Perfectly thick, soft and chewy Peanut Butter Bars with a peanut butter and chocolate glaze

A plate full of the world's BEST peanut butter bars. Thick and chewy, with layers of smooth peanut butter and chocolate frosting.

This peanut butter bars recipe has been a huge family favorite for many years. Simply put, they are completely addicting and you will want to eat the entire pan by yourself. Consider that my warning 🙂 .

How to Make Peanut Butter Bars:

Make the batter: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar.  Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix well. In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to creamy mixture. 

A glass mixing bowl filled with the dough for making peanut butter bars.

Bake. Press firmly into a greased 9×13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-21 minutes. Do not over-bake! They will look just barely set in the center, and they will harden as they cool. Allow to cool completely.

Process photos for spreading peanut butter over the top of baked peanut butter bars, and then pouring chocolate frosting on top.

Spread with peanut butter. Once cooled, spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the bars.

Top with Chocolate Glaze. Add butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in cocoa. Remove from heat and add milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, using electric beaters to get out any lumps, if needed. Spread chocolate frosting over the top of the bars.

Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions:

Peanut Butter Bars will keep well for up to 1 week, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Freeze, covered well, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.



A plate full of the world's BEST peanut butter bars. Thick and chewy, with layers of smooth peanut butter and chocolate frosting.
Prep 15 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 35 mins
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For the bars:

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (plus more for spreading over baked bars)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

For the chocolate frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar. 
  • Add the eggs, vanilla, and peanut butter and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to creamy mixture. 
  • Press firmly into a greased 9×13” pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 17-21 minutes. Do not over-bake! They will look just barely set in the center, and they will harden as they cool. Allow to cool completely.
  • Once cooled, spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the bars.

To make the chocolate frosting:

  • Add butter to a small skillet over medium heat. Once melted, stir in cocoa.
  • Remove from heat and add milk, powdered sugar and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, using electric beaters to get out any lumps, if needed. .
  • Spread chocolate frosting over the top of the bars.


Make Ahead and Freezing Instructions: Peanut Butter Bars will keep well for up to 1 week, stored in an airtight container in the fridge. Freeze, covered well, for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature before serving.


Calories: 202kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 3gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 216mgPotassium: 76mgFiber: 1gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 220IUCalcium: 17mgIron: 0.8mg

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I originally shared this recipe in April 2013. Updated February 2018 and May 2021–Frosting recipe was amended. 

Have you tried this recipe?!
RATE and COMMENT below! I would love to hear your experience.

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Can I make these with oat flour rather than with oats? The recipe looks delicous. I will need to adjust it to be Gluten Free.

  2. Got this recipe years ago from a local school lunch lady but eventually misplaced it over time. My hometown school made these for lunches from kindergarten to 12th grade!
    It was great to find the recipe again.
    I made them for our family reunion and all the adults carried on how they grew up eating these in school. Big hit! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Thank you for this recipe. I haven’t made it yet but I like the chewie oatmeal part and was wondering if you could just add chocolate chips and maybe another 1/4 c peanut butter. Then would not need to make toppings. Let me know what you think before I mess this up if you think it would not work.

  4. 3 stars
    These need more peanut butter and less outs. Also the frosting is not chocolatey enough. A bit dry, kinda tasteless. I’m sure the kids will eat them but I’ll pass.

  5. 5 stars
    Peanut butter lovers dream bar! These bars are amazing! Kids and husband devoured them. I usually like to tweak recipes, but found this one required no tweaking! Delicious exactly as the recipe is written. Will be making these again!

  6. 5 stars
    The texture of the bars was excellent. A bit on the salty side for me personally, but that is easily remedied. Dad had absolutely no problems with it, seeing as how he ate more than half the pan. I did use a peanut butter frosting instead of spreading the peanut butter and doing the chocolate frosting ( yeah, I REALLY like peanut butter). Definitely going in the recipe box. Thanks for sharing!

