Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are a fun spin on the classic PB&J sandwich. You will be amazed at how easy these bars are to make and how delicious they taste. 

Peanut butter and jelly bars on a black plate.

Peanut butter and jelly bars

Peanut butter desserts are loved by everyone. Soft peanut butter cookies, peanut butter pie, and chocolate peanut butter cheesecake are often my go-to recipes when I’m craving peanut butter. That is until I made these bars!

These peanut butter and jelly bars are similar to fudge-filled peanut butter cookie bars. There’s a chewy peanut butter crust layer, jelly layer, and crunchy topping. This recipe is for those of you who prefer fruity desserts over chocolate.

The filling is nothing more than jelly or jam from a jar. Choose any flavor you want. It doesn’t have to be grape. Maybe you’re a strawberry lover. Or apricot lover. If you make your own jellies and jams, you can use that too!

You need just a few ingredients to make these bars and I’m fairly certain you already have them on hand. Or most of them at least.

There are no special tricks or long periods of wait time with these bars. Mix the ingredients, layer them in an 8×8 pan, and bake. Too simple.

Peanut butter and jelly bars on a black plate with one bar on its side to show the filling.

Use Room Temperature Ingredients

Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature so everything mixes together easily. This rule applies to all baking unless the directions specifically call for cold ingredients.


Main Ingredients

Crunchy peanut butter – I used crunchy peanut butter because I like the texture but feel free to use creamy peanut butter if you’d like.

Jelly – Grape jelly is classic for a pb & j but other flavors work well. Give strawberry or apricot a try!


How to make peanut butter and jelly bars

Step 1: Combine the wet ingredients

Cream the peanut butter, butter, and brown sugar together then mix in the egg and vanilla.

Wet ingredients for peanut butter bars mixed in a glass bowl.

Step 2: Add the dry ingredients

Combine flour, salt, and baking powder then fold it into the wet ingredients just until combined. Take care not to overmix or the bars will come out tough.

Flour added to wet ingredients in a glass bowl.
Peanut butter bar batter in a glass bowl.

Step 3: Layer the batter with jelly and bake

Press ⅔ of the batter into the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan. Spread jelly evenly over the batter. Crumble the remaining batter over the jelly and top with chopped peanuts.

Bake the bars in a 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes.

Jelly spread over peanut butter bar batter in a pan
Topping sprinkled over the jelly and peanut butter base in a square pan.
Uncut peanut butter and jelly bars on brown parchment paper.

Tips for Success

  • Use room temperature ingredients. This will make mixing everything together so much easier.
  • Use your favorite jelly!
  • Crunchy peanut butter adds a lovely texture contrast to the base of the bars but you don’t have to use it. Creamy peanut butter works just as well in this recipe.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

4.50 from 50 votes
Peanut butter and jelly bars on a black plate with one bar on its side to show the filling.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars are a fun spin on the classic PB&J sandwich. You will be amazed at how easy these bars are to make and how delicious they taste. 
Jen Sobjack
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Serving Size 16

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (258 g) crunchy peanut butter
  • ¾ cup (165 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups (227 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup (255 g) grape jelly or jam, or any other flavor
  • ½ cup (73 g) salted peanuts, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF degrees. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the peanut butter, sugar, and butter until smooth. Add the egg, beat until well blended. Beat in the vanilla.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture, stir just until blended.
  • Press ⅔ of the batter into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jelly evenly over the batter. Crumble the remaining batter evenly over the jam and sprinkle with peanuts.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes until bars are golden brown on top. Allow the bars to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift the bars out of the pan by the foil overhang. Cut into squares.

Notes

Make ahead tip
  1. Bars can be made 3 days in advance. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar | Calories: 216kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 142mg | Potassium: 95mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 194IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg

The nutrition information provided is for convenience and as a courtesy only. It is not guaranteed to be accurate because nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator and input the exact ingredients and brands you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

Adapted from Martha Stewart

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48 Comments

  1. Do you have to use crunchy peanut butter

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can use creamy if desired.

  2. As a pastry chef of more years that I can count its rare that I bake outside of my recipe file, but this one is a keeper. Strawberry preserves made them perfect.

  3. Phyllis Tomchuk says:

    Why is there unsalted butter used, then salt added later in the recipe, and then adding salted peanuts on top. Doesnt figure to me, only to much salt is not good. And probably salt in the peanut butter.

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      You can’t control how much salt is in salted butter. This is why you use unsalted butter. You can control how much salt to add to the recipe without making it too salty.

    2. Normal to use unsalted butter when baking. Salted butter is a big no, assembled stated you can’t control the salt content if used.

  4. Have you ever made these in a cupcake form instead of a bar?

  5. Hi! Can I freeze these. Want to make for my dads 80th bday party next week, do you think they would be ok? Thanks!

    1. Jen Sobjack says:

      Yes. Wrap them well in plastic wrap then place them in an airtight container.

  6. annie@ciaochowbambina says:

    This is one of my favorite treats! So happy you dug into the archives to re-share this beauty!!