No Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

Sometimes, you just need to go back to the classics. These are one of my husband’s very favorite cookies and his grandmother made them for him every summer when he went back and visited them in Iowa. I didn’t make many changes to the recipe, just adapted it to the microwave {feel free to still use the stovetop} ¬†and decreased the vanilla a bit, but that’s a personal preference. Feel free to go as high as 2 teaspoons. I also switched it to a bar from a cookie and it is so much quicker. Don’t let the Special K fool you, these are not a healthy snack.

No Bake Peanut Butter SpecialK Bars


No Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 4 cups Special K cereal (or similar crisp rice/wheat flake cereal)
  1. Lightly grease a 9 X 13 casserole dish. (I use Pam because I am classy like that)
  2. In a 2 quart microwave safe measuring cup or bowl, mix sugar, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.
  3. Microwave for 3 to 4 minutes, stopping every minute to stir.
  4. After the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved it has finished cooking, stir in peanut butter.
  5. After the peanut butter is all mixed in, stir in the cereal. I like to do about a cup at a time. It will get hard to stir, but keep going. All that cereal needs to get coated or it wont hold together.
  6. When everything is mixed well, scoop out the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out. The easiest way to smooth it out is put a layer of saran or waxed paper on top and press down. Carefully, the mixture may still be hot.
  7. Try to get it as even as possible, but the cereal makes it a bit rustic.
  8. Let cool. When it is firm and cool to the touch (about 30 minutes), slice in to squares. Or rectangles. Mine always end up rectangles. If you wait too long to cut them it gets hard to get a clean edge so go ahead cut the whole pan.
  9. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature.

No Bake Peanut Butter SpecialK Bars

No Bake Peanut Butter Special K Bars

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8 Responses to “No Bake Peanut Butter Cereal Bars”

  1. Leah says:

    Egg-free dessert! I am going to preemptively thank you on behalf of my children and husband right now.

    My fat ass, however, is giving you some major side eye right now.

    [Reply]

  2. Brigid Keely says:

    I used to make rice crispie treats for a restaurant I worked at. Putting plastic sandwich baggies/gloves on your hands can work instead of putting the saran wrap on top of the bars to flatten it down. Lightly oiling whatever you’re pressing with (hands, saran wrap, baggies, gloves) can help with the stickiness, too. Golden Grahams work really well as crisp squares.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    Oh I totally forgot about that. I worked in a cafe and we used to press them between two sheet pans and then smooth out with baggie hands.

    [Reply]

    Brigid Keely Reply:

    2 sheet pans is a GREAT idea.

    [Reply]

    Amy Reply:

    We used sheet pans to flatten cookie balls to discs too, just put a layer of parchment between.

  3. Audrey says:

    Those look delicious. BLAST YOU!

    [Reply]

  4. OTandET says:

    i think i told you my family’s from iowa? anyways these bars are such an iowa thing! i’ve had a variation many times and when i saw your pics i had a smell memory… mmmmmmmmm :)

    [Reply]

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