These protein crunch bars taste exactly like the classic candy bar, but they’re way healthier! Loaded with peanut butter, chocolate, and crunchy rice cereal, they have an addictive crispy bite and irresistible flavor!
It’s no secret I love high protein snacks, especially when they satisfy my sweet tooth.
Whether you’re like me and always looking for a healthier chocolate bar or you’re ready to save some money by making your own protein bars, I promise you’ll love this recipe!
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
- Perfect texture. The chocolate melts in your mouth, and the brown rice cereal gives you that essential crunch factor.
- Over 10 gram of protein. Making it one of my favorite pre or post-workout snacks.
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free. Use vegan protein powder and chocolate chips so everyone can enjoy them!
- A healthier alternative. Like Snickers protein bars, this crunch bar recipe will satisfy your candy cravings while keeping your health goals on track.
This recipe is a double whammy. Not only will you save money by making your own protein bars, but you’ll never (repeat, never) buy regular candy bars again, especially when you pair these with homemade twix and almond joys.
Homemade protein bars are simple by design. Here’s everything you’ll need:
- Brown rice cereal. To put the crunch in crunch bars, of course! If you can’t find brown rice cereal, use puffed quinoa instead.
- Peanut butter. Smooth and creamy peanut butter with no added sugar. Not a fan of peanut butter? Swap it for almond butter or any nut/seed butter of your choice.
- Maple syrup. We’re a big maple syrup family since it has a great sticky consistency and naturally caramelized flavor. That said, when I don’t have it, I’ll use brown rice syrup.
- Protein powder. I used vanilla protein powder because that’s what I had on hand, but of course, chocolate protein powder would work just as well.
- Chocolate chips. To melt and coat the protein bars. I used Enjoy Life semi-sweet chips, but any brand of chocolate chips will work, or you can make your own.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to make protein crunch bars
Step 1- Prep work. Line an 8×8-inch or 8×10-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Step 2- Make the batter. In a microwave-safe bowl or on the stovetop, combine the peanut butter and maple syrup. Add the dry ingredients and mix until you have a cohesive batter.
Step 3- Shape, chill, and slice. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press firmly in place. Refrigerate the bars until firm, then slice using a sharp and slightly wet knife.
Step 4- Chocolate coat the bars. Melt the chocolate chips. Using two forks, carefully dip each bar into the melted chocolate. Repeat until all bars are covered in chocolate, then refrigerate until firm.
Recipe tips and variations
- Move quickly. When it comes time to coat the bars in chocolate, you’ll want to work speedily before the chocolate has time to set.
- Switch up the chocolate. While I prefer semi-sweet chocolate chips since they remind me of classic crunch bars, you can use milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or even white chocolate chips!
- Cut the sugar. When I’m watching my carbs, I’ll make a sugar-free version by using keto maple syrup and sugar-free chocolate chips.
- Make buncha crunch. This may be controversial, but I actually prefer buncha crunch to classic crunch bars! If you agree, all you have to do is use a tablespoon to scoop out your crunch pieces instead of shaping them into bars.
To store: Leftover crunch bars can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I like to wrap the bars between layers of parchment paper so they don’t stick together.
To freeze: Transfer leftover crunch bars to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 6 months. Allow frozen bars to thaw overnight in the fridge before enjoying.
Frequently asked questions
I prefer to use casein or brown rice protein powder since they absorb moisture well and have a naturally pleasant flavor.
Yes, you can. You may need to add more cereal to compensate.
More high-protein snack recipes to try
- Protein peanut butter balls– Made with no added sugar and over 10 grams of protein per ball.
- Protein trail mix– Trust me, it’s a challenge not to eat this all in one sitting!
- Banana protein bars– No-bake bars that taste exactly like banana bread.
- Cookie dough protein bars– If you love cookie dough and protein bars, this ticks all the boxes.
- Coconut protein bars– A current favorite in our home!
Protein Crunch Bars
- Line an 8 x 8-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl or stovetop, combine your nut butter with syrup and mix until combined. Add your dry ingredients and mix very well, ensuring it is all fully incorporated.
- Transfer the mixture to the lined pan and press firmly in place. Refrigerate until firm. Once firm, use a sharp, slightly wet knife, and cut into 20 bars.
- Melt your chocolate chips and moving quickly, use two forks to dip each bar in the melted chocolate, ensuring each one is evenly coated. Repeat until all bars are covered in chocolate and refrigerate until firm.
Recipe published May 2018 but updated to include new information for your benefit.
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