no-bake butterfinger and pretzel cheesecake

Posted on Oct 22, 2011 in Food

Me: Hey Babyface, what kind of cake do you want for your birthday?
Babyface: I dunno, whatever you want to make.
Me: But it’s your birthday.
Babyface: Okay. Uh. Well, what do you want to make? Whatever that is. That’s the kind of cake I want.
Me: *unimpressed look*
Babyface: Okay. Uh. A cake. Maybe some kind of cheesecake. With Skor pieces in it. And chocolate swirls. Wait no. Butterfinger. And chocolate. Yeah. That. Butterfinger cheesecake!
Me: Now we’re talkin’!

I have to say, I assumed this cheesecake would be good. I mean, you really can’t go wrong with Butterfingers, peanut butter and cheesecake. But HOLY COW, this may have been the most delicious dessert I’ve ever made. I served this sucker after a plateful of slow cooker BBQ ribs and a couple of bottles of Blue Moon and Babyface was one very, very happy birthday boy. And truthfully, I was one very, very happy Cass, too. It was goooooood.

I know it says “no bake” in the title up there, but I totally lied to you. It isn’t really “no bake.” It’s more like “barely-baked”. There are no water baths or worrying about the filling splitting. But you do have to plop the Butterfinger/pretzel crust into the oven for a few minutes to heat up all the chocolate that holds it together. But after that the oven can be turned off. See, pretty much almost kinda no bake. I just didn’t want to you think you were going to be making some fussy regular cheesecake (mostly because I’m too afraid to try that myself).

Feel free to “dress” this sucker up however you like. I chose to drizzle on a chocolate ganache and put a nice big pile of crushed up Butterfingers in the middle. I love that the crunchy, sugary middle of the candy bars make the top of the cheesecake sparkle in the light. Very festive.

I was so excited to dig into this cake that I totally forgot to do the whole candle/sing thing. Whoops. But I think Babyface forgave me the second he took a bite of his piece.

Print this recipe

No-Bake Butterfinger and Pretzel Cheesecake

Adapted from Bakers Royale

I chose to reserve some of the crust mixture to stir into the filling to add a little bit of crunch and texture. If you prefer a silky smooth filling, just use all the crust mix for the actual crust

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake


For the crust:
  • 15 mini Butterfingers
  • 3 ounces pretzel twists (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
For the filling:
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of Butterfinger and pretzel mixture
For the ganache:
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the Butterfingers and pretzels. Pulse until well-chopped, but not dust.
  3. Remove 1/2 cup of mixture and set aside.
  4. Still in melted butter to Butterfinger/pretzel mixture until well-combined. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan to form the crust.
  5. Bake for 7-8 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  6. To prepare the filling, mix the water and gelatin in a small, microwave safe bowl and set aside to bloom.
  7. Meanwhile, beat heavy cream on high in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until medium stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  8. In another mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, salt and reserved Butterfinger/pretzel mixture. Beat on medium until smooth. Set aside.
  9. Place bowl of gelatin in microwave and heat at 50% power for 10 seconds. This is to smooth out the gelatin mixture.
  10. With the mixer on low, slowly stream in the gelatin mixture to the cream cheese mixture until well combined.
  11. By hand, fold the whipped cream in with the cream cheese mixture.
  12. Spread filling evenly into the springform pan.
  13. To prepare ganache, combine chocolate and heavy cream in a double boiler over low heat. Once chocolate is melted and combined with the cream, remove from heat and drizzle over cheesecake.
  14. Place cheesecake in fridge and let chill for at least 3-4 hours or until set up. Before serving, move ring of springform pan.

What kind of cake would you ask for your birthday?



  1. Yummmm Cass! A super low cal, right? ;-) Heck, who cares about low cal…. it IS a birthday cake after all. Those don’t count.

    • My belief is that any food that makes me smile is calorie-free. Or something like that. :P

  2. This sounds amazing! I love that its barely baked too!

    • Me, too! One day I’ll actually make a “real” cheesecake, but for now, this is an excellent substitute!

