A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Keto Peanut Butter Bars
Has there ever been a better flavor combination than peanut butter and chocolate? There's a reason why Reese's peanut butter cups are still topping lists for our favorite candies and why you can't walk into an ice cream shop without seeing at least one option with the beloved chocolate-peanut-butter combo.
However, if you're trying to eat healthier with a low-sugar diet, it can be tough to get your fix. How do you get the flavors you love without creamy milk chocolate or sugary peanut butter?
The answer is easier than you'd think: keto peanut butter bars!
These delicious, no-bake dessert bars are easy to throw together, and they're packed with healthy ingredients you may already have on hand. Even better, they're easy to customize and fun to make with kids. They're also fairly hands-off since the majority of your time is spent waiting for them to freeze.
Ready for your new favorite snack? Here's how to make easy and delicious keto peanut butter bars.
Like all good keto desserts, these peanut butter bars don't use many ingredients. However, the ingredients they do need are packed with healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants. What's not to love?
Natural Peanut Butter
It shouldn't be a surprise that peanut butter is the most important ingredient here! When you're making these delicious bars, make sure you're reaching for quality nut butter. These options have all the healthy fats and proteins you love without the added sugars, dyes, thickeners, or other ingredients.
If you're hoping to stick with the basics, a classic staple like our Gluten-Free Just Plain Nutty Peanut Butter has the subtle peanut flavor you're looking for. With no added sugar or oils, you can trust that you'll get the delicious taste you love from these bars!
You'll need unsalted butter as well, and any brand works. You'll want to melt it in advance, allowing it enough time to cool so it doesn't melt the peanut butter you're using in the recipe.
Fine-ground almond flour adds a hint of delicious flavor to these bars, and it also thickens the final mixture to make the result a little more fudge-like. Be careful: we're not talking about almond meal, which is much coarser and may affect the texture of these bars.
Your favorite sugar-free, keto-friendly sweetener will be perfect for these bars. Powdered is the best option for the final texture, though a granulated version still works!
Dark Chocolate Chips
Dark chocolate chips help create the peanut butter and chocolate combo we all know and love. They also add antioxidants, which offer a ton of health benefits and may even help with things like inflammation. Though the chocolate topping is technically optional, and you can make these bars without it, the taste won't be the same without this peanut butter pairing.
There are plenty of keto-friendly options out there, but you can use any chocolate as long as it uses low-carb sweeteners like stevia or erythritol. You can also chop up any bar of dark chocolate if you don't have chocolate chips on hand. Aim for a bar with at least 85% cocoa solids, which often means you'll find fewer carbs and less sugar than traditional chocolate.
What if you don't have the ingredients above? What happens if you don't like them?
No worries! You can still make peanut butter bars by substituting some of the main ingredients for alternatives you prefer. You may have to play around with the exact quantities, but you'll still end up with a delicious result.
If you'd like to shake things up, experiment with different types of peanut butter, as long as they use natural sweeteners. American Dream Nut Butter offers peanut butters hand-topped with mini chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, chopped cookies, cinnamon sugar, marshmallows, pretzels, and much more. Because these options are a bit denser, consider swapping only half of the peanut butter in the recipe with one of our fancier blends.
Here's a big secret: these peanut butter bars don't have to have peanut butter!
If you're a huge fan of another keto-friendly nut butter, you can make the switch without issue. Because most nut butters contain similar fat and protein contents as well as almost identical textures, you won't run into baking issues if you replace the peanut butter with almond or cashew butter instead.
If you're trying to share these with a friend or family member who's nut-free, sunflower seed butter or tahini are good options as well.
Peanut or Coconut Flour
Want to double up on the rich, peanut-y taste of your favorite snack? Peanut flour is a great choice. This has a lower fat content than almond flour, so you may need to add a bit less to the recipe to get the same results.
Coconut flour is another good keto-friendly option, but it's so dense that you'll need to use far less of it. Start with around 1/2 cup of coconut flour and go from there, adding a bit more butter as well.
This recipe calls for an 8-inch square pan for thinner, flatter bars or a 9x5-inch loaf pan for taller bars.
However, if you want to make this snack look more like peanut butter cups, try using a cupcake pan! You'll still have a peanut butter base and chocolate topping, but it's a fun option for the visual appeal.
In addition to the main ingredients, you may also want to try mixing extra ingredients in.
For extra flavor, try adding a teaspoon of vanilla extract. If you've chosen to use almond butter, a bit of almond extract can intensify the flavor instead.
You can also add any keto-friendly add-ins you like. Nuts and seeds, for example, add a bit of crunch to the final product. If you've chosen any of our peanut butter options with extra ingredients, this step may not be necessary.
If you'd like to add some decor to the top of your peanut butter bars, save some chocolate chips for the end. You can also chop some of your favorite nuts. Keep in mind that you'll be freezing these bars, though, so make sure the chocolate chips or nuts are finely chopped!
