These no bake chocolate peanut butter bars have all the flavors of peanut butter cups in the form of a dessert bar made with just 5 ingredients! With no oven required, these rich and decadent dessert bars come together quickly and easily for the tastiest anytime treat.
If you’ve been around for a while, you’ll know how much I love the combination of peanut butter and chocolate.
And, if you’re new here and love the combination as much as I do, well, not only are we going to be fast friends, but you’re going to LOVE these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars as much as I do!
Also known as lunch lady peanut butter bars (though I never saw anything like these in my lunch rooms…), they’re super rich and decadent and so easy to make.
Starting with a base of creamy nut butter, powdered sugar, and graham cracker crumbs, they’re moist yet not sticky and hold their bar shape so well. Then, they’re topped with a solid layer of melted chocolate that cracks when you bite into it then immediately melts in your mouth.
The best part is, this sweet treat is made without turning on the oven!
Why you’ll love these No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
Quick and easy prep – This is a great no bake recipe for both kids and adults. There is no hot oven involved, so older kids can even take the lead.
Year-round dessert – A staple dessert during the winter holidays to summer vacation when you don’t want to heat your kitchen!
Serves a crowd – Cut the pieces as big or as small as you’d like for as many people as you’d like to serve. Keep them as part of a dessert tray with an assortment of other little bites, or have a big ‘ole slab all on its own!
Make ahead and freezer friendly – These can be prepared well ahead of time and then frozen for months!
Equipment you’ll need
- 8 x 8 Baking Dish – I like that this one comes with a lid for storage.
- Microwave Safe Bowls – You’ll need a large mixing bowl and a medium mixing bowl.
- Silicone Spatulas – I use these for everything!
- Offset Spatula – To easily spread the chocolate.
Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.
- Butter – Using melted butter is an added fat that helps with the texture and consistency of the peanut butter mixture. Adds a creamy richness and also adds that extra buttery flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – Also sometimes called confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar. This is what gives the bars their sweetness without the grittiness of granulated sugar. Using powdered sugar helps the bars to set properly because of the cornstarch added to them.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs – Provide a yummy flavor of course, but also help to absorb excess moisture so that the bars are not overly sticky. I love that they add a bit of extra texture too. I pick up the box of graham crumbs to save a step, but you can crush your own crackers in a food processor or in a freezer bag with a rolling pin.
- Creamy Peanut Butter – I recommend using the regular kind (like Skippy or Jif) just because it will hold better than the runnier, oilier natural kind. Creamy is the classic choice, but for added texture, you could use crunchy instead.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – For the delicious chocolate layer! Use dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate, it’s up to you. You could also switch it up with some white chocolate.
How to make No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Step One: Combine melted butter, powdered sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Mix until well combined.
- Step Two: Spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of a prepared 8×8 baking dish, which has the foil or parchment paper lining overhanging on the sides.
- Step Three: In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate chips in 30-second intervals, stirring in between until melted and smooth. Spread the melted chocolate in an even layer over the bottom layer. Use an offset spatula to spread it across.
- Step Four: Transfer the dish to the fridge to allow it to chill and set it for 1 hour until firm.
- Step Five: Remove the bars from the pan and carefully slice into 16 bars. Enjoy!
Forewarning, they’re incredibly addicting so no one would blame you if you were to reach for another!
What to serve with No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
When I’m on a roll with making dessert bars I can’t stop at just one kind!
If I’m hosting a gathering, I’ll usually have an assortment of a few different ones. Red velvet cake mix cookie bars, pumpkin bars with cream cheese frosting, and salted chocolate caramel bars are a few favorites.
These bars are decadent as is, but a scoop of ice cream on the side never hurt anyone!
Recipe Tips 🥜🍫
- Only heat the chocolate for 30-second intervals. Overheating it could cause it to seize and it’ll no longer be useable.
- Once out of the fridge after setting, let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing.
- For clean and tidy edges to the chocolate peanut butter bars, wipe the knife clean in between each slice.
- Leave a bit of parchment paper or foil overhanging the sides. This will help with easy lifting out of the pan once they’re set.
- If you can’t find graham cracker crumbs, make your own in a blender or food processor.
- A sprinkle of coarse flaked salt on top of the chocolate before setting is a great way to finish these bars. The sweet and salty combo is so good.
- To celebrate a holiday or occasion, top the chocolate with some sprinkles.
How to store No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
How to store leftovers
These can be kept out for a few hours while on the dessert table. After that, you always want to keep them covered in an airtight container.
How long will Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars last in the fridge?
These will be kept fresh for up to 4 days in the fridge.
Can I freeze No Bake Peanut Butter Bars?
You can! They freeze really well, so go ahead and make 2 batches and freeze one. Keep them stored in a freezer-friendly container or freezer bag, layered with parchment paper so that they don’t stick together when frozen.
They’ll be good for up to 3 months. Before serving, allow them to thaw overnight in the fridge, so they’re not rock solid.
What size pan would I use to double the recipe?
You can either make two separate batches in two separate 8×8 containers or make a bigger batch in a 9×13 dish.
If you plan on freezing an entire batch, I suggest using 2 separate ones, even using a disposable foil dish if you’re bringing it to a party or potluck.
Should I use salted or unsalted butter?
I might suggest salted butter because there is no additional salt being added. However, if you’re using unsalted, you can add a pinch of salt to the peanut butter mixture.
Need more dessert bar recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of dessert bar recipes.
How about some other peanut butter chocolate recipes? Try these:
Click here for my entire collection of peanut butter recipes.