Homemade Crunch Bars (Award Winning Recipe!)

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4.99 from 2814 votes
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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. 

homemade crunch bars

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!

vegan gluten free crunch bars

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. 

homemade crunch bars

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.

crunch bars recipe

MORE HOMEMADE CANDY BAR RECIPES

Watch the step-by-step video below!

The BEST Homemade Crunch Bars

4.99 from 2814 votes
No Bake homemace crunch bars using just one bowl, 5 ingredients and less than 2 minutes! This quick and easy snack or dessert is naturally gluten free, vegan, dairy free and can be made sugar free! 
Servings: 20 bars
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 1 minute
Total: 3 minutes

Ingredients 
 

Instructions 

  • 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. 

Notes

TO STORE: Crunch bars can be stored at room temperature, in a sealable container. They will keep fresh for up to 2 weeks.
TO FREEZE: Wrap individual bars in parchment paper and place them in ziplock bags. They will freeze well for up to 6 months.  
Also try- Keto Crunch Bars

Nutrition

Serving: 1barCalories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 4gFat: 10gSodium: 69mgPotassium: 105mgFiber: 1gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 30mgIron: 1mgNET CARBS: 15g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

easy crunch bars

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I’m making this for someone who can’t have coconut oil. Should I melt the butter beforehand or just microwave with the other ingredients?

  2. 5 stars
    Everything looks so delicious that I can hardly wait to try these recipes.
    Thank you for sharing
    Judy Steacy

  3. I made these at Christmas. They tasted good but I was not a fan of how the rice crispy cereal was almost unchewable. Not sure if it was because I used generic or if I did something wrong. It’s a pretty simple recipe so I am thinking it was the generic cereal. Anyone else had this experience?

  4. 5 stars
    What about using corn syrup or honey in place of the maple syrup? Can this recipe be doubled for a 13×9 baking pan? TIA

  5. 5 stars
    These bars taste lovely. I just wanted to know what the sugar content is please as I cannot find it above? Am I right in confirming that these are not healthy but just healthier than the original version?

  6. 5 stars
    I so badly wanted to make this but unfortunately rice crispies are not gluten free. Is there another brand that is?

  7. 5 stars
    Is the coconut oil in solid form? Melted with the other ingredients? I would assume yes if butter can be substituted. Thank you.

  8. 5 stars
    Tasted wonderful, but I had some issues with the chocolate/peanut butter becoming very stiff even though I heated it. The second time was perfect.

  9. I have not made these yet but I do want to make a comment. I just read the ingredients and you have chocolate chips listed. Your description of the bars says that they are dairy free but they are not unless you buy dairy free chocolate chips like Enjoy Life or No Whey. I am going to try them but I will use DF chips so that my granddaughter can eat them. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. Can I use Almond Butter, and if so…..Smooth or Regular? Also, please, is it OK to sub out Maple Syrup with Coconut Nectar?

  11. 5 stars
    I just made the Almond Flour Oatmeal cookies and added a bunch of Black Walnuts to the recipe, because my husband loves black walnuts! They are perfect! Thank you!

  12. 5 stars
    I just stumbled upon your site, Arman, by looking up online: “recipe for oatmeal cookies with oats and almond flour (because I have many gf in my family)!” Every recipe I looked at sounds amazing and delicious and not difficult to make! I have 8 gluten free/dairy free kids and grandkids, and am so happy to find your recipes. I will continue to look at more of them, and am going to try your Crustless Quiche and the Best Homemade Crunch bars today! Thank you!!!

  13. 5 stars
    My daughter was hosting a bridal shower and I helped her out by making five kinds of dessert bars. These were her favourite.

  14. 5 stars
    This will be my third time making these. They are delicious and so easy. This time, I added some coconut and pecans and put them in ice trays. Hope it works when I try to remove. Just trying it out.

  15. 5 stars
    Firstly, the simplicity of the recipe is what initially drew me in. With just a handful of ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, it is perfect for both novice and seasoned cooks alike. All you need are fresh sunflower seeds, some olive oil, and a pinch of salt to create a fantastic base. From there, you can get as creative as you want with your seasonings, making it a highly customizable treat.

