Desserts | Recipes

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

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Tired of having to turn on your oven to make a delicious treat? If so, these No Bake Peanut Butter Bars are the best! 

This super simple no-bake recipe has an awesome peanut butter and chocolate flavor with a topping of crushed Reese’s Pieces. What more could you want in a dessert? 

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars For The Win

While I love baking certain food items in the kitchen, there are times when I just want a quick and tasty win. And since this recipe requires minimal effort but delivers huge flavor, this is one of my favorite easy desserts that I come back to time and time again. 

I’m also pretty obsessed with anything peanut butter and Reese’s so this really is a no-brainer for me. Due to the fact that the dessert bars literally disappear within minutes of being made, I think it’s safe to say that the family agrees with me as well. 

Why You Should Make These Reese’s Dessert Bars

  • Peanut-buttery and delicious –  These no-bake peanut butter bars are rich, peanut buttery, and delicious. Such a fun DIY take on a Reese’s peanut butter cup.
  • Fast & Simple – With just a few basic pantry ingredients, the peanut butter bar recipe comes together in no time! You do need to plan for at least 3 hours in the fridge, making this a fantastic make-ahead recipe.
  • Everyone loves these bars – Every time I bring this treat to a get-together, they are always the first to disappear!
  • No oven needed – No turning on the oven and heating up the house for this recipe. Isn’t that a big enough reason to make it?

Ingredients in No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

(Ingredients at a glance. Grab the full recipe at the bottom of the post.)

  • Graham cracker crumbs | You can use graham crackers and process them in a food processor if you don’t have crumbs.
  • Salted butter | Salted butter helps balance the sweetness, but if you only have unsalted, just add 1/4 tsp of salt to the peanut butter mixture. 
  • Peanut butter | Creamy is what the recipe calls for, but you could use crunchy as well. I recommend a processed peanut butter such as Jif or Peter Pan. You want to make sure it is not “natural” style peanut butter. (The kind you need to stir the oil back into.)
  • Confectioners sugar | Powdered/confectioners sugar will “melt” into the peanut butter. 
  • Brown sugar | Using brown sugar instead of all confectioners sugar, gives the bars a delicious depth of flavor and texture.
  • Reese’s pieces 
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chip or Milk chocolate chips – Depending on your preference for the chocolate topping, you can use semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips. I personally prefer a mix of the two for a middle-of-the-road sweetness. Chocolate candy melts can be substituted for the milk chocolate chips
Ingredients in no bake peanut butter bars

How to make No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars Step by Step

  1. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of Reese’s pieces to a large ziploc bag and crush into smaller pieces with a rolling pin.
  3. In a large bowl mix together butter, graham cracker crumbs, icing sugar, peanut butter, Reese’s pieces, and brown sugar. Mix with a spatula until fully combined. mixing the ingredients in penut butter bars
  4. The mixture should be sticky still but not so sticky that you won’t be able to press it into the baking pan.
  5. If too wet, add a little more graham crumbs. If a little dry, add a bit more peanut butter.
  6. Transfer into the baking pan, evenly press down with a spatula. It may be a little sticky but will harden as it cools. You don’t want it to be so dry that it’s crumbling. how to make no bake peanut butter bars
  7. Place the pan into the fridge and make the chocolate topping.
  8. Add chocolate chips and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until fully melted and smooth. melting chocolate for no bake peanut butter bars
  9. Pour chocolate topping onto cooled bars and smooth out. Sprinkle with remaining Reese’s Pieces (if desired). You can leave these whole or crush them up again.no bake reese's peanut butter bars
  10. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  11. Before cutting, remove the whole bar from the dish by carefully lifting the parchment paper. Place onto cutting board and slice into rectangles or squares (you should get approximately 24).
no bake peanut butter bars sliced into smaller pieces

Recipe Tips

  • If you don’t have graham crackers on hand, you could use crushed vanilla wafers or even cheerios in their place.
  • Be sure to let the peanut butter bars fully set up in the fridge or they will be super soft. 
  • You can use your food processor to crush up the graham crackers as well as Reese’s Pieces. If you don’t want to crush up the Reese’s, you could try the mini Reese’s Pieces as well and put them on the top. 
  • Want thicker peanut butter bars? Use an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan.

Additional Topping Ideas

The great thing about this recipe is that you can easily swap out and try other candy toppings. Some of my favorite ideas for more toppings would be:

  • Butterfinger
  • Snickers
  • M&M’s
  • Hershey’s
  • Chocolate chips

FAQ’s

Can You Freeze No-Bake Dessert Bars?

Yes, you can freeze these peanut butter bars. If you want to make up a pan and keep some in the freezer, cover cut bars tightly and place them in an air-tight freezer container, between sheets of parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

Why Are My Peanut Butter Bars Falling Apart?

The biggest reason that dessert bars fall apart is that you didn’t push the ingredients down hard enough in the baking dish. Really press down using a spatula so that it forms a nice and solid layering in the dish. This is what helps hold the bars together once they’re cut into. 

How To Store Leftover Bars

For best results, you will want to cover the leftover bars and refrigerate them for up to 1 week. However, it is also ok to keep them uncovered, on the counter, at room temp for 1 to 2 days.

Love Peanut Butter Recipes?

A Few More Peanut Butter Recipes To Try:

Tried this recipe?

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no bake peanut butter bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Fridge Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 24 bars 1x
  • Category: desserts
  • Method: no bake

Description

These no-bake peanut butter bars are loaded with peanut butter and chocolate for a rich and decadent treat. A delicious DIY take on a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (you can use graham crackers and process in a food processor if you don’t have crumbs)
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 cup Reese’s pieces (divided)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips (any combination of milk, semi-sweet, or chocolate candy melts will work)
  • 1/41/2 cup Reese’s pieces (for topping)

Instructions

  1. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of Reese’s pieces to a large ziploc bag and crush into smaller pieces with a rolling pin.
  3. In a large bowl mix together butter, graham cracker crumbs, icing sugar, peanut butter, Reese’s pieces, and brown sugar. Mix with a spatula until fully combined.
  4. The mixture should be sticky still but not so sticky that you won’t be able to press it into the baking pan.
  5. If too wet, add a little more graham crumbs. If a little dry, add a bit more peanut butter.
  6. Transfer into the baking pan, evenly press down with a spatula. It may be a little sticky but will harden as it cools. You don’t want it to be so dry that it’s crumbling.
  7. Place the pan into the fridge and make the chocolate topping.
  8. Add chocolate chips and peanut butter to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until fully melted and smooth.
  9. Pour chocolate topping onto cooled pre-made bars and smooth out. Sprinkle with remaining Reese’s Pieces (if desired). You can leave these whole or crush them up again.
  10. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  11. Before cutting, remove the whole bar from the dish by carefully lifting the parchment paper. Place onto a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice into rectangles or squares (you should get approximately 24 bars).


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/24 of recipe
  • Calories: 257
  • Fat: 15
  • Carbohydrates: 29
  • Fiber: 2
  • Protein: 3

Keywords: no bake peanut butter bars

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