Makeover Peanut Butter Bars Recipe
Makeover Peanut Butter Bars Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Makeover Peanut Butter Bars Recipe

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Lighter in calories and fat, these ooey-gooey peanut butter bars are still family favorites. Try them and you'll see why! —Lori Stevens, Riverton, Utah
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES:36 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 20 min. + cooling
MAKES: 36 servings


  • 1-3/4 cups reduced-fat creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Nutritional Facts

1 each: 237 calories, 8g fat (3g saturated fat), 20mg cholesterol, 165mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (26g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.


  1. In a large bowl, cream 1 cup peanut butter, butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in applesauce and vanilla. Combine the flour, oats and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well (batter will be thick).
  2. Spread into a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 18-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; spread with remaining peanut butter. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, beat frosting ingredients until light and fluffy. Spread over the peanut butter layer. Cut into bars. Yield: 3 dozen.
Originally published as Makeover Peanut Butter Bars in Healthy Cooking June/July 2009, p26

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homemadewithlove User ID: 4311884 181808
Reviewed May. 28, 2014

"Makes a lot so it will feed a crowd. The frosting is delish! First time using reduced fat PB but overall the bars were well received and some asked for the recipe."

christquest User ID: 6648138 98844
Reviewed Mar. 2, 2014

"These are my go-to healthy sweets! Can't get enough of them!"

danielleylee User ID: 4484886 166128
Reviewed Jun. 7, 2013

"These are amazing. I made them for fathers day a few years ago and no one could tell they were a healthier version of the ones I made that are similar to a food network stars high fat peanut butter bars the previous year."

katieleigh3508 User ID: 4885329 166126
Reviewed Apr. 8, 2013

"I thought these bars were very dry and found ways to give the rest of the pan away. I only had old-fashioned oats in the cupboard, and that may have made the difference. I'll just enjoy smaller portions of the real stuff in the future."

mountainbaby User ID: 1680510 114266
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2013

"I love these for breakfast or snacking with a glass of milk. I put 6 oz. chocolate chips on the bars as soon as they come from the oven, let them melt, and spread. I no longer use the frosting. Either way, they're delicious!"

choc52 User ID: 434649 144206
Reviewed Jul. 17, 2011

"These were great! The texture from the oats is nice. I've made them a couple of times and needed to add a couple more tablespoons of milk to make the icing the consistency I needed to spread easily. I also probably substituted Smart Balance for the butter (original in the tub, not light). They also freeze well. Thanks for sharing!"

N3 User ID: 5794812 210796
Reviewed May. 1, 2011

"These are fantastic! I probably wouldn't go so far as to call it a "healthy" recipe (hahaha)...but, my mom and I did a couple of things to further improve the stats. We used 1 c all-purpose flour and 1 c whole wheat flour in the batter. Then I also used maybe only a 1/3 c of the peanut butter on the top of the bars - just enough for a thin layer. My mom and daughter halved the frosting recipe and it all came together just right...imho. Definitely a keeper of a recipe!"

pamelag21 User ID: 1233367 168773
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2011

"Tasted great"

fowa User ID: 4679668 181405
Reviewed Apr. 26, 2011

"i made it from a previous issue I got . It is great"

maria37 User ID: 4812543 210795
Reviewed May. 22, 2010

"I loved this recipe! These bars are very very good and I will make these again."

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