These peanut butter bars are a simple and delicious treat that require no baking! You just cream together peanut butter, butter, graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar and top with a chocolate topping. The result is a sweet, creamy bar, that you’re going to love with just five ingredients.
The Best Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
Do you love a good Resse’s Cup? These no-bake peanut butter bars are a pretty close copycat. There’s just something magical that happens when you combine chocolate and peanut butter, like in peanut butter pie or chocolate peanut butter brownies.
There are times, when you need a simple dessert that won’t make the entire kitchen a mess. These peanut butter squares are just what you need. You can make them without anything other than a microwave.
I first made these for Natalie when she was in college and she wanted something she could make with only a microwave. While you don’t need a mixer for these, using one will make the peanut butter part creamier, so I would suggest using one if it’s available.
Of course all of her college friends loved them! Since then, I’ve tried them out on more picky eaters (college kids will eat anything) and everyone agrees they are scrumptious, better than a Reese’s Cup.
Even though they only have five ingredients, they are so creamy and delicious. You won’t believe how easy they are to make.
Why you’ll love these Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Bars
- Peanut butter and chocolate are amazing together
- Only 5 ingredients
- No oven needed
- You can make them without a mixer
- You don’t even have to let the butter soften – it uses melted butter
- Creamy texture will melt-in-your-mouth
Do you know the secret to that grainy texture of a Reese’s Cup? Well they’re not telling, but finely crushed graham crackers are added to these peanut butter bars which give them a slightly grainy texture and a delicious flavor.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars ingredients
- Peanut butter – if you want a creamy texture, use a creamy peanut butter. Natural peanut butters will separate and do not work well for these bars. Use a brand like Jill or Peter Pan. If you like a crunchy texture, than try a crunchy peanut butter instead.
- Butter – you can use salted for these bars or unsalted. It doesn’t make any difference.
- Powdered sugar – I try to use a national brand, sometimes if you get an off brand, it can taste soapy. I have no scientific evidence of this, just what I’ve noticed.
- Graham crackers – If you can find graham cracker crumbs that makes it easier, but if not, you can crush them in a ziplock with a rolling pin or wine bottle. Just roll it over the crackers until they are powdery. You will need 1 ½ sleeves of graham crackers.
- Chocolate – Since these are pretty sweet, I prefer a dark chocolate, but semi-sweet or milk chocolate will all work. You can use chocolate chips or bars of chocolate.
Alternative toppings for Easy Peanut Butter Bars
If you want even more peanut butter taste, then add 6 tablespoons of peanut butter to the chocolate instead of butter.
You can use bitter-sweet chocolate for a stronger chocolate punch or try adding flaky salt to the top while the chocolate is still soft. I love a salty chocolate combo.
If you’re a white chocolate fan, substitute that for the semi-sweet.
These bars need to be refrigerated for about 2 hours to allow the butter to firm up and the chocolate topping to set, so plan accordingly. If the chocolate has gotten too hard to cut, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes and it will be soft enough to cut without breaking.
How to make Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars
Step 1: combine the ingredients
Crush the graham crackers if you don’t have graham cracker crumbs.
Melt the butter and add it to the peanut butter and powdered sugar and graham crackers. Mix until it is well combined.
Step 2: assemble
Place parchment paper in a 9 x 13 inch pan and press the peanut mixture into the pan.
Step 3: add the chocolate
Melt the chocolate and some butter in the microwave.
Spread it over the peanut butter mixture.
Step 4: wait
This has to be refrigerated for 1-2 hours for the filling and chocolate to set. Once the chocolate has set, you can cut it into squares. If it is too hard to cut, let them sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes.
How to store No Bake Peanut Butter Bars
Peanut butter bars will freeze easily but you don’t want them to stick together. Try putting them on a cookie sheet and freezing until they are firm. Then place them in an airtight container and put a piece of parchment paper between the layers. This will make it easy to remove one without it sticking to the one underneath it.
These dessert bars need to be refrigerated. As they sit out, the chocolate will get soft, so it’s best to keep them cold or even frozen. They don’t take long to thaw if you need a quick pick me up.
Peanut Butter Bars No Bake FAQs
How many graham crackers do you need for a cup of graham cracker crumbs?
One sleeve of graham crackers contains 9 crackers which will amount to 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs.
How do you keep the chocolate topping from cracking?
Adding butter or peanut butter to the chocolate will make it easier to cut but you can leave them out and just top them with melted chocolate. To cut them, let them sit out at room temperature for 20-30 minutes to soften the chocolate before cutting.
How do you keep the bars from sticking to the pan?
To easily remove bars from a baking pan, place a piece of parchment paper in the pan before adding the peanut butter mixture. The parchment paper should be longer than the pan so that you can just grab the ends and pull the entire batch easily out of the pan.
More peanut butter desserts to try
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Bars
- 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs 1 ½ sleeves
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter melted
- 16 ounces creamy peanut butter 1 ½ cups
- 12 ounces chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Line a 9 X 13 baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine peanut butter, powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs. Pour melted butter over the top and mix well with an electric mixer until creamy.
- Press into the prepared pan.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate and 6 tablespoons of butter at medium power for 2 minutes stirring every 30 seconds until just melted. Stir until smooth and pour over the peanut butter mixture and smooth with an offset spatula or a knife.
- Refrigerate for about 1-2 hours until the chocolate topping is firm. Remove bars from the pan using the edges of the parchment paper to lift out of the pan. Cut into bars, if the chocolate is too hard to cut without cracking, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes until it has slightly softened.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Don’t use natural peanut butter, it will separate.
- Use parchment paper or aluminum foil on the bottom of the baking pan to make it easy to remove from the pan.
- These will need to refrigerate for at least an hour for the chocolate to set before cutting. If it is too hard to cut, let it sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
- You can use any type of chocolate that you prefer, chocolate chips or a chocolate bar.
- These need to be kept refrigerated.