly do a marbled, which if you don't find a layered recipe, I would do just so you don't have kinda-sinky-mixed-and-marbled-but-random if they don't stay seperate as layers.

          Crushed peanuts inside the crust sounds great for texture. Yum!

          1. nigella has a very good peanut butter cheesecake with chocolate ganache topping. wicked good.

            1. Thanks for your advice everyone. There seems to be 2 options - either chill the bottom layer as you said chowser, or partially baking the bottom layer before adding the top layer.

              Gingershelley - very good point, I hadn't considered the weight of the layers. Maybe I should try to lighten the PB layer and make it more mousse-like?

              11 Replies
              1. re: skiing_snowball

                Would you consider just doing a peanut butter cream cheese mousse and just topping it? I think that would be really good.


                1. re: skiing_snowball

                  I wouldn't partially bake the bottom layer then add the top layer later... you might have an overcooked crust, a dry chocolate layer if so.

                  Cooking in a water bath on a lower setting for longer time creates the moistest, creamiest cheesecake.

                  That Nigella option is sounding pretty good!

                  1. re: gingershelley

                    it's easy and it rocks.

                    i put peanuts and crushed pretzels in the crust.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      Perhaps peanut butter filled pretzels? Oooh yum...

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        too oozy in the bottom. the crunch of peanuts and pretzels is great under the filling.

                        as for the link below, i don't know why you'd start with something based on awful cookies and cool whip. sorry. :(

                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                        I finally found this recipe, which I think I'll adapt:
                        I can use my usual Nigella chocolate cheesecake recipe and then add the PB mousse on top - should also make the dessert a bit lighter overall, which might be good.

                        The only reason I don't want to do a full on PB cream cheese mousse is that I actually don't like peanuts, so this way I can reserve some of the choc cheesecake for me!

                        Thanks again Chowhounders!

                        1. re: skiing_snowball

                          OMG, this sounds TDF! I want to make it, tho I want to put something else in place of the cool whip. The pictures are outrageous, and I can imagine this PB mousse on top of a Chocolate cheesecake. So wonderful!

                          You have your solution, and I would definitely add the PB mousse on top. If you gild the lilly with ganache, AND the PB sauce, your husband is going to be in foodgasm heaven. Nice birthrday gift Ski Snoball!

                          1. re: skiing_snowball

                            Check out the link I posted above from Epicurious for pb mousse. It doesn't use cool whip but is along the same lines. Chocolate wafers also make a good crust. I've never had pb oreos and didn't know they made them.

                            1. re: chowser

                              Chowser, actually it was your Epicurious link that got me thinking along the lines of PB mousse instead of 2 cheesecake layers. Finding Katrina's recipe was good confirmation for proof of concept, but I agree that not all the ingredients are ones I'd use. Cool Whip is not my style, so I'll probably use the Epicurious mousse recipe since it looks less sweet (and recruit my husband to taste test!). I also wasn't convinced about using Oreos for the crust, so will probably just stick to a graham cracker crust plus crushed peanuts. I'll try and remember to take a photo or two for you and report back!

                              1. re: skiing_snowball

                                Good calls on using more pure ingredeints, Ski-Snowball; Sounds like you are honing in on a great CH cheesecake that will rock with pure flavor, rather than additives:)

                                1. re: skiing_snowball

                                  I think the graham cracker crust would be a great idea. I can't wait to hear about it. Oh, as a decoration, both trader joe's and costco have good peanut butter cups (I'd probably throw some into the cheesecake but I love that mix).