We'd also recommend experimenting with a pinch of sea salt if you don't mind the extra sodium. While some people love the sweet, creamy taste of peanut butter and chocolate on their own, about 1/4 teaspoon of salt can bring out the flavors of this recipe, creating a salty-sweet combo that's even more delicious and complex.
How to Make Keto Peanut Butter Bars
Let's walk through the steps of this easy recipe. As you can likely guess from the short ingredient list, it's a breeze to make!
If you're looking for a straightforward list at a glance, scroll down to the recipe card.
Before you make these peanut butter bars, start by melting the butter. This needs time to cool so it won't heat up or melt the peanut butter you'll be adding next.
Prepare a baking dish by lining it with parchment or wax paper. You may also want to clear some space in your freezer for later.
Mixing the Base
You'll start by adding your chosen peanut butter, almond flour, keto-friendly sweetener, and melted butter to a mixing bowl. Keep in mind that the guideline for the sweetener is more of a recommendation: some people prefer little to no sweetener in these bars to more of the rich peanut butter taste. Others may want even more than we've listed!
Use a silicone spatula to stir these ingredients until they're well combined and there are no more lumps of almond flour.
At this point, the mixture should start to feel thick. You're looking for a texture somewhere between a thick brownie batter and cookie dough: it should be smooth but not too sticky.
Pour this mixture into the pan you prepared earlier, using the spatula to smooth the surface. Pop the pan into the freezer for around 20 minutes.
Make the Chocolate Glaze
Grab your keto-friendly chocolate chips and combine them with about two tablespoons of butter in a microwave-safe bowl. Pop them into the microwave for around 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until they're melted.
If you prefer a slightly harder surface glaze, you can skip the butter. However, the butter helps temper the chocolate a little, making it a bit softer.
Add the Chocolate Glaze
Once your base layer is done freezing, pour the chocolate mixture over it. Smooth it out with a silicone spatula.
You can add any decorative or finely ground add-ins, like nuts or chocolate chips, to the top as well. Melted chocolate swirls are another fun touch.
Put this mixture back in the freezer for about two hours. When you're ready to eat them, pull them out and use a sharp knife to cut them into squares. This is sometimes easier to do after you've transferred the bars to a cutting board (which is in turn, easier if you've left your parchment paper hanging over the sides of the pan).
These peanut butter bars are best-served cold. Though you might expect them to be frozen solid, the ingredients should be soft and decadent enough to sink your teeth into. Enjoy!
Troubleshooting Your Ingredients
Because the moisture content is often different between almond flour and peanut butter brands, you may sometimes run into issues with your dough.
If you feel like the base dough is too crumbly, try adding a bit more butter. If the base dough seems more watery than you'd like, especially if it's far more wet than a brownie dough, try adding more almond flour.
Storing Your Peanut Butter Bars
These keto peanut butter bars are so good that you might not need to store them, especially if you're offering them to a crowd. However, if you find yourself with leftovers, these desserts are easy to store.
Once completely frozen, these peanut butter bars will stay stable at room temperature for short periods, though they'll begin to grow soft. This can be especially tricky on warm summer days when you might find them starting to sag on your kitchen counters.
Instead, consider storing them in the refrigerator or freezer in a ziploc bag or airtight container. For long-term storage, you can place them in the refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to six months.
If you choose to store them in the fridge for a while, you may notice the bars becoming a bit drier, especially around the two-week mark. This isn't a problem: tiny amounts of moisture may slowly evaporate, but the bars will still be delicious!
- 1 cup natural creamy peanut butter, unsweetened
- 2 cups super-fine almond flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1/4-3/4 cup sugar-free powdered sweetener, or more if you prefer
- 1 1/2 cups sugar-free keto chocolate chips
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter, unsalted
- Prepare an 8-inch square or 9x5-inch loaf pan with wax or parchment paper. Melt the 1 cup of butter and allow it to cool.
- Add the peanut butter, almond flour, butter, and sweetener, to a bowl. Mix until no lumps of almond flour remain.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Freeze for 20 minutes.
- Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter to the chocolate chips. Microwave them in 20-second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.
- Pour the chocolate glaze over the frozen base layer. Put the dish back in the freezer for at least two hours.
- Remove the dish from the freezer and slice the peanut butter bars into squares, which should be dense but soft. Serve cold and enjoy.
Get More Out of Your Nut Butter
With these delicious snacks, there's no need to choose between indulgent chocolate and nutrition: you get the best of both worlds! If you've been looking for an easy, no-bake staple to add to your dessert rotation, it's past time to give these a try.
Whether you're hoping to make these keto peanut butter bars or you're looking for healthy nut butters for your favorite recipes, we hope you'll choose American Dream. We pride ourselves on offering healthy, low-sugar, and flavorful treats that you can feel good about eating. To learn more, check out our other keto recipes or shop our collection today.
I feel like there are so many varieties to try with this recipe! I appreciate some ideas for substitutions.
Very informative and great information! Thanks!
Anna Dang on