No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

No-bake chocolate peanut butter bars are thick, rich, and decadent. Made from only 5 simple ingredients, these are a delicious treat anytime of the year. No oven required!

stack of no bake chocolate peanut butter bars

It’s no secret that I love baking with peanut butter. But what about NO BAKING with peanut butter? No bake chocolate peanut butter bars combine an alluring flavor combination that we all love: chocolate and peanut butter. In this easy dessert, velvety smooth chocolate sits on top of a thick layer of peanut buttery goodness. The peanut butter layer tastes remarkably similar to the center of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

The best part of all? They’re made from just 5 simple ingredients!

Overhead photo of no bake chocolate peanut butter bars

These no-bake peanut butter bars are a family favorite recipe. Every Christmas, my mom made a large tray of pecan tarts, coconut macaroons, and these glorious peanut butter bars. The competition was high, but you can imagine which dessert disappeared first.

I look forward to these bars every holiday season, so I quit limiting them to December. We make these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars all year long and they always cause a frenzy. In fact, I’ve never regretted making a double batch!

Why You’ll Love These Peanut Butter Bars

  • Taste like peanut butter cups
  • Only 5 ingredients
  • Quick to make and even quicker to disappear
  • Cut them as large or small as you want
  • Freeze beautifully
  • No oven needed
  • Chocolate + peanut butter (!!)

No bake peanut butter bars mixture in glass bowl

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar Ingredients

There are only 5 ingredients required for no bake chocolate peanut butter bars and I bet you have each one in your kitchen right now.

  1. Butter: Butter binds the powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. You can use salted or unsalted butter. If using unsalted, add 1/4 teaspoon salt when you add the peanut butter.
  2. Graham Cracker Crumbs: Graham cracker crumbs add structure and texture. You need about 8 full-sheet graham crackers for 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is the main ingredient and it’s actually used in both layers. For best texture, I suggest a processed creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. (I do not recommend oily or natural style peanut butter for this recipe, though I do make homemade peanut butter all the time!)
  4. Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar keeps everything together and adds sweetness.
  5. Chocolate Chips: Because we can’t have chocolate peanut butter bars without chocolate!

2 images of chocolate chips and peanut butter in a glass bowl and pouring melted chocolate peanut butter mixture into pan

How to Make No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

The first step is to melt the butter. Mix the butter with the graham cracker crumbs, powdered sugar, and peanut butter. Press into a 9-inch square pan. Melt remaining peanut butter with chocolate chips. Pour on top of the peanut butter layer. Chill in the refrigerator until set, then cut into squares.

That’s it. You’re done. This is probably the easiest dessert you’ll ever make. Even easier than peanut butter balls!

Stack of no bake peanut butter bars

 

These 5 ingredient no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars are so easy. They’re fudgy, creamy, absolutely addicting, and taste like peanut butter cups! Step away from the computer and run (don’t walk) to the kitchen to get started. Like, right now.

No bake peanut butter bar with bite out of it

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stack of no bake chocolate peanut butter bars

No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 20-24 squares
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: No-Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These no-bake chocolate peanut butter bars are incredibly decadent and made from only 5 ingredients.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (115g) salted butter, melted*
  • 1 cup (85g) graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (280g) creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 1 cup (180g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×8 or 9×9 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix the melted butter, graham cracker crumbs, and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup (250g) of peanut butter, then press evenly into prepared baking pan.
  3. Melt remaining 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter with the chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove. Stir until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer.
  4. Chill in the refrigerator until completely firm, at least 2 hours. Allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve chilled. Setting them out for a few hours at room temperature for serving is OK.
  5. Cover leftover bars tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Cover bars tightly, as a whole or cut into individual squares, and freeze for up to 3 months. I simply line the squares in a freezer-friendly container between sheets of parchment paper. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
  2. Butter: Unsalted butter can be used instead. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt with the peanut butter in step 2.
  3. Peanut Butter: For best texture, I strongly suggest a processed creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy. I do not recommend oily or natural style peanut butter for this recipe.
  4. This recipe was updated in 2019 with more confectioners’ sugar and peanut butter to produce thicker bars.

129 Comments

  1. Just made these…we only had cinnamon graham crackers, but they’re super tasty with them! Also used dark chocolate chips!

