A delicious no-bake peanut butter and chocolate dessert, these No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are a bake sale staple and always a welcome treat! If you’re a fan of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, you’re going to love these Reese’s Bars!
Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
Is there any better dessert combination than chocolate and peanut butter?
(Shh, be quiet salted caramel… this post isn’t about you…)
I worked at a deli in university that sold peanut butter chocolate squares like these and charged some obscene amount of money for them – and despite the fact that the clientele was almost exclusively poor students, they sold out daily.
They were not merely a “square version” of a Reese’s PB Cup. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Squares were a richer, more satisfying dessert – and super easy to replicate at home (and for way cheaper than you buy them in a bakery).
This no-bake dessert recipe is also super easy for kids to help with and I’ve made it more than a couple times with my daycare kids to take home as a birthday treat for their parents.
We’ve had a lot of fun playing with this recipe – adding nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut, caramel bits, sea salt, and trying out different nut butters and chocolate types (like this White Chocolate School Bar that I made for my friend Stacey’s site).
You can even add crushed Rice Krispie cereal for a fun twist on Buckeyes – Buckeye Bars!
Every version we’ve attempted has been delicious, but I keep coming back to the classic.
This Peanut Butter Bliss Bar is awesome for an afternoon pick-me-up, for a no-bake playdate dessert, or just a fun after school treat. I’d even be happy to see them at a cookie exchange.
(Obviously, they aren’t a good choice anytime that allergies may be a concern, but there are plenty of opportunities for nut-friendly families to enjoy them.)
These bars also freeze well, so you can make a batch and freeze half for when you need a peanut butter chocolate fix. They can be tightly wrapped in foil or plastic wrap before being placed in your preferred air-tight freezer container (or freezer bag) and kept frozen for up to 3 months.
Do these bars need to be kept in the fridge? That really depends on the temperature or humidity of your home but I’ve had no problem keeping these out at room temperature. They do become softer a room temperature.
Are these peanut butter bars gluten-free? If you use gluten-free graham crackers and double-check all of your ingredients for no cross-contamination, these bars can absolutely be made gluten-free! (Please note that most graham crackers/graham cracker crumbs are not gluten-free so you will have to buy ones specifically labelled “gluten-free.”)
Can I use natural peanut butter to make these no bake peanut butter bars? I do have a natural and sugar-free version of these peanut butter squares coming up, but this recipe will not turn out great with natural peanut butter because the oil content is different. It will still taste great, but it will be messier and the chocolate layer may not stick to the peanut butter layer.
Do I have to use peanut butter? You can experiment with other shelf-stable nut butters: cashew, almond, etc. I’ve had great success with cashew butter but haven’t experimented beyond that.
Check out our quick recipe video to see just how easy these Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars are to make, and then don’t forget to scroll down to grab your free recipe printable:
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Bliss Bars
- Butter, melted – you can use ghee or browned butter in this recipe
- Graham cracker crumbs – I do not recommend chocolate graham crackers, but honey or cinnamon would be fine
- Powdered icing sugar – I do not recommend using white granulated sugar or brown sugar, as they can cause the peanut butter layer to be “gritty”
- Creamy peanut butter – I like creamy peanut butter for the texture but you can use chunky peanut butter, or even an almond or cashew butter
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips – this gets the best “Reese-like taste” but if you prefer dark chocolate or white chocolate, you can use those instead
- Coconut oil or shortening, optional – this helps soften the chocolate, but if you want a “hard crack” you can skip this ingredient
- Good quality salt, optional
Scroll down to the printable recipe card for full measurements.
Tip: swap out the nut butter, chocolate type, or add in your favorite toppings for a customized dessert square.
Kitchen Tools You May Find Helpful
- Casserole dish <– I love my Pyrex glass dishes with the lids!
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Food processor
- Spatula <– I like these ones that are one solid piece, with no removable head for bacteria to get trapped underneath
- Offset spatula <– this is the one I have
- Small microwave-safe bowl
How to Make Peanut Butter Chocolate School Bars
Line or grease a 9×9 casserole pan and set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter, crumbs, sugar and peanut butter and stir to combine.
(Or you can alternatively mix in a food processor.)
Press into the casserole pan into an even layer.
In a microwave-safe bowl, place the chocolate chips and heat in 25 second bursts. Stir in between each heating until fully melted.
Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and smooth out with an offset spatula.
Place in the refrigerator to set for 2 hours or overnight.
Cut into 9 squares and serve or package.
Grab your free printable for our peanut butter chocolate squares recipe:
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 2 cups graham crumbs
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or shortening, optional
- Line or grease a 9x9 casserole pan and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the butter, crumbs, sugar and peanut butter and stir to combine. (Or you can alternatively mix in a food processor.)
- Press into the casserole pan into an even layer.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, place the chocolate chips and heat in 25 second bursts. Stir in between each heating until fully melted.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer and smooth out with an offset spatula.
- Place in the refrigerator to set for 2 hours or overnight.
- Cut into 9 squares and serve or package.
You can swap out the peanut butter for cashew or almond butter. Avoid using natural peanut butters for best results.
If you want more texture, add crushed rice cereal, shredded coconut, sprinkles, etc.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 642Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 70gFiber: 4gSugar: 51gProtein: 9g
Sugar, Spice and Glitter uses an auto-generate nutrition calculator. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate unless analyzed in a scientific lab, so these should be considered more of a guideline than medical information.
These no-bake peanut butter chocolate dessert squares are a delicious treat for true PB & Chocolate lovers – they make a great playdate treat or after school snack and are easy enough for kids to help make.