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Oatmeal Fudge Bars

I’ve discovered that oats and chocolate are a very underrated combination. While I don’t typically put chocolate in my morning oatmeal, I have found that chocolate added to an oat-based baked good is, in almost all cases, a very, very good decision. Chocolate chips instead of raisins in oatmeal cookies? Superb. Mini chocolate chips in homemade granola bars? No-brainer. Chocolate and caramel in Oatmeal Carmalita Bars? Heaven. Chocolate and oats together in desserts and snacks will always make your taste buds smile. Which is exactly why these Oatmeal Fudge Bars are a huge win. You’re going to love them!

This is an easy-peasy bar recipe that only requires a couple of bowls, a whisk, and a spatula. Don’t you just love those?! An oatmeal crumb crust serves as the bread in this amazing brownie sandwich. Part of it is used as a bottom crust, and the rest as a crumble topping. In between? A wonderful layer of fudge-like brownie awesomeness. It’s part crunchy, part dense and chocolatey, and part crumbly. An easy recipe perfect for after-school snacks, an easy dessert, or something to bring along to a work potluck or friend’s picnic. The epitome of a versatile recipe!

One year ago: Broccoli Salad
Two years ago: Dark Chocolate Truffles

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Yield: 16 bars

Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 cup quick-cooking oats
1¼ cups light brown sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt + ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder or instant coffee
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 egg

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, allowing excess to hang over pan edges. Grease foil; set pan aside.

2. Combine the oats, 1 cup of the brown sugar, ¾ cup of the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the pinch of salt. Stir together in a bowl to combine. Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter and stir into the oat mixture until combined. Reserve ¾ cup of the mixture for the topping.

3. Sprinkle the remaining oat mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake until light golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool completely, about 1 hour.

4. Combine the remaining ¼ cup of flour, the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar, the instant espresso powder, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl; set aside.

5. Melt the chocolate chips and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large bowl, microwaving at 50% power in 30-second intervals, stirring after each. Let cool slightly. Add the egg and whisk until combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

6. Pour the chocolate filling over the cooled crust and sprinkle with the remaining oatmeal mixture. Bake until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Using the foil overhang, lift the bars from the pan and cut into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.

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72 Responses to “Oatmeal Fudge Bars”

  1. amanda @ fake ginger on April 19, 2012 at 12:10 am

    I definitely agree that oats and chocolate are fantastic together! I want one of these right now!

    Reply

  2. Jen of My Tiny Oven on April 19, 2012 at 12:38 am

    YUM! This is one of my all time favourites. Yours are so lovely!!

    Reply

  3. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 19, 2012 at 1:00 am

    Chocolate added to anything is good! :) Well…mostly everything. These look super delicious and I love the photos….currently drooling.

    Reply

  4. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 19, 2012 at 1:25 am

    bars, fudge, oatmeal, oatmeal bars, caramelitas bars…you just mentioned some of my fave things!

    Reply

  5. Sam G on April 19, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Nutella in oatmeal is really good!

    Reply

  6. Ari @ Ari's Menu on April 19, 2012 at 2:15 am

    Chocolate is suuuuccchhh a better choice than raisins! These look ridiculous!!

    Reply

  7. annabanana on April 19, 2012 at 4:30 am

    I occasionally DO enjoy chocolate with my morning oatmeal! I add a little hot chocolate mix to my oats, then add the water and zap in the microwave.

    Reply

    • Kris on April 19th, 2012 at 1:23 pm

      What a great idea! I know what I’m having for breakfast tomorrow!

      Reply

  8. Liz @ Blog is the New Black on April 19, 2012 at 5:28 am

    That fudge later looks amazing!

    Reply

  9. Kiri W. on April 19, 2012 at 5:59 am

    Mmmm – that fudge layer looks so, so tempting.

    Reply

  10. Lauren at Keep It Sweet on April 19, 2012 at 6:48 am

    I love easy recipes like that and love that thick layer of fudge!

