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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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 (Quaker, Bob’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
- Line an 8×8-inch pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl combine corn syrup, peanut butter, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute; stir to combine.
- Return bowl to micro and heat for 1 more minute on high power, and stir to combine.
- Add vanilla, cocoa, optional salt, and whisk to combine.
- Add oats and stir to combine.
- 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.
- 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.
- Turn mixture out into prepared pan and pack it down firmly with a spatula or hands.
- Evenly sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips and very lightly tap them down with a spatula.
- 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.
- 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)
All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Move over Quaker these soft, chewy, healthy and easy granola bars are amazing
Sunflower Seed Butter Granola Bars with Chocolate Drizzle (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Soft, super chewy & great for peanut allergies since there’s no PB used
No-Bake Snickerdoodle Cookie Granola Bars (vegan, GF)
Cinnamon Oatmeal Date Bars with Chocolate Chunks (no-bake, vegan, GF) – Peanut butter, chocolate, oats, and so good
Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF) – Crunchy, easy, packed with flavor, and you’ll need overpriced storebought granola again
Microwave Chocolate Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Bars (No-Bake, Vegan, GF) – Makes just 3 bars in 5 minutes, perfect small-batch and fast recipe
Chocolate Peanut Butter Mocha Powerballs (no-bake, vegan, gluten-free)
Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies (GF) – No butter, No white sugar, and No flour used
Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Mini Blender Muffins (GF) – No refined sugar, flour, oil & only 75 calories! They taste amazing