Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are an easy, no-bake dessert! They taste like a peanut butter cup, are naturally-sweetened, and totally irresistible.
Why You’ll Love Them
They’re delicious. If you love chocolate and peanut butter, this combination is hard to resist. They taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups, without the processed sugar.
They are easy to prepare. All you need is 6 simple ingredients! Each layer can be stirred together in less than 5 minutes. The hardest part is waiting for these no bake chocolate peanut butter bars to firm up so you can eat them.
They are perfect for special diets. If you need a gluten-free, egg-free, or dairy-free option, these are for you! You can also swap the peanut butter for almond butter or sunflower seed butter, if you prefer.
They’re easy to customize. If you want to use a different topping, such as melted semi-sweet chocolate chips, or you prefer a graham cracker crust, feel free to modify this recipe as you like!
They are naturally sweet. Instead of using powdered sugar, the chocolate and peanut butter layers are sweetened with pure maple syrup. (This is not to be confused with a processed pancake syrup, which won’t give you the same results.)
Ingredients You’ll Need
The coconut oil acts as a binder in this recipe, because it is solid when chilled. It’s what will give these bars structure, but if you don’t care for a coconut flavor, use refined or expeller pressed coconut oil, which has zero coconut taste. Or, you can use regular butter, if you don’t need a dairy-free recipe.
Almond flour offers a gluten-free option that you don’t need to bake, but feel free to experiment with other options, if you don’t mind a little trial and error. If you’re not a peanut butter fan, you can also use almond butter, tahini, or sunflower seed butter for another variation.
How to Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
1. Make the chocolate crust.
In a medium bowl, stir together the almond meal, cocoa powder, maple syrup, and coconut oil until a thick, uniform mixture is formed.
Line a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (or similar size baking pan) with parchment paper, then press the crust evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place it in the freezer to set while you make the next layer.
2. Make the peanut butter filling.
In the same bowl, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and a pinch of salt.
Remove the chocolate crust from the freezer and spread the peanut butter mixture over the crust evenly, smoothing the top with a spatula. Return it to the freezer while you make the last layer.
3. Make the chocolate topping.
In the same mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil, cacao powder, and maple syrup. Make sure the maple syrup is at room temperature, otherwise it may cause the mixture to thicken. (This can also happen in a cold kitchen, which happened while I was taking photos!)
Remove the loaf pan from the freezer, and spread the chocolate on top of the peanut butter layer. Return the pan to the freezer and let the bars set until they are firm, at least 1 hour.
4. Slice & enjoy!
When the peanut butter chocolate bars are frozen, use the parchment paper to remove them from the pan. Use a sharp knife to slice the bars into squares, and then they are ready to eat.
These bars will soften and melt if you leave them at room temperature for too long, so be sure to store them in an airtight container and keep them chilled in the fridge or freezer. They should be served chilled for the best texture. (They are softer from the fridge, and firmer from the freezer– you can pick the texture you prefer!)
Chocolate peanut butter bars will keep well in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or you can freeze them for up to 3 months.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unsalted butter would be the most similar replacement, but if you need a dairy-free recipe, try using your favorite vegan butter, instead. The fat you use needs to be solid when chilled. If you’re trying to avoid a coconut flavor, use a highly refined coconut oil, instead.
I usually spoon the solid coconut oil into an oven-safe measuring cup, and place it in a warm oven to melt briefly while I measure everything else. However, you can also place it in a microwave-safe bowl and use the microwave to melt it in 30 second intervals, or melt it in a pan on the stove top.
I haven’t tested this recipe with a different flour yet, but you might be able to use another ground nut with similar results. Or check out my oat flour pie crust, if you want to try using that as a base, instead. (You could probably use half of that recipe.)
Of course! If you don’t mind a thinner bar, you can use an 8-inch square pan. Or, you can double the recipe if you’d like the layers to remain thick.
