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Chocolatepeanut butter and cheesecake all in one delicious brownie
I was having decision paralysis on what recipe to make. I knew that I really wanted to bake something, but the options are never-ending! When this happens to me, I usually fall back on what’s comfortable to me, and I end up making a new chocolate chip cookie recipe. 
But I had made a conscious decision to take a break on those, because I saw they were keeping me from thinking outside the box.
     But I found my mind wandering back to that old familiar place again. That’s when I decided to ask a different brain, as I noticed that I was unable to trust mine in this moment. I asked my…. common-law spouse? Is that what it’s called? I’m too lazy to Google right now. I never know how to refer to Matthew when people ask what his relationship is to me. We are not married but have been together for 17 years, living together for 13 of those years. So I usually stutter through “spouse” or “significant other”. 
Anywho, I decided to ask him.
     Matthew is not a baker, so his ideas are not limited to conventional recipes and standard baking techniques. What he suggests is either plausible or it is not. This time, he came up with a peanut butter and chocolate brownie with alternating layers and topped with cheesecake. 
Sounded delicious and also slightly challenging to me…. I could do this.
     So I sat down and very quickly formulated a recipe (I found that overthinking can be a downfall of mine, so I decided to write the recipe as quickly as I could think of), and I got to baking. 
     You’ll have a lot of messy bowls with this one, but it is well worth it.  Matthew said he really wanted to distinctly taste each component I found that the checkerboard pattern allows for a pretty even flavor distribution. And since the cheesecake is on top of the brownie instead of swirled throughout or in the middle, it is not being muted by the brownie dough. 
     And the final result was delicious! It was very rich, so a small piece goes a long way. All of the varying flavors shone through, and especially the next day. Both the peanut butter and chocolate brownies are dense and have a fudge-like texture. The cheesecake layer makes it over-the-top.
     If you like peanut butter, chocolate, and cheesecake, you are going to love these brownies…


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Ingredients Section:

Chocolate Brownies
Peanut Butter Brownies
  • 1/2 cup + 1 TBS flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter chips 
Cheesecake Topping
  • 1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  2. Spray 8×8 pan with nonstick spray. 
Chocolate brownies:
  1. Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; Set aside. 
  2. Melt together unsweetened chocolate and butter. 
  3. Stir in sugar and oil. 
  4. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well. 
  5. Stir in dry ingredients and chocolate chunks.
Peanut Butter Brownies
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; Set aside. 
  2. Melt together the butter and peanut butter. 
  3. Stir in the brown sugar. 
  4. Now add egg and vanilla, mixing well. 
  5. Stir in dry ingredients and peanut butter chips.
Cheesecake Topping
  1. Beat cream cheese until creamy. 
  2. Add sugar and beat to combine. 
  3. Now add egg and vanilla and beat well. 
Using tablespoons of dough, alternate the chocolate brownie and peanut butter dough in a checkerboard pattern in the square pan, making 5 by 5 rows (a total of 25 dough blobs). 
Spread cheesecake topping on top of brownies in the pan. 
Bake for about 40-45  minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out close to clean. Edges of cheesecake layer will be browned. 
Let cool at room temperature for about an hour, then set the pan in the refrigerator to cool completely for several hours or overnight. 

Notes about this recipe:

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