No one will believe these no-bake chocolate fudge oat bars didn’t come out of a candy bar wrapper! Enjoy a delightful combination of chewy-crispy-crunchy textures and salty-sweet chocolate-peanut butter flavors in every bite. They’re an easy, healthier treat recipe (well, compared to chocolate cake!) that you’ll want to make again and again.
This recipe has lived on my website since 2012, and after making the no-bake bars for the 100th time, I decided they needed some new photos, and easier-to-understand instructions. While so much has changed in the last decade, the recipe for these incredibly irresistible bars has stood the test of time.
Made from pantry staples like oats, coconut oil, peanut butter, maple syrup, and chocolate chips, and textured with crisp rice cereal, crunchy nuts, and chewy plump raisins… I swear there must be some Willy Wonka magic in these bars to turn such simple ingredients into something that tastes like a candy bar.
Reader Sandy commented: “These are SO delicious!! I get so many requests for the recipe every time I make them. I also add a little chia seed and any extra dried fruit I can find. ★★★★★”
Reader Lisa commented: “I made these today and the whole family loved them. My add-ins were coconut, pecans, and dried cranberries. My 7-year-old liked them so much, she requested them for her birthday! ★★★★★”
Why You’ll Love These No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Oat Bars
- Tastes like a candy bar—no one will believe it’s a healthier treat
- Easy no-bake recipe comes together in 10 minutes
- Gluten free if using certified GF oats and rice crisp cereal
- Dairy free and vegan if using non-dairy chocolate chips
- Choose your favorite granola bar add-ins, like nuts and dried fruit
- Chewy, crispy, crunchy, soft—it’s texture paradise
- Perfect balance of salty and sweet, and oh-so-chocolatey!
Think Chewy Granola Bar Meets Crispy Chocolate Bar…
A combination of coconut oil, chocolate, peanut butter, and maple syrup coats the dry ingredients in what tastes like chocolate fudge. Seriously.
The oats give the fudge-like bars the most delicious chew, the rice cereal adds the crispy texture of a Nestle Crunch bar, and if you include peanuts, these bars have definite Snickers vibes as well.
The recipe is like a chocolate version of these peanut butter trail mix bars.
Start With These 6 Ingredients
- Coconut Oil: Melted together with chocolate, coconut oil gives these bars their soft, fudge-like texture. If you want a substitute for coconut oil, use butter; you need a fat that is solid at room temperature, so liquid oils wouldn’t work for this recipe.
- Chocolate Chips: We’re using chips for ease here, but you could also use chopped baking chocolate. Normally, if melting chocolate (like when making chocolate ganache or coating Oreo balls), I recommend using chopped baking chocolate instead of chocolate chips, but because we’re melting the chocolate with coconut oil, chocolate chips work just fine.
- Peanut Butter: Either creamy or crunchy peanut butter work, just like both work for flourless peanut butter oatmeal cookies. I usually use natural-style, but processed peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy works too. You could also make these with almond butter, or use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
- Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup sweetens the bars, but they don’t taste like maple. You could use honey instead, if you prefer.
- Oats: Old-fashioned whole rolled oats give the bars structure with a slightly chewy texture.
- Crispy Rice Cereal: Rice Krispies (or similar style crisp rice cereal) provide the most delicious crisp in every bite. A little bit goes a long way, so you can use the rest of the box for future batches or even a pan of rice krispie treats!
Now, Choose Your Add-ins
You can choose whatever add-ins you like, just use about 3/4 cup total (roughly 100–120g). I typically include peanuts and raisins, for that crunchy-chewy texture combo, but feel free to use whatever combination of nuts, dried fruit, and/or seeds your inner self desires (or happen to already be in your pantry). Here are some suggestions:
- Peanuts (salted, unsalted, or honey roasted)
- Chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
- Raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or dried cherries
- Chopped dried apricots or pitted dates
- Coconut flakes or shredded coconut (or try these no-bake coconut granola bars)
- Large seed such as pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Chopped pretzel pieces
Or skip the add-ins and add a Tablespoon of a small seed such as chia seeds or flax seeds. I also top the bars with a little unsweetened coconut, but that’s optional.
Melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips together on the stove, and then stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the oats, crispy rice cereal, and add-ins. Stir to combine.
Press into a lined 9-inch pan, and then refrigerate for 2 hours or until set.
The bars should be stored in the refrigerator. Kept at room temperature, they get a little soft and melty. Still delicious, but fall apart easily!
Are These Chocolate Oat Bars Healthy?
I say this a lot with the lightened-up recipes I publish, but “healthy” is a relative term. In my eyes, these are a pretty healthy chocolate treat. They’re made with whole foods like natural peanut butter and fiber-filled oats. However, they may be too sugary for someone who needs to watch their sugar intake.
I’m unsure of the nutritional information for these, but feel free to calculate it yourself using an online calculator and the exact ingredients/brands you use. For more healthier options to satisfy your sweet tooth, here is my collection of healthier dessert recipe ideas.
They are also gluten free if using certified gluten free oats. For more gluten free sweet treats, here are 40 of my favorite gluten free dessert recipes.
Enjoy a delightful combination of chewy-crispy-crunchy textures and salty-sweet chocolate-peanut butter flavors in every bite of these easy no-bake oat bars. Choose your favorite add-in from the suggestions in the Note below.
- 1/3 cup (70g) coconut oil
- 1/2 cup (90g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup (125g) crunchy or creamy peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup (or honey)
- 1 and 1/4 cups (106g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats
- 3/4 cup (19g) crispy rice cereal
- 3/4 cup (about 100-120g) add-ins (such as salted or unsalted peanuts and raisins, see Note)
- optional: 1 Tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut for topping
- Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the bars out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
- In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and chocolate chips together, stirring often. Once chocolate chips have melted, stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup until combined. Remove from heat.
- Whisk the oats, crispy rice cereal, and add-ins together in a medium bowl. Pour the chocolate mixture on top, and stir to combine. Mixture is wet.
- Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using the back of a flat spatula, press the mixture tightly and firmly down into the pan. Make sure it’s compact, which helps guarantee the bars will hold their shape. Sprinkle with coconut, if using.
- Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. If refrigerating for longer than 2 hours, cover lightly.
- Lift the parchment paper out of the pan and cut into squares. Cover and store bars in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Freezing Instructions: Layer the cut bars between sheets of parchment in a freezer-friendly bag or container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
- Special Tools (affiliate links): 9-Inch Square Baking Pan | Parchment Paper | Glass Mixing Bowls | Whisk | Silicone Spatula
- Gluten Free: Bars are gluten free if using certified gluten free oats and crispy rice cereal.
- Peanut Butter: Either creamy or crunchy peanut butter works. I usually use natural-style, but processed such as Jif or Skippy works too. You could also make these with almond butter, or use sunflower seed butter for a nut-free option.
- Can I leave out the crispy rice cereal? Yes, but you will lose some crisp texture. Replace with 2/3 cup (about 56g) of whole rolled oats.
- Add-ins: You can choose whatever add-ins you like, just use about 3/4 cup total (roughly 100–120g). I typically include salted roasted peanuts and raisins, for that crunchy-chewy texture combo, but feel free to use whatever combination of nuts, dried fruit, and/or seeds such as salted or unsalted peanuts, chopped pecans, almonds, or walnuts, pistachios, raisins, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, or dried cherries, currants, chopped dried apricots or pitted dates, unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes, large seeds such as pumpkin seeds (pepitas), or chopped pretzel pieces. Or skip the add-ins and add a Tablespoon of a small seed such as chia seeds or flax seeds.
Keywords: chocolate fudge oat bars