These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Mix Bars are so easy and perfect to take to a party or picnic! Filled with real peanuts, chocolate chips and a cake mix base, they’ll be gobbled up in no time!
While I’m the first to admit that there’s nothing like a brownie made from scratch, I’m also the first to admit that sometimes convenience wins. And the busier I get, the more that last sentiment holds true.
Cake mix bars are nothing new. In fact, I’ve been making them for years now. The classic chocolate chip cookie bars made with a yellow cake mix were one of my all-time best sellers when I owned my bakery. I also love the cake-bar twist with my Triple Layer Brownies made with peanut butter cookies and oatmeal chocolate chip cookie dough.
But sometimes you just get the urge for something a little more. Something layered with add-ins for a crunch. Something chocolate and peanut butter.
I nearly ALWAYS go back to the chocolate and peanut butter!
These easy cake mix bars are so fudgy that I think they could easily pass for brownies. I actually have tried them with a brownie mix before, but that makes them almost too soft to hold up to the dense peanut butter layer. The cake mix is definitely the way to go!
The beauty of cake mix bars is that you can mix and match your flavors. I used a dark fudge cake mix for this recipe, but you could easily swap that for a Devil’s Food cake mix, a milk chocolate cake, German Chocolate or even a yellow cake if you aren’t a big chocolate fan (blasphemy!).
The add-ins are easily swapped as well. I used chocolate chips and peanuts for my version. I love how the real peanuts add some crunch and a little bit of a salty flavor that goes great with sweets.
You could also use peanut butter chips, chopped chocolate bars, M&M’s, Reese’s Pieces or whatever else you have on-hand. In fact, you could even leave them out if you wanted and you would still have a great fudgy chocolate base with a rich peanut butter center.
When you’re making this recipe, be sure to split your chocolate dough in half. Half goes on the bottom of the pan for the base. Then you spread your peanut butter filling. The second half of the chocolate dough gets dotted over the peanut butter filling.
I found it easiest to take the dough into large clumps and kind of flatten it a little before you place it on the peanut butter. Don’t worry if you don’t get all of the peanut butter covered, because the dough will spread as it bakes.
You might find it easier to line your pan with foil first. If you do, once they are completely cool, you can just lift the foil out of the pan to cut them into squares. I didn’t find this necessary and was able to release them easily by just greasing the pan well.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Mix Bars
Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake Mix Bars
These cake mix bars are filled with a rich, peanut butter filling and dotted with chocolate chips and peanuts! An easy treat that tastes decadent!
- 1 box Chocolate Cake mix
- 1 3.9 oz Box Chocolate Instant Pudding
- 1/2 cup Butter (melted)
- 1/2 cup Milk
- 1 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup Peanuts
- 1 cup Peanut Butter (creamy)
- Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix cake mix, pudding mix, melted butter and milk. Stir until well combined. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the greased pan.
- Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips and half of the peanuts over the cake mix layer. Spread the peanut butter carefully over the chocolate chips and nuts.
- Cover with the remaining cake batter. Try to spread it as best as you can over the peanut butter but don’t worry if you miss small holes.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely on counter. Refrigerate for 4 hours before cutting into bars.
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