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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Easy to make / people always ask me for the recipe... Oats, chocolate chips, vanilla, salt, and a secret addition of molasses @choccoveredkt

True story:

I was once on national television… in my underwear. 😕

It was when I was 5 years old, on a popular children’s show similar to Sesame Street. The goal of the segment was to teach young children how to get dressed by themselves: this was in the early 90s, therefore footage is thankfully not immortalized online.

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Possibly even more fun than the filming process was when the show aired and everyone reconvened for a viewing party. One child’s mother brought in three plates of gooey chocolate chip cookie bars for the occasion, and not a single person left that day without having asked for the recipe. The bars would become a staple in my childhood home for many years afterwards.

Today’s recipe is a healthy makeover of those addictive chocolate chip cookie bars.

I played around to find the perfect amount of applesauce to lower the fat, calories, and sugar while still maintaining the bars’ seductively gooey texture. The subtly-strong flavor of the surprise ingredient—molasses!—takes these bars completely over the top.

They are sure to win you over!

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Print This Recipe 5/5
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars


  • 1 1/2 cups spelt or all-purpose flour (180g) (oat flour works; the texture is just a bit gummier)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats (20g)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or date sugar (90g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup chocolate chips, depending on how chocolatey you want the bars to be
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or coconut oil (80g)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce (120g)
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract (9g)
  • pinch stevia, or 2 tbsp sugar of choice
  • 3 tbsp blackstrap or regular molasses (43g)


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line the bottom of an 8×8 pan with parchment paper, then set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together the first 6 ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk together all liquid ingredients, then pour wet over dry and stir to form a batter. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake 25 minutes. Makes 15-24 squares, depending on how large you cut them. (The ones in the photos are cut from 24.) I love the unique molasses flavor in these bars, but you can always substitute pure maple syrup or agave or honey (vegans don’t use honey) if you’d prefer.

*View Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Nutrition Facts*



Link Of The Day:

healthy blueberry muffins

Healthy Blueberry Muffins

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Published on February 10, 2014

Meet Katie

Chocolate Covered Katie is one of the top 25 food websites in America, and Katie has been 
featured on The 
Today Show, CNN, 
Fox, The 
Huffington Post, and 
ABC's 5 O’Clock News. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating dessert every single day!

Learn more about Katie

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  1. Nancy says

    OKAY I am sooo happy I found your website! Your recipes are easy and healthy! even better is that they taste AH MAZ ING!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your awesome recipes! I made this recipe with Pastry flour. I cant stop eating them! :)AGAIN THANK YOU!

    Much love from a small kitchen in California! – NANCY

  2. Jennifer says

    Good morning, Katie!
    I made these bars last night and they turned out great. My husband was thrilled!
    Could they be cut and frozen, do you think?

  3. AL says

    As a 23 year marathoner at age 61 and still registered for 5 marathons Oct. 2014-Apr. 2015, I can appreciate how continuous running isn’t for everyone. I find sugar intake to be the main ingredient to weight control, feeling good/bad, and enabling how strong we feel when exercising. Can you address how you control sugar intake and substitutes in order to keep your weight and appetite under control?

  4. Ann D. says

    Lovely photos Katie! I always love having a look at your recipes, although, I wish you ate Paleo so I could enjoy more than a handful of your recipes. :0)

  5. Tina says

    These look amazing! I try to do everything sugar free with stevia and Erythritol, do you think I could add a bit more molasses to the brown sugar needed to my Erythritol/Stevia mix? Do you have a recommendation on the amount of molasses to add? Can’t wait to try these!
    P.s. Beautiful photo!

  6. Michelle says

    I just made this recipe as a GLUTEN FREE VERSION. I used: 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/4 cup tapioca flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/2 teaspoon xanthum gum. This is what we usually use for our generic gluten free flour mix. It turned out extremely well. It was gooey and cakey just like we like it. I think I will leave out the extra 2 tsp of sugar next time as it was a bit sweet and we are going to try it with Maple instead of Molasses as well. We are serious maple fans. THANKS FOR THE GREAT RECIPE!

  7. Christina says

    Would it ruin these to maybe cut the sugar in half? This would be great to send with my son as his snack at school, but I’m afraid with the chocolate chips, sugar, and molasses it will be too high in sugar.

  8. Jennifer says

    Have you tried making these with peanut butter in place of some of the oil? As I was adding the molasses it occurred to me that PB and oats and chocolate would be a good combo here.

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      You can. I’ve done it. But coconut sugar takes up more space than brown sugar (and weighs less) so you’ll need about 1.5 times as much. Hope that helps!

  9. Tara says

    Hi Katie, can I sub coconut flour/arrowroot for the AP/Spelt flour? If so, what would the measurements be? Thanks so much…love your blog!

    • Robin says

      No, those would not produce a positive result. If you’re looking for something gluten free, I’m sure there are plenty of similar recipes online. Good luck!

