Scotcharoos are perfectly chewy, butterscotch and peanut butter flavored cereal bars. My version has a chocolate butterscotch coating with a pretty (and easy!) decorative swirl. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Butterscotch Bliss in Every Bite
Have you ever made scotcharoos before? They’re a fun cross between rice krispie treats and peanut butter bars, and boy are they good. Once set, they have a candy-like chewiness and sweetness to them without being over the top. I add a pretty (and easy!) butterscotch swirl throughout the chocolate top of mine, because easy desserts can be beautiful too 🙂
I originally shared this recipe a few years ago, and today I’m just slightly modifying it with some coconut oil to make the topping extra smooth and glossy.
In case you’re new around here or haven’t heard of scotcharoos before, here’s everything you need to know about this unique no-bake dessert:
What’s So Great About Scotcharoos?
- They’re the perfect combo of salty & sweet.
- You can make (and decorate!) them easily and quickly.
- My recipe makes quite a lot of bars, so it’s perfect for bringing to parties or making for a crowd.
- Kids can have fun helping with greasing the pan, spreading the chocolate, and creating the swirl.
What You Need
Here are a few of the key ingredients that will make your scotcharoos turn out just like the pictures:
- Peanut butter. Use regular, creamy peanut butter. I have not tried making these with “natural” peanut butter, and I would be hesitant to recommend it as it could make the scotcharoos fall apart or be too oily (a problem some people have reported when making my no-bake cookies!).
- Corn syrup. This helps hold the ingredients together and balance the flavors. Notice I’m not using the controversial high fructose corn syrup–just plain old light corn syrup.
- Granulated sugar. I tried making scotcharoos with brown sugar and found them to be too sweet, so stick with all granulated.
- Coconut oil. A tiny bit of coconut oil melted with the chocolate and butterscotch toppings makes them pour and spread more evenly and smoothly and gives a nice sheen once cool.
SAM’S TIP: The swirl on top is optional, but isn’t it so pretty!? It’s very easy to do, but if you’d like you can skip melting the butterscotch chips by themselves and just combine everything for a classic scotcharoos.
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Scotcharoos
- Cook the corn syrup, sugar, and butter over medium-low heat just until the butter melts, then increase the heat and stir frequently until the mixture boils.
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt until smooth and combined.
- Add the cereal and stir until well-combined.
- Spread and press the mixture into a greased, foil-lined 9×13 pan and set aside.
- Microwave chocolate, 1 cup of butterscotch chips, and coconut oil until melted, then melt the remaining butterscotch chips and additional coconut oil in a separate bowl. Spread the chocolate and butterscotch mixture over the bars.
- Drizzle the melted butterscotch chips overtop, then drag a toothpick through to create swirl. Let set before cutting and serving.
SAM’S TIP: You’ll want to wait for the chocolate to firm up before cutting your scotcharoos. If you’re impatient, you can place them in the refrigerator to speed things along, but ultimately scotcharoos are best when stored and served at room temperature. This keeps them nice and chewy and not too hard.
Frequently Asked Questions
Typically this happens if your sugar/corn syrup mixture was cooked for too long. It should just be beginning to come to a boil when you remove it from the heat–don’t let it boil too much. Also, if you’ve put your scotcharoos in the fridge, let them come to room temperature and they will soften back up.
Unfortunately, I don’t have recommendations on how to make these without the corn syrup. Remember, corn syrup is not the same as high fructose corn syrup!
Sure! Technically they won’t be scotcharoos without the butterscotch, but they’ll still be delicious.
Next time you’ve got some rice krispies in your pantry, give scotcharoos a try. They’re a nice break from the traditional marshmallow-y versions!
Let’s bake together! I’ll be walking you through all the steps in my written recipe and video below! If you try this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram, and you can also find me on YouTube and Facebook
- 1 cup light corn syrup (235ml)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
- ¼ cup butter (cut into 4 pieces) (57g)
- 1 ½ cup creamy peanut butter (375g)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 6 cups crisped rice cereal (175g)
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (170g)
- 1 ⅓ cup butterscotch chocolate chips (divided) (226g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons coconut oil or vegetable shortening optional
- Line a 13×9 pan with foil or parchment paper and lightly grease with butter. Set aside.
- In a large pot, combine corn syrup, sugar, and butter over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally until butter is melted and ingredients are well-combined.
- Increase heat to medium-high and stir frequently. Once mixture just begins to boil (as soon as it starts bubbling) remove from heat and stir in peanut butter, vanilla extract, and salt.
- Stir well until mixture is smooth.
- Stir in cereal — make sure ingredients are well-combined.
- Spread ingredients evenly into prepared pan. If you're having trouble spreading the cereal, place a piece of wax paper overtop and use your hands (careful, it's hot) or the back of a spoon to smoothly press into pan. Set aside while you prepare your chocolate topping.
- In a medium-sized microwave safe bowl, combine semisweet chocolate chips, 1 cup (170g) butterscotch chips, and 1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening, if using (this helps the chocolate spread more smoothly).
- Microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, and return to microwave at 15-second increments, stirring well in between until mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside.
- Immediately melt remaining ¼ cup (56g) butterscotch chips and ½ teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable shortening (heat in 15 second increments, stirring between).
- Spread melted chocolate/butterscotch evenly over prepared scotcharoos. Drizzle melted butterscotch chips over the chocolate and then drag a toothpick through the chocolate to create swirls.
- Allow chocolate to set (about an hour at room temperature) before cutting and serving.
StoringStore scotcharoos in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
This Scotcharoos recipe was originally published 02/22/2017, post has been updated 05/16/2022