The homemade Butterfingers have that exact same toffee-like crunch of store-bought Butterfinger bars… yet these are whole-grain, high in iron, and completely free of high-fructose corn syrup.
Homemade Chocolate Swap Healthy Butterfingers Vegan Style
The inspiration for these healthy butterfingers came from a dollar-bin book I saw at the fabric store.
The book recipe, which yielded an 8×8 pan just like mine, called for 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup corn syrup, and 1/3 cup shortening!
Yes, 3/4 cup of corn syrup in addition to the cup of sugar…
It was basically screaming for a healthy makeover!
Screaming so loudly that I had to get to work on the challenge as soon as I got home.
Luckily, this is one of those recipes that turned out perfectly on the first try – they really do taste like actual Butterfinger candy bars!
If you’re looking for a healthy or vegan dessert that will impress even the most skeptical or pickiest of eaters, these healthy Butterfingers are definitely the recipe to try.
In the years since I first posted them here on the blog, it’s become one of the site’s most popular recipes, with readers writing in to tell me that even their health-food-hating dads, moms, brothers, sisters, or boyfriends love the bars too!
- 1/4 cup agave or honey (see note below)
- 1 tbsp regular or blackstrap molasses – Or omit and increase agave to 1/3 cup
- 3 1/2 tbsp sugar, unrefined if desired, or xylitol
- 1 cup peanut butter, or allergy-friendly sub
- 1 1/2 cups bran flakes, or corn flakes, or another flake cereal (56g)
- 1/8 tsp salt, plus a little extra if using unsalted pb
- optional topping: 2/3 cup chocolate chips or 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil mixed with 1/4 cup cocoa powder and vanilla stevia drops or liquid sweetener to taste
Notes: Honey works, but it’s not for strict vegans and will also add a slight honey flavor. Corn syrup will also work, and commenters have said brown rice syrup or pure maple syrup work as well. If subbing out the molasses, the bars will taste less authentic but still delicious. If using xylitol, texture will be less toffee-like. Almond butter or Sunbutter work, or use peanut butter for the flavor that most closely resembles real Butterfingers.
Homemade Butterfingers Recipe: Combine first three ingredients in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil on medium heat. Boil about a minute, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Add the peanut butter and salt, and stir until it makes a paste. Add the cereal and stir very well to coat, partially crushing the cereal flakes as you stir. Make sure the flakes are very evenly coated. Press into an 8×8 pan—either lined with wax or parchment paper, or greased very well—and freeze until completely hardened. (Cut into bars while only somewhat frozen, or thaw the block a little before cutting.) If you wish to cover in chocolate (they’re good even without it), you can cover them at any time—either pre-cutting or post-cutting. Simply melt the chocolate chips over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth, or mix the coconut oil with the sweetener and cocoa. Then spread over the bars with a spatula and re-freeze to harden. Store in the freezer for optimum “snap.”
WW Points (new system): 3 points
The nutrition information (for 16 servings) was calculated using bran flakes, but please note that if you want these bars to be gluten-free you should be sure to use a flake cereal that says “gluten-free” on the label. Bran flakes are not gluten-free, but many brands–including Erewhon, Nature’s Path, and Glutino–make gf flake cereals that will work for this recipe.
Also: Just because something has health benefits doesn’t mean you should eat the whole pan in one serving ;). Too much of any food–even a healthy one–is unhealthy. Just try to eat 2 heads of cauliflower at once, and you will understand!
Courtesy of Chocolate covered Katie