Chewy oatmeal cookie. Rich decadent chocolate. These Oatmeal Fudge Bars are a softer, chewier, more chocolatey version of the Starbucks bars and 1000% better.
**This post was updated June 18, 2020 with new photos & recipe tips**
I’ve made my fair share of brownie & bars. But you can never have enough easy dessert recipes. And when there’s no mixer required and no dough chilling needed – it’s a total win-win. Which is why you’ll love these oatmeal fudge bars.
They’re based off the Starbucks variety – but chewier, softer & with a thicker layer of chocolate fudge. If you’re not on a first-name basis with your neighbourhood Barista and haven’t tried oat fudge bars from Starbucks – they have a layer oatmeal cookie on the bottom, then a thick layer of chocolate fudge, then more chewy oatmeal layer on top.
It’s like a giant oatmeal cookie stuffed with fudgy, pudgy chocolate deliciousness. Only we’re significantly upping the chocolate factor. (Why yes – I did just use the word pudgy with positive connotations).
The Best Oatmeal Fudge Bars
The oatmeal cookie dough is used for both the base and the crumbles of oatmeal on top. The texture is soft & chewy because we’re using melted butter, skipping the electric mixer & adding brown sugar for more moisture. I recommend using old-fashioned or large-flake oats instead of quick oats because they create more texture. Then we’re adding lots of vanilla and cinnamon for extra flavor, and the brown sugar creates a caramel undertone that’s so delicious.
You’ll press about 3/4 of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the pan and reserve the rest (about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of batter) for the top.
Then the chocolate. We can’t forget about that. It’s literally a thick layer of pure fudge for you to devour. It’s soft, creamy and so easy to make since we’re just melting together chocolate chips, butter & sweetened condensed milk for the most perfectly smooth texture.
Note: The fudge layer in these bars is very thick. If you’d prefer a less rich, slightly less thick bar – use 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 1 1/2 tablespoons butter, and 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk for the fudge layer.
Then the chocolate layer gets poured over the oatmeal base. You’ll take pieces of the reserved oatmeal cookie dough (about 1-2 tablespoons each), flatten them slightly and pop them on top of the chocolate layer. You won’t totally cover the chocolate, just like cow spots on top of the chocolate. You can see what mine looked like below.
The cinnamon-infused oatmeal cookie and decadent chocolate are such a winning combo. Chewy cookie. Creamy fudge. The bars are extremely thick with their cookie – fudge – cookie layers. But I don’t think you’ll hear any complaints about a large slab of these oat fudge bars. And you can easily cut yourself a second piece instead of circling around the block to get back in line at Starbucks.
And if you love chocolate and oatmeal – then don’t forget my favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!
Oatmeal Fudge Bars
For the Oatmeal Layers
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 and 1/3 cups old-fashioned oats
For the Chocolate Fudge*
- 1 and 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or 50-70% dark chocolate
- 1 cup sweetened-condensed milk (one 14-oz can) - do not use evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Line an 8x8 inch square baking pan parchment paper leaving an overhang around the edges, or line with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
Oatmeal Cookie Layer
- In a large bowl whisk together the butter and sugars. Then whisk in the egg and vanilla.
- Fold in the flour, salt & cinnamon, followed by the oatmeal.
- Spoon about three quarters of the mixture into the bottom of your prepared pan to create an even layer of oatmeal cookie mixture. Set the remaining oatmeal mixture aside (about 1/2 - 3/4 cup).
Chocolate Fudge Layer
- Add about 1/2 inch of water to a medium saucepan over low-medium heat and place a large glass bowl over top (ensure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water).
- Add the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk and butter to the glass bowl. Gently stir the mixture as it melts.
- Once the mixture is a smooth consistency, remove the pan from the heat.
Assemble and Bake
- Pour the chocolate mixture over top of the oatmeal cookie layer.
- With the remaining oatmeal mixture, drop tablespoons sized amounts over the chocolate fudge so that some fudge is showing.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes. The pieces of oatmeal cookie on the top should look set. Cooking the bars for longer will result in crispier, less chewy bars.
- Allow the bars to cool fully (about 3 hours). Lift the bars out of the pan using the overhang from the parchment paper/aluminum foil and place on a cutting board. Slice into bars using a sharp knife.
- If you'd prefer a thinner chocolate fudge layer (and therefore less rich bars), use 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chocolate chips, 3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter for the fudge layer.
- Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
- Nutrition information is based on 1 bar, assuming the pan is cut into 16 equal pieces. It is meant as an estimate only.