Chocolate and peanut butter meet for a sinful treat in this mouthwatering Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake.
Some things just go together. No matter how hard you try, you can’t think of one without thinking of the other. Examples, you ask???
Okay, I know you really didn’t ask, but I’m going to tell you anyway because I enjoy being sarcastic, and I’m sure I can come up with quite a few sarcastic pairings I’ve seen in my day:
- Dry shampoo and travel size deodorant – Let’s face it, us mamas are on the run and sometimes we have to “pretend” to shower.
- Sisters and screaming – If someone can figure out how to break this chain reaction, I would be more than appreciative for the formula. Please and thank you.
- Family and fiascos – Ben and I tease that there must always be at least one fiasco associated with each family vacation. You know, the ones where everyone ends up in a shouting match and yell at each other for things that happened 25 years ago but somehow they are still intensely annoyed and offended by??? Yeah, I hate to admit that I am probably the source of about 95% of our family fiascos.
- Kids’ music and earplugs – Seriously, about the only kids’ music I can tolerate is Kidz Bop Kids. At least their music is catchy and relative to our time. Give me yet another Sesame Street or Wiggles version of “Wheels on the Bus” or “Skip to My Lou” and the crazy woman in me will surely come out. And once she is released, I take no responsibility for the aftermath.
- Weekends and whining – You think I’m talking about my children, but NO, that’s just an obvious given. To assume your children are going to take a vacation from whining just because it’s the weekend, you are sorely mistaken. I’m more referring to my hubby. Bless his heart, he does so much for us. But, the minute the weekend arrives, he’s whining for Monday to turn the corner. C’mon babe! You can’t handle this???!
- Emry and hungry – These two ALWAYS go hand in hand. In fact, two seconds ago she climbed on the chair, grabbed me by the face, and irritably announced, “I’m HUNGRY and HOT!” If I fed this kid every time she was hungry, literally being a 4-year-old’s personal chef would be my full time job. Sorry kid, but I gotta cut you off somewhere.
Yep, there’s always going to be a ketchup and mustard, peanut butter and jelly…okay, I drew a blank about things that go together so I requested Ben’s help. I literally just asked, “Hey babe, what are some things that go together well? You know, like pairings. When you hear someone say, ‘You go together like…,’ what do you think of?”
No joke, my husband answered by singing the song from Grease:
“We go together,
Like rama lamma lamma ka dinga da dinga dong
As shoobop sha wadda wadda yippity boom de boom
Chang chang changitty chang shoobop
That’s the way it should be, wha ooohhh, yeah!”
See how helpful he is?!
Yeah, so I’m just going to leave my examples at ketchup and mustard and peanut butter and jelly because all I can think of now is sexy old John Travolta and Olivia Newton John perusing around in their skin tight, black leather T-Birds get up. It’s really creating a writer’s block here.
But if I were to add just one more perfect food pairing, it would most definitely be peanut butter and chocolate. It’s probably why Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are my absolute favorite candy, like ever. And don’t even get me started on the holiday shaped ones because for some reason those taste even better than the original.
But do you know what is even more amazing than just chocolate and peanut butter? Chocolate, peanut butter and CHEESECAKE! Yes, it doesn’t get much more delectable than Gluten Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Cheesecake. Well, it does if you decorate it with some whipped cream and miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups on top. Now that’s heaven!
I made this cheesecake back in the summer for a Fourth of July party on Ben’s side of the family. He has an aunt that also has celiac like Braelyn. So, I was asked to provide the dessert. You know I can’t just show up with gluten free Rice Krispies treats. That would just be too easy. Although, I do have a wonderful recipe for some butterscotch crispy rice bars that are divine.
Soooo…a cheesecake was in order. Actually, a cheesecake AND Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups brownies were in order. Yep, I couldn’t make just one dessert.
And you know what??? Ben’s family raved about both! They were in awe at the flavor and texture of both desserts. Most of them didn’t even recognize that they were gluten free. That’s what I love about cheesecakes. You only have to adapt the crust, which is so minimal that most people can’t even tell the difference. And the brownies…well, they are the best brownies you will ever have, gluten free or not!
This cheesecake is a smooth and creamy cheesecake split into two batters. One part of the batter becomes the peanut butter cheesecake, and the remaining batter becomes a rich chocolate cheesecake. And then, with only a few scoops and swirls, the batters are combined into one marvelously marbled cheesecake fit for an epic night of partying.
You know what’s also great about cheesecakes? You can bake them the night before. In fact, you should bake them the night before. They taste better as they sit. So, you are never in a rush the day of an event to bake up your dessert. All you have to do is leave time for decorating. And let me tell you, whipped cream and candy topping fixes just about anything.
I also decided to add a few chopped roasted peanuts for some additional texture and flavor. It was a good call. Wink, wink.
For all of you non-bakers out there, cheesecakes are an easy way to fool people into thinking you have some mad culinary skills. Everyone seems to think that making cheesecake is some daunting task, but it’s actually quite easy. And despite what people say, I’ve never even had a cheesecake crack on me. I may be jinxing myself here, but the recipes I’ve tried thus far just seem to work.
So if you’re willing to master the task of cheesecake, make this one be your first. You will be pleasantly surprised at your success, and all your friends and family will enjoy the benefits of all your hard work.
“What are your favorite food pairings?”
- For the Crust:
- 1¾ cups finely crushed gluten free graham crackers
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
- For the Filling:
- 3 packs cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 oz. melted semi sweet baker's chocolate
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cover bottom of spring-form pan with double layer of foil, coming up at least 1½" on the sides to seal water from leaking into pan. Lightly grease bottom and sides of pan.
- In a small mixing bowl, melt butter for crust. Add peanut butter to melted butter and stir until smooth. Add graham crackers and sugar and stir until incorporated and crumbs are all moistened. press mixture into bottom of pan and slightly up the sides about ½".
- Bake crust for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool for about 5 minutes.
- While crust is baking, make filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and lemon juice and mix on low until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating on low after each addition until incorporated.
- Reserve 2 cups of filling and place in another bowl. To this mixture, add ½ cup peanut butter and stir until well incorporated. Set aside.
- With remaining mixture, pour in melted chocolate and mix until smooth. Add cocoa powder and mix until smooth, scraping down sides as needed.
- Pour a thin layer of chocolate filling over graham cracker crust. Add scoops of peanut butter filling on top of chocolate. Alternately add scoops of chocolate filling, then peanut butter filling until all batter filling is used.* Take a knife and cut blade through the filling, swirling the flavors together. Be careful not to over swirl or you will lose the marble effect.
- Place pan in a large rectangular baking dish with higher sides. Place pan with cheesecake in the oven. Pour ½" of water into baking pan (not cheesecake!). Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour 15 mins. Turn oven off and leave for additional hour.
- Remove cheesecake from oven. Remove foil from bottom of pan. Cool on cooling rack for at least an hour. Cover top with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- Serve cheesecake cold with desired toppings such as whipped cream, peanut butter cups, crushed peanuts, etc.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in fridge for up to 5 days or in freezer for up to 3 months.