It's like a Rice Krispies Treat and a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup had a baby and gave it a goofy name.
Chocolate topped crispy rice bars on a white plate
Credit: footballgrl16

What are Scotcheroos?

Think Rice Krispies Treats, minus the marshmallows, plus peanut butter. And top it all off with a chocolate-butterscotch "frosting." Created by Kellogg's in 1965, this bar cookie was originally promoted on the side of Rice Krispies cereal boxes to promote use of that morning staple later in the day — alongside Nestle chocolate and butterscotch morsels.

While Kellogg's is headquartered in Battle Creek, Michigan, the epicenter of scotcheroo mania today seems to be Iowa. From bake sales to summer potlucks to holiday parties, no celebration feels complete without the cereal treats, according to many residents of the Midwestern state. They first became popular soon after those cereal boxes hit shelves in the mid-1960s, as Iowa home cooks attempted to bring something new and semi-homemade to dessert gatherings. Its popularity has remained for more than 50 years due to its ease of prep (and who are we's delicious results).

How Do You Make Scotcheroos?

The classic side-of-box scotcheroo recipe calls for an easy-to-memorize mix:

  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup butterscotch morsels


Over medium heat, melt the syrup and sugar together in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. Take the pan off the heat, stir in the nut butter, then the cereal. Mix until the cereal is evenly coated. Press mixture into a 9- by 13-inch pan. Over low heat, slowly melt the morsels, stirring constantly. Pour the topping over the cereal bars in the pan. Allow topping to solidify before slicing and sharing.

How Do You Customize Scotcheroos?

To make the classic scotcheroo recipe your own, try one of these ingredient swaps.

Instead of corn syrup, consider using:

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown rice syrup
  • Agave nectar

Replace peanut butter with:

  • Almond butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Tahini
  • Nutella

Rather than Rice Krispies, try:

  • Cocoa Rice Krispies cereal
  • Special K cereal
  • Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch cereal
  • Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cheerios
  • Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Chex cereal

For the topping, use:

  • Vegan chocolate morsels
  • Semi-sweet chocolate + peanut butter morsels
  • Milk chocolate + butterscotch morsels
  • Semi-sweet chocolate + caramel-sea salt morsels

To boost the visual and flavor appeal of the cereal mix or topping, stir in or sprinkle on chopped nuts, seasonally-colored sprinkles, or add a marble swirl of melted peanut butter. (For the latter, simply soften peanut butter in the microwave, dollop small portions around the still-soft topping, then use a knife to gently swirl around for a marble effect.)