    Reply

  11. Katrina on April 19, 2012 at 6:55 am

    These need to appear in my kitchen soon. Yum!

    Reply

  12. Carrie @ Bakeahohlic Mama on April 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

    You had me at Fudge!

    Reply

  13. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 19, 2012 at 7:30 am

    Oh man, this is pure heaven. This sounds amazzzzzzzing! Yum!!!!

    Reply

  14. Dee on April 19, 2012 at 8:39 am

    These look downright sinful…but you know with oatmeal so you can kind of make a case of how healthy they are HAHA!

    Reply

  15. Debra Kapellakis on April 19, 2012 at 8:46 am

    The pictures make me wanna grab one right off the screen. mmmmm… I can’t wait to try these.

    Reply

  16. Laura @ The Salty Kitchen on April 19, 2012 at 9:31 am

    If there is oatmeal in it, I consider it breakfast. Sooooo….oatmeal fudge bars for breakfast! Sounds like a winner to me! I cannot wait to try these. They look wonderful!

    Reply

  17. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box on April 19, 2012 at 9:52 am

    Yum! Love the pictures. A thick chocolate fudge layer sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies sounds wonderful!

    Reply

  18. Lauren on April 19, 2012 at 9:59 am

    I’m dying to make some of these!! Love oats + chocolate!

    Reply

  19. Nancy @ CouponClippingCook on April 19, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Sounds so good with the touch of instant coffee. They look so moist and delish.

    Reply

  20. Deborah on April 19, 2012 at 10:55 am

    I”m all for chocolate and oats! Love these!

    Reply

  21. Cookin' Canuck on April 19, 2012 at 11:18 am

    Michelle, I have made these bars from America’s Test Kitchen, too and know how darn good they are! I like to add a little nutmeg as well, which goes really well with the oats and chocolate. You’ve reminded me that I need to make another batch!

    Reply

  22. Tracey on April 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I agree, never a bad idea to add chocolate to anything made with oats! I loved these when I made them, and now I want them again seeing yours :) By the way, love that turquoise napkin!!

    Reply

  23. Paula on April 19, 2012 at 11:30 am

    I’m a big fan of oatmeal and chocolate so I have no doubt that I will love these bars. They do look delicious.

    Reply

  24. Amy's Cooking Adventures on April 19, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Oh these look delicious!

    Reply

  25. Living The Sweet Life on April 19, 2012 at 11:50 am

    Today’s snack would be perfect if I had one of these and a tall glass of cold milk *yumm*

    Reply

  26. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on April 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    My grandma used to make something similar to this when I was a kid. Haven’t had them in years!

    Reply

  27. Catalina @ Cake with Love on April 19, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    the chocolate looks so soft almost like a mousse texture, love the crumbles on top!

    Reply

  28. Carolyn on April 19, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Love these! I was thinking of you when I found a recipe for chocolate cream cheese ball that has peanut butter in it too. I made it and its fabulous!!! Check out thesisterscafe.com. You’ll love it!

    Reply

  29. Tracy on April 19, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Chocolate + oats = heaven! Love these bars!

    Reply

  30. oksana freeman on April 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Looks wonderful! The only question I have is can I use old fashioned oats and not the quick ones? Would it be an alright substitute?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 19th, 2012 at 11:11 pm

      I haven’t attempted that with these bars. Sometimes when quick cooking oats are called for and you use the old-fashioned, you end up with a coarser texture and things don’t set up and old together as well. I would try with quick oats if you can.

      Reply

      • oksana freeman on April 20th, 2012 at 7:17 pm

        Just what I figured. We don’t eat quick oats, but I’ll have to get them just to try and recreate this deliciousness! Thank you for your prompt responce, btw! Not everybody reads all responces to their blogs.

        Reply

        • Sarah on April 28th, 2012 at 9:28 am

          I used old fashioned oats in mine. I pulse them in my food processor a few times to slightly break them up. Mine probably had a slightly coarser texture than having used quick oats, they turned out delicious! But, I also made a few other adjustments in order to make them gluten-free.