  7. 5 stars
    Fantastic. Everyone requests them. I substituted 1 cup of homemade oat / nut granola for 1 cup of the plain oats. Addictive.

  8. 5 stars
    My family and I really enjoyed these bars and I personally ate way too many of them, but I couldn’t help myself! I made them gluten free by substituting King Arthur Measure for Measure GF flour for the all purpose flour and using GF oats. Easy substitutions with great results!

  9. 5 stars
    These are indeed the best peanut butter bars ever! I follow the recipe exactly and they are perfect every time, and devoured by all. People always ask me for the recipe. The edges are chewy and the middle is soft. Perfect!

  10. 2 stars
    Your ‘best ever’ peanut butter bars were mushy on the bottom and had way too much peanut butter. The peanut butter, along with the salt called for in the recipe, gave these bars a very salty taste. There was way too little icing to really taste the sweetness! A very big disappointment!

  11. 4 stars
    Tried these for the first time. They were tasty, but next time will add a wee bit more peanut butter in the base and omit the thin peanut butter layer on top. My husband wants to try Raisins or dried Cranberries in the base, since he loves the oatmeal and Raisin combo. An easy square with lots of possible alternatives. Yummy.

  12. 4 stars
    Great recipe. I made it tonight with chunky Adam’s peanut butter and it turned out well, except the frosting. It was too runny.

    I did a very small amount of creamy peanut butter for that layer. Overall, it was a good recipe, but I’ll add more peanut butter and a bit less sugar next time. And probably use a different chocolate frosting recipe. Overall, it was still very tasty and my family and some neighbors all enjoyed them.

    1. 5 stars
      These bars were the best for sure. Made exactly as stated & would not change a thing.
      The are soft from edge to middle. I could eat the whole pan.
      The oatmeal makes me feel like it is a health food. lol

  13. 5 stars
    So good! We took the suggestion of someone and put on top: peanut butter, 1 c choc chips and 1/2 c of butterscotch chips melted together and it was like a scotcheroo and peanut butter bar combined. Thanks for a great recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    We love this recipe. We found the thin peanut butter layer to be too rich, but we do everything else exactly as written. So good!

  15. Hi Lauren,

    These are delicious! I made a whole pan, but there are only two of us. Can I refrigerate or freeze them?


  16. 3 stars
    Much too sweet – yuk. The bar portion is good so we are modifying the recipe to reduce the sugar and put chocolate chips in the base to get the chocolate kick to the peanut butter.

  17. 5 stars
    These are perfect! I didn’t alter a thing and used a pyrex dish. It took 21-22 minutes, but they were seriously so good.

  18. After making a boxer recipe from my local grocer I got online and searched for a recipe for Peanutbotter bars and this recipe is the first one I looked at that was over 8 months ago. During this time I’ve made them on average 6 times a month and they never turn out exactly like the last batch and I believed it the cooking time that makes each batch different. I’ve inadvertently left out the brown sugar, another time it was the vanilla and once I made it with a pancake mix thinking it was flour I’ve even used lard to replace 1)3 of the butter in the cooked mix. It wasn’t ever noticed by my friends and family that the ingredients were missing. I do use more peanutbutter then it calls for and I triple the chocolate topping. It’s a great recipe and want to say thank you to the cook, chef mother for posting online. I’m hooked as is everyone who hasbeen a guest in my home, and it’s a true story the waking up in the middle of the night for a snack.

    1. Wi made them but after I took them out of the oven I found they sunk in the middle ,,but after I cut them they looked delicious

  19. 4 stars
    I love the consistency of these bars — exactly as promised — soft and chewy mmmmm goodness. I’ll make these again down the road, but likely won’t use the chocolate frosting next time — for me, it almost overpowers the peanut butter flavor, and is a little too sweet. A thin peanut butter frosting would appeal to my tribe a bit more, and maybe a half-cup of chopped peanuts for a little crunch in the cookie batter.

