These may be the best no-bake bar I’ve ever made. And I’m the queen of bars, so that’s quite a statement.
They’re like a homemade peanut buttery Crunch Bar topped with Kit Kats, and they’re worth every empty calorie.
No-bake Cereal Bars are a real specialty of mine. Some people can make macarons in their sleep or pipe flowers onto 4-tiered fondant-covered cakes.
Me, I’ve got a real knack for combining peanut butter, sugar, cereal, and chocolate in the microwave, with some candy bars tossed in to complete the classy ensemble.
And I’ve done it in more combinations and permutations than should be legal.
So when I can get excited about a new bar, given all the dozens (hundreds) that have come before it, I do a little happy dance. These bars are the new top dog to beat in no-bake cereal bar adventures.
They’re vegan and gluten-free up until they’re topped with Kit Kats. If you top them with peanut butter cups instead, they’re vegan and gluten-free since since Kit Kats are the only thing that’s not vegan/GF in the recipe. Simple swap.
Ironically, there’s no butter or buttery spreads used in these very buttery and rich bars.
They’re fast and easy to make, with less than 15 minutes of active work.
They combine two favorite recipes. The base is a duplication of Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars, which are adapted from my Grandma’s Special K Bar recipe. I love that recipe so much that I included it in my cookbook.
The base is made by combining sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter in the microwave to make a bastardized 2-minute caramel sauce. It serves as the glue to hold together Rice Krispies cereal that’s stirred in.
I’m a huge fan of any version of Rice Krispies Treats. These use peanut butter rather than marshmallows as the glue. Can’t go wrong either way.
They’re firm enough so they’re not a gooey mess, and the texture is chewy and dense, yet soft.
They have a pronounced pop of peanut butter flavor, with caramel and vanilla notes. The flavor is exceedingly buttery-tasting, despite no butter being used.
The top layer is an adaptation of the topping of Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars. I don’t know why I haven’t repurposed the topping until now, but I’m so glad I did.
It’s chocolaty with just a hint of peanut butter, and has the most amazing texture after it sets up. Dense, firm, crispy and crunchy, and reminds me of a Nestle Crunch bar, with a little more airiness and less snap.
It’s made by melting chocolate chips with a little peanut butter, and just enough cereal is stirred in to soak up some of the melted, saucy mixture.
Last but not least, I chopped Kit Kats for the top.
When I pushed them down onto the still warm chocolate layer, they melted just enough to become embedded.
I’ve always loved the flaky,crunchy layers of Kit Kats and they paired perfectly with the crunchy-yet-softened cereal in both the base and topping layers. Their sweeter milk chocolate complemented the semi-sweet chocolate in the topping.
They’re definitely the new bar to beat.
Pin This Recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Kit Kat Crunch Bars
A soft, yet very chewy, rich, dense, peanut buttery base is topped with a crunchy chocolate topping that reminds me of a Nestle Crunch bar. There’s Kit Kat candy bar pieces embedded, for extra crunch, texture, and flavor. Despite tasting extra buttery, there’s no butter used. If you swap out the Kit Kats for peanut butter cups, the bars are vegan and gluten-free (since the Kit Kats are the only thing that’s not vegan/GF in the recipe). If you need a fast and easy dessert that’s sure to be a huge hit, I highly recommend these. They keep extremely well and can be made in advance, but I know leftovers will not linger. Quite possibly my favorite cereal bar of all time.
- 1 heaping cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup (light-colored, not lite)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1 heaping cup diced Kit Kat pieces (I used three 1.50-ounce bars, diced)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (use Jif, Skippy, or similar; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
- 1 cup Rice Krispies cereal (or similar crispy rice cereal that’s vegan/GF, if necessary)
- Base – Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine peanut butter, corn syrup, sugars, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
- Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
- Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power.
- Stir in the vanilla.
- Stir in 3 cups cereal.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top; set pan aside.
- Chocolate Topping – Dice the Kit Kats; set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips, peanut butter, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
- Stop to stir. Chips may not be completely melted. Return bowl to microwave and heat in 15-second bursts until chocolate can be stirred smooth, 15 seconds is likely all they’ll need.
