These healthier scotcheroos are refined sugar free, gluten free, and made without corn syrup. Using simple and organic ingredients like honey, coconut sugar, and brown rice cereal, they’re a modern twist on a classic scotcheroo recipe. And not only are they healthier, but they’re also way tastier!
What are scotcheroos?
This classic dessert actually started out as a cereal box recipe! It was printed on the back of Rice Krispies cereal boxes back in the 60s and promoted as an easy no-bake recipe. Now it’s a staple dessert that’s right up there with marshmallow treats and puppy chow.
Traditional scotcheroos are a mix of rice cereal, peanut butter, butterscotch, and chocolate. The base contains the rice cereal and peanut butter while the coating on top is a mix of butterscotch and chocolate. It’s a super simple recipe that’s the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
If this is your first time hearing about scotcheroos, chances are you’re either from the east or west coast. They’re very popular in the midwest (where are my fellow midwesterners at??) and are basically as common as chocolate chip cookies in states like Minnesota and Iowa.
It’s definitely a dessert that grandma always whipped up when the grandkids came over to visit. But that’s back when there weren’t too many alternatives for corn syrup or processed sugar, or we just didn’t care. So I think it’s about time for a scotcheroo upgrade!
I should also mention that I took these to a 4th of July pool party and everyone was OBSESSED I don’t think I’ve ever received so many compliments on such a simple recipe. Someone even told me that they’re one of the best things they’ve ever had.
How to make healthier scotcheroos without corn syrup
Some recipes just can’t do without corn syrup, but this is not one of those. I won’t go into the dangers of high fructose corn syrup as I don’t want to scare anyone away (and I’m sure you’re all aware). Just know that if you have the opportunity to replace it in a recipe, do it!
Luckily for these healthier scotcheroos, all you have to do is make two simple substitutions.
Wholesome Organic Unfiltered Honey is my absolute favorite to bake with. Not only is the squeeze cap completely mess free, but I know that they only source from the best. The honey is what takes the place of the corn syrup in this recipe. They both have the same consistency, the honey is just more natural compared to the ultra processed corn syrup.
Plus, honey adds an extra layer of flavor that the corn syrup can’t. The honey doesn’t overpower the scotcheroos, but it’s just enough to know that it’s there.
The other star ingredient is Wholesome Organic Coconut Palm Sugar. Most scotcheroo recipes call for regular granulated sugar, but coconut sugar is much more natural and unrefined as it’s made from the nectar of palm tree flowers.
It’s also a simple 1-to-1 replacement with white or brown sugar so it’s really easy to bake with. I especially love the Wholesome coconut sugar because of how fine it is. Often times, coconut sugar graduals can be a bit too large so you tend to get that gritty texture. I never find that to be an issue with Wholesome so I always bake using their coconut sugar.
How to make gluten free scotcheroos
If you thought no corn syrup scotcheroos were easy, wait till you see how to make them gluten free! Just one ingredient and that’s it.
Now, you would think all rice cereal is gluten free but unfortunately that’s not the case. The rice itself is gluten free but you have to be careful about the other ingredients. Most rice cereals add malt syrup which is derived from a gluten grain. To stay on the safe side, check to make sure it’s certified gluten free before using.
For me, I prefer to use brown rice cereal for two reasons. First, brown rice is less processed than white rice…plus I just like the darker color it gives to these scotcheroos (bonus reason!). And second, it’s much easier to find a gluten free brown rice cereal. Or at least, I’ve had much better luck that way.
If you can’t find one that’s gluten free in a store near you, you could also use Rice Chex. It does not contain malt syrup and is almost always gluten free. But again, you must check the box to really know for sure.
For Rice Chex, the recipe is made the exact same. To get that tight texture like you would with Rice Krispies, just apply a bit more pressure when pressing the mixture into the pan.
For more gluten free dessert recipes, check out my:
- Lemon Zucchini Bread (gluten free and dairy free)
- Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (gluten free and dairy free)
- Edible Brownie Batter Cookie Dough (gluten free and vegan options)
- Vegan and Gluten Free Apple Crisp
Make sure to tag me @butternutbakery on Instagram or comment below if you make these Healthier Scotcheroos. To pin this recipe and save it for later, you can use the button on the recipe card, the buttons above or below this post, or on any of the photos above. Happy baking!Print
These healthier scotcheroos are refined sugar free, gluten free, and made without corn syrup. Using organic honey, coconut sugar, and brown rice cereal, this scotcheroo recipe is a modern twist on a classic dessert.
- 1/2 cup Wholesome Organic Coconut Palm Sugar
- 1/2 cup Wholesome Organic Raw Unfiltered Honey
- 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter (preferably made with just peanuts and salt)*
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups crispy brown rice cereal (certified gluten free)**
- 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup butterscotch chips (or more chocolate chips for a dairy free option)
- Flaky sea salt (optional but highly recommended)
- In a large pot over medium low heat, melt down the coconut sugar, honey, peanut butter, and vanilla until combined and smooth.
- Dump in the brown rice cereal and stir to coat.
- Press it into an 8×8 square baking pan that has been sprayed and lined with parchment paper. For easy removal, let the parchment paper hang over the sides to lift out the scotcheroos later.
- In a microwave safe bowl, melt together the chocolate and butterscotch chips in 30 second intervals until completely smooth.
- Pour over the peanut butter base and spread it even. For a completely smooth surface, tap the pan against the counter a couple times to even everything out.
- Place the pan in the fridge for about 30-60 minutes to set. Sprinkle with sea salt before serving. Enjoy!
- Let me know how they turned out in the comments down below!
- *Regular peanut butter will also work for this recipe
- **If you can’t find gluten free rice cereal, Rice Chex will also work
Keywords: scotcheroos, gluten free scotcheroos, healthier scotcheroos, no corn syrup scotcheroos, chocolate scotcheroos