  16. 5 stars
    I love these bars an will be making many more pans of these in the future.Thank you for the recipe

  17. 5 stars
    This is a VERY dangerous thing to make. OMG!!! it tastes absolutely amazing. It’s also too quick & easy. I really don’t think I should be thanking you because I don’t possess any willpower. This could be fatal.

  18. 5 stars
    These are so wonderful. I like to keep them in the fridge. I live in Texas where it’s almost always hot. I use a non-sweetened peanut butter, half the amount of honey called for, a dash of salt,coconut oil, and sometimes I substitute peanut butter panda puffs for the rice crispies. I like the crunch from using crunchy peanut butter in this recipe but my kids like it w/ creamy pb

  19. of all the gluten free, sugar free, lactose free recipes ive tried .. Yours are , in the words of Tina Turner…SIMPLY THE BEST… I am being completely honest, and I dont normally write to tell people this, but you do deserve the praise Arman… thankyou so much,, Grace… from a sunny Valencia, SPAIN

  20. 5 stars
    I have made these three times now and all were great! The first batch was with regular chips and peanut butter, the second was with lower sugar chips, and the third was with hazelnut spread instead of peanut butter! Wonderful recipe!!!

  21. 5 stars
    Oh these are Delish ! My daughter and grandchildren ate the entire pan in one weekend ! I got ONE serving !!….so I printed your recipe for her to maker herself.

  22. 5 stars
    These are the best bars, better than any store bought candy bars! We make them a little thinner, just so it seems like we have more candy bars to eat…we’re just odd that way. But they are so delicious 😋

  23. These are not vegan unless you use vegan chocolate, right?? They look wonderful but I’m GF and family is vegan.
    Deb

  24. 5 stars
    We thought these were really yummy, but I wonder if your amount of rice cereal is right? I made these recently following the recipe as is, except I added an extra 30g of crispy rice cereal, as the ratio of rice to melted mixture seemed too wet. I have just made it again, using gf rice cereal and for some reason needed to add an extra 95g before it looked a good ratio. Your picture shows the bar packed full of rice, which is how I would want it. We also prefer it from the fridge as it all seemed too soft when left out.

  25. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh Arman! I just discovered your website yesterday and am sooo happy I did 🤗. I just made your crunch bars and they are delicious!!!
    I’m looking forward to trying more of your recipes 🥰 Thank you for sharing 😘 Chris in Texas

  26. 5 stars
    I have question, how come in our knowledge of originator never made dark or bittersweet variety crunch bar?
    I believe because it wasn’t cheap. Milk was cheap to make.
    Maybe you should think outside the box and consider your options instead of making a cheat bar. Make into a nutritious crunch bar?

    I like idea but I think you throw football farther.

    No nuts, to variety that tastes good in your mouth in harmony with crispy rice.

  27. Hi!
    Big fan! My family have really enjoy all your recipes. Question, Is the nutrition facts for the original recipe or is that for the keto recipe?

  28. 5 stars
    Hi Arman. Thank you for the delicious recipe! I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2019 and these bars are a delightful gluten free treat. I am about to make them for the third time. I am looking forward to trying your other recipes.
    Keep up the good work!
    Jackie (Ontario, Canada)

  29. I loved this idea and recipe so I changed the flavor profile using the same concept and measurements. Instead of chocolate chips, I substitute butterscotch chips, instead of peanut butter I used cashew butter and chopped up salted cashews for a slight sweet n salty edge, and I used chocolate rice krispies in place of plain. It made up for some of the sweetness lost not using pb. The results are amazing! With so many chocolate everything recipes out there, wonderful change!

  30. 5 stars
    I’ve tried your homemade crunch bars, which were fantastic! Trying these next! So excited! I’m making a big batch for Easter, wondering if I doubled the recipe if I could use a 9×13 pan? Thanks!!

