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Oatmeal Fudge Bars

 There’s a lot to like in this recipe for oatmeal fudge bars. Oatmeal and chocolate pair together beautifully! This layered dessert bars will disappear quickly.

Overhead photo of oatmeal fudge bars with two individual squares next to the blue pan filled with more bars

Oatmeal Fudge Bar Recipe– one of my most requested desserts!

Oatmeal fudge bars may become your most requested dessert recipe. These chocolate bars have been shared at book club, school luncheons, neighborhood playgroups, picnics, and church potlucks. 

Making desserts with oatmeal tends to make me feel like I am adding a healthy twist to my baked goods. I know full well that adding sugar and chocolate and more to oats takes them out of the healthy category but gosh do these deep dish oatmeal fudge bars taste good! These squares taste like fudgy oatmeal cookies. I can see why Starbucks even had a version of these oatmeal bars for a while. 

How do you make a layered dessert?

Layered desserts are fun because you are essentially combining two or more flavors into one dessert. In a lemon bar recipe you layer shortbread with lemon curd. And guess what is a no bake kit kat bar?  You get the idea! Let’s get back to the flavors at hand: chewy oatmeal and decadent chocolate fudge.

  1. Mix together the oatmeal layer. Set aside 3/4 cup of it to use for the topping. The remaining oatmeal mixture will be pressed into the 8 by 8 pan and baked.
  2. Next make the chocolate layer by melting the chocolate and the butter together. Add the egg and remaining ingredients. Layer the chocolate mixture over the oatmeal base.
  3. Take the remaining 3/4 cup of oatmeal mixture and crumble it in pieces over the chocolate. Press the oat layer gently into the chocolate. Bake.

You are actually only mixing ingredients for two layers for this rich, fudge like dessert. The oatmeal mixture becomes both the base layer AND the topping. The key is to remember to reserve a small bit (3/4 cup) of the oatmeal layer and not to use it all for the base.

A thick fudge-like layer of chocolate is sandwiched between a crunchy oatmeal base and a crumbled oatmeal topping in these rich oatmeal fudge bars– perfection! 

Looking for more oatmeal desserts?

How do you take layered bars out of the pan?

A tip to make lifting desserts our easily from an 8 by 8 pan or a 9 by 13 pan for layered bars like this dessert recipe is to layer two sheets of parchment in a criss cross “X” shape in the bottom of the pan. This sling of parchment or aluminum foil becomes your mini forklift that will let you raise the baked dessert right out of the pan!

Wait for the oatmeal fudge bars to cool for at least 20-30 minutes before lifting them from the pan, then cut them on a cutting board.

Espresso powder: the secret ingredient!

I have nothing but praise for America’s Test Kitchen recipes and their Oatmeal Fudge Bars are no exception. These oatmeal fudge bars are made with a hint of espresso powder, just enough coffee taste to deepen the chocolate flavor without overpowering it.

Stack of three Oatmeal Fudge Bars with the tray of bars in the background

Only a few changes were made to the original recipe. Espresso powder was used rather than instant coffee (1 tsp espresso powder rather than 2 tsp of coffee powder), and this recipe is tweaked to reduce the baking size to an 8 x 8 pan. You can find the original recipe on page 274 in the book, “Menu Cookbook: Kitchen-Tested Menus for Foolproof Dinner Parties” by America’s Test Kitchen. You may find this book at your local library or you can use this Amazon affiliate link to purchase the cookbook.

Please note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Yield: 16 squares

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Oatmeal Fudge Bars may become your most requested dessert. A thick fudge-like layer of chocolate is sandwiched between a crunchy oatmeal base and a crumbled oatmeal topping.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


Crust and Topping:

  • 3/4 cup oats
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 TB butter, melted and cooled


  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 TB butter
  • 1 egg


For the crust and topping:

  1. Line an 8 x 8 glass baking pan with parchment then grease with baking spray or melted butter.
  2. Mix the crust and topping ingredients together in a large bowl. Use a fork to break up the lumps and to combine the ingredients. IMPORTANT STEP:Reserve 3/4 cup of the mixture to be used later as the topping.
  3. Place the rest of the crumb mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10-14 minutes then cool for at least 15 minutes (or completely).

For the filling

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in two, 30 second increments, cool slightly.
  2. Add the egg then stir in the dry ingredients.
  3. The chocolate mixture will be thick. Drop it in spoonfuls over the crust then spread it on top of the partially-baked crust then top with the reserved crumb topping. Gently press the topping into the chocolate.
  4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Let cool then cut into squares.


Oatmeal Fudge Squares is a recipe from America's Test Kitchen. Modifications have been made.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 square

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 2gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g

This data is provided by Nutritionix and is an estimate only.

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Stack of oatmeal fudge bars

Post and recipe originally shared on May 4, 2012. Photos, text, and recipe updated January 31, 2017.

I love making this type of dessert for a big group. Cut the portions into smaller squares if you need to serve more people or if you want bite-sized treats. Theses are a rich, chocolatey dessert and small servings are perfect. Looking for more bars and squares recipes? 

Here are more ideas for desserts cut into squares or bars:


Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

Can these be made ahead of time and frozen?

Holly Baker

Tuesday 22nd of May 2018

Hi Mandy, While I haven't tried that myself, I think these would freeze well. The ingredients all seem like they would work just fine after freezing and defrosting. Let me know if you give it a try. -Holly

Abbe@This is How I Cook

Thursday 1st of February 2018

Love these Holly. I used to bake something similar but I think the fudge filling contained condensed milk. This version sounds better and I can't wait to try it!

Holly Baker

Thursday 1st of February 2018

Oh that would work well too, Abbe, can't go wrong there! The version with condensed milk sounds like Millionaire Bars perhaps?

Charlotte Moore

Thursday 1st of February 2018

These look very yummy. I love oatmeal based crust.

Holly Baker

Thursday 1st of February 2018

Thanks, Charlotte! I really like the crust too. It balances the rich chocolate layer nicely.

Karyn Tripp

Monday 14th of May 2012

These look so delicious! They were very popular @ Things That Make You Say Mmmmm! last week & will be one of the features today. Thanks for sharing. be sure to stop by & link up again!

Holly @

Monday 14th of May 2012

Hi Karyn, Your comment is a great way to start my Monday! Thanks! I'll look forward to linking up again and enjoying your blog. Thanks! Holly


Tuesday 8th of May 2012

Oh these look delicious! Thanks so much for stopping by The Winthrop Chronicles! I would love for you to stop by on Tuesdays for my link party and share some of these great recipes and tips!

Holly @

Tuesday 8th of May 2012

Hi Sarah, I'll be sure to come by your linky party. Looking forward to it! Holly

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