Let’s just call this a sanity saving recipe. The kids are home, you’ve got a pantry filled with staples, and everyone wants a sweet. These dairy-free peanut butter & jam bars are a simple solution that you can all make together. They can also be adapted to almost any dietary need. In fact, I have several tips and suggestions to go with the recipe!
PB & J Bars are Easy and Adaptable to Your Pantry
No Eggs? Perhaps you are vegan or dealing with an egg allergy. Or maybe you’ve simply run out of fresh eggs on hand! But odds are, you have some aquafaba. Open a can of chickpeas and use 3 tablespoons of the bean liquid inside in place of the egg. You can try another egg replacer, but this is the one I recommend most for this particular recipe.
No Peanut Butter? Whether you’re allergic or just don’t stock this American staple, you can still bake this recipe. Substitute your favorite nut butter or seed butter. In fact, I like to mix it up sometimes with almond butter or sunflower seed butter.
Need Gluten-Free? You can substitute certified gluten-free oat flour or an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend for the wheat flour in these Peanut Butter & Jam Bars. But I would use the egg rather than an egg replacer, if possible.
Prefer Wholesome Ingredient Swaps? Whole wheat flour and spelt flour can be used – they just produce heartier PB & J bars. You can also swap coconut sugar for the brown sugar, if preferred. If you don’t have any buttery spread, sticks, or shortening on hand, you can use coconut oil. If the dough is too greasy, add a little more flour, as needed.
No Raspberry Jam on Hand? Use whatever jam you like! You can even whip up some homemade chia jam. If you have several varieties on hand, let everyone pick their favorite and spread some on “their” portion of the bars. It will make for a fun colorful result!
This recipe was originally shared with us by Santa Cruz Organic back in 2006. We’ve given the post a big update for you!
Special Diet Notes: Peanut Butter & Jam Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, soy-free, tree nut-free, and vegetarian. See the post above for a variety of special diet option.
- 1 cup natural peanut butter
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons non-hydrogenated shortening or dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
- 1 large egg (see post above for egg-free option)
- ¾ cup all-purpose or whole wheat flour (see post above for gluten-free option)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup raspberry jam (seedless, if desired)
- Peanuts, for topping (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350°F, and grease a 8x8-inch or 9x9-inch baking pan.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the peanut butter, sugar, and shortening or buttery spread with a hand mixer until smooth. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt, and stir until dough form.
- Reserve about ⅓ of the dough for topping.
- Press the remaining dough evenly in the bottom of your pan.
- Spread the jam in an even layer on top of dough. Coarsely drop the reserved dough over the jam layer. Optionally sprinkle on some peanuts and press them lightly into the dough and jam.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until lightly browned and set.
- Let the bars cool completely before cutting them.