You will love these double chocolate peppermint cereal bars. Some links in this article are affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
I’ll be honest. These double chocolate peppermint cereal bars came about via an accident.
I had promised to make a dessert for friends and planned to make my double chocolate cherry cereal bars. However, once I started melting the butter and marshmallows, I realized I had used the last of my cocoa powder.
Thankfully, my husband is a teacher and gets hot chocolate frequently as a gift from students. We still had some peppermint hot cocoa in the pantry, so I gave that a whirl.
It turned out really well, and my friends asked me for the recipe. Who am I to not oblige them?
Of course, I don’t want to use peppermint hot chocolate regularly because that’s not something most people keep in their house, but I will share the substitution I used.
This is such an easy dessert recipe, and it’s naturally gluten free if you use gluten free cereal. I like this with Rice Chex, but choose your favorite.
How to Make Chocolate Peppermint Cereal Bars with Hot Chocolate
In place of the cocoa powder, use peppermint hot chocolate. However, the hot chocolate has less strength in both chocolate flavor and peppermint, so you need to use more.
Triple the amount. No that isn’t a typo. Use six tablespoons of the cocoa powder.
The hot chocolate is made mostly from milk powder, so it doesn’t increase the sweetness too much, which is good news.
And no, you don’t want to use peppermint extract in the marshmallow mixture. However, you do still want to add it to the melted chocolate for the drizzle.
What cereal should I use for these grown up chocolate krispy treats?
You can use almost any cereal for this that doesn’t have a ton of flavor. Since it’s chocolate already, you could even have fun and do something like Cocoa Puffs.
The key is to choose a cereal that won’t break immediately when stirring, which takes out any flake cereal. But you can make this easy chocolate cereal bar recipe with everything from Golden Grahams to Rice Krispies to Cheerios and more.
I make mine with Rice Chex because they hold their shape well and are naturally gluten free, which makes this something I can share with friends who can’t do gluten.
If you use a different cereal, you still want the same measurements. That doesn’t change, as you want the marshmallow mixture to coat everything.
Can I skip the drizzle?
Of course you can skip the chocolate drizzle on top of these yummy chocolate peppermint cereal bars. That’s the fun of baking: You get to control the recipe.
The drizzle does add a nice look to the no bake cereal bars, and the little extra touch of peppermint provides the perfect finishing touch. It’s easy to do, but it’s your call.
What chocolate should I use for the chocolate drizzle?
Any time you melt chocolate, you want to use a quality chocolate. Those chips you use for your favorite chocolate cookies? They don’t melt well, as they’re designed to hold their shape.
Instead, invest in some good quality chocolate bars or chocolate callets, which will melt without you having to chop them.
If you do use your standard chocolate chips and they aren’t melting well, you may need to add a little oil to them. Just add a bare drip though, as the oil quickly goes from helping to smooth the chocolate to keeping it from setting after you drizzle it.
Can I melt chocolate in the microwave?
Technically, yes, you can. However, I don’t recommend it.
Chocolate scorches very easily, and it’s simple to heat your chocolate too much too quickly in the microwave without realizing it. When you use as little chocolate as this recipe calls for, that risk increases.
Instead, use a heavy small saucepan and melt your chocolate on low heat on the stove. Stir it until almost all the chocolate melts, then remove the pan from the heat and let the residual heat melt the rest of it.
However, if you choose to melt your chocolate in the microwave, put it in a microwave safe dish and heat it for 20 seconds the first time, then stir it.
After that, heat it for ten second intervals, stirring each time. When most of the chocolate melts, let the bowl sit so the remaining heat can melt the chocolate, and stir until smooth.
How to Make Double Chocolate Peppermint Cereal Bars
Since this is a no bake dessert recipe, there’s no need to turn on your oven. Just butter the bottom and sides of an 8×8 pan
In a large heavy pot, melt together the butter, marshmallows, and cocoa powder. Stir the mixture periodically until it’s melted.
When you see just a few white streaks remaining, add the peppermint extract and stir to combine. You need to work fast at this stage so the marshmallow neither burns nor solidifies before you get it into the final pan.
Add your choice of cereal, and stir it carefully until all pieces are coated. Stir in a C shape, pulling the marshmallow mixture from the bottom of the pan up and over the cereal if you can.
Immediately pour the mixture into your prepared 8×8 pan, and spread into the corners with a spatula. Note: this works for either a glass or metal 8×8 pan.
Chop your chocolate and place it into a small, heavy pot over low heat to melt. Stir frequently, and remove your pan from the heat once the chocolate has mostly melted. Stir in the peppermint extract.
Use a fork (or my favorite chocolate tools) to drizzle the melted over crispy treats, and let it set up for 15 to 20 minutes.
Use a bench scraper or other tool to cut the pan into 16 pieces, and serve.
The bench scraper isn’t sharp, so you don’t risk damaging a metal pan. It has hands down my favorite and most utilized kitchen tool
Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. Separate layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking.
Try these double chocolate peppermint cereal bars, then pin them so you can find and make them again!
For the Bars:
- 5 T butter
- 10 oz package mini marshmallows
- 2 T cocoa powder
- 1/2 t salt
- 6 cups Rice Chex
- 3/4 t peppermint extract
For the Drizzle:
- 1 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/8 t peppermint extract
- Butter bottom and sides of 8x8 pan.
- Melt together butter, marshmallows, and cocoa powder, stirring periodically until melted.
- When you see just a few white streaks remaining, add peppermint extract and stir to combine.
- Add cereal, and stir carefully until all pieces are coated.
- Pour mixture into 8x8 pan, and spread into corners.
- Chop chocolate and place into a small, heavy pot over low heat to melt.
- Drizzle over crispy treats, and let it set up for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cut into 16 pieces, and serve.
- Store any leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to a week. Separate layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking.
- I cut my butter into pats so that it melts more evenly without burning. It's easy to burn butter, even on relatively low heat, so the pieces help.
- If you don't have peppermint extract, you can use peppermint cocoa in place of the cocoa powder (use 4 tablespoons instead of two because it doesn't have as much chocolate) and skip it in the drizzle.
- This works with pretty much any not too flavorful cereal from Rice Chex to Cheerios to Rice Krispies and more.
- For the chocolate in the drizzle, make sure to use high quality chocolate. Standard chocolate chips tend to not melt very well, and you may need to add a touch of oil to the chocolate to get it smooth. Just be careful not to add too much so that it will still harden.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 bar
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 139Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 198mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g
This site uses an outside source to provide nutrition as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.
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