Peanut Butter Bars Without Graham Crackers


These peanut butter bars without graham crackers are perfect for a healthy grab-and-go snack! I’ve discovered that peanut butter is one of my favorite foods. In fact, it’s one of the only things that will stop me from losing my mind when the chocolate cravings kick in. Peanut Butter Bars used to be my favorite dessert as a child. They were the epitome of sugar and peanut butter goodness, but really: how much sugar does it take to sweeten your dessert?

Delicious Recipe Peanut Butter Bars Without Graham Crackers

Whether you are enjoying it in a savory dish or sweet dish, peanut butter is guaranteed to make a delicious treat. Peanut butter is loved by many thanks to how many different ways it can be enjoyed. These delicious peanut butter bars without graham crackers are sure to be one of your new favorite snacks.

These delicious peanut butter bars are the perfect treat for any occasion. They are simple to make and require no baking experience. You’ll love how easy and tasty these peanut butter bars are.

Peanut butter bars are a tasty snack loved by many. Most peanut butter bars contain graham crackers, whether it is in the crust or mixed in. Graham crackers make for a great crust or some texture when mixed in.

Though graham crackers are delicious, they are not for everyone. Some people are not a fan of the taste, whereas others can’t eat them because they contain gluten. Luckily, these peanut butter bars contain no graham crackers and taste amazing.

Peanut Butter Bars Without Graham Crackers Facts

Not only are the peanut butter bars in this post-gluten-free, but they are also no-bake. This makes them a simple treat that those who have a gluten intolerance can still enjoy.


To make these no-bake peanut butter bars recipe without graham crackers, you will need:

  • 16 ounces (1 ¾ cup) creamy peanut butter
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces (1 cup) semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped



Spray the 8-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Line the bottom and two of the sides with parchment paper, leaving a two-inch overhang.


Melt one stick (8 tablespoons) of butter. Mix butter in a large bowl with 1 ½ cups of peanut butter and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.

What You Will Need to Make This Peanut Butter Bars Without Graham Crackers Recipe


Stir the confectioners’ sugar into the mix, adding ½ cup at a time. Mix until fully combined.


Using your hands, transfer the peanut butter to the pan. Press it flat to smooth out the top.


Combine four tablespoons of butter and chocolate in a metal or heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a saucepan with two inches of simmering water. Stir with a rubber spatula until fully melted.


Remove the chocolate from the heat and allow it to cool for about three minutes, stirring regularly. Pour the chocolate over the peanut butter bars, tilting the pan to ensure the chocolate is evenly spread.  

Peanut Butter Bars Without Graham Crackers: Step by Step Instructions


In a small bowl, combine two tablespoons of melted butter with ¼ cup peanut butter until smooth. Let stand for around five minutes, to allow the mixture to thicken up. Gently pour the mixture on the bars, a small amount at a time, and use a toothpick or wooden skewer to create designs.


Refrigerate bars for at least four hours or until firm. Cut bars into two-inch squares and serve cold.

These peanut butter bars are so tasty and easy to make, it will be hard to keep your hands off them. When you are ready to serve them, run a paring knife along the edges without parchment paper. Use the parchment that overhangs to lift the bars out of the pan and then cut them into two-inch squares.


These peanut butter bars make for a simple and delicious snack. You can also add in some toppings on top or mix them in, such as peanuts, pretzels, oatmeal, wafers, caramel chips or chocolate chips. This will add some extra crunch and flavor to the bars.

These peanut butter bars can be kept in the fridge for up to a week, loosely covered. You can also store them in the freezer for up to four months. Allow the bars to thaw in the fridge overnight after freezing.

These peanut butter bars are best served cold. Not only do they taste great served cold but serving them cold also helps prevent them from melting in your hands.

Peanut Butter Bars Without Graham Crackers: Tips and Tricks

You want to make sure to avoid keeping the peanut butter bars out in the heat, as they will not hold up well in warm temperatures. It is best to keep these bars in the fridge for as long as possible before serving.

Though this recipe calls for semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, you can use your favorite type of chocolate. Milk, dark and white chocolate all pair nicely with peanut butter.

It is recommended to use creamy peanut butter in this recipe for smoothness, however, you can use your favorite kind. If you like a bit of a crunch, you can use your favorite crunchy peanut butter.

If you don’t want to melt the butter and chocolate over a saucepan, you can melt it in the microwave. Place the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 10-15 second intervals, stirring each time, until melted.

