Home Desserts Reese’s No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's No Bake Peanut Butter Bars

These easy-to-make, no-bake Reese’s bars are some of my favorite desserts.

They come together quickly with no cooking, five ingredients, and little fuss. And they’re impossible to resist.

After all, who can turn down the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate?

Homemade Reese's Bars
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Homemade Reese’s Bars

These babies have all the rich, indulgent flavor of Reese’s Cups but at a fraction of the cost.

Better yet, with just a handful of ingredients, you can make a whole pan!

Homemade Reese’s bars are a treat anyone can appreciate, especially lazy chefs like me.

Every bite offers nutty, creamy, and chocolatey goodness.

Made in minutes with pantry staples, these no-bake peanut butter bars are a delightful treat, no matter the season.

And they’re such a crowd-pleaser, I never have leftovers!

Sliced Homemade Reese's Bars

Ingredients

These no-bake peanut butter bars require only five ingredients!

  • Graham cracker crumbs – I typically use Honey Maid graham crackers. I place them in a sealed Ziploc bag and crush them with a rolling pin. This gets them nice, small, and powdery.
  • Confectioners’ sugar – Unfortunately, granulated sugar won’t work for this recipe. You need soft, fluffy confectioners’ sugar to help hold everything together.
  • Peanut butter – I’ve known people to use crunchy peanut butter in this recipe, but I don’t recommend it. Creamy peanut butter is easier to work with and gives you a more authentic Reese’s texture.
  • Butter – Melt the butter before adding it to the recipe. I like salted butter for the contrast, but you can use unsalted.
  • Milk chocolate chips – Use a high-quality brand. Alternatively, you could chop and melt your favorite milk chocolate candy bar.

I sometimes add a dash of coarse sea salt on top for aesthetics. Plus, the salt contrasts nicely with the bars’ sweetness.

Copycat Reese's Bars Sliced

How to Make Reese’s Bars

Here’s an overview of the steps for making these copycat Reese’s bars:

1. Make the peanut butter layer. Start by combining the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and peanut butter. Mix well, then add the melted butter. Stir until you have a smooth, uniform mixture.

Pour the mixture into a 9 x 13-inch pan. Then, spread and press it evenly into the dish.

2. Make the chocolate layer. Microwave the chocolate chips until melted.

Then, pour the melted chocolate over the peanut butter layer in the dish. Use a spatula to help you spread the chocolate evenly over the peanut butter.

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3. Chill. Chill the uncut bars in the fridge until they’re just set. Don’t let them stay in the fridge too long, or they’ll get too hard and be impossible to cut.

4. Slice and serve. Once the mixture is just set, remove it from the fridge and cut it into squares. Serve, and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

Remember these tips and tricks while making your Reese’s bars:

  • Ditch the natural peanut butter. In most things, natural is better, but that’s not true for these bars. Natural peanut butter is too greasy and will completely alter the bars’ texture.
  • Use parchment paper. You don’t want to spray the baking dish, which can alter the bars’ taste and texture. However, you can use parchment paper to make removal and cleanup easier.
  • Crush things up! Your graham crackers, that is. I like to place them in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin. Others prefer pouring them into a food processor and crushing them that way. Do whatever is best for you.
  • Go for a plastic knife. I don’t know why, but plastic knives cut through these bars better than steel. Sometimes, the steel sticks to the chocolate and causes the bars to crack. Plastic knives don’t stick as badly.
  • Give them chill time. The only chill time in the recipe is after you’ve fully assembled the bars. However, you can also chill after adding the peanut butter mixture to the pan. (But BEFORE adding the chocolate.) It’ll make the peanut butter layer more stable and less likely to melt under the warm chocolate.
Sliced Reese's Bars on a Parchment Paper

Variations

There are also a few variations you can try:

  • Vary the peanut butter. While I don’t recommend using crunchy peanut butter, others enjoy making that swap. You can also leave out the peanut butter entirely. Try almond or cashew butter instead.
  • Switch up the chocolate chips. Similarly, you can vary the chocolate chips. Use semi-sweet for bars that are a little less sweet. Or use dark chocolate for a richer, more bittersweet flavor. I’ve never tried making the bars with white chocolate, but I imagine that would work, too.
  • Swap out the graham crackers. Yep! You can even swap out the graham crackers for something else. Try Teddy Grahams or Nilla Wafers. For extra chocolate, use crushed Oreos.
  • Add sea salt. As mentioned, I sometimes add sea salt to the tops of my Reese’s bars. It makes them look nicer and gives them a delightful sweet-n-salty taste.
  • Make them gluten- or dairy-free. For gluten-free bars, simply use gluten-free graham crackers. For dairy-free, use dairy-free chocolate chips and vegan butter.
  • Top them off. Sea salt isn’t the only topping you can try. Experiment with crushed pretzels or chips, extra chocolate chips, toffee bits, and more!

How to Store & Freeze

Because they’re best when cold, storing leftover Reese’s bars is simple.

To Store: Place the bars in an air-tight container and store them in the fridge for up to a week.

To Freeze: Freeze the bars in a freezer-safe bag or container for up to 2 months. Eat them frozen or let them thaw in the fridge overnight.

If you forget to get them out of the freezer, you can just set them on the counter for about 20 minutes to soften.

It’s okay if they aren’t fully thawed, as they taste great frozen, too. You just need them soft enough to eat them!

Homemade Reese’s Bars

Servings

36

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes
Calories

228

kcal

These homemade Reese’s bars are even better than the real deal! With just 5 ingredients, they’re a no-bake treat everyone will devour.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar (3 to 3 1/2 cups)

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter

  • 1 cup butter, melted

  • 1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Thoroughly mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and peanut butter.
  • Add the melted butter. Stir gently until well combined.
  • Transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13-inch pan. Spread and press into the pan evenly.
  • Pour the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Melt them on high heat in 30-second intervals, stirring between each round.
  • Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the peanut butter layer.
  • Chill in the refrigerator until they’re JUST SET – not rock hard. Then, cut them into bars (which you can’t do if they set too firmly). Serve, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Refrigeration times will vary depending on your fridge’s settings.
Reese’s Bars

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

2 thoughts on “Reese's No Bake Peanut Butter Bars”

  1. So excited to make these for my boyfriend for Christmas. Ran out of time to make what I really wanted to make and he loves Reese cups. I can freeze them before mailing to him. Also thanks for the tip on the vegan butter since he can no longer use daily. THANKS SO MUCH ❤️

    Reply

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