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Peanut Butter Dream Bars

corner shot of a slice of a peanut butter dream bar on a white plate
Peanut butter dream bars are loaded with chocolate pudding, a fluffy layer of cream cheese and peanut butter, and a cookie base for a sinfully delicious treat.
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Table of Contents
  1. PEANUT BUTTER DREAM BARS INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS PEANUT BUTTER DREAM BARS RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Layers of fluffy whipped cream, silky chocolate pudding, and creamy peanut butter make these peanut butter dream bars a dream come true. This almost no-bake recipe is so decadent with the classic chocolate and peanut butter combination, it will become your new favorite indulgent treat.

For any peanut butter lover out there, you must also try our peanut butter lasagna and chocolate peanut butter brownies.

PEANUT BUTTER DREAM BARS INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

For the Crust:

  • 16-ounce package peanut butter sandwich cookies, crushed (reserve 8-9 cookies to crush for topping)
  • 8 tablespoons (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • 1½ cups milk
  • 3.9-ounce box instant chocolate pudding

For the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter

For the Whipped Topping Layer:

  • 8-ounce tub whipped topping
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
  • 6 reserved peanut butter sandwich cookies, crushed

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

MILK: This should not be made with soy or almond milk. It will come out watery.

COOKIES: If you can’t find the peanut butter sandwich cookies, you can substitute vanilla or chocolate sandwich cookies.

HOW TO MAKE THIS PEANUT BUTTER DREAM BARS RECIPE

PRO TIP

You can double the recipe and make it in a 9×13-inch baking dish.

For the Crust:

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8×8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

STEP TWO: Using a small mixing bowl, combine the crushed cookies and the melted butter. Stir cookie base ingredients to completely coat all the crumbs.

PRO TIP

To crush cookies, you can either use a food processor or a rolling pin and a Ziploc bag.

STEP THREE: Press crumb mixture into the bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the baked crust to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Pudding Layer:

STEP ONE: Using a small bowl and a handheld electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat together the chocolate pudding mix and the cold milk. Continue mixing until the pudding is thickened.

STEP TWO: Use either a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, evenly spread the chocolate layer over the cooled crust. Set it in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter layer.

For the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Layer

STEP ONE: Using a medium bowl and a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute until smooth.

PRO TIP

Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t end up with lumps in your layer.

STEP TWO: Add the creamy peanut butter and continue mixing on medium-high for an additional 30 seconds – 1 minute, until smooth.

STEP THREE: Reduce the mixer speed to low, slowly add in the confectioners’ sugar and continue to mix until completely incorporated.

STEP FOUR: Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and evenly spread the peanut butter mixture over the top of the chocolate pudding layer. 

STEP FIVE: Top the peanut butter layer with the 8-ounce tub of whipped topping. 

STEP SIX: Evenly sprinkle peanut butter and milk chocolate chips over the whipped topping.

STEP SEVEN: Evenly sprinkle the crushed sandwich cookies over the peanut butter and chocolate chips.

STEP EIGHT: Return the baking dish to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.

STEP NINE: Cut the dessert into 2-inch x 2-inch squares.

HOW TO SERVE

Serve up your easy chocolate peanut butter dream bars either on their own or as a base for an even more decadent dessert. A scoop of ice cream on the side and perhaps even a drizzle of caramel sauce on top would make this treat out-of-this-world amazing.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Keep any leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. IN

THE FREEZER: You can also freeze the peanut butter bars. Cover with plastic wrap and a layer of aluminum foil for up to 3 months. Allow the peanut butter bars to thaw before cutting and serving.

The chocolate and peanut butter filling are such a perfect combination. Adding whipped cream and a cookie base makes this dessert a rich and decadent treat to whip up for a gathering or a weeknight surprise. Share these nearly no-bake peanut butter dream bars with friends, or keep it all to yourself!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do you have to bake this recipe?

This easy dessert is ALMOST a no-bake recipe. You just have to bake the crust before adding the other layers.

Can I use a 9 x 9-inch pan instead of an 8 x 8?

You could use a slightly bigger pan, although it would mean your layers would not be as thick. We do suggest if you want to make a larger dessert, double the recipe using a 9×13 pan.

Can I freeze this dessert?

Peanut butter dream bars can be frozen for up to three months.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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corner shot of a slice of a peanut butter dream bar on a white plate

Peanut Butter Dream Bars

5 from 1 vote
Peanut butter dream bars are loaded with chocolate pudding, a fluffy layer of cream cheese and peanut butter, and a cookie base for a sinfully delicious treat.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

For the Crust:

  • 16 -ounce package peanut butter sandwich cookies crushed, reserve 8-9 cookies to crush for topping
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted (½ cup)

For the Chocolate Layer:

  • cups milk
  • 3.9 -ounce box instant chocolate pudding

For the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Layer:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter

For the Whipped Topping Layer:

  • 8 -ounce tub Cool Whip
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter chips
  • reserved peanut butter sandwich cookies crushed

Instructions
 

For the Crust

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray an 8×8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Using a small mixing bowl, combine the crushed cookies and the melted butter. Stir cookie base ingredients to completely coat all the crumbs.
  • Press crumb mixture into the bottom of pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow the baked crust to cool completely.

For the Chocolate Pudding Layer

  • Using a small bowl and a handheld electric mixer on medium speed or a wire whisk, beat together the chocolate pudding mix and the cold milk. Continue mixing until the pudding is thickened.
  • Use either a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, evenly spread the chocolate layer over the cooled crust. Set it in the refrigerator while you make the peanut butter layer.

For the Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Layer

  • Using a medium bowl and a hand mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese for about 1 minute until smooth.
  • Add the creamy peanut butter and continue mixing on medium-high for an additional 30 seconds – 1 minute, until smooth.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low, slowly add in the confectioners' sugar and continue to mix until completely incorporated.
  • Remove the baking dish from the refrigerator and evenly spread the peanut butter mixture over the top of the chocolate pudding layer. 
  • Top the peanut butter layer with the 8-ounce tub of whipped topping. 
  • Evenly sprinkle peanut butter and milk chocolate chips over the whipped topping.
  • Evenly sprinkle the crushed sandwich cookies over the peanut butter and chocolate chips.
  • Return the baking dish to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours.
  • Cut the dessert into 2-inch x 2-inch squares.

Notes

TIP: You can double the recipe and make it in a 9×13-inch baking dish.
TIP: To crush cookies, you can either use a food processor or a rolling pin and Ziploc bag.
TIP: Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you don’t end up with lumps in your layer.

Nutrition

Calories: 522kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 390mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 91mg | Iron: 1mg
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