Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert

This chocolate peanut butter layer dessert is packed full of flavor! There's a sweet and salty pretzel crust, a peanut butter cheesecake layer, chocolate pudding, hot fudge, and whipped cream. Add a drizzle of peanut butter on top with some chocolate curls! Peanut butter desserts don't get tastier than this one!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert


Peanut Butter Desserts

So I feel like people love layered desserts and I want to make what people like. That's why for this month's peanut butter desserts bash, I made a chocolate peanut butter layer dessert with loads of layers.

The theme this month is peanut butter and pretzels. Of course, I can't help but add chocolate into most peanut butter desserts. It's a habit that I have that I'm not anxious to change. They belong together.

This layered dessert recipe doesn't take long to throw together. I'll admit it does dirty a couple of dishes, but really it's not bad at all. I would say two bowls if you reuse the bowls for the next steps. I'm known to do that because I hate washing dishes. Even with a dishwasher. Hate it.

brownie mix cookies
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Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert - buttery pretzel crust, peanut butter cheesecake mousse, chocolate pudding, hot fudge, whipped cream and a peanut butter drizzle!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert Ingredients

So I wanted to tell you about all of these layers in this dessert.

  • First layer up is the pretzel crust with butter and sugar.
  • Second layer is a peanut butter cheesecake mousse.
  • Third is a chocolate pudding.
  • Fourth is a jar of hot fudge drizzled all over that pudding.
  • Fifth layer is whipped topping.
  • Then you can add some garnishes.. or not. I'm cool with either.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert - buttery pretzel crust, peanut butter cheesecake mousse, chocolate pudding, hot fudge, whipped cream and a peanut butter drizzle!

I was inspired to make the pretzel crust because of pretzel salad. I LOVE pretzel salad. It's sweet, salty, creamy, jiggly and basically perfection.

Have you noticed that either people really love the pretzel salad or really hate it? It makes me giggle. I personally could eat it every day but my dad about tosses his groceries just looking at it.

Other favorite pretzel desserts of mine:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert - buttery pretzel crust, peanut butter cheesecake mousse, chocolate pudding, hot fudge, whipped cream and a peanut butter drizzle!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert

Love peanut butter desserts? This rich chocolate peanut butter layer dessert recipe will do the trick. The sweet and salty pretzel crust is amazing!
4.67 from 203 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12 slices
Calories 723 kcal


Pretzel Crust

  • 2 ½ cups pretzels crushed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup butter melted

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling

  • 8 oz. cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 T. butter room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream whipped to stiff peaks

Chocolate Pudding

  • 5.85 oz. box instant chocolate pudding family size
  • 2 cups milk
  • 11.75 oz. jar hot fudge topping
  • 8 oz. whipped topping thawed
  • 1 + ½ T. creamy peanut butter



  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • In a 9x13 pan, add in the crushed pretzels, granulated sugars, and melted butter. Stir to coat all the pretzels in the melted butter. 
  • Firmly press the crushed pretzels into the pan. 
  • Place into the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Begin working on the cheesecake filling. 

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Filling

  • In a medium bowl, add in the cream cheese, peanut butter and butter. Beat on medium/high until light and fluffy.
  • Add in the sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
  • Add in a quarter of the whipped cream and fold it into the cream cheese mixture. This will lighten up the mixture before adding the remaining whipped cream and deflating it all.
  • Add in the remaining whipped cream and carefully fold it in.
  • Spread the filling into the cooled crust. Be sure to get to all of the edges of the crust. Seal off any holes on the edges to prevent the pudding from seeping through and making our pretzel crust soggy.

Chocolate Pudding

  • In a mixing bowl, add in the chocolate pudding mix and 2 cups of milk. Using a handmixer, beat on medium until incorporated. Let thicken about 5 minutes before spreading on top of the cheesecake layer. 
  • Spread the pudding evenly over top of the peanut butter cream cheese layer. Be sure to get to the edges.
  • Remove the lid from the hot fudge topping and microwave for 45 seconds. 
  • Scoop all of the fudge topping into a sandwich bag. Cut a small hole out of the corner of the sandwich bag.
  • Drizzle the hot fudge topping all over the top of the pudding. I started from the corner and drizzled back and forth until everything was covered.
  • Spread the whipped topping all over the top of the dessert. Again, make sure to take the topping all the way over to the edges. 
  • Add the 1 ½ tablespoons of peanut butter into a sandwich bag. Place into the microwave for about 20 seconds. Squish it around in your hand to make sure it's all runny.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of the sandwich bag. Drizzle peanut butter on top of the dessert. I drizzled one direction all the way across the dessert and then drizzled in the opposite direction all the way across. 


