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Oatmeal Fig Bars

These oatmeal fig bars are a homemade variation of store-bought fig bars. They’re made with oats, whole wheat flour, maple syrup, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, dried figs, and a few basics. They’re wholesome and satisfying and keep wonderfully for back-to-school snacks and lunches all week long. Kitchen tools required include a food processor and an 8 or 9-inch baking pan. (I use and recommend 8-inch.)

homemade fig bars

Have you ever tried the fig bars by the brand Nature’s Bakery before? We love them. Store-bought fig bars (like Nabisco Fig Newtons or Nature’s Bakery) have a smooth, soft, and thin “crust.” Today’s homemade fig bars aren’t exactly like the ones you can find in a store because they’re thicker, have more texture, and are obviously homemade. I love all that! If you’re looking for homemade snack bars/granola bars, these oatmeal fig bars have been a big hit and I have many other granola bars published too!


Tell Me About These Oatmeal Fig Bars

  • Flavor: These oatmeal fig bars have cinnamon, nutmeg, fig, a hint of orange, brown sugar, vanilla, and maple, so there’s a lot of warm and cozy flavor happening in each bite. They would taste especially satisfying in the fall or winter seasons.
  • Texture: The crust is soft and chewy, the fig filling is thick, sticky, and jammy, and the topping is crisp and crumbly. The crust and topping remind me of these soft oatmeal raisin granola bars, but with extra oat texture.
  • Ease: The figs require a few minutes on the stove and then you need to puree it into a jam-like filling. Because the filling requires a little extra time and attention, I made sure the crust and topping are EASY. You need just 1 dough for both and it all comes together in 1 bowl. Very manageable.

oatmeal fig bars on white plate

The Jammy Fig Filling

Dried figs are the star of the show in these oatmeal fig bars. There are many brands of dried figs out there and it can be confusing if you’re a first-time dried fig shopper! I use and love a brand called Sunny Fruit. You can find this brand in some stores or online. (I am not working with this brand, but that is an affiliate link. Truly the brand I use and love because they’re plump and tasty. There are cheaper options out there and in stores.) Most grocery stores carry dried figs either in the produce or dried fruit aisle. The kind I use for this recipe are Turkish figs which are often labeled as Smyrna figs. There are also Black Mission dried figs, which aren’t quite as large as Smyrna figs. You can use either variety in this recipe. Do not use fresh figs.

Dried figs can be quite small and shriveled or you can find plumper rehydrated figs. Either will work here because we are cooking the chopped dried figs for the filling. Chop up your dried figs until you have about 230g, which is 1 and 1/2 cups. Cook the figs on the stove with water and a little orange juice. Cooking the figs in liquid heats and softens them so we can puree the mixture into a deliciously jammy filling. Off heat, stir in a little vanilla extract and then cool the mixture for a few minutes before processing into a puree.

*Use this fig filling elsewhere: This vanilla and orange-hinted fig filling would be wonderful served on a charcuterie board with your favorite cheeses and crackers. If you wish to thin it out so it’s more spreadable on a cracker, add a Tablespoon of orange juice or warm water to the mixture before pureeing.

measuring chopped dried figs

cooked fig filling

Use 1 Oatmeal Dough For Crust & Topping

One and done. With layered bars, it’s always convenient when you have 1 mixture that doubles as your crust AND topping. S’mores bars, berry streusel bars, and cranberry crumble bars utilize this same convenience! To make things even easier, mix all of the crust/topping ingredients together in 1 bowl. You need a handful of simple ingredients including melted coconut oil (or use melted butter), maple syrup, brown sugar, egg, oats, whole wheat flour (or use all-purpose), baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.


