There’s nothing better than peanut butter and chocolate, right? These no-bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars are SO delicious, as well as being ridiculously easy to make! They’re totally vegan, flourless and gluten free – making them the most perfect sweet treat to suit pretty much everyone. Not only are they really tasty, they’re also super satisfying.
I love using coconut flour – the texture is so perfect for these kind of no-bake treats! It makes the bottom layer just like the inside of Reese’s peanut butter cups.. YUM.
If you make these, please do make sure to either comment below or tag me in your photo on Instagram using @ginabnutrition or #ginabnutrition – I absolutely love to see your recreations!
Can You Make Peanut Butter Bars Without Butter?
Yes, you can 100% definitely make peanut butter bars without using butter.
The recipe I’ve developed below for my chocolate peanut butter bars is already a great example of a butter-free peanut butter bar. Instead of butter, we use smooth peanut butter and coconut oil to achieve the desired texture and flavor.
How To Make Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars…
To make these delicious chocolate peanut butter bars recipe, you’re going to need the following:
Peanut Butter Layer:
- Smooth Peanut Butter: This is the star ingredient of the peanut butter layer. Peanut butter provides a rich and creamy texture, along with a nutty flavor that’s central to the taste of these bars.
- Coconut Flour: Coconut flour is used to bind the peanut butter layer and give it structure. It absorbs moisture and helps create a firmer texture. It also adds a subtle coconut flavor that complements the peanut butter well.
- Vanilla Extract: Vanilla extract enhances the overall flavor profile of the bars. It adds depth, warmth, and a hint of sweetness, complementing the nuttiness of the peanut butter.
- Maple Syrup: Maple syrup contributes sweetness to the peanut butter layer. Its natural sweetness balances out the flavors and adds a touch of caramel-like richness. The amount can be adjusted to your taste preference.
- Vegan/Dark Chocolate Chips: The chocolate chips provide the luscious chocolate layer on top of the bars. The type of chocolate used (vegan/dark) will influence the sweetness and intensity of chocolate flavor. Dark chocolate adds depth and complexity, while vegan chocolate ensures the bars remain dairy-free.
- Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is used to help melt and smooth out the chocolate chips. It also adds a hint of coconut flavor, which can complement the overall flavor profile of the bars. The coconut oil also helps the chocolate topping set and become firm when cooled.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars (Vegan & Gluten Free)
Peanut Butter Layer
- 3/4 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 tbsp Maple Syrup (adjust to taste)
- 2/3 Cup Vegan/Dark Chocolate Chips
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- Roughly line a loaf tin with baking paper
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add the peanut butter, vanilla and maple syrup – whisk until well combined
- Then mix in the coconut flour.
- Spoon this mixture into the bottom of the loaf tin and press down with your hands until even
- Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-proof bowl along with the coconut oil
- Microwave for 1-2 minutes until partially melted (then mix until completely melted)
- If you're using broken up chocolate, melt this in a bain marie (glass bowl placed over a pan of hot simmering water)
- Pour the chocolate topping over the peanut butter layer and place in the freezer for 30 minutes until set
- Pull the slab out of the loaf tin and turn it upside down onto a chopping board – (this makes it easier to then slice into bars as the chocolate will be harder)
- Slice into bars
Does Peanut Butter Melt Like Butter?
Peanut butter and butter have very different compositions, so their individual behaviors when heated are not exactly the same (and therefore we must take this into account when cooking or baking with them).
Peanut Butter: Peanut butter is made from ground peanuts and usually contains some oil. When heated, the oil content in peanut butter can cause it to become more liquid and spreadable. However, peanut butter doesn’t melt in the same way that butter does. It softens and becomes more pliable, but it won’t turn into a completely liquid state like butter.
Butter: Butter is primarily composed of fat, water, and milk solids. When heated, butter undergoes a ‘melting’ process. The fat in butter will gradually liquefy, and the water content will evaporate, leaving behind clarified butterfat. This is why butter becomes completely liquid when heated.