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These soft, buttery oatmeal bars are simple to make and are topped with a to-die-for browned butter icing!

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Stack of oatmeal bars with a cup of milk in the background

99% of the recipes you can find here on Dance Around the Kitchen are either family recipes or recipes I’ve created. However, there are a couple extra special ones that come from friends (that I’ve pleaded pleaasssseeee let me have the recipe!) 😉 ….and this is one of them! My friend Beth is truly one of a kind and I’m SO glad our studies (and a “few” boozy nights) brought us together at Iowa State!

Beth sent me a photo of these bars one night while she was cooking supper and I was intrigued. Probably because she called them “Wedgies.” Turns out when her grandmother would make these, the kids would always say “cut me a wedge,” so wedgies just kinda stuck!

It took me less than 24 hours to get the recipe, try them and ask for permission to share the recipe with you all….because they’re just. SO. good. They’re got a buttery, chewy texture and the BEST brown sugar frosting on top!

Pan of oatmeal bars sliced

Ingredients Needed (Amounts in the Recipe Card below)

  • Butter – I use salted butter, but you can also use unsalted
  • Brown Sugar – Light or dark brown sugar will work great
  • White Sugar
  • Eggs – I use “large” eggs when baking
  • Vanilla Extract
  • ​All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Oats – Quick Oats are my favorite in these bars

How to Make Oatmeal Bars

These oatmeal bars are super easy to make.  The dough is made like any traditional cookie dough.

First you’ll cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl.  Then, add the eggs and vanilla.

Lastly, you’ll add the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  

Press the dough into the prepared baking dish and bake until golden brown.

​Let cool then frost with browned butter frosting and serve!

How to make Browned Butter

In my opinion, the browned butter frosting takes these bars from really good to freaking awesome. Don’t let the browned butter intimidate you….it’s really quite simple!

  1. Place butter into a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Let the butter melt completely, stirring occasionally.
  3. The butter will start bubbling rapidly. Continue to stir.
  4. The butter will start bubbling higher and get a little foamy looking. Keep stirring and be sure to pay close attention at this point.
  5. The butter will start to turn brown. As soon as you notice the color, pull the saucepan off the stove top so you don’t burn it.
  6. Pour into a bowl or ramekin to stop the butter from cooking in the hot pan. Be sure to use a spatula to get all the brown flecks into the bowl – it adds such good flavor!
Hand holding a frosted oatmeal bar

What size pan to use for Oatmeal Bars

You’ll notice that I mention two options in the recipe notes. The original recipe calls for a jellyroll pan (10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″), but if you don’t have one, a half sheet pan works great too.

The jelly roll pan will result in bars that are thicker (and therefore take a bit longer to bake) whereas the sheet pan will be more thin and cook more quickly. Both are equally delicious! Find specific times and pan options in the recipe notes below.

​Oatmeal Bar Variations

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip:  Skip the frosting and stir 1 cup of milk or dark chocolate chips into the oatmeal mixture before baking.

Oatmeal Cinnamon:  Skip the frosting and stir in 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1 cup of cinnamon chips into the dough before baking.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal:  Skip the frosting and stir in 1 cup of peanut butter chips into the dough!  Drizzle warmed peanut butter over the baked bars.

Toffee Oat:  Mix 1 cup of toffee bits into the batter before baking and drizzle with chocolate once they come out of the oven.

Oatmeal Raisin:  Stir 1 cup of raisins (or dried cranberries!) and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into the batter before baking.

A stack of oatmeal bars on white wood

Frequently Asked Questions

​How should I store Oatmeal Bars?

Cover the pan of bars in plastic wrap or store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Can I freeze Oatmeal Bars?

Yes!!!  These bars freeze wonderfully.  Freeze for up to 3 months.

Can I use old fashioned oats (aka rolled oats) in place of the quick cooking oats?

I prefer the texture of these bars with quick oats.  You can, however, use old fashioned oats, but note that the texture will be a little more chewy and the oats more apparent.  I do NOT recommend using steel cut oats as they take longer to cook and have a very different texture.

Can I make these bars gluten free?

Yes!  Make sure the oats are certified gluten-free oats.  Though all oats are naturally gluten free, some are processed in the same facility as wheat products and are therefore not considered gluten free.  You’ll also need to swap the all purpose wheat flour out for an all purpose gluten free flour.

Other favorite quick & easy cookie bars

Butterscotch Brickle Bars have a buttery shortbread crust and the most delicious butterscotch pecan topping that make them simply impossible to resist!
Oh Henry Bars are a quick dessert with a buttery oatmeal base and topped with a combo of chocolate and peanut butter! – a recipe the whole family enjoys!
Almond Brownies are soft, buttery and oh so delicious! Made in just one bowl, these are quick to make and are perfect for an after school snack, bake sale, or easy dessert!
Salted Nut Roll Bars have a soft buttery crust, a smooth marshmallow layer and a crispy crunchy topping. These are the ultimate sweet and salty treat!
Chewy Salted Caramel M&M Blondies from my friend over at Cooking with Carlee sound so dreamy and I can’t wait to give them a try!

Get the Oatmeal Bars recipe below or PIN IT for later!

Oatmeal Bars
4.75 from 4 votes

Oatmeal Bars

Author: Kelsey
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
24 bars
These soft, buttery oatmeal bars are simple to make and are topped with a to-die-for browned butter icing!

Ingredients
 

Oatmeal Bars

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups quick oats

Browned Butter Icing

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a pan. (See notes for size options)
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter, brown sugar and sugar.
  • Stir in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the flour, baking soda and oats and mix until combined.
  • Spread the mixture in the prepared pan and bake. (See notes for times, depending on pan size used)
  • While the bars are in the oven, make the frosting.
  • Place the butter in a saucepan and cook on medium heat until it turns light brown.
  • Remove from the heat immediately and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.
  • Add milk 1 tsp at a time until you have a nice spreading consistency.
  • Pour the icing over the warm bars and spread.
  • Let cool then cut into bars and enjoy!

Notes

*Pan Size to Use
  • Jelly Roll Pan (10 1/2″ x 15 1/2″) – Bake 25-30 minutes OR
  • Half Sheet Pan (12″ x 18″) – Bake 15-17 minutes

Nutrition

Calories: 248kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 43mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 319IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.7mg
“Dance Around the Kitchen” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. Odette Trahan says:

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe and it’s fabulous! I added maple extract to the icing and it was to die for. Make these as often as I can. My fiance loves these! (So do I!) I made some for both my doctors offices. They went crazy. They always ask when I’m going to make more! Love them!!

    1. Woohoo!!!! So happy to hear. Thanks for the great review, Odette!! ~Kelsey

  2. 5 stars
    Delicious bars that remind me of what we had in school! Very easy to make and had a crunchy outside while remaining chewy on the inside.

  3. NOT ENOUGH ICING HAD TO MAKE IT TWICE

  4. Rebecca Y says:

    I haven’t made these yet but was wondering if you think I’d be able to swap the flour for finely milled oats (oat flour) to make it gluten free ( I am using GF oats).

    1. Hi Rebecca – I haven’t tried that, but I’m guessing it would work okay?? If you do give it a try, I’d love to know what you thought!!! ~Kelsey

  5. 5 stars
    I made this exactly as the recipe says except I baked it in a 9×13 non stick pan for 24 minutes at 350 degrees. Came out perfect. I would recommend checking it during bake time because every oven is different. This reminds me of what we used to get in school it was a real treat. Thanks for the recipe 😊💙

  6. This is a dumb question but I am new to baking. All purpose flour or self rising flour ??

  7. 4 stars
    They taste pretty good but the butter icing was a bit too buttery.