In this post: These no-bake peanut butter bars are a delicious treat you can make for the holidays! Even better, this yummy dessert can be made in less than an hour!


Peanut butter and chocolate are, in my opinion, the best combination. So, obviously, I had to make my own spin on this delicious combo with this recipe for no-bake peanut butter bars. What’s not to love about a yummy dessert that can be ready to eat in less than an hour?

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars stacked on a cutting board next to a spoonful of peanut butter.

What are No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars?

No-bake peanut butter bars are basically peanut butter cups – but in bar form! They’re a delicious dessert you can make in less than an hour with no oven use. 

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

These no-bake peanut butter bars:

  • are quick and easy to make
  • don’t require fancy equipment or hard-to-find ingredients
  • are adaptable to many dietary restrictions and allergies
Ingredients needed for Peanut Butter Bars: powdered sugar, graham crackers, chocolate chips, peanut butter, butter, salt, and oil.

Ingredients

  • Peanut butter: try to avoid using crunchy peanut butter.
  • Unsalted butter: so you can control how salty the bars are.
  • Salt: enhances the sweetness of the chocolate.
  • Powdered sugar: makes the bars chewier and more fudgy than granulated sugar does.
  • Graham crackers: used as the base for the bars.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips: or other easily-melted chocolate.
  • Vegetable oil: use generic vegetable oil or coconut oil, olive oil, soybean oil, etc.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Peanut butter – you can try this recipe with almond butter, sunflower butter, tahini, or any other nut/seed butter.
  • Powdered sugar – the texture may not be ideal, but you can use granulated sugar, coconut sugar, or sugar substitute instead of powdered sugar.
  • Graham crackers – try crispy cookies (wafers, sandwich cookies, etc.), pretzels, sweet or salty crackers, or digestive cookies instead of graham crackers.
  • Chocolate chips – you can use chocolate bars or melts as well. Based on how sweet you want your bars, you can use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, or even white chocolate!

How to Make No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

  1. Line a 9×9 (or 8×8) baking pan with foil and spray it with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the peanut butter, salt, and powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl and mix until crumbly. Crumbly peanut butter mixture in a metal bowl.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and vegetable oil together. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again in 30-second intervals until all of the chips are melted.Melted chocolate in a glass bowl.
  4. Line the bottom of your pan with graham crackers. Spread about a ¼ cup of chocolate across the top. Graham crackers lining the bottom of a glass baking pan.First layer of chocolate covering the first layer of graham crackers.
  5. Make your peanut butter mixture into balls with your hand. Smash the balls flat and lay them out on top of the chocolate layer, covering the entire pan.
  6. Spread another ¼ cup of chocolate on top of the peanut butter layer. Make another layer of graham crackers and then top that with the remaining chocolate mixture.Second layer of graham crackers on top of the chocolate layer.Final layer of chocolate on the top of the peanut butter bars.
  7. Place the dish in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Allow the bars to sit out on the counter for 5-10 minutes before cutting.Peanut butter bars cut on the tinfoil liner.
  8. Serve and enjoy!No Bake Peanut Butter Bars stacked on a cutting board next to a spoonful of peanut butter.

What to Serve With No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These peanut butter bars go great with yummy hot drinks like:

Recipe Tips

  • If your peanut butter mixture is the correct texture, you should be able to make a ball of it in your hand without it sticking.
  • Stir the chocolate in between each 30-second interval to ensure it melts without burning.
  • You may need to use a little more than 1/4 cup of chocolate for each layer to cover the graham crackers.
  • Let the bars sit out of the freezer for a few minutes so they’re easier to cut.
  • Make sure you use tin foil or parchment paper to line your baking dish so the bars can be removed easily for cutting.
  • Run your knife under hot water before cutting the bars and they’ll be easier to cut!

Storage and Freezing Instructions

These no-bake peanut butter bars are one of the best desserts to make ahead! They store well in the fridge and freezer, so you can make them a few days in advance.

  • Refrigerator storage – store the peanut butter bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
  • Freezer storage – place the bars in an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.
5 no bake peanut butter bars stacked on a log slice.

FAQs

What can I substitute the graham crackers with?

You can try using crispy cookies (wafers, sandwich cookies, etc.), pretzels, sweet or salty crackers, or digestive cookies instead of graham crackers!

Can I use a natural peanut butter?

You can use natural peanut butter but remember that most natural peanut butters are funnier which isn’t good for this recipe. It’s also best to avoid a freshly opened jar of peanut butter (of any kind) because they tend to be runnier. 

How do I get clean-cut bars?

I have two tips for getting clean-cut bars:

  1. Leave the bars out at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting them.
  2. Run your knife under hot water for a few seconds to heat it. This will cause the peanut butter and chocolate to melt as you’re cutting.
no-bake peanut butter patty bars on log slice with glass of milk in background

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yield: 16 squares
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes

These no-bake peanut butter patty bars delicious dessert that can be made in under an hour.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Reese’s Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar
  • 13 full graham cracker sheets
  • 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×9 (or 8×8) baking pan with foil and spray it with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the peanut butter, salt, and powdered sugar in a medium-sized bowl and mix until crumbly.
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips and vegetable oil together. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, and microwave again in 30-second intervals until all of the chips are melted.
  4. Line the bottom of your pan with graham crackers. Spread about a ¼ cup of chocolate across the top.
  5. Make your peanut butter mixture into balls with your hand. Smash the balls flat and lay them out on top of the chocolate layer, covering the entire pan.
  6. Spread another ¼ cup of chocolate on top of the peanut butter layer. Make another layer of graham crackers and then top that with the remaining chocolate mixture.
  7. Place the dish in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Allow the bars to sit out on the counter for 5-10 minutes before cutting.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 143mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 32gProtein: 3g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Do you love the combo of peanut butter and chocolate as much as I do?

shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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15 Comments

  1. I was very curious how these were made without baking them. It is interesting that they were placed in the freezer to get them to meld.

  2. Yum! They look delicious! I am coeliac so I could adapt these with gluten free ingredients.
    You’re most welcome to drop by with your favorite beverage for a cup of inspiration!
    Jennifer