No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Using just 5 ingredients, these easy no bake peanut butter bars are a rich and decadent treat that taste exactly like homemade Reese’s peanut butter cups! 

Bite taken out of no bake peanut butter bar

These no bake peanut butter bars are an old-school cafeteria recipe from back in the days when the lunch ladies would come in at the break of dawn and set to making the day’s meals from scratch. These ladies were our mothers away from home, always there to make sure we got enough to eat! Peanut butter treats were usually in abundance since peanut butter was a government commodity, provided in large quantities to lunchrooms.

This is a great homemade dessert recipe that uses only 5 ingredients, requires no baking, and ends up tasting like what a Reese’s peanut butter cup aspires to be. It features a rich and thick peanut butter layer that’s boosted with sugar, vanilla extract, and butter flavors. Then it’s topped with a decadent chocolate layer. This chocolate peanut butter bar recipe results in treats that are fudgy, creamy, and will disappear in an instant!

Labeled recipe ingredients for no bake peanut butter bars.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Confectioner’s sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Unsalted butter
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips

You don’t have to have a whole tub of peanut butter like I have pictured here so don’t worry about that. My family just happens to think peanut butter is the best thing since… well, peanut butter, so I tend to buy it in large quantities. 

How To Make No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Place all ingredients into a large bowl.

Microwave until the butter and peanut butter are both melted. This will take about a minute or so.

NOTE: Check it after 45 seconds and make sure though because microwaves vary so greatly.

Melted ingredients in mixing bowl.

This is our melted “stuff”.

Mix ingredients together.

Now take a spoon and give it a really good stir. 

Finished dough for no bake peanut butter bars.

NOTE: At first this peanut butter bar mixture will seem like a big old mess, but after several stirs, it will all come together and leave the sides of the bowl.

Transfer peanut butter mixture to prepared pan.

Now transfer your peanut butter mixture into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Pat mixture into pan with your hands.

Pat it out into the pan with your hands.

Melt chocolate in microwave.

Time to crank up that microwave again! Pour the entire package of chocolate chips into a bowl and microwave them at 30-second intervals, stirring in between each, until completely melted.

Pour melted chocolate over peanut butter mixture in pan.

Pour the melted chocolate chips over your peanut butter mixture.

Spread chocolate until evenly covered.

Spread it all around until the top is evenly covered.

No bake peanut butter bars ready for the fridge.

Now the hard part: waiting for these no bake peanut butter bars to harden.

TIP: You can do this at room temperature or you can do like me and place it in the fridge for about half an hour or so.

Cut into bars and serve.

Cut into bars and serve.

Stack of no-bake peanut butter bars.



  • Leftovers can be stored in your cookie jar on the counter or in the refrigerator, whatever cranks your tractor. They will last up to 1 week.
  • These no bake dessert bars also freeze beautifully for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.

Recipe Notes

  • You can add a cup of graham cracker crumbs to your peanut butter layer for added flavor.
  • I don’t recommend using crunchy peanut butter, natural peanut butter, or any natural nut butter like almond butter in this recipe. They just don’t have the same consistency as processed smooth peanut butter like Jif and Skippy.
  • If you like, you can use an 8×8 baking pan or a 9×9 pan. The cooling time will be the same.
  • While I prefer milk chocolate chips, feel free to top your bars with melted dark chocolate.
  • To make the chocolate peanut butter bars easy to remove from the pan, line it with parchment paper you can lift and remove with ease.

You may also like these bar recipes:

Lemon Bars Recipe and Video Tutorial

Chewy Pear Bars 

Lela’s Fried Peach Pie Bars

And here are some peanut butter recipes you might like:

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Brownies with Peanut Butter Fudge Icing

Refrigerator Peanut Butter & Milk Granola Bars

Plate of no-bake peanut butter bars.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Using just 5 ingredients, these easy no bake peanut butter bars are a rich and decadent treat that taste exactly like homemade Reese's peanut butter cups! 
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, peanutbutter
Servings: 4
Calories: 532kcal


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar light or dark
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • Place all of the ingredients (except the milk chocolate chips) in a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until the butter and peanut butter are melted (1 to 2 minutes). Time will vary by microwave.
    1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 2 cups creamy peanut butter, 2 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar
  • Remove from the microwave and use a large spoon to stir all of the ingredients together (except chocolate chips) until they form a ball of dough that leaves the side of the bowl. Pat into a 9x13 pan.
  • Pour the chocolate chips into another microwave-safe bowl and microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until completely melted. Spoon over the top of the peanut butter mixture and spread evenly.
    2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Allow the peanut butter bars to cool completely at room temperature until the chocolate hardens again or place in the refrigerator for faster hardening. Cut into squares and serve to some awfully happy people!


Calories: 532kcal
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  1. My High School in Anaheim, CA (way back in the day) used to make these, and I absolutely loved them. I was so happy when I found your recipe. Finally, a peanut butter bar recipe with no graham crackers! I’ve made several recipes, and no matter how much you pulse the graham crackers, the bars always have a gritty texture. The peanut butter bars from my youth certainly never had a gritty texture. Your recipe is very close, if not the same as the delicious bars I remember eating. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful, nostalgic recipe.

      1. Just curious… have you tried the graham cracker version and how does it compare to this, brown sugar bar?
        So tempted to try this but I’d hate to waste all that peanut butter since we love my current recipe.
        Thanks for sharing!

  2. Dear Miss Christy,
    Thank you for all of your “food for the soul.” It is divine.
    We appreciate your time and effort to make the world a better place. Its working.
    !Bushels of blessings, heaps of happiness, and over flowing of abundance to you and yours~

  3. I just wanted to thank you for this great recipe! My husband has has talked about cafeteria peanut butter bars since we started dating . I’ve done several searches and never really found a recipe that he said was “the one”. I came across your recipe on pinterest not only are they easy and delicious but my husband was over the moon! He said they are exactly like the ones he had in grade school. He has requested these Instead of a cake for his birthday tomorrow…and every year from here on out. Great blog. You have. A new fan! Thanks again 😉

  4. hi, thank you for the recipe and the pictures. I just made these and found that the peanut butter layer has a crunch from the brown sugar. Was I supposed to melt the sugar with the butter first? I read a lot of the reviews and I didn’t see anyone mention anything about the peanut butter layer being crunchy. Thanks!

  5. Love your recipes. So glad I came across this one and am going to try to make it for a treat this week. Do you know how many servings this makes? I am going to try to make it in a 8×8 pan. Thank you 🙂

  6. Made these tonight and we LOVED them.Finally a recipe with No Graham cracker crumbs!Thanks a bunch….found you on P interest and so glad I did.Bon Appetite 😉

      1. I will second that one! I don’t like the taste of Graham crackers and I especially don’t care for them as a crust in a pie or anything. Sorta ruin some it for me.

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