Scotcheroos (Without Corn Syrup)

Made from just 8 ingredients, these no-bake scotcheroos cereal bars are chewy, crispy, and downright irresistible. Combining butterscotch, real chocolate, creamy peanut butter, sea salt, and rice krispies cereal, these are as easy as they are flavorful. Most traditional recipes call for corn syrup, but I use honey instead.

scotcheroos without corn syrup

Welcome to day 5 in Sally’s Cookie Palooza! After a week full of cookies, I think it’s time for some squares. Scotcheroos totally count as holiday cookies. In fact, I can’t think of any holiday where these bars aren’t welcome.

What are Scotcheroos Bars?

Scotcheroos are a no-bake cereal bar similar to rice krispie treats. Replace the marshmallows and butter with sugar and peanut butter, then add a chocolate butterscotch topping. They’re chewy, soft, and crispy all in one. Obviously this is a dessert you need to make today and every other day of the year. They smell like a dream and literally FLY OFF THE COOKIE TRAY whenever I bring them anywhere. They cause an absolute frenzy.

And they’re wildly easy to make.


Homemade Scotcheroos Without Corn Syrup

The original scotcheroos recipe comes from Kelloggs. It’s divine, as you can imagine, but I’ve been switching a few things based on what I have on hand. The original recipe calls for 1 cup of corn syrup and 1 cup of sugar, but I actually use 1 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of sugar. The bars are still plenty sweet and I appreciate *a little* unrefined sugar where I can get it. (Obviously these are not health food, but you get the idea.)

These scotcheroos are made without corn syrup, have a little less sugar, and are topped with sea salt to offset some sweetness. I also increase the ingredients in the topping so we have a thicker layer of chocolate butterscotch. YES.


scotcheroos cereal bars

Just 8 Ingredients

  1. Honey: I use honey instead of corn syrup. Honey adds flavor too!
  2. Sugar: You need 1/2 cup of regular granulated sugar to mix with the honey.
  3. Peanut Butter: Natural-style would be totally fine, but for best texture, I recommend a creamy peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. You need 1 cup.
  4. Vanilla Extract: A splash of vanilla extract is totally welcome with these flavors! I don’t make rice krispie treats without it either.
  5. Crispy Rice Cereal: This cereal is the base of the scotcheroo filling.
  6. Butterscotch Morsels: We’ll use butterscotch morsels (like chocolate chips, but butterscotch flavor) in the topping. See below for more info!
  7. Chocolate: You need 6 ounces of chocolate for the topping, which is 1.5 four ounce baking bars. I really like Ghirardelli or Bakers brand, found in the baking aisle.
  8. Coconut Oil: Coconut oil thins out the chocolate butterscotch topping. Without it, the topping would be stiff and clumpy. Butter works too.

And sea salt for a little garnish!


scotcheroos ingredients

How to Make Scotcheroos

  1. Simmer the sugar and honey together on the stove. Make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. The purpose of this step is to melt down the sugar, so it’s a little less granular.
  2. Add peanut butter and vanilla extract.
  3. Stir in the crispy rice cereal. Taste it. Fall in love.
  4. Spread into a 9×13 inch pan. Use a spatula to softly spread the mixture evenly into the pan, then lightly pat it down. Don’t compact it too much, though. Packing it down too much will lend you thin and hard bars. We want soft and chewy. 🙂
  5. Melt chocolate, butterscotch, and coconut oil together. I recommend using the stove.
  6. Spread on top. Sprinkle with sea salt, if desired.
  7. Chill until set. This takes about 2 hours.

peanut butter mixture and peanut butter rice krispies cereal mixture

spreading scotcheroos mixture into pan

Chocolate Butterscotch Topping Success

Scotcheroos are typically “frosted” with a chocolate butterscotch topping made from butterscotch morsels/chips and chocolate chips. If you’ve ever tried melting butterscotch morsels before you know that… they don’t really melt. And if you’re lucky enough to melt them down properly, the consistency is stiff, chalky, and thick. I’ve found that butterscotch morsels melt down much easier the fresher they are. Old bags are impossible to melt down, but I have better luck with newer bags.

