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When it comes to old school recipes you cannot go wrong with these Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars. Super tasty and great for all ages.

Stacked Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars on white plate.

I love anything peanut butter and chocolate together and these Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars fulfill both those needs and they are absolutely wonderful.

I have been eating these bars as far back as I remember, I think most of us have tried them a time or two and if you haven’t then you are in for a literal treat.

These things remind me so much of the school cafeteria. All these memories are probably why this is one of my all time favorite desserts.

These bars have 3 different layers, the oat bar mixture, peanut butter and a chocolate topping. Everything works so well together that you will not want to stop eating.

That might be just me, because I’m completely in love with all the sweets, but I’m telling you that these bars are completely irresistible and you are going to want them all the time.

Luckily they take easy pantry ingredients to make and they make a large batch so you are not going to run out any time soon with these bad boys.

Let’s dive even more into why these lunch lady peanut butter bars are the right decision to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Some of my other favorite bar recipes that we have on our site include: Cherry Cheesecake Bars, Snickerdoodle Bars and Oreo Fudge Brownies.

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars, one bar removed from baking pan showing layers of other bars.

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. These are chewy and creamy in one, a perfect pairing.
  2. With chocolate and peanut butter the flavors match perfectly.
  3. This makes a nice big batch with simple ingredients so you have some to keep for later.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Old fashioned oats
  • All-purpose flour
  • Fine sea salt
  • Baking soda
  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Granulated sugar
  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder
  • Whole milk
Ingredients needed to make Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.

HOW TO MAKE LUNCH LADY PEANUT BUTTER BARS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 11×15-inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda, set aside.
  3. In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2 minutes.
  4. Add ¾ cup of the peanut butter, the eggs, and vanilla, mix until combined. Scrape down the sides as needed.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Place small dollops of the remaining 1 cup peanut butter on top. Wait 10 minutes to warm the peanut butter and carefully spread the peanut butter all over. Let cool completely.
  8. While the bars are cooling, make the frosting. Place the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine. 
  9. In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, whip the butter until smooth.
  10. Start adding the powdered sugar mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated.
  11. Add the vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the milk, stir it in.
  12. Place the mixer on medium-high and whip the frosting for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. If it seems a little too thick to spread, add an additional 1 tablespoon of milk.
  13. Once the bars are cool, spread the frosting on top. Let them sit for 30 minutes to give the frosting time to crust, or cut and serve immediately.

Step by step photos on how to make Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

In my personal opinion no, I think that it has just the right amount and balance.

But these are truly for the peanut butter lover, so if you like peanut butter but aren’t crazy obsessed with it I would leave out the middle peanut butter layer.

No you do not have to, this frosting really complements these well but if you want to go an easier route you can just a canned milk chocolate frosting, or any chocolate frosting that you’d like.

If you want a texture contrast then chunky peanut butter would be a great option!

We like the texture of smooth but have used chunky as well.

You can use it both in the bars and on the layer over the bars, so you have a nice peanut contrast.

You can also sprinkle these with chopped peanuts as well.

Three stacked Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.

Lunch ladies unite! Ha! This chewy peanut butter cookie base will be great with these additions.

  • Stir in chocolate chips into the peanut butter batter for that magical thing called double chocolate.
  • A light sprinkle of sea salt on top of the homemade chocolate frosting for that perfect balance of flavors.
  • Add graham cracker crumbs into the mix for a nod to the nostalgia of elementary school lunches.
  • Drizzle caramel over the frosted bars, making each bite a trip down memory lane.
  • Press crushed pretzels into the frosting for a salty crunch that complements the peanut butter goodness perfectly.
  • Layer sliced bananas on the peanut butter layer for a fruity surprise in this perfect dessert.
  • Swirl Nutella through the batter before baking for a hazelnut twist on the favorite treat.
  • Decorate the frosted bars with sprinkles for a dessert heaven look that’s sure to please.
  • Add a dollop of whipped cream on each serving for a creamy texture that’s irresistible.
  • Mix in chopped nuts (like walnuts or pecans) to add a chewy texture to the peanut butter oatmeal bars, making them even more of a delicious treat.