Looking for more peanut butter dessert ideas? Try Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Pie, Peanut Butter Ice Cream, Peanut Butter Chickpea Cookies, or Peanut Butter Chocolate Swirled Fudge.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- ¾ cup blanched almond flour (or almond meal)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (at room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- Pinch of sea salt
Peanut Butter Filling:
- ½ cup creamy all-natural peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (at room temperature)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup (at room temperature)
- Line a 9-inch x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. (Tip: Spray the pan lightly with oil to help the parchment paper stay in place.)
- In a medium bowl, stir together all of the chocolate crust ingredients until the dough sticks together. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and place it in the freezer to set.
- To prepare the peanut butter filling, stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt. Remove the crust from the freezer, and add the peanut butter filling on top. Smooth with a spatula, then return the pan to the fridge.
- To make the chocolate topping, combine the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup, whisking well to break up any clumps. (Make sure the maple syrup is at room temperature, so the topping doesn't thicken up.) Once the mixture has become a smooth chocolate sauce, pour it over the peanut butter layer, smooth the top with a spatula, and return the pan to the freezer to set until firm, about 1 hour.
- To serve, remove the pan from the freezer and grab the edges of parchment paper to easily lift the solid bar from the pan. Use a sharp knife to slice the bars into small pieces. (You can get anywhere from 15 to 20 pieces from this batch.)
- These bars will melt if they sit at room temperature for too long, so be sure to serve them chilled. I like to transfer them to the fridge, so they aren't too hard to bite into. (They also have more flavor when served from the fridge, instead of the freezer.) You can store these in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer.
- Nutrition information is for 1 of 20 bars. This will change if you make bigger or smaller slices, and is automatically calculated, so it’s just an estimate, not a guarantee.
- For zero coconut flavor, use a coconut oil that is refined or expeller pressed. Virgin and extra-virgin coconut oil will have a stronger coconut taste.
- See more substitution ideas in the FAQ section of this post.
If you try these no bake peanut butter bars, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them.
Questions and Reviews
All men love peanuts butter, right? And I’m a man who loves loves loves peanut butter! Sending this recipe to my wife to make me for Father’s Day. hehe.
Now my wife, she loves the mint/chocolate combo like you.
Could I substitute agave nectar for the maple syrup? Great recipe!
I’m not a huge fan of agave nectar, as it can have a higher fructose content than high fructose corn syrup, however, it should work fine in regards to flavor. You might just want to use a little less than what is called for in this recipe, as I find it tastes sweeter than maple syrup. Luckily, you can taste as you go! 🙂
Thanks for this! Love this recipe. I’ve made it so many times now. I used fresh dates instead of the maple syrup for the base and blitz everything in a food processor.
as always, these look terrific! I recently started a low FODMAP diet and I’m so happy to see that I can make these. My favorite combo is chocolate and peanut butter, too. But a close second is chocolate and coconut!
Can’t find a true natural peanut butter that I like? I like Jiffy Natural but it really isn’t natural. Any suggestion. I also am not liking almond butter. Is sunbutter a closer taste?
Janet, real natural peanut is just smashed peanuts, so you aren’t likely to find a large difference between brands. Many grocery stores have machines that you can use to grind your own peanut butter.
Try making your own.. Just dump peanuts in a food processor and turn it on and let it go. Try adding salt or honey or syrup (as it’s mixing) to alter the taste.
My favorite natural PB is “Trader Joe’s Creamy Salted from unblanched peanuts” that are roasted. I really prefer PBs made from roasted peanuts as to raw, whereas my best friend greatly prefers ones made from raw. Maybe you have a preference to one or the other, too? I don’t know which Jif uses as they’re website just says peanuts, but maybe knowing that distinction will help you find a natural PB you love. I hope that’s helpful!
Just as Abbi mentions above — Trader Joe’s all natural PB is my fav. If you don’t have a TJ’s by you, a distant second is Smucker’s all natural which you could find in most grocery stores. I agree with the others, too, another option is making your own — very easy.
