Peanut Butter and Cherry Baked Cheesecake

“No Ricotta in the house nor in the shops!” bemoaned Captain Mainwaring forlornly.

”Don’t panic Captain Mainwaring,” intoned Corporal Jones, “you can adapt the recipe, like we did in the trenches.”

And that’s what he did, or at least it’s what I did. What’s more, the cheesecake turned out so brilliantly well, I’m going to use the adapted version next time too. And here it is, so read on.

Serves: 10 – 12

Time: About 2 hours + time in the fridge

Difficulty: Moderate

Equipment: A 20cm/8” loose bottomed tin with deep sides

N.B. I’ve taken the liberty of making a few comments along the way, partly to explain the “in situ” changes that took place. Hopefully that’s OK. They’re in green.

Ingredients for the base

  • 250g/9oz shortbread or digestive biscuits
  • 100g/3.5oz butter              
  • 50g/1.75oz golden syrup

Ingredients for the cake

  • 400g/14oz full fat cream cheese  (or Mascarpone) I increased to 600g/1lb 5oz
  • 350g/12oz ricotta  Not available – I added in 100ml/3.5fl oz full fat Greek yogurt
  • 100g/3.5oz smooth peanut butter     I increased it to 150g/5.5oz
  • 250g/9oz caster sugar                           
  • 3 large eggs                             
  • 1.5  tsp vanilla extract                               
  • 1.5  tsp cornflour    
  • 100g/3.5oz glace cherries + 10 – 12 whole or halves to decorate      
  • 2 Tbsp apricot jam (optional)
  • Icing sugar to decorate


1. Line the inside of the tin with a double layer of baking parchment. If possible cut the paper so that it sits a little higher than the side of your tin. (I also used a wetted “Bake Even” band around the tin.)

2. Whizz the biscuits in a food processor until crumb-like. (Or place in a bag and bash with a rolling pin.)

3. Melt the butter with the golden syrup and pour over the biscuits then mix together.

4. Press the mixture into the base and slightly up the sides, using the back of a spoon or a plastic dough scraper. Place in fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes or bake for 12 – 15 minutes at 170C. (I had planned to chill the base, but my wife had been shopping and our fridge was totally full, so I decided to bake the base and it was fine.)

5. Heat the oven to 170C/ fan 150C/ 325F/ Gas 3. (Unless you have already done so to bake the base.)

6. To make the filling, pulse or beat the cream cheese, ricotta, Greek yogurt, peanut butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and the vanilla extract and beat for another minute or two.

7. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of the mixture so there are no lumps then stir this back into the main mixture. Cut the cherries into pieces and stir in.

8. Spoon or pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth the top. Attach a dampened “Bake Even” band around the tin (if using) then tap the tin a couple of times onto your work surface to release any air pockets.

9. Place the tin on a baking sheet in case of leakage then bake for around 70 minutes. Check after 60. It needs to be set around the edges, possibly pulling away from the sides, but still a little wobbly in the middle. Turn the oven off and leave the door slightly open with the cheesecake inside until it has cooled.

10. Once the cheesecake has cooled, place it in the fridge for 2 – 3 hours or overnight. When ready, remove from the tin and transfer to a plate or cake stand.

11. (This is optional, but worthwhile) Warm about 2 tbsp of apricot jam in the microwave and strain out any bits before brushing over the whole cake.

12. Add the reserved cherries then sprinkle with icing sugar just before serving.

I hope you enjoy this cheesecake. If you want to see lots more cheesecake recipes click here.

Meanwhile, here are three of my current favourites that I’d love you to try:

Chocolate and Orange Cheesecake

White Chocolate and Blueberry Cheesecake.

Rolo Caramel Cheesecake

Please also have a look at my site for lots of other sweet and savoury recipes. If you’d like to comment or ask a question, that’s great. Just go to the contact page.

Happy Baking