Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars


cafeteria peanut butter bars

A few weeks ago I was talking with my sister on the phone, and she was telling me that she made peanut butter bars to take to her in-laws for Thanksgiving. She reminded me that they were THE peanut butter bars that we both loved from the school cafeteria as kids.

We didn’t eat from the cafeteria much, we were lucky enough to have mom-made lunches everyday (not that I always appreciated my healthy bag lunches back then!), but there were some days that the cafeteria food was actually too good to pass up. Growing up in a small town in the ’80s, my sister reminded me that our “cafeteria ladies” were actually moms of some of our classmates and the “cafeteria food” was actually some of their own recipes.

She sent me the recipe for these peanut butter bars and they tasted exactly like I remembered. I took them to a school potluck and to work last week and they received rave reviews, even without the nostalgic element. They are different from most peanut butter bars because they have a cake-like bottom layer and chocolate frosting top.

cafeteria peanut butter bars

Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars

1 1/4 cups butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tblsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla

Mix together and spread on greased cookie sheet with edges. Bake at 350ยบ for 10-15 minutes.

While crust is warm, cover with 1-2 cups creamy peanut butter. Let Cool.

Frost with chocolate frosting, mix together:
3 Tblsp. Cocoa
1 pound powdered sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 Tblsp. vanilla
1/4 cup milk

*This recipe is HUGE. I didn’t have a cookie sheet with edges so I used one 9X11 AND a 8X8 dish to make it, so you could easily half it if you don’t need that much!

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8 Responses to Cafeteria Peanut Butter Bars

  1. Erin says:

    Oh my goodness. I’m glad I already have too much baking/candy making to do in the next week, or I would make these, and eat them…eat them all! Peanut butter and chocolate is a combination that could almost give me faith in a higher power… a higher power that knows divine deliciousness. These are definitely being bookmarked for later!


  2. Arielle says:

    These look so good! I was talking to friends the other day about these things we had in our cafeteria similiar to this but they had powdered sugar on the top, not frosting. I cant remember what exactly they couldve been though. Its bumming me out!

  3. These look SO yummy! Really, anything with both peanut butter and chocolate in it I can get behind! I do not remember having peanut butter bars at my cafeteria! I definitely fall under the “not appreciated at the time homemade healthy lunches from mom” category too! Oh how I wish someone would pack me a yummy lunch for work every day now!

  4. cb says:

    i want to eat them all!!!!!!!!! i need to bake some pressies and i just might need to make this! thanks lady pants!

  5. Suki says:

    Wow, I love peanut butter anything and these look gorgeous. Will definitely be trying the recipe!

  6. Marisa says:

    Holy moly – these were my favorite thing in the cafeteria as a kid! I don’t think I’ve had one since I was in high school…haha. Thanks for posting Lisa – definitely brought me back and I will definitely be making these :)

  7. jorjiapeach says:

    OMYGOD. these look amazing. nothing beats a nostalgic treat!!

  8. Miki says:

    Man! These look so gooood! :P I was supposed to bake something for Christmas Eve, but I kind of ran out of time and bought something already made at Stater Brothers instead :/. Well, at least I added wiggly eyes to them, haha.

    Hope you’re having a very merry Christmas, Lisa! ;D

    Oh, and the plate is adorable!!!

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