          Reply

  31. Melissa on April 19, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    A girl after my own heart. I, in fact, put chocolate chips or cocoa into my oatmeal every day! My two favorite things together :)

    Reply

  32. Tracy {Pale Yellow} on April 19, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    These bars look beautiful and delicious! How do you cut your bars so evenly? Mine are always oddly shaped and do not have clean edges. Thanks!

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 19th, 2012 at 11:15 pm

      Hi Tracy, I always cut them one of two ways, depending on which tool is closer to me (or clean) at the time: I either use a sharp 8″ chef’s knife, and use one motion to cut down (no sawing), or I use a pizza cutter to make nice clean lines. I hope that helps!

      Reply

    • Anne on April 20th, 2012 at 9:34 am

      Use a plastic knife to cut bar cookies, even when they are hot. The cookie doesn’t stick to the plastic and they cut perfectly every time.

      Reply

    • Lorry on April 21st, 2012 at 6:11 pm

      A bench scraper also works great for cutting bars. Always had a problem cutting through fudgy brownies but not anymore. Plus its a great tool for working with sticky doughs.

      Reply

  33. Janet@FCTC on April 19, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Oh my, those look good. I love bars made with oatmeal anyway, so adding chocolate just sends to my happy place :-D

    Reply

  34. Jamie-lee on April 19, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    I needed to make a quick dessert (using stuff I already had) for a dinner party tonight, so I made these! They couldn’t have been more delicious. They have all the yummy flavor The Baked Brownie, but with a yummy oatmeal crumble. Like a date square, only better!

    Reply

    • Kris on April 19th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

      I’m sorry but that’s impossible. Nothing is better than a date bar. ;)

      Reply

  35. Abbie Joy on April 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Oooo, I’m going to make these this weekend. They look so tasty!

    Reply

  36. bergamot on April 19, 2012 at 10:55 pm

    This is a wonderful recipe. My daughter will love it. bookmarked it :-)

    Reply

  37. jess white @athriftyfoodie on April 20, 2012 at 4:49 am

    hi! these look lovely . so simple! can’t wait to make!

    Reply

  38. brandi on April 20, 2012 at 9:00 am

    these look perfect! my husband would love them.

    Reply

  39. Marly on April 20, 2012 at 9:45 am

    They have oatmeal in them so that makes it a super-healthy recipe. Right? Not that it matters. I’m already in “need to have it” mode!!

    Reply

  40. Bloggy Writer on April 20, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    One of my favorites and to make now. I love it. And the picture makes it look so outstanding.

    Reply

  41. ATasteOfMadness on April 20, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look so tasty! I just made a batch of muffins, but I think I should make these right now as well!

    Reply

  42. Liddy on April 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    I made these tonight, and they taste really good! However, I’m wondering if perhaps I didn’t bake them quite long enough? I baked them for the full 30 minutes, and tested them with a toothpick, but I couldn’t tell for sure, with the toothpick, if they were done. I didn’t want to overbake them, so I went ahead and took them out of the oven. When I cooled them completely and cut them, the fudge part was soft and gooey. Is the fudge part supposed to be soft like that, or is it supposed to be more like a cake brownie consistency?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2012 at 12:22 am

      Hi Liddy, They should have the consistency of a dense, fudgy brownie. Definitely soft, but not gooey to the point of being unable to cut it. It sounds like maybe they were just a tad underbaked.

      Reply

      • Liddy on April 23rd, 2012 at 10:41 am

        Thanks, Michelle! I was able to cut mine without any problem, so maybe they weren’t as underbaked as I’d thought. I’ll give them a few minutes extra next time, and see how much of a difference it makes. Thanks! Love your recipes! Many of them have found their way into my recipe notebooks! :)

        Reply

  43. Mary on April 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Just made them tonight and they are delicious! My fudge layer was gooey!

