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Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars are quick to make and kids will love this school snack. Made with pantry ingredients and is crunchy, gooey, and naturally sweetened. Everyone will enjoy these no bake cereal treats!
Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars
Peanut butter Cheerio bars are the ultimate cereal bar treat, especially for an easy school snack, treat, or quick breakfast. These bars couldn’t be any easier to make and are made with simple ingredients.
Both peanut butter and cereal fans will love this sweet and crunchy combination that you get in each bite. You can also feel good about the ingredients used because we don’t add any refined sugar so all the sweetness comes from the honey and peanut butter. I bet your kids won’t even be able to tell!
You only need a few minutes to whip up these no-bake treats and they can customized to your likings. I love using regular Cheerios in these bars but you could also use Honey Nut Cheerios if you wanted a sweeter flavor. If you love chocolate, simply add a lot or little bit of chocolate to the mixture or drizzle on top of the bars.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Original Cheerios: Regular plain Cheerios was used for this recipe but you could also use Honey Nut Cheerios or any other favorite Cheerio flavor.
- Honey: Adds the natural sweet flavor and helps bind the cereal mixture together.
- Peanut butter: Make sure to use creamy peanut butter such as Jif or Skippy brand that’s already stirred and has a little sugar already. I use Skippy’s natural creamy peanut butter but any creamy style will work. Be sure not to use a peanut butter that has oil sitting at the top if you use a natural peanut butter, it won’t work because it will be too oily.
- Vanilla extract: Compliments the peanut butter and honey flavor.
- Cinnamon: This is optional but the ground cinnamon gives the bars a warm spiced flavor.
How To Make Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars
Prepare baking pan: Line a 8 x 8-inch pan or 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper, spray with cooking spray and set aside.
Heat peanut butter mixture: In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt together the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until completely melted, about 2-3 minutes then remove from heat. Add in cinnamon and stir again.
Mix Cheerio mixture together: Stir in Cheerios cereal until evenly coated.
Add to prepared baking pan: Pour mixture into an even layer in prepared pan and press mixture with a rubber spatula.
Chill and cut into bars: Chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour to set and harden just a bit. Cut into 16 bars and enjoy!
Recipe Tips & Variations
Seeds to add: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, whole ground flaxseeds, and chia seeds.
Other nut butters to use instead of peanut butter: Almond butter, sunflower seed butter, granola butter, cashew butter, or any that have a similar consistency as peanut butter. If the nut butter is runny, make sure to stir it from the bottom to thicken it until completely mixed together.
Other sweeteners to use: I use honey but you can also substitute pure maple syrup, agave syrup, corn syrup, or brown rice syrup.
Make Gluten-Free bars: Swap the Cheerios for a plain gluten-free cereal such as Rice Chex cereal.
Add chocolate: Add in chocolate chips (milk chocolate and dark chocolate make a great addition), a drizzle of chocolate or dunk the tops of the bars in melted chocolate.
Bite size bars: Cut each bar in half yielding 32 mini bars.
Microwavable recipe: Instead of melting the peanut butter mixture on the stove, add the peanut butter mixture to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds to 1 minutes or until melted.
- Chocolate chips: Milk chocolate chips, dark chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or mini chocolate chips.
- Peanut butter chips: Adds an extra peanut butter flavor. You could also add chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups or Reese’s pieces.
- Unsweetened shredded coconut or coconut flakes
- Sprinkles: Adds fun and color!
- M&M candies
- Mini marshmallows
- Pretzels: Adds even more crunch.
- Nuts: Chopped walnuts, peanuts, almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, and pecans make great additions.
Leftovers & Storage
To Store: To keep these leftover granola bars fresh, store in an airtight container or wrap each bar in wax paper. You want to prevent as much air as possible from getting to these bars, otherwise they will dry out and become stale. You can also store bars in the refrigerator which will last a bit longer.
If you have to stack the bars, be sure to layer them with a piece of parchment paper in between each bar so they don’t stick to each other.
They bars will last up to 2 weeks when properly stored at room temperature and will last 3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. They won’t necessarily go bad after that, but they will start to get stale and could dry out.
To Freeze: Wrap each bar tightly in plastic wrap, then store in a freezer-safe bag. When you want to defrost a bar, leave it out in the counter for 20 minutes or so or in the refrigerator overnight. Store for up to 2 months.
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Peanut Butter Cheerio Bars
- 3 cups Cheerios cereal
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Line a 8 x 8 inch or 9 x 9 inch baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, melt together the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until completely melted, about 2-3 minutes then remove from heat. Add in cinnamon and stir again.
- Stir in Cheerios cereal until evenly coated.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula.
- Chill in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour to set and harden just a bit. Cut into 9 large bars or 16 small bars and enjoy!
- Bars will last up to 2 weeks when properly stored at room temperature and will last 3 weeks when stored in the refrigerator. They won’t necessarily go bad after that, but they will start to get stale and could dry out.