Try maranatha creamy no stir.
Adams ON is just peanuts and salt. That’s why it has to be refrigerated after opening.
Even if it is just peanuts and salt that doesn’t mean it has to be refrigerated. I mean it’ll extend the shelf life but it still can be kept at room temp. I’ve never heard of a peanut butter you have to refrigerate. You don’t have to refrigerate peanuts and salt so why would you have to refrigerate that. Also to the person who can’t find the peanut butter, sun butter would prob work. It’s not my recipe but I love sun butter and find it works great as a sub for peanut butter.
I love Costco’s brand Kirtland Natural Peanut Butter it’s delicious and made all in the USA from Valencia Peanuts.
I second that! Kirkland Peanut Butter is great!
I haven’t made this recipe yet, but I plan to in place of my usual peanut butter cup squares.
I always use skippy natural I even prefer it over Jiff.
Oh my goodness seriously yummy!! Thank you so much for yet another amazing recipe! 🙂 I’m guessing I can double it and use an 8×8 pan? My favorites have all been mentioned here – chocolate/mint, chocolate/coconut, chocolate/pb – with the addition of *chocolate/raspberry*!! 🙂
Yes, I think doubling it should work fine! Just make sure you taste each layer as you go, to make sure the flavor is to your liking– sometimes doubling certain ingredients can affect the flavor slightly.
It’s not good forum why is that? You would think if ratios were the same… But they never are quite the same for me lol,
Sunflower butter is SOOO much more tasty than almond butter!! Try Trader Joes..its delicious!!!
Megan, do you know the conversion if I wanted to use xylitol instead of the maple?
Nope, sorry! I don’t work with xylitol, so I wouldn’t even know where to start. Please let us know if you have any success, though!
Xylitol has a 1:1 conversion with white sugar. And the conversion of maple syrup to sugar is 1:2. In this recipe, the crust requires 2 Tbsp of maple syrup, replace that with 4 Tbsp of xylitol. The filling and topping both require 3 Tbsp of maple syrup, so use 6 Tbsp of xylitol in each. I hope this helps!
Hi! I just wanted to let you know it does not work with xylitol! I just tried it and because it’s granulated, nothing sticks together:(. So I took the crumbly mess that should have been the bottom crust, added some almond butter (I can’t remember how much, 1/2 cup?) and one egg, mixed it all up and made them into cookies. Baked for about 10 min and they are tasty! Oh, also added some cacao nibs:)
One should never substitute liquid sweeteners for powder ones (and vice-versa) in raw recipes, learned that… I also have that as a rule when baking: when rrcipe asks for sugar, I use only powder substitutes (xylitol, coconut sugar…) and when it’s liquid, I always have maple, honey and rice syrup around. Stevia is not for me 😉
Thank you for the recipe Megan! They are chilling in the freezer now!!!
CACAO POWDER – WILL IT WORK? I’m low on cocoa powder, but have an unopened bag of raw cacao powder. May I substitute the cacao powder for the cocoa powder? I have no experience using cacao powder, so any tips anyone can give me would be appreciated! At any rate, Megan, thanks for the easy recipe using a bar technique rather than having to go to the trouble of making actual “cups”. I’ll be using sunbutter because I recently began eating according to Paleo guidelines. Thanks all for any tips you can give me!!!
Yes, raw cacao powder can be used interchangeably with cocoa powder– they pretty much taste the same to me, and the raw version has more antioxidants!
(Non-vegan combination) Chocolate and parmesan cheese. For a vegan version, you might be able to mimic the savoury/umami flavouring with chocolate and white miso. I like hazelnut, prunes, and unsweetened chocolate (the prunes sweetened the chocolate and at the same time, intensifies the chocolate flavour), with a little bit of cinnamon.
oh i would love to try them:) they on my list..to do for weekend, any ideas how can i subtitute almond meal (alergy:() thank YOU
You could try using shredded unsweetened coconut (with dates or extra coconut oil to help hold the crust together) or ground sunflower seeds.