    Reply

  44. Kris on April 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    I made these a few nights ago and I found them unbelievably dry. I did not overbake them and even as I was mixing them they seemed quite crumbly. I went ahead with it anyway even though I knew I should have added more moisture. 1/2 cup of butter was not enough for the oatmeal mixture to stay soft. Not a fan of these. Maybe next time I’ll use my own date bar recipe, omit the date filling and replace it with the fudge-like layer.

    Reply

  45. Karin on April 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Do you think I can double this and put it in 9×13?

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 23rd, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Yes, I think that would work just fine.

      Reply

  46. Jodie on April 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Ooh, these look and sound amazing!

    Reply

  47. Richard on April 25, 2012 at 10:05 am

    These look so good! We recently started adding baking articles on our site too, they’re very popular!

    Reply

  48. Nicole H. on April 26, 2012 at 10:18 pm

    I love your site and have great success with many of your recipes (your peanut butter chocolate chips bars are a fave in our house) but I think I may have messed something up and I’m looking for some guidance.

    When I melted the chocolate chips in the microwave (exactly as you directed) they became thick and almost fudge like. I thought may I over cooked them so I decided to melt a new batch of chips in a double boiler and the same thing happened. Is this typical or should I be doing something different? I think the bars turned out okay but I wonder if they might have been better.

    Reply

    • Michelle on April 27th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Hi Nicole, I have had that happen, and it usually occurs due to one of two reasons: (1) the chocolate gets scorched either because the bowl got too hot or it was cooked for too long; or (2) the melting chocolate came into contact with water – even a drop can cause it to seize up.

      Reply

  49. Sarah on April 28, 2012 at 9:20 am

    I made these last night & they are super delicious!!! I even converted them to be Gluten-Free that way my son, who has Celiac disease, could also enjoy them! I used GF oats & a combination of almond, coconut & millet flour. Mine we sweeter than I would have preferred them to be, so next time I am going to cut some of the sugar. Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!

    Reply

  50. alice on April 29, 2012 at 4:32 am

    yummy looking! do you know if these freeze?

    Reply

    • Michelle on May 1st, 2012 at 12:23 am

      Hi Alice, I haven’t frozen them, but I imagine that they would freeze just fine.

      Reply

  51. RisaG on May 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    My son is allergic to oats and I sub flaked Kamut or flaked barley in most recipes. He is not allergic to wheat. I am going to try these with Kamut or barley and see what he thinks. Thy look really delicious.

    Reply

  52. Hafsa on July 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Tried these today and they were fantastic! and the fudge layer is OHMYGOD HEAVENLY!!! My new loooove.

    Reply

  53. Sarah on August 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I am not allowed to make these anymore…

    Reply

  54. Kit White on December 19, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I just made these oatmeal fudge bars and they are delicious but VERY chocolaty. I am thinking that the next time , I would double the oatmeal /flour etc part of the recipe and use a 9×12 pan. This would balance out the chocolate better for our tastes. I might add some chopped nuts into the crumble part.

    Reply

    • Kit White on December 19th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

      I am also thinking that a layer of a raspberry or blackberry jam might also be good in this recipe.

      Reply

  55. Katie on January 16, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    I adapted these bars to be gluten free and have been LOVING them! They are so
    delicious! I subbed the flour out for Pamela’s GF Baking MIx and used certified GF oats. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  56. PA on April 4, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I just made these and they were delicious!! I made them with oil instead of butter so it would be dairy-free, and they taste fantastic. They are very crumbly, which might be because of the oil.

    Reply

  57. Tali Simon @ More Quiche, Please on March 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    I made these for the second time and doubled the batch to fill a 9×13 dish, which I baked for 35 minutes — they came out perfectly. I reduced the sugar and butter, as I usually do when baking, and was really happy with the results. Love, love this recipe.

    Reply

  58. Heidelind on May 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    I made extra and brought some to work as a treat for my coworkers. Huge hit!

    Reply

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