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Vegan Honey Nut Cereal Bars

cereal bars on a piece of white parchment paper

These sweet ‘n salty Honey Nut Cereal Bars were my favorite no-bake recipe when I was a kid. They’re easy to make and completely vegan! Just mix cereal, peanut butter, maple, lemon and vanilla in a bowl, press into bars and you’ve got a nostalgic treat that everyone will love.

cheerios bars on parchment paper

Honey Nut Cereal Bars were considered the “healthy” or “all-natural” version version of Rice Crispy Treats when I was a kid. I actually learned how to make these bars in daycare because my school didn’t allow candy or marshmallows (which meant that classic Rice Crispies were out)

Instead, they taught us to make Honey Nut Cheerios Bars and my sister and I have made them countless time ever since.

The original recipe is just three ingredients: Cheerios, peanut butter and honey. But since Cheerios aren’t vegan (animal based vitamin D3) and neither is honey, I wanted to recreate a vegan-friendly that tasted like the sweet and nutty treats we loved to make as kids.

cereal bars on parchment paper

Reasons To Love These Healthier Homemade Bars

  • Sweet ‘n Salty + Nutty ‘n Crunchy
  • No-cook / no-bake recipe
  • Made with just 6 few simple ingredients
  • No artificial ingredients or refined sugar
  • Kid-friendly and family-friendly recipe

Ingredients for Honey Nut Cereal Bars

You’ll only need 6 simple ingredients to make this cereal bar recipe:

  • Peanut Butter – get the natural, unsalted kind for best results. The only ingredient should be peanuts.
  • Maple Syrup – adds sweetness and helps hold the bars together.
  • Lemon Juice – a little goes a long way and helps to brighten up the maple syrup.
  • Vanilla – adds balance and depth to this otherwise simple recipe.
  • Kosher Salt – makes these bars taste buttery and helps tie all of the other ingredients together. Definitely don’t skip the salt!
  • O Shaped Cereal – Cheerios are great but they’re not technically vegan so some store brands like this one make good vegan alternatives.
cereal box

How to Make Cereal Bars Without Marshmallows

Can you make cereal bars without marshmallows and butter? The answer is yes and it’s even easier without them. No melting or cooking required!

Start by adding the maple syrup and room temperature peanut butter to a large mixing bowl.

Then add lemon juice, kosher salt and vanilla and mix well.

peanut butter in a mixing bowl

Next, add half of the cereal and gently fold to coat. Then mix in the remaining cereal. Mix one more time until thoroughly coated.

mixing cereal bars in a large bowl

Then transfer the mixture to a lined 9×9 baking dish and press down firmly to create a compact, even layer.

cereal bars in a baking dish
You can use a sturdy glass to help evenly press the cereal down.

Freeze for 3 hours then slice into bars and enjoy!

Note: these cereal bars are best served straight out of the freezer so they’re nice and crunchy. They will get soggy at room temperature.

cereal bars on a piece of white parchment paper

How to Store Cereal Bars

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 days.

Tips for Making Perfect Cereal Bars

  • Avoid cutting these bars too soon! It’s sooo tempting to cut and serve these bars right away but they really need some chill time in the freezer to firm up and get crunchy! They need a good 3 hours to fully firm up and set. I often make these in the morning to enjoy in the afternoon or I’ll whip up batch before bed for the next day. Letting them chill makes it easier to cut into bars, it prevents them from falling apart and it majorly improves the texture making it crispy and crunchy!
  • They should be served cold! This keeps them crispy and crunchy. While other bars like rice crispier treats can be served at room temp, these will get soggy if they’re not kept in the freezer.
  • Line the baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily lift the bars out of the dish to slice them. This prevents sticking and it’s so much easier than trying to scoop them out one by one!

More Recipes You Might Enjoy!

Watch Me Make This Recipe!
cereal bars on a piece of white parchment paper

Vegan Honey Nut Cereal Bars

Nicole Vranjican
Sweet 'n salty cereal bars made with peanut butter, maple, lemon, salt and vanilla!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 9 bars

Equipment

  • 1 Large Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Spatula
  • 1 9×9 Baking Dish

Ingredients
  

  • ¾ cup unsalted peanut butter room temperature
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • tsp fresh lemon juice
  • tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp kosher salt I use Morton's
  • cups O Shaped Cereal

Instructions
 

  • Line a 9x9in baking dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Combine peanut butter, maple syrup, lemon juice, vanilla extract and kosher salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
    ¾ cup unsalted peanut butter, ¾ cup maple syrup, 1½ tsp fresh lemon juice, 1½ tsp vanilla extract, ½ tsp kosher salt
  • Add half of the cereal and toss to coat. Then add the remaining cereal and mix until every piece is nicely coated with the peanut butter mixture.
    3½ cups O Shaped Cereal
  • Transfer the cereal mixture to the baking pan and press down firmly to create a compact, even even layer.
    cereal bars in a baking dish
  • Freeze for a minimum of three hours and then slice and serve 😊
    Tip: They're best served cold – straight out of the freezer – so they're nice and crunchy. They get soggy at room temp!
    cereal bars on a piece of white parchment paper

Notes

 
  • Avoid cutting these bars too soon! It’s sooo tempting to cut and serve these bars right away but they really need some chill time in the freezer to firm up and get crunchy! They need a good 3 hours to fully firm up and set. I often make these in the morning to enjoy in the afternoon or I’ll whip up batch before bed for the next day. Letting them chill makes it easier to cut into bars, it prevents them from falling apart and it majorly improves the texture making it crispy and crunchy!
 
  • Line the baking dish with parchment paper so you can easily lift the bars out of the dish to slice them. This prevents sticking and it’s so much easier than trying to scoop them out one by one.
 
  • They should be served cold! This keeps them crispy and crunchy. While other bars like rice crispier treats can be served at room temp, these will get soggy if they’re not kept in the freezer.
Keyword bars, cereal bars, no cook

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Nicole Vranjican

Hey! I’m Nicole and I make practical vegan recipes for REAL life. I cook with simple, easy to find ingredients and I’m passionate about creating delicious plant-based meals that everyone will love!

I hope you enjoy my recipes and videos :) Happy Cooking!

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