Same goes with chocolate chips. They aren’t made to melt. That’s why we use them in cookies– so they hold their chocolate chip shape! Anyway, we can avoid all the melting headaches by combining butterscotch morsels with real chocolate and coconut oil. Real chocolate = the 4 ounce baking chocolate bars found in the baking aisle. That’s what I always recommend you use when you want to melt down chocolate.

And if you don’t have coconut oil, replace with a Tablespoon of butter. We need a fat that is solid at room temperature, so don’t try using another oil.

2 images of scotcheroos chocolate topping

The topping is thick, but spreads easily. Top with a little sea salt for extra flavor.

Trust me, you’re going to be VERY happy about all this:

scotcheroos bars

What is Sally's Cookie Palooza?

Sally’s Cookie Palooza is my annual Christmas cookie countdown tradition. First starting in 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row. Over the next two weeks, I’m publishing 10 new cookie recipes. This is the biggest, most delicious event of the year! Sign up for instant updates and you’ll receive a free email alert whenever I publish a new recipe. 🙂

Click to see Sally’s Cookie Palooza over the years!

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scotcheroos without corn syrup

Scotcheroos (Without Corn Syrup)

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes
  • Yield: 20 squares
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Mixing
  • Cuisine: American


Made from just 8 ingredients, these no-bake scotcheroos cereal bars are chewy, crispy, and downright irresistible. Most traditional recipes call for corn syrup, but I use honey instead.


  • 1 cup (330g) honey
  • 1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 cups (180g) crispy rice cereal
  • 6 ounces (170g) semi-sweet chocolate, chopped*
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (270g) butterscotch morsels
  • 1 Tablespoon (14g) coconut oil or butter
  • optional: sea salt for topping


  1. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper. No need to grease the parchment. Set aside.
  2. Combine honey and granulated sugar in a medium or large saucepan over medium heat. (Larger size because we’ll add the crispy rice cereal in the next step.) Stirring occasionally, bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer for 1 minute without stirring. Do not bring to a rapid boil– that’s too hot. After 1 minute of simmering, remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla extract until combined, then stir in the crispy rice cereal until it’s all completely coated.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Using a rubber spatula, gently spread mixture to fit the pan. Very gently press the mixture down into the pan. Do not pack it down with force, just lightly press down so it’s secure in the pan.
  5. Combine chopped chocolate, butterscotch morsels, and coconut oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until it’s melted together. Mixture will be thick. Spread evenly over bars. A small offset spatula is helpful for this. Top with a sprinkle of sea salt, if desired.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or up to 2 days. Lift the scotcheroos as a whole out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares.
  7. Cover and store leftover squares at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze squares in layers between sheets of parchment or wax paper in a freezer container for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.
  2. Chocolate: Use 1.5 four ounce “baking chocolate” bars found in the baking aisle. I prefer Bakers or Ghirardelli brands. You can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or even white chocolate. Candy melts or almond bark work too. Do not use chocolate chips, as they contain stabilizers preventing them from melting into the proper consistency– this isn’t a good idea, especially paired with butterscotch morsels which aren’t made to melt either!
  3. Butterscotch Morsels: If you don’t have access to butterscotch morsels, you can use peanut butter chips instead. Or melt 8 ounces of chocolate with 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter (skip the coconut oil) and spread on top.
  4. Adapted from Kellogg’s

Keywords: butterscotch, peanut butter, cereal bars


  1. Followed this recipe exactly and it was a MAJOR hit! Will definitely be making these again in the future. Thank you so much!

