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The ultimate BEST EVER SCOTCHEROOS! A super easy and quick dessert that everyone goes crazy for! via | #scotcheroos #dessert #desserts #bar #bars #easy #quick #kidfriendly #butterscotch #chocolate #chips #ricekrispies

Scotcheroos are quick, easy, no-bake dessert bars made with chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, and cereal. They can be prepared in about 15 minutes, are perfect for parties, and are loved by all ages!

What Are Scotcheroos?

Scotcheroos are no-bake dessert bars combining cereal, peanut butter, and sweet syrup, all topped with melted chocolate and butterscotch chips. These bars are a fun mash-up of Peanut Butter Bars and Rice Krispie Treats. They originated in the United States in the early 1960s when the recipe was printed on a Rice Krispies box. 

Two Scotcheroos bars stacked on top of each other.


I first tried Scotcheroos during my freshman year in college. Since my brother is severely allergic to peanuts, we never had them at home. The first time I tasted them, I was hooked!

In college, my roommates and I would make Scotcheroos whenever we wanted to avoid studying…which was, well, quite often.

Now, with two boys and a girl, a husband, and lots of neighbors, I always have help finishing a batch. Whenever I bring Scotcheroos to an event, everyone begs for the recipe! Not only are they delicious, but they’re also quick and easy to make!


If you’re always on the lookout for a great bar recipe to bring to events, try some of my favorites like Carmelitas, 7-Layer Bars, or Lemon Bars next time.


  • Cereal: This is what makes the bars crunchy! Be sure to use fresh (not stale) cereal and have it all measured out in a big bowl before you start, because things move quickly once the syrup mixture is ready.
  • White Sugar: This is the base of the syrup mixture that binds the bars. Make sure it’s fully dissolved for a smooth texture.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness. Using unsalted butter helps control the overall saltiness of the bars.
  • Light Corn Syrup: Gives the bars a chewy texture. Don’t substitute with darker syrups, as they will overpower the flavors. I prefer using Karo light corn syrup, which does not contain high-fructose corn syrup.
  • Peanut Butter: Creamy peanut butter works best for a smooth, easy-to-spread consistency. Avoid using natural peanut butter as it can be too oily and may make the bars greasy.
  • Flavor Enhancers: Vanilla and salt help balance the sweetness and bring out the other flavors.
  • Topping: The classic topping for Scotcheroos includes butterscotch and chocolate chips. Melt the chips gently to avoid burning. For the chocolate chips, choose milk or semi-sweet based on your preference. If you aren’t a fan of butterscotch, use peanut butter chips instead!

Ingredients in this recipe prepped out for easy assembly.

How to make Scotcheroos

Here’s a quick overview of the recipe. For complete details, scroll down to the recipe card below:

  1. Combine Ingredients in a Pot: In a medium-sized pot, combine white sugar, unsalted butter, and light corn syrup. Heat over medium heat until all the ingredients are dissolved. Keep the heat at medium to avoid overcooking the mixture, which can make the bars hard.
  2. Make the Scotcheroo Base: Add peanut butter, vanilla, and sea salt to the syrupy base. Once combined, pour it over the Rice Krispies. Mix gently to avoid crushing the cereal.
  3. Make the Topping: Melt butterscotch and milk chocolate chips to create the creamy chocolate topping. Use leftover butterscotch chips in these soft Butterscotch Cookies!

Recipe Tips

  • Use a Heavy Pot: A heavy-bottomed pot prevents the sugar mixture from burning.
  • Line Your Pan: Lining your pan with parchment paper makes it easy to lift out the bars and clean up.
  • Don’t Overcook the Sugar Mixture: To prevent the bars from becoming too hard, don’t over-heat the corn syrup mixture. Keep the heat low and melt the butter and sugar slowly. Remove from heat as soon as everything is melted and combined.
  • Don’t Compress Too Tightly: When spreading the coated cereal in the pan, be careful not to press down too hard. Over-compressing can make the bars hard.
  • Microwave The Chocolate Patiently: Use short bursts and stir between each for 10-15 seconds. Keep in mind that the chocolate continues to melt even after it’s taken out of the microwave.
  • Cool Before Topping: Let the base cool before adding the chocolate and butterscotch topping.

Corn syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla being added to a pot and it all being melted together and poured over the cereal.

Rice Krispie Scotcheroos FAQs

Can I use a different type of cereal? Yes, you can use different types of cereal. Try Original Special K instead!

What can I use instead of peanut butter? If you need a nut-free alternative, try using sunflower seed butter. 

