Today, I turn 28.
Of the many things I’ve learned I realize the bulk of those lessons have come in the last couple of years.
I’ve learned to trust my instincts and be OK with the unconventional. I’ve learned the importance of doing what I love even if it feels silly. I’ve grown to love food photography even more than I did when we first started this blog. I’ve learned that running a food blog with your spouse can not only be fun but also ridiculously fulfilling. I’ve learned I still love cake and pancakes and simplicity and saying “hubba, hubba,” and probably always will.
Enough about me. This space is about you guys, really. I love to cook and take photos of the things I make and then share them with you all. That is what makes me supremely happy – the best birthday gift ever.
To celebrate all of these wonderful things, I made you cheesecakes. Peanut Butter Cup 9-ingredient vegan cheesecakes that scream simplicity: No springform pans, no water baths, no baking (besides the 5-minute crust). Just pure chocolate-peanut butter goodness that even the amateur cook can master.
If you have the ability to blend and pour, you can make these little bites of heaven. All you need is 30 minutes and a muffin tin and you’re golden.
Yes, oreo cookies are vegan! I think it was the universe’s way of saying “vegans can have fun, too.”
This crust is the only part of the recipe that requires baking (5 minutes) and it’s optional. I just prefer a bit more firm crust. But if you’re OK with more crumbly, leave the oven off for today.
The filling? Simple.
Salted peanut butter
Coconut milk (or another non-dairy milk)
The 2-ingredient chocolate ganache? That’s optional (but oh so recommended).
Swirly McTwirly and you have a masterpiece on your hands. The only thing left to do is top these beauties with a chopped mini dark chocolate peanut butter cup. Hubba, hubba.
These cheesecakes are near perfection. They’re
Infused with dark chocolate
Sealed with an oreo crust
Loaded with PB Cup flavor
& Perfect for parties and celebrations
While I do keep health in mind most days, birthdays are my excuse to go all out (hence these cheesecakes). These may not be health food but they are a smarter dessert with (mostly) healthy fats, lots of protein, and portion control built in. Happy birthday to me.
If you make these cheesecakes, do me a favor? Take your ooey-est, gooey-est photo and tag it #minimalistbaker on Instagram! It literally makes my day to see what you guys are cooking up.
Virtual hugs from me to you. Cheers!
- 10 ounces crushed Oreo cookies (find GF varieties in select stores, such as Trader Joe's)
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil (or sub melted or vegan butter)
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked in water 4-6 hours then drained
- 1 lemon, juiced (scant 1/4 cup)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk (see instructions for note)
- 1/2 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (or honey if not vegan)
- 1/3 cup salted natural peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)
- 3/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 Tbsp full-fat coconut milk, warmed to a simmer
- 18 mini dark chocolate PB Cups (vegan-friendly), chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C) and blitz Oreos in a food processor until a fine meal remains. Add 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil (or vegan butter) and pulse once more.
- Cut 12 small strips of parchment paper (or use paper liners) and place them in a standard, 12-slot muffin tin. One at a time, hold down a strip in the center of the tin, add 1 generous spoonful of crust mixture, then use a small cup or your spoon to pack it down as evenly as possible. I like using a small glass because it packs it in really tight and gets the top flat. Continue until all tins are filled and no crust remains.
- Bake for 5 minutes. Then remove and set aside to cool.
- NOTE: For the coconut milk, I like to scoop the "cream" off the top because it provides a richer texture. But if yours is already all mixed together, just add it in as is.
- Add drained cashews, lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut milk, maple syrup and peanut butter to a blender and process until very smooth and creamy - about 3-4 minutes - scraping down sides as needed. You need to make sure you get it really smooth with no small pieces or you’ll taste them in the final result. If your mixture is too thick, add a bit more coconut milk or oil to get it going. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Pour evenly into muffin tins on top of crust and gently top on counter to remove air bubbles.
- Prepare ganache by bringing 3 Tbsp coconut milk to a simmer in the microwave (30 seconds) or on the stove top in a small saucepan. Place the chocolate chips in a small mixing bowl and pour the coconut milk on top. DON’T touch for 3 minutes so it has a chance to warm the chips. Then stir gently until smooth. Microwave or set over a double boiler briefly if the chips didn’t fully melt.
- Spoon 1/2 Tbsp amounts of ganache over the cheesecakes and swirl with a toothpick or knife.
- Sprinkle 3/4 of the peanut butter cups on top of the cheesecakes and press down slightly.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze until firm - at least 3 hours.
- To remove from muffin tin, simply pull on tabs at the same time and the cheesecakes should release. Otherwise, use a butter knife to pop them out. Serve immediately frozen or let soften for 10-15 minutes.
- Top with any remaining ganache (reheated), chopped peanut butter cups and/or coconut whipped cream.