Healthier Scotcheroo Bars {No Corn Syrup}

Healthier Scotcheroo Bars {No Corn Syrup}

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These no-bake treats are rich and sweet without all the extra sugar. I wouldn’t call them a “superfood” by any stretch, but these Healthier Scotcheroo Bars certainly have way less sugar without compromising that classic flavor we all know and love.

Healthier Scotcheroo Bars

Ingredients for Healthier Scotcheroo Bars

Scotcheroos are a frequently requested treat at our house, but I just can’t bring myself to make the classic recipe laden with corn syrup, granulated sugar, and artificial butterscotch. I knew there had to be another way to make these scrumptious bars with more wholesome ingredients. Here’s a list of everything you’ll need to make a batch of Healthier Scotcheroo Bars:

Cereal and Corn Syrup

My first swap in Healthier Scotcheroo Bars is using whole grain cereal, such as Barbara’s Organic Brown Rice Crisps. The rice is unrefined and it contains half the sugar as name brand Rice Krispies (two versus four grams).

Crisp rice cereal

For some unknown reason, most scotcheroos use corn syrup for sweetness and binding. Personally, I never ever use corn syrup for anything. It’s ultra processed, refined, and is devoid of all nutritional value. Instead, I use raw, local honey. Even though it’s still sugar, it has some unique benefits. Raw honey contains bits of pollen which are good for seasonal allergies and it can act as a cough suppressant. There are also small amounts of micronutrients, enzymes, and antioxidants present. You’d have to eat a lot of honey to get any benefit from the vitamin and minerals, but a trace amount of extra nutrition certainly won’t hurt.

Scotcheroos also call for granulated sugar on top of the corn syrup. However, I find that the honey makes them plenty sweet on their own, so I leave out the additional sugar.

Healthier Scotcheroo Bars

Peanut Butter

Instead of conventional peanut butter, I always use the natural version. However, there is a wide range of what “natural” means, so it’s essential to read the ingredients. Try to get a single-ingredient peanut butter (like Crazy Richard’s) if possible. A little added salt is okay, but avoid anything containing sugar or extra oils.


Butterscotch is the most difficult ingredient to make healthier. I’ve tried making my own, but it never has as strong of a flavor. The only brand I’m comfortable using is Guittard. The pros are that their chips are naturally flavored and don’t contain hydrogenated oils (aka trans fats) or high fructose corn syrup. However, they are still high in sugar and palm oil.

Butterscotch chips

Aside from being an industrial oil, palm oil production is a major contributor to tropical deforestation. A good rule of thumb is to avoid palm oil altogether because it is only used in ultra processed foods. If you do consume palm oil containing products, try to find those that are certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Unfortunately, I could not find such certification on these butterscotch chips, but they are the best ones I have found thus far.

In this recipe, I mix half butterscotch chips with dark chocolate chips. If you want to make them even healthier, swap the butterscotch for more dark chocolate. You won’t get the classic butterscotch flavor, but they’ll be delicious in their own way!

Dark chocolate chips

How to make Healthier Scotcheroo Bars

Place the honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan on medium/low heat. Whisk to combine. When they are blended together, remove from heat and stir in the crisp rice with a wooden spoon.

Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and press it down flat. Use an 8×8 pan for thicker bars and a 9×13 if you like them thinner.

Healthier Scotcheroo Bars

Pour an inch of water in the bottom of a double boil and place on the stove on medium heat. Add the butterscotch and chocolate chips to the top of the boiler. Stir often as they begin to melt.

When the chips are melted and combined, pour them on top of the cereal mixture. Spread it out using a small offset spatula until an even coating glosses the top. Let the chocolate mixture set up before slicing to serve.

Steaming cup of coffee

I hope you enjoy these Healthier Scotcheroo Bars! Be sure to leave a recipe rating below and let me know what you think in the comments. I’d love to see photos of your creations, so tag @roots_and_rosemary on Instagram!

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Healthier Scotcheroo Bars

4 thoughts on “Healthier Scotcheroo Bars {No Corn Syrup}”

  • While your efforts for a healthier snack are noteworthy, there is no way I would consider 25 grams of sugar PER SERVING anything close to healthy. You do realize that equals six teaspoons or two TABLESPOONS of sugar, right?? Just because it’s not corn syrup doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat. Also, yes, I read your notes after the recipe. This honestly amounts to clickbait.

    • Hello Dawn,

      While I understand your concerns with this recipe, do note that these are healthIER when compared to conventional versions. Of course they are intended to be eaten as an occasional treat–NOT every day. My intent was not to create superfood scotcheroos, but rather a version with more wholesome ingredients (real peanut butter, brown rice cereal, dark chocolate, etc.). Do they still have a lot of sugar? Of course. However, normal recipes are made with two full cups of added sugar (corn syrup and granulated) in addition to the chocolate chips and butterscotch, amounting to nearly 45g per serving!! Instead, I used a quarter of the sugar by using a half cup of raw, local honey thereby cutting out about 20g of sugar. But if they still aren’t healthy enough for you, you don’t have to make them.


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