No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars (Vegan)


Can you guess who requested these?

no-bake peanut butter cup bars

When it comes to desserts, my husband’s favorite combination is peanut butter and chocolate. We have quite an arsenal of peanut butter and chocolate recipes in our home already, including homemade peanut butter cups and peanut butter chocolate chip blondies, but this time around, I wanted to make something even easier.

And these bars fit the bill.

They can be whipped up with just about 15 minutes of effort, without turning on the oven or filling up individual wrappers. Just pour the layers into a pan, then freeze, slice, and serve!

Of course, if peanut butter isn’t your thing, these bars can be easily adapted by using almond butter, cashew butter, or even sunflower butter for a nut-free filling. (You could use ground sunflower seeds to make the crust, too.) The options are endless, so feel free to get creative!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars (Vegan)
Makes about 15 bars

Ingredients:

Chocolate Crust:

3/4 cup ground almond meal
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Peanut Butter Filling:

1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt

Chocolate Topping:

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

Directions:

Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the chocolate crust ingredients until a moist dough is formed. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and place it in the freezer to set.

To prepare the filling, you can use the same bowl to stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Depending on whether you’re using salted or unsalted peanut butter, you may want to add more salt to taste. Store-bought peanut butter cups are quite salty, so I like to add a generous pinch of salt to mimic that flavor. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the peanut butter filling over the top, using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Return the pan to the freezer to set.

making peanut butter layer bars

Rinse the mixing bowl, and use it again, if you like, to make the final layer. Combine the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup, whisking well to break up any clumps. Once the mixture has become a smooth chocolate sauce, pour it over the peanut butter layer, and return the pan to the freezer to set until firm, about an hour or two.

Once the bars are firm, grab the edges of parchment paper to easily lift the solid bar from the pan, and use a sharp knife to slice the bars into your desired size. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to a month. (The bars become very firm if frozen for too long, so I prefer serving them from the fridge after the initial firming-up time.)

no-bake peanut butter cup bars cut into bites

4.82 from 43 votes
Print
No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars (Vegan)
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Quick and easy bars that taste like your favorite chocolate peanut butter cups!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 15
Calories: 164 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
Chocolate Crust:
  • 3/4 cup ground almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
Peanut Butter Filling:
  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
  • Pinch of sea salt
Chocolate Topping:
Instructions
  1. Line a standard loaf pan with parchment paper and set it aside. In a medium bowl, stir together all of the chocolate crust ingredients until a moist dough is formed. Press the dough evenly into the bottom of the lined loaf pan, and place it in the freezer to set.
  2. To prepare the filling, you can use the same bowl to stir together the peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt. Depending on whether you're using salted or unsalted peanut butter, you may want to add more salt to taste. Store-bought peanut butter cups are quite salty, so I like to add a generous pinch of salt to mimic that flavor. Remove the crust from the freezer and pour the peanut butter filling over the top, using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Return the pan to the freezer to set.
  3. PB-bar-layers
  4. Rinse the mixing bowl, and use it again, if you like, to make the final layer. Combine the cocoa powder, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup, whisking well to break up any clumps. Once the mixture has become a smooth chocolate sauce, pour it over the peanut butter layer, and return the pan to the freezer to set until firm, about an hour or two.
  5. Once the bars are firm, grab the edges of parchment paper to easily lift the solid bar from the pan, and use a sharp knife to slice the bars into your desired size. Store them in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, or in the freezer for up to a month. (The bars become very firm if frozen for too long, so I prefer serving them from the fridge after the initial firming-up time.)

Notes:

  • As always, if you don’t care for coconut oil, you can try using real butter as a substitute, as it also solidifies when chilled. (But, the recipe won’t be vegan anymore.)
  • You can also try using honey or coconut nectar, instead of maple syrup, if you prefer.

Enjoy!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite flavor combination when it comes to desserts? I personally love mint + chocolate anything.

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Comments

Tom @ Raise Your Garden

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.

Sarah

Could I substitute agave nectar for the maple syrup? Great recipe!

    Megan

    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! 🙂

      Laila

      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.

Theresa

Megan,

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!

Janet

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?

    Amy

    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.

    Melissa

    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.

    Abbi*tarian

    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!

    Sherry

    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.

    Stephanie

    Try maranatha creamy no stir.

    Jeannette

    Adams ON is just peanuts and salt. That’s why it has to be refrigerated after opening.

    Betsy

    I love Costco’s brand Kirtland Natural Peanut Butter it’s delicious and made all in the USA from Valencia Peanuts.

    Lillian Burdorf

    I always use skippy natural I even prefer it over Jiff.

Sarah

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*!! 🙂

    Megan

    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.

      Faye

      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,

Jeanette

Sunflower butter is SOOO much more tasty than almond butter!! Try Trader Joes..its delicious!!!

Tracy

Megan, do you know the conversion if I wanted to use xylitol instead of the maple?

    Megan

    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!

    Christine

    Hi Tracy,
    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!

      Heather

      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:)

        Barbara

        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!!!

Beth S.

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!!!

    Megan

    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!

Sophia

(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.

lucy

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

    Megan

    You could try using shredded unsweetened coconut (with dates or extra coconut oil to help hold the crust together) or ground sunflower seeds.

Natalie Voytac

Could you please tell me where I can find nutritional info for this recipe? It looks delicious!

    Megan

    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.

Jennifer

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!

Samantha

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.

    Samantha

    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. 🙂

      Megan

      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.

Brianna

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!!!

Abbi*tarian

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)!

Alysa

Megan,

Your recipes are always so incredible! Definitely going to make this. Thanks for all you are!

Jamie

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!!

Tandis

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!

Kim

Absolutely amazing
Made 3 batches today and my kids approve too
Thank u!

kezia

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:)

Lauren

Made these using almond butter–they are so delicious.

Thanks!

Lauren

Sherry

I am making these this weekend!!! YUMMO!

Reesa

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!

    Megan

    Real butter is a substitute for coconut oil, if you can tolerate dairy. (But then these treats won’t be officially vegan anymore!)

Natalie

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!

Amanda

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 🙂

Kate Peace

Thank you for this delicious & healthy recipe!

Paulette

Would flax meal work in place of almond meal?

Daniela

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.

Marlena

Megan, These look absolutely delicious! And your new picture is just beautiful.

    Megan

    Aw, thanks Marlena! It’s my new headshot for the book– we got our wedding photographer to take it. 🙂

Lisa

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!

Living Outside of the Box

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!

Heather

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?

Collette

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!

Kristie

Love this! The filling was so yum I had to lick the spoon. I used flaxseed meal as I had run out of almonds

Aimee

Hi Megan
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?

    Megan

    Hmm… maybe try pressing the peanut butter layer directly on top of the crust without chilling it first, so they stick together better?

Mary

What, and where do we find Almond meal?

    Megan

    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.

Ashley

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!

Theresa

Made these on friday and scarfed them down !! Megan, these are INCREDIBLE!! One of the best things I’ve made from this site.

lynne

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.

Katie

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!

Marlene

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. 🙂

Monica

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!

    Megan

    Yes, definitely unsweetened!

dina

they look yummy!

Shawn Haywood

Hi Megan,
I cannot wait to make these! Will let you know how it goes!
Cheers, Shawn

kristen@amindfullmom

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.

Valerie

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.

Jenna

I just made this, it was so yummy!!! thank you !!!!!!!!

Holly

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!

Kinnon

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!

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