Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

It’s been awhile since I’ve made a gooey pan of bars.

Or baked peanut butter cups into something. These make up for lost time.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

They’re the best bar I’ve made in recent memory, and I can’t keep my hands off them. If you’re looking for a fast and easy layer bar with results that far exceed the minimal effort spent, these are the ones.

Prep and assembly takes 10 minutes, no mixer is required, and you can stir everything together in one bowl. I love bars and desserts that come together in no time and that create a minimum amount of dishes.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

They have a cookie dough base layer, which is topped with mini peanut butter cups. Sweetened condensed milk is poured over the top and handfuls of cookie dough are crumbled before baking. So easy.

Begin by melting one stick of butter. Stir in an egg, sugars, vanilla, flour, and baking soda. The dough is thick and dense.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Press the dough into an aluminum foil-lined and cooking sprayed baking pan, but not all of it. Reserve one-half cup of dough and set it aside. It’ll be crumbled on the top later.

I urge you to line your pan, leaving overhang, so you can just lift the bars out. Plus, it makes cleanup a breeze. Nothing says dealbreaker on a quick and easy dessert like sweetened condensed milk that caramelizes all over your baking pan and you have to literally chisel it off.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Sprinkle the mini peanut butter cups over the dough base. Or use diced full-size peanut butter cups, or other diced candy bars. Use up leftover Easter candy, or whatever odds and ends you have. Candy is candy, it’s all going to be good, use what you have. Rolos, Snickers, Milky Way, Three Musketeers, or similar.

Pour just over half of one can of sweetened condensed milk over the top. Use the other half to make 7-Minute Microwave Caramels. You can make those in the microwave while the bars bake in the oven, which is exactly what I did. My house smelled wonderful from caramels in the microwave with peanut butter, chocolate, and cookie dough in the oven. And this is why I run, every day.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

After flooding with sweet milk, lightly crumble the reserved cookie dough in irregular, marble-sized chunks.

Try not to sample too much along the way. Easier said than done.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The hardest part of the recipe is that you must let the bars set up for about 3 hours before slicing or you’ll have a literal hot mess. Let them cool on the counter for an hour, then place the pan in the fridge for at least two hours, or overnight. Lift out with the foil overhang and make nice, clean, pretty squares.

Alternatively, you could just dig in with spoons as soon as they’re cool enough from the oven if you don’t care about clean cuts or devouring this, family-style. As in, the whole family dives in with a spoon.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The cookie dough base is squishy soft in the middle, dense and buttery. The edges raise while baking and turn firmer and chewy. They’re no chocolate chips added and the richness and pure cookie dough flavor really shines. These are for cookie dough lovers who can appreciate a really flavorful slab of dough.

There’s just enough golden cookie dough on top to sandwich in some of the gooey filling, but not so much that the dough overpowers the other flavors. I prefer crumbles and crisps to double-crusted pies because that top layer of crust is just too much dough. I like things sprinkled rather than totally enclosed with dough.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The peanut butter cups provide texture and a nice pop of peanut butter and bit of chocolate in every bite.

The creamy, rich, sweetened condensed milk takes on caramel and vanilla tones while baking. It cloaks the cookie dough and peanut butter cups in a sweet, milky, luscious bath.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Gooey and sticky, sweet and creamy, soft and chewy, chocolate and peanut butter, vanilla and caramel, all in one.

Please pass the napkins.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars - Soft, chewy, gooey & loaded with Peanut Butter Cups! Easy recipe at

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Crumble Bars

The best bar I've made in recent memory. Loved these! They're fast, easy, and a cinch to make. They come together by hand with just one bowl in minutes. There's a soft, chewy, dense, buttery cookie dough base, topped with peanut butter cups, and creamy, rich, sweetened condensed milk coats it all. Gooey and sticky, sweet and creamy, soft and chewy, chocolate and peanut butter, vanilla and caramel flavors, all in one.

