Do you have peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, salt, and chocolate? Then you have everything you need to make these simple yet decadent no-bake peanut butter bars, made without powdered sugar and without graham cracker crumbs! They’re gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and all-around awesome.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes

I feel like I say this a lot when I introduce a new recipe, but I’m saying it again: this recipe has been months in the making.

Through a combination of my own (sometimes disabling) perfectionism and life distractions happening at an ever-increasing pace, this recipe has been picked up and put down no less than 6 times in the past 6 months.

When you see how simple the ingredients are, you may wonder how the heck it could’ve taken so long to figure out. The truth is, it only took about 2 tries to figure it out, and after that I just tinkered around the edges whenever I had a fresh jar of peanut butter and didn’t feel like doing whatever I was supposed to be doing at that time.

Procrastibaking is real.

Here’s the thing. We’re all spending a lot of time at home right now, and some people are spending it doing very impressive things like baking sourdough bread or cinnamon rolls. Cool, to be sure. But if you’re sitting here on a Monday night and wondering whether you’re up to that kind of task, I have another option for you.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes

I’m of the opinion that right now, we should do and make things that help us feel joyful, or at least comforted. Maybe that involves nurturing some wizardry of flour and water into bubbly life over a week’s time, but maybe it also involves simply stirring together some peanut butter with a couple other ingredients, covering it with chocolate and sea salt, throwing it in the freezer for 30 minutes, and eating it in chunks with your hands and CALLING IT A DAY.

But maybe that’s just me.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes

Peanut Butter Bars Without Powdered Sugar

If you happen to be of the same mind, these healthier no-bake peanut butter bars are going to rock your world. Listen, there are a lot of SUPER delicious, but SUPER unhealthy no-bake peanut butter bar recipes out there. Like, let’s take peanut butter and chocolate, two delicious but already highly caloric foods, and add a whole stick of butter and 2 cups of powdered sugar and graham crackers to them. Why not?

I guess there’s a time and place for that kind of recipe, but personally, if I’m already just sitting in various places around my apartment all day, I’d rather not add to my problems by ingesting a sugar bomb.

So! Hence the tinkering. I wanted a no-bake peanut butter bar recipe that delivered on that amazing salty-sweet peanut butter flavor and dense texture we all love in a Reese’s, but didn’t blow the sugar bank.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes

There are surprisingly few options out there in the internet world. A google search for “healthy no-bake peanut butter bars” yielded a bunch of peanut butter oat bar recipes, which, while delicious I’m sure, was not what I was looking for.

I wanted the full-blown, “this tastes like a way better version of a Reese’s” bars that I’ve had before, but without all the…well…junk. If you want something done right, better do it yourself.

Recipe Ingredients

I remembered that coconut flour is a particularly absorbent flour, and doesn’t need to be cooked like wheat flour does. It also happens to have a ton of fiber and other such good things. I don’t often use coconut flour in my baking because it’s a tricky ingredient, but it’s widely available and easy to procure, especially in a time where people have bought out the wheat flour section in preparation for the aforementioned sourdough adventures.

So here is the sum total recipe ingredients in these shockingly delicious, gluten-free, vegan no-bake peanut butter bars:

  • Natural peanut butter
  • Maple syrup
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coconut flour
  • Salt (omit if your peanut butter is salted)
  • Dark chocolate (vegan if needed)
  • Flaky sea salt on top

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Making these peanut butter bars just requires stirring together coconut flour with a bit of maple syrup for sweetness, vanilla for flavor, salt (if needed) and creamy, natural peanut butter. After a couple iterations messing with the ratios, I got the batter to a texture matching the sugar-laden treats of old.

Step 2: Spread peanut butter mixture in a lined 8×8 inch square pan. I like to use parchment paper so I can lift it out of the pan easily. Place in the freezer to chill while you melt the chocolate for the topping.

Step 3: Melt dark chocolate and a couple tablespoons of peanut butter (this helps it firm into a crackable chocolate shell when chilled), then pour over the peanut butter layer and smooth with a spatula. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.

Step 4: Chill again for 30 minutes in the freezer or 2 hours in the fridge before serving! Store either in fridge or freezer, they’re great either way.

I used dark chocolate instead of the traditional milk chocolate, because we’re grownups here (most of the time). Also I just really like dark chocolate. If you like a different kind of chocolate, use that!

And a little flaky sea salt never hurt anyone, either.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes

Tips and FAQs:

What kind of peanut butter should I use in no-bake peanut butter bars?

Use natural peanut butter. The kind with one ingredient on the label: peanuts (and salt if you like, but make sure to cut the added salt in the recipe if so). I tested this recipe using both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods store brands. Both worked great! Any brand that is just peanuts and salt will do. I haven’t tested this using conventional, shelf-stable peanut butter so I can’t guarantee the same results. Also, room temperature peanut butter is best for mixing. I usually just open a fresh jar to make this recipe because it uses most of a standard 16 oz jar.

Are there any substitutes for coconut flour?

I haven’t tested any substitutions for the coconut flour so I recommend using it, but I think almond flour or oat flour would work as well. You may need to add more than the 1/2 cup called for – just keep adding until a stiff batter is formed. It should be a little soft but mostly hold its shape.

What should I line the pan with?

You can use parchment or wax paper, or even foil. It makes it MUCH easier to get the bars out of the pan once they’re chilled. Just grab the paper and lift!

How long should I chill the bars?

30 minutes in the freezer, or at least 2 hours in the fridge. If you try to cut these peanut butter bars before they’re completely cold, they’ll fall apart. Not recommended. For impatient people like myself I recommend using the freezer. That way you only have to wait half an hour to dig in! Store the bars in the fridge or freezer to maintain their shape. I love them frozen.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes

These no-bake peanut butter bars are intensely peanut buttery, rich, and filling. The dark chocolate is the perfect sweet offset to the dense peanut butter layer. They’re a substantial dessert, and I really like that about them. Plus, they take a sum total of 15 minutes to make, and I REALLY like that about them.