  2. Is there a way to award 10 out of 5 stars!!!??? ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️. Scotcheroos are hands down my hubby’s favorite sweet treat. I have made them often using the standard recipe with corn syrup and they’ve been good – sometimes a little too hard, sometimes a little too dry, but good. I don’t have any qualms about using corn syrup but decided to try this recipe because I thought it was an interesting idea… I have made it no less than 10 times since I discovered it a while ago and will never go back to the “old” “standard” recipe with corn syrup!!! The texture of these scotcheroos is consistently crunchy but not hard – ever. The ONLY downside is that honey is more expensive than corn syrup. . But since they are my hubby’s favorite – totally worth it for me. You’ve GOT TO TRY these fantastic little treats! Thank you, Sally, for solving the issue of inconsistent texture in my scotcheroos with this super reliable recipe! Super good!

  3. I am in Australia and can‘t seem to find butterscoch morsels. Is there any way around them? Thanks

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Cony, They are only in the topping so you can make the base recipe as written and then either top them with plain chocolate, or even try adding peanut butter chips in their place!

  4. These were delicious! Very easy to put together, and great to make for dessert ahead of time. Thanks for another great recipe!

  5. These are so delicious and so easy. Highly recommend. The perfect texture. Perfect taste.

  6. Sally what would you say to sub the honey for maple syrup? Or do a honey maple syrup combo? Also I love all your recipes, I have had friends turn over to you now too! I asked for your cookie book for Christmas and your recipes have allowed me to start my own little business making cakes! It’s been so fun and I am very appreciative of your blog.

    1. Hi Kiersa! I’m just seeing your comment/question now so my apologies on the delay responding to you. I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog and recipes– and have inspired friends to check out my site too! I really appreciate that. I don’t recommend a 1:1 swap of maple syrup for the honey. Honey is thicker and helps bind these bars together so they hold shape. You can try 1/2 of each instead though. Let me know how it goes if you haven’t tried it already.

  7. I followed the recipe exactly except that I used natural peanut butter and swapped the butterscotch morsels for homemade butterscotch sauce (just 1.5x this recipe: They were a huge hit and everybody has requested the recipe. Had no trouble at all swapping in the homemade butterscotch, and the result was amazing. I use a really fine himalayan salt, so the only tweak I’ll make next time is reducing the salt in the butterscotch, bc it was just a tad bit too salty for my taste. This recipe is a keeper, though! Thanks, Sally!

  8. I didn’t think I would ever make Scotcheroos again. The old recipe had become way too sweet for my tastes now. So I was intrigued when I came across this version. Holy Moly!!! These are sheer perfection. And by all means, add the little bit of sea salt on top! Takes it to a while new level! My husband is now a big fan! Thanks so much for the improvement!!

  9. I consider myself a connoisseur of scotcheroos(LOVE them!) and this recipe was an absolute HOME RUN in my opinion! I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical about using honey at first but I was also intrigued. Man am I glad I gave these a try, the taste and texture is perfection every single time! I’ll never go back to using corn syrup. I’ve made a batch every week since I found this recipe! lol Be warned, these are highly addictive!
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Sally! You’re a genius!

  10. These are really good! I didn’t have enough honey, so I substituted some honey with light corn syrup, and used butter instead of coconut oil. I love how these aren’t rock hard like other scotcheroos I’ve had before. Thank you, Sally, for another awesome recipe!!!

  11. Hi Sally — thanks for all your recipes, I’ve used several! You say “Do not bring to a rapid boil– that’s too hot.” May I ask why? What happens if I accidentally let the honey mixture get a bit too hot? As in, large bubbles are forming? Once I noticed, I took the mixture of the heat immediately, and it didn’t taste burned.

    1. Trina @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jen! Cooking the mixture for longer will result in harder bars. Hope they still turned out!

  12. Wonderful! I’ve made these twice now and they are one of my boyfriend’s absolute favorite sweets. I followed the recipe as written the first time, and although my boyfriend loved everything about them, the honey taste was a bit too strong for my personal preference. The second time I made them, I used half honey and half agave syrup. My boyfriend loved them every bit as much, and this time I thought the amount of honey flavor was just right! Will keep making them this way, probably many many more times in the future! 🙂

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