This is what Homemade Peanut Butter Captain Crunch looks like:
I’m your friend that loves real food and home cooking but can’t stand it when a recipe is high maintenance. You’ve watched me pare down my “from scratch” cooking methods through the years.
- Cutting in butter? I don’t think so.
- Knead bread? Why – when I can do this?
- 5-minute granola on the stove-top? Uh-huh.
- Tedious side dishes? Pretty much never.
- Freezer meals in minutes? Absolutely, yes.
So why I decided to attempt making Homemade Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, I do not know.
Wait. Yes, I do know. That was my very favorite cereal as a kid. Of course, we never had it in our house. We only had the “healthy” kinds of cereal like Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, and Cheerios. But when I went to my cousin’s house? They always had Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch!! I decided I’d never tasted anything so amazing.
This is why, when I ran across this recipe yesterday, I got all giddy and excited. I determined to make it with the ingredients I had on hand and cut down the sugar and see what happened.
Well, I tell ya – it’s good. It’s obviously not the same as what you pour out of a box. It’s not nearly as sweet the way I made it – though lightly sweetened is good enough for me. The fact that there is real, natural peanut butter in these is nice for a punch of protein. And the little cereal bits really are crunchy – which means you can pour actual milk over them and eat them like actual cereal and pretend you are a kid at your cousin’s house again. (Thank you Uncle Howard and Aunt Ruth for providing this fun memory from childhood!)
The draw back? Well, this is not a quick stir-pour-bake recipe. I’m not sure it’s really worth it for me to stand in the kitchen for over an hour making one box worth of cereal that we consume in one meal. I probably won’t make this very often – but if I ever get a hankering for Peanut Butter Captain Crunch, the recipe is here. Sometimes it’s worth going to the trouble.
Homemade Peanut Butter Captain Crunch
adapted from this recipe
- 1⅔ cup natural peanut butter
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
- ½ cup brown sugar or sucanat
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- 3-4 cups flour (+ -) any combination of oat, wheat, or corn flour
- Melt peanut butter, butter, and coconut oil together on the stovetop.
- Measure sugar or sucanat into a large bowl.
- Pour melted peanut butter mixture over the sugar and stir.
- Add milk, salt, vanilla, and baking soda, stirring well.
- Slowly stir in flour until dough becomes stiff enough to roll out.
- Press or roll dough into a cookie sheet until it is about ¼-inch.
- Use a butter knife to cut thin strips about ¼-inch wide.
- Turn dough and cut strips again the same size to form tiny squares.
- Separate the pieces so they will bake more evenly.
- Bake in a 325° oven for 15-20 minutes, stirring half-way through.
- Pieces will become crispier once they come out of the oven.
You’ll definitely want to check out my homemade peanut butter, which makes everything better (unless you’re allergic to peanuts).
What do you think? Do you love Peanut Butter Captain Crunch enough to think this is worth the effort? It IS yummy! It’s even hearty and great for a snack.
I’m right with you on too-fussy recipes. But yeah, I think this would be worth it at least once in a while, because PEANUT BUTTER CAPTAIN CRUNCH!
How do you think coconut flour would go, maybe as a partial sub for the flour?
I’m not sure since coconut flour is so dry. I’m not sure what adjustments would need to be made. It would be worth an experiement!
Nathana Clay says
Yum! My family never bought the “sugary” cereals, unless you count frosted shredded wheat, very often. I LOVED captain crunch though! But last time I tried it, I was shocked at how sweet it was. It gave me a stomach ache. But I think I would like this version! However, it will have to be on a day when I have the extra time and motivation. :)
I know I would go right into migraine mode if I ate any now. So sweet!!!
It appears that the time consuming part is cutting the dough into little pieces. There’s got to be a better way. Is the dough stiff enough to put through a ricer or pasta machine? Just brainstorming here.
I’m afraid the dough would fall apart, but I like that your brainstorming to make that part easier! The original recipe I found suggested rolling the dough into thousands of tiny balls. The rolling and cutting I tried made that MUCH faster…but still. ;)
I will be working on designing a modified rolling pin to pop out small cube and sphere-shaped bits, whenever I get around to making my own cereal, probably at last a year from now (and also many measurements and subtle factors will have to go into the design). I’ll remember you and can send one if I succeed in making one that works, to thank you for your awesome recipe! Until then, if you want flat, square cereal pieces like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, perhaps take a regular wooden rolling pin, wrap it with a flexible metal wire (Sculpture House Armature Wire is 1/16″ thick and non-corrosive), dot some points of the wire with glue to fasten it to the pin, in a grid fashion, and then layer a second and/or third wire over the first ones, gluing those as well. Hopefully it will act as a cookie cutter? If you see any reasons it wouldn’t work, or have improvements to the idea, let me know!!!
Check out 1mm thick Aluminum Armature/Animation Wire for thinner cuts! And see ravioli rolling pins for big chunks!! And I hope the pin won’t create a new problem of being too difficult to clean…!
This is another way to enjoy that sweet, peanut butter flavor. I had to stop making it because my waistline wasn’t appreciating it :) You could definitely cut the sugar down, and it is yummy made with coconut oil.
Ooh, I’ll check that out!
This recipe reminds me of the recipes for homemade crackers that I have in my “someday” pile. I like the idea of making healthier crackers from scratch, but the time factor is a turn off. Crackers are a concession item for us. (I buy the healthiest store bought ones I can find and we just limit consumption). I say skip the recipe and just buy yourself a box once in a blue moon when a craving intersects with a good price.
Alternate idea….how would it work to make a double or triple batch and than freeze the pieces raw and just bake yourself a bowl when a craving hits? Kind of like freezing raw cookie or dinner roll dough and baking as needed?
I imagine that would work very well!
Laura, have you ever tried Barbara’s Peanut Butter Puffins cereal? It tastes like a lightly-sweetened, healthy version of Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch to me. It’s not homemade, but prep time is non-existent. :) It’s a bit pricey, but coupons and sales allow us to enjoy it as a treat once in awhile. Just thought I’d pass that along in case you get a craving but can’t spare an hour to make the homemade version!
Yes, and also Panda Puffs (I can’t remember which brand). Those are very tasty treat!!
My husband loves cereal and Captain Crunch is his #1 all-time favorite. He eats cereal as a snack after our children have gone to bed a few nights a week. I buy peanut butter Puffins for him occasionally and he enjoys that. I bet he’d love to try homemade Captain Crunch!! I’ll tuck this recipe away til I have a Saturday free to try. Now if I can just remember to actually make it…
I’m not sure how much time it would save, but you could cut it with a pizza cutter instead of a knife. That would be at least a little bit quicker. This looks like something my kiddos (and I) would enjoy.
Serenity Summers says
Oh my goodness! This made me chuckle. My husband LOVES a bowl of Captain Crunch about once a year. I always make fun of him because even as a kid it made the roof of my mouth itch like crazy. Plus, the slime layer it leaves behind in your mouth is just disturbing. Glad you found a non-slimy, non- itchy way to relive beautiful childhood memories ????
PB Captain Crunch is probably my all-time favorite store-bought cereal, but I’m with you, this just looks like WAY to much trouble to do it often. I think I’ll just continue what I do now—buy a box every six months or so to satisfy a craving (and hide it from the kids. I know I’m a bad, bad mom) and not worry about it.
Is it possible to make https://www.capncrunch.com/products/cap-n-crunch-original from this recipe?