Holiday Special K Bars — Super chewy, gooey, FAST, easy, no-bake cereal bars loaded with peanut butter, chocolate, and sprinkles!! Like scotcheroos but with Special K! Great for impromptu hostess gifts or cookie exchanges because they’re irresistible!!

stack of three Holiday Special K Bars 

Holiday Special K Bars Recipe

This easy no-bake dessert is extremely chewy, dense, gooey, has peanut butter undertones, and is topped with semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkles. Special K bars are just like scotcheroos, but made with Special K rather than Rice Krispies cereal.

If you’re a fan of any bar-type snack/dessert resembling Rice Krispies Treats, I have a feeling you will love these. There’s no marshmallow in the recipe, but the gooeyness of the brown sugar-butter-peanut butter sauce that’s poured over the Special K is similar in a way.

Just like there are some people who are really, really into cheesecake or really into brownies, I’ve come to realize there are people out there who love the chewy-gooey aspect of cereal bars and are really into them. I am definitely one of those people. I would rather have one of these than many so-called ‘fancy’ desserts that take hours (or days) to make.

I have dozens of cereal bar recipes for this very reason. No-bakeChewyGooeyCaramely, with Peanut ButterMarshmallows. You get the point.

The Special K Bars make great little impromptu gifts and work well in cookie exchanges in decorative bags because they keep fresh for a long time.

stack of Holiday Special K Bars with bite missing from top one

What’s in Special K Bars? 

To make this easy holiday dessert, you’ll need: 

  • Special K cereal
  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Light corn syrup
  • Peanut butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Chocolate chips
  • Sprinkles

How to Make Special K Bars

Simply boil together butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup. Then, add in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt before pouring the mixture over Special K Cereal. Super fast and simple.

I added a basic melted chocolate chip topping because that’s how my Grandma made these Special K bars and this is her recipe. Or try this topping. Super pretty but easy and loaded with rich flavor.

Then I added holiday sprinkles since it’s that time of year. Tis the season to get festive and sprinkle away.

Holiday Special K Bars topped with green, white, and red sprinkles

How to Store Special K Bars

I have stored them at room temp for about a month and I have also stored it in the fridge for even longer, like two months. Maybe not ideal, but they were fine. As always, use your best judgment, but I am just sharing my personal findings about how long the bars keep.

Can I Add Other Toppings? 

I don’t see why not! Feel free to load up these bars as you see fit. Just keep in mind that they’re already quite sweet. 

Holiday Special K Bars - Super chewy, gooey, FAST, easy, no-bake cereal bars loaded with peanut butter, chocolate, and sprinkles!! Like scotcheroos but with Special K! Great for impromptu hostess gifts or cookie exchanges because they're irresistible!!

Tips for Making Special K Bars

I prefer topping my Special K bars with melted semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you can use any type you’d like. For a stronger scotheroos-like flavor, you could use half butterscotch chips, half semi-sweet.

If you like your bars super gooey, add less Special K than the recipe calls for. 

Also, use whatever color sprinkles you like for this recipe. I used green, white, and red sprinkles for Christmas, but you can switch up the sprinkles to suit whatever you’re celebrating. 

I’m sure you could easily double this recipe. You’d need to split the Special K bars between two 9×13-inch pans though. 

Holiday Special K Bars
Yield: one 9x13-inch pan

Holiday Special K Bars

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

These Speical K Bars are super chewy, gooey, no-bake cereal bars loaded with peanut butter, chocolate, and sprinkles!! Like scotcheroos, but with Special K!

Ingredients

Bars

  • 5 to 6 cups Special K cereal (less cereal results in gooier bars)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup light-colored corn syrup
  • heaping 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping

  • one 12-ounce bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • holiday sprinkles, as desired

Instructions

    Make the Bars

  1. Line a 9×13-inch pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup and spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. To a large bowl, add the Special K; set aside.
  3. To a medium, high-sided stockpot, add the butter and heat over medium-high heat to melt.
  4. After the butter is mostly melted, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and whisk to combine. Boil for 3 minutes, stirring intermittently.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, add the peanut butter, vanilla, salt, and whisk to incorporate.
  6. Pour mixture over the Special K and using a spatula, stir to toss and coat evenly.
  7. Turn cereal out into prepared pan, lightly pressing it with a spatula; set aside while you make the topping.

Make the Topping

  1. To a medium microwave-safe bowl, add the chocolate chips, butter, and heat in 3-second bursts until chips and butter have melted and can be stirred smooth.
  2. Turn the chocolate topping out over the cereal, smoothing the top lightly with a spatula to distribute it.
  3. Evenly sprinkle with the sprinkles and allow bars and chocolate to set up before serving, about 2 hours. If you’re in a rush, you can put the pan in the fridge to save time.

Notes

  • Bars will keep airtight at room temp for 2 weeks and in the fridge for at least 1 month.
  • Recipe adapted from my Special K Bars.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

25

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 307mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 30gProtein: 8g

More Easy Holiday Desserts: 

White Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Cookie Balls — These are such a simple no-bake treat with only 4 ingredients, and everyone loves them! 

White Chocolate-Dipped Oreo Cookie Balls on a red trivet

Graham Cracker Toffee — If you’re looking for a recipe that will disappear at holiday parties, cookie exchanges, neighborhood potlucks, or school bake sales, this graham cracker toffee is a guaranteed winner.

Overhead shot of Graham Cracker Toffee stack on white paper

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls — EASY, NO-BAKE chocolate peanut butter balls that are a holiday favorite!! They have it all: Salty, sweet, crunchy, with chocolate and peanut butter!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls decorated with holiday sprinkles

Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks — What I love about these little cookie stacks is that they’re salty and sweet, crunchy from the crackers yet creamy from the peanut butter, and gooey from marshmallow creme.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Stacks topped with holiday sprinkles

Buckeye Fudge — People can’t resist dense, chewy peanut butter fudge with a layer of chocolate that’s begging you to sink your teeth into it.

Overhead shot of Buckeye fudge stack

12 Easy No-Bake Holiday Desserts – No time to bake? Here are 12 FAST and EASY no-bake recipes! Whether you want chocolate, peanut butter, cheesecake, bark, or truffles, these recipes have you covered!!

12 Easy No-Bake Holiday Desserts - No time to bake? Here are 12 FAST and EASY no-bake recipes! Whether you want chocolate, peanut butter, cheesecake, bark, or truffles, these recipes have you covered!!

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