Vegan Scotcharoos

Vegan scotcheroos feature rich, peanut butter-infused cereal topped with a caramel-flavored chocolate topping. Also called Special K Bars, these no-bake treats are so easy to make.

A stack of vegan schotcharoos has chocolate chips around it. There are more treats in the background.

No-bake scotcharoos are for you If you’re looking for a quick and easy dessert. I love fast desserts, but my burning question was whether you could make scotcheroos vegan. But after a few tests of this recipe, I’m glad the answer is yes!

How to Make Vegan Scotcharoos

You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.

  1. Heat sugar and corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl until sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add peanut butter and salt and stir to combine.
  3. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal.
    A hand holds a cup of melted peanut butter, pouring it over a bowl of cereal.
  4. Stir until combined. A hand holds a spatula stirring peanut butter and cereal together.
  5. Pour it into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. 
    A hand holds a spatula, pressing cereal bar batter into a prepared pan.
  6. Place chocolate chips and remaining frosting ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave until melted, around 1 minute. Stir until combined. Drizzle over the bars and use a spatula to spread it out evenly
  7. Cut the cereal bars

Key Ingredients

  • Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
  • Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
  • Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
  • Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
  • Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
  • Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
  • Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
  • Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
  • Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
  • Cereal — I use Special K cereal, but you can substitute puffed rice cereal.
  • Brown sugar — You can use light or dark brown sugar.
  • Syrup — I prefer to use dark Karo syrup for this recipe because adds a hint of caramel flavor that we’re after. You can substitute maple syrup.
  • Peanut butter — I prefer using creamy peanut butter, but you can substitute natural or even chunky peanut butter.
  • Salt — A little bit of salt enhances the sweetness of these dessert bars.
  • Chocolate Chips — Use your favorite dairy-free chocolate chips.
  • Vanilla extract — Adding vanilla extract brings out the “butterscotch” flavor in the chocolate topping.
A vegan special K bar sits on a plate in front of a bowl of peanut butter and another treat in the background.

Why This Recipe is a Winner

  • EASY — This recipe is made with only 8 simple ingredients!
  • CROWD FAVORITE — Everyone loves cereal bars infused with peanut butter and chocolate!
  • FREEZER-FRIENDLY — Make these tasty treats ahead of time and freeze them to serve later.

Frequently-Asked Questions

Are scotcharoos vegan?

Most scotcharoos are made with dairy milk and butter ingredients. However, it’s easy to make dairy-free scotcharoos at home!

Can you freeze scotcharoos?

Scotcharoos are basically cereal bars topped with chocolate. As such, they’re easy to freeze. To do so, cut them into bars and place them in a freezer-safe container. They can be frozen for up to 2 or even 3 months.

Reader Reviews

This recipe was so easy. Everyone loved it!


Serving Suggestions

Serve this vegan scotcharoos with these toppings (be sure to add toppings before the chocolate sets):

  • Flaky sea salt sprinkled on top
  • Add sprinkles for festive occasions
  • Add extra crunch with chopped peanuts.

Storage Tips

Cut scotcharoos into bars and transfer them to an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 or 5 days or in the fridge for up to 10 days. They can also be frozen in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months.

A hand holds a dairy-free scotcharoo with a bite taken out.

Dessert Bars

It’s true these vegan scotcharoos are amazing! Here are even more vegan dessert bars you’ll love:

A hand holds a vegan scotcharoo bar with a bite taken out.

Special K Bars

These vegan scotcharoos are delicious treats infused with peanut butter, butterscotch flavors, and chocolate. These treats are easy to make and a real crowd favorite!
5 from 3 votes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 20
Calories: 310kcal



  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup dark Karo syrup (substitute agave syrup or maple syrup)
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups Special K cereal (substitute puffed rice cereal)



  • Line a baking a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper. Give it a quick spray of vegetable cooking spray.
  • Add sugar and corn syrup to a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for 90 seconds, stopping to stir once or twice. Don't let the mixture come to a boil. We're trying to get it hot enough to dissolve the sugar, but not too hot. See notes for stovetop instructions.
  • Stir in the peanut butter and salt.
  • Add the cereal to a large bowl. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the cereal and stir until combined. Spread this mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to gently press into an even layer.


  • Place chocolate chips and remaining frosting ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave until melted, around 1 minute. Stir until combined. Drizzle over the bars and use a spatula to spread it out evenly.

Recommended Equipment

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Stovetop Instructions

If you prefer to cook the peanut butter mixture on the stovetop, combine sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the mixture just begins to boil. Then remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and salt.
Calories: 310kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 0.2mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 220mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 296IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

4 Responses to Vegan Scotcharoos

  1. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyRene Reply

    5 stars
    Can I use something besides peanut butter? I am deathly allergic.

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      Hi Rene. You can use your favorite peanut butter substitute. I’m wondering if almond butter or seed butter would work for you. I haven’t tried these, but they should work. Once you have a substitute that works for your allergies, mix it, and taste the cereal batter. It may require a bit more syrup, depending on your tastes.

  2. Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyGretchen Reply

    5 stars
    This recipe was so easy. Everyone loved it!

    • Avatar thumbnail image for MarlyMarly

      I’m so glad you and your people liked this recipe!

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