Recipe Review

These No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Cups Are a Sweet Way to Stay Cool This Summer

published Jun 6, 2022
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macro shot of peanut butter frosting spread
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jesse Szewczyk
Peanut Butter Frosting

As much as I love dessert, turning on the oven to bake something during the hottest months of the year can be a daunting prospect. So when the desire for a sweet treat pops up during these times, I am drawn to no-bake desserts like no-bake cheesecake bars or icebox cake.

Right in time for summer, Carolina Gelen of Food52 shared a no-bake peanut butter dessert cup recipe on her Instagram that looks like sweet and salty heaven. These cool and refreshing desserts feel like a cold spin on a peanut butter cup, but elevated with fudgy chocolate ganache. They are also a perfect quick and refreshing dessert on a hot day, as they only take 15 minutes to make.

Start out by making the ganache. This just involves tossing chocolate and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl and putting it in the microwave until the chocolate is all melted (this should take less than a minute!). Then, whisk together until blended. Don’t have a microwave? The same can be done in a saucepan on the stove. Either way, you’ll want to set it aside after so it can cool as you make the star of the dessert: the glorious peanut butter mousse.

The mousse is made by blending cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. You’ll then pour heavy cream over the mixture and blend that in. At this point, you’ll want to whip it so that it has a light, sweet, and fluffy mousse-like consistency.

Now it’s just time to build your cup! The mousse can go into any sort of serving cup, but shot glasses or small ice cream bowls will work beautifully for this dessert. If it’s easier, however, it can all be assembled into one big loaf pan or pie dish and then sliced after it is cooled. 

Garnish the mousse by crumbling crackers or cookies on top, and then — as a final step — pour on that chocolate ganache that has by now cooled. While the peanut butter dessert cup will be delicious to serve right away, it’ll be even better if you let it chill in the fridge for a bit first. This dessert can also be made ahead and frozen before allowing to defrost in the fridge prior to serving.

The beauty of this dessert is that it is so adaptable, too. The peanut butter can be replaced with any nut butter — even tahini. And those avoiding too much dairy could even use coconut cream instead of heavy cream and a cashew-based non-dairy cream cheese. The cookie crumble can even be any sort of cookie you love, be it Oreo cookies or Biscoff.

Interested in giving this recipe a try? You can get the entire no-bake chocolate peanut butter dessert cups recipe here.