No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

published Jul 28, 2023
No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

Five-ingredient peanut butter bars with a rich chocolate topping.

Makes16 (1 1/2-inch) bars

Prep15 minutes

Cook2 minutes

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no bake peanut butter bars stacked on marble surface
Credit: Photo: Lucy Schaeffer; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

The combination of peanut butter and chocolate is, in my opinion, one of the very best flavor pairings ever created (hello, viral Costco pie, peanut butter blossoms, and buckeyes!). These chocolate-topped peanut butter bars are the last no-bake dessert recipe you’ll ever need — it takes only five ingredients and 15 minutes to make. Thanks to the addition of crushed graham crackers, the fudgy peanut butter layer is slightly crispy. The best part? It tastes just like a Reese’s peanut butter cup. 

Ingredients You’ll Need for No-Bake Peanut Butter Bar Ingredients

  • Creamy peanut butter: Pick peanut butter from the big national brands. They’ll have the smoothest texture, plus the oil doesn’t separate.
  • Graham crackers: Add a crispy texture to the peanut butter layer. 
  • Powdered sugar: Sweetens and thickens the peanut butter, giving it a fudgy texture.
  • Salted butter: Use salted butter or one stick unsalted butter plus 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate: Spread melted chocolate chips mixed with a bit of peanut butter over the top.

If You’re Making No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars, a Few Tips

  1. Use an 8×8-inch baking pan for thick bars. An 8×8-inch baking pan will result in thicker bars.
  2. Line pan with a parchment paper sling. A parchment paper sling makes it easy to remove the entire slab of peanut butter bars at once. Once they’re out of the pan, cut into 16 bars with a chef’s knife.
  3. Use smooth peanut butter that doesn’t separate. The oil in homemade peanut butter (and some natural peanut butters) separates, which makes it the wrong choice for this recipe. Choose silky-smooth peanut butter from a national brand for these no-bake bars. 
  4. Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. Use a rolling pin or meat mallet to crush the graham crackers into fine, even crumbs before adding to the peanut butter mixture. 
  5. Spread peanut butter layer with an offset spatula. The peanut butter mixture is quite sticky, so use a miniature offset spatula to spread it into the pan. If the peanut butter mixture is too sticky to handle, chill it in the refrigerator first. 
  6. Mix peanut butter into melted chocolate chips. A few tablespoons of peanut butter mixed into the melted chocolate helps it solidify (like magic shell topping), but with no cracking.

More No-Bake Peanut Butter Bar Variations

This five-ingredient recipe for no-bake peanut butter bars is a classic, but there’s no reason to let your culinary creativity stop there. Instead of using graham crackers, use an equal weight of vanilla wafers, Biscoff cookies, animal crackers, or butter cookies. You can also substitute white chocolate chips for the semi-sweet chocolate topping. 

Other No-Bake Bars to Try

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

Five-ingredient peanut butter bars with a rich chocolate topping.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 2 minutes

Makes 16 (1 1/2-inch) bars

Nutritional Info


  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) salted butter

  • 1 cup

    plus 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, divided

  • 9

    graham crackers sheets (about 4 ounces)

  • 2 cups

    powdered sugar

  • 1 cup

    semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Flaky salt, such as Maldon (optional)


  1. Line the bottom and two opposite sides of an 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper long enough so that it hangs off the sides to form a sling.

  2. Place 1 stick salted butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH until melted, 40 to 60 seconds. Add 1 cup of the creamy peanut butter and stir to combine. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and stir until combined.

  3. Place 9 graham cracker sheets in a gallon-size zip-top bag. Use a rolling pin to crush the crackers into fine crumbs (about 1 1/4 cups). Add the crumbs to the peanut butter mixture and stir to combine. Transfer to the baking pan and press into an even layer.

  4. Wipe out the bowl. Place 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chip and the remaining 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter in the bowl and microwave on HIGH, stirring halfway through, until the chocolate chips are softened enough to melt completely in the residual heat, about 40 seconds total. Spread evenly over the bars. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired.

  5. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Grasping the excess parchment paper, lift the peanut butter bar slab out of the pan onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 bars.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Transfer to an airtight container, keeping each layer separated by parchment paper. Refrigerate for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Unsalted butter variation: 1 stick unsalted butter and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt can be substituted for the salted butter.

Vanilla wafer variation: Vanilla wafers can be substituted for the graham crackers. Use 3 ounces (about 36 cookies).

White chocolate chips: White chocolate chips can be substituted for the semi-sweet chocolate chips.