Homemade Scotcheroos

I never had scotcheroos as a kid, can you believe it? In fact, I hadn’t even heard of them until my mid 30s!

stack of scotcheroo bars with text overlays


 

Classic Scotcheroos are a no bake treat made with puffed rice cereal (Rice Krispies), peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch chips. The ultimate no-bake bar dessert with varying layers and flavors.

They Used to Be Called Million Dollar Bars

One day I sent hubby to the store to buy Rice Krispie cereal for my Chocolate Rice Krispie Bowl with Whipped Peanut Butter Dip. He came back with the generic store “puffed rice cereal”.

On the side of this box was the recipe below. Since I had leftover cereal and similar ingredients from my intended recipe, I made a batch.

The recipe had no name, so judging by the amazing flavor profile, I decided to call them Million Dollar Bars. Why? Because they were delicious and worth a million dollars.

It was only then that I saw something similar pop up in my Pinterest feed because you know, the internet stalks you. And much to my surprise, these bars DO have a name and apparently I am the only poor soul that never had them growing up.

overhead of chocolate spread over scotcheroos

What are Scotcheroos?

If you aren’t familiar (and clearly I am not judging because I never had them) they are essentially a Rice Krispie treat, sans the marshmallows, held together with peanut butter and corn syrup.

But it doesn’t end there. No way, Jose. Now you top them with a nice frosting of semi-sweet chocolate. They are chewy, sticky and sweet cereal bars.

Why Are They Called Scotcheroos?

The recipe I originally used had just chocolate, but then I kept seeing the addition of butterscotch chips. Which honestly made sense, the “scotch” part of the name hails from “butterscotch.”

Some melted chocolate and butterscotch together and others made a pretty swirl. Either way, it is all headed to the same place.

But why “eroo”? I never found out. So if you know, please tell me! I do know the recipe as originally seen on a Rice Krispie box in the 1960s… but that is about it.

Chocolate and peanut butter, it’s the dream bar! Kinda like a Rice Krispie Treat, but also a little candy like.

scotcheroos cut into bars

Ingredients

For me, these are all simple ingredients and pantry staples, making this an easy dessert to make on the fly with my kids. One of their favorite desserts.

  • Light corn syrup – While your other favorite no bake dessert (rice krispie treats) uses marshmallows to hold it all together, this easy recipe uses corn syrup.
  • Sugar – Corn syrup in and of itself is already sweet, but we do need to add some sugar as well.
  • Peanut butter – I definitely recommend using creamy peanut butter for these delicious scotcheroos. Crunchy peanut butter makes this no bake bar, well, crunchy.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract helps to balance out all the flavors. You can make your own or use some from the store.
  • Rice Krispie cereal – You can use brand name or off brand, it doesn’t really matter as long as it is puffed rice.
  • Butterscotch chips – These chips are where these classic treats get their iconic name and gives it the butterscotch flavor.
  • Milk chocolate chips – I like the sweetness that milk chocolate brings to this scotcheroo recipe, but you could use semi-sweet chocolate chips if you prefer.
  • Butter – Butter helps the chips to melt into a smooth, pourable mixture.
overhead chocolate rice krispie bars

How to Make Scotcheroos

Make this classic treat in just 15 minutes!

  1. Prepare pan. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Make corn syrup mixture. In a medium or large saucepan, stir together light corn syrup and sugar, cooking over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boil. Alternately, you can do this in a mircowave-safe bowl at 30-second intervals, but there is a higher risk of burning.
  3. Add peanut butter and vanilla. Remove sugar mixture from heat, stirring in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Fold in cereal. Fold the crispy rice cereal into the peanut butter mixture until entirely coated. Press into prepared pan.
  5. Melt chips. Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and butter in a double boiler until shiny and just melted. See notes for the best ways to melt chocolate above.
  6. Add to cereal. Pour chocolate mixture over cereal mixture, spreading evenly, and place into the refrigerator to let the chocolate set.
  7. Cut and serve. Remove after chocolate topping has hardened. Cut into squares. Serve and store this classic scotcheroo recipe at room temperature.
  8. Store. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or stack bars in an airtight container. You can also layer them with parchment paper to keep from sticking.
stack of scotcheroo bars

Variations

Feel free to put your own spin on these dessert bars and come back to tell us about it in the comments section.

