Special K bars are a delicious chocolate & peanut butter flavored cereal bar treat. They have a wonderful chewy texture and are a delicious no-bake dessert bar. Easy to make and take less than 30 minutes to put together!
These have been a family favorite for years! It only takes 6 ingredients in total to make both the bars and the chocolate and butterscotch frosting. These bars can be made in less than 30 minutes! This Scotcheroos Recipe is just as easy and has a delicious peanut buttery flavor.
If your family loves fun cereal treats, try these Apple Jacks apples. They are great year-round but especially fun in the fall! If it's a peanut butter craving you are having, make these three ingredient peanut butter cookies.
Table of contents
It's easy! Special K bars use Special K cereal as the base.
- Special K Cereal
- Light Corn Syrup
- Smooth Peanut Butter
- Butterscotch Chips
- Chocolate Chips
Below is what light corn syrup looks like. This is a popular brand you will find in most stores. It's a clear liquid, and you can find it in the baking aisle.
Use a commercial-type smooth peanut butter (Use a brand like Jiff or Skippy or a store brand). Don't use all-natural peanut butter because the recipe may not turn out as well. It has to do with how the oil separates in the organic and all-natural brands.
Important Prep. tip!
Read through the whole recipe and pre-measure everything. You need to work fast, and the best way to do that in this recipe is to have everything measured and ready to go. If you let the ingredients boil too long or too hard, the final bars can be hard.
In a large saucepan, add light corn syrup and sugar. Heat on medium heat until just melted and starting to boil. I usually watch for the bubbles on the side of the pot, like the picture below. The mixture does NOT need to come to a rolling boil.
Turn the heat off as soon as you have added the peanut butter. Stir until smooth and remove from heat. Do not overheat this mixture. It can make these bars hard.
In a large bowl, add the sugar and peanut butter mixture into six cups of Special K cereal.
Dump the cereal, peanut butter, and sugar mixture into a well-sprayed or lined 9 x 13 casserole dish. I line the casserole dish with parchment paper.
Over your kitchen sink, spray nonstick spray on the back of a large spoon or spatula. The cereal mixture will be easier to spread this way.
It's okay to use a little pressure to compact and flatten the cereal mixture.
Melt the chocolate chips and butterscotch chips together. You can melt it on a stovetop with a double boiler or microwave. Use just enough heat to melt, or the chocolate will seize.
Pour melted chocolate and butterscotch chips into the cereal mixture, spreading quickly to have a nice, thin, even layer. Work quickly so the chocolate doesn't harden before it's all spread. It is a thin layer and covers the cereal mixture.
Cool slightly and then cut into squares. I let it sit on the counter (or the fridge) for a few minutes then cut it when the chocolate layer has hardened
I like having parchment because you can take out everything in one piece. Then, it's easier to cut into squares.
I like cutting it into smaller pieces, roughly 2 square inches.
The difference between Special K bars vs Scotcheroos
Scotcheroos use Rice Krispies cereal. Technically, Scotcheroos are a Rice Krispie treat. To many people, the bar names are interchangeable. Both bars are quick, easy to make, and have a delicious peanut butter flavor!
If your family loves peanut butter desserts, they will love these three ingredient peanut butter cookies! The cookies are a small batch. These Special K bars are a larger batch.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. They can be refrigerated but should be allowed to come to room temperature before eating, or they will be hard.
Wrap well if freezing. Place parchment paper between layers. Make sure to give enough time to warm to room temperature before eating.
Other no-bake desserts
Make sure you don't boil the sugar, corn syrup, and peanut butter mixture. It needs to be heated enough to cover the cereal smoothly, but you are not bringing it to a hard boil.
Yes! Some folks insist the cereal needs to be Special K cereal. I believe you can use what you have! Corn flakes will create a bit of a different texture in the cereal layer, but they still taste great.
Special K Bars (Scotcheroos)
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup Peanut butter
- 6 cups Special K cereal
- 1¼ cup butterscotch chips
- 1¼ cup chocolate chips
- In a large saucepan, add corn syrup and sugar. Heat until you see bubbles around the outside edge of the pan.
- Add the peanut butter. Stir until well combined and take off heat
- Add peanut butter mixture onto 6 cups Special K cereal in a large bowl.
- Stir until cereal is evenly coated.
- Press into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Gently heat both the butterscotch and chocolate chips until melted. Either use a double boiler or a microwave. Don't overheat or the chocolate changes texture and isn't smooth.
- Once the chips are melted, pour over the cereal mixture and spread evenly. It's a fairly thin layer and that's all you need!
- Place in refrigerator to cool - about an hour.
- Cut into small squares (or large ones if you are feeding teens 🙂 ).
**Initially published Oct. 29, 2014.