  3. Holy crap. I’ve been excited about this recipe for days.

    • Let me know if you try it out! :D

  4. GORGEOUS photos, this cake looks insane!!

    • Haha, thanks! No idea how I conjured up the will power to hold off for good lighting before digging in. :P

  5. That looks fantastic. I love anything with chocolate and peanut butter. I made my b-day cake this year and it weighed almost 9lbs. It was two layers of chocolate cake with a pb cheesecake between the layers. I had pb cups, chocolate ganache and peanut butter frosting…totally sinful but sooo good.

    • HA! I love that you weighed your birthday cake. That sounds like something I’d do. :P

  6. aaaaaand I’m making this now

    • As you should, it’s awesome! Let me know how you like it. :D

  7. You’ve got to be kidding me with this – this looks AMAZING! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • No problem! Let me know if you test it out. :)

  8. I’m totally putting the ingredients for this on my shopping list for this week!

    • You could also just wait and pilfer the kid’s trick-or-treat stash for Butterfingers later. :P

  9. I just got back from seeing Footloose.
    You know the Angry Dance?
    I think I’m going to have to do that dance.
    But out of sheer joy for this recipe.

    I’ll be back. I have to go find an empty warehouse.

    • Hahahaha! That’s awesome. :D

  10. That looks so yummy! I love how pretzels taste with candy. I’m a salty/sweet kind of girl!

    • Meeee too! I’m a huge fan of the salted food trend that’s been going on. Salted caramels? I die.

  11. This looks amazeballs. You must REALLY love Babyface ;)

    • Haha, I definitely do. :D Although, it wasn’t entirely selfless, I enjoyed at least half of that cheesecake myself.

  12. Woah!! That cheesecake looks so delicious! I’ve been on a major Butterfinger kick recently, so this sounds perfect. Not to mention that whole pretzel-y business. Yum!!

    • If you are a Butterfinger fan, this is definitely the cheesecake for you. :D

  13. Oh, Cass. You HAVE to try making a normal baked cheesecake. it’s SOOOO EASY.

    I’m actually not a huge fan of no-bake cheesecakes (nothing wrong with them, and I used to make them all the time, but after learning to make baked cheesecakes, they’re just not the same). I am going to tweak your recipe and make it into a baked cheesecake, if that’s okay! :)

    My favorite cheesecakes that I make are pumpkin and toffee. SO YUM!

    • Tweak away! I’m sure they are incredible. I’m just afraid. :P

  14. that looks amazing!

    • Thanks! It was pretty awesome. I wish we had some more!

  15. This looks amazing! YUM! :)

    • Thanks! it was pretty incredible. I kinda want to make another one. I just need someone’s birthday!

  16. Looks and sounds so amazing!! I had to pin it for you.

    • Thanks Meg! :)

  17. I wonder how this would work with other candies like Reeses, Snickers, or heath bars?

    • I think it’d work great with others! Just watch the texture. Butterfingers are crispy and crumbly, and Reese’s and Snickers aren’t.

  18. making this for my coworker’s bday! can’t wait looks amazing

    • What a luck coworker! I hope you both love it. :)

  19. I want to make one for my boyfriend! His favorite chocolate is dark chocolate, do you think that can work? What kind of candy would you suggest I use?

    • Sure! I think I’ve ever seen dark chocolate butterfingers in some places. :)

  20. I’m making this for a New Years party tonight. Looks amazing! If it goes well, I’ll take some photos and put it up on my blog (i’m new to food blogging), giving you all the credit, of course! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. I have a 10.25″ springform pan, does this recipe include enough to fill that? Otherwise I might just scale everything up by another half.

    • It’ll probably be a bit thin, but still delicious. For a nice thick cheesecake I’d scale it up. :)

  22. The recipe heading should probably be worded differently considering you DO have to bake the crust. Just sayin.

    • Hi Laura! I mention that in the write-up. :)

  23. I am making this for my hubby’s work Christmas party! Looks amazing! I have a question about the unflavored gelatin though – I’ve never used it; is it like a box of Jello but with no flavor? Or am I looking for something smaller?

    • It’s exactly like Jellow without flavor! It’s even right in the same area of the store. You can find it in big packs, or little ones like Jello. :)

  24. How many ounces are in the “one packet” of unflavored gelatin?

    • 0.25 ounces. :)

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