Cereal Bars

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Cereal bars are a delicious, no-bake snack made with crunchy cereal, creamy peanut butter, and natural sweeteners, topped with chocolate, making them the perfect sweet and filling treat!

Use leftover peanut butter in peanut butter granola, lunch lady peanut butter bars, or peanut butter overnight oats.

Image of two of the cereal balls stacked on top of each other ready to be eaten

Cereal Bars Without Corn Syrup

Many cereal bars contain corn syrup and brown sugar, which are okay in small amounts (hi, Scotcheroos), but I aimed to make a more naturally sweetened version. While these bars are definitely still a treat, we’re using primarily honey as the sweetener and they don’t need any corn syrup!

They’re sweet, crunchy, nutty, and full of chocolate. Plus, the classic combo of peanut butter and chocolate never disappoints.


  • Honey and White Sugar: These sweeteners bring all the ingredients together and add sweetness to balance the peanut butter. Make sure you don’t boil this mixture to ensure your bars aren’t hard and grainy.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: Use a well-stirred, creamy brand of peanut butter for consistent flavor and texture throughout the bars.
  • Vanilla Extract and Salt: Vanilla is optional but both the salt and vanilla can add so much extra flavor to these bars.
  • Rice Krispies Cereal or Honey-Roasted Cheerios: Either works in this recipe, and both are so delicious! If you have younger kids eating these, the rice krispies are a little easier to bite into!
  • Optional Topping: Mix chocolate and peanut butter and heat them up slowly in the microwave, stopping often to stir. This makes a tasty topping for the bars.

How To Make Cereal Bars

  1. Prepare Pan: Grease a 9×13-inch pan and line it with parchment paper that hangs over the edges.
  2. Cook Honey and Sugar: In a large pot, mix honey and sugar. Heat on medium-low until it starts to simmer, but don’t let it boil. Let it simmer for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
  3. Add Peanut Butter and Cereal: Quickly stir in peanut butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Fold in the cereal until well coated.
  4. Press into Pan: Transfer the mixture to your prepared pan. Spread it out evenly and press down lightly.
  5. Add Topping (Optional): If using, melt chocolate chips and peanut butter in the microwave, stirring every 15 seconds until smooth. Spread this over the cereal base. You can sprinkle a little sea salt on top if you like.
  6. Chill and Serve: Cover the pan and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours. Lift out using the parchment paper, cut into squares, and enjoy!

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Cereal Bars

5 from 6 votes
Print Recipe

Cereal Bars

5 from 6 votes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword cereal bars
Prep Time 25 minutes
Setting Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12 -16 bars
Chelsea Lords
Calories 222kcal
Cost $4.29


  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (like Skippy)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5-1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal (or honey-roasted Cheerios)

Optional Topping

  • 2 cups chocolate chips (semi-sweet, milk, or dark – your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter, for the topping
  • Optional: Maldon sea salt flakes


  • PREP: Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper leaving an overhang.
  • COOK HONEY AND SUGAR: In a large pot (big enough to add all the cereal later), combine honey and sugar. Heat the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it begins to gently simmer—look for small bubbles forming around the pot's edges, but ensure it does not reach a full boil. Allow these small bubbles to simmer for exactly 1 minute, then quickly remove the pot from heat.
  • ADD PB & CEREAL: Working quickly, add 1 cup peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt to the pot, stirring until smooth. Fold in the cereal, gently, until all the cereal is really well coated.
  • ADD TO PAN: Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Using a silicone spatula, spread evenly, and lightly press down to secure in the pan without compacting it too firmly.
  • OPTIONAL TOPPING: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Melt in the microwave in 15-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until smooth. Spread the melted chocolate evenly over the cereal base. Optionally, sprinkle a tiny amount of salt over the chocolate.
  • CHILL & SERVE: Cover the pan and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours. Using the overhanging parchment paper, lift the entire block from the pan and cut into squares.

Recipe Notes

Store leftover squares at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 16bars | Calories: 222kcal | Carbohydrates: 25.5g | Protein: 5.7g | Fat: 11.1g | Cholesterol: 1.8mg | Sodium: 89.6mg | Fiber: 2.2g | Sugar: 14.1g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.

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How to Make Mealtime Hassle Free!

5 secrets to easy, fast and delicious dinners.

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5 from 6 votes

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Recipe Rating


  1. These may be my fav recipe of yours. No bake, and peanut butter cup? Say no more.
    P.s I LOVE the word hangry and totally get mad when I haven’t seen my hubs in awhile (which happens alot since he works graveyards!) Pinned!

  2. I’m a pretty big snacker too, Chelsea. So these look pretty darn good to me! Recently I’ve been looking for more post-gym snacks because that’s when I get REAL hangry. 😉 I have a little canvas print in my cubicle at work with the definition of hangry on it, so it’s most definitely a real word. 🙂 These would be such a fun afternoon or breakfast treat!

  3. You and Drew are so cute! And I love hearing how attached you are to him b/c I am the exact same way with Anthony! These bars look incredible – would definitly cure any hanger in my life (which happens often…)

  4. 5 stars
    Wow, these bars are gorgeous Chelsea! I love love love the pretty swirl and these would definitely make me hangry too 😉 I was sold already with the no bake but chocolate and peanut butter? Sign me up 🙂 Pinning 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    awwww your hubby and you sound like so much fun!! I think we should double (I mean it! 😛 You can also bring the baby. We adore babies! That sounded weird. We’re not weird I swear! Well…we’re weird but not like WEEEEIRD…ok…anywayyyyy)

    LOVE these cereal bars-I would want this for breakfast and for so many snacks! I def. think the choc and pb are necessary, but that’s me 😛

    1. Haha I totally agree!! A double would be SO fun! And we’d obviously have to get your autograph 🙂

  6. How do.you store them cause they look amazing and would love to make them for back to school. Do they need to be in the frig

    1. You can store them in the fridge or out on the counter – just make sure they are in an airtight container or sealed ziplock bag.

  7. These look absolutely gorgeous and that bit different from other no bake cereal bars. I really hope I get to try them soon =)

  8. Chelsea, This looks scrumptious! Since subscribing to your blog, I think I have pinned almost every one of your recipes! You have such a gift for picking them, and your photos are gorgeous!

  9. sleangry is SO real to me, love it!!! these cereal bars look sooo sinful and incredible Chels, love!

  10. I thought these looked good until it mentioned honey…was going to possibly make for my sister until I read that 🙁 she’s severely allergic

  11. This are just totally insanely delicious looking! YUM YUM YUM.
    Such an inspiring site you have.

    And sleangry is TOTALLY a thing. I will be using that now! x

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe is amazing!! I’m a huge snacker and get hangry all the time haha. And as someone who doesn’t like to/doesn’t know how to cook, this is absolutely perfect. Thank you for this deliciousness!!

  13. 5 stars
    These bars are delicious! My only problem was when I cut them into bars they didn’t cut as nicely as yours. I don’t know how yours looked so perfect. What is your secret?


    1. So happy to hear you liked these Wendy! I appreciate the comment 🙂 Honestly, I just use an extremely sharp knife, I wish I had more tricks than that, but that’s it! Sometimes I’ll run my knife under hot water and dry it off and then cut, but usually just for ice cream treats 🙂

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