Mom’s Peanut Butter Cereal Bars with {the best} Chocolate Frosting

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars with {the best} Chocolate Frosting -

I know most people have a variation of cereal bars in their own recipe box, but I get asked for this recipe so often that I felt it was obviously still worth sharing. These are the only Peanut Butter Cereal Bars I’ve ever known, a recipe from Mom. And they’re one of my husband’s favorite homemade treats.

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars with {the best} Chocolate Frosting -

The bars are super easy to put together, with a minimum of ingredients. They set up perfectly every time, and are gooey and chewy, with just the right amount of peanut butter and chocolate. Better than any candy bar, guaranteed.

Many people say the chocolate frosting on these bars is the best they’ve ever tasted on peanut butter cereal bars, and they always want to know specifically how I make it.

peanut butter cereal bars

This is the only deviation I make from Mom’s original recipe, which calls only for melted chocolate chips in the frosting. My secret is that I simply add a bit of peanut butter. And I like to use Guittard semi-sweet chocolate chips…I think they have a deeper darker quality than most semi-sweet chocolate chips.


These peanut butter cereal bars are easy enough to put together, in fact, I made them while we were camping with my parents this past weekend at one of South Dakota’s beautiful state parks. I thought it would be the perfect way to celebrate Blake’s birthday around the campfire. Except that I forgot to bring the chocolate chips. And the party plates and napkins. And the birthday candles. Sheesh!

Mom & I drained our chocolate supply for s’mores and I used Hershey’s bars in lieu of the chocolate chips. The frosting was softer and sweeter, but definitely still delicious.

And because my aunt and uncle were so thoughtful (thanks, Ray & June!), there were even candles and ice cream!

We had such a great weekend camping and catching up with family and friends. There were games of Scrabble played in our pajamas, card games around the outdoor picnic table throughout the day, boating under the big blue sunshiney sky, and plenty of good eating. We baked our favorite Buffalo Chicken Dip in a cast iron skillet over the campfire, and passed around bowls of freshly popped corn. My uncle Elroy makes the best popcorn, shaking the popper over the open flame. It’s buttery, perfectly salted, and has just the right amount of big open starry South Dakota sky.

Peanut Butter Cereal Bars with {the best} Chocolate Frosting -

Do you have a favorite cereal bar recipe that everyone asks you for? If not, give these a try. And when you take them to your next gathering, be sure to have a copy of the recipe with you, because I’m betting you’ll be asked for it.

Mom's Peanut Butter Cereal Bars with {the best} Chocolate Frosting

Yield: 24 bars


    for the peanut butter cereal bars:
  • 6 c. corn flakes cereal
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. light corn syrup
  • 1 c. creamy peanut butter
  • for the chocolate frosting:
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I like to use Guittard brand)
  • 1/4 c. creamy peanut butter


for the peanut butter cereal bars:

Spread cereal evenly in a 9'' x 13'' pan and set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium/medium-high heat, combine sugar, butter, and corn syrup. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until silky smooth. Pour hot mixture over cereal and gently fold to incorporate evenly. Using a spatula, press down on the coated cereal, firmly but gently, until even. Let cool.

for the chocolate frosting:

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chocolate chips and peanut butter. Heat the chocolate as gently as possible, stirring regularly, and taking care to not let the chocolate scorch. When the chips are almost melted, remove pan from heat and stir until completely smooth. Pour warm frosting over bars and spread evenly. It's really hard to not cut out a piece and eat it immediately, but if you let the frosting cool completely, it will set up and cut very nicely.


Adapted just slightly (I add peanut butter to my frosting) from Mom's recipe box.

You might like these other bars recipes, too!


53 Responses to “Mom’s Peanut Butter Cereal Bars with {the best} Chocolate Frosting”

  1. #
    Tieghan — June 17, 2013 at 8:05 am

    These are my kind of bars!! I want one for breakfast!

  2. #
    carrian — June 17, 2013 at 8:07 am

    OHHHHHHH Heck yes!! This looks delicious and I love your secrets in the frosting. Pinning this baby!

