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.

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

383 Comments

  1. Hi Sally. You’ve seen me posting on a lot of your recipes and how much I have loved each of them. However, I don’t know if I messed something up, these bars did not taste too good. (To me) I couldn’t wait the whole 3 hours to taste (I waited 2 hours) and thought maybe the chill time had something to do with the taste. So the next day I tried another ine and they had a funky taste. Maybe the powdered sugar was off or something. I don’t know what it was, I do know everything from your site has been great so it has to be on my end of things. Any ideas that would cause the funky taste, a mix between metallic and bitter. I used a brand new jar of good quality pb. 

    1. There are so little ingredients, I really wonder what it could be. The chocolate? The butter? The graham crackers? Which layer tastes this way?

      1. The peanut butter layer tasted that way. I used regular reduced fat graham crackers, a cheaper butter imperial, my powdered sugar wasn’t a new box, that’s what I’m leaning towards, is maybe it wasn’t fresh enough?

      2. That could definitely be it. I’ve used low fat graham crackers before, so I don’t think those are the culprit.

    2. Andrea – it could definitely be the powdered sugar – that’s happened to me before too, and when I checked the rest of my sugar it had absorbed odours from other things in the pantry, so it took on a different taste. 

    3. My guess would be that the off-taste came from using the imperial! I once made edible cookie dough bites with imperial and they tasted pretty funky. When baking with imperial I don’t mind the taste; however when I use it in no-bake recipes, the taste is quite evident.

  2. 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.

  3. The Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars got rave reviews around my house!!!  They went faster than the fudge I made.  Great recipe!!!!

  4. I have made these many times and sometimes the chocolate will separate form the graham

    cracker mixture. Any suggestions as how to prevent this. Thanks

  5. Hmmm… I thought these were missing something in the originality department. Too basic. Not worth dying over :/ love trying your recipes though!!

  6. Suggest using 3/4 cup powdered sugar and dark chocolate if you want to cut the sweetness and enhance the salty a bit more. 

  7. 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. 

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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. 

  10. 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. 🙂 

  11. 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 🙂

    1. I used natural peanut butter the stuff from Aldi. I think it is called simp!y nature or something similar. I mixed the oil in well before using. It’s chilling now. Now I’m wondering if it will firm up right. If not, I guess I will eat it with spoon! It’ll still taste great.

  12. Okay _CORRECTION…. The Simply Truth Organic No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter has a whole 2g of sugar in the whole 16oz jar, so yes it does have “SOME” sugar in it. For all those perfectionist out there, my bad. Recipe still worked and I will make it again because it tasted yummy 🙂

    1. The Simple Truth Organic No Stir Creamy Peanut Butter of peanut butter has 2 teaspoons of sugar per 2 tablespoons of spread. Just thought I would let you know 🙂

  13. 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!

  14. I can’t wait for these to harden in the fridge! I cut the powdered sugar down to a heaping 1/2 cup. As it’s still hardening, im not sure how it came out, but I noticed the graham cracker/pb layer was very wet in consistency. I’m thinking now that it’s because I cut the sugar, which works as a dry ingredient. Hopefully it won’t make much of a difference. In hindsight, I probably should’ve frozen or refrigerated that bottom layer as I melted the chocolate layer. Also, I used Jiff Naturals and it worked out fine. It’s got less crap in it than the regular Jiff and Skippy pbs, but not quite as natural as the natural Smuckers. It does have a little oil sometimes! Just mix it. Super easy and I had all ingredients on hand already! Thanks Sally!

  15. I just made a batch of these. The three hour chilling time is gonna be torture!!! I tasted the peanut butter part, and except for the fact that I should have crushed crackers finer, tastes just like real p.b. cup filling. And I only had milk chocolate chips so that’s what I used in topping. Also yummy. I also used parchment instead of foil. Held the edges on with binder clips. Once they chill, I can pretty much guarantee I’m gonna eat more than one! As long as they firm up, they will be made again. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. 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.

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