The BEST homemade crunch bars recipe that tastes BETTER than the actual candy bar! 5 ingredients, 5 minutes and perfectly crispy, crunchy, sweet copycat crunch bars- Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-free.
Nestle announced back in 2018 that Crunch bars have been discontinued but do not fret- We have a homemade and even BETTER version here, and is relatively healthier than the traditional version!
You may come across other homemade crunch bar recipes, but those are quite frankly sub bar. Most of them call for 2 or 3 ingredients, mostly melted chocolate with crispy rice cereal.
Is that a crunch bar? Technically, yes. But taste-wise, it is very, VERY average.
Instead, I’m here to share with you my homemade version which tastes amazing and one recipe that thousands of my readers have continually made over and over again!
WHY THESE ARE THE BEST HOMEMADE CRUNCH BARS
Crunchy, crispy, smooth, and creamy and all words to describe these no bake chocolate peanut butter crunch bars.
You bite into it and are met with of these, which are a texture lovers’ dream!
Traditional crunch bars use butter, sugar, margarine and several kinds of oil to produce a delicious end product.
My version uses just FIVE ingredients, and takes less than 2 minutes to whip up!
Not only are these beauties completely vegan, gluten-free and dairy free, but it also has the option to be made completely sugar-free, so take note below!
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CRUNCH BARS
Start by pouring your cereal in a large mixing bowl, and setting it aside. To also save time, prepare your baking dish by adding parchment paper to it.
In a microwave-safe bowl or in a saucepan, add all your ingredients, except for the cereal. Heat the mixture until the chocolate chip has melted. Whisk very well together, until you have silky, thick, and smooth chocolate.
Finally, pour the melted chocolate mixture over the crispy cereal, and mix very well, until all the cereal is coated in the chocolate. Transfer to the lined baking dish and refrigerate until firm.
THE INGREDIENTS (and substitution tips!)
- Crispy Rice Cereal
- Peanut Butter
- Chocolate Chips
- Maple Syrup
- Coconut oil
The ‘crunch’ factor can come in two folds. The first and most dominant one is in the cereal used. The original recipe from the cookbook used cornflakes, but my preference lies in rice crispy treats, so I used gluten-free crispy rice cereal. It’s my favorite to use in these no bake bars and these no bake rice crispy cups. If you don’t have a gluten intolerance, any crispy rice cereal will work fine.
The second part comes with using crunchy peanut butter. You are welcome to use smooth peanut butter if that is all you have on hand, but I love the added texture of the little pieces of peanuts throughout!
Speaking of peanut butter, for those with peanut allergies, I’d recommend you use crunchy sunflower seed butter or soynut butter. You can also substitute the peanut butter for another nut butter, like almond or cashew.
As these crunch bars are based around chocolate, PLEASE make sure you choose a high-quality chocolate bar (baking style or standard) or chocolate chips. I used my favorite dairy free chunks, which I regularly eat on its own.
For those who want to keep this completely sugar-free, use your favorite sugar free BAKING bar or chips. Simply melting a generic sugar-free candy bar won’t yield the results you are after.
Also, for the maple syrup, swap it for this sugar-free alternative. While not as good as the original, it’s the best sugar-free syrup when used IN recipes.
Coconut oil is my preference, but butter or vegan butter works well too.
STORING CRUNCH BARS
Like any candy or chocolate bar, crunch bars can be stored at room temperature, in a sealable container. They will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks, but I promise you, they will NEVER last that long!
They are also freezer friendly, so wrap up a few and store away to enjoy when the chocolate cravings strike! Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and place them in ziplock bags. They will freeze well for up to 6 months.
CAN I MAKE CRUNCH BARS KETO AND PALEO?
Yes! I have made a keto and paleo option for this recipe. It uses nuts and seeds instead of the cereal, and also keto-approved chocolate and syrup.
MORE HOMEMADE CANDY BAR RECIPES
Watch the step-by-step video below!
