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.
4.99 from 79 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 10 mins
Total Time 3 hrs 15 mins
Servings 16 servings
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 400

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.

Recipe 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" barCalories: 400kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 7gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 201mgPotassium: 252mgFiber: 2gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 319IUCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

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Comments

  1. Have you made this for large crowd using a Costco size jelly roll pan, wondering how they turn out? And would I need to double or 1.5x, what is best?

    1. Hi Renee! I haven’t made this in a Costco jelly roll pan. I am not sure the best way to proceed, but you could try doubling it and if you have too much peanut butter mixture, you could set some aside and press it into another smaller pan just to use it up. Good luck!

    2. Just an update, I doubled the ingredients and it was perfect for the Costco size jelly roll pan! Great, easy recipe and they’re delicious, very rich!! So it’s more like the candy bar, but bite size pieces were great!! Served them at Teachers Appreciation and they were a hit!

    3. Perfect, Renee! Yes, they are quite rich. When my grandma saw the size of the pieces I cut for the photos in my post, she was quite surprised and said they were WAY too big. :) Well, I guess that’s just how I roll…. but I’m glad doubling worked out and I will add that info to the post and credit your insight. :) Thank you so much and I’m glad it all worked out!

  2. Delicious looking recipe! Back in our day (your Grandma’s and mine) natural or homemade peanut butter always had a layer of oil on it which probably would have made the bar runny. My chocolate preference? I’m a Milk Chocolate lover!5 stars

    1. Hi, Deborah! You know, I’ve recently discovered that if it’s imported milk chocolate (from Europe or Australia), it’s really really REALLY good! So I guess I’m becoming a milk chocolate lover also! I do think the natural peanut butter might make the bars strange, too. Plus, if you are worried about the sugar in peanut butter, then the sugar in these bars probably isn’t right for you, either. :) Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

    1. And then blog it! I’d love to hear how it goes, and then I can list your recipe for people who have allergies. :)

  3. This looks like fun to make and I’ll certainly try it out. I prefer either or, but more over I like milk chocolate.

    1. Another vote for the milk chocolate! :) Thanks for your comment and I hope you get a chance to try the bars at some point.

  4. I like the sound of these will make them after shop day. But to answer your question I am more a normal chocolate rather then dark,I find the dark to strong. Oh just for the record I am Female.

    1. Thank you for weighing in, Julie! :D I do really like semi-sweet too, that’s a great balance. Have a lovely day!

  5. I’m a dark chocolate fan (mainly because I’m lactose intolerant and I have less of a reaction to dark chocolate). My husband prefers milk chocolate.

    1. And also because dark chocolate is better. :D But I really do think there are some excellent dark chocolates out there, even if they are vegan. They are so flavorful! Thanks for stopping by Jenn! 

    2. Hi Linda, 5 tablespoons or half the total amount of butter in the recipe. Sorry that wasn’t clear for you! I hope this makes sense and let me know if not. Thanks. -Meggan

    1. Hi Pat, I will have to fix my wording of this recipe so it’s not as confusing. There isn’t a point where you actually put foil in the microwave. Basically, you line a pan with foil and then, in a separate bowl, microwave different ingredients. And ultimately those melted ingredients end up on the foil, but the foil never goes in the microwave. Sorry for confusion. I’ll reword this!!! Thanks.

    1. Hi Liann, this is a note from my grandma’s original recipe. I guess I can’t think of a good reason WHY natural peanut butter wouldn’t work here. Might taste different but I would think it would still hold the shape… ? I guess I would have to test it myself to know if it actually makes a difference which I haven’t done.

  6. These are drool worthy, Meggan! I can’t believe how simple they are to make, dangerously simple!! Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

    p.s. Keith and I are both in the dark chocolate camp – Theo 85% is our favorite!! :)

  7. Wow these look awesome! Certainly on my to-do list. I make my own brown sugar too at home, the best part is I can adjust the molasses to my own liking. Love picture by the way. Cheers