Soft Oat & Nut Bars

$3.53 recipe / $0.39 recipe

The first thing I saw when I turned on the TV today was a commercial for some sort of breakfast-oat-cookie-thing. I wanted one. So, I made some.

I have made baked oatmeals, granola, and granola bar-like things before, but this time I wanted to create something soft and almost cake-like. The texture of these bars is somewhere between a soft oatmeal cookie and a piece of cake. They have all the goodness of oats and whole wheat flour, plus tons of nutty goodness, all of which makes them surprisingly filling.

Unlike cake or cookies, I didn’t make these bars very sweet. They have just a hint of sweetness from the brown sugar and sweetened shredded coconut, but they’re definitely not dessert-like. You could easily add more sugar to make them into a sort-of-healthy type dessert or even add some dried fruit for extra sweetness. I happened to use plain soy milk to make these bars because that’s all I had in my fridge at the moment. You could definitely use dairy milk, although I think it’s slightly less sweet than soy milk, so you may want to add an extra tablespoon of sugar if you do so.

So, if you need breakfast on the go, try making these deliciously Soft Oat & Nut Bars to take with you on the road!

Soft Oat & Nut Bars

Soft Oat & Nut Bars

4.8 from 18 reviews
Soft Oat & Nut Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $3.53
Cost Per Serving: $0.39
Serves: 9
  • 1½ cups old-fashioned rolled oats $0.30
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour $0.38
  • 1 tsp baking powder $0.09
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 tsp cinnamon $0.05
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar $0.11
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick) room temperature butter $0.58
  • 1 large egg $0.17
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract $0.28
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla soy milk $0.41
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnuts $0.88
  • ⅓ cup sweetened shredded coconut $0.26
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the brown sugar and butter until the mixture is light and creamy (about 2 minutes, medium speed). Add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until light and creamy again (30 seconds to one minute).
  3. Add half of the oat and flour mixture and beat briefly, just until combined. Start on low speed to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl.
  4. Add the soy milk and beat briefly again until smooth. Always start on low speed to prevent splashing. Add the rest of the flour and oat mixture, and beat until combined (only about 30 seconds).
  5. Add the chopped walnuts and coconut. Stir them into the batter. Pour the batter into a 9x9 inch greased casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Allow the bars to cool and then cut into 9 pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, or freeze for extended storage.
Dairy milk can be used in place of the soy milk, although it tends to be slightly less sweet than sweetened soy milk. Adjust the sugar if desired.


Soft Oat & Nut Bars

Step by Step Photos

Dry IngredientsFirst, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.

Wet IngredientsIn a larger bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until the mixture is light and creamy. Then, add the egg and vanilla (pictured) and beat again until creamy.

Wet Ingredients WhippedSee how light, creamy, and whipped it looks after the egg and vanilla have been mixed in? The tiny bits of trapped air will help the end product be light and cake-like.

Add Half Flour OatsAdd half of the flour and oat mixture. Beat them briefly, only about 30 seconds, until they are mixed together. Always start on low speed so that you don’t get a sudden cloud of flour spraying up in your face.

Add MilkAdd the milk and beat briefly again… (you REALLY want to start on low speeds with liquids)

Add Rest of Flour OatsAdd the rest of the flour and oat mixture. Beat it again briefly until they are combined.

NutsFinally, stir in the chopped walnuts and coconut.

Ready to BakePour the batter into a 9×9 inch greased casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool and CutAllow the bars to cool and then cut them into 9 equal sized pieces.

Soft Oat & Nut Bars

And then enjoy the heck out of them!


  1. Erika says:

    The toddler and I enjoyed these for breakfast this morning. I started eating mine while he was milling around the kitchen and soon he was over near my lap wanting a bite. Then I put him in his high chair and he had a whole one and so did I.

  2. Meghan says:

    Oh man, these were good, and so filling. I added dried cranberries. Absolutely addictive.

  3. Steph says:

    I used chocolate chips instead of coconut and these came out great.

  4. Cindi says:

    We have an athlete in the house who needs healthy home-baked “power bars” but can’t handle crunchy granola bars b/c of braces. :D These soft bars worked out perfectly for us. Thank you!

  5. Alicia says:

    This was really tasty and my family loved it! I didn’t have whole wheat flour so I used AP. I am sure the consistency was different, but we loved it anyway. Also didn’t have walnuts and used pecans. I will definitely pick up some wheat flour next time and add flax meal like another commenter did. Thanks!

  6. Liana says:

    Mmm, these were really good. I upped the sugar to 1/2 cup, because I wanted something that could also serve as dessert. I didn’t have any walnuts, so I doubled the coconut and used vanilla soymilk. The texture is almost like a bread pudding, moist and chewy. I’d love to experiment with these…nuts, chocolate chips, fresh fruit…pretty much anything would be good in these!

  7. Michelle says:

    These are yummy!

  8. Oh, I’m headed to the kitchen to make these RIGHT. NOW. ;)

    I’m allergic to walnuts so I’m subbing in almonds, and I think I’d love them with raisins.

    I’m so glad to have found your blog!

  9. This may be a dumb question, but do you need to refrigerate these? Thanks!

    • It’s not a stupid question. :) I would, just to be on the safe side. Make sure it’s in an air-tight container to keep them from drying out or absorbing odors. They can also be frozen for longer storage.

  10. Celina says:

    Do you think almond milk would be ok to use?

  11. Maria says:

    Hi Beth,
    Congrats on this great blog, I love it!. I just did this bars and they are so soft and healthy. I added some honey and it was great too.

  12. Gabby says:

    Made these with olive oil because butter is pretty expensive where I live and they turned out pretty good. These are so filling in the morning, will surely make this recipe again.

  13. EMILY says:

    Hi Beth,
    Can I sub the butter with coconut oil? Also maybe use a GF flour? I’m trying to make it vegan

    • You can definitely sub coconut oil for the butter, but I’ve never cooked with gluten free flour, so I’m not sure how that would affect it. :P

  14. Karen says:

    Thanks for this delicious recipe! I added a bit more nutrition by reducing the oats and whole wheat flour by 1/4 cup each, then adding 1/4 cup of teff flour and 1/4 cup of flax meal. I used 2/3 cup applesauce and 1/3 apple cider instead of the soy milk. I added 1 shredded carrot, about 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg and used 1/3 cup raisins instead of coconut. These were plenty sweet and a wonderful dessert!

  15. Laura Kathryn says:

    Hey Beth! HUGE fan of your food. Seriously I make 2-3 different recipes per week & have yet to find one I don’t LOVE. (Ill be at the bookstore on the 4th to grab your cookbook…cant wait!!) Question though, do you think coconut oil would work in place of the Butter? I’m not a huge dairy kid but these look amazing. Keep it up girl, you got talent.

    • I do think that would work. They have a very similar consistency (solid at room temp), so I think they are easily swapped. Butter has a higher water content, but that shouldn’t be a problem here.

  16. Enybe says:

    We liked this recipe. Not too sweet, so much helathier than store bought granola bars. One batch was good for the whole week.

    thank you

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