No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie with Chocolate Ganache
January 13, 2022
Peanut butter and chocolate will never go out of style. And with an easy no-cook dessert, you can serve them together with plenty of it. Make this multilayer world of decadence featuring rich chocolate ganache and a creamy mousse filling, and everyone will be begging for another slice of Peanut Butter Pie.
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There are two universal truths that relate to this recipe. First, chocolate and peanut butter are the ultimate dynamic duo. Second, ganache has the best ratio of sounding super fancy to the ease of making it of any dessert food I know. This is the pie to make when you want to impress everyone with flavor and presentation, but really don’t want to work too hard.
I’m sure you can find plenty of peanut butter pie recipes out there, but this one is mine, and it’s a delight to both make and eat, from the fluffy peanut butter mousse to the rich dark chocolate. I like to steal little bites while preparing it. One of the best parts of desserts like this that aren’t cooked is that you can lick all the spoons, spatulas, and whisks with no worries.
What You Need to Get Started
You can easily find all of the ingredients for this no-bake peanut butter pie at your grocery store:
- Pantry: Graham crackers, Brown sugar, Cocoa powder, Dark chocolate, Powdered sugar, Creamy peanut butter, Peanut butter cups
- Fridge: Butter, Heavy cream
- Equipment: 9-inch Pie pan, Food processor, Stand mixer, Piping bag, Large star piping tip
Start with Chocolate Graham Cracker Crust
I’d be lying to you if I said that I wouldn’t just eat the peanut butter mousse filling of this pie with a spoon and move on with my day. But to truly be a pie, this baby needs a crust, a base to hold it all together into that lovely pie shape. That’s where we’re kicking this one off, right at the bottom.
There are many methods you can use to crush graham crackers for a crust. A mallet can be fun, or a rolling pin — both great if you need to release some cathartic energy. But to make this recipe as easy as possible, let your appliances do the hard work for you.
Snap the graham crackers in half and place them into the bowl of your food processor. Nothing fancy is needed here, just one with a good capacity and a standard blade that can cut up these crackers. Use high power to crush the crackers until you have fine crumbles and no large chunks remain.
Then, add in the cocoa powder and sugar. The cocoa is what will make our crust nice and chocolatey. If you’re experimenting, you could use some kind of chocolate cookie instead of graham crackers, in which case you wouldn’t need the extra cocoa. Pulse a few times to mix them in until everything is combined.
Add the butter into the food processor. It should be melted, but let it cool slightly so it’s not too hot to handle. Mix everything together on low speed until you have a uniform crust. If you pinch a piece together between two fingers, it should hold and then crumble.
Dump and scrape out the food processor into a nonstick pie pan. The best type of pan for this is nine inches in diameter and has sloped sides. I don’t recommended a deep dish pie pan. Press the crust into the bottom and sides of the pan using the bottom of a measuring cup. Then, place it in the freezer to chill.
Let’s Make Easy Chocolate Ganache
While the chocolate graham cracker crust is chilling, it’s time to start preparing the ganache. I love chocolate ganache so much because it has such a fancy name for something that is only two ingredients and so easy to make.
To start, warm up the heavy cream. I like to do this in the microwave by using a glass measuring cup. You can also warm it on the stove if you prefer. It doesn’t need to be super hot, just warm enough to melt the chocolate; about thirty second in the microwave is a good start.
Stir in the chopped chocolate until smooth. Finer pieces will melt faster, while larger chocolate chunks may take a bit longer or need some more heat. If needed, you can microwave the entire mixture in ten-second increments, stirring until it’s completely smooth.
Remove your chilled crust from the freezer, and then spread two thirds of the chocolate ganache onto it. Use a spatula to spread the ganache around to fully coat the bottom and sides of the crust. It will be covered, so don’t worry about it looking smooth.
When you are done, place the pan back in the freezer for five minutes, and set aside the rest of the ganache for later.
How to Build a Peanut Butter Pie
Now it’s time for my favorite part, the peanut butter mousse! Like I said before, this stuff is a real winner. I will sometimes crave it, and luckily for me it’s also really simple to make. This time, I’m letting my stand mixer do the hard work.
Grab your stand mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment. I like to use my flex-edge beater here, which saves me from having to scrape down the sides of the bowl as often. In the mixer bowl, combine the peanut butter, heavy cream, and powdered sugar.
Mix everything together on medium-low speed until it’s all smooth and thickened. This will only take a couple minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the mixture is uniform, and has the texture of a fluffy mousse.
Take the pie pan out of the freezer again. This time, the ganache should have hardened to make a nice chocolate shell, perfect for filling. Add the peanut butter mousse to the pan on top of the hardened ganache, and then use a flexible spatula to spread it into an even layer.
Again, this is going to be covered, so there’s no need to worry too much about appearances. Instead, focus on filling the pan evenly. The mousse should just about fill the pie pan and come near the top of the crust when spread out.
Now, we are going to add another ganache layer on top, nestling all that sweet and fluffy peanut butter filling inside. It’s like a giant peanut butter cup, but even better. If your ganache has cooled and started to harden, you can rewarm it in the microwave.
Then, pour it on top of the peanut butter mousse. Be sure to use a flexible spatula to scrape out your measuring cup so you don’t miss out on any rich and silky ganache. Then, spread it all around the top of the peanut butter. In some areas, the warm ganache may want to mix with the filling instead of fully coating it. That’s fine.
This layer will be visible on top of the pie, but you can hide any major imperfections with whipped cream. So try to make it smooth, but don’t focus on it too much. Now, you have probably guessed the next step: freeze the whole pie for another five minutes to allow the ganache to solidify.
