Oatmeal Fig Bars

Looking for the perfect on-the-go breakfast bar or easy dessert for lunch? These Oatmeal Fig Bars loaded with oatmeal, fig preserves and brown sugar will have you getting figgy with it.

Close up of oatmeal fig bars on wooden background.

Do you like Fig Newtons? It was my favorite cookie as a kid. (Weird, I know). While most kids probably would prefer my Salty Chocolate Chip Blondies, I had Fig Newtons in my Partridge Family lunchbox.

These oatmeal fig bars are not Fig Newtons but even better. Since they’re not a cookie, they could be called a breakfast bar.

Go fig-ure.

Why this recipe?

Fig bars on cake dish with spatula and napkin on dark background.

This fig bar recipe is the best because:

  • Amazing texture and flavor. Thanks to the oatmeal crust and crumble on top, the texture and flavor of this fig bar recipe is second to none.
  • Simple. Three layers but —you only have to make one of them! Easy!
  • Versatile. You can use any kind of preserves and also serve them with ice cream for dessert or with coffee and tea for brunch.

The Ingredients

bowl of oats with a hand mixer, eggs, jar of fig butter, brown sugar and butter.

Topping

One of the easiest things about these fig bars is that you only have to make one crust that also doubles as the topping. It’s a basic crumble crust and includes:

  • Oatmeal
  • Flour
  • Cinnamon
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs

The Filling

This is what I call a “high/low” recipe. Meaning parts of it are made from scratch and parts of it aren’t. And I’m not one bit mad about it.

Two excellent options for the fig filling are:

No matter which you choose, grab two because the recipe calls for a whole jar and you’ll want one on hand when the mood strikes!

Step-by-step instructions

Layer 1

white bowl of creamed butter, sugar and eggs with a hand mixer.
  • Start by mixing some butter, brown sugar and eggs until they’re all happy together.
  • A little vanilla and a couple of eggs round out the party.
  • Then blend the dry ingredients including oatmeal, flour, and cinnamon (which adds an oomph of spicy warmth).
  • Press about 2/3 of the crust into the bottom of a prepared square baking pan (I use a 9″ x 9″) reserving the remainder.

Layer 2

pan of oat batter with layer of fig jam on top.

Spread the entire jar of fig preserves evenly over the crust covering the whole thing.

Layer 3

unbaked pan of fig bars on a white dishtowel.

Now you’ll take that reserved dough and make nice size plops of it dough on top. It’s ok if there are spaces in between because they’ll all join up while the bars bake to make a cobbly looking cookie top.


TIP

Press a piece of buttered or baking-sprayed parchment paper over the dough and press to evenly spread it in the pan.

-Josie + Nina

FAQ’s

What if I don’t like figs? Can I substitute another flavor of jam?

Don’t share my fig obsession? No worries! This fig bar recipe works beautifully with your fav fruit: raspberry, sour cherry, blueberry, peach…whatever floats your non-figgy boat.

How hard is it to double this recipe?

Except for the salt, you can safely double all the ingredients in the recipe and use a 9″ x 13″ baking pan. Your oatmeal fig bars will be a little thicker (not a bad thing). The salt will only be increased to 1 1/4 teaspoon total when doubling.

How would this fig bar recipe work using gluten free flour?

While I haven’t tried it, I would not hesitate to use your favorite gluten free flour substitute that you typically use.

Helpful fig bar tips

Make ahead. You can make these ahead, allow them to cool completely and either freeze them for up to three months or serve within three days.

Freeze. Make a pan and freeze half of it for another day.

Serving. If you envy the way some people know how to cut dessert bars like an artist, Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake has a whole guide on how to cut perfect cookie bars. Genius!


Made this recipe?

I’d love it if you’d share your review and leave a star rating and comment!