- Stir in 1 cup cereal.
- Pour chocolate mixture over base, packing it down somewhat firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top.
- Place the Kit Kats in about 10 evenly and tightly spaced rows over the surface, with about 1/4-inch space between each piece (does not have to be perfect). By the time you get all the pieces on and in rows, the pieces you placed on first will likely have started to melt at the base. Push them down lightly so they embed into the chocolate-crispy layer. Go back over and push on all the pieces with your finger to ensure they’re all embedded and will stick as the bars cool and set up.
- Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until chocolate layer is completely set before lifting out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving.
- Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 424Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 162mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 3gSugar: 42gProtein: 8g
Chewy Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cereal Bars (vegan, GF)
Peanut Butter Cocoa Krispies Smores Bars
No-Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Cereal Bars (GF)
Biscoff Marshmallow Chocolate Bars (no-bake)
No-Bake Nutter Butter Special K Bars
Special K Bars (no-bake)
Peanut Butter Caramel Twix Bars (almost no-bake)
Peanut Chewy Payday Bars (almost no-bake)
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF)
Double Chocolate Caramel Corn & Cocoa Rice Krispies Candy Bars (GF)
Browned Butter Rice Krispies Treats (GF) – The best RKTs I have ever had. Double the butter and it’s browned, for great flavor and soft, buttery, chewy bars
This post is being linked to Roxana’s Chocolate Party!
Fan of Kit Kats? Chocolate and peanut butter? Favorite no-bake bar?
Why after the Kit Kat bars have cooled they are really hard to cut and the choc top has fallen off the bottom bars? Followed the recipe to a t
It’s hard to say, chocolate can be messy and finicky sometimes. These are not really ‘neat’ bars. You can see from the photos there is lots of meltiness going on.
Use an incredibly sharp knife is my suggestion.
What happens if you use a natural peanut butter in this recipe?
It tends to be more runny so they may be very loose and not as firm as desired.
I have made this many times and it is always a HUGE hit. You can’t go wrong with this one!
Thanks for the 5 star review and I’m glad you love it!
Thanks for the 5 star review and glad they were yummy!
I made these and they are very tasty, thank you. Only problem I had was the instructions to “dice” the Kit Kats, I diced up some and then was at a loss to where to put them. I ended up adding them to the melted chocolate chips and rice cereal then topped with Kit Kats like the picture.
In Step 13 is where I used the diced Kit Kats. Glad things worked out for you – this is after all not a fussy dessert and made with candy bars so however you got them incorporated is fine no doubt!
I handle the Facebook page of KIT KAT Philippines. Your dessert photos look good! I’m wondering if we could publish some shots on this post of yours on our Facebook page. We will surely give you credit on our post. Hoping for your sweet reply! :)
I made these with marshmallows between the two layers! AMAZING!! Thanks!
Thanks for trying the recipe and glad the marshmallow idea worked out great! I bet they tasted fabulous!
could you possibly sub maple syrup for the corn syrup?
It’s possible but I haven’t tried it and worry it won’t give you the setting-up-sticking-together effects that you’d get with corn syrup but you can try and see what happens.
This looks delicious! #yum #yumporium
Is there a way to make this without corn syrup? Or is it necessary?
It is necessary in this recipe.
These are even better than they look. If that’s possible. O.M.G. So amazing!! I made them tonight to bring to work tomorrow for Halloween, and of course I had to taste test the goods. Wow!! I’ll def be making these again!!
I loved these bars, too! They ARE way better than they look, and taste way better than ‘just a cereal bar’….I totally agree and glad you discovered that and that you’ll make them again! Hope your coworkers enjoy them too!
I decided to make these for the neighborhood Halloween party yesterday and am so glad I did! I remember when I first saw them I liked how the kit kats looked on top–like crispy little chocolate tiles or something. As for taste, well, there weren’t any leftovers (thank goodness because I think I’d eat them for breakfast)!! The base is peanut buttery gooey-chewy and the top is fudgy with layers of texture all the way through. These definitely take rice krispies to a whole new level!