  20. 5 stars
    Delicious! Now, I have to admit after reading the reviews, I thought about doubling the frosting. I didn’t and gave the recipe a chance. I think the reason there isn’t enough frosting for some people is because this frosting cools quickly and if you aren’t fast enough to spread it out, it melts the peanut butter and is hard to move or spread. Just be warned, the frosting amount is fine, as long as you move quickly and pour it in all 4 corners and then the middle. Thanks for the recipe!

  21. Many countries don’t use cup measurements please can you also display the metric measurements like many cooks do on recipe web-sites to give everyone a choice then I might attempt this recipie ?

    1. Hi Emma,
      You will find that new recipe on my site all have the option to convert to metrics. Simply reach out if you find any other recipes you wish to make that don’t have the conversion option :). This one has it now- look for it by the ingredients in the recipe card.

      1. Hey Lauren,
        This recipe looks amazing but the link to convert to metric won’t work. Am I doing something wrong? Desparate to try these but dont have cup measures.

      1. Thank you Lauren Allen, these were terrific, wouldn’t change a thing! Reminds me of Elementary school, when they actually cooked in school.

  22. 4 stars
    Tasted amazing – only thing was that the chocolate frosting portion of the recipe did not make enough to cover the pan- should be nearly doubled for a good covering. Thank you for this recipe I will hang onto it!

  23. 4 stars
    Ok, the recipe needs to be rewritten to fix the errors. I didnt read the comments before I made it so things were off. But I will say even with the baking soda error, the cookie part came out fabulous. The icing isn’t great as some have already said. But I made do with what i had. I will use melted chocolate chips as well in place of the icing. I took some to work today and people loved them. I do too!

  24. 5 stars
    I used a glass 9×13 pyrex dish… I greased the pan with melted butter and then put down parchment paper and greased that with melted butter and dusted with some flour… I followed the peanut butter bar mixture exactly though i did use a bit less of the quick cooking oats… put that in the pan and baked it for 17.5 minutes…. it came out perfect… the chocolate frosting I followed the directions as instructed accept I didnt have milk on hand … so i tried it with heavy whipping cream and added in a table spoon of cold brewed coffee… it came out really good and covered all the bars but a quarter… I had to redo the chocolate frosting so this time what i did was … I used 1 stick of butter, and instead of heavy whipping cream I used hazelnut coffee creamer and added in the cold brewed coffee… Wow amazing!! it covered the whole dish…. these bars taste like a cross between a peanut butter cookie and a no bake at the same time!!!… Thank you for the recipe I will be making these again and again… It is pure heaven in my mouth so darn good and addicting!!! thank you again I wish i could post a pic of them up

  25. Absolute perfection, completely cured my peanut butter and chocolate craving, plus the whole family loved em! I made them vegan, with flax “eggs”, almond milk, and Earth Balance butter; turned out perfectly. SO GOOD!!!

  26. 4 stars
    It is absolutely delicious. Texturally, wonderful. Flavor is unbeatable. Tomorrow I will bake two smaller pans and layer with peanut butter and strawberry jam to make a layered PB&J bar.

    I would have given this five stars except the icing is, as many reviewers have said, very flawed. I tried twice, and ended up just pouring melted chocolate chips over the top. (And that’s much, much easier!) Other than that, 1/2 teaspoon, NOT TBSP, of baking soda! This is not soda bread. No baking ever requires more than 1 tsp of soda per pan of anything.

  27. Have yet to taste, but after 19 mins. center looked a bit gooey & I placed pan bake into oven for 3 mins. I anticipated the cookie to firm, but still seems it did not. I expected to share with neighbors, but I’m hesitant to do so. if cookie containing eggs is not cooked thoroughly. I double checked my ingredients.

    1. You should cook it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with few crumbs. If it’s still gooey in the center it is not cooked enough. Also, it may be worthwhile to have your oven calibrated if it’s taking overly longer to cook then the recipes states :-).