The BEST Homemade Crunch Bars
- 3 cups crispy rice cereal
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 1 cup peanut butter can substitute any nut or seed butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil can sub for grass fed butter
- Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or deep baking tray of choice with parchment paper and set aside.
- Add crispy rice cereal into a large mixing bowl and set aside. In a microwave safe bowl or stovetop, combine all your other ingredients and heat until melted. Remove from microwave/off stove and whisk until completely incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate/peanut butter mixture over the crispy rice cereal and mix until combined. Pour into the lined baking dish and refrigerate until firm (at least an hour).
- Remove and cut into bars.
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These totally remind me of those nutty bars that I ate as a kid! In fact, I don’t think I’ve had one since I was a kid…and after seeing these photos, I have a strange craving for one. But I like the homemade version WAY better. I definitely need a bar or two in my life. Love that these are no-bake, too! 🙂
My son-in-law says these remind him of a candy bar he loved as a kid. It was called Whatchamacallit. If you keep them in the freezer they stay crunchy for weeks, if they last that long!
These are not gluten free as they call for rice crisp cereal. They all have “malt” syrup which is derives from wheat. If u know anything about being gluten free which I do! U can use the brown rice crisp cereal that should not have any malt flavorings if u can find it.
Cheri, this recipe actually used certified gluten free rice cereal. 🙂 Enjoy!
FYI ALDI brand rice crispies cereal is gluten free! ? It uses rice syrup, NOT malt! Can’t wait to make these!
YUM!!!!! Need to check it out, thanks Hillary!
She said use gluten free rice crisp cereal!!!
Thanks, Lisa! Yes, I used gluten free brown rice crispy cereal 🙂
I’m not a big dessert person, but if you throw PB and chocolate together it’s a lot harder for me to resist! It’s Reese’s PB egg season right now and they’re EVERYWHERE. Fun fact, I dated a guy in college who worked for the Hershey factory here in Virginia and he would bring me boxes of fresh candy bars. My dad was really sad when we broke up.
WHYYY would they want you to cut these crunchy squares of love!? I need like 30 of them in front of me right meow.
These look soooo inviting! Right up my taste bud alley. Glad you could share here….am a big lover of PB & C.
These bars kind of remind me of a snack I ate long ago, but used marshmallows too. PB and Chocolate are the best combo! And, thanks for the link to the sugar free Maple syrup that you mentioned in a previous post, too.
I’m interested in trying these fantastic bars, thank you Arman! I’m Italian and, as you might understand, I have some trouble with cups. I know more or less the equivalent for almost all ingredients I need for your recipes, but I have some doubt on cereals. How many grams is a cup of flake cereal? 30g?
Can you or anybody else help me?
PS. your blog is great, and it would be super if you could give us (I mean, us who use metric system 😀 ) grams for every ingredient in every recipe!
Hi there! I’ve found that it depends on location- In Australia, I’ve seen some brands say 40 grams, 50 grams etc. I think maybe a food scale would be best here 🙂
Thank you! Knowing that it is between 40 and 50 grams is already very helpful! 🙂
Instead of crispy rice cereal,can i sub with Activated Buckinis Buckwheat Cereal?
That sounds perfect, Wanda!
No bake chocolate crispy bars are some of my very favorite kinds of bars!!!! WOOHOO; they look amazing.
Love this flavor combo!
What can be better fast easy and peanut butter and chocolate yes please
You said it! 🙂
Can I replace the coconut butter? I dont have it right now and want to make those sweets immediately …they look so great
Hi Eva! You can replace it with butter 🙂
If you don’t like nuts can the peanut butter be replaced with something else
Hi Shirley, you can sub it for sunflower seed or soy nut butter 🙂
I substituted the peanut butter for flaked sweetened coconut. Yum!
Would you happen to have the nutrition values door these? They look amazing!!!
Hi Glenda! It depends on how many pieces you cut it into, so its best for you to plug it into a calorie calculator and then divide it by the number you get 🙂 Enjoy!