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No Bake Cereal Bars are one of our favorite things to make – especially for the Holidays! These peanut butter and chocolate cereal bars are all dressed up for Christmas with red and green sprinkles.
This post was sponsored by Karo® Corn Syrup in 2020.
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BEST No Bake Cereal Bar Recipe
No bake treats are perfect for holiday platters – they’re easy to make, super delicious, and so much fun to dress up for Christmas using fun sprinkles. They’re a nice chewy and crunchy addition to the standard cookies!
You can easily make these bars for any holiday just by changing up the sprinkles, but we especially love that red and green combination for Christmas. These are full of peanut butter and chocolate too – so they’re SO GOOD!
If you’re looking for a new favorite no bake cereal bar, then this is the one you should try: chewy peanut butter cereal treats with a chocolate peanut butter topping. And don’t forget the sprinkles!
Holiday No Bake Cereal Bar Video
Ingredients in this No Bake Bar Recipe
- Crispy Rice Cereal: I love using Rice Krispies but generic is fine too.
- Sprinkles: For in the bars and on the top
- Corn Syrup: This is cooked with sugar to make the gooey binder like marshmallows but allows the bars to be nice and crunchy too.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar for sweetness
- Peanut Butter: Use creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanut butter
- Vanilla: For flavor
- Chocolate Chips: To make the frosting on top
How to make Peanut Butter Cereal Bars
These cereal bars are made with simple ingredients, by cooking sugar with corn syrup, then adding peanut butter and vanilla.
First, you’ll need to mix the dry cereal and sprinkles in a large bowl. Set it aside then make the corn syrup mixture.
Now – if you’re worried about cooking sugar and corn syrup – don’t be! Using Karo Corn Syrup takes the guesswork out of it: you don’t have to worry about sugar crystals or how long your cook it.
Add the corn syrup and cup sugar to a medium sized pan. Heat it over medium heat until it reaches a boil.
Once the mixture reaches a full boil, remove it from the heat.
Then you stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract.
Once the mixture is smooth, then it’s time to assemble the cereal treats!
Pour the peanut butter mixture over rice cereal in a large bowl. You can do this without sprinkles, but since we’re making Holiday Cereal Bars it’s important to add lots of red and green sprinkles to your cereal.
Carefully stir the mixture – it helps if you work quickly and have a very large bowl to avoid a mess.
Then press the mixture into the prepared baking pan – you’ll want a 9-inch pan with 13-inch sides. I line mine with foil but you can use parchment paper too.
Topping for No Bake Cereal Treats
We’re frosting the top of these bars with a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter. You can use your favorite chocolate chips – any kind, even peanut butter chips. Add some peanut butter and melt them until smooth.
I like adding the peanut butter to the chocolate chips because it makes the chocolate harden a little softer so it doesn’t crack when I slice the bars.
These bars fit in a 9×13-inch pan. Simply press the cereal treat mixture in the pan, then pour that chocolate topping all over.
I spread it evenly and then add more holiday sprinkles because more sprinkles is always better!
Next time I’m going to use cocoa pebbles or maybe even Honey Nut Cheerios. You could also add pumpkin seeds to this for some extra crunch.
Once the treats have cooled you can easily slice them into bars. The chocolate hardens so you can stack them easily.
The peanut butter flavor is so good in these – the bars are crunchy and chewy from the Karo Syrup and that chocolate frosting on top adds such a great flavor. No Bake Cereal Bars are the perfect addition to ANY holiday! They’re also great for mailing, or in lunch boxes.
FAQ about making Cereal Bars
It’s important to use Karo in this recipe because it helps avoid crystallization when you’re cooking the sugar. Plus it helps the bars be nice and chewy.
The recipe also needs the peanut butter for texture. You can use another nut butter, if you prefer.
Be sure to have all your ingredients ready before you start – measure out the cereal, sprinkles, peanut butter – everything. This recipe moves quickly so it’s important to be prepared and read the recipe before starting.
If you’re using a measuring cup, spray it first with nonstick cooking spray. This helps it come out easily. However, since this recipe uses 1 cup, just follow the mark on the side of the jar – they conveniently mark 1 cup on the 2 cup bottle.
Store them in an airtight container for up to 3 days. You can also freeze them for up to a month!
Other ways to use Karo
If you have a peanut butter lover in your house, these Holiday No Bake Cereal Bars are the perfect recipe to make all year – but especially with red and green sprinkles at Christmas!
Have you made this recipe?
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Holiday No Bake Cereal Bars Recipe
- 6 cups crispy rice cereal
- ¾ cup holiday sprinkles
- 1 cup Karo® Light Corn Syrup
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup holiday sprinkles
- Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Gather all ingredients; this recipe goes fast and you don’t want to stop to measure.
- Mix cereal and 3/4 cup sprinkles in a large mixing bowl.
- Bring corn syrup and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter and vanilla.
- Pour syrup mixture over cereal and sprinkles. Stir to coat evenly. Be careful, it’s hot! Pat mixture into pan.
- Mix topping ingredients together in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring between each, until melted and smooth. Spread over cereal mixture. Top with remaining sprinkles. Cool (or chill) 1 hour to set. Cut into bars.
Holiday No Bake Cereal Bars are so great for everyone, especially for kids! So easy to make, being a no-bake recipe and they can be decorated for any holiday you are celebrating.
Why use Karo Corn Syrup?
Karo Corn Syrup is a mildly sweet syrup derived from corn starch. Karo Light Corn Syrup has real vanilla and it provides sweetness and moisture to desserts.
You make think of pecan pie when you think about Karo, but it has more a lot more uses, and works amazing in no-bake treats.
For no bake bars like these, corn syrup is an important ingredient because it prevents the crystallization of sugar. If you’ve ever made a recipe where you have to cook sugar, you know that it can crystalize on the side of your pan if you’re not careful. These crystals can drop back into the mixture you’re making and, well, ruin it.
Using corn syrup to make no-bake cereal treats makes them basically no-fail. The sugar doesn’t crystalize so you don’t have to worry about them ruining your mixture!
You can learn more about the benefits of Karo Corn Syrup here.
Last Updated on December 2, 2021