No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars

Move over Quaker Soft and Chewy Granola Bars.

You can make these soft, chewy, vegan, gluten-free, and healthier DIY bars in 10 minutes.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Make healthy bars that taste like candy bars in 10 minutes!

The recipe is adapted from my 2012 recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) and I included a very similar recipe in my first cookbook.

Readers have said they’re the best granola bars they’ve ever had, their kids love them, and they’re saving so much money making their granola bars at home.

It would have been too easy to just leave the recipe alone. That’s not what food bloggers do. It’s mandatory to keep tinkering.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Make healthy bars that taste like candy bars in 10 minutes!

So I made a chocolate version. Double chocolate. There’s both cocoa powder and mini chocolate chips, and while the chocolate flavor is present, it doesn’t overwhelm the peanut butter flavor. You get a pop of chocolate and peanut butter in every bite, and that’s a beautiful thing.

The bars are naturally vegan and gluten-free. Always read labels to select certified brands and the exact ingredients that are right for your dietary needs.

The bulk, heft, and bigtime chewy-factor comes from quick cook oats. Quick cook oats are just whole-rolled oats that have been cut smaller in the manufacturing process to cook quicker. If you typically buy whole-rolled oats, pulse them in your food processor or blender for about 5 seconds and you’ve got quick cook.

It’s important to use quick cook because they behave more like flour, binding together the wet ingredients. Whole-rolled oats are bigger, coarser, and won’t act as a proper binder and the bars won’t hold together.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Make healthy bars that taste like candy bars in 10 minutes!

The special ingredient that gives the bars an extremely authentic mouthfeel and texture is crispy rice cereal. As you’re stirring it in, it magically seems to disappear into the very thick mixture, but does so much when you bite down for lightness and subtle crunch.

The batch makes 1 dozen bars, very similar in size to the Quaker version. I wrap them individually in plasticwrap, keep a gallon-sized Ziplock filled with them, and then just toss the bars into school lunches, my purse, or my car.  They’re not too messy which is nice, too.

The bars can be customized with the add-ins you prefer, from dried fruit to nuts, making them very versatile.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Make healthy bars that taste like candy bars in 10 minutes!

They taste like a candy bar, but much healthier than eating candy bars or chocolate peanut butter cookies when chocolate + PB cravings strike.

They’re my new best friend.

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Make healthy bars that taste like candy bars in 10 minutes!

Print Print Recipe

No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars (vegan, gluten-free)

Move over Quaker Soft and Chewy Granola Bars and make these soft, chewy, vegan, gluten-free, and healthier DIY version in 10 minutes. They're soft, very chewy, and taste like a candy bar, but much healthier than candy bars when chocolate + PB cravings strike. They're naturally vegan and gluten-free; always read labels to select certified brands and exact ingredients that are right for your needs. It’s important to use quick cook because they behave more like flour, binding together the wet ingredients so the bars hold together. Crispy rice cereal gives the bars an authentic mouthfeel and texture. I wrap the bars individually in plasticwrap, keep a Ziplock filled with them, and toss the bars into school lunches, my purse, or car. They're shelf-stable for weeks but they won't last that long.

Yield: one 8x8 pan, 12 bars

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2/3 cup light corn syrup (brown rice syrup to keep vegan or honey may be substituted)
heaping 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
2 cups quick cook oats (QuakerBob's, or similar; don't use whole-rolled oats, pulse/grind briefly if that's what you have)
2 cups crispy rice cereal (Rice Krispies, Erewhon, or similar)
1 cup mini semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, divided

Directions:

  1. Line an 8x8-inch pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large, microwave-safe bowl combine corn syrup, peanut butter, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute; stir to combine.
  3. Return bowl to micro and heat for 1 more minute on high power, and stir to combine.
  4. Add vanilla, cocoa, optional salt, and whisk to combine.
  5. Add oats and stir to combine.
  6. Add 1 cup rice cereal and gently stir to combine so cereal doesn't become too crushed. Slowly add the second cup of cereal, stirring while adding to incorporate. Mixture will be very thick, which is good so bars hold together after they're set up. However, if your mixture seems extremely thick or dry, and doesn't quite need the entire second cup or cereal, refrain from adding it all.
  7. Add 3/4 cup chocolate chips and stir to combine. The mixture is warm and chips will likely begin to melt, which is okay but the less stirring, the less melting. Reserve remaining 1/4 cup chips.
  8. Turn mixture out into prepared pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula or hands.
  9. Evenly sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and very lightly tap them down with a spatula.
  10. Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge/freezer smells) and place pan in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or in the freezer for at least 1 hour, or until bars have set up.
  11. Using foil overhang, remove bars from pan, place on cutting board, and slice. Mine are sliced 4-inches long by 1/2-inch wide, similar in size and shape to Quaker Chewy Granola Bars. Wrap bars individually in plasticwarp. Bars will keep wrapped in plasticwrap inside a large ziplock at room temperature for up to 1 month, in the fridge for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)

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106 Responses to “No-Bake Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Bars”

  1. #
    51
    Leslie — June 25, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    I am waiting for these to chill right now and cannot wait to taste one! The recipe reminds me a bit of my favorite no-bake cookies–but of course, these have much less sugar and no butter! Hurrah!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — June 25th, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      That’s awesome that they have less sugar, no butter, and thanks for trying them – hope they’re almost done chilling now for you and you can sample them! :)

      Reply

  2. #
    52
    BETTY — July 6, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    What is the rough calorie count for the bars ?? Thanks

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 6th, 2014 at 5:59 pm

      Not sure, I don’t count, but a pure guess is maybe 175-200 each, that’s a TOTAL GUESS though.

      Reply

    • Laura replied: — July 29th, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      363.75 calories per bar!

      Reply

  3. #
    53
    Lilly — July 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    These were simply delicious! Thank you so much:)

    Reply

  4. #
    54
    Nikki — August 24, 2014 at 5:46 am

    I made these yesterday, and they’re absolutely delicious! Easy to make, too. Thanks for the great recipe!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 24th, 2014 at 7:17 am

      Glad they worked out great for you!

      Reply

  5. #
    55
    Hannah — August 24, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    These are absolutely amazing! I’m about to make my third batch. They go so quickly. Everyone says that they are better than anything you could buy in the store. I’m in love!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 24th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Oh I’m so glad to hear everyone loves the bars. They’re one of our favorites, too! And yes, better than anything storebought :)

      Reply

  6. #
    56
    Tina Holgate — August 27, 2014 at 5:58 am

    I assume I can do this on the stove top instead of the microwave – issue is to heat it up? Cannot wait to try this!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 27th, 2014 at 7:16 am

      Yes you can although I use the micro for speed and ease and haven’t done it on the stovetop so cannot quote exact times/temps.

      Reply

      • Tina Holgate replied: — August 27th, 2014 at 8:52 am

        Thank you! Am trying to avoid microwave use so I will give it a whirl and let you know!

  7. #
    57
    Jenn — September 13, 2014 at 10:08 am

    sparks people have a calorie calculator. As written – these are pretty high in calories- over 300 per bar. We don’t count calories here, typically, but do watch sugar so I calculated the recipe info for that reason – about 30 grams per bar as written. I’m going to try the recipe with decreased sugars and add a touch of salt to enhance the flavor. Cut into 16 bars too – perfect size for my young kids. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply

  8. #
    58
    Nicole — September 19, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Averie- These look yum but you may want to clarify a couple things in order to ensure a gluten free status. Quaker Oats aren’t gluten free, Bob’s Red Mill or other certified gluten free oats would be fine…while oats do not contain gluten they get cross contaminated while growing sometimes by wheat in the field or during harvesting. Also I would not only gluten free Rice Krispies, while it is linked to those it doesn’t state that specifically and regular rice krispies contain malt (not gf). Just passing these notes a long. Thank you!

    Reply

  9. #
    59
    Haunani — October 3, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    My 6-year-old and I made these this afternoon. They are absolutely amazing! We made them over the stovetop and it was very easy. Definitely making them again. Thanks for the recipe!!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 3rd, 2014 at 6:21 pm

      Glad you and your 6 y.o. are cooking together! How sweet! And glad these are a hit and you’ll make them again!

      Reply

  10. #
    60
    peggy kleinert — October 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    I have old-fashioned oats – it that considered quick-cooked or whole-rolled? Once you answer-I will know how to proceed. I can’t wait to try this recipe since it has my name all over it.

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — October 15th, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      old-fashioned oats are whole-rolled.

      Reply

  11. #
    61
    Dana — November 12, 2014 at 4:29 am

    It looks so good!!!! And the chocolate…hmmm… Great recipe!! Can I skip the sugar? I don’t eat at all except coconut sugar (rarely)!! What do you suggest?

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — November 12th, 2014 at 7:13 am

      I really haven’t experimented without the sugar but I think they would taste quite bitter and not enjoyable if you left it out due to the cocoa powder.

      Reply

  12. #
    62
    Alejandra C. — November 14, 2014 at 8:29 am

    Hi! I love this recipe. I have already done two batches and they are simply delicious. I have a question, do you know how many calories does the bars have?

    Greetings fromMexico!

    Reply

    • Averie Sunshine replied: — November 14th, 2014 at 1:00 pm

      I don’t know the calories on it, sorry! Thanks for trying it twice already!

      Reply

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