Simple peanut butter cornflake bars are the perfect start to the holiday season. They are delicious and a great snack for kiddos with an active schedule. Nonetheless, my daughter is very active with gymnastics two times a week and when she gets off the bus, these have been her go to bar before leaving.
These are a layered dessert bar! The center consists of a chocolate butterscotch and marshmallow layer and both the top and bottom are filled with a peanut butter cornflake crunch! One bite and you will be hooked!
I spiced up the bars with my center layer of the the chocolate and butterscotch layer. Traditionally these bars have just been made with a Hershey chocolate bar layer, but I wanted to add my own pizazz to them!
Ingredients and substitutions
Most of these ingredients will be in your pantry, but feel free to substitute. These are the perfect combination of sweet and savory (my favorite). However, substitutions can be made! I adapted this recipe from my maternal grandmother.
- Cornflakes: I used the Cornflake brand cereal, but feel free to use generic cereal or even the cornflakes crumbs.
- Powdered milk: There are several brands for powdered milk that will all work, however my favorite is Great Value at Walmart. Coffee creamer can also be used if your local grocery store doesn't have powdered milk.
- Flour: In the bars both bread and all purpose flour will be used. Bread flour tends to give the bars a more chewy texture and enhances flavor. In a pinch, if you don't have bread flour, you can just use all-purpose flour, but texture will be altered!
- Peanut butter: Any brand of peanut butter will work in these bars, just make sure it is creamy.
- Chocolate: I used both semi-sweet and butterscotch chips for the center layer. This layer is traditionally seen on Scotch-a-roos.
- Marshmallows: I used the mini marshmallows. If you only have larger ones, just cut up into smaller pieces so that they cover the entire center layer.
Tips for the best peanut butter cornflake crunch
The cornflake crunch is what makes these easy cornflake bars extra special. Follow these tips for the perfect cornflake crunch!
- Make sure to not crush the cornflakes too much. If they are crushed down into a dust like mixture, the clusters will not form right.
- By adding kosher or flaky sea salt will help give the clusters the perfect salty flavor it needs!
- These clusters can be made ahead of time and can be stored in an airtight container for up to one week.
See this link on how to make the perfect cornflake crunch.
Step by step instructions for the bars
- First, make the cornflake crunch. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or silicon mats. Add cornflakes to a bag and crush down with a rolling pin. In a bowl, mix together the cornflakes, powdered milk, sugar, and salt. Pour in melted butter and peanut butter and toss again. Bake for 20 minutes at 275 degrees and let cool completely. Break up and set aside until ready for assembly of bars.
- Second, make the bars. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray. In a large mixing bowl and with an electric hand mixer on medium, cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth.
- Third, add in the egg and vanilla. Mix on medium for another 6-8 minutes. This will cream air in the batter making the texture more fluffy.
- Fourth, add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture until incorporated. Gently, fold in the cooled cornflake clusters.
Assembly of bars
Once all the ingredients have been made for both the cornflake crunch and bars, it is time to assemble them!
First, layer the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan with half of the batter. Press firmly down into an even layer. Next, top with the semi sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and mini marshmallows. Then, add the mini marshmallows. Finally, add the rest of the batter on top.
Bake the bars at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool completely, then cut and serve. Enjoy!
Yes, for those with a peanut allergy you can use almond butter.
Yes, place in an airtight container and layer wax paper between each layer.
Peanut butter Cornflake bars
- Electric mixer
- Baking sheets
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Mixing bowls
- 9x13 cake pan
Cornflake crunch topping
- 4 cups cornflakes
- ⅓ cup powdered milk
- 3 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- ⅓ cup creamy peanut butter melted
For the bars
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1⅓ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup bread flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups marshmallows mini
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup butterscotch chips
Cornflake crunch topping
- Preheat oven to 275°. Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or a silicon mat. But cornflakes in a bag and crush with a rolling pin. Melt butter and peanut butter in a microwavable bowl.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the crushed cornflakes, granulated sugar, powdered milk, and salt.
- Pour in melted butter over cornflake mixture and toss to combine. It is okay if the cornflakes form littler clusters.
- Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the mixture is slightly toasted.
- Cool completely and break up any larger clusters into little bits.
For the bars
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with non stick spray and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed cream butter and both sugars until smooth. Add large egg and vanilla extract. Mix for an additional 8-9 minutes to allow air into the dough.
- Add in both flours, baking soda and powder, and salt and mix on low just until it is combined. Fold in cornflake crunch.
- Divide the dough in half and place half of it on the bottom of the greased pan. Press down into an even layer. Top it with semi-sweet, butterscotch chips, and marshmallows.
- Cover the rest with the rest of the dough in an even layer on top and extend all the way to the edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting and serving!
Dessert bars to enjoy!
- Cookie monster bars
- Chocolate raspberry brownies
- No bake passionfruit cheesecake bars
- Strawberry bars with a banana crust
Fun fact of the day!
Pound cake is called pound cake because there was a pound of every ingredient in the original recipe.