Peanut Butter Bars

Creamy, no-bake peanut butter bars!  With just a handful of simple ingredients, this easy no-bake recipe takes only a matter of minutes to make and is a classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate!  

Creamy no-Bake Peanut Butter Bars on a marble board

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Smooth and creamy, chocolate/peanut butter heaven.

I literally can’t think of a better way to get your peanut butter/chocolate fix right now. And how perfect and easy are these for Christmas? They may not be cookies but I want a few on my cookie tray (right next to the peanut butter blossoms, please).

These no-bake bars remind me of a cold, creamy chocolate covered (no-thermometer-required) version of my peanut butter fudge. But so much easier!

Ingredients for Peanut Butter Bars
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Bars

What You Need

  • Creamy peanut butter. I don’t recommend using a natural peanut butter (the kind where the oil separates) as the bars may not firm up properly.
  • Butter. I use salted for these peanut butter bars.
  • Powdered sugar.
  • Brown Sugar. This adds a nice depth of flavor. Some people have noted that they can taste a slight grittiness from the brown sugar but I have never experienced this. Feel free to leave it out if your brown sugar is particularly coarse.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Semisweet chocolate. You can use a bar of chocolate or chocolate chips. If using chocolate chips I recommend using a bit of shortening as well to thin the chocolate.

What You Don’t Need

Graham cracker crumbs! I’ve had peanut butter bars in the past made with graham cracker crumbs and honestly was never a fan. Too much grit, maybe? When I tried a few versions with crumbs added even Zach complained about the “sandy” texture that they had.

Peanut butter bars should be creamy and luxuriously smooth, and these are. Save the crumbs for your graham cracker crusts!

Smoothing melted chocolate over the top of peanut butter bars

Now, since there are no crumbly graham cracker bits in here, we are going to need to chill the bars a bit longer in the fridge for them to firm up properly. They’ll need a few hours in the fridge to set completely and you’ll have a super smooth and creamy, melt-in-your-mouth, peanut butter explosion beneath a snappy semisweet chocolate shell.

However, I definitely won’t judge you if you break down after 30 minutes (or without refrigerating at all) and go to town with a spoon. We’ve all been there.

Peanut Butter No Bake Bars | Easy, Delicious, Gluten Free

Closeup image of chocolate topped peanut butter bar squares stacked on their side on white paper

5 from 13 votes

Prep Time :10 minutes

Cook Time :5 minutes

Satisfy your sweet tooth the easy way with this smooth, creamy peanut butter no bake bars recipe.


Satisfy your sweet tooth the easy way with this smooth, creamy peanut butter no bake bars recipe. Add the almost-instant rich chocolate ganache topping, and they taste just like a peanut butter cup!

When you want a little something sweet without turning on the oven, these bars are the perfect treat—any month of the year. Plus, these naturally gluten free bars keep for ages in the freezer!

Overhead image of chocolate topped peanut butter bars on their sides

How to make no bake chocolate peanut butter bars

If you love peanut butter cups, and want to take them up a notch, you have to try this incredibly simple recipe. The peanut butter layer is made of only 4 regular pantry ingredients.

Peanut Butter No Bake Bars

Some recipes for no bake bars like these begin by whipping granulated sugar with room temperature butter. Not this one!

This recipe makes a rich peanut butter bar that’s smooth as silk, and sets up even firmer. That means it’s stable even after you remove it from the refrigerator.

  • Melt the butter, brown sugar, and peanut butter together. That way, you have the depth of flavor of brown sugar without any grittiness.
  • Set the peanut butter mixture aside to cool briefly.
  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large bowl.
  • Pour in the peanut butter mixture, then mix into a stable dough.
  • Transfer the dough to a lined square pan, press into an even layer, and chill until set.
Melted chocolate mixture pouring onto peanut butter bars in square metal pan

How to make the easiest rich chocolate ganache topping

If you’ve ever had a rich chocolate truffle and thought that it must have been hard to make, get ready for a happy surprise! Truffles are just thick chocolate ganache rolled into balls and chilled.

You can do so many things with ganache, which is made simply like this:

  • Place chocolate disks, chips, or chopped chocolate in a heat-safe bowl or measuring cup.
  • Gently heat cream in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  • Pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
  • Stir the mixture until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.

There’s only one difference between the poured chocolate ganache here, truffles, and the whipped chocolate ganache I love for frosting on a rich gluten free chocolate cake: the relative balance of chocolate to cream.