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Carrian!

  3. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — June 17, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Oh girl … Love these!

  4. #
    Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective — June 17, 2013 at 9:01 am

    These look fantastic!

  5. #
    Maria — June 17, 2013 at 9:08 am

    I want to eat the whole pan! Love these!

  6. #
    Rachel @ Baked by Rachel — June 17, 2013 at 9:10 am

    I haven’t played scrabble in forever! I need to pull the games out soon. I wish I could have one of these bars right now!

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Whenever I’m with Mom, there is ALWAYS a game of Scrabble. ;)

  7. #
    Tara @ Unsophisticook — June 17, 2013 at 9:19 am

    My kids would love these! Will definitely have to try them this summer.

  8. #
    Cookin Canuck — June 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

    What a perfect camping or picnic dessert! It looks as though your husband was pretty happy with his birthday dessert.

  9. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — June 17, 2013 at 9:44 am

    These look absolutely delicious!?! Can’t wait to try them for myself.

  10. #
    Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig — June 17, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Apparently you all know how to camp! I want to go with you guys….as I imagine myself gorging on Buffalo Dip around a fire….pure bliss!!

    You’ve intrigued me with these…I was thinking maybe she used Captain Crunch…but corn flakes? Have to try this.

  11. #
    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — June 17, 2013 at 10:45 am

    I love family recipes and your Mom’s cereal bars look SO delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  12. #
    Kathy F. — June 17, 2013 at 10:46 am

    I used 1/2 semi sweet and 1/2 butterscotch chips for the frosting….MMMM Good!

  13. #
    Sarah Brondos — June 17, 2013 at 11:19 am

    I think my kids (and I) would love these…will be trying them :)
    We live in the Black Hills and got back yesterday from camping at one of our favorite spots on Sheridan Lake–hope your weather was just as beautiful!

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 9:06 pm

      Oooooo…I love the beautiful Black Hills and Sheridan Lake. You live in fabulous country!

  14. #
    Melissa @ My Recent Favorite books — June 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I love these! They look so easy and delicious!
    Sounds like you had a great weekend!

  15. #
    Donna — June 17, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Hello Brenda! Happy you and your family got to have fun enjoy your camping getaway and that your hubby had his favorite birthday treat to celebrate while he was there too!

    On making them…I wondered if I could sub maple syrup or honey for the light corn syrup? I know it would definitely give them a different taste…but just wondered if that was a possibility?

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Donna, how are you?! Hmmm…I’m really not sure about your question. I’ve never tried any substitutions. But I did find online that honey is a good substitute for light corn syrup. If you try it, PLEASE let me know what you think!

  16. #
    Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie — June 17, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    Wow these sounds really great!

  17. #
    Becca from Cookie Jar Treats — June 17, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    I do love cereal bars. And I love corn flakes. I would chose corn flakes over frosted corn flakes every single time. It just has this flavor that is so good. Especially when it gets soggy in milk (I’m a soggy cereal eater)

    Can’t wait to try these.

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      I hope you like them, Becca! :)

  18. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — June 17, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Love these bars, that frosting does look like the best!

  19. #
    Emily @ Zweber Family Farms — June 17, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you for sharing your recipe! These are such a classic potluck, church gathering, picnic bar. I cannot wait to try your version!

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      Hi, Emily – it was so nice to meet you in Austin! Hope you’re doing well, thanks for visiting!

    • Dianna replied on June 20th, 2013 at 2:32 am

      Do you crush the cereal at all before adding the sugar, butter and corn syrup mixture? The commenter who used butterscotch in the frosting caught my attention right away. I love butterscotch! I wonder if peanut butter and butterscotch go together well. Anyway, I plan to experiment but love the simplicity of this recipe!

      • Kathy F. replied on June 25th, 2013 at 8:42 am

        Yes Dianna butterscotch and peanut are wonderful together :)

  20. #
    Shaina — June 18, 2013 at 9:14 am

    We always make these with Special K, but I like the idea of switching up the cereals. Lovely photos. It looks like Father’s Day weekend was a success!

