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.

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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

4.8 from 44 votes
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

Stephanie Wilson

I just wanted to say thanks so much for this recipe! I’m not very knowledgeable around the kitchen but I’m attending a function/party with a lot of friends who have food allergies/intolerances/preferences and really wanted to share something that most anyone can have! I appreciate that this recipe is gluten-free on top of it being dairy-free, soy-free, and vegan! This is an amazing contribution you’ve made when people only recently seem to be wrapping their minds around all of the awareness involved with these new dietary restrictions!

annu

Hi, I cannot have sugar or maple syrup. Is there a way to make this without using sugar & with Dark Chocolate or pure raw cacao.
I have high cholesterol, high BP & am pre-diabetic. Can’t have sugar & egg yolks.
Thanks,

Courtney

Can you suggest an alternative to almond meal?

    Debbie

    I grond up raw organic sunflower seeds. They were very good in the crust!

Dena

These are amazing! Taste very similar to PB cups with more of a fudge-like texture. Incredibly easy to put together (took about 20 minutes total) and taste great!

Laura

Love it! Use some glad wrap (plastic wrap) over your hand to help squish the chocolate crust flat without it getting all sticky!

melissa

These are SO DELICIOUS! My favourite raw dessert, and I have made many!

Rachel

I don’t have almond meal, is there something else I can use instead?

Colleen B

I just made these today for a party tonight…SO very good (I kept a little out to try!). I doubled them and put in an 9×9. I used raw cacao and only about 1/2 – 2/3 the sweetener. Even with only that much maple syrup, they were still very sweet to me. Needless to say this paleo way of life has changed my tastebuds and I really don’t need as much sweetener anymore!! Thanks for a delicious recipe!! I can’t wait to see what everyone says at the party!!

Jessica

I am making these tomorrow!!! Do you think I can sub honey for the maple syrup?

Thanks!

Jessica
http://www.wearitforless.com

    Megan Gilmore

    I would use a little less honey than what’s called for, because I find that it’s sweeter and has a stronger flavor when compared to maple syrup. But peanut butter + honey is a tasty combo, so I imagine it will be good!

Kalesha Bastion

I want to make these for a Vegan friend who is allergic to Coconut. I do have a lime olive oil though. Do you think that will work?

    Megan Gilmore

    No type of olive oil will work for this recipe. You’ll need to use some sort of shortening or butter substitute that is firm with chilled to keep it vegan.

    Shirl

    You could use cacao butter. It sets firmer than coconut oil.

Jessica

Thanks so much! We are making these right now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yum!

-Jessica

kate

Any replacements for the almond flour? Would you use coconut flour? Have an almond allergy in the house. Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    I wouldn’t use coconut flour– it’s too different. However, any other ground nut or seed should work, and I believe some comments above have mentioned trying oat flour, but that would require more substitutions.

      laurah

      If one wanted to use oat flour, what other substitutions would need to be made? Thanks!

Romina

THIS LOOKS Great! Anything to substitute the maple syrup that is not sugar? Thnx

Kelly

Do you know the carb count? Nutritional info may not be important if you don’t count calories but it is extremely important if you have to count carbs if I am a diabetic who enjoys making healthy treats and likes to know my healthy limit serving wise when it comes to carbs. Thank you!

Sandra

I would like to complain about this recipe, it is in the freezer right now and I am having a hard time waiting. Ha ha ha thank you so much for all you do and I just can’t hardly wait until it’s time to get it out of the freezer!

Lisa

Do you have any nutrition information on this recipe?

Debbie

I did not have any almond meal, so I ground up raw sunflower seeds. I doubled and put into a 9×9 pan. My natural peanut butter was crunch, no salt. I thought they were very good! The coconut oil I used was organic, extra virgin (unrefined).

Suzanne

YUM! Made these for a small gathering with friends. They are full of flavor this recipe size was perfect to cut into 3/4″ squares for one-bite goodness. Just the right amount of sweetness and nice to have no leftovers from a huge pan of bars. I’m looking forward to making the crust with finely ground unsweetened coconut for a different flavor mix and texture (and looking at your Mounds recipe filling).

Anna

These are so good! And what a gift to have a delicious treat for my kiddo who needs to avoid so many things! Thank you!

Sarah

My foodprocessor broke, so I used some coconut flour I had in place of the almond meal. Big mistake. The crust was way too try and crumbly and pretty much stuck to my throat and made it really hard to even swallow!! The top and middle layers turned out yummy though! Will try again with ground nuts or some other substitute! Thanks!

jill

These pb bars were delicious! One problem I had though was the top layer. It kept getting clumpy and kind of “hardened” up before I could pour it. I ended up spreading it on and it looked like the bottom layer. I used all the correct ingredients and ended up making it twice. It doesn’t seem anyone else had this problem…help!?

    Megan Gilmore

    It would harden if your maple syrup was chilled from the fridge. If that happens again, you can gently warm the mixture over the stove so it becomes liquid again!

