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Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert (Dream Bars)

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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. Ingredients Needed for this Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert
  2. How to Make This Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Recipe
  3. How to Serve Peanut Butter Desserts
  4. Storing a Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
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Layers of fluffy whipped cream, silky chocolate pudding, and creamy peanut butter make this peanut butter chocolate dessert a dream. This almost no-bake dessert bar recipe is so decadent with the classic chocolate and peanut butter combination, it will become your new favorite indulgent treat.

corner shot of a single slice of peanut butter dream bars

Ingredients Needed for this Peanut Butter Chocolate Dessert

raw ingredients on a table

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.

PRO TIP

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

How to Make This Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Recipe

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.

overhead shot of raw ingredients in glass bowls

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.

overhead shot of crushed peanut butter cookies inside of dish

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.

overhead shot of raw ingredients being mixed with mixer

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.

overhead shot of chocolate layer being added on top of cookie layer

PRO TIP

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

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

overhead shot of raw ingredient in glass bowls being mixed

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

overhead shot of raw ingredient in a bowl being mixed

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.

overhead shot showing layers of ingredients being added

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 Peanut Butter Desserts

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.

Storing a Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert

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.

overhead shot of a pan of peanut butter dream bars with a piece taken out

The chocolate and peanut butter filling are such a perfect combination – making any dessert a real dream. 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 chocolate dessert 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.

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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.

Video

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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