Easy Vegan Scotcheroos (No Bake!)



Stack of four homemade vegan scotcheroos made without corn syrup or butterscotch chips

Did anyone else grow up eating Scotcheroos or Special K Bars? They’re crispy, salty-sweet, peanut butter cereal bars with a chocolate butterscotch topping. And yes, they’re just as good as they sound — totally decadent and (regrettably) shareable!

We’ve given these classic, NO-BAKE treats the ultimate MB remix with a naturally sweetened, gluten-free base and a fudgy, vegan chocolate “butterscotch” topping. Simple methods, just 9 ingredients, and no corn syrup or butterscotch chips required! Let us show you how it’s done!

Crispy rice cereal, coconut sugar, vanilla, salt, coconut cream, chocolate chips, maple syrup, peanut butter, and vegan butter

What is a Scotcheroo?

Scotcheroos were born on the back of a Kellogg’s Rice Krispies box in the 1960s. Classically made with chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, and Rice Krispies, these treats became especially popular in the Midwest.

Since then, the recipe has been adjusted and published across cookbooks and blogs. The following is our take on the chocolaty, peanut buttery cereal bar!

How to Make Scotcheroos

Our healthier take on scotcheroos has no corn syrup in sight yet tastes just like the classics. How? Maple syrup to the rescue!

Stirring together maple syrup, coconut sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla in a saucepan

When you heat it with coconut sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla, then stir in crispy rice cereal, you get a naturally sweetened, peanut buttery cereal base that holds together beautifully when pressed into a pan.

Stirring crispy rice cereal with a maple syrup, coconut sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla mixture

Then it’s time for the chocolate “butterscotch” topping (without butterscotch chips!). Instead, the butterscotch flavor comes from a magical combination of vegan butter, coconut cream, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt.

Pouring a melted vegan butter, coconut sugar, and coconut cream mixture over chocolate chips

We combine it with chocolate chips, let it all melt, and then pour the mixture over the peanut butter base. After an hour (the temptation to hurry the process will be REAL), the chocolate layer will be set and it’s ready to slice into bars!

See also  Gluten-Free PB&J Thumbprint Cookies - Minimalist Baker Recipes
Spreading a melted chocolate ganache mixture over a peanut butter cereal base

We’re SO excited for you to try these Scotcheroos! They’re:

& Classic, yet healthier!

These no-bake treats are the answer to Scotcheroo nostalgia, afternoon snack cravings, chocolate + peanut butter dessert needs, and so much more!

More No-Bake Treats

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Stacks of homemade vegan gluten-free scotcheroos

Prep Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes

Servings 16 (Bars)

Course Dessert/Snack

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 4-5 Days


  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter (we recommend a natural, drippy one // find our favorite brands here)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 cups crispy rice cereal (not puffed // we used Whole Foods 365 brand // ensure vegan/gluten-free as needed)


  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy-free/vegan // we like Enjoy Life)
  • 1/4 cup vegan butter (we like Miyoko’s)
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (we like Savoy)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 generous pinch sea salt
  • Line an 8 x 8-inch (or similar size) baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.

  • BARS: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the maple syrup and coconut sugar. Heat, stirring continuously, until the coconut sugar has dissolved, about 1-2 minutes. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix again until well combined and warmed through, another 2-3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large heat-proof mixing bowl and add the crispy rice cereal. Mix gently until fully incorporated.

  • Transfer the bar mixture to the parchment-lined baking pan, spread, and press into an even layer.

  • TOPPING: Add the chocolate chips to a small heatproof bowl and set nearby. To your now empty saucepan (or a separate clean one) add the vegan butter, coconut cream, coconut sugar, vanilla, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or spoon until the coconut sugar is melted and the mixture is just beginning to bubble on the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Once lightly bubbling, remove from the heat and carefully pour the hot butter mixture over the chocolate chips. Cover the chocolate chips with a lid or plate and let sit for 5 minutes, then mix well with a spatula until glossy and smooth.

  • Pour the chocolate mixture over the rice bars and spread to evenly cover. Then chill in the refrigerator for ~1 hour, or until the chocolate is set and no longer shiny. Carefully remove from the pan and gently peel away the parchment paper. Cut into bars and enjoy! Leftovers keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

See also  Vegan Chocolate Avocado Frosting - Minimalist Baker Recipes

*Prep time includes cooling for 1 hour.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with natural, unsalted peanut butter and Nature’s Path organic brown rice cereal.

Serving: 1 bar Calories: 297 Carbohydrates: 34.8 g Protein: 5.6 g Fat: 16.6 g Saturated Fat: 6.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.6 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.2 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 77 mg Potassium: 124 mg Fiber: 3 g Sugar: 22.1 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 40 mg Iron: 0.1 mg


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