Can I substitute the corn syrup? I don’t recommend making these without corn syrup as it is crucial for the texture and consistency of the bars.

Why are my Scotcheroos hard? If your Scotcheroos are too hard, it might be because the sugar mixture was cooked too long or at too high a temperature. Make sure to heat it just until the sugar dissolves and avoid letting it boil. Also, if you’ve refrigerated your Scotcheroos, let them come to room temperature to soften.

Can I make Scotcheroos gluten-free? Yes, to make gluten-free Scotcheroos, ensure that you use a gluten-free brand of crisp rice cereal and check that all other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

How do I prevent the topping from cracking when cutting? To prevent the topping from cracking, make sure to cut the Scotcheroos while they are at room temperature. Using a sharp knife heated with hot water can also help make clean cuts through the chocolate layer.

Butterscotch and chocolate chips being melted together and poured over the scotcheroos recipe.


Store Scotcheroos in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week (I like them best within 1-2 days). For longer storage, you can freeze them for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen bars at room temperature before serving.

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5 from 3 votes
Scotcheroos are quick, easy, no-bake dessert bars made with chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, and cereal. They can be prepared in about 15 minutes, are perfect for parties, and are loved by all ages!
Two Scotcheroos bars stacked on top of each other.
Print Recipe


Two Scotcheroos bars stacked on top of each other.
5 from 3 votes
Scotcheroos are quick, easy, no-bake dessert bars made with chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, and cereal. They can be prepared in about 15 minutes, are perfect for parties, and are loved by all ages!
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword scotcheroos
Prep Time 15 minutes
Setting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20 bars
Chelsea Lords
Calories 499kcal


  • 9x13-inch pan
  • Parchment paper


  • 6 cups crisp rice cereal (like Rice Krispies)
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups butterscotch chips
  • 1-1/2 cups milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips (whichever you prefer)


  • PREP: Measure the cereal into a large bowl. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  • SYRUP MIXTURE: In a heavy saucepan over low heat, combine the sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Stir with a silicone spatula constantly until the sugar is dissolved and butter is melted. Do not raise heat, do not boil (you'll get hard bars!)
  • POUR OVER CEREAL: Remove syrup mixture from heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Pour over the cereal in the bowl, folding gently (with the spatula) until all cereal is evenly coated. Transfer to the prepared pan and press lightly into an even layer, being careful not to over-compress.
  • TOPPING: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butterscotch and chocolate chips. Microwave in 15-second bursts, stirring for about 10 seconds between each, until the chips are melted and smooth (about 60-90 seconds total). Spread evenly over the cereal layer.
  • SET: Allow the bars to set at room temperature until the chocolate hardens. Cut into bars. Best if served within 1-2 days.


Recipe Notes

Rice Krispie Scotcheroos tips

  • Don't overcook the sugar mixture: Scotcheroos will come out hard if you overcook or boil the sugar/corn syrup mixture. It's important to keep the heat low and patiently melt down the butter and sugar. Make sure you pull it off the heat as soon as all the ingredients are melted and combined. You can tell the sugar is dissolved by rubbing a bit of the mixture between 2 fingers. Once it doesn't feel grainy, it's ready.
  • Don't compress the Rice Krispies layer: Once you've spread the Rice Krispies layer in the pan, avoid compressing the mixture too much. Over-compressing the bars will yield brick-hard bars.
  • Microwave your chocolate/butterscotch just right: While there are lots of ways to melt chocolate, I like using the microwave. The secret? Microwave in short bursts and stir in between each burst for 10-15 seconds. Remember, melting is still happening after being removed from the microwave.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 20bars | Calories: 499kcal | Carbohydrates: 100g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 505mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 4774IU | Vitamin C: 45mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 22mg

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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Recipe Rating


    1. There are no marshmallows in this recipe… Perhaps you overcooked the sugar, butter, or corn syrup mixture as that would make these hard.

    1. I haven’t personally tried cheerios in this recipe, so I don’t want to give a recommendation for something that potentially wouldn’t work. That said, I don’t see why they wouldn’t. Wish I could be of more help!

    2. I have made these for Over 40 years but haven’t added the butter or salt. They were originally made with Special K Cereal. My family likes them gooey so have increased the sugar, corn syrup and peanut butter to 1 1/2 cups each.

  1. I have not made these yet. But they have all the flavors that I love all in one bar. If I cut back the sugar and corn syrup by half the amounts, would that affect the outcome?

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe. I use it all the time and the teaspoon of vanilla makes a huge difference on how wonderful it taste I also enjoy the what not to do’s in your comments.

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