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. 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)

    1. Thank you so much for this substitute…..I LOVE graham crackers but canโ€™t get them in Zambia, Africa where I live. This sounds like the perfect substitute!

    2. If you do not have powdered sugar; as long as you have a blender, you can make regular sugar into powdered sugar. Happy blending

  2. hey sally btw i love u… u mentioned earlier something about these chewy cherry coconut cookies. im intrigued and can only hope u will share this glorious recipe. ย thank uย 

  3. I made this last night and cut it up this morning, it was a hit with my brothers! Thanks for the awesome recipe! ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Just one problem–they’re too easy to make which means I’ll probably find every excuse to be making them. Oh, two problems: I accidentally left a bit in the bowl and had to finish that right away. If you like Reese’s peanut butter cups, this will be like having as many as you want and no one will discover your secret as you try to sneak thru the checkout stand.

  5. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

  6. Thank you for this recipe Sally!!! My son is nut allergic, and I made this for him with SunButter’s creamy sunflower butter. YUM! I must admit, I saw this recipe and made it immediately after seeing it!!ย 

    1. I’ve made these with sunflower seed butter in the past (for a friend who has a nut allergy) and I love them that way too! I’m so glad you tried them ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Hi Sally! I’m excited to make these in a few days. However, I’m confused about how many grams of digestives biscuits would be needed as Graham Crackers are not available in my country. Thank you! Love your recipes ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Thanks so much for your reply, Sally. My boys will be delighted there will be twice as many of these yummy bars next time! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Vicki

  12. Just a note: To make these awesome peanut-butter squares gluten-free, simply switch out the graham cracker crumbs for Kinnikinnick brand graham style crumbs. They still taste awesome and you won’t even notice the difference! Thanks for the great recipes, Sally!

  13. 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you decide to play around with the recipe to help with the crumbliness, let me know what you try!

  14. When freezing the no bake choc peanut butter bars, do you put a layer of wax paper or parchment paper between the layers of bars?

  15. 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, โ€œI took the last one, and I donโ€™t even feel bad about it.โ€ Thanks for another great recipe, Sally!

  16. So, I consider myself a fairly advanced baker and these did not work out well for me. I looked at the ingredients and just thought the combinations seemed unusual. Graham crackers seemed an odd choice; peanut butter balls are usually composed of butter, powdered sugar and peanut butter for a lovely texture. In any bar recipe in my collection that has a chocolate layer on the top, I have always used butter and chocolate chips for a silky smooth, pourable chocolate that has a beautiful silky finish. Using peanut butter(Creamy Jiff) produced a gloppy near-impossible-to stir chocolate layer. I had hoped this would be the bar-version of my peanut butter balls(the balls are a bit time consuming), but even the peanut butter layer for this recipe seems granulated and lacks the smooth creaminess I had hoped for. ๐Ÿ™ I am hoping after three hours in the refrigerator, they will set up and the consistency will improve, but experience tells me that likely will not be the result for me. Your writing and photography are excellent, however. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. These are not supposed to be buckeyes; the texture is different. Iโ€™m from Ohio (home of the buckeyes!). They used to serve these bars in our public schools and they were called Hollywood Squares for some reason. I also use butter, not peanut butter, in the topping.

    1. Are you cutting them while they are cold right out of the fridge? Iโ€™ve found that if you let them warm up a bit (but not too much) theyโ€™ll cut cleanly and the chocolate topping wonโ€™t crack. I do not, however, use PB in the chocolate topping. I use a little bit of butter instead. Not sure if that could be part of the problem.

  17. Do you think I could use this recipe for “buckeyes”? They are delicious with the Graham cracker crunch but have never frozen or tried to roll into balls before. Thoughts?

  18. How many calories are in a 1″ x 1″ square? Can I use Splenda as a substitute for sugar? Can I use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” as a butter substitute”? My co-workers are all dieting and they are missing having dessert. Thanks!

  19. 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

  20. Hello Sally,

    Even after you updated the recipe, you didn’t write the amount of Graham crackers in grams…it’s really important when you don’t use cups and can’t find graham crackers in your country, as you don’t know what amount of biscuits you need. I know that for a fact, as I already made this recipe and needed adjustments. That would be great if you could just weigh the graham crackers and let me know and update the recipe for others. Thanks a lot!

  21. 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!

  22. Hi Sally,
    I buy the Graham cracker crumbs in Canada in bulk so do I measure out one Cup of crumbs or do I go by weight? Because when I measured one Cup and then weighed it, it came out to way more than 85 gms!!! Thank you and they sound awesome!
    Blessings,
    Brenda

  23. 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?

  24. Would love to make these but my grandson is allergic to peanuts. Could I sub almond butter?
    Thank you
    Denise

  25. 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…

  26. Hey Sally, you really should provide more clarity on step two where it says, “… spread evenly into prepared baking pan”. There is nothing spreadable about this mixture. My husband is currently making this and had a melt down in the kitchen because he is following your directions and thought he did it wrong.

      1. I think this is because it should say MELTED peanut butter. Looks like peanut butter was warmed up in the video ๐Ÿ™‚

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