Aenia

I know that I am quite late, but I finally made these bars after intending to for a while!! While mine didn’t look as professional as yours, they were delicious ๐Ÿ™‚ I ran out out maple syrup in the bottom layer; so I ended up subbing stevia and honey for the remainder two layers. I am a peanut butter (AND nut butter+chocolate AND dark chocolate addict), and these hit the spot. Very filling, easy to make with minimal cleanup, and few ingredients! Thank you for your wonderful recipes and knowledge that make healthy eating and healthy lifestyle easy and enjoyable ๐Ÿ™‚

Rose

I’ve made these, and they taste absolutely fantastic. They’re better than Reese’s peanut butter cups, because the chocolate actually tastes like chocolate, instead of solidified sugar lard ๐Ÿ™‚ My only difficulty is getting things smooth and even in the pan. I’m sure I’ll make these often enough that I’ll get better at it.

Lysa T

I am highly allergic to coconut. Can you use something other than coconut oil?

    Megan Gilmore

    Real butter works well, if you don’t need a vegan option.

Emily

Delicious and easy! Thank you.

Amanda

Wow, my 11 year old and I made this last night! It was fab!! We didn’t have maple syrup and used local honey instead. Thanks!!!

Kimberley

Could I substitute local organic honey for the maple syrup? I’m not a huge fan of the maple flavor! Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    Yes, but I’d use slightly less honey because it’s sweeter than maple syrup.

Connie

I made these today. They are wonderful! A big hit with my grandkids, like all of your recipes that I have tried.
Thank you!

Shams W.

How would you adapt this recipe into a Popsicle recipe?

anke

Wauw,
A big thank you from the Netherlands. I am a mom and try every day to teach my childeren to eat healty, thats not always easy when you want to eat something sweet.

Cindy

Hi! I just discovered your blog and absolutely love it – I could live off these ingredients like coconut oil, cocoa, and of course, peanut butter! This recipe looks absolutely delicious and I am just dying to make it as soon as possible. The only problem at the moment is that I don’t have almond meal, and I don’t have access to a blender. Is there anything I can replace the almond meal with? Do you think some spelt flour or quick oats would work?

Kim

Thank you so much for posting this recipe, our oven is broke!!! I’ve been trying to think of delicious treats to make that don’t require an oven and just saw this on Facebook. THANK YOU SO MUCH!! Can’t wait to try them!

Colleen

These went fast, made them last night, we had to have just one more square! They also were incredibly fast and easy to prepare, thank you. Crunchy pb is what we used.

Dorian

These bars are great. I used carob powder in place of cocoa, and a mix of coconut sugar and maple syrup, I also sunflower seed butter. All easy substitutions that worked well.

Valentina

I have a question! Does the chocolate topping melt if stored at room-temperature?

I am looking for any recipe of chocolate topping that allows me to make different truffles and candy and store them outside of the refrigerator, but it’s impossible to find.

I’ll prepare a bachelorette’s party for a diabetic friend and I am on paleo diet, and here where I live is very hard to find diet dark chocolate to simply melt and use.

Than you so much!!!

    Megan Gilmore

    Making your own chocolate that won’t melt at room temperature requires using a special ingredient, like raw cacao butter, and you’ll probably also have to look into “tempering” the chocolate. I prefer to use ingredients in my pantry, which is why I always make the refrigerated version. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Valentina

      Thanks so much for your reply! ๐Ÿ˜€ I’ll try the refrigerated version!

Amanda

This is an excellent recipe! I have made it a handful of times and I have used maple syrup and honey, both are amazing. I have used whatever pb I have on hand, I did like the Skippy natural crunchy as well with it. Thank you!

Jessica

I’m so glad my sister shared your page and recipes with me.. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for and its amazing, so good even my 5 boys love them …

Mara Lazar

These look delicious! Do you by any chance have nutrition notes for your recipes? Thank you!

Cindy

WOW! Can I give this recipe 10 stars?? These are totally awesome! Easy to make, not too many dishes, and DELICIOUS!! Just don’t eat too many, as they are pretty rich. You just might end up with a little tummy ache. (I may or may not be speaking from experience.) The only problem I see is that it’s supposed to make 15 servings. I would say it could feed 8 people with some self-control. If they have no self control, it might only feed 4-5… and stomachaches might ensue. But they’d be worth it!
I’m wondering how these would turn out using dates in place of some of the maple syrup as sweetener. I hate to experiment the first time I make something because I like to see how it’s supposed to turn out before I start messing with a recipe. But this one is so perfect I’m not sure I’ll take on the risk of experimenting!

Donna

Super tasty little treat that’s easy to make and doesn’t last long. Thanks for sharing.

Patrick

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 32 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 158Calories from Fat 112
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12.5g19%
Saturated Fat 6.0g30%
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 72mg3%
Potassium 166mg5%
Total Carbohydrates 11.0g4%
Dietary Fiber 1.7g7%
Sugars 7.4g
Protein 3.5g
Vitamin A 0% โ€ข Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% โ€ข Iron 8%
Nutrition Grade C+
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

maggi

can you use carob powder in place of cocoa?

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