Could you please tell me where I can find nutritional info for this recipe? It looks delicious!
I don’t provide nutrition information, as I don’t like to encourage calorie counting, but you can calculate any info you need using a free website like Fitday.com or MyFitnessPal.com.
Love your site!
I was looking at your Peanut Butter Cup recipe – I am curious – do you have a coconut filling recipe that would work so it would be more Mounds Bar, than Peanut Butter cup?
Thanks so much for all the amazing recipes!
You might be able to play with my mounds bar truffle recipe: https://detoxinista.com/2012/10/mounds-bar-truffles/
Let us know if you have any success!
I was wondering if there is anything that can be substituted for the ground almond meal and if Biscoff spread will work in place of the peanut butter? I have a son with peanut and tree nut allergies and am always trying to find ways to make treats for him that are nut free but still are tasty.
Nevermind about the substitute for the almond meal. I should have read the whole thing first. LOL
I am still wondering about using the Biscoff spread still. Biscoff is made from a type of cookie and is also completely vegan for anyone wondering. 🙂
I’ve never tried Biscoff spread, but I think any type of nut butter concoction would work in the filling. Since I believe the Biscoff spread already contains sugar (and cookies?) you might need less sweetener in the filling than this recipe calls for.
I just made this recipe and is in the freezer chilling. For the crust I never let it set in the freezer and it seemed to work fine. Also a little tip when spreading the crust on the parchment paper. I had a hard time t first because the mixture kept sticking to my hands, so i dabbed my fingers in a little bit of coconut oil and it worked great to keep it from sticking to my hands! Can’t wait to see how it tastes!!!
Thank you for this!! Dark chocolate & PB is my favorite, but I have so many seconds with dark chocolate & one I don’t yet see mentioned here is with hot chilis :0)!
Your recipes are always so incredible! Definitely going to make this. Thanks for all you are!
I made these this evening and they are wonderful!! The entire family loved them and hubby who is not a huge fan of chocolate – asked for a second piece. Thank you!!
Yum! I am totally making this tomorrow. I really like that it doesn’t call for dark chocolate baking bits. I love peanut butter and jelly. Simple, but delish!
Made 3 batches today and my kids approve too
I agree with your husband peanut butter and chocolate is the best. My husband is allergic to peanuts so i have to sneak mine in! I have read a lot of bad stuff about peanuts but i have just decided to embrace my love of it and aim for organic sugar free stuff – so thanks for being a fellow peanut butter advocate:)
Made these using almond butter–they are so delicious.
I am making these this weekend!!! YUMMO!
Sorry, I know this isn’t your job. I’m wondering if you or your readers know a substitute for the coconut oil. I’m allergic but these look so yummy! Thanks for. Any advise you might have!
Real butter is a substitute for coconut oil, if you can tolerate dairy. (But then these treats won’t be officially vegan anymore!)
Megan–these are dangerous! I subbed flax meal for almond meal since I didn’t have any on hand, and they are so good! They’re barely set up yet and I already have a row and a half devoured. All the layers of flavor go so well together. You’re brilliant, lady!
I wish I didn’t find this on day 1 of my 12 Day Detox. I will gladly devour this when my challenge is up 🙂
Thank you for this delicious & healthy recipe!
Would flax meal work in place of almond meal?
These came out so good! I had to substitute because of various allergies. I ground pecans in my food processor in place of the almond meal. And I used a combination of ghee and cocoa butter in place of the coconut oil. I agree with salting up the peanut butter ( I used unsalted to start with)….it really brings out the flavor. These are plenty sweet, but not too sweet- just perfect. Thanks for the recipe.
Megan, These look absolutely delicious! And your new picture is just beautiful.
