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The Great Scotcheroo Recipe & Iowa’s Obsession

Scotcheroos are about as Midwest as it gets. The sweet and crunchy treat supposedly originated from a recipe printed on boxes of Rice Krispies in the 1960s. Now, it’s one of Iowa’s go-to snack recipes. Buckle up, we’re going to explore the easy Scotcheroo recipe and where to find tasty variations in Iowa. 

Three Scotcheroos stacked

What are Scotcheroos made of?

The key ingredient to Scotcheroos is butterscotch (with some melted chocolate). Obviously. The melted candy coating is mixed with a cereal (usually corn or rice based) and peanut butter and then chilled. Think of it as the chocolatey cousin of a Rice Krispie treat. 

It’s an Iowa thing that’s really grown into a Midwestern thing. In 2017, the Des Moines Register dug into the origin of the Scotcheroos.

Iowa bakeries that make Scotcheroos (and variations)

Upclose photo of Scotcheroo bars

Scotcheroos are ridiculously easy to make, but sometimes, it’s nice to taste what kind of twist the pros put to the traditional recipe. Doesn’t a bite of Scotcheroo Cheesecake sound nice?

Here are a few Iowa bakeries putting their own spin on the Scotcheroo:

Scotcheroos Recipe


An easy, no-bake dessert bar made with butterscotch, chocolate and rice crispies cereal.
Course Dessert
Servings 12 servings


  • 1 Large bowl
  • 1 9×13 pan
  • 1 Microwaveable dish


  • 6 cups Rice crispy cereal
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Light karo syrup
  • 1 cup Creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup 60% Dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup Butterscotch chips


  • In a large bowl, pour in the cereal. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together karo syrup and sugar until smooth. DO NOT BOIL. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in peanut butter and vanilla until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture over the cereal and mix until combined.
  • Press mixture in a greased 9×13 pan.
  • In a small microwavable dish, melt together chocolate chips and butterscotch chips in 30-second increments until melted and smooth.
  • Spread on top of the pressed cereal mixture in the pan.

These make great desserts following other truly Iowa meals like:

An easy recipe for no bake Scotcheroos, a peanut buttery-scotch bar topped with delicious chocolate!
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