These tasty retro peanut butter cornflake cakes are super simple, no-bake, and 100% vegan. Crunchy, sweet, a little salty, chewy and nutty, peanut butter cornflake cakes are ideal for parties, buffets, and pot luck spreads. Or just whenever you fancy a wee treat.
These little peanut cornflake clusters are similar in flavour to Reese peanut butter cups especially when garnished with a few chocolate drops.
Looking for gluten-free peanut butter cornflake cakes? Simply use gluten-free cornflakes.
Peanut butter cornflake cakes are an old-fashioned retro no-bake cake, that perhaps could be classified as a cookie or possibly as a type of home-made candy/sweets.
Just a few pantry ingredients are required to prepare these peanut butter cornflake cakes 'peanut butter, cornflakes, golden syrup, granulated sugar and vanilla'.
Peanut butter cornflake cakes share similarities to Chocolate Haystacks or Chocolate Cornflake Cakes, Rice Crispy Treats, squares or slices, and the American classic Switcheroos or the festive treats Ting-A-Lings.
No-bake refrigerator chocolate cornflake cakes have been popular in the UK since at least the 1960s and 70s.
However, these little crunchy treats may be an adaptation of Australia's Chocolate Crackle which are prepared with rice crispies/rice bubble cereal and have been around since the 1930s. Although, the introduction of peanut butter to cornflake cakes could possibly be an American invention.
How To Prepare Vegan Peanut Butter Cornflake Cakes
For this recipe I used vanilla powder which is why little vanilla speckles can be seen on the close up images. Although vanilla extract or essence works perfectly well.
For a smoother texture choose a smooth peanut butter and for extra texture go with a crunchy peanut butter.
The chocolate chips are optional.
Add the cornflakes to a mixing bowl.
Place the golden syrup, granulated sugar and peanut butter into a saucepan.
Over a low-medium heat melt the ingredients together into a smooth paste. Stir frequently and don't allow the mixture to boil.
Remove from the heat and stir through the vanilla.
Pour the peanut butter mix into the cornflakes.
Stir the mixture through the cornflakes quickly until it coats the cornflakes completely.
Using a tablespoon scoop up dollops and place on a baking tray or plate lined with baking parchment/paper.
Optional: Gently press in a few chocolate drops.
Place the cornflake cakes into the refrigerator until set.
What's the best way to store peanut butter cornflake cakes?
Peanut butter cornflake cakes can be stored in a cool, dry area of the kitchen within a covered container for a few days. Do keep away from warm sunlight or hot areas.
Or better still, store the cornflake cakes within a covered container or covered plate and store in the refrigerator. Peanut butter cornflake cakes should store well for 5-7 days.
Can peanut butter cornflake cakes be frozen?
Yes. Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Wrap well with baking parchment or greaseproof paper and place in a freezer bag or container. Unwrap before defrosting.
What is golden syrup?
Golden syrup is similar in colour and texture to honey, and is a popular ingredient within the UK. It is a by-product of refining sugar cane or sugar beet juice into everyday sugar.
It's claimed that golden syrup was invented in England 1885, but possibly golden syrup is Australian in origin as it was recorded earlier in South Australia in 1840.
Other countries may know golden syrup as light treacle.
Can I substitute golden syrup?
The main substitute for golden syrup is light corn syrup or perhaps maple syrup.
Generally golden syrup can be subbed on a 1:1 basis with light corn syrup or maple syrup. However as golden syrup is thicker than corn or maple syrup, you may need to add extra cornflakes to the mixture to soak up any excess that may occur. Although this may not be necessary.
Also do bear in mind that the peanut butter cornflake cakes will taste a little different depending on which syrup is used, but of course they will still be equally tasty.
Can I use any variety of peanut butter for cornflake cakes?
Yes. If you prefer a crunchier nutty texture then choose a crunchy peanut butter and if a smoother texture is desirable, go with a smooth, no-bits, peanut butter.
Also, if preferred replace the peanut butter with almond butter, cashew butter, hazelnut butter, etc.
I have a nut allergy. Can I substitute peanut butter for sunflower seed butter?
Technically this recipe would work with sunflower seed butter that was the same consistency as peanut butter, but I have not tested this out so can't be 100% sure.
Another option is to try peanut free WOW butter which is a toasted soya spread and looks and acts like peanut butter. It's available in Holland and Barrett health stores [UK].
Either options should work and are always worth a go!
Is white sugar vegan?
This is a question that frets many new and long-standing vegans! In the US white sugar may not be vegan as it could have been filtered using the animal ingredient bone char. However, organic, unrefined or raw white sugar is more likely to be vegan friendly.
Although, in the UK white sugar is rarely prepared with bone char so is more likely to be safe for a vegan diet, but if you are concerned do some research and perhaps contact the sugar manufacturer for confirmation.
Looking for more vegan recipes that use breakfast cereals?
Check out our vegan baking recipes for more ideas, especially tasty is this Weetabix Loaf Cake, and this All Bran Cinnamon Loaf Cake, and my favourite crunchy Cornflake, Chocolate And Coconut No-Bake Tray-Bake.
Vegan Peanut Butter Cornflake Cakes
- Baking tray or large plate greaseproof/parchment paper
- Mixing bowl
- 190 grams golden syrup
- 170 grams granulated sugar
- 225 grams peanut butter
- 120 grams cornflakes
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- a few tablespoons chocolate chips/drops for pressing into the cakes before setting
- Prepare a baking tray or large plate with a layer of parchment paper.
- Place the cornflakes into a mixing bowl.
- Add the golden syrup, granulated sugar, and peanut butter to the saucepan. Over a low heat melt everything together until its combined. Stir frequently and don't allow to boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the vanilla.
- Pour and scrape all the melted peanut butter liquid into the cornflakes and quickly mix until thoroughly combined.
- Using a tablespoon scoop up the mixture and place onto the tray. Using your fingers firmly but gently press each cake together a little.
- If using chocolate drops press a few into any little gaps that naturally occur within the cakes.
- Place into the refrigerator to set.
- Nutritional data is provided for guidance only and is not a strict calculation as ingredients vary.
- Nutritional info does not include the optional chocolate chips/drops.
- These peanut butter cornflake cakes are chewy and crunchy but not too hard and can be enjoyed straight from the refrigerator.
- Store peanut butter cornflake cakes in a cool, dry area of the kitchen for a few days, within a covered container. A layer of kitchen foil can help preserve the cakes for longer.
- Or store within the refrigerator in a covered container, for up to 5-7 days, possibly longer.
- Store within the freezer for 2-3 months. Wrap in baking parchment or kitchen foil and place in a freezer bag or covered container. Unwrap before defrosting.
- For added texture use a crunchy peanut butter.
- Light corn syrup or maple syrup can replace the golden syrup although a little extra cornflakes may be required, if the alternative syrup creates a thinner sauce.
- For gluten-free peanut butter cornflake cakes choose a gluten-free cornflake breakfast cereal.
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