I’m so glad you loved them as well as the party-goers. And glad to hear there weren’t any leftovers (I didn’t think there would be)! Little chocolate tiles is a perfect description and so many layers of texture from the top to the bottom, in one bite, yes indeed! So happy you made these b/c they’re a huge personal fave of mine :)
Those look AMAZING, Averie!
I just bought some of those little bags of unwrapped candy (because that is the only way I will ever have spare kit kats in this house lol) and I think I just found my use for them! These are positively over the top swoon worthy decadent! Pinning!
Thanks for pinning and I too only had a few Kit Kats b/c more is not better, just laying around to tempt me :)
Can’t. Stop. Drooling. These bars are out of this world Averie! Pinned and shared on Facebook cause I just love ’em so much :)
Thanks so much Trish for the pin and the share! You’re so sweet! THANKS!!
Whoa… I want the whole pan of these little babies! Look so tasty and love the crunch factor with kit-kat and chewy rice crispy treats!
I always seem to fail at no bake cookies and bars. I know they are supposed to be easy but i just cannot seem to get my act together.
Omggggg. How do you come up with this stuff?! You are such an evil genius when it comes to desserts. :) I want to eat a whole batch of these!
it is possible to get gluten free outlays from Tesco in their free from range. So excellent recipe xx
DROOLING!! Oh man, I need five of these :)
HOLY *&#%(*#@&@#&$ (insert expletives). My mind is blown. I want this, all of it, in my life, like now! Bravo Averie, for creating this masterpiece. And you used my favourite chocolate bar, the Kit Kat. I can never resist it!
I love your comments. Thanks for making me smile!
Oh and brownies I’ve made with that base, more or less, sometimes I play with the brown/white sugar but the rest is the same
Kit Kat bars! You know me too well. Kit Kats are one of my favourite candy bars. You truly are the Queen of bars! :D
They’re your faves? That’s awesome. I don’t know if they’re my fave (pb cups and heath bars are high up, so are rolos and snickers…) but kitkats are definitely high up on the list!
Oh.em.geeeeeee!! Averie, I’m dying over these!!! I must have them!!
I love how you pieced the kit-kats together like a grid! Reminds me of legos – super cute.
Legos! YES!! :)
I’m dying over these. SOOOOO amazing. Everything about them!
Thanks, Lori! I loved these bars – so many layers of flavor and texture, which for me, is the best kind of bar!
I bow down to the queen of bars…..
Kit kat bars were my absolute favorite candy bar when I was a child. I seriously LOVED them. I can still remember the taste, though it has been probably over 15 years since I had one. These bars combine two of the the best flavor profiles in dessert, ever! Gonna have to make these for the fellas and make sure I inhale deeply when I am baking and serving them! :-)
I wish you could have one of these, Michele! If you make them, LMK what your gang says!
I am loving the texture of the crunch bars!! I loved crunch bars growing up but then adding pb and kit kats, serious drool happening over here?! Can you pass me one through the screen please ;) I do not know why I have never made crunch bars- I clearly need to get on it!!
I forgot about my own recipe for like…2 years…Whoops! Glad I got back on it too :)
I’m dying! And yes, you are the queen of bars! :)
Oh my gosh! A texture lover’s dream dessert right here. I love crunch bars. Always have, always will. I’ve been wanting to make homemade crunch bars for a few years now just have never actually done it! Anyway, I have a huge craving for peanut butter and chocolate at about this hour every night and this is exactly what I’m in the mood for. Look at all the peanut butter you used! This is my kind of dessert.
And…”best-ever” — ok, I know they must be pretty darn good!
You know I don’t toss around the words ‘best’ or ‘best ever’ lightly. I thought long and hard about that for these, and yep, they deserve it. The topping is a topping I included on some bars on my blog about 2 yrs ago and then also in my book in some triple layer brownies (they’re the ones that lindsay of love and olive oil made when she wrote about my book a few weeks back – she fell in love with the topping so much, she repurposed it in another recipe, too). SO GOOD Sally! You would love the texture. Like nothing else!
These look really, really good! You are definitely the queen of bars!!
Av- this ARE the best no-bake.
Kit Kats are a serious weakness of mine.
I once bought one of those giant Kit Kat bars (have you seen those?)