Yield: one 8-by-8-inch pan, 9 to 12 squares

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)
1 large egg
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 heaping cup mini Reese's Peanut Butter Cups (or diced full-size cups; or substitute with another type of diced candy bar such as Snickers, Milky Way, Butterfinger, Heath, Rolos)
about 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk (just slightly more than half of one standard 14-ounce can)


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute. Allow the butter to cool momentarily so you don't scramble the egg. Add the egg, sugars, vanilla, and stir or whisk vigorously to combine, for about 1 minute. Add the flour, baking soda, optional salt and stir until just incorporated. Batter will be quite thick and dense.
  3. Reserve 1/2 cup batter; set aside. Turn remaining batter out into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula. Evenly sprinkle the peanut butter cups over the batter. Pour sweetened condensed milk over the top (just eyeball slightly over half of the can as you're slowly pouring). Using your fingers, lightly crumble the reserved cookie dough over the top in irregular, marble-sized chunks.
  4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without cookie dough batter clinging; it may not be clean because you're going through other layers and you may have to peck around to find a testing place). Edges will be firm, raised, and golden. The sweetened condensed milk should nearly be set in all places, and possibly only a little jiggly in the very center of the pan. Bars will firm up more in pan as they cool.
  5. Allow bars to cool in pan for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving. Lift out using the foil overhang. I recommend cooling for 1 hour on the counter, and at least 2 hours in the refrigerator, or overnight. This ensures clean, pretty cut marks. If you don't care about that, bars may be consumed as soon as they are cool enough to eat; grab a spoon and dig in. Extra bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookie Bars – All the taste and texture of cookies, minus the work of making individual cookies. Bar cookies are so much faster and these are soft, chewy, and loaded with chocolate chunks

Milky Way Chocolate Cookie Crumble Bars – The chocolate answer to today’s bar, made with Milky Ways instead of Reese’s, and every bit as soft, chewy, and gooey

Cookie Butter Brown Sugar Streusel Bars – Soft, chewy and moist from the cookie butter and all brown sugar dough base that’s topped with crunchy streusel bits

Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Cups – If you tend to have issues with cookies spreading, it’s impossible with these since they’re baked in a muffin pan. They’re thick, soft, chewy and extremely moist

Coconut Peanut Butter Magic Cake Bars – One of my favorite desserts of 2011, and similar to Seven Layer or Magic Bars, but a cake base is used instead of a graham cracker crust. Soft, dense, rich, chewy, tons of textures and flavors, and so easy

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Pillowtop Bars – One of my favorite desserts of 2011. Creamy, sweet, rich. A soft and sweet marshmallow-peanut butter top layer adorns a base of oats, sweetened condensed milk, and white chocolate. An all-time favorite

Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars – No need for campfires, make s’mores at home. These smores have three layers, including a cocoa-crispy cereal top layer that’s made with peanut butter

Peanut Chewy Payday Bars – Like the storebought candy bars, but I prefer these. Sweet and gooey meets salty and crunchy with an abundance of peanut butter, peanuts, and plenty of chewy texture

Ritz Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups (No Bake, Vegan) – Make your own peanut butter cups in minutes and stuff them with your favorite surprises because everything tastes better sandwiched with peanut butter and chocolate

Do you have a favorite bar recipe or fast and easy dessert?

Feel free to leave links in the comments.

Thanks for the entries in the KithenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway!


  1. These look DELICIOUS!
    Tell me, can I make them more cookie, less gooey?
    Is that possible or another recipe?
    Thanks so much

  2. I made these along with the cookie butter bars.. I can never make these again. I find it hard to keep my hands off of them. I make my own PB cups, PB/cookie butter, and sweetened condensed milk. They turned out AWESOME!!! I went gluten free(by choice) about a month ago. I only use coconut sugar too. I am finding it hard to look at all your mouth watering recipes. I am still learning how to bake gluten free. Till then I may have to give in and go at least Wheat free and use spelt/amaranth/etc. blend. Anyone have any pointers on the best way to convert common recipes to gluten free?

    • For a recipe like this, convert it 1:1 with something like a bob’s red mill GF blend. Will be just fine! Cookies and bread is harder and won’t always convert like that, but for bars, very easy swap!

      And so glad to hear you love these – and that you make all your own PB, and PB Cups, and even sweet cond milk! You go girl!

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  4. this. looks. amazing. Can’t wait to try it!!!

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  8. These are in the oven as we speak. I doubled the recipe for a party and added cookie butter to the batter. Can’t wait for them to come out, the dough tasted amazing! Thanks for the recipe :)

    • Swoon. They sound incredible. With cookie butter. And the pb cups. And the can of sweetened cond milk – you have very lucky friends/party attendees! I know you will be bringing home a clean pan :) LMK what people say about them!

  9. Just took these out of the oven! My house smells like Christmas baking! I think I will double the recipe next time. I don’t have quite the right size pan for the regular recipe and I hate having a half can of condensed milk sitting around! More is definitely better here :)

  10. These look AMAZING! I could totally go for a pan of these by myself! LOL

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  12. I made these last week! Next time I’m making a double batch!

  13. I made these last week! Next time I’m making a double batch

  14. Hey Averie, I just wanted to share with you my GF baking experience with these bars.

    First of all I will say that I made these the regular way and they were amazing. I seriously thought it was my best baking achievement yet. Then, I was talking with my friend who has a gluten allergy and she thought they sounded really good so I tried to make them for her. I used your suggestion of the Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour and it was a failure. I tasted the batter when I mixed it and it just tasted dirty, but I thought it would maybe get better after baking. Well the condensed milk and reese’s minis ended up sinking to the bottom while the cookie base floated to the top. After cooling and trying to cut it I ended up with just a big sticky mess…and it still tasted like dirt!

    So sad to let you know that swapping the flour didn’t work for me!

    • Hi Kelly,
      The issue with many GF mixes is that they are very gritty. I’m sorry that the Bob’s mix didn’t work out for you. I haven’t personally made them with that exact flour so couldn’t speak one way or the other to if that was going to be successful or not and sounds like it wasn’t. Glad the recipe as I wrote it and have personally tested and trialed it came out great for you though!

  15. Hello Averie! My dad went shopping and got me evaporated milk instead of sweetened condensed milk :/…it was bound to happen b/c shopping isn’t one of his strengths. Anyway, do you think I could add sugar to the evaporated milk and use it in lieu of the SC milk? I’ve never tasted evaporated milk so IDK if it’s sweet or not. Thanks for your help. Btw, I made your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars last weekend and they were freaking amazing. I usually like my desserts cold but I found that the bars were better warm. God bless you and your insanely-delicious- dessert-creating mind!

    • do you think I could add sugar to the evaporated milk and use it in lieu of the SC milk? = no, not advised. Wait til you get the SCMilk. Will be worth the extra trip, sorry.

      Thanks for trying those bars and so glad you loved them!! :)

  16. Hi again! Is it possible to use sunflower seed butter for these bars instead of normal butter?

  17. Hi Averie, sorry I keep asking so many questions but this is the last one…I think. Are these bars better the day after they’re made or the same day? Thanks!

  18. So I made these bars using homemade SC milk (since my dad refused to buy it) and they were so so so so so so so so GOOOOD. As in, amazingly fantabulously freakin’ good. I was so nervous that they wouldn’t turn out well b/c I wasn’t using storebought SC milk, but the homemade SC milk tasted even better than storebought- it had a hint of coffee flavor. The cookie dough was buttery and I could taste the vanilla and ohhhhh maan. “There are PB cups in each bite”- that was the truth!! These bars were rich but not too heavy and just. Amazing. I think I’ll ever buy SC milk again.

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  21. hi Averie, do you have a recipe that incorporates pumpkin and SC milk?

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  23. I was hoping to make these for Christmas in a 9×13 pan, how should I adjust the measurements? Would doubling everything be too much? Let me know when you have a moment – Thanks!

  24. Hi Averie ~ love your website and drool with each and every recipe. I made these bars and they were so amazingly delicious that I had to put them in the freezer so I wouldn’t founder. . . my question is do you use the mini cups that require being unwrapped or the next size smaller? I didn’t even realize there was a next size smaller until i was at the store and as I look at your pics, I’m thinking that was the size to use. Mine worked but needed to be kind of ‘placed’ into the dough. Making another batch for friends so will wait for your reply. Thank you so much!!

    • In this recipe I used the smallest ones they make that come in a pouch and don’t need individual unwrapping but really, you can use the next size up (what used to be the smallest size they make til a few years ago)…the pouch ones are just even more bite size and no unwrapping necessary which I like. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you!

  25. Thank you so much for replying. I actually googled mini’s and realized the wrapped ones are ‘miniatures’. Before I went to store. Much easier with the minis. I also read where someone tried gluten free and it just made them mushy. I am making two batches as we speak, the second gluten free. I used a combo of gluten free cooking flour and coconut flour. The dough was definitely a different consistency. So they may be a gooey mess. . . but a delicious gooey mess so I’m sure they will still be appreciated. And they are being sent in the mail. I’ll let you know the reviews from my friends receiving them. Both batches.
    Thanks again. Your blog is fantastic.

    • Coconut flour is NOT like regular flour AT ALL and doesn’t behave like it since it’s not a grain. On a hope-and-a-prayer, it may work for you since you used it in combo w/ another flour (using it by itself requires some serious recipe modification with the liquid/dry ratios) so hopefully it kind of works but w/out any gluten in the recipe, the whole thing could be pretty darn gooey and messy. Not sure what will happen but good luck :) LMK how things go!

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  27. Ive made these many many times for my family now and actually also won a baking competition at work with these!!! Thanks!

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