  21. #
    nest of posies — June 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

    these look amazing. i love cereal in desserts!

  22. #
    Eve — June 18, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Oh wow! they look soo scrummy. What a great idea for the frosting. sounds so rich and decadent! :)

  23. #
    Paula — June 18, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Adding a bit of peanut butter to the chocolate is a great idea! I know that these would go over really big around this household. Your Mom has some awesome recipes, thank you for sharing.

  24. #
    Megan @ Country Cleaver — June 18, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Moms always know best – these looks amazing! I’m on a serious PB Kick right now. :)

  25. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — June 18, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Pretty sure these bars would knock my socks off! I love chocolate and peanut butter and can’t wait to try this!

  26. #
    Lori @ RecipeGirl — June 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    These look awesome. I need something sweet in my life right now! I loved visiting w/ you at BlogHer food. Hope to see ya again soon!

  27. #
    Deborah — June 18, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    I cannot wait to try these!!

  28. #
    Paula B. — June 19, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Now, that sounds like a fun-filled Father’s Day weekend with all those yummy treats and card/game playing, and campfire memories! These bars look so good, I will have to make them for a summer cookout very soon. One question, though, what do you use for cutting them so evenly (that doesn’t leave indentations in your baking pan)?

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 8:55 pm

      Hello Paula! These bars cut pretty easily. I just used a serrated butter knife, and didn’t press hard into the pan.

      • Paula B. replied on June 20th, 2013 at 6:37 am

        Thanks, glad to know they cut easily!

  29. #
    Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet — June 19, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    These look amazing B. I need a sweet treat in front of me. Do you ship? :)

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 8:19 pm

      For you, I would definitely consider! ;)

  30. #
    Amanda — June 19, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Your mom is the best! And your hubby has great taste. :)

    • Brenda replied on June 19th, 2013 at 8:13 pm

      They are both pretty darn great. ;) xo, Amanda!

  31. #
    margotgn — June 24, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I’m another Iowa farm girl. We always make these with Rice Krispies and Hershey bar “frosting”. I have no doubt that they are wonderful no matter how you mix them up!

  32. #
    Cheryl — June 25, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    My mouth is watering! I want one of these!

  33. #
    Elizabeth Fitzmaurice — July 15, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I’m thinking of making these for my weekend trip to my brother’s lake house. Before I start though, can you clarify if the 6 cups of corn flakes are crushed or not? And if I made them ahead of time, do you know if they’d freeze well? Thanks. By the way, your Rhubarb Cream Cheese Bars were a HUGE hit with my family (and me)!

    • Brenda replied on July 15th, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Hello Elizabeth! The cereal is not crushed. And I’ve never frozen these bars before, as they disappear very quickly around here! But I think it would work fine. The other thing is…they are so good after being allowed to just set up for a couple hours. I’ve made these while camping before by pre-measuring the ingredients at home and then assembling in the camper. They don’t take a whole lot of effort, if you’re looking for a fresh pan of bars. Best wishes, have fun at the lake, and I hope you like these, too! Thanks for letting me know you liked the rhubarb cream cheese bars!

      • Elizabeth Fitzmaurice replied on July 15th, 2013 at 10:04 am

        Thanks, Brenda! It’d be easier for me to make them at home. Maybe I’ll whip them up the morning we’re leaving since they look to be quickies. That’ll eliminate the freezer option. Yum. I know these are going to be a hit. My family are all big peanut butter lovers. I’ll give you the credit!

  34. #
    FRAN — July 15, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I’ve made these before, but I’ve always used crunchy peanut butter, as that’s what I always have on hand.

  35. #
    bali holiday packages — November 16, 2013 at 12:41 am

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog!
    I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking annd adding yoiur RSS feedd to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will talk about this blog with
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  36. #
    Martha Bronsink — March 25, 2014 at 7:42 am

    Also great with rice krispies. This recipe is a favorite.

  37. #
    Ismail N — July 16, 2014 at 2:20 am

    This not only looks yummy, but also manageable for a guy to try. :D Wish me luck!


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