With fall and back-to-school season upon us, I knew I wanted to create the perfect healthy treat for kids that mom and dad would also love.
If you’ve tried my famous Healthy Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats before, get ready for a fun twist on this amazing classic. Also, if you haven’t tried the rice krispies it’s time to whip up your first batch ASAP.
Anyways, these no bake high protein peanut butter cereal bars are my PB rice krispies’ cute little sister. I mean, just look how cute they are! These little cups are made with just a few simple ingredients and my all-time favorite cereal, Three Wishes. I discovered Three Wishes a few years back and immediately fell in LOVE. So much so that I became an investor in the company! The cereal is all gluten & grain free and packs a boost of protein from chickpeas. Plus they have amazing flavors like cinnamon, cocoa, frosted, fruity, and more.
These cereal bars also have creamy peanut butter, a little pure maple syrup for naturally sweetening, and of course, the best chocolate topping to bite into.
They’re crunchy, peanut buttery, perfectly sweet, and truly the best treat to keep in your fridge or freezer for when the kids get home. I suggest making a double (or triple) batch so that you can enjoy them, too. Bonus points: they’re SO fun to make with kiddos! They’ll love to help with the mixing and shaping the cups.
No kids? No problem. Keep these treats on hand for a healthy dessert any day of the week!
What makes these cereal bars extra special?
These glorious peanut butter cereal bars have a decadent chocolate topping that makes them taste like a crunchy Reese’s peanut butter cup. They’re also:
- Gluten and grain free: thanks to my favorite cereal, Three Wishes!
- Natural sweetened: with a little pure maple syrup.
- Packed with over 7g of protein: from the creamy peanut butter and Three Wishes!
- Easily dairy free & vegan: just be sure to use your favorite vegan chocolate on top.
Ingredients in these peanut butter cereal bars
Not only are these healthy cereal cups grain free, gluten free, and easily dairy free/vegan, but they’re also only made with 6 super simple ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to make them:
- Peanut butter: you’ll need natural creamy peanut butter to help hold the bars together (and for the yummy PB flavor). Use the code ‘AMBITIOUS15’ for 15% off my favorite brand, Wild Friends!
- Maple syrup: these cereal bars are naturally sweetened with some pure maple syrup.
- Coconut oil: you’ll also need coconut oil to help the bars solidify in the refrigerator.
- Vanilla: a little vanilla extract helps bring out the natural sweetness. Learn how to make your own at home with this tutorial!
- Cereal: we’re using my absolute favorite Three Wishes cereal as the base of these amazing cereal bars! Feel free to choose their cinnamon (my fav for this recipe), honey, cocoa, or unsweetened flavor. The cereal is gluten free, grain free, and has 8g of protein and only 3g of sugar per serving because it’s made from chickpeas! Use the code ‘AMBITIOUSKITCHEN’ for 20% off your order.
- For topping: I love topping these peanut butter cereal bars with dark chocolate and a sprinkle of fancy sea salt. Use the code ‘AMBITIOUSKITCHEN’ for 20% off my favorite chocolate, Hu Kitchen!
Optional ingredient substitutions
Yes, these peanut butter cereal cups are easy to customize with what you have on hand! Here are some simple ingredient subs I can recommend:
- For the peanut butter: feel free to use an all natural cashew butter or almond butter instead.
- For the cereal: I haven’t tested it, but I think regular Cheerios or Rice Krispies would also work well.
- To keep vegan: simply remember to use a dairy free/vegan chocolate for the topping like Hu Kitchen.
The best peanut butter cereal cups in 6 steps
- Prep the cereal. You’ll want to chop up half of the Three Wishes cereal into smaller pieces while leaving the rest whole to create a nice texture for the bars. Add the cereal to a mixing bowl.
- Make the filling. Mix together the peanut butter, coconut oil & maple syrup over low heat in a medium pot until it’s nice and smooth. Remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Mix the base. Pour the filling over the cereal in your mixing bowl and stir well so that the cereal is fully coated.
- Assemble the cups. Divide the cereal mixture into a muffin tin lined with muffin liners, then press it down with the back of a measuring cup so it’s nice and compact.
- Add chocolate. Melt your chocolate in the microwave until it’s smooth, then pour a small spoonful on top of each of the cups, tilting the pan so that the chocolate covers each cup.