Finish Your Peanut Butter Pie
The final layer of this no-bake peanut butter pie is here, we’ve made it! Now, we are going to top it all off with whipped cream. Add some heavy cream to a clean bowl for your stand mixer and fit it with the whisk attachment. You can also use a hand mixer with a whisk attachment to make whipped cream if you prefer.
Start mixing on low speed, and then slowly increase the speed until you reach the highest setting. Starting slow will help prevent splattering and splashing that can occur if you skip right to high speed. After a minute or so, you’ll start to see soft peaks form.
At this point, add the sugar, and then continue whipping until stiff peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape. I don’t normally sweeten my whipped cream, but I like how the little bit of sugar stabilizes it here, which makes it excellent for storing in the fridge.
Add the whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe some small dollops around the edges and in the middle of the pie. Or make any design you’d like with the whipped cream. For a last little touch, sprinkle the top of the pie with peanut butter cup pieces.
You can serve this peanut butter pie immediately, but it will cut cleaner if you let it chill overnight in the fridge. Either way, it can be served cold. If you need to make it in advance, the full pie or individual slices can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or wrapped tightly and frozen for a couple months. Just thaw it completely in the fridge before serving.
You can also pause this recipe after any step where you are chilling the pie. Simply leave the pie pan in the fridge overnight and resume the next day. If you need to stop for longer than that, allow any ganache to harden, and then wrap it tightly to freeze. Thaw it in the fridge before continuing where you left off.
Peanut butter and chocolate prove once and for all that they are the unstoppable duo, in this crazy easy and super impressive No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie!
How to Serve No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
Listen, this is a dessert. But it also includes peanut butter, which means that there’s no good reason not to enjoy it for any meal you’d like. That’s just how we do things around here, always blurring the lines between dessert and literally anything else.
You can really lean into the chocolate and peanut butter flavors of this no-bake pie, by serving it alongside a boozy peanut butter cup hot chocolate. If that’s a bit too rich, you can try it with a chocolate old fashioned instead. Or for those who prefer zero-proof selections, warm up with a chai white hot chocolate.
Don’t forget the other desserts to make this a full spread! I like to vary the flavors when creating a dessert table. Make this peanut butter pie the star, surrounded by a selection of blueberry lemon bars, funfetti white chocolate blondies, and bourbon pecan cookie bars.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Use extra peanut butter to make Peanut Butter Lover’s Cookie Bars.
- Leftover dark chocolate is a great excuse for Dark Chocolate Peppermint Patty Fudgy Brownies.
- Finish the box of graham crackers in the crust of Butternut Squash Cheesecake with Toffee Sauce.
- Cocoa powder adds chocolatey goodness to Multigrain Cocoa Cinnamon Rolls with Brown Butter Glaze.
More Chocolate & Peanut Butter
No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie With Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Graham Crust
- 9 Whole Graham Crackers finely crushed, or 1 ½ cups crumbs
- ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
- 6 Tbsp Butter melted and cooled slightly
- ⅓ Cup Heavy Cream
- 3 oz Dark Chocolate finely chopped
Peanut Butter Mousse
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 1 Cup Creamy Peanut Butter
- ¾ Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
- Reese's Peanut Butter Cups optional, roughly chopped
Chocolate Graham Crust
- Break the graham crackers in half and place into the bowl of a food processor with a standard blade attachment. Crush the crackers until you have fine crumbles, and no large chunks;
- Add the cocoa powder and sugar to the food processor, and pulse a few times to mix them in, until everything is combined.
- Add in the butter and continue to mix on low until uniform.
- Press the crust into a non-stick 9-inch pie pan with sloped sides. Place in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
- Add the heavy cream to a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup. Microwave for 30 seconds, until warm.
- Stir in the chocolate chips until smooth. If needed, microwave in 10-second increments.
- Spread ⅔ of the chocolate ganache on the chilled crust, using a spatula to coat the bottom and sides of the crust. Place back in the freezer for 5 minutes. Set aside the rest of the ganache in a warm spot.
Peanut Butter Mousse
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the peanut butter, heavy cream, and powdered sugar. Mix on medium-low until smooth and thickened.
- Add the peanut butter mousse to the pie pan on top of the hardened ganache. Use a flexible spatula to spread the mousse into an even layer. It should just about fill the pie pan.
- If needed, rewarm the remaining ganache in the microwave. Then top the peanut butter mousse with the remaining ganache. Freeze for another 5 minutes to allow the ganache to solidify.
- Place the heavy cream to a clean bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl and use a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Mix starting on low speed and slowly increasing to high speed until soft peaks form.
- Add the sugar and continue mixing on high until stiff peaks form and the whipped cream holds its shape.
- Add the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with large star tip. Pipe around the edges and in the middle of the pie. If desired, sprinkle with peanut butter cup pieces.
- You can serve this immediately, but it will cut cleaner if you let it chill overnight in the fridge. Serve cold.
- Make ahead tips:
- After any step where you are chilling, you can leave the peanut butter pie in the freezer overnight. If storing longer, allow any ganache to harden, and then wrap tightly. Freeze for up to 2 months and thaw in the fridge.
- Ganache can be stored in the fridge and reheated in the microwave.
- The full pie or individual slices can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, or wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge before serving.
- Make it even easier:
- You can skip the two ganache layers if you'd like. They add an extra chocolate richness, but if you'd like to focus more on the peanut butter flavor, leave out one or both.
- Use store-bought whipped cream instead of making your own. You can also use a store-bought chocolate crust.