No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

People go wild for my grandma’s no-bake Peanut Butter Bars! They only take 5 ingredients and 10 minutes (plus chilling time) to make, and they take just seconds to disappear.

No bake peanut butter bars on a white platter with a knife.

Recipe ingredients:

Labeled peanut butter bar ingredients in bowls.

Ingredient notes:

  • Butter: I like salted butter in this recipe, but it’s up to you. If you only have unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture.
  • Peanut butter: I use store-bought peanut butter for this recipe, like Skippy or Jif.
  • Chocolate: I like regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use milk chocolate if you prefer that.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. To start, line the baking pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Next, cream half the butter together with the brown sugar and powdered sugar until smooth. You can do this in a big bowl or with an electric mixer. Then stir in the peanut butter and mix well.
    Dough for the peanut butter layer of no bake peanut butter bars in a mixing bowl.
  2. Press the peanut butter mixture into the foil-lined pan using your fingertips.
    The peanut butter layer of no bake peanut butter bars in a baking pan lined with tin foil.
  3. To make the chocolate layer, melt the remaining butter together with the chocolate. You can use a microwave (50% power for 1 minute, stir, then 30-second intervals always at 50% power) or a double-boiler method, with a heat-safe bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Once the chocolate and butter is melted and blended, pour it over the peanut butter mixture and spread evenly.
    Someone pouring chocolate over a layer of the peanut butter bars.
  4. Pop the whole thing into the refrigerator to chill completely (3 hours to overnight) before serving. Take it out and let it sit out at room temperature before cutting into squares and serving.

Recipe tips and variations:

  • Grittiness: Because these are no-bake bars, the brown sugar might not completely dissolve into the peanut butter. Some people like that texture, but if you’re more of a smooth operator, try melting the butter on the stove and adding the brown sugar into the warm butter, stirring to dissolve before adding the powdered sugar and the peanut butter.
  • Slicing: After they chill, take them out of the fridge and let them sit out for 10 minutes. Then run a sharp knife under some hot water and make careful slices.
  • Make ahead: These bars need some time to set up, so plan on chilling them at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
  • Freezing: Better yet, make a big batch and freeze them for up to 2 months in advance. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can either freeze the bars whole or cut into squares, place them in a freezer-friendly container between sheets of parchment paper, and freeze.
  • Using a 9″ x 13″ pan: If I’m using a 9″x 13″ baking pan, I will usually make a double batch of the recipe. BUT, readers have used a larger pan for a single recipe and have been happy, too, claiming it makes a thinner bar that is more like the real thing.
  • Crunchy: Some cooks prefer crunchy peanut butter for the bottom layer, and even chop up peanuts for pressing over the warm chocolate before it sets up.

No bake peanut butter bars on a white platter with a knife.

More peanut butter desserts:

No bake peanut butter bars on a white platter with a knife.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

People go wild for my grandma's no-bake Peanut Butter Bars! They only take 5 ingredients and 10 minutes (plus chilling time) to make, and they take just seconds to disappear.
4.91 from 62 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 400kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons butter room temperature, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Line an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with a foil sling for easy cleanup and coat with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, cream 5 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar until smooth. Stir in peanut butter. Mix well and press into prepared pan.
  • In a small, microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips and remaining 5 tablespoons butter for 1 minute. Stir carefully and continue to microwave in 30-second increments until smooth, stirring after each increment. Pour over peanut butter filling and spread evenly.
  • Chill until completely firm, at least 3 hours or overnight. Let stand 10 minutes at room temperature before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Video

Notes

  1. Butter: I like salted butter in this recipe, but it's up to you. If you only have unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture.
  2. Peanut butter: I use store-bought peanut butter for this recipe, like Skippy or Jif.
  3. Chocolate: I like regular semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use milk chocolate if you prefer that.
  4. Grittiness: Because these are no-bake bars, the brown sugar might not completely dissolve into the peanut butter. Some people like that texture, but if you’re more of a smooth operator, try melting the butter on the stove and adding the brown sugar into the warm butter, stirring to dissolve before adding the powdered sugar and the peanut butter.
  5. Slicing: After they chill, take them out of the fridge and let them sit out for 10 minutes. Then run a sharp knife under some hot water and make careful slices.
  6. Make ahead: These bars need some time to set up, so plan on chilling them at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
  7. Freezing: Better yet, make a big batch and freeze them for up to 2 months in advance. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. You can either freeze the bars whole or cut into squares, place them in a freezer-friendly container between sheets of parchment paper, and freeze.
  8. Using a 9" x 13" pan: If I'm using a 9"x 13" baking pan, I will usually make a double batch of the recipe. BUT, readers have used a larger pan for a single recipe and have been happy, too, claiming it makes a thinner bar that is more like the real thing.
  9. Crunchy: Some cooks prefer crunchy peanut butter for the bottom layer, and even chop up peanuts for pressing over the warm chocolate before it sets up.

Nutrition

Serving: 12" x 2" bar | Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 201mg | Potassium: 252mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Calcium: 37mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CulinaryHill or tag #CulinaryHill!

Comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This form collects your name, email, and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
This form collects your name, email and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our privacy policy where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Heidi

    So easy; thank you!5 stars

  2. Alex

    Sooo tasty! I’ve been looking for an old tried and true recipe with no luck, but I’ve been craving those bars so bad recently and figured this recipe looked close enough. Turns out, these taste exactly how I remembered them! Only twist I may try next time is to add about 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract when creaming the butter and sugar, and perhaps an extra pinch of salt or a sprinkle of flake salt on top while the chocolate is still melty (I’m a fan of desserts on the more salty side). Would highly recommend even for beginners!5 stars

  3. Alex

    Sooo tasty! I’ve been looking for an old tried and true recipe with no luck, but I’ve been craving those bars so bad recently and figured this recipe looked close enough. Turns out, these taste exactly how I remembered them! Only twist I may try next time is to add about 1/2 a teaspoon of vanilla extract when creaming the butter and sugar, and perhaps an extra pinch of salt (I’m a big fan of desserts on the more salty side). Would highly recommend even for beginners!5 stars

    1. Hi Alex, thank you so much! I agree about both the vanilla and the salt. I had posted this recipe a million years ago on my blog, just the way my grandma gave it to me, so now I’m kinda stuck. If I make changes, people will be confused and angry LOL. But I will try vanilla and salt when I make these for Christmas because I think it will be amazing. And then I can add it to the recipe notes if nothing else. Thank you!!! -Meggan

  4. Amanda MacIntire

    Love these, especially because there is no yucky shortening in them and they have less sugar than other recipes. When I have them on hand, I like to put broken pretzel pieces over the melted chocolate before chilling. Since there is no graham crust, the pretzels give these bars an added crunch and saltiness5 stars

  5. Mac

    This looks great! May I ask why the butter in this recipe?

    1. Meggan

      Hi Mak, the butter adds flavor as well as fat to the recipe. It’s how my Grandma made them! Thank you! – Meggan

  6. Liz

    Any tips for cutting these into squares without the chocolate topping cracking? When I cut mine sometimes the chocolate top cracks.

    1. Meggan

      Hi Liz, you can try adding one tablespoon of oil (coconut or vegetable) to the hot chocolate mixture before pouring. You could also try using a hot knife (soak the knife in water, then dry it before slicing. Repeat the process when cutting all the squares.) Good luck! -Meggan

  7. milissa clark

    Definitely a Reese’s dup!!! Nice job! Very delicious….and I am hard to amaze….my dad who is a junkie is going to try them next….he will be the real test! But me and my husband – 5 Stars All Around!!!Easy to make too!5 stars

  8. Hollie

    I’m so excited to try this recipe! My mother used to make about a dozen different cookies, candies and bars to hand out as Christmas presents. My grandparents, aunts and uncles always received their own tin full of the wide variety of goodies. The only rule was to return the said tin if they wanted it filled again the following year. My favorite part of this process was the month leading up to the big day. I was her #1 taste tester, of course! I’ve not had one in years since her passing. I can’t wait to try this recipe as I have no doubt these will taste just like home.

  9. Aliceanne Davidson

    My Aunty Jean made these years ago! Always looked forward to Sunday afternoons and her peanut butter bars! Just delicious!

    1. Meggan

      Awww, I just love stories like this! Thanks Aliceanne! -Meggan

  10. Mely A Cogswell

    I don’T like peanutbutter, but i do like almond butter i will try this with that. I can not have regraler sugar so i wil try a unsugar brand. I will let you know who it came out at all or it good and i will keep making them.

  11. Diane

    Sooooo good!! 5 stars

  12. miranda

    HI, should I pack the brown sugar when measuring?

    1. meggan

      Hi Miranda, yes! I’ll fix the recipe so it says that. Thanks! -Meggan

  13. Becky S Lamb

    Reese’s is making several of their candy bars with white chocolate which I love. I’m going to make my bars with the white.

  14. Kellianne

    Mmmmcmmm these are delicious I’ve made these almost every week during quarantine and my family loves them. Taste just like reeses!!

  15. Jenna Huff

    Would I use light or dark brown sugar?

    1. meggan

      Hi Jenna, I always use light brown sugar because that’s what I have on hand. I should start specifying it thought. Thank you! -Meggan

  16. Missy

    I have a ridiculous amount of Hershey kisses on hand, and I use those for the chocolate? These look delicious

    1. meggan

      Hi Missy, I think so I can’t think of why not! You can melt them either in the microwave (50% power for 1 minute, stir, then 30-second intervals always at 50% power) or double-boiler method. You should be good! Thanks – Meggan

  17. Juliet

    I love this recipe and have tweaked it to make it my own. I use coconut oil and usually opt for the homemade brown sugar as it tastes more like reese’s. I make these into cupcake-like candies and all my friends ask for them when we get together!5 stars

  18. Kelly Ryan

    Can I add oats to the recipe and what else would be needed to add?

  19. Marilyn Swanston

    How much peters chocolate melts should I substitute for the chocolate chips? Prefer using them In recipes calling for chips as less paraffin

    1. meggan

      Hi Marilyn, I wish I knew! I never actually heard of Peters Chocolates before, but after visiting their website, it looks like I’m probably missing out big time. I guess I would assume you’d use the same amount as chips, but if you are familiar with them you probably know more than I do. Wish I could help you more. Thanks for introducing me to them. I am going to track some down and play around and put them to use! -Meggan

  20. donna g

    I’d like to make this tonight and was wondering if people are using SKIPPY type peanut butter that already has sugar in it OR using natural non-sugar added peanut butter.
    Would it hurt to cut back on the brown sugar and powdered sugar amounts if I’m using the Skippy? We tend to like our sweets a bit less sweet. :)
    I don’t want to mess it up and would love to get feedback.
    Thanks,
    Donna

    1. Meggan

      Hi Donna, my Grandma always used regular peanut butter, like skippy, so that is the only way I have ever tested it. Unfortunately, I won’t have time to test it for you in the next few days. Some people have said that they are too sweet, but I don’t know what it would do to the consistency if you changed the sugar. My initial thought is to use a natural peanut butter and keep the sugar amounts the same, just because I don’t think that would make the consistency that different. I’m sorry that I don’t have better information for you right now. Good luck! -Meggan

Scroll to top