These NO BAKE Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bars are made with crushed peanut butter sandwich cookies, topped with silky chocolate pudding and a fluffy peanut butter cream cheese layer, and finished off with Cool Whip or my extremely popular Stabilized Whipped Cream recipe! Pop the cookie crust into the freezer for easy and super delicious NO-BAKE Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars!
Welcome to what is THE most popular recipe here at 365 Days of Baking and More!
It’s a marriage made in heaven. Chocolate and peanut butter are one of those things that are just meant to go together! Just the thought of those two incredible flavors makes me swoon!
I don’t care what you call this easy dessert – a layered no-bake dessert, chocolate peanut butter lasagna, peanut butter lush dessert— I just call it freakin’ delicious, as do the thousands of other people who have made this Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Bar recipe go viral on social media.
Of course, the peanut butter and chocolate pudding complement each other quite nicely and the Cool Whip adds a great creamy lightness to it. You can bet I’ll be making these decadent bars again and again!
16 ounces Nutter Butter Cookies or peanut butter sandwich cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3.9-ounce package of instant chocolate pudding (or as close as you can get!)
1 ½ cups cold milk
8 ounces Cool Whip OR my Stabilized Whipped Cream
¼ cup each, milk chocolate and peanut butter chips
This dessert lasagna, or chocolate peanut butter dream bars, takes a little time but is pretty easy to make and worth the effort! Let’s go over how to make the individual layers needed for the bars.
First, crush about 20 of the cookies in a blender or food processor. Then melt the butter in a medium microwavable bowl. Mix the crushed sandwich cookies and melted butter together together until well combined.
Next, press the cookie crumb mixture into an 8×8 square baking pan lined with parchment paper that hangs over the sides (this will make the bars easy to remove later). Put the cookie crust into the freezer to set for at least 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the chocolate pudding mix and 1 ½ cups of milk called for in the recipe, NOT the 2 cups as called for on the box. We want the pudding to be a bit firmer so it can be sliced through. Now, refrigerate the pudding until set or ready to use.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and peanut butter. With a silicone spatula, add one cup of the Cool Whip or Stabilized Whipped Cream and mix it all together.
Now it’s time to assemble our dream bars!
Put dollops of the cheesecake peanut butter mixture onto the cooled crust and spread it evenly over the crushed cookies with an offset spatula.
Gently spread the pudding on top of the cheesecake layer.
Cover the chocolate layer with the remaining Cool Whip or stabilized whipped cream. This Stabilized Whipped Cream on my site will work perfectly for this Dream Bar Recipe as well as all the others I have here on 365 Days of Baking and More. It is the perfect substitute for those of you who do not want to use Cool Whip.
Refrigerate the bars for a minimum of two hours to set.
Before serving, crush the remaining peanut butter cookies in a plastic bag with a mallet or rolling pin and sprinkle them on top of the dessert. Finally, top with the milk chocolate and peanut butter chips.
See the complete list of ingredients and full instructions in the recipe card below.
Keep the peanut butter lush chilled until you’re ready to serve it. Remove the bars from the pan by gently lifting the parchment paper out of the baking dish. Use a warm, clean knife to slice the bars and serve them in small squares.
Cover the dessert with plastic wrap or aluminum foil (or use an airtight container with a tight-fitting lid) and store it in the refrigerator when you’re not eating it.
As long as you keep the bars covered and chilled, they’ll stay good for up to a week!
You can easily make a larger version of this chocolate peanut butter lasagna! Double the recipe and use a 13×9 baking dish instead of an 8×8 pan. Follow the rest of the recipe card as directed!
These no-bake desserts are some of the most popular recipes on my blog. Whether you like fruity desserts or rich, decadent chocolate desserts, there’s a dream bar for you!
If you’re trying to avoid heating up the oven, give one of these no-bake recipes a try next time:
This post was originally published on 8/4/2014, and has been updated in format with improved recipe, and pics on 2/9/2024.