  28. 5 stars
    I made these exactly as stated in the recipe and they came out GREAT! They are indeed the best ever peanut butter bars! I took these to a friend’s house for our football season opening game and they were a huge hit! They pan of cookies were devoured, not a crumb was left! I will be making these again and again throughout the fall and winter. Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe with us!

  29. 5 stars
    As to thimie world’s best I couldn’t say because other then this reciepe I have only had the box mix, I see no reason to sample any other recipe as this one is delicious and damn near full proof. I make them on an average of 6x a month and have only gotten the recipe correct 3 times in 2.5 months, they are great without the brown sugar, they are also great using imitation vanilla, the flavor is great even when over cooked although texture was not the best , I’ve even mistakenly added almond extract to one pan of a double batch and test tasted vanilla is the best, (I’ve learned 17 min is all it takes for my 11×17 pan and I pull them out even if they do not look down or if tooth pick comes out wet.) When I originally looked up the recipe I found one that said to put peanut butter on while still warm, (made it to sloppy) so my advice stick to the recipe all in all I see no reason to change anything just follow the recipe and you will be pleasamtly surprised.

  30. 5 stars
    I just made these for the first time. Very easy and so delicious. Addictive. It tastes like a peanut butter cookie and a no bake in one. It’s not to sweet. Didn’t realize chocolate icing was so easy to make (I typically hate icing because its so sickening sweet but this one is just right). I will definitely make these again. Very good!!

  31. 5 stars
    Not only great so easy to make. One time made and a couple of people have asked for a link to this recipe. Thank you for helping me look good.

    Also on a side note thank you for the smart web design of having the ‘jump to’ buttons at the top. Simple things like that make the whole site worth bookmarking not just for the one recipe.

  32. 5 stars
    My husband and I left out the oats and put it in a smaller pan, baking it twice as long. Or chocolate icing turned out beautifully the first time – I’m not sure why so many people had issues with it. Thank you so much for this recipe! We’ll definitely be making it again soon 💕

  33. 5 stars
    Is 1/2 Tablespoon baking soda correct? I’ve made these twice and used 1/2 teaspoon. Yummy recipe, but I double the frosting recipe.

  34. Found this a few weeks ago and they are easy to made and delicious. I am about to make my third batch lol —- all the family loved them and we are in Argentina and peanut butter is not popular or used much, so to begin I had to make my own peanut butter. ( very easy too) I adapted the recipe the 2nd time I made them adding crushed nuts in the batter as well as chocolate chips. I also added crushed nuts atop the layer of peanut butter on the top and instead of the icing I simply used melted semi- sweet chocolate. They were a hit and I’ll make them this way again tomorrow adding a bit of coconut on top of the nuts before adding the melted chocolate — lol I want it all! Thanks so much for your recipe …

  35. 5 stars
    I made these tonight for our sons and visiting nephews, and they were a huge hit! The chewy texture and delicious flavors were an irresistible combination! I made a favorite topping instead of the recipe’s frosting because of the mixed reviews. Glad I did because it really complimented the bars, is quick and easy, & can’t fail: 1 c. chocolate chips, 1/2 c. butterscotch chips, and 2/3 c. peanut butter melted together, and spread on top of cooled bars! Home Run! Will definitely make these again!

  36. 5 stars
    Let me preface by saying that I’m NOT an avid baker. I have probably baked a total of 8 times in my entire life.

    Still, this recipe was easy enough for even a novice to follow, and has enough detail to make you feel like a pro (sort of).

    Everyone loved them! Consistency and flavour are remarkable. I only had about half the amount of rolled oats in the cupboard, but they still turned out great.

    I drizzled the frosting, since I was confident that my attempt to make the frosting smooth and even would turn out poorly. As such, bites that don’t have much chocolate drizzle would not be as sweet, but are still delicious. I have a very sweet tooth, so I was the only one who cared about this. If I drizzle the frosting again next time (yes, will definitely make these again), thinking maybe to put half the confectioners sugar into the dough, and half into the frosting for a more even distrivution. Unless that would be uncouth? ?