This is a sweet treat that can stand a few subs. Peanut butter desserts for the win!

  • Swap out peanut butter for almond butter or cashew butter for those looking for a twist on the classic peanut butter bars.
  • Use coconut oil or margarine instead of cup butter to cater to the peanut butter lovers who might be dairy-free.
  • Coconut milk or almond milk can be used in the frosting, making it a simple frosting option for those avoiding dairy.
  • Choose dark cocoa powder instead of unsweetened cocoa powder for a deeper, more luxurious chocolate layer that makes these best peanut butter bars stand out.

HOW TO STORE:

These can be stored in an airtight container or covered with plastic wrap where they will keep on the countertop for 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

They can also be frozen, place bars in a freezer container and place in the freezer where they will keep for up to 3 months.

To defrost, remove to the refrigerator overnight and then to the countertop to come to room temperature.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Make sure you are using old fashioned oats, do not try using quick cooking oats.
  • This makes a large batch you can cut it in half and make in a 9×13-inch pan if desired, they may be thicker.
  • You can use this frosting or canned frosting.
  • If you do not LOVE peanut butter, you can leave the peanut butter layer out.
  • These can be frozen, see my tips above.
Hand holding up one Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars with bite taken out of it.

Looking for that perfect bar that will bring back memories for a lot of people, or something to bring to your next gathering?

Then you need to make these Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars.

If you’ve tried these LUNCH LADY PEANUT BUTTER BARS let me know in the comments how it turned out! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes!

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 4 votes

Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 18 minutes
Total: 33 minutes
When it comes to old school recipes you cannot go wrong with these Lunch Lady Peanut Butter Bars. Super tasty and great for all ages.
Servings 15

Ingredients
  

For the frosting:

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 11×15-inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the oats, flour, salt, and baking soda, set aside.
    1 ½ cup old fashioned oats, 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • In the body of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar for 2 minutes.
    ¾ cup unsalted butter, 1 cup light brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Add ¾ cup of the peanut butter, the eggs, and vanilla, mix until combined. Scrape down the sides as needed.
    1 ¾ cup creamy peanut butter, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Press the dough into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Place small dollops of the remaining 1 cup peanut butter on top. Wait 10 minutes to warm the peanut butter and carefully spread the peanut butter all over. Let cool completely.
  • While the bars are cooling, make the frosting. Place the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.
    2 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, pinch of fine sea salt
  • In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, whip the butter until smooth.
    ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Start adding the powdered sugar mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated.
  • Add the vanilla and 3 tablespoons of the milk, stir it in.
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3-4 tablespoons whole milk
  • Place the mixer on medium-high and whip the frosting for 3 minutes until light and fluffy. If it seems a little too thick to spread, add an additional 1 tablespoon of milk.
  • Once the bars are cool, spread the frosting on top. Let them sit for 30 minutes to give the frosting time to crust, or cut and serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Make sure you are using old fashioned oats, do not try using quick cooking oats.
  2. This makes a large batch you can cut it in half and make in a 9×13-inch pan if desired, they may be thicker.
  3. You can use this frosting or canned frosting.
  4. If you do not LOVE peanut butter, you can leave the peanut butter layer out.
  5. These can be frozen, see my tips above.

Nutrition

Calories: 551kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 273mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 509IU | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Baked Good, Dessert
Cuisine American

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5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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One Comment

  1. Teresa Markovitch says:

    5 stars
    The layout of you recipe is so great. Not only do you get an ingredient list you also get a step by step picture one as well. I love this as I am a visual person so makes this easier an know you are getting it right. And also where the ingredients are you have a tick box if you want to double or triple it. Perfect

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