How to Assemble Homemade Fig Bars

The full printable recipe and instructions are below, but let me show you how these bars come together before you get started. Press about 2/3 of the crust/topping mixture into the bottom of a lined square baking pan, making sure it’s flat and even. I use and recommend an 8 inch square baking pan (I like this one or this one), but a 9-inch square pan works for thinner bars. Spread fig filling on top. Press remaining crust/topping mixture evenly on top. Very easy!

oatmeal dough in glass bowl and pressed into lined baking pan

assembling fig bars before baking

homemade fig bars cut into squares

Substitution Ideas

Here are some ingredient substitutions:

  1. Figs: I haven’t tested these bars with any alternative fillings. I’m sure the same amount of chopped dates or raisins (no need to chop the raisins) would work. Cook and puree them as instructed in the recipe.
  2. Orange Juice: Use fresh or bottled orange juice in the filling. If you don’t have orange juice, use water. (That would make the total amount of water needed = 10 Tablespoons.)
  3. Coconut Oil: You can use melted unsalted or salted butter instead. You need a fat that’s solid at room temperature, so do not replace with an oil that is liquid at room temperature.
  4. Maple Syrup: You can use honey instead of maple syrup.
  5. Brown Sugar: The only substitution for brown sugar that I’ve tested is coconut sugar and it worked wonderfully! Use the same amount.
  6. Egg: Though I haven’t tested this, 1/4 cup of applesauce should work just fine instead of the egg. I’ve used that substitution before in similar oatmeal/granola bar recipes.
  7. Whole Wheat Flour: I haven’t tested any gluten free version of these bars, so let me know if you do! All-purpose flour works as a substitution for whole wheat flour.

I’m unsure of the nutritional information for these, but feel free to calculate it yourself using an online nutrition calculator with the exact products/brands you use.

Print

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homemade fig bars

Oatmeal Fig Bars

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 28 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield: 16 bars
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


Description

These oatmeal fig bars are a homemade variation of store-bought fig bars. You need a blender or food processor for the filling. For more information on the dried figs or for substitutions, see text above this printable recipe.


Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (about 230g) chopped dried figs, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) water
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Crust & Topping

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (145g) old-fashioned whole rolled oats (or quick oats)*
  • 1 cup (130gwhole wheat flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line an 8-inch (what I use and recommend) or 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving enough overhang on the sides to easily remove the bars when they have cooled. Set aside.
  2. Make the filling: Combine the chopped dried figs, water, and orange juice together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook while stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes or until figs are soft and have absorbed some of the liquid. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Cool for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until there are no more chunks (fig seeds will not break down). Set aside.
  3. Make the crust/topping: In a large bowl, whisk the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, brown sugar, and egg together. Add the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Begin whisking to combine and once the mixture becomes too thick, switch to a spoon or rubber spatula to bring the ingredients together. You will have about 2 and 1/2 cups of this crust/topping mixture.
  4. Take a little over 1 and 1/2 cups of the crust/topping mixture and press it evenly into the lined pan. Spread fig filling in an even layer on top. Evenly sprinkle remaining crust/topping mixture on top and gently press it down into the filling to ensure it’s tight and compact on top.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top has lightly browned. Avoid over-baking. 8 inch pans take closer to 30 minutes, 9 inch pans take closer to 25 minutes. (Note: Oil/moisture will soak on the parchment paper during the baking & cooling process. That’s normal with this recipe.) Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Cool bars completely.
  6. Lift the bars out using the parchment paper overhang on the sides. Cut into squares.
  7. Cover leftover bars and store at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.


Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Freeze cut bars in single layers between sheets of parchment paper in a freezer-friendly container for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before enjoying.
  2. Dried Figs: There are many brands of dried figs out there. I use and love a brand called Sunny Fruit. These are Turkish figs which are often labeled as Smyrna figs. There are also Black Mission dried figs, which aren’t quite as large as Smyrna figs. You can use either variety. Do not use fresh figs in this recipe. Dried figs can be quite small and shriveled or you can find plumper rehydrated figs. Either will work here because we are cooking the chopped dried figs for the filling.
  3. Fig Jam: Readers have asked about using fig jam. I have not tested it to be certain, but I can’t see why that wouldn’t work instead of the homemade filling. You’ll need about 1 and 1/4 cups jam.
  4. Oats: Whole oats are best, but you can use quick oats if needed. The crust/topping will just be a little more crumbly. (Don’t be tempted to reduce the flour, though– it may turn out greasy.) Use a 1:1 swap from whole oats to quick oats.
  5. Substitutions: For any substitution information, see section above recipe.
  6. Special Tools (affiliate links): Square Baking Pan | Food Processor | Offset Icing Spatula (for filling)

Keywords: oatmeal fig bars

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