You don’t want to know how long it took me to eat it. lol
I know those things well – and have never bought one for that reason LOL
The crunchy top layer with the chewy bottom and the KIT KATS!!! I am dying over this! Also, yay for no bake!
Hail the queen of bars! These look awesome! :D
And I thought Kit-Kats couldn’t get any better! OUT-rageous, Averie!
Mmmmmm, kit kats! I love how simple these are!
Ohhhh la laaa. These look dangerous!
All hail the QUEEN! Gorgeous job, Averie!
Wowwie, wow, wow!!! Stopping by from Talent Show Tuesday, and had to check these out. Kitkats – no way! I’m all over these. Gorgeous photos! Have pinned!
thanks for clicking over! Love Nikki – was just on a trip to Duncan Hines with her. Thanks for visiting her site and now mine!
Another jaw-dropping treat! Wow!
I think you are the Queen of all things in bar cookie form. You’re brilliant at it all!
May as well run with what I know works. That mile high pie of yours is stunning, btw!
Great idea these look absolutely AMAZING!
Wow if you are saying these are the best no-bake bars you have ever made, I need to run to the store immediately to buy some Kit Kats!!
They’re a seriously amazing bar. Two of my fave bars in one!
i seriously love how peanut butter is one of your food groups — your blog is a love letter to my pb-loving self!
Yes my cookbook is all about PB, too! 100 recipes and I never get sick of the stuff! :)
O. M. G. Can you please stop crawling into my brain, discovering my cravings du jour, and then tempting me with them each and every day in the form of gorgeous, perfectly shaped bars, and irresistible recipes? I mean, seriously: UNCLE! I’m making these for friends tomorrow and I’ll be surprised if said friends actually get any. SWOOOOOOOON.
Omg you HAVE to tell me what you think and what your friends think! They’re seriously one of the best bars ever (in my opinion!). How could anyone not like PB + chocolate + all that texture though!
Averie, I’m dying for that stack of bars there! And the best part is that I just bought a halloween size bag of kit kat bars for Jason, except I’m going to use them all in this recipe! Pinned!
Thanks for pinning and so glad you’re swiping those Kit Kats and making these!
No-bake AND Kit Kats on top? I gotta have these!! Pinning!
Thanks for the pin and what better way to use all that HWeen candy, right!
Heavenly marriage!!! Kit Kats are my favorite… PB is my next favorite… once again, I don’t think I would share these bars. I want the entire pan. :-D
Thanks for the pin and if you love Kit Kats, you have to make these! :)
OMG Averie!! I am never disappointed when I visit your blog!!! These look fabulous and must be made immediately! and yes, you ARE the queen of no-bake bars!! love it!
May as well stick with what I know works, right :)
These crunch bars just made my life feel complete. They are incredible!
My jaw is on the floor. You are an evil bar-making genius. Pinned!
Thanks for the pin and LOL to your comment :)
These are so unique!! I love the kit kats on top. Yum!!
Please, give me a break from all these decadent bar recipes. I’m growing a second butt just reading your post.
Why do you think I run every day! I have to or I’d grow a 4th one :)
Averie, these just might be the best looking bars I’ve ever seen! I certainly wish that were my bite!
I was just on your site last night looking at the Biscoff and Pumpkin Pie Cookie Cups! I had seen a pin and clicked over – they look delish!
Oh my goodness, I love the little KitKat pieces on top of these bars! In fact, I love everything about these bars! Yet another winning combo :)
Thanks, Colleen! They’re so easy and fast, too :)
These look incredible! And if you say they may be the best no-bake bars, they’re a must-try!!
I’m super picky after all the hundreds I’ve made and tried and these are the ones to beat!
I think you combined two of childhood fave chocolates into one! I love the crunch chocolate bar and kit kats as a kid. My mum used to pack me either one of thees in lunch box everyday when I went to school. I do not know why pb is not a kitkat flavour, it would be so popular!
I want to be one of yours kids if you making this for dessert. They would be so lucky.
