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!

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

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!

How to make no bake peanut butter bars

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 bars

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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.
Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bars with only 5 ingredients. Just how mom used to make them. These are the BEST.
Easy homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Bars made with only 5 ingredients. Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

166 Comments

  1. Looks like a great recipe.  Will definitely be making for my grandson.  Thank you.

  2. 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!!!

  3. 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.

  4. Barbara Varanka says:

    Dang, girl! These were SO good! Thanks for the recipe!

    I am working through your no-bake section, since our oven is broken these days.

  5. Recommend using more graham cracker than the recipe requires – gives it a crunchier consistency.

  6. I just loved this recipe! I don’t know what was more fun- licking the mixing bowl clean or eating the bar! This is my daughter’s new favorite thing in the whole wide world! 🙂 Love your website and I can’t wait to try some more of your recipes. 

  7. Hey just wanted to say that I’ve made these in the past THEY ARE GREAT but ive found to change things up a bit mix the top about 2:1 ratio of chocolate to butterscotch tastes great!!!

  8. These are dangerous!!! Absolutely delicious though, but addicting! I used a none ‘nut’ butter as we have peanut allergies, but the result was the same. Also, my chocolate did not end up in a separate layer like in the picture, instead it ended up just mixing in. Still good though. 

  9. 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. 🙂 

  10. I made this last night. Only had cinnamon Graham crackers so I used those. I used 9 sheets instead of 8, since 9 come in one package. I used *Simply Truth Organic* No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter. All It had in it was sea salt and peanuts and some oil. No sugar. I tried the unsalted butter + 1/4 tsp salt added to the mixture. And I used 1 cup of granulated cane surgar instead of powdered sugar. I didn’t add the chocolate because I didn’t have any chocolate chips on hand at the time. 

    It still turned out Awesome! I had Zero issue using the “Natural” PB, so long as it is the “No-Stir” type of organic PB. If I had used regular PB i think the entire recipe would have been Too sweet for my taste. It’s nicely sweet but not overpoweringly so and the salt comes through at the end. The cinnamon crackers add a little interest into the PB so I like that as well. I’m eating one now as I type this out. Even without the chocolate on top they are a neat tasty little snack item 🙂

  11. I made these a couple of years ago and loved them! My mom made them today for a Father’s Day cookout and had added rice krispi
    es to the chocolate. Amazing!

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. I made this last night and cut it up this morning, it was a hit with my brothers! Thanks for the awesome recipe! 😀

  15. 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 🙂

  16. Thank you for such great recipes. I have made this recipe several times now. I used oat flour instead graham crackers, for my gluten free friends. I actually like better! Keep up the great work.

  17. Michael Bender says:

    Great recipe! My only suggestion would be to chill the peanut butter layer for 15m prior to chocolate layer. I used a double boiler so I could simply pour the chocolate on with minimal spreading. Cheers.

  18. Hi Sally,

    Thank you for so many delicious recipes. Can this one be doubled and put into a 9×13 pan?

    Best regards,

    Vicki P.

    1. Hi Vicki! Yes, you can double the recipe for a 9×13-inch pan.

  19. 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!

  20. 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!

  21. 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!

  22. Me and my family LOVE this recipe!! It is super duper fast – I can make them in about 20 minutes, yet they taste DELICIOUS! Seriously one of our favorite desserts ever and i’ve made gourmet things like eclairs and pain au chocolat before! I usually double the recipe and put it in a 9×13 casserole dish, and then cut them into 32 pieces (so 16 for a regular batch). Also, for anyone wondering, this works GREAT with club crackers! You honestly can’t even notice a difference, I bet Ritz would be great too 🙂 Also, I noticed you updated the pictures – they’re gorgeous!

    1. Made them today with ritz crackers since I had no graham crackers on hand. My family literally fought over them. The pan was empty in 20 minutes. Winner winner winner!

  23. My grandson (and I) LOVE peanut butter. Definitely going to make these when school is out and the kids are around the pool.

  24. Sigh, I’d like to get away from using 2 cups of powdered sugar if possible. Anyone have ideas for what to substitute to make it more healthy? TIA.

    1. In this recipe the powdered sugar is essential for the texture and structure of the bars. However I have seen many healthier versions on other sites! Let me know if you find a good one!

  25. 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!

  26. I made these exactly as directed and they are great (good quality butter, graham crackers, and Skippy creamy peanut butter). However the recipe says that they will stay set up for a few hours, say at a party. I found that within a half hr they were sticky and it only got worse after that. I made them again and added 2 more sheets of graham crackers which made it a bit firmer, but still sticky after about a half hr. I really would like to use them for our son’s graduation party in a couple of weeks. Any suggestions for helping them to stay set up? I’m not sure keeping them on ice will be feasible. Maybe I’ll try freezing them and see how long they will hold up…

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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.

  30. Has anyone tried this with crunchy peanut butter? It’s all I have in the house and I’m dying to make them

    1. Yes! I love them with crunchy. If you enjoy those extra little pieces of nuts, you’ll love them too.

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