Soft, chocolatey, & ultra fudgy oatmeal chocolate fudge bars…
When I posted a picture of this recipe on my instagram feed last week, people went crazy!
In less than 24 hours, the post had already gotten almost 4,000 likes and over a hundred comments – I couldn’t respond to the comments fast enough! It was hard to keep this recipe secret, but I wanted to first give it a test run at a Super Bowl party last night. The test run went even better than I’d hoped, with 6 requests for the recipe and TWO batches of these bars completely gone by halftime!
I can tell you with confidence this recipe is definitely non-health-food-eater approved!!!
Oatmeal fudge bars have been a favorite potluck recipe for generations, but just because they contain oatmeal does NOT make the standard version of these treats a healthy choice.
Many 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 1 1/2 cups of butter, 2 cups of flour, and an entire 2 cups of sugar, not to mention all the sugar from 2 cups chocolate chips and a can of sweetened condensed milk. If any recipe were screaming for a healthier makeover, the traditional oatmeal fudge bar would be it. With so many facets of the original recipe needing an update, I opted to throw the traditional recipe out the window and start completely from scratch.
These lightened-up oatmeal bars are flourless, vegan, and just as deliciously chocolatey as the original version!
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! Except I forgot to mention the BEST PART!!! Instead of using any oil in the recipe, I made these bars even more delicious 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.
Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Bars
Oatmeal Chocolate Fudge Bars
- 2 3/4 cup quick oats (220g)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter, or allergy-friendly alternative
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 4 to 5 oz chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, or allergy-friendly alternative
*If you want a thicker chocolate layer than the bars in the pictures, feel free to increase the amount of chocolate chips.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment or wax paper, and set aside. Stir together the maple syrup, 1/4 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.