December 2, 2022

Canadiannpizza

Cooking Is My World

Peanut Butter Bars (NO Baking!)


Desserts

Desserts

These are the easiest and tastiest Peanut Butter Bars! They start with a thick and sweet peanut butter base and get finished with a smooth chocolate topping! These bars have only seven ingredients and don’t require any baking.

Love no-bake desserts? Then you’ve got to try this three-ingredient Ice Cream Pie, this addictive Cannoli Dip, or these easy Oreo Balls.

QUICK TIP

Looking for frosted Peanut Butter Bars? Try our famous Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Bars instead (also called Lunch Lady Bars)! Or, if you’re looking for a version of Healthy Peanut Butter Bars, try our Peanut Butter Banana Bars which are sweetened with ripe bananas and use blended up oats.

Image of the Peanut Butter Bars stacked on top of each other

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

It doesn’t get much better than homemade Peanut Butter Bars! Especially when they’re easy to make, require minimal ingredients, and you don’t even need to turn on the oven.

These thick, dense, and fudge-like bars taste like peanut butter cups, but truly — they’re even better! After all, isn’t everything better when it’s homemade?! Right after being made, they’ve got such a creamy almost gooey consistency that is unmatched in store-bought candy.

Step aside Reese’s, there’s a much tastier treat that’s only seven ingredients away!

Process shots-- images of the graham cracker based being made and mixed together

Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

Below are the ingredients for this recipe, a few notes, along with specific brands we love and recommend. (None of the below brands are sponsors of this site or this post, they are simply what we use in our kitchen and have found the best flavor-wise.)

  1. Peanut butter: Any creamy and thick peanut butter will work; we love Skippy® Creamy Peanut Butter best. We don’t recommend a natural peanut butter that needs stirring, it will make the bars overly greasy.
  2. Graham crackers: We crush the crackers and the crumbs add a ton of flavor, so be sure to use flavorful graham crackers you enjoy. We love Honeymaid® honey-flavored graham crackers best.
  3. Powdered sugar: Unfortunately, granulated or brown sugar won’t work in these bars. We need the light texture that confectioner’s/powdered sugar provides from being so finely ground.
  4. Unsalted butter: The amount of salt added to butter varies greatly from brand to brand. Using unsalted butter lets you control how much salt goes into the dessert.
  5. Salt: Even though we’re using unsalted butter, we still do want a little salt. A small amount of salt helps to balance sweetness and enhance the desserts’ flavor.
  6. Chocolate: If you like sweet desserts and enjoy sweet chocolate-peanut butter candy (like Reese’s®), use milk chocolate as the topping. Otherwise, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate for a less-sweet treat. Stick to whatever flavor of chocolate you like best or a combination of a couple of kinds. We like milk and semi-sweet chocolate mixed (half and half) or plain milk chocolate best!
  7. Vanilla extract: Vanilla offers a nice finishing touch of flavor. It’s not entirely necessary — these Peanut Butter Bars are still great without it.

Process shots of peanut butter bars-- images of the chocolate-peanut butter layer being made and melted together and then poured over the graham cracker layer

How To Make Peanut Butter Bars 

This recipe comes together quickly without too much effort, but the tips below will help to ensure perfect Peanut Butter Bars every single time!

  • Let the melted butter cool. Once the butter is melted, it needs to cool back to room temperature. If the butter is hot, it will melt the sugar and crushed graham crackers, which will cause greasy bars. 
  • Blend graham crackers thoroughly. To ensure there aren’t large chunks of graham crackers in the bars, which will affect the texture, blend the graham crackers until they are crumbs. If any large pieces didn’t blend completely, add them back into the blender and blend again.
  • Use good chocolate! High-quality chocolate makes such a difference in the taste of this recipe. My favorite brands are Ghirardelli® and Guittard® (not sponsored).
  • Picking a pan size. For thicker bars, use an 8×8-inch pan. For slightly thinner bars, use a 9×9-inch pan. (Photos in the post show the thickness of the bars using an 8×8-inch pan.)
  • Line the pan. Be sure to line the pan with parchment paper for easy removal of the bars once they’ve set. Leave an overhang of parchment paper so you can pull up on the overhang to remove all the bars — it’s so much easier to cut bars out of the pan rather than in the pan.
  • Picture-perfect bars. To get clean slices of Peanut Butter Bars, run a knife under hot water for a few seconds, wipe to dry, make a slice, and repeat.