  2. Hi there! Looks look amazing!
    I am wondering if you think they could be frozen for a month or so and then enjoyed later?

    Thank you!

    1. Yes, these bars may be frozen and then thawed overnight in the refrigerator.

  3. I made these tonight! They’re soo simple, inexpensive, and delicious. However, How do you manage to cut them into perfect looking squares? The chocolate cracked when I put a sharpened knife through it (slowly). Should I let them thaw out a little before I slice them up?

    1. Hi Justin! Sometimes I let the bars sit at room temperature for a few minutes before cutting. Other times I’m too impatient and get the cracked chocolate. So maybe next time let them sit for at least 10 minutes before cutting.

  4. Made these tonight! They are amazing and so easy to put together! Love your blog!

  5. I just made these for NYE and they came out wonderful! The texture is amazing. I made them to give out… but kept them all for me and my hubby 🙂

  6. Made these tonight and they are absolute peanut butter and chocolate heaven!! And so simple! I didn’t have the patience or willpower to wait 3 hours for them to chill so I stuck them in the freezer for about half an hour. The chocolate was set when I took them out and the peanut butter layer still had a touch of squish (for lack of a better term!) to it, which I actually liked. I’m sure they probably set more evenly in the fridge over a longer period of time… But I just couldn’t wait that long!! 😉 Thanks for another fantastic recipe, Sally!

  7. Hello Sally!! I just wanted to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed making this recipe. I live in South Korea and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are scarce around here. If you can find them, they are very expensive so this has saved our peanut butter loving lives! It’s Easter time right now so I made the filling, molded them into egg shapes and dipped them in chocolate for our Easter celebration! Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for the recipe!

  8. I just wanted to let you know Sally, i tried these today and they are ABSOLUTELY HEAVEN!! PB and Chocolate combinations are TO DIE FOR, these were seriously such a big hit in my house!!
    Thanks for all your awesome recipes! Have a great day! 🙂

  9. I made these to take to a World Cup potluck today and they were a hit! Out of about six desserts that were at the dessert table, these were the only ones completely devoured and demolished by the end of the game. These were a great no bake dessert to avoid turning on the oven in the heat of summer. Will definitely be making these again!

  10. Hi Sally! Made these today with Barney Butter smooth almond butter and might I say “Wahooo!” You have to understand, I have never had a peanut butter cup because I couldn’t (not if I wanted to live to see another day)…SO I decided to take your recipe and by all the remarks from others, this was the “go to” recipe to make for the authentic peanut butter cup flavor…Relying on hubby to let me know if these were close, he replied “Even better” and then begged me to take them away from him before he ate them all… I had no problems with cutting it after the 3 hour chill and 10 minutes resting time (I did remove them from the pan before I cut them with a sharp knife and pushed down slightly slowly with the long knife.) I must confess I had no graham cracker sheets in the house so I had to go into the kids snack stash and used 4 1 oz. bags of Back to Nature honey graham sticks…I love that your recipes are so adaptable and forgiving!!!! So if anyone out there wonders if you can substitute Barney Butter for the peanut butter; you can!!!! It works and isn’t too oily…and since there are no skins on the almonds, it tastes more like authentic PB…I’m lovin’ it! I have waited so long to find something I could use in PB recipes. With Sally’s great PB recipes and almond butter, the sky’s the limit!!! Thank you, Sally! Praise the Lord!

  11. What a great recipe, Sally! These came out so delicious and were ridiculously simple. Dangerously simple, even. 🙂 Will definitely make again (and again…)!

  12. OMG.. these are awesome.. Made them but instead of mixing the chocolate and PB, I poured the melted chocolate on top and then swirled in the PB for an added effect of a pretty top. Very yummy.. not going to last very long around here!

  13. OMG these are Super YUMMY!!! Made them last night & just dug into them now. Thank you!

  14. Made these right away! I only had crunchy peanut butter which worked out since I am a crunchy peanut butter type of person. Instead of additional peanut butter to the chocolate topping I mixed in 2 tablespoons of coconut oil which held the top layer together nicely. Thank you for the recipe they are super yummy!

  15. Hi Sally,
    How would you adjust this recipe for an 9×13 pan? I don’t have any square pans unfortunately.

    1. Hi Janet, simply double the recipe.

  16. These are the best peanut butter bars that I’ve ever tried!! We ate them all in one day!! They are very simple and easy to make, the patience is the longest part;) I would highly recommend these bars!!! Their the best!

