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Five-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Five-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars. These are so simple and they disappear before your eyes!

This peanut butter bar recipe has been around my family for years now. I don’t make them as often as I’d like as they’re rich, sweet and not at all low-calorie…but they are really good and they always disappear quickly!

Updated: Oct 20, 2022

Five-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars. These are so simple and they disappear before your eyes!

These are so simple and they disappear before your eyes! With just five ingredients, how can you go wrong? The lack of baking time is also a plus so this is definitely a great dessert recipe for busy people. You definitely want to chill these (see below) before serving, but once they are sufficiently refrigerated, chances are very good they won’t make it back to the fridge–they tend to disappear quickly!

5-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Bar Ingredients

  • Graham crackers
  • Powdered sugar
  • Peanut butter
  • Butter
  • Milk chocolate or semi-sweet chips

How to Make No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

The appeal of making any dessert using just five ingredients is strong–so easy, no preservatives or added sweeteners, just classic ingredients you have lying around the house. When you combine the peanut butter and powdered sugar, you might start to notice a familiar texture–the basic construction of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups includes peanut butter and powdered sugar.

In spite of these bars being no-bake, you will notice that it’s necessary to grease your pan in a similar manner to baking. This will help your bars slide out of the pan easier when it gets out of the fridge.

When you get to the part of the recipe where you have to microwave the chocolate chips, remember that all microwaves are not made the same and you may need to increase or decrease your microwaving time to get the best result–too hot and too long will make your chocolate unusable, too short and not hot enough and you get soft chips but not melted ones.

When this recipe is done and ready for the fridge, be sure to set a timer–don’t let these get TOO cold, an hour should be enough to serve the dessert and slice it without the bars being too firm.

Peanut Butter Bar Hacks

Some ask if they can swap out regular sugar for the powdered sugar. This is not a hack I would recommend as you lose the Reese’s texture, for a start, and it’s likely the bars will be too sweet if you do a one-for-one swap. Another thing some are tempted to try is to use powdered peanut butter as this is basically peanut butter without the calories or fat. But in this recipe, you might just need a little fat in this ingredient to help tie it all together…it may be best to experiment with swapping out half the peanut butter with the powdered variety, but this is a hack I have not personally tried and it may be a bit too trial-and-error for some.

This recipe calls for pulverized graham cracker chunks, but don’t worry about getting them as small as humanly possible. It’s fine for there to be size variations in this recipe the same way as you don’t have to crush up all the Oreos down to a fine powder to make cookies-n-cream ice cream.

No Bake Peanut Butter Bars stacked on top of each other

Peanut Butter Substitutes

These bars are so tasty with the peanut butter but between peanut allergies and people who just don’t like peanut butter substitutes are necessary. Try these peanut butter substitutes out.

  • Butterscotch chips
  • Cookie butter like Biscoff Cookie Spread
  • Nut-free butters like Tahini or coconut butter
  • Cashew, Almond, Walnut, Hazelnut butter (or any other nut butter)

No need to change the recipe other than swapping out the peanut butter for the same amount of the substitute.

Graham Cracker Substitute

We’re not suggesting you do substitute graham crackers but if you don’t have any on hand or just looking to mix it up try these substitutes.

  • Cookies
  • Crushed cereal
  • Ice cream cones
  • Crushed pretzel
  • Crushed Oats
  • Gingersnaps
  • Vanilla wafers or Oreos
  • Oreo Cookies
  • Cinnamon Sticks

You’ll find it simple to make these peanut butter bars but I did make a quick video to demonstrate just how simple they really are. Hope you enjoy it!

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Bars

5-Ingredient No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Yield: 0
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 minute

These peanut butter bars are very sweet. I typically use 3 cups sugar but you can use less if you prefer. I also like to use a little more graham crackers if I have them. This is the reason for the varying amounts in the recipe below.


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, don't worry if there are a few larger "chunks"
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup butter, melted
  • 1 12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips (or semi-sweet; use your favorite)


  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs and powdered sugar. Stir in peanut butter. Add melted butter and mix well.
  2. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish and spread evenly to edges. (Anything from 8x8 to 13x9 will work, just keep in mind that the smaller the pan, the thicker the bars. I typically use a 13x9 size.)
  3. In a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, melt chocolate chips in microwave until just melted, stirring well until smooth.
  4. Pour chocolate over peanut butter mixture in pan, spreading evenly out to the edges. Refrigerate for about an hour or until chocolate is just firming up and slice into bars (if you wait too long it will be tough to slice).
Kristy Bernardo
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Wednesday 24th of February 2016

Can you use regular sugar instead of powdered sugar?

Kristy Bernardo

Wednesday 24th of February 2016

Unfortunately, you really can't. It would be much too sweet and change the consistency.

PB Inspiration from Top Food Writers | Peanut Butter Lovers

Friday 16th of November 2012

[...] Peanut Butter Cookies” Cara’s Cravings, “Spicy Squash Peanut Soup” The Wicked Noodle, “Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars” #gallery-1 { margin: auto; } #gallery-1 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; [...]


Saturday 10th of November 2012

These look so yummy! Will definately be trying these! Today I made peanut butter layer brownies & I can barely wait for them to set!

the wicked noodle

Saturday 10th of November 2012

You'll love them, Joy!!

nükhet kuzuoğlu

Thursday 11th of October 2012

i never use butter or oil in these kind of desserts. they are always delicious.

the wicked noodle

Friday 12th of October 2012

I think the butter adds a necessary richness, but by all means, make it the way you like. That's what cooking and baking is all about :-)


Sunday 19th of February 2012

I love making these. Each I make them I add another handful of candy to it. I wonder how much it can hold ;-) Love that first pic, really cool

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