Here, we use 8 ounces of chocolate pieces, and 4 fluid ounces of heavy whipping cream. If you’d like a harder, more rigid chocolate layer, try reducing the cream to 3 1/2 fluid ounces.

Chocolate topped peanut butter bar on metal spatula on side of foil wrapping on square metal pan

Can you make no bake peanut butter bars without graham crackers?

Yes! This peanut butter bar recipe is made without graham crackers. Some recipes for no bake peanut butter bars call for adding crushed graham crackers to the peanut butter mixture.

The cookie crumbs are usually used to replace some peanut butter, and also add a bit of crunch to the otherwise smooth bars.

That style of no bake bar recipe takes more planning. Not everyone has gluten free graham cracker crumbs on hand!

This recipe has more peanut butter than the graham cracker variety, too, which means a richer nut butter flavor. The graham cracker style of bars doesn’t usually use less confectioners’ sugar, either.

Can you freeze no bake peanut butter bars?

Yes! These bars are best chilled, and they can be stored in the refrigerator or even in the freezer.

These peanut butter bars don’t actually freeze completely solid, so they can even be enjoyed right out of the freezer. For the best texture, though, let them sit on the counter for 10 minutes after you take them out of the freezer.

Squares of chocolate topped peanut butter bars piled together on white paper

Substitutions for peanut butter no bake bars ingredients

Dairy-free vegan no bake peanut butter bars

The only dairy in the peanut butter layer of these bars is from the butter. You can try using vegan butter

I’ve made vegan no bake peanut butter bars using virgin coconut oil in place of butter in this recipe. Virgin coconut oil is the type that’s solid at cool room temperature.

You can either skip the chocolate topping, or make it dairy free by using dairy-free chocolate and replacing the heavy whipping cream with canned coconut cream.

Almond butter no bake bars

Try using smooth almond butter in place of the smooth peanut butter in this recipe, and you’ll have a recipe for no bake peanut butter bars without peanut butter! I really like Barney Butter brand almond butter.

If you can find a smooth, no-stir cashew butter, you can even make cashew butter no bake bars. No stir nut butter is just the kind of nut butter that has little to no oil separated on top of the jar when first opened.

I wouldn’t recommend trying Sunbutter. It’s simply too soft and drippy to set up.

How to make these peanut butter no bake bars, step by step


Peanut Butter No Bake Bars | Easy, Delicious, Gluten Free

Satisfy your sweet tooth the easy way with this smooth, creamy peanut butter no bake bars recipe.



Prep Time:10 minutes

Cook Time:5 minutes

Yield:  bars



  • 6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups (273 g) light brown sugar packed
  • 1 ½ cups (385 g) smooth, no stir peanut butter
  • 2 cups (230 g) confectioners’ sugar


  • 8 ounces bittersweet dark or milk chocolate, chopped (or you can use chocolate chips)
  • ½ cup (4 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream
  • Coarse salt for finishing (optional)



  • Line an 8-inch square baking pan with a nonstick aluminum foil or regular foil, greased with cooking oil spray. Set the pan aside.
  • Place a small, heavy-bottom sauce pan on the stovetop and place the chopped butter in it. Melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and add the brown sugar. Mix to combine and continue to stir as the brown sugar begins to melt into the butter.
  • Add the peanut butter, and mix again to combine well. The mixture will be much thinner.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool briefly.
  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar into a large mixing bowl. Create a well in the center of the sugar with a mixing spoon.
  • Add the melted peanut butter mixture to the bowl, and mix until well-combined.
  • The mixture will be thick. Keep pressing down with the bowl of your mixing spoon to ensure all the confectioners’ sugar is absorbed.
  • Scatter the peanut butter mixture evenly in clumps in the prepared baking pan. Using a spatula, press it down into an even layer.
  • Cover the mixture with a small piece of unbleached parchment paper or plastic wrap. Press down evenly with your hands to create a single, even layer. Set the pan aside.


  • Place the chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a medium-sized, heat-safe bowl or Pyrex measuring cup.
  • Bring the cream to a simmer over low heat on the stovetop (or in the microwave, on low power) and pour over the chocolate.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for about 1 minute before stirring until smooth. The chocolate should melt fully.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache over the peanut butter layer in the pan, and bang the pan flat on the counter a few times to break any large air bubbles.
  • Allow the chocolate ganache to set for about 5 minutes before sprinkling with the optional coarse salt.
  • Chill the pan in the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice into 9 larger or 12 smaller square bars and serve chilled.

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