Perfect for breakfast, snacking, or as party food, these homemade cereal bars have marshmallow-coated Honey Nut Cheerios topped with M&M’s and white chocolate.
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About Homemade Cereal Bars
Simple and easy to customize, these homemade cereal bars aren’t just for breakfast. With a combination of crunchy cereal, your favorite candy, and topped with a drizzle of white chocolate, these bars are the type of snack you’ll want to reach for any time of day.
What is a cereal bar?
To keep it short and sweet, a cereal bar is made with a breakfast cereal that’s been mixed with a sticky coating (most often a marshmallow-based mixture) and compressed into a bar shape. If you’re familiar with Rice Krispies treats, they are a type of cereal bar.
What’s in a cereal bar?
- Breakfast Cereal – Any type of cereal that has small, firm pieces should do the trick. This makes Cheerios a great choice, with Honey Nut Cheerios being the most common. Honeycomb, Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Chex, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Cap’n Crunch are also good choices.
- Mini Marshmallows and Butter – For making the sticky coating that holds the bars together.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips – An optional topping, but great for adding more flavor. You can use any flavor, too, from chocolate to butterscotch to white chocolate.
- Candies – Another optional topping, but makes the bars colorful and adds a unique flair. This recipe uses M&M’s, but you can also use chopped snickers, gummy bears, etc – feel free to get creative!
- White Candy Melts – Used for a decorative coating and helps hold the candy toppings in place, but this ingredient is also optional.
What type of candy melts should you use?
Candy melts (also called melting wafters) are pretty common – you can find them in the baking supply area, and they’re small, flat disks, typically sold by the bag – but I do think there are significant differences in quality depending on the brand of candy melts you buy.
Wilton is by far the most common brand of candy melt, and they are sold in a variety of colors. This makes them a popular pick, since you can buy the exact color you need and can get right to crafting your creepy treats. Wilton is simple and easy.
However, I’ve not been impressed with the quality of Wilton candy melts. These candy melts cool fast, which means it becomes thick and harder to use long before you’ve coated all your treats. This leads to reheated and the texture of the melts becomes a little more “iffy” each time.
Given the above, I would highly recommend picking up Ghirardelli brand candy melts instead. These are my favorite candy melts to work with due to the superior quality and taste.
How long are cereal bars good for?
Once prepared, homemade cereal bars can be stored in a sealed container on the counter for up to a week.
Can you freeze cereal bars?
Yes, you totally can!
For best results, wrap each cereal bar with plastic wrap or wax paper and store in an air-tight container or freezer bag.
Cereal bars can be frozen for up to three months.
Notes & tips for homemade cereal bars
- When working with the marshmallow-coated Cheerios it can be useful to grease your hands with butter and use them to mold and press the mixture into the pan.
- If you’d like the candy to be more visible, drizzle the white candy melts first and then top with candy.
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How to make homemade cereal bars
This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.
Step 1 – In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the marshmallows and butter, then mix until smooth.
Step 2 – Add Cheerios to the bowl with the marshmallow mixture, then toss to coat.
Step 4 – Decorate the top with mini chocolate chips and candy. Melt the white candy melts per package instructions, then drizzle on top.
Step 5 – Refrigerate the cereal bar base for at least one hour until set. Once firm, cut into bar shapes.
Step 7 – Serve and enjoy!
- In a microwave-safe bowl, add mini marshmallows and butter. Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, then stir for 1 minute or until smooth. If mixture still has solids, return to the microwave and heat for an additional 2 minutes.10 ounce miniature marshmallows, 3 tablespoon salted butter
- Add Cheerios to the bowl with the marshmallow mixture, then use a spatula to toss and mix until the cereal is completely coated.5 cup Honey Nut Cheerios
- Pour mixture into prepared 9×13 dish and spread into an even layer. If needed, butter your hands and use them to help smooth out the top.
- Decorate the top of the cereal bar base with mini chocolate chips and candy as desired. TIP: Gently press the candies into the cereal mixture so they'll stick.1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup M&M's
- In another microwave-safe bowl, add white candy melts and heat for 30 seconds on 50% power, then stir. Continue to heat for 15 second intervals, mixing in between, until candy has completely melted.1/2 cup white candy melts
- Drizzle melted candy over cereal bar base as desired.
- Refrigerate cereal bar base for at least 1 hour or until set.
- Lift cereal bar base out of baking dish by gripping excess paper/foil along the sides, then transfer to a work area. Peel back paper/foil from edges, then cut cereal bars into 1 or 2 inch squares or desired size.
I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.