Homemade Crunch Bars Recipe

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If you’re a fan of crunchy chocolate bars, you’ll love this homemade Crunch bars recipe!

With its crispy, buttery texture, and rich chocolate flavor, this DIY version of these classic and favorite candy bars is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. And the best part is, it’s incredibly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.

An overhead view looking down on four Homemade Crunch Bars and some puffed brown rice on a white surface.

Whether you’re looking for a fun weekend project or a delicious treat to share with friends and family, this homemade Crunch bar recipe is sure to impress. So grab your apron and get ready to whip up a batch of this irresistible chocolate treat!

What Are Homemade Crunch Bars?

Homemade crunch bars are a type of candy bar that can be made at home with a few simple ingredients. They typically consist of a crispy rice cereal base, such as Rice Krispies, mixed with melted chocolate and any other desired ingredients, such as nuts or dried fruit. The mixture is then pressed into a baking dish, chilled until firm, and cut into bars.

The homemade version of crunch bars is a great alternative to the store-bought version, as it allows you to customize the flavors and ingredients to your liking. Plus, it can be a fun and easy project to do with kids or as a weekend treat for yourself or your family.

Three Homemade Crunch Bars stacked high on a white background.

What Is The Crunchy Part Of A Crunch Bar?

While I can’t speak for the store-bought version, the crispy part of the recipe below is puffed brown rice cereal. It does a pretty good job mimicking the store-bought variety. It’s obviously not exact, but pretty close! You can click the image below to purchase this from Amazon. But most health food stores carry this.

Are Crunch Bars Gluten Free?

They are if you purchase gluten-free ingredients. This recipe doesn’t call for anything with wheat. So as long as the ingredients you purchase are labeled as gluten-free, then so is the recipe!

Are These Crunch Bars Vegan?

They are if you purchase vegan chocolate chips. Beyond that, everything else is naturally vegan!

Can These Be Made Dairy-Free?

They will be naturally dairy-free as long as you purchase dairy-free chocolate chips.

Homemade Crunch Bars on a white surface with a bowl of puffed brown rice cereal and a bowl of peanut butter.

Recipe Tips

  1. Be gentle when mixing the chocolate mixture with the crispy rice cereal to avoid crushing the cereal. Use a folding motion to combine everything until the cereal is evenly coated with the chocolate mixture.
  2. Line the baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil before pressing the mixture into it. This will make it easier to remove the bars from the dish and cut them into even pieces.
  3. Let the bars cool completely in the refrigerator before cutting them into pieces. This will make it easier to get clean cuts and will prevent the bars from falling apart.
  4. If you want to add a little extra crunch to the bars, you can stir in some chopped nuts or seeds before pressing the mixture into the baking dish. Just be sure to not go over 3 cups of dry ingredients or the bars might not hold together properly. This means you’ll have to reduce the amount of puffed rice cereal to accommodate whatever else you are adding.
  5. To make the bars even more indulgent, you can drizzle some melted chocolate or nut butter over the top before letting them set in the refrigerator. You can also sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the top. This will add an extra layer of flavor and make the bars look even more delicious.
  6. For this recipe, it’s best to avoid milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips. These chocolate crunch bars really need dark chocolate.
An overhead view looking down on six Homemade Crunch Bars.

Recipe Additions

As long as you stick to the 3-cup rule mentioned in the recipe tips above, you can add quite a few things to these to change the flavor. Here are some suggestions:

  • Peanuts
  • Walnuts
  • Pecans
  • Dried cranberries
  • Raisins
  • Cacao nibs
  • Chia seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • A dollop of honey just for the flavor

Garnish Ideas

Sprinkle the tops of your bars with one or some of the following to give them that something extra.

  • Cocoa powder
  • Sea salt
  • Peanut butter or other nut butter
  • Chopped nuts
  • Seeds of any kind

What Are The Ingredients For Crunch Bars?

Puffed brown rice cereal – These are often found in health food stores. But I will place a above below for them on Amazon in case you can’t find them.

Dark chocolate chips – I used either the Lily’s brand or the Whole Foods 365 Sugar-Free Chocolate Chips (Not paid to promote either one.)

Unsweetened peanut butter  – or any nut or seed butter.

Maple syrup – Use the real stuff. Not pancake syrup.

Virgin coconut oil – You want this to be the type of coconut oil that is solid at room temperature (virgin). Not the type that stays liquid at room temperature. The hardened oil will help hold the bars together.

How To Make Homemade Crunch Bars

Homemade Crunch Bars Recipe ingredients in individual glass bowls.

Collect and measure all your ingredients.