Close up of oatmeal fig bars on wooden background.
5 from 15 votes

Oatmeal Fig Bars

Good for breakfast or a lunch box snack  – anytime. These Oatmeal Fig Bars are happy either with a big plop of ice-cream on top or eaten right over the sink. 
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:25 minutes
Total Time:40 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients
 

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Grease or lightly spray a 9″ square baking pan.
  • Cream butter in mixer until creamy.
  • Add brown sugar to butter and mix until lightened and well blended, about 2 minutes.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.
  • Add vanilla to mixer.
  • Combine next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl and lightly stir with a fork.
  • Add dry ingredients into mixing bowl and mix on low until worked in completely.
  • Pat 2/3 of mixture into bottom of prepared pan. If needed, use a piece of parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray to help spread it evenly in the pan as the dough will be somewhat sticky.
  • Spread contents of entire jar of fig butter evenly over crust.
  • Place (plop!) the remaining crust over the fig jam and lightly press down.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes, checking for a golden color on top.
  • Remove from oven and cool before cutting into bars.

Notes

  • Use your favorite jam or fruit butter – even homemade works. 
  • Stonewall Kitchen makes a fab Fig and Ginger Jam that works beautifully in these bars. Use the whole jar as well.
  • Serve with ice cream (caramel, vanilla, butter pecan..even dark chocolate plays nice with figs!)
  • Doubling the recipe. Can be doubled but only increase the salt to by 1/4 teaspoon for a total of 1 1/4. Some readers have used only 1 teaspoon when doubling with great success. Also bake for 35 minutes and check every five minutes or so thereafter until golden brown.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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18 Comments

  1. This recipe looks amazing! I’ve been looking a way to use the Trader Joe’s fig butter. Can I reduce the amount of brown sugar?5 stars

    1. Hi Ale! Thanks for your question. I have never reduced the sugar – you could try reducing it by 1/4 cup to start. I probably wouldn’t do much more than that as the crust actually doesn’t taste very sweet. If you try reducing it, please let me know how it works for you!

  2. Soooo delicious. Had figs coming out my ears so I made jam. Then I saw this recipe and decided why not! Used my jam for the spread. This recipe is a keeper!5 stars

    1. You are so lucky, Robyn, to have a fig tree! Love it! And so happy your tried the fig bars. I make these on repeat for my daughter who loves them too. So glad you like them!

  3. Hi , I made the recipe many times in New York using jam made with dried figs – get some dried figs , cook them on low flame with some water, little honey and lemon until soft. I used immersion stick blender to mash them up.Add some vanilla extract too. . The crust is very good , cookies are even better the next day .
    I made them also using fresh fig jam I made in Greece. White figs or black , straight from the trees. It takes longer to cook the jam but is delicious. Kids and my Greek friends loved them !
    Thank you for the great recipe5 stars

    1. Your homemade fig jam recipe sounds amazing Aleksandra! I will have to try that sometime. Thank you so much for choosing my recipe to feature your beautiful jam 😊

    1. You totally could! I read about using a slow cooker for like 6 hours. Or you could put them in a covered saucepan on the stove on low. I would just halve them and cook them down with some sugar (maybe 2 tsp or a tablespoon depending how many figs you’ll use). Add water if needed. You might have to puree them a bit after cooking. Let me know if you try it! Thanks Diane!!

  4. The recipe calls for one jar of Trader Joes fig jam, I had to go back to the pictures to see how many ounces that was. I was thankful that picture showed the lable, so I read how many ounces the jar contained. If you are using 1/2 pts of home made fig jam, like I am, it would have been helpful to list the ounces in the recipe discription. otherwise the directions were very east to follow.

    1. Thanks, Linda. Great suggestion – I appreciate it! I am changing the recipe to clarify. Please keep the comments and feedback coming And hope you liked the recipe. Lucky you with homemade fig jam!

      1. Is Trader Joe’s the only place you can
        purchase the fig butter? There isn’t one nearby. Would like to try this recipe.

        1. Hi Kim! Stonewall Kitchen carries a wonderful Fig and Ginger Jam that I talk about in the post above. Here is a link for the Classic Fig Jam as well! Let me know if you have any more questions about the bars or I can help in anyway! Thank you!