QUICK TIP

It’s nice to have a powerful blender or food processor to quickly pulse the graham crackers to crumbs, but if you don’t have one, you can crush them in a bag with the bottom of a frying pan, a meat mallet, or a rolling pin.

Image of the Peanut Butter Bars stacked on top of each other ready to be enjoyed

STORAGE

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Storage

  • These bars are the perfect dessert to make ahead of time. Prepare the bars according to directions, cover, and chill in the fridge overnight.

  • These bars, when stored properly, are good for 5-7 days after being made. You may need to let bars sit out at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before cutting if they have been chilling in the fridge for an extended period of time.
  • These bars freeze really well. Wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and then store the wrapped bars in a large plastic bag or freezer-safe container. Thaw bars overnight in the fridge. Freeze for up to 3 months.

More Peanut Butter Bar Recipes

Peanut Butter Bars

These are the easiest and tastiest Peanut Butter Bars! They start with a thick and sweet peanut butter base and get finished with a smooth chocolate topping! These bars have only seven ingredients and don’t require any baking.

Peanut Butter Bars

These are the easiest and tastiest Peanut Butter Bars! They start with a thick and sweet peanut butter base and get finished with a smooth chocolate topping! These bars have only seven ingredients and don’t require any baking.

Instructions

  • PREP: Line an 8×8-inch pan (for thicker bars) or 9×9-inch pan (thinner bars) with parchment paper or foil. Set aside. Melt butter in the microwave and then set it aside to cool to room temperature. (Hot butter melts the sugar and makes these bars greasy.) Crumble graham crackers into a blender or food processor and blend to get crumbs. Alternatively, add crackers to a gallon plastic bag, seal it without air, and crush crackers to crumbs with a frying pan, rolling pin, or meat mallet. (Note 3)

  • MIX: Add melted (and cooled) butter, salt, graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 cup peanut butter to a large bowl. Use a hand mixer or a wooden spoon to mix until you have a thick dough. Press this dough into an even layer in the base of the prepared pan. Place in the fridge while preparing the topping.

  • TOPPING: Meanwhile, add the chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons of peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in bursts of 15 seconds, stirring in between each burst for 10 seconds until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and tap the pan on the table a few times to get the chocolate in an even layer.

  • LET SET: Chill in the fridge until bars are firm, about 1-1/2 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Cut into the bars with a hot sharp knife. Run the knife under hot water, dry it off, and then immediately cut the bars.

  • STORAGE: Cover leftover bars tightly and refrigerate for 5-7 days. To freeze: wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap and then store the wrapped bars in a large plastic bag or freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw bars overnight in the fridge.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Peanut butter: Any creamy and thick peanut butter will work; we love Skippy® Creamy Peanut Butter best. We don’t recommend a natural peanut butter that needs stirring– it will make the bars greasy.
Note 2: Chocolate: If you like sweet desserts and enjoy sweet chocolate-peanut butter candy (like Reese’s), use milk chocolate as the topping. Otherwise, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate for a less-sweet treat. Stick to whatever flavor of chocolate you like best or a combination of a couple of kinds. We like milk and semi-sweet chocolate mixed (half and half) or plain milk chocolate best! The better the quality of chocolate chips, the better the flavor of these bars will be.
Note 3: Crushing graham crackers: To ensure there aren’t large chunks of graham crackers in the bars, which will affect the texture, blend the graham crackers until they are crumbs. Add any large pieces that didn’t blend completely back into the blender and blend again. 

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.4g | Protein: 5.1g | Fat: 18.5g | Cholesterol: 15.3mg | Sodium: 116.2mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 26.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.