Make these soft, chocolatey, and ultra fudgy NO BAKE chocolate oatmeal fudge bars!
Just one chocolate bite, and people fall instantly in love with the recipe!
When I first posted the bars on Instagram, it quickly received over 10,000 likes and hundreds of comments. I couldn’t reply fast enough.
And the chocolate oatmeal fudge bars have only gotten more popular since!
Also try these Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Above – watch the step by step chocolate oatmeal bar recipe video
Classic chocolate oatmeal fudge bars
Oatmeal fudge bars have been a favorite potluck recipe for generations.
However, just because they contain oatmeal does not make the standard version of these treats a healthy choice.
Many classic oatmeal fudge bar recipes, including copycat recipes you can find online for the famous Starbucks oatmeal fudge bars, contain a shocking amount of butter and sugar even by traditional dessert standards.
Think one and a half cups of butter, two cups of flour, and an entire two cups of sugar, not to mention all the sugar from two cups chocolate chips and a can of sweetened condensed milk.
If any recipe were screaming for a healthy dessert makeover, the traditional chocolate oatmeal fudge bar would be it.
With so many facets of the original oatmeal fudge bar recipe needing an update, I opted to start completely from scratch.
These lightened up oatmeal snack bars can be dairy free, flourless, gluten free, and vegan. And they are just as deliciously chocolatey as the originals.
For a breakfast version, make Baked Oatmeal Bars
Chocolate oat fudge bar ingredients
If you’ve never had an oatmeal fudge bar before, imagine eating a homemade oatmeal cookie sandwich with a layer of smooth chocolate fudge in the middle.
That’s pretty much what this recipe tastes like.
Oh, and I forgot to mention the BEST part.
Instead of using any oil in the recipe, I made the bars even more delicious and healthy by adding peanut butter.
Basically, they contain all my favorite foods in one hand-held dessert.
If you are not a peanut butter addict like I am, you have many alternative options for these bars, including almond butter, cashew butter, Coconut Butter, or even sunbutter.
The recipe works with rolled oats, quick oats, or an oat free alternative like quinoa flakes or spelt flakes. I have not tried substituting steel cut oats.
I like to use dark or semi sweet chocolate chips. Or go for a fun twist by using white chocolate chips or even Peanut Butter Chips.
No chocolate chips on hand? It’s fine to substitute an equal amount of broken up chocolate bars, which is what I used in the photo above.
Chocolate oatmeal fudge bar serving ideas
Serve them for an after school snack or a weekday dessert.
The oatmeal bars are also an incredibly popular game day snack. Set out a tray at your next football playoff or Super Bowl party and watch the entire tray disappear.
Store leftovers in a covered container. They are fine to leave out on the counter for a day or two in a cool, dry place. For optimal freshness, I recommend refrigerating leftover healthy snack bars for up to a week.
Or freeze leftover oatmeal chocolate bars in an airtight covered container, with parchment or wax paper in between each layer of bars, for up to two months.
How to make chocolate oatmeal bars
Line an eight inch square pan with parchment paper or wax paper. Set this pan aside.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir the liquid sweetener (pure maple syrup, honey, or agave) with the water, vanilla extract, and a third cup of the peanut butter until smooth.
Stir in the rolled oats and the salt. Transfer about two thirds of this mixture to the prepared pan. Place a second sheet of parchment over top to press the oat mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan as hard as you can.
Remove the second sheet of parchment paper.
In a new bowl, very carefully melt the chocolate chips. (If you are unsure how to melt chocolate, see my Chocolate Covered Strawberries post.)
Stir in the remaining half cup of nut butter until smooth. Pour this thick chocolate fudge mixture over the oatmeal crust in the baking pan.
Finally, sprinkle the remaining oat crumbles on top of the chocolate layer, and press down firmly with a fork or spoon.
Refrigerate or freeze the bars until firm enough to cut into squares.
Also make the popular Black Bean Brownies
**The bars in the photos were made with the lower amount of chocolate chips, and the bars in the video were made with the higher amount. It’s your choice!Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper, and set aside. Stir together the maple syrup, 1/3 cup peanut butter, water, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the oats and salt. Transfer about 2/3 of the mixture to the pan, and press down very well, using a second sheet of parchment to press it evenly into the bottom of the pan. In a separate bowl, carefully melt the chocolate and 1/2 cup peanut butter. Stir until smooth. Pour this evenly on top of the crust in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining oat crumbles on top of the chocolate layer, then press down. Refrigerate or freeze until firm enough to cut squares.View Nutrition Facts