These oatmeal fudge bars are soft and chewy and irresistibly gooey. They're equal parts oatmeal cookie and decadent chocolate fudge all in one! Naturally made gluten free and nut free with dairy free options.
If you've ever had the oat fudge bars from Starbucks then you know how delicious the combination of oats and fudge can be. These homemade oatmeal fudge bars are a softer and chewier version and just all around even better!
These delicious treats have a thick layer of gooey chocolate fudge sandwiched in between two layers of golden brown chewy oatmeal cookie bar. Best enjoyed chilled, they are the perfect cold treat to enjoy on a warm day.
Why I Love This Recipe
This oatmeal fudge bar recipe is a quintessential crowd pleaser. They'er a little more sophisticated than chocolate chip cookies or brownies but are just as easy to whip up! They make a great treat to bring to a family gathering or holiday party or to just have in your fridge to curb that sweet tooth.
The oatmeal cookie base is filled with oat flavor without being dry and is just the right amount of sweet. The fudge layer on the other hand takes care of the sweetness and deep chocolate flavor. On top of all of that, they take less than 30 minutes to prepare!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Oats - Rolled quick oats are best for this recipe. The smaller pieces bake faster in the oven. Make sure to use rolled oats and steel cut oats.
- Oat flour - This is used in conjunction with the rolled oats to create a super oat-y cookie mixture. I prefer to use store-bought oat flour since it is usually ground up more finely but homemade oat flour will work too. You can also substitute with the same amount of all purpose flour if needed.
- Butter - Provides a super gooey texture to the oatmeal cookie bars. Make sure it's room temperature. Substitute with dairy free butter or coconut oil if needed.
- Coconut cream - Used to make the chocolate fudge. This is the top part of a can of full fat coconut milk. You can either use a can of coconut cream or just scoop out the thick white part of a can of coconut milk. You can save the water at the bottom of the can for smoothies or cooking!
- Coconut sugar - Adds a caramel-like flavor to the oatmeal cookie layers. Substitute with light brown sugar if desired.
- White sugar - Also used in the oatmeal cookie layer. You can replace this with more coconut sugar but your oatmeal cookies will be darker and have a deeper caramel flavoring.
- Dark chocolate chips - This is the base of the chocolate fudge layer. I prefer dark chocolate as it's richer in flavor but you can use milk chocolate or semi-sweet if needed. If you're wanting to make this recipe dairy free and nut free, make sure to check the labels on the back of your chocolate.
How To Make Oatmeal Fudge Bars
These delicious bars come together very quickly. You will need a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer or hand mixer, an 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square baking pan, parchment paper, and a medium saucepan for the fudge.
Step 1 : Prepare the fudge layer. Melt the chocolate with the coconut cream in a skillet over medium-low heat. Stir with a rubber spatula occasionally to prevent the chocolate from burning. Continue to stir until the mixture becomes thick and the chocolate is fully melted.
Remove the skillet from the heat while you prepare the oatmeal cookie mixture. The fudge will cool down slightly.
Step 2 : Beat the butter with the sugars. Place the butter in a large bowl with the coconut sugar and white sugar and beat well with a mixer until creamy. The sugars should be well blended into the butter.
Step 3: Add the wet ingredients. Crack the eggs into the bowl and add the vanilla extract. Mix well with the mixer until well incorporated.
Step 4: Fold in the dry ingredients. Add the oats, oat flour, and baking soda to the bowl and gently fold into the batter. Be sure not to over mix this step and only mix until no large flour clumps remain.
Step 5: Assemble. First line your baking pan with parchment paper for easy clean up. Then press about ⅔ of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the pan with your hands. Make sure to press it into the corners and sides of the pan well.
Then pour the chocolate fudge over top and gently spread it out into an even layer with a rubber spatula. Place pieces of the remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the fudge layer. Use your hands to flatten out the pieces of the dough and spread them out on top. It's okay if there is some fudge showing through.
Step 6: Bake! Bake the pan in the oven until the oatmeal cookie on top is golden brown and crispy. Allow the pan to cool down completely before transferring it to the fridge to set for at least an hour.
Serving and Storing
These bars are best served slightly chilled, just like fudge. You can go ahead and slice them while at room temperature or once they have chilled. Slice them into 16 squares with a sharp knife, cleaning off the knife after each cut. If you want more bars that are smaller, slice each square diagonally to make 32 triangles that are perfect for a smaller treat.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap or aluminum foil to help keep them moist and fresh in the fridge. They will take at least an hour to set in the fridge after baking. You will know they are set when the fudge layer looks firm.
Transfer the bars to another airtight container where they will keep for up to a week in the fridge. You can also leave them out on the counter for a few hours if needed but the chocolate will be a little softer.
You can freeze these bars once they have set all the way. Place them in a container with a lid or in a freezer bag where they will keep for 3 months. Thaw out on the counter for a few hours before enjoying.
There are many ways to customize these bars and make them your own. Here are a few of my favorite:
- Melt ¼ cup of peanut butter, or sunflower butter if nut free, in the skillet with the chocolate and coconut cream. This will add a nutty taste to the bars.
- Add some chopped pecans to the oatmeal cookie mixture for some added crunch.
- Sprinkle some flaky sea salt over top of the bars once they are baked.
- Fold a handful of shredded coconut into the oatmeal cookie batter to achieve a toasted coconut oatmeal flavor.
- Place a few mini marshmallows on top of the oatmeal bars before baking them in the oven for a s'mores version.
Frequently Asked Questions
These bars will last for up to a week when stored in the fridge in an airtight container. You can also leave them out on the counter for a few hours. Just know the chocolate layer will be softer.
Yes, these bars can be frozen in an airtight container or bag for up to 3 months. I recommend storing them already sliced into bars. Thaw them out on the counter for a few hours until the oatmeal cookie is slightly soft. You can also microwave them in 10 second intervals to speed up the thawing process.
Yes, these oatmeal bars are naturally gluten free with the ingredients listed in the recipe card.
You can swap the butter with a dairy free butter and use dairy free chocolate chips to make this recipe dairy free.
For more cookie bar fun, check out my:
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Oatmeal Fudge Bars
For the fudge layer
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips - use dairy free if needed
- ½ cup coconut cream - this is the thick part on top of a can of full-fat coconut milk
For the oatmeal cookie
- ½ cup butter - softened and at room temperature
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs - room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup oat flour - I used Bob’s Red Mill
- 1 ⅔ cup rolled oats
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium saucepan, melt the chocolate chips with the coconut cream over medium-low heat. Stir occasionally to prevent burning until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is thick. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside to cool down slightly while you prepare the oatmeal cookie mixture.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter with the coconut sugar and white sugar until creamy. It’s best to use a hand or stand mixer for this.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and continue to mix until well combined.
- Pour the oat flour, oats, and baking soda into the bowl and gently fold into the batter with a rubber spatula. Be careful not to over mix this step.
- Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper for each clean up and press about ⅔ of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom. Be sure to get the corners and sides well.
- Spread the chocolate fudge on top evenly with a spatula.
- Place little pieces of the remaining oatmeal mixture on top of the fudge layer. Use your hands to help flatten out the batter. It’s okay if some fudge is poking through.
- Bake the pan in the oven for 18 - 22 minutes until the oatmeal cookie layer on top is golden brown and crispy. Let the pan cool down completely before wrapping it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and placing it in the fridge to set for at least an hour. You will know the bars are set when the fudge part looks firm to the touch.
- Use a sharp knife to slice the bars into 16 squares and enjoy!