Healthy chocolate oatmeal bars are a blend of chewy oatmeal and fudgy brownie like a brownie-cookie lovechild. Made with an easy oatmeal crumble and a brownie filling, they are high in fiber and protein, gluten-free, and dairy-free.
Chocolate oatmeal bars are so easy to make. There is just one recipe for both the crust and crumble top, and another for the chocolate fudge brownie filling.
Yes, they are baked, but they could also be no bake since no eggs are used (aquafaba instead), just pop the pan in the freezer. I more often like to bake this recipe however because the middle filling turns out like a fudgy brownie.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
Deep chocolate brownie flavor. The center layer is truly one of the fudgiest brownies I've ever had.
Easy to Make. Since the crust and top crumble are the same recipe, it's a three layer dessert that's as easy as a two layer dessert.
Nourishing. It's a dessert with sugar, yes, but the oat flour help up the fiber and protein to 2-3 grams each, and the sugar levels are relatively low.
Pantry Ingredients. Hopefully you won't need to go shopping to make this unless oat flour isn't a staple in yours. You can make it though by blending or food processing rolled oats.
For the crust and crumble top
Oat Flour & Rolled Oats - Both are needed for structure, although all purpose flour can be used instead of oat flour. See substitutions for amounts.
Sugar - Coconut palm sugar or brown sugar.
Butter - To keep it vegan, I used Earth balance vegan sticks, but regular butter works too.
Baking soda & baking powder - to provide lift to both the crust and filling.
For the brownie filling
Chocolate chips - Use at least 60% cacao or semi-sweet.
Aquafaba - The liquid from an unsalted can of chickpeas provides plant-based stability, instead of eggs. Regular eggs can also be used or unsweetened apple sauce
Butter - To keep it vegan, I used Earthbalance vegan sticks, but regular butter works too.
Nut butter - I used cashew butter for the mild flavor but any nut butter works.
Steps To Make Crust & Crumble
Step 1: Make the crust and crumb recipe. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Step 2: Stir them together with a spoon.
Step 3: Line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper and press ¾ of the mixture, flattening the surface with a spatula or spoon.
Step 4. Bake the crust for 30 minutes and let it cool. Set aside the remaining ¼ for the crumble on top and go make the brownie filling.
Steps to Make the Filling
Step 1: Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. Measure out the aquafaba and be sure it is room temperature.
Step 2: Add all the ingredients to a bowl and stir with a spoon or hand-mixer.
Step 3: Pour the mixture onto the cooled crust. The center layer is thick so the filling will seem considerable.
Step 4: Sprinkle the remaining crumble that you held back.
Step 5: Bake the bars until the top is golden.
Making Recipe No Bake. Would you prefer to not bake these crumb bars? Then chill the crust instead of baking, and chill the assembled bar recipe, instead of baking. The texture won't be crunchy and will be more moist.
How to Get Clean Slices. The center brownie filling will come out of the oven soft so if you want the clean slices you see here, let the bars cool out of the oven around 30 minutes, cover with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours.
Flour. You can use all purpose flour instead of oat flour, but use less, 1 ¼ cup instead of 1 ½ cup.
Butter. In the crust, you can reduce butter by half if you want to, and add in ¼ cup of apple sauce instead. In the filling, you can use ¼ cup of nut butter INSTEAD of 3 tablespoons of butter + 1 tablespoon of nut butter.
Sugar. I use coconut palm sugar for the micronutrients, but brown sugar works as well.
Aquafaba. To keep it vegan I use aquafaba, the liquid from a can of unsalted chickpeas, but 2 eggs can be used instead of the 6 tablespoons of aquafaba.
Are These Bars Good For You?
Oatmeal bars are healthy to eat as a breakfast or snack because they are full of healthy fiber that fills you up and protects your heart as well as boosts your digestion. These bars have about 3 grams protein and 2 grams fiber per bar and are low in sugar compared to commercial oat bars.
How Long Do These Oat Bars Last?
These oat bars last a long time refrigerated, at least two weeks, and months if frozen. That makes them a very convenient snack to have on hand.
More Healthy Chocolate Bars
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- Chocolate Oat Caramel Cups
- Chocolate Caramel Candy Bars
- No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars
- Homemade Fudge Bars
- How to Make Homemade Protein Bars
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Chocolate Oatmeal Bars
Bottom Crust & Top Crumb
- 1 cup oat flour or ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar or cane sugar
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoon aquafaba room temperature, use straight out of the can, no whipping necessary. OR use unsweetened apple sauce.
- pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoon butter chunks are fine, I use Earthbalance vegan butter
- 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter
- Preheat the oven to 325 F. Gather ingredients.
- Line a 8-inch by 8-inch pan with parchment paper.
- Be sure aquafaba is at room temperature
- Melt crust butter in microwave in 15-second increments.
Make Crust & Crumb
- Combine crust dry ingredients, then stir in melted butter or use a hand-mixer but only just combine. You want it to be sticky and crumbly.1 ½ cup oat flour, 1 cup rolled oats, 1 cup coconut palm sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, pinch of salt, ½ cup butter
- Remove ¾ cup of the mixture and set aside to use for the top crumb.
- Press the rest into the parchment-lined pan.
- Bake the crust for 8 minutes at 325 F.
- Remove from oven, keep the crust in the pan and allow it to cool, about 30 minutes.
Make Chocolate Filling
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Gather ingredients.1 cup oat flour, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 ½ cups chocolate chips, 6 tablespoon aquafaba, pinch of salt, 3 tablespoon butter, 1 tablespoon nut or seed butter
- Put the butter and chocolate, broken chunks or chocolate chips, into a 2-cup pyrex glass measuring cup and microwave for 1 minute. Stir until creamy. Spoon in the aquafaba, stir again. Add in the nut or seed butter, stir again.
- Into a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
- Add the chocolate mixture to the dry mixture and stir into a batter. It will be a bit like a brownie batter.
- Spoon it onto the baked crust, and smooth the surface.
Add Crumb Top
- Sprinkle the reserved crumb top onto the brownie batter.
- Bake at 350 F for 30 to 35 minutes or until the crumb is golden brown.
- Remove pan from oven and let the bars cool in the pan for 30 minutes.
- For clean slices, refrigerate the pan for 3 hours. If you don't mind slightly rough slices, cut after cooling only 30 minutes.
- Store the oatmeal bars in the refrigerator for 1 week in sealed container. Or freeze for 3 months.