Crunch chocolate bar and kit kats are faves of mine, too. And in the US, I think I’ve seen seasonal PB-Kitkats. There is (or was?) a candy bar that was like a KitKat but with PB. Maybe Snickers tried one that’s similar? Honestly there is so much candy and so many new flavors and versions all the time, that I lost track but pretty sure I’ve seen it!
I love the look of the kit kats on top–they melted just enough to contrast a little with the dark topping. PB cups would be great too! Made the PB banana bread with PB cups from your cookbook. I had a couple of really ripe bananas at that perfect stage for baking. I did sub coconut oil (because I’m out of butter) and put it in an 8×8 pan to cut down on the baking time a little. It was perfect with a good movie Sun. night!!
Pb Cups would be great too (but I had all these KitKats to use that were in my pantry – and b/c I have done so many PB Cup recipes I thought I’d mix it up) but yeah, they would be delish.
Glad to hear the banana bread with pb cups from my book worked out well for you. Good call on subbing with coc oil. When I wrote the book, I had to write it with the ‘average’ cook in mind and most (many?) people don’t keep coconut oil around so I didnt call for it with the exception of a couple recipes. And that was one of the first recipes I made for the book – to the point I probably baked that bread closing in now on 20-24 months ago given the huge lag time in publishing and as my baking has progressed, I would definitely not hesitate to call for it more. I remember that photo shoot so well. My hands were shaking b/c the bread was SO PERFECT in person and I don’t think I ever got the images to convey how good it really was, but I tried but I remember that photo shoot like it was yesterday, and I’ve probably done 400 or more since that one :)
oh wow, i haven’t had a kit kat in years & now i’m staring at your blog over breakfast and totally drooling! these look AMAZING, i’m so impressed with how you keep coming up with these things :) well done!
Can’t say no to a Kitkat pool complete with pb krispy goodness
It seems like you’ll never run out of new ideas of putting chocolate and peanut butter together to make super easy, irresistable dessert/snacks. Love you for this :)
My brain seems to work this way – for better or worse :)
Oh good gracious! I feel like making it right now.
Yes, absolutely. These are a Midwest potluck treat all the way. I do mean that as a compliment, too!
Omg, stop it! Look at all those melty Kit Kats! Why don’t we put those on top of everything? These bars are the best idea. :)
Amazing — Kit Kats, bars and no bake, yeah! These look super scrumptious!
Ok, what?! I need these. I’m in college, so no-bake everything makes life way easier. When it involves Kit Kats…I’m all over it. Totally making these soon!
OMG — these look incredibly delicious!
Oh these look killer, love the Kit Kats on top!
OMGoodness this looks sooooooo yummy and I have just the person in mind who would sooooo love this <3 Thank you for the great ideas and inpirations ;)
I am so drooling over these! The Kit Kats melted on top looks incredible!! Awesome recipe!!
You have no idea how much I LOVE these bars. First the base, you know I LOVE special K-bars. I actually just messed with the recipe myself. You can never go wrong with that base!
But then there is the chocolate topping with kit kats!?!? Oh my gosh, Averie! So awesome, so creative and beautifully done! Pinned like always!
When I saw those last layered bars of yours, I knew I had these in the hopper. We both can make a mean cereal bar :) And you’re so right that the Special K base can do no wrong. Can’t wait to see what your next creation is and thanks for the pin :)
Oh, my stars! I know I have said it before…but, Averie, you have outdone yourself! I am just enamored with this recipe and appreciate the fact that you are always mindful by offering options for special diets…like those who must be vegan (no dairy). These are killer bars and so appropriate for this time of year for a Fall or Halloween treat…even though these can be made for every day. Even for Christmas! An easy and thoughtful “gift form the kitchen”, too. Thanks for sharing, girl. Pinning! xo
Glad you like them and thanks for pinning!
Kit Kats are my favorite! These look amazing!
I ADORE how the Kit Kat pieces kind of melted and pooled a little bit onn top of the chocolate on the bars. YUM. Seriously. Rice Krispies should have you on retainer. Just sayin’.
Girl I know. I wish this was a sponsored post – or any of them that I do with cereal and namebrand candy, but alas, no.
Love treats like this! They are dangerously easy to make. The Kit Kats on top are adorable!