  17. This are the best bars I have ever tried! The only part that I changed, is after the peanut butter mix is in the pan, for about 30 min, put them in the freezer before you add the chocolate mix. This is so the chocolate won’t mix in with the peanut butter;) But besides that, these are amazing! We ate them all in one day:D

  18. These bars are amazing.  I substituted parchment paper, though–easier to peel off of the bars than the foil.  And I added a little coconut oil to the chocolate part, to make it be smoother on top.  This recipe was a big hit both times I made it!  And so easy!!!

  19. Hey Sally.

    If I wanted to try to make these with the natural peanut butter that I have on hand (and because I like the purer flavor and less ingredients in baked goods), what suggestions might you have? Do you think keeping the bars in the refrigerator would be enough to keep them solid, or would they be too oily while making?

    1. I find the natural variety makes these bars a little crumbly. If that doesn’t bother you, then YES absolutely use it. Always keep them in the fridge.

  20. Yay! I’ve made these as bars a few times and they’re so easy and delicious. I just made it for a coworker’s birthday, and put it in a tart pan with a removable bottom so it looks like a giant peanut butter cup! It’s adorable. 🙂 

  21. I was wondering what could i use in place of graham crackers I live in north africa, and sometimes we cant find all the american things that we would find back home. These cookies look great.

    1. I used a mix of digestive biscuits and marie biscuits (approximately 1:3 ratio). I liked it, but I haven’t tasted graham crackers, so unfortunately I am unable to say if the taste is right.

  22. For any Brits trying this recipe (we dont get graham crackers here) use 60g of digestives and 60g of rich tea biscuits as a substitute. (120g in total =1 cup)

  23. I was so excited to make and deliver these to a friend today but realized I am out of graham crackers. Do you think Golden Graham cereal crushed up could work as a replacement? I noticed a box in my pantry and I am just trying to save my 2 month old from another trip to the store 🙂 By the way I have been a huge fan of your recipes. Usually when I bake something my husband just says “Sally’s?”. Thanks for sharing such great ideas with us!

    1. Hey Lisa!! Thank you so much for the sweet comment. And YES, golden graham crumbs would be a wonderful replacement 🙂

  24. Can I add some salt flakes/finishing salt on top? Have you done this before with this recipe?

    1. YES! You can definitely add some – YUM!

  25. I saw this posted today, and I do have all the ingredients on hand EXCEPT that I only use natural peanut butter, only ground peanuts, no added oils or sugars, etc. Often I get it fresh ground at the market. However, you state “not natural style” in the ingredients. May I ask why? Is it because the oil in it separates? Will it not hold together? I would really like to use natural, if possible. If I understand the reason, perhaps I can adjust something to allow for it. Thank you!

    1. Hi Bonnie! The bars will be extra crumbly using natural style peanut butter. So keep that in mind if you decide to use it. 🙂 If you decide to play around with the recipe to help with the crumbliness, let me know what you try!

  26. I finally made these for this weekend – a definite win! It was super easy, super quick, and super delicious. I forgot to add the salt to make up for my unsalted butter, but they were still great (although I think that salt would make them pop)! I cut them up into 64 tiny squares so they were the perfect bite-sized portion. One friend said, “I took the last one, and I don’t even feel bad about it.” Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  27. I noticed some people substituted for the graham crackers. I don’t really care for graham crackers and wondered if you could substitute vanilla wafers, gingersnaps, or animal cracker crumbs?

    1. Any of those would work well and give these a bit different flavor! Enjoy!

  28. I’m rating these 4 stars, 5 stars for the ease of making them, but 3 on flavor – they are way too sweet. Sweeter than the last time I made them for sure, but that was years ago with the original recipe. Great PB flavor. Next time I will experiment with less powdered sugar. Overall, still a quick, easy recipe that’s great to have in the dessert arsenal.

  29. My 11 year old Granddaughter & her Friend each made a batch & put them in a 13×9 pan. These were so easy & fast to make. Best recipe ever & so yummy. They were the favorite at a swimming party. Thanks Sally I love your web site.

  30. I had no problem spreading them, but thought they were a little on the sweet side. Next time I will use more graham crumbs less icing sugar. Thought they were a great treat, will be making them again.

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