  31. 5 stars
    Great ingredients. However, these made my fresh new box of krispies kind of soft. No krispie krackel. Perhaps they absorbed too much coconut oil? The coconut oil taste came through strong, and they were pretty soft at room temp. I think I’ll use less oil next time.
    Thanks

  32. what can i sub the maple syrup for i really do not like the taste of maple syrup can i use honey or golden syrup

  33. As a fan of the fondly remembered Nestle Crunch bar, I’m so going to make this soon. Thank you for sorting out a naughty but nice treat we can have 👍👍. All the very best to you, keep mixing up your magic.

  34. Made these exactly as the recipe and they turned out great, everyone loved them – nice crunch. Stored them in a zip lock bag in the pantry and next day the rice cereal was soft. Now not a crunch bar, more a chewy (stale) bar. Where was the mistake?

    1. Hi Rhiannon! Try storing them in the refrigerator, some brands of rice crispies become quite soft the day after.

  35. 5 stars
    These were pretty good but they melt pretty quickly in your hand, I think I’d try using a little less coconut oil next time. Super easy to make though!

  36. Just made these today. We LOVE PB & chocolate. These are delicious and so very easy to make! Thanks for a great recipe 😊

  37. 5 stars
    Absolutely AMAZING! I used Creamy Skippy Natural Peanut Butter & bittersweet Ghirardelli chocolate and it was delicious!

  38. 5 stars
    I had about a cup of Rice Krispies left in the box after mixing in the amount called for in the recipe. The mix looked moist enough that I added those in, too. Not the worst thing, but they were more crumbly than they should have been and would have been much better without the extra cereal. They really did taste like a Crunch bar (or Nestle’s Crunch, as I call it – I’m old!).

  39. 5 stars
    I’m giving this 5 stars because my family enjoyd them. although I thought it was a too sweet. I’m going to make it again because it’s a good way to use up old cereal. Next time I plan to add another cup of cereal and use unsweetened chocolate to make it less sweet but definitely keep the syrup because it binds it togethee.

  40. Thank you for your response. Agave worked well. When I mixed all the ingredients, it looked too much for the amount of Rice Krispies (3cups) that were needed. I thought it would be too sweet so I incorporated 3 more cups for a total of 6 cups of Rice Krispies and put it in a 9×11 pan. I think it worked well. It wasn’t as compact (not sticking hard to each other) as I thought. Do you think I should have added more than a cup of agave to account for the 3 additional cups of cereal to make it stick to each other better?

  41. These look fantastic but I don’t usually love maple syrup. I noticed it’s a small amount. Is it a strong maple flavor? What would you suggest to substitute, or just leave it out?

  42. I made theses bars and then frozen them as instructed BUT the Rice Crispys became soggy and tough! No more crunch and the crunch is what makes these bars so wonderful. Any ideas why? I followed the recipe but the only thing I can think of is that I used natural peanut butter which was a little bit oily.

    1. Hi Rozanne, that’s odd, perhaps your rice crispys were old or of poor quality, as these always maintain the crunch 🙂

  43. I have just made these as I am NHS worker for my colleagues, I made mine in aa 2 batches the other ones I put little pieces of marshmallows that needed using

  44. Ich liebe das Rezept, einmal angefangen davon zu Kosten kann man nicht mehr aufhören es zu essen.
    Klasse auch das das Rezept mit Gramm Angaben ist!
    Jesse-Gabriel

  45. I don’t think these are healthy but they are delicious and we love them! There is a lot of fat in PB and chocolate chips have sugar in them. 😬 we eat them anyhow!

  46. These look soooo delish! I however am super bummed that the chocolate chips you linked have sugar in them. Do you have any suggestions for an alternative?

  47. These Rice Krispy treats are absolutely delicious and super easy to prepare. They literally melt in tour mouth ?.

  48. HI!thanks for the great recipe. Wanna try it right NOW. I was just wondering if it would be ok to use honey instead of the mayple syrup?

  49. Another freakin kick ass recipe. I’m on your site at least twice a week baking up one concoction or another. But My husband says this is one of his favorites!!!

  50. If I weren’t married I would totally be proposing to you right now. This is exactly the recipe I’ve been looking for! thank you!

  51. I don’t have chocolate chips but I do have 3.17 Oz chocolate bars. How many of those equals 1 1/2 cup of chocolate chips?