Calories: 723kcalCarbohydrates: 75gProtein: 12gFat: 43gSaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 83mgSodium: 804mgPotassium: 390mgFiber: 3gSugar: 49gVitamin A: 980IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 1.9mg

(Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.)

titled image (and shown): 2 peanut butter and pretzel desserts

Join us in the peanut butter desserts fun over at  The Peanut Butter Recipe Box Facebook Group! We would love to see you there! Check out the recipes we made while you’re at it!

Peanut Butter Pretzel Poke Cake from Kleinworth & Co.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Dessert from Cookie Dough and Oven Mitt

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  1. This is a “Jimmy Carter Pie”. Our family has been making these for 30 years. Try being original.

  2. This recipe was really easy to follow & make over all. But did not know what to do at the end / what you should do before you serve it. I know it’s a no bake dessert. So I assumed that you just leave it in the fridge till it sets up or until you are ready to serve it. I just thought that should be an extra step added to the recipe for others who may not know what to do with the last step.3 stars

    1. Thank you for this tip! I appreciate your help and will adjust the directions 🙂 Glad you liked the dessert!

  3. This is what I call a step zero recipe. There’s lots of prep work (#0!), not included in the instructions, but noted in the ingredients list. I find them to be very deceitful and lengthen my prep time significantly. I was able to taste test this as I made it, licking all the spoons that is, and I think it’s going to turn out great! I wish I had trusted my instinct in several places. The chocolate pudding portion was too stiff after waiting five minutes. I think I would have been better off putting it on almost immediately. After applying the hot fudge, there is no note to let this cool before adding whipped topping. Again, I thought of this, but for a recipe that instructs you to spread everything to the edges, I assumed she was being thorough and I didn’t want to tamper with the outcome. In hindsight, I wish I had waited. I also found the peanut butter filling to be a little gritty with the sugar. I will be making this again, but with some adaptations for sure.4 stars

  4. I thought I would comment on this since I actually made it. This is something I wouldn't make often - way too rich! But it tasted fabulous. The only thing I need advice on: I crushed the pretzels in a food chopper real fine, and because I needed so much, the butter didn't cover them all the way and the crust came out just a bunch of crumbles that stayed in the pan when I sliced the pieces. Kind of embarrassing in front of my guests. What kind of pretzels should I have used (I used little sticks) and what is the best way to crush them? Thanks for the recipe.4 stars

    1. I'm glad you liked the flavor of this dessert! I love it too but agree it is rich haha. I also use the stick pretzels. I put them in a small ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to smash them. I don't break them enough to be powdery but just enough to be smaller pieces. You may have just crushed them a little too much. YOu can also try putting a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan before layering in the ingredients. Parchment will help the dessert lift out of the pan easily. I hope this helps for next time!

    1. You can eat this dessert right away but I do like to refrigerate it for a few hours to let it set up and get a little more solid.

    1. I first whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form and then fold it in with the peanut butter cream cheese mixture just until incorporated. Once it's incorporated, the pb cream cheese mixture should have a mousse consistency.

    1. Hi Catherine- It is definitely not a low-calorie dessert! I haven't calculated the actual calorie count but if I do, I will be sure to post here. Save it for a special occasion dessert and enjoy every, calorie filled bite!

  5. Is this intended for freezer? I made this for husband for a Father’s Day treat. He was pleased but I’m not too happy with the liquidy part of chocolate missing/hot fudge. It is strange. I thought the hot fudge would be gooey. Now I’m wondering if it was supposed to be frozen

  6. This is stupid, but do you make the pudding according to the box or just beat and mix and let thicken..then add on top of the cheescake?

    1. Don't make it according to the box. Beat together a family size box of instant pudding mix and 2 cups of milk. Let thicken and then add that as a layer on top of the peanut butter cheesecake.

        1. Did you use the family size box of instant pudding? Did you use fat-free milk? The things that come to mind are that you accidentally used the pudding that needs cooked or maybe the wrong size box of pudding. If you use fat free milk, the pudding typically sets up but is quite soft. Otherwise, it should have set up when it was mixed.

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