  • Change up the cereal – You can use another cereal like Cheerios. And they happen to be quite tasty. You can even use Chex cereal or Special K.
  • Nut butter – Unfortunately, there really isn’t a good substitute for peanut butter except for another nut butter.
  • Don’t like butterscotch? Just double the amount of regular chocolate chips or use another flavor of chip. Peanut butter or white chocolate work well, but you can also use the candy flavored kind. Or… I’m getting crazy here… sprinkle chopped candy over the top of chocolate while it is still tacky.
chocolate chips and butterscotch chips

How Do You Make Scotcheroos without Corn Syrup?

If you don’t want to use corn syrup, it can be substituted with honey or light agave nectar. Use a 1:1 ratio of either. In this case, it would 3/4 cup of honey or agave.

angle view stack of no bake dessert bars

Tips and Tricks for The Perfect Scotcheroos

  • Don’t make them over high heat, corn syrup and sugar burn and they burn fast.
  • Make sure the sugar has fully dissolved or you’ll have grainy bars.
  • Use a heavy bottom saucepan. This helps evenly distribute the heat.
  • Stir frequently to prevent scalding and burning.
  • Line your pan with parchment paper so you can easily pull out the bars.
  • Allow bars to cool completely before cutting.
  • Run knife under hot water for a clean cut. Wipe after each cut.
  • For storage, separate layers with parchment or wax paper to prevent sticking.
peanut butter and butterscotch bars with chocolate frosting

Make Ahead & Storage

They are perfect for camping, hikes and potluck parties since they don’t need to be refrigerated and are easily carried wrapped in aluminum foil or an airtight container.

How Long Do Scotcheroos Stay Good For?

Scotcheroos can be made a day or two ahead of time with no fears of getting stale.

Can You Freeze Scotcheroos?

I don’t recommend freezing them. They get super hard and dry.

Scotcheroos for Pinterest

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Close up of scotcheroos for Pinterest
peanut butter and butterscotch bars with chocolate frosting

Scotcheroos Recipe

4.51 from 123 votes
Classic Scotcheroos made with Rice Krispies, peanut butter, chocolate and butterscotch chips. The ultimate no-bake bar dessert!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 16 bars

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Coat a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, stir together light corn syrup and sugar, cooking until sugar dissolves and starts to boil.
  • Remove from heat, stirring in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth.
  • Fold in Rice Krispie cereal until entirely coated. Press into prepared pan.
  • Melt chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and butter in a double boiler until shiny and just melted. See notes for the best ways to melt chocolate above.
  • Pour over Rice Krispie mixture, spreading evenly, and place into the refrigerator to set.
  • Remove after chocolate topping has hardened. Cut into squares. Serve and store at room temperature.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 326 kcal, Carbohydrates: 52 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 12 g, Saturated Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 6 mg, Sodium: 169 mg, Potassium: 88 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 42 g, Vitamin A: 604 IU, Vitamin C: 5 mg, Calcium: 32 mg, Iron: 3 mg
Calories: 326
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: no bake dessert bars, scotcheroo
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    No bake desserts are perfect for the summer and this one is packed with my favourite flavours too. Far too tempting!

  2. 5 stars
    This is yummy. I love the combination of Peanut Butter, Rice crispies and the other ingredients. Best snack box or sweet tooth option.

  3. 5 stars
    Overall, I would highly recommend this recipe for Scotcheroos to anyone who loves peanut butter and chocolate. It’s a classic dessert that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser, and it’s easy enough for even novice bakers to make. It’s definitely a five-star recipe in my book!

  4. 5 stars
    These remind me of my childhood. They were always such a surprising treat whenever we got them in our school lunch. Now I make them whenever I need to feel a little better about life and things – they’re so good!

  5. 5 stars
    So happy I found this recipe. We moved and I lost the recipe and couldn’t remember the ingredients in it. I use to make them all the time but I made up a name for them cause I thought I invented them. Found the basic recipe off the rice crispy box but I added the butterscotch, chocolate chips and peanut butter and thought it was amazing! But when I read your post I realized this bar has been around a long time under the name Scotcheroos. They are amazing thank you for posting this recipe. It’s my family‘s favorite. But I think I’ll stick with the name that I gave it since that’s what we know as for about 40 years now.

  6. I have never made these but there is a super easy recipe that you might be interested in. My Nana made them and it was always a favorite for everyone! 1 bag butterscotch melted, stir in 1 cup peanut butter then fold in 6 cups rice crispys. Pour into a buttered dish and press them down (if not they are to crumbly) you can put them in the fridge to cool and firm up.

  7. These are a family favorite! I grew up with them and have never made rice krispues with marshmallows. This is the only way. We also only use the microwave don’t bother with the stove.

    1. I love that short cut! Honestly, we are in the middle of a kitchen remodel and the stove is on backorder so I haven’t had a stove since march. It is amazing what you can make in the microwave!