These Chocolate Crunch Bars are made with just 4 simple ingredients and taste better than the store-bought version! My family can’t stop eating them.
This homemade candy bar is inspired by the popular Nestle version. It’s a chocolate bar with crisped rice cereal inside, only this recipe takes things one step further by adding in a touch of peanut butter for extra flavor and creaminess.
The result is unbelievably delicious, with no artificial flavors.
Why You’ll Love Them
They are easy to make. All you have to do is melt some chocolate and peanut butter together, then stir in the crispy rice cereal. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
They are ready to eat quickly. These bars firm up in just about 1 hour, then they are ready to slice! No oven time required.
You control the sweetness. I’m using chocolate chips for the base here, but you can decide how sweet or dark you want these bars to be. Use dark chocolate for a lower-sugar treat, or use semi-sweet chocolate if you want these to taste like a real candy bar. (In my opinion, anything sweeter than that, like milk chocolate, is too much!)
They are gluten-free & vegan friendly. Rice is a gluten-free grain, but always be sure to check the package labels of your ingredients if you have special dietary needs. Many chocolate chips are made without dairy now, for a vegan friendly treat, too. (Enjoy Life brand makes dairy-free chips, and so does the Whole Foods 365 brand.)
Need a grain-free treat? Try using sliced almonds instead of the rice cereal. I use that trick to replace cereal when making Puppy Chow!
How to Make Homemade Crunch Bars
Prepare a double boiler by adding an inch of water to a small saucepan. Place a heat-safe bowl over the top of the pot, and bring the water to a boil.
Add in the chocolate chips and peanut butter, and stir until the chocolate has melted and looks smooth. (Alternatively, you can use a microwave-safe bowl and melt the chocolate in the microwave using 30-second intervals.)
Add the rice cereal to a large mixing bowl, and pour the melted chocolate mixture over the top. I like to stir in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt, too, to make the flavor pop.
Mix well, until the cereal is evenly coated.
Prepare a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan by spraying it with oil, then press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the chocolate mixture to the lined baking dish, and press it evenly into the bottom. Place the pan in the freezer to set until it feels firm in the center, about 20 minutes or so.
4. Slice & Enjoy!
When the bars are totally firm, you can remove them from the freezer and slice into bars. You can decide how thick or thin you want them to be.
I usually like to make “fun-size” bars by slicing them down the middle, too. But, you can decide what size you prefer your candy bars to be.
Store these homemade crunch bars in an airtight container in the fridge for the best texture and shelf life. They can start to soften if you leave them at room temperature for too long.
Or, you can store them in the freezer for up to 3 months, if you’d like to make a larger batch to keep on hand.
Variations & Common Questions
Make your own chocolate base. If you’d prefer to avoid using chocolate chips, I think you could make your own chocolate out of cocoa powder, maple syrup, and melted coconut oil. I would suggest starting with my vegan fudge or vegan chocolate bark recipe, and stirring the crisp rice cereal into the mix before you freeze it.
Which cereal works best? I recommend using a “crispy” rice cereal rather than a “puffed” rice cereal for the best homemade crunch bars. (The puffed version won’t provide enough crunch.) You can use Rice Krispies cereal brand, or I also like the 365 brand of crispy brown rice cereal from Whole Foods.
Need a nut-free dessert? Swap the peanut butter for sunflower seed butter or tahini. Or, you can omit the nut butter all together for a plain chocolate crunch bar.
Homemade Crunch Bars
These Crunch Bars taste better than the store-bought version, with only 4 simple ingredients. They are hard to resist!
Melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and salt together. You can do this in a microwave, or in a double boiler by adding an inch of water to a small saucepan and placing a heat-safe bowl on top of the pot. Bring the water to a boil, and gently stir the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and salt together until they are smoothy melted.
Place the rice cereal in a large bowl. Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the rice cereal and stir well, until evenly coated.
Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and press a piece of parchment paper into the bottom of the pan. (The oil will hold the parchment paper in place.) Transfer the crunch bar mixture into the pan, and smooth the top with a spatula. Place the pan on a flat surface in the freezer to chill until firm, about 1 hour.
When the chocolate feels firm to the touch, you can use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan. Use a sharp knife to slice the chocolate into 1-inch bars. You can make “fun size” bars by slicing the chocolate down the center, as well. (See photos for reference.)
These crunch bars are best kept in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 2 weeks. When you use an all-natural peanut butter, they will become softer when left at room temperature for too long. You can also freeze these for up to 3 months, if you’d like to store them longer.
For a lower-sugar treat, use a darker chocolate.
For a vegan dessert, be sure to check the label on your chocolate chips to make sure they are dairy-free. Many brands naturally are!
Calories: 126kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 43mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 34IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
If you try these homemade crunch bars, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them!