Gluten-Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars – This gooey oatmeal fudge bars recipe gets a gluten-free glow-up! You’ll love the texture & flavor of these yummy chocolate oat bars.
I grew up calling these “oatmeal fudgies” when my mom made them, though I’ve heard them referred to as oatmeal fudge bars, Starbucks oatmeal fudge bars, fudge cookie bars, oat fudge bars, chocolate oat bars, and more. If you’ve had them before, what do you call them?
Whatever you call them, they are pure deliciousness in every bite!
These bars feel like a tasty mashup of oatmeal cookies and hot fudge sauce. A chewy oatmeal cookie crust is topped with a thick layer of fudgy chocolate and topped with a few more sprinkles of cookie dough. The whole thing gets baked and transforms into these magic gluten-free oatmeal fudge bars.
They’re delightfully decadent, and fabulous whether you cut them up and eat them, or serve them warm and gooey with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Here’s what you need to get started…
Here’s What You Need To Make Gluten-Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars:
- Butter. You’ll use melted butter in the oatmeal cookie layer, then melt a few tablespoons into the fudge filling layer. Easy-peasy!
- Brown Sugar & Sugar. To add softness and sweetness to the cookie layer!
- Egg. A room temperature egg helps bind the cookie layer together.
- Vanilla Extract. For a kiss of vanilla sweetness. I love the flavor note that some vanilla adds to the cookie.
- Gluten-Free Measure For Measure Flour. Keeping things simple in these gluten-free oatmeal fudge bars by using a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend. We recommend this one from King Arthur Flour. If you use another brand, be sure it contains xanthan gum!
- Gluten-Free Rolled Oats. Now, you’re ready for the oats in the oatmeal cookie layers! We use rolled oats for the best texture, though quick oats will work in a pinch. Be sure you’re getting certified gluten-free oats to avoid cross-contamination! (More on this in the FAQ below)
- Baking Soda & Salt. A *little* bit of baking soda helps add softness to the cookie layer, while salt balances the flavor of both the oatmeal cookie layers and the fudgy filling.
- Semisweet or Dark Chocolate Chips. Now, you’re ready for the filling! You’ll need plenty of chocolate chips. Since the filling runs sweet, I prefer using dark or semisweet chocolate chips, since the other filling ingredients keep it from getting it too bitter.
- Sweetened Condensed Milk or Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk. This, thick, sweetened milk is what gives the filling it’s thick, fudgy texture. Don’t skip or substitute it! Eagle is a popular brand of sweetened condensed milk and is widely available in the U.S. As for sweetened condensed coconut milk, Nature’s Charm and Let’s Do Organic are two more common brands, and I can find them at Safeway, Walmart, Sprouts, Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Thrive Market, Amazon, and more.
How To Make This Oatmeal Fudge Bars Recipe, Step By Step:
- Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pan. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 metal pan with parchment paper.
- Start The Oatmeal Cookie Layer. In a large bowl (or a stand mixer), combine melted butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Whisk or mix until well combined.
- Add Egg, Then Vanilla. Then, add your egg and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and stir to mix it in.
- Add Dry Ingredients. Add gluten-free flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the gluten-free oats and stir until just combined. The dough will be wet and sticky at this point. Don’t panic!
- Set Aside 3/4 Cup Cookie Dough for the top layer. (You’ll use this to dollop dough for the top layer in a minute.)
- Pat Remaining Cookie Dough Out into your prepared baking dish in an even layer. Again, it’ll be sticky, so go slow or use parchment paper to help you pat it out into an even layer. Set this aside for a minute.
- Make Your Fudge Filling. Combine chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, and 2 Tablespoons butter (and a pinch of salt if you’re using unsalted butter!) in a small saucepan. Whisk or stir over low heat, stirring constantly, until the fudge mixture is smooth and glossy. (You don’t want it to simmer or boil, so be sure to keep the heat low!)
- Pour Fudge Layer Over Cookie Layer. Then, pour your fudge filling over the oatmeal cookie crust and spread out into an even layer. (It should mostly spread out for you, you may just need to coax it into the corners).
- Add Dollops Of Dough For The Top Layer. Now, take small blobs of your reserved 3/4 cup cookie dough and add them to the top of the fudge layer. You will NOT have enough to cover the top in an even layer–instead it’ll just be dollops of sticky dough. Try to spread out the dough fairly evenly for best results.
- Bake The Oatmeal Fudge Bars. Now you’re ready to bake! Bake the fudge oatmeal bars for 25-28 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling around the edges and the dollops of cookie dough on the top look just golden brown.
- Cool COMPLETELY before cutting into bars. This will take about 3 hours! Don’t rush it or your fudge filling won’t be as set. If you need to speed things up, you can place the pan in the refrigerator.
FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Oatmeal Fudge Bars:
Our Favorite 8×8 Pan. A light-colored baking pan, like this 8×8 pan (our favorite!) will conduct heat more evenly, which means your bars, brownies, and cakes will all bake more evenly. I love that this one is naturally pretty nonstick and has nice, crisp corners (rather than rounded ones). We use them for all our brownies & bars recipes!
Make Them Dairy-Free! Want to make gluten-free, dairy-free oatmeal fudge bars? No problem! Use dairy-free butter (like Earth Balance), sweetened condensed coconut milk, and dairy-free chocolate chips (like Enjoy Life).
Gluten-Free Be Sure To Use Gluten-Free Oats! Oats themselves don’t contain wheat gluten, but they’re often processed or grown in ways that cause cross-contamination. Be sure you’re buying certified gluten-free oats to avoid getting glutened! We like Trader Joe’s, Bob’s Red Mill & One Degree brands, though lots of other brands work great, too! Just keep an eye out for the “Certified Gluten-Free” designation to be safe.
Can I Use Something Besides Sweetened Condensed Milk? No. Using regular milk or evaporated milk won’t have the same results. If you can’t find it in stores, or don’t feel like making a grocery run, you can make your own sweetened condensed milk or homemade sweetened condensed coconut milk with minimal ingredients!
Is Sweetened Condensed Milk The Same As Evaporated Milk? No! Sweetened condensed milk has a thick, gooey consistency, where evaporated milk is simply thicker. It’s too thin and won’t give your filling the same fudgy texture, so it’s not a good substitute here.
More Gluten-Free Brownies, Bars & Cookies To Try: