Soft Oat and Nut Bars

$3.53 recipe / $0.39 recipe
by Beth - Budget Bytes
4.81 from 31 votes
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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. Except mine are more like soft oat and nut bars instead of cookies.

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 soft oat and nut 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 and Nut Bars

Three Soft Oat and Nut Bars stacked

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Soft Oat and Nut Bars

4.81 from 31 votes
These Soft Oat and Nut Bars are a great grab and go breakfast. Not too sweet and full of whole wheat flour, nutritious oats, and protein packed nuts.
These Soft Oat and Nut Bars are a great grab and go breakfast. Not too sweet and full of whole wheat flour, nutritious oats, and protein packed nuts. BudgetBytes.com
Servings 9
Prep 15 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 45 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats ($0.30)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour ($0.38)
  • 1 tsp baking powder ($0.09)
  • 1/4 tsp salt ($0.02)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon ($0.05)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar ($0.11)
  • 1/4 cup 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)
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts ($0.88)
  • 1/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut ($0.26)

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon until well combined.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.

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Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1ServingCalories: 241.06kcalCarbohydrates: 30.79gProtein: 5.8gFat: 11.39gSodium: 178.82mgFiber: 3.46g
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Close uo of Soft Oat and Nut Bars

Soft Oat and Nut Bars cut into squares

 

Step by Step Photos

Dry Ingredients in mixing bowl First, 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 Ingredients in mixing bowl In 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 Whipped with hand mixer See 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.

Half of flour added to 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.

Milk added to ingredients in mixing bowl Add the milk and beat briefly again… (you REALLY want to start on low speeds with liquids)

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

Chopped walnuts and shredded coconut added to mixing bowl Finally, stir in the chopped walnuts and coconut.

Batter poured into square casserole dish Pour the batter into a 9×9 inch greased casserole dish. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cooked and cooled bars cut into 9 squares in baking dish Allow the bars to cool and then cut them into 9 equal sized pieces.

Close up of bars

 

And then enjoy the heck out of them!

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Comments

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  1. Hi Beth. I don’t have an electric blender. If the ingredients to be blended are done so by hand, will the result suffer? Thanks!

    1. Hi, Susan! While you are welcome to try it out any way you please — since we haven’t tested this recipe without using an electric mixer, I can’t guarantee that you will achieve the same results. Creaming butter and sugar is an extremely important step in baking because it helps break down the sugar crystals (so the texture isn’t gritty) as well as adds air into the mixture, resulting in a lighter, fluffier bake. This will be difficult to achieve without a mixer.

      BUT, that being said, it is probably possible to achieve with the right amount of determination and elbow grease. I would start with a wooden spoon or spatula and then switch to a whisk. Keep going until it is visibly lighter and increases in volume (just like you see in the 3rd image of the step-by-step tutorial). Good luck! – Marion :)

      1. Sorry about my double comment. I missed that you responsed on my first comment. Please ignore me 😊

  2. Just made these with my daughter and they’re a great breakfast option! We did no nuts, and still lots of texture. I saw another comment about using chocolate milk and might have to try that next time!

  3. I make this for my kiddos for breakfast and call it oat cake. They love it and it helps when they get constipated too 😆

  4. I usually have a Clif bar for breakfast, but they’re very sweet and not that high in fiber, so I just made these as an alternative. Not being a big fan of soy milk or coconut, I used chocolate dairy milk and chocolate chips. They’re delicious, and I plan to make more while I have the milk and freeze them. Thanks for a good breakfast alternative. (I also love your banana and blueberry baked oatmeal!)

  5. Hi Beth! I wonder if I could chop up dried fruit instead of walnuts? My kids aren’t big on nuts.
    Thanks!

  6. How much butter is called for? It looks like it says 1/4 and 1/2 cup but that doesn’t sound right… 

    1. Sorry about the confusion, I’m going to go fix that. It’s ¼ cup, which is ½ of a stick (one stick is ½ cup). I hope that helps!