No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan)
A five-ingredient, peanut butter crunch bars recipe you'll love sinking your teeth into! With a base of puffed rice, these no-bake peanut butter crunch bars are exactly that- crunchy! Plus, these chocolate crunch bars are made with healthier, real-food ingredients and come together quickly to give you a tasty indulgence- fast. Gluten-free and vegan these peanut butter crunch bars are better than an actual candy bar!
As a busy mom, I am all about desserts in a pinch! Thus, recipes like this peanut butter crunch bar (or my healthy rice krispie squares) become staples pretty fast.
This dark chocolate, no-bake crunch bars come together in the time it takes my girls to eat breakfast and they're genius for any of the following:
- Halloween or fall-based gatherings
- A healthy dessert for kids
- a quick treat to keep in the freezer for chocolate cravings 😉
Don't want to read? JUMP to the recipe!
Can I Make The Peanut Butter Crunch Bars Milk Chocolate Instead?
These chocolate peanut butter crunch bars are definitely geared towards dark chocolate lovers (which is perfect as daily doses of dark chocolate have a lot of benefits!) This is because they use cacao powder for their chocolate power which is naturally a bit bitter (until mixed with a sweetener). Indeed, cacao powder is the healthiest form of chocolate you can purchase. In addition, it has more antioxidants than blueberries, it’s loaded with calcium and iron, but it’s also processed very little.
Learn more about why I live off cacao powder.
While it's not fully possible to make the peanut butter crunch bars milk chocolate, you can reduce the bitterness of the chocolate (say from about %80 dark chocolate to a %65 or %70)
However, if you want the no-bake crunch bars to have a sweeter palate (or resemble more of milk chocolate), I would use cocoa powder in place of cacao powder (yes, they’re two different things!). Cocoa powder is slightly more processed than cacao. Thus, it’s naturally a bit sweeter as well. You can find the cocoa powder at Costco for a great price if you're a member. It’s one of our staple Costco buys too.
How Long Do The Bars Last
These no-bake crunch bars last in the freezer for a couple of months (if you don't eat them all!). However, there is such a thing as too much crunch (or at least a different kind of crunch) and they tend to come out tasting a bit off.
Personally, I feel these chocolate peanut butter crunch bars are best eaten fresh or within the week of making them. Simply store them in the fridge after they initially set. Then, you can grab and go or even let them that at room temperature for a bit.
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, measured solid
- ½ cup raw cacao powder
- ⅓ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup + 1 tbs maple syrup
- 1 cup rice puffs + 2 tablespoons for topping
- ½ teaspoon sea salt (optional)
Note: you can grab all of these ingredients from my Pantry Staples
Kitchen Tools You May Find Useful
How To Make The Chocolate NO-Bake Crunch Bars
First, in a medium pot combine the coconut oil, syrup, and peanut butter.
Heat over extremely low heat until coconut oil is melted. Whisk until everything is combined.
Second, stir in the cacao powder and mix until no clumps remain and chocolate is smooth.
Then, pour the rice puffs into the pot and mix until they're all coated.
Finally, line an 8x4 pan with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the pan. Use a silicone spatula to smooth the mixture until even.
Freeze for thirty minutes. Remove from the freezer and let sit for three minutes before cutting.
Enjoy slightly chilled!
Makes 6-8 squares
Don’t forget to pin these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars!
Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Crunch Bars
This chocolate, no-bake crunch bar recipe makes the perfect dessert or chocolate curbing snack. Likewise, they’re easy to make, keep in the freezer well and you can’t eat too many of them. They combine the classic flavors of peanut butter and chocolate while adding a little bit of crunch! Plus, you can adjust the sweetness to preference, so really, they rock!