The spring of grade seven, I made a rather delicious discovery at my local Starbucks: the oat fudge bar. One bite of that rich, gooey, almost cloyingly sweet square and I was floating on a cloud made entirely of sugar and chocolate. It became my Friday night ritual to do my paper route and then run over to Starbucks for an oat fudge bar and one of those sweet blended fruit drinks. Ah, to be twelve again.
The difference between 12 year old me and 23 year old me is that my taste buds no longer crave that over-the-top sweetness, and I tend to opt for homemade treats over those mass-produced ones made with questionable ingredients. But my sweet tooth remains and there is no way that I am going to give up my beloved desserts.
One of my goals as a self-taught cook and vegan/vegetarian recipe developer is to create “health-ified” versions of well-known foods that aren’t necessarily good for you. What better place to start than the favourite dessert of my youth?
Before I get into the recipe, a disclaimer: I had envisioned a bar that very nearly replicated the famous oat fudge bar. However, after making the crust, my thinking shifted towards a less traditional, but altogether richer and more delectable, vegan peanut butter fudge topping. If you’re not a peanut butter fan, you could easily swap it out for almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter, or even tahini!
I hope you LOVE these oat fudge bars. They’re:
Sweet (but not over the top sweet)
& SO easy to make!
If you make this dessert, let me know! Leave a comment and tag me #holisticallie on Instagram.
Cheers to summer nights and feeling like a kid again,
Oat Fudge Bars
1/2 cup virgin coconut oil
1/2 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 free range organic egg or 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp filtered water)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups oat flour, certified gluten-free if necessary (or 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, ground in a blender or food processor)
Peanut Butter Fudge
1 can (400 ml) full fat coconut milk
100 grams dark chocolate (70 % cacao or higher), chopped
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 cup organic peanut butter (or other nut or seed butter)
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1/8-1/4 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste
- Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 8×8 or 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil, the sugars, and the egg or flax egg. Add the vanilla extract and the salt, mix again. Add the oat flour and stir to combine (you may have to work it in with your hands). The dough should have the texture of a stiff cookie dough: add a tablespoon or two of almond milk if it seems too dry, or a bit more flour if it seems too wet.
- Press the dough into the prepared pan. You may need to use wet fingers to press it into every corner of the pan.
- Bake the crust for fifteen minutes, or until lightly browned around the edges and fragrant.
- Allow it to cool fully before proceeding with the next step.
- Make the peanut butter fudge: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut milk and dark chocolate. Whisk frequently until chocolate has melted. Turn down heat to low.
- Add raw cacao powder, peanut butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and sea salt. Whisk until fully combined. The mixture will have the texture of a hot fudge sauce at this point, but not to worry- the fudge will harden once it sits in the freezer!
- Pour the peanut butter fudge on top of the crust.
- Transfer the pan into the freezer and chill for 4-6 hours.
- Remove the pan from the freezer, remove bar from the pan, and let it sit on the counter for ten minutes to soften.
- Place a cutting board underneath the bar and slice into 12-16 even squares.
- Store in an airtight container in the freezer. The bars should keep for at least one month.