Aw, thanks Marlena! It’s my new headshot for the book– we got our wedding photographer to take it. 🙂
Hi there! I’ve made and devoured two batches of this recipe. They are amazing! I’ve been grain free, sugar free and low carb for quite sometime and it’s so exciting to find desserts that actually taste good.
I just wanted to share my substitutions: maple syrup is too high in carbs for me, so I swapped it for melted unpasteurized honey. I also used 1/2 the amount suggested. Turned out fantastic! Also the second time I made it, I didn’t have enough cocoa powder is I subbed melted dark baking chocolate squares. I liked it better than my first batch.
Anyways – thank you so much for these wonderful recipes!
We finally tried them–they are excellent! We preferred the top and middle layer, and may skip the bottom one and do another top layer on the bottom next time. Or perhaps just grind the almond to butter to make a smoother texture crust? Anyway–thanks for the great recipe!
What a delicious combination! I made these bars last night and halved the amount of maple syrup and they tasted great! The only thing that happened is that when I went to cut them, the top layer of chocolate broke off. Maybe I left the pb layer in the freezer too long to set? (~1 hr) Any tips?
I am going to make these tomorrow with Sunday dinner. I am like your husband and love everything with the combination of peanut butter and chocolate!
Love this! The filling was so yum I had to lick the spoon. I used flaxseed meal as I had run out of almonds
Made these today and they are delish! I substituted rice malt syrup for the maple but one problem was the peanut butter layer didn’t stick to the bottom crumb layer. Any ideas?
Hmm… maybe try pressing the peanut butter layer directly on top of the crust without chilling it first, so they stick together better?
What, and where do we find Almond meal?
You can grind your own whole almonds in a food processor to create almond meal, or you can buy it prepared at a store like Trader Joe’s.
These are delish! I am doing weight watchers so I substituted the peanut butter for the peanut butter powder and it really slimmed down the points + values!
Made these on friday and scarfed them down !! Megan, these are INCREDIBLE!! One of the best things I’ve made from this site.
I tried these this weekend, and was thrilled that they turned out exactly like the picture! Yay! Delicious, nutritious, and easy…..the kitchen trifecta! Love that you have photos of each step…makes it easy to be sure I’m on the right track.
Tried these on the boyfriend last night and he LOVED THEM. I did too – thank you so much for all these recipes – I haven’t tried a bad one yet!
Hi Megan thank you for sharing this amazing recipe. This is was my first time making one of your recipes. I can’t believe how great they taste. My family loves them too. Easy to make and delicious. 🙂
This looks delicious, I am new to your blog and I’m loving every bit of it. one question, do you use unsweetened cocoa powder? Thanks!
Yes, definitely unsweetened!
they look yummy!
I cannot wait to make these! Will let you know how it goes!
I have a serious love affair with the chocolate and peanut butter combo. Can’t wait to try your version–mine is very similar but I have never tried almond meal in the bottom layer–anxious to try.
These were awesome and so easy to make! I did add 1 tsp. of vanilla to the peanut butter mixture but otherwise made as written. My kids loved them and didn’t care that they were “healthy” 🙂 I also did make my own almond flour using the TJ’s slivered blanched raw almonds and – surprise – my Baby Bullet! Thanks for a great recipe! I bet these would be cute made in a mini muffin tin, too – for that “peanut butter cup” appearance.
I just made this, it was so yummy!!! thank you !!!!!!!!
Megan, you are a genius!! I made, ur, ah devoured these last night!! Most divine treat I have made in years! I can’t thank you enough for all your work and for sharing your brilliant ideas!! You made my day, week, month!! :). I will definitely be taking these to my next family get together!
I am 27 weeks pregnant and was craving something sweet and chocolately tonight. I just took these bars out of the freezer and enjoyed a piece and they’re delicious! I subbed almond butter for peanut butter as that was all I had on hand. Thank you for sharing your tasty treats!
Its in the freezer.Cant wait to tsste it.