    Five stars all the way, this recipe is one for the books!

  37. 5 stars
    Delicious and chewy!
    When making the icing, my butter cake separated during the cooking process and I thought it was botched, but I just powered on ahead and added the icing sugar and everything turned out wonderfully!

  38. My son and I made these last night and after I cooled and added peanutbutter and chocolate, I cut into them and wanted to try one. It didn’t look 100% done in the middle is that how it’s supposed to be? I baked for 17 first and then let it bake another 3 minutes.

  39. 5 stars
    Everything about these bars are……PERFECT!!! They are the tastiest, chewiest oatmeal bars I have ever had! Might I add the frosting is SO DELISH! Your instructions were easy to follow and I had all the ingredients on hand!! This one is going in the cookbook! Thank you for sharing!

    1. 5 stars
      Thank you for notes to prevent over baking … I resisted the urge to bake longer because it appeared to need a few more minutes … So glad I followed your directions !!!
      Now waiting for cooling and final steps … Yum … … 🙂

  40. 5 stars
    My family loved these bars – they really are addicting! I made them like the recipe said, but didn’t see any reason to boil the milk for 2 minutes. I took it off the heat as soon as it started boiling (making sure I had whisked the cocoa powder in) stirred in the powdered sugar and it was perfect. Will make again!

  41. The recipe for the chocolate icing is incorrect. I wasted the last bag of my powdered sugar trying to make this icing. I think you screwed up and did not include the milk. I ended with lumps in the bottom of the pan.

    1. I’m so sorry it didn’t work for you–something must have gone wrong in the process. I make it with success all the time 🙂

  42. 5 stars
    Delicious flavor! Loved the peanut butter and oat combo! I couldn’t get the chocolate frosting to come out right, however — the butter oils separated and the cocoa powder stayed as chunky little powder pieces. I tried twice and couldn’t get it to melt together properly like yours in the video. Any ideas if I was over boiling or not boiling long enough?

    Anyway, I just melted dark chocolate instead and poured that over top — it turned out great! Recommend!

    1. Hi Rory,
      Most likely the mixture was boiled to hot and too fast! Be sure to whisk it constantly and when it starts to boil and don’t boil it for more than the suggested 2 minutes. (You could even try removing it from the heat once it starts boiling)! Best of luck!

  43. 5 stars
    The wold’s best peanut butter bars!!!
    Wish I could post a pic
    Followed the recipe to the T, only used quick cooking oats, unsalted peanut butter
    Love, love, love

  44. 5 stars
    This recipe looks great but there are only two of us. Can I cut the recipe in half and put in a 8×8? Tried your lemon bars and they were the bomb!

  45. 5 stars
    I was looking for a recipe for oatmeal peanut butter cookies when I found this recipe. So much easier and so much better than any peanut butter cookie I’ve ever made. My son-in-law loves peanut butter and requested I make these again in place of a birthday cake for him! Thank you, Laurie. I am eager to try your other recipes.

  46. Do you store these at room temp or refrigerated? I’d like to mail some in a care package. Do you think they’d keep? Thanks!

  47. 5 stars
    I’ve been looking for an alternative to cliffbars and this hit the spot exactly. Protein and sugar. Exactly what I need when doing a long day of climbing. Followed the recipe apart from substiting almond meal for flour. Tiny bit more crumbly but minimal difference.

  48. 1 star
    My family didn’t care for these Peanut Butter Bars. There are to sweet. I would NOT give them 5 Star rating

  49. This is our favorite cookie bar also. I double the recipe and put in my jelly roll pan. I also take the easy route with the frosting. I put a few dalops of peanut butter around on top and sprinkle dark chocolate and milk chocolate chips around and stick back in the oven for approx 1 min. with oven off then spread around. Wonderful!!