  10. Robin says

    This post is a year old now so I understand if I don’t get a reply, but I thought I’d ask anyway.
    I like to bake using gram measurements to ensure accuracy but my gram measurements are off from yours. My jar of coconut oil, olive oil, avo oil, etc. state that a tablespoon is 14g and since there are 8 tbs in 1/2 cup, it seems that there would be 112g of oil in this recipe, not 80g? 32g is a fairly large difference so I just want to be sure I’m using the right measurement. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Unofficial CCK Helper says

      Katie has said that she writes it this way because people using cup measuring spoons will find that when they measure out a tbsp of oil it actually is only about 12g because some stays in the spoon. if you have a scale it’s always best to go by the grams!

  11. Rosie says

    Hey all!

    In case any of you were trying to bake these with a 10×15 pan like I did, it will still turn out fantastic! Just double the recipe and bake for double the time. I had to bake mine for about 5 mins longer so 55 min total, as they were very soft and would crumble, but remember they also harden a bit while cooling. Mine came out so delicious, and just soft enough. Mmm so good! Thanks Katie! I’ve saved a bunch of your recipes but this is the first one I’ve actually tried to make and it definitely won’t be the last!

  12. Elizabeth says

    Excellent. Very delicious. I wanted to let you know that I used 2 flax “eggs” in place of the applesauce (which I don’t eat) and it turned out great. The flax adds a bran-muffin-like healthy chewiness, and it held together well. Mine turned out tall and cakey. Next time I think I’ll use a larger pan. I like that they’re not super sweet; in fact I think I’ll decrease the molasses in the future. Thanks for the recipe – it’s a keeper!!



  13. Izzy says

    I made them with :
    1cup coconut oil instead of the applesauce (applesauce make it more air puffy in my opinion.. and of-course healthier 🙂
    used Agave instead of molasses
    used whole spelt flour
    and only a pinch of salt (because the lack of applesauce)

    turned out amazing… highly recommended !!
    thank you!

  14. Emily says

    OKAY. These things are literally amazing. As a pregnant mama who is dying for some yummy treats lately, this is the best thing that could have happened to me! While I had to bake mine for longer and they still seemed a bit gooier than yours (I’m not naturally gifted in the kitchen), they are still so amazing and it’s great to know that there is nothing potentially harmful in them! Your recipes have become my new favorite go-to. YOU ROCK!



  15. Grace Aloia says

    This is going to sound crazy, but what could I substitute the applesauce for? I would love to use it but I live in a country where you can buy it…inconceivable!

  16. Katherine Muncy says

    I have made the oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars several times over the last few weeks. I have started making some substitutions in an effort to get different flavored bars. I have made pumpkin spice ones by adding some pumpkin pie spice and some pumpkin spice chips that I found at the grocery store. I did some with white chocolate chips and cranberries. Today, I substituted the coconut oil with peanut butter, added a 1/4 cup of dark cocoa to the batter, and peanut butter chips. I haven’t tried them yet, but I doubt they will disappoint! I also just put my 4th crust less pumpkin pie in 2 weeks in the oven.

  17. Ailene says

    These are absolutely luscious! Delightfully dough-y & chewy which can be rare for gluten free desserts. I used Bob’s All-Purpose GF flour…and, *note to self*, make sure applesauce is room temperature before adding coconut oil!! My hubby and I LOVE the subtle molasses flavor! Thanks for another great recipe, Katie!

  18. Nicole says

    These are so good! I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of spelt flour, and I only put in one teaspoon of vanilla instead of two. They turned out so great!

  19. Chris says

    What can I substitute for the apple sauce. I don’t mind if it adds fat and calories. I just don’t have applesauce around. Thanks!

  20. Becky says

    Hi KATIE. First, I wanted to say THANK YOU !!!! I recently saw your website and it literally made my day. I am a chocolate fanatic. I’ my dying to make this recipe – but I want to eliminate the oil. Any suggestions?

  21. Cherie says

    I made these for my friend’s sons who are dairy, egg and nut free. I used half spelt and half plain flour, 70g dark brown sugar (didn’t have brown and thought it would be too sweet to use the full 90g), 1 cup of Sweet William dairy free choc chips (i’m in Australia), rice bran oil and 20g extra apple sauce because U was worried about the loss of “weight” from skipping the sugar. I didn’t have molasses so used the same weight in golden syrup and vanilla bean paste instead of the extract. I forget the 2 extra tbsp of sugar. I had planned to sprinkle that on top but I forgot because I was making dinner at the same time. I’ve posted a pic, because they were a winner and given I subbed in stuff and forgot other stuff I felt like everyone should see how forgiving the recipe actually was. I should have waited for them to cool completely before cutting but I she was coming to pick them up and MY boys wanted to try some so I couldn’t. Still brilliant…so glad i discovered this website!

  22. Chris says

    They came out great! I used honey instead of molasses (I’m not vegan) my flour was Red Mills 1 to 1 gluten free and I opted for coconut sugar. So so good, just what I was craving!

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