Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Surprise

Posted on August 23, 2011

Since my birthday dessert (ie the Best Dessert Ever) was such a hit and there were so many requests, I got my mom to share a little bit more about her creation and tell us how to make it!

It appears that my love-inspired dessert, has sent quite a buzz through the world of creative sweet lovers! This cake was a process. And I couldn’t have gotten “to the top” without my other daughter Jessica. To say we went back and forth 1,000 times, with 1,000 or more ideas, would be putting it mildly. For those of you who know my Lauren, you know that she has more than one true love, of desserts, that is!

My objective was to incorporate as many of her favorite desserts into one flowing masterpiece. The ones that I couldn’t actually incorporate, well, I simply made as separate desserts as well!  This is how the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Surprise was created…
I already knew I was making one three layer cake. But when I saw a 10″ pan and a 6″ pan, (and knowing that I already had an 8″ pan), I thought how fun it would be to make a 3-layer cake, this one of varying sizes. Along with varying sizes, I decided on different layer components too.

I think I knew from the start that the bottom layer would be brownie. That’s the strongest of the bunch and capable of holding up the other two layers very well. My brownie recipe comes from a well-used Taste of Home’s Chocolate Lover’s Cookbook Magazine. (I used a brownie recipe I, of course, was already familiar with that calls for a 13 x 9 pan.) I knew it would fit the 10″ perfectly. When it had already been baked and cooled, I spread chocolate cool whip over it, and put that in the freezer. I like putting a little something in between my layers to help distinguish the different tastes and textures.

I decided not to do anything crunchy in between these three layers because I felt it would somehow be too much or overwhelm the creamy textures of the top two layers especially.

The next layer was the cheesecake. I have SO many cheesecake recipes!!! No doubt you do as well! But in one of Lauren’s latest blogs, she had a Peanut Butter Party, and that is where I found my latest cheesecake recipe! That came from Erin’s Food Files! So thank you, Erin! baked the cheesecake as directed, wrapped it in seran wrap, and placed into the freezer.

My chocolate ganache recipe came from All Recipes. The choice of chocolate ganache was Jessica’s; she thought of it while we walked together on the beach, wondering how in the world we would complete this dessert!

Next was the peanut butter mousse. This very old recipe comes from my very dear friend Gayle, who incidentally, could not remember this recipe at all! I lined the pan with seran wrap, poured in the peanut butter mousse, and placed it in the freezer to mold.

Finally, my peanut butter ganache. I don’t know how I thought of doing that. I really don’t. But I can tell you that the recipe itself, comes from Gourmet.LovetoKnow. I thought about shaving a bit of chocolate on top to finish the look. Clearly, we decided against that in the end.

The entire thing was put together once it was good and frozen. I knew it would be much easier to assemble. Finally, while Jessica held the cake for me, I sprinkled it with chopped dark chocolate peanut butter cups and peanut butter chips. I think the next time I make this……… I would use less ganache. It’s not that it seemed too much while eating, but appearance wise, maybe it’s a bit much? In the end though, it has as much to do with whom you share your eating experiences, as with the food itself. Sharing with my girls, for me, is always the “icing on the cake”!

[print_this]Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Surprise

You will need:

1 of each: 10-inch round cake pan, 8-inch round spring-form pan, 6-inch round cake pan

1 batch brownies prepared in a 10-inch round cake pan (any 9×13 brownie recipe or box-mix would do) Note from Lauren: Baker’s brownies would work

1 8-ounce container chocolate cool whip

1 cheesecake prepared in an 8-inch spring-form pan as directed

1 cup chocolate ganache

1 batch of peanut butter mousse (any of these recipes would work)

1 batch peanut butter ganache

optional: chopped peanut butter cups and peanut butter chips for garnish


Prepare each layer the day before serving (layers can be frozen up to one week); you can build your dessert a couple of hours prior to serving and store in refrigerator

Prepare brownie in 10-inch round pan; once cooled, wrap brownie layer tightly in foil and freeze

Bake cheesecake as directed and allow to cool and set in refrigerator as directed; remove from spring-form pan; wrap tightly in seran wrap and foil and freeze

For the peanut butter mousse layer, line a 6-inch pan with seran wrap; pour prepared mousse into pan; cover with additional seran wrap and freeze

Once each layer is frozen, unwrap them and you can build the dessert

Place brownie layer on large plate; spread layer of chocolate cool whip over top

Place cheesecake on top of that layer

Spread chocolate ganache over cheesecake (may not need entire batch of ganache)

Top with peanut butter mouse

Drizzle peanut butter ganache over top layer and sides as desired

Store in refrigerator and sprinkle with peanut butter cups and peanut butter chips prior to serving


What layers would you put in your fantasy birthday cake?

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