- Freeze & devour. Finally, place the cups in the freezer for at least 30 minutes so that they harden, then sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!
Can I make them into bars instead of cups?
Sure! To make the peanut butter cereal cups into bars simply:
- Press the cereal mixture into an 8×8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Pour the melted all over the bars and tilt the pan so that it covers all of the cereal.
- Freeze for at least 30 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt, then slice into bars or squares and enjoy!
Storing & freezing tips
- In the fridge: store these peanut butter cereal bars covered in a container or bag in the fridge for up to 1 week. When you’re ready to eat them, just let them come to room temp for about 5 minutes so that they soften a bit.
- In the freezer: place the healthy cereal bars in the freezer for up to 2 months in an airtight container. I’d recommend separating the cups with parchment wax paper as well. When you’re ready to eat them, let them thaw in the fridge and then bring them to room temp as described above.
More no bake snacks to try
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- Birthday Cake Rice Krispie Treats
- Monster Cookie Energy Bites
- Coconut & Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bars
- No Bake Chocolate Caramel Tahini Chex Bars (allergy-friendly!)
Get all of my no bake snack recipes here!
I hope you love these no bake peanut butter cereal bars! If you make them be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked them. Enjoy, xo!
No Bake High Protein Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
Delicious no bake high protein peanut butter cereal bars made with 6 simple ingredients for the best healthy snack or treat! These healthy cereal bars are gluten free and grain free thanks to Three Wishes cereal and are easily vegan as well. Perfect for kiddos and adults!
- For the treats:
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter (we love Wild Friends!)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt (if your peanut butter isn’t already salted)
- 3 cups Three Wishes cereal** (flavor of choice, but I love cinnamon for this recipe!)
- For the chocolate topping:
- 3.5 oz 70% dark chocolate bar, broken up into pieces
- To garnish:
- Fancy sea salt, for sprinkling on top
Line a muffin tin with liners and spray with nonstick cooking spray to prevent sticking. I spray them as a precautionary measure just so they come out easier, but it’s not necessary.
Roughly chop 1 ½ cups of the Three Wishes cereal and keep the remaining half of the cereal whole. Add to a large bowl.
Place a medium pot over low heat and add in peanut butter, coconut oil and maple syrup. Mix until smooth and well combined until slightly simmering on the edges. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract
Add mixture to the bowl with the cereal and stir until completely coated. Pour into the prepared muffin tins, filling about ⅔ of the way, and use the bottom of a small measuring cup to flatten the top so it is even and compact. The more compact it is the better!
Next make the chocolate topping by adding chocolate to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring in-between, until chocolate is completely melted. You can also melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat if you prefer.
Pour a small spoonful of melted chocolate over each muffin cup and tilt your pan to spread out the chocolate evenly. Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes for or until the bars are completely cool and chocolate is hardened. Sprinkle cups with fancy sea salt, then remove from liners and enjoy. Cups should be kept covered in an airtight container in the freezer; they will quickly soften at room temperature. Serves 12.
**These bars would likely work well with other cereal such as Cheerios (and definitely rice krispies/brown rice krispies) but I haven’t tested them to be certain!
Feel free to use a natural almond or cashew butter in this recipe in place of the peanut butter.
See the full post for tips, tricks & more ways to customize your cereal cups!
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by The Mindful Hapa
AK does not miss! These cereal cups are amazing. I made with cinnamon Cheerios and they did not disappoint. Super easy to pull together. I will be making these again as soon as my current batch is gone (:
I’m so happy they turned out great! Thank you ❤️
YUM! I made these this morning. I did add two scoops of Vital Proteins collagen protein powder and 1 T of Inulin to boost protein and fiber further. These are like a candy bar and I do not say that lightly,
Nice!! I’m SO happy they turned out delicious 🙂 Thanks for the review!
I just made these for Halloween and they’re SO good and easy. I used the plain Three Wishes cereal and did just 3 TBSP of sweetener and they came out great and sweet enough for me. Salty, sweet, crunchy, chocolatey, peanut buttery—gang’s all here. Thanks for yet another perfect treat, Monique!
These lil gems are deelish!! Highly recommend if you’re looking for a sweet treat that’s pretty guilt free! Loved them!! Thank you!
Yay! Happy to hear these came out great 🙂