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.
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.
Why this recipe?
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.
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:
- Brown sugar
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:
- Trader Joe's Fig Butter - sweeter in flavor and price!
- Stonewall Kitchen's Fig and Ginger Jam. A little harder to find in stores, is pricier but has a really luscious spicy note
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!
- 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 ⅔ of the crust into the bottom of a prepared square baking pan (I use a 9" x 9") reserving the remainder.
Spread the entire jar of fig preserves evenly over the crust covering the whole thing.
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.
Press a piece of buttered or baking-sprayed parchment paper over the dough and press to evenly spread it in the pan.-Josie + Nina
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.
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 ¼ teaspoon total when doubling.
While I haven't tried it, I would not hesitate to use your favorite gluten free flour substitute that you typically use.
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!
Oatmeal Fig Bars
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temp
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 C oatmeal
- 1 ½ C flour, all purpose
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt, *see note below if doubling
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 jar Trader Joe's Fig Butter, 11 oz or 1 ⅓ cup approx *see note below
- 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 ⅔ 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.
- 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 ¼ teaspoon for a total of 1 ¼. 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.