Dark chocolate chips in a skillet.
Dark chocolate chips in a skillet just starting to melt.

Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, add 3 cups of crispy rice cereal. Add the chocolate chips and place the pot over medium-low heat. Stir the chocolate chips occasionally until they start to melt.

Pouring maple syrup into melting chocolate chips in a skillet.
Chocolate chips in a skillet melting into some added maple syrup.

Once the chocolate chips begin to melt, add the maple syrup.

Peanut butter added to melting chocolate chips in a skillet.

Next, add the peanut butter.

Melted Homemade Crunch Bars batter sitting in a skillet.

Finally, add the coconut oil to the same pot. Mix everything together over low heat until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.

Homemade Crunch Bars batter added to a bowl filled with brown puffed rice cereal.
Puffed brown rice mixed into melted chocolate in a mixing bowl.

Pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the crispy rice cereal in a large bowl. Stir the mixture until the cereal is evenly coated.

Homemade Crunch Bars batter poured into a parchment-lined baking pan.
Homemade Crunch Bars batter spread over a parchment-lined baking pan.

Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down firmly with a spatula to create an even layer. Refrigerate the pan for at least 1 hour to allow the mixture to set.

The chilled Homemade Crunch Bars loaf removed from the baking pan and placed on a wire rack.

Once the mixture has hardened, remove it from the pan.

Six Homemade Crunch Bars lined up on white parchment paper.

Cut the bars into 12 squares or rectangles and enjoy.

Storage

To store the Crunch Bars, place them in an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

If you’re transporting the bars, pack them in an insulated cooler bag or use an ice pack to keep them cool. Note that the bars will soften slightly at room temperature, especially in warm weather. If they become too soft, simply pop them back in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up again.

Freezing

You can freeze them for up to 2 months. Make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe container before freezing.

Recipe Supplies

For this recipe, you’ll need a 9-inch square baking pan, parchment paper, 1 Large mixing bowl 1 medium-sized pot, and 1 spatula. Click any image here to be taken to that product on Amazon if you need it. (Affiliate links)

9-inch baking pan sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Mixing bowl set with lids, graters, spatulas and measuring spoons sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)
Unbleached parchment paper sheets sold on Amazon. (Affiliate link)

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An overhead view looking down on four Homemade Crunch Bars and some puffed brown rice on a white surface.

Homemade Crunch Bars Recipe

Delicious homemade crunch bars that are the perfect treat for any occasion!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12 bars
Calories: 342kcal
Author: Tiffany McCauley

Equipment

  • 9-inch square baking pan
  • Parchment paper
  • 1 Large mixing bowl
  • medium-sized pot
  • 1 Spatula

Ingredients

  • 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal
  • cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsweetened peanut butter (or any nut or seed butter)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup virgin coconut oil (in liquid state)

Instructions

  • Collect and measure all your ingredients.
    Homemade Crunch Bars Recipe ingredients in individual glass bowls.
  • Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.
    In a large mixing bowl, add 3 cups of crispy rice cereal.
    Add the chocolate chips and place the pot over medium-low heat. Stir the chocolate chips occasionally until they start to melt.
    Dark chocolate chips in a skillet just starting to melt.
  • Once the chocolate chips begin to melt, add the maple syrup.
    Pouring maple syrup into melting chocolate chips in a skillet.
  • Next, add the peanut butter.
    Peanut butter added to melting chocolate chips in a skillet.
  • Finally, add the coconut oil to the same pot. Mix everything together over low heat until the mixture is smooth and fully combined.
    Melted Homemade Crunch Bars batter sitting in a skillet.
  • Pour the chocolate-peanut butter mixture over the crispy rice cereal in the large mixing bowl. Stir the mixture until the cereal is evenly coated.
    Homemade Crunch Bars batter added to a bowl filled with brown puffed rice cereal.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press down firmly with a spatula to create an even layer. Refrigerate the pan for at least 1 hour to allow the mixture to set.
    Homemade Crunch Bars batter spread over a parchment-lined baking pan.
  • Once the mixture has hardened, remove it from the pan.
    The chilled Homemade Crunch Bars loaf removed from the baking pan and placed on a wire rack.
  • Cut the bars into 12 squares or rectangles and enjoy.
    Six Homemade Crunch Bars lined up on white parchment paper.

Notes

Please note that the nutrition data given here is a ballpark figure. Exact data is not possible.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 29mg | Potassium: 298mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 1mg

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I'm Tiffany, a writer for MSN and the AP Newswire, a cookbook author, digital publisher, food lover, and mom. I create healthy, clean eating recipes for everyday living.

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