    1. Hi Lori. I like to take a 1 tablespoon measurer and fill it 3/4 the way full. Use your closest judgement :).

  50. 5 stars
    This recipe is awesome! I have made it twice and it came out great both times. Great bar consistency! Rave reviews from all who tried it including myself, LOL My variation was using Hershey‘s special dark cocoa and a little espresso powder in the chocolate layer! Perfect combo of chocolate and peanut butter! Thanks so much for sharing such a great recipe! It’s a keeper!

  51. 5 stars
    These are SO good! Possibly my new favorite dessert. I really like how they have oats in them and the taste and texture were great. Thank you.

  52. Mine did not set either after checking several times. I took the bars out of the oven and let them cool, but still they did not set. So I put the bars back into the oven for an additional 10-15 minutes and then took them out. When they cooled the second time, they set just perfectly. I had brand new baking soda and they sunk a bit in the middle after cooling, but at least were done and tasted wonderfully.

  53. 5 stars
    I just found your recipe and baked these for a family gathering today. They were definitely the hit of the party – everyone was raving how delicious they tasted. Thank you for a new favorite!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I’m thrilled they were a hit! Thanks for sharing, and I’m glad you found me!

  54. 5 stars
    These are insanely good, I could have eaten all of them. lol. Brought the extras with me to work and everyone went crazy saying they were the best peanut butter bars they had ever had.

  55. Followed your recipe exactly and they wouldn’t set cooked 5 minutes more still wouldn’t set turned heat up to 400 for another 5 minutes still an awesome tasting peanut butter mush but wouldn’t call em bars.

    1. Hi Russell, I’ve never had that problem–especially having the texture be “mush”? Something must have went wrong, possibly your leavening ingredients were not fresh, or the amount used was incorrect. I’m so sorry they didn’t turn out.

  56. 5 stars
    I am eating this now. I made it with tahini instead of peanut butter. And a gluten free flour baking mix. I added some chopped cooked apples. It is really good.

  57. Is the baking soda amount correct at 3/4 tablespoon? That’s a lot of baking soda! I cut it back a bit when I made the recipe today and still feel there is too prominent of a soda taste. Otherwise a great recipe for texture and flavor.

    1. Hi Lisa, this usually happens because of a shock in temperature when your cooking on the stovetop (using super high heat and then removing it from heat to cool abruptly). Make sure to bring the mixture to a boil slowly, over medium heat–and stir constantly. Hope this helps!

      1. I had this same problem even after going really slowly and stirring constantly. But I saved it by putting the mixture (including powdered sugar) into my mixer and while whipping adding a dribble of milk. Smoothed out beautifully and was no longer a greasy mess. The frosting still set up and everything. Thanks for the recipe!

        1. Thank you for this! That’s exactly how mine went too so I put it in the mixer, added a splash of milk and whipped it, turned out perfectly!

  58. I am obsessed with the peanut butter and chocolate combination. And the fact these are “from scratch” I know they will be so much better than anything in a package. Can’t wait to make these!

      1. Is the frosting recipe supposed to say 1/2 cup butter, or 1/2 cup peanut butter? You mention the frosting having the perfect peanut butter/chocolate ratio, but recipe doesn’t list peanut butter. . .
        Anxious to try these. Thanks!

        1. Hi Tracy, You’ll notice in #3 of the directions that you spread a thin layer of peanut butter over the baked bars once they are cool. Then you top that with chocolate frosting! Let me know if you have any more questions!

  59. These are delicious, however, instead of the frosting, I top them with melted Hershey bars. The chocolate sets up so you can stack them and the Hershey seem to be a little less sweet.

  60. I bake these bars but they were great but a little DRY. Should they not be more chewy is that I cooked them to long or what?

  61. Hi Jeannine, dry bars would most likely come from over-baking, or too much flour. I hope you get to try them again and they work better!