  52. Just a thought on the “crumbly” comment. As I haven’t made these YET, headed to the kitchen after I type this!, when I’ve made no bake cookies in the past, they’ve ALWAYS been timed on the stove/burner. You bring the melted ingredients to boil of exactly ONE minute, then remove from heat. If you boil any longer they tend toward the crumbly side. If you under boil they don’t set up. Just wondering if that might be a factor here?
    Ok, so there’s my two cents worth, I’m heading to the kitchen for some yummy treats!!!

  53. Is the only thing healthy about this recipe that it’s vegan and gluten free? Do you have nutritional information?

    1. Amy, if you compare it to traditional crunch bars, it is much healthier and much less ingredients. If you’d like the nutritional information, myfitnesspal is a great resource 🙂

  54. Hi
    These sound delicious & as soon as I receive a reply from you I’ll make them immediately. You mention you could substitute a sugar free alternative for the maple syrup. Which can I use as a substitute??
    Thanks
    Kat

    1. Hi Kat! The link for the sugar-free maple syrup I’ve tried with is included 🙂 It’s a monk fruit one- Others haven’t worked for me!

  55. Made these last night and they’re delicious! I also added sunflower seeds and chia seeds, and they’re super crunchy. Only thing is, when they’re out of the fridge they start to go very sticky – any way you can make them a bit more ‘resilient’?

    1. Hi Jill! That sounds delicious! for sure- I recommend using a little more coconut oil and halving the cereal- That tends to help it stick better 🙂

  56. These look yummy, but not sure I would like maple syrup. I’m not worried about all the “free” stuff so could I use basic white corn syrup?

  57. What if you substituted half of the chocolate chips with butterscotch chips, making it like “Scotcheroos”?

  58. I just made these and used melted Lily’s chocolate chips, almond butter and coconut nectar(didn’t have maple )syrup) omg, delicious!

  59. I’ve just been looking for recipes as to how I can fit peanut butter into my food. Think I’ve found the perfect one! Thanks again Arman, you’re the man.

    1. Hi Elaine! perhaps you added too much cereal or not let it chill long enough? It’s been made by many people with success 🙂

  60. Could the maple syrup be substituted for honey? Or golden syrup? Maple syrup is pretty expensive in New Zealand! =(

    1. Hi Aimee! Absolutely- Golden syrup would be a great substitute and better tasting than honey (which is a little overpowering)

  61. To be sure you make these dairy-free, you’ll need to find dairy-free chocolate chips, too. Most have milk in them. Look for dark chocolate variety and read the label.

    1. I prefer semi-sweet or dark, as the maple syrup gives even more sweetness. Saying that, my sister adores milk chocolate so I use those for her 🙂

    1. 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!

      1. 5 stars
        I’m so glad I stumbled upon this recipe tonight. These are SO GOOD. I used Rice Krispies because that’s what I had on hand, and ghee because my daughter can’t have tree nuts. But otherwise followed the recipe to a T. The hardest part was waiting for them to cool to dig in. Now I need to try your other candy bar recipes! Thank you!

  62. Can I replace the coconut butter? I dont have it right now and want to make those sweets immediately …they look so great

  63. No bake chocolate crispy bars are some of my very favorite kinds of bars!!!! WOOHOO; they look amazing.

      1. 5 stars
        Does anyone know if the coconut oil is solid or should I melt it? Mine is solid…..

  64. 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!
    Thank you!
    Valentina

    1. 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 🙂

      1. Thank you! Knowing that it is between 40 and 50 grams is already very helpful! 🙂

  65. 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.

  66. These look soooo inviting! Right up my taste bud alley. Glad you could share here….am a big lover of PB & C.

  67. WHYYY would they want you to cut these crunchy squares of love!? I need like 30 of them in front of me right meow.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

      1. FYI ALDI brand rice crispies cereal is gluten free! ? It uses rice syrup, NOT malt! Can’t wait to make these!

  70. 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! 🙂

    1. 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!

      1. Yes Carolyn they do. When I was a child, I used to eat Watchamacallit’s all the time.??
        I will definitely be making these.