More Peanut Butter Recipes:

As always, if you try this recipe, please let me know either by leaving a comment here or tagging me on Instagram @katiebirdbakes. I love seeing your creations! Stay well.

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars - simple natural ingredients with decadent results! | katiebirdbakes
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5 from 7 votes

No-Bake Peanut Butter Bars

Do you have peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, salt, and chocolate? Then you have everything you need to make these simple yet decadent no-bake peanut butter bars.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: no-bake, peanut butter, peanut butter bars
Servings: 16 squares (1 8×8 inch pan)
Author: Katiebird Bakes


For the Peanut Butter Layer

  • 1 and ½ cups (384g) creamy natural peanut butter at room temperature
  • cup (104g) pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt (if your peanut butter is salted, omit this)
  • ½ cup (64g) coconut flour (do not pack it)

For the Chocolate Layer

  • 4 ounces (113g) dark or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 Tablespoons (32g) creamy natural peanut butter
  • Flaky sea salt (optional, for sprinkling)


  • In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt (if using) until well-combined. Stir in the coconut flour until a stiff batter forms.
  • Line an 8×8 inch square pan with parchment or wax paper. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, melt the chocolate and peanut butter together in 30-second increments in the microwave, stirring in between, until melted and smooth.
  • Pour the melted chocolate mixture over the peanut butter batter and spread evenly to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle flaky salt over top if desired.
  • Chill in the freezer for 30 minutes, or in the fridge for 2 hours. Cut into bars (a large chef's knife works best for this) and serve!


Bars keep, well-wrapped in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer indefinitely.
Note on peanut butter: I’ve tested this with both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods 365 brand peanut butters and love it.  This recipe uses almost all of a standard 16 oz jar.  You’re looking for a variety that just uses peanuts and salt as the ingredients.  I have not tested this with conventional, shelf-stable peanut butter, though I think it would probably work.
Note on coconut flour: Do not pack it into the cup!  Use the spoon and level method like all-purpose flour, or else the bars will be dry.  I have not tested other flour substitutes.  Coconut flour is uniquely absorbent so I recommend using it for best results in this recipe!  It is easy to find in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.  I think, however, that almond flour or oat flour could be used, though the amount would probably be more than 1/2 cup.  Keep adding, a couple tablespoons at a time, until a stiff batter is formed.

Like this recipe for gluten-free no-bake peanut butter bars?  Please rate it and leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @katiebirdbakes, and sign up for my email list to receive my recipes straight to your inbox every time I post!

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  1. this looks so delicious! is there any way to substitute coconut flour? I’m already changing the peanut butter for a creamy almond butter since I can’t eat peanut butter…
    hugs from Germany (black forrest)


    1. Hi Dany – you can use almond flour or oat flour instead, but you’ll have to use more than the amount of coconut flour called for because they aren’t as absorbent. Just keep adding until you get a thick texture.

  2. Can you use all purpose flour if you don’t need it to be gluten free? I don’t have any other flour on hand.

    1. Unfortunately no – AP flour is not safe to eat raw, and since these are not baked I wouldn’t recommend it. It also has very different properties from coconut flour and the substitution would not work. You can use oat or almond flour as a substitute but you’ll have to add more than the amount called for in order to get a thick texture. Coconut flour is VERY absorbent and full of fiber, which causes it to absorb a lot more moisture than other flours. I hope that helps.

  3. 5 stars
    I made these and HOLY COW they are actually incredible! I used a mix of PB and tahini and it came out great! I found that my chocolate layer was pretty thick compared to the photos, so I will use less chocolate next time, but honestly, it tastes incredible and the texture is so thick and fudgy. It feels like the dessert you eat one piece of and savor, but I am so tempted to eat more because it is so delicious!

    1. Thanks so much Alena!! I totally agree, small doses of this one are definitely enough but it doesn’t stop me from wanting more 😉

  4. Hi Katie,
    I’m probably going to make these tonight after work.
    Small question: I have a jar of peanut & cashew butter (only ingredients are cashew & peanut). Do you think it will work to use that for this recipe?

  5. When I told my niece I had made peanut butter bars she got all excited until I said – “they are not like the peanut butter balls with the powdered sugar that we used to make “ to which she turned around with a sad face
    And a bit of disappointment. A few days past and I asked her if she had tried the peanut butter bars and her response was “yes and they are amazing” SCORE – best ever-thanks for such a great recipe and so much less work too! Peace Mary

  6. 5 stars
    Just made these and they taste freakin awesome!! They’re sweet but not overly so and a great ratio of peanut butter to chocolate. And something about the coconut flour mellows out the peanut butter. Thanks, Katie.👏

    1. Deborah – thank you so much for the amazing feedback! I totally agree that the coconut flour mellows the salty peanut butter in the best way. So glad you enjoyed these!

  7. I can’t have chocolate, but am trying to experiment with recipes with cacao nibs. Do you think I could use those in this recipe? If so, would I need to add anything to them besides the peanut butter?

    1. Hi Michelle – I think cacao nibs are unsweetened, so you’ll have to add a tablespoon or two of sugar or maple syrup, depending on your taste!

  8. This is EXACTLY what i’ve been looking for. I’m going to give these a go today with almond flour as I don’t have coconut flour. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

  9. 5 stars
    I LOOOOOVE that these are sweetened with maple syrup. I’m making a batch ASAP and sending the link to my mom who will go nuts for them (she doesn’t eat refined sugar–if we didn’t look alike I’d think we’re not related…) Anyway, these look amazing!