These oatmeal chocolate chip cookie bars have everything you love about chocolate chip oatmeal cookies but in an easy to make bar form! This easy cookie bar recipe is packed with old fashioned oats, chocolate chips, and a hint of cinnamon. This is a great recipe for bake sales, potlucks, to enjoy as an after school snack, or for an easy family dessert.
Both me and my husband are a sucker for a good oatmeal cookie. But sometimes you just really don’t feel like scooping and baking individual cookies. That’s where cookie bars come in! These chewy oatmeal cookie bars are loaded with just the right amount of chocolate chips to strike the perfect ratio of cookie to chocolate.
Plus, with cookie bars, there’s something for everyone! If you prefer the crispy edges of cookies, grab a corner piece. If you prefer a soft and gooey center, grab an extra chewy center piece.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Oatmeal Cookie Bars Recipe
Everything you love about oatmeal chocolate chip cookies but in bar form! Enjoy the same delicious flavors and textures of your favorite oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, made easier by baking them into cookie bars.
Basic ingredients. No need to go out and buy any fancy ingredients for these oatmeal chocolate chip bars! You likely have everything you’ll need on hand already.
Easy to make. This recipe is so simple it comes together in just one bowl! Mix up your ingredients, spread it into your prepared pan, and bake. Easy-peasy.
Great texture. One of the things I love about oatmeal cookies is the wonderfully chewy texture the rolled oats give to your cookie. The same goes for these easy cookie bars with oatmeal!
Salted butter. I grew up using salted butter in baking, and still do to this day. If you’d prefer to use unsalted butter, just replace it 1-for-1 with the salted butter in the recipe and add an extra pinch of salt too.
Brown sugar. Brown sugar is used to both sweeten our bars and also contributes to our recipe being nice and chewy. Both light brown sugar and dark brown sugar work in this cookie bar recipe. Light brown sugar has a more subtle flavor than dark, due to a lower molasses content, so choose per your preference (or based on whichever one you happen to have in your pantry). Using dark brown sugar will make your bars a bit darker in color too.
Granulated sugar. Not only does sugar sweeten your cookie bars, it actually helps them to remain soft and moist too.
Large eggs. We use whole eggs in our oatmeal cookie bars to help provide structure and leavening in addition to adding moisture to our dough.
Vanilla extract and ground cinnamon. Both vanilla extract and cinnamon add a lovely depth of flavor to our cookie bars.
Salt. Salt is used in baking to enhance flavors and create balance (especially with the sweetness of baked goods).
Baking soda and baking powder. We are using a combination of baking soda and baking powder for our leavening agents in this cookie bar recipe. Baking soda is typically used to help make chewy cookies, while baking powder contributes to light and airy cookies. The combination in this recipe helps develop the perfect texture for our oatmeal cookie bars.
All-purpose flour. All-purpose flour is ideal for baking cookies because it has the optimal protein range for this type of baking, helping to create soft and chewy oatmeal cookie bars.
Old-Fashioned Oats (aka rolled oats). These oats are perfect for cookie bars and contribute to the wonderful chewy texture.
Chocolate Chips. I like to use a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips when making these bars, but you can really use whatever chocolate chips you like best! Be sure to have some extra chocolate chips to place on top of the bars after they’re spread in the pan. This helps create a beautiful bar (and who doesn’t love a little extra chocolate?).
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Mix and match your chocolate chips. I love using half semi-sweet chocolate chips and half milk chocolate chips when making these bars. But play around and use a mix of your favorite chips to customize these to be the best oatmeal cookie bars for you!
- Use chocolate chunks instead of chocolate chips. Chocolate chunks are a great choice for these cookie bars (and you know I’m a sucker for chocolate chunk cookies).
- Add more chocolate! If you’re a person who loves lots and lots of chocolate chips in your cookies, amp up the chocolate to cookie ratio! I would recommend starting with ½ additional cup of chocolate chips and increasing from there.
- Substitute the chocolate chips with something else. Option to replace the chocolate chips 1-for-1 with raisins, butterscotch chips, M&Ms, or Reese’s Pieces.
- Top with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt. Lots of people love adding flaky sea salt to baked goods. If this is you, add a sprinkle on top of your bars immediately after you pull them out of the oven.
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside (alternatively line it with parchment paper if preferred).
Step 2: In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), add the softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.
Step 3: Cream the butter and sugars together using the stand mixer’s paddle attachment on medium speed until well combined and fluffy (or using a wooden spoon to cream the ingredients together in your large bowl). The mixture may be a little grainy because of the sugar.
Step 4: Scrape down the edges of the bowl as needed with a rubber scraper. Add in the remaining wet ingredients (the eggs and vanilla extract) and mix until combined.
Step 5: Slowly add the dry ingredients (the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and flour) into the bowl and mix until combined. You’ll want to reduce your speed on your stand mixer (or stop it while adding ingredients) to prevent ingredients from flying out of the bowl.
Step 6: Stir in the rolled oats until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
Step 7: Gently stir in the chocolate chips.
Step 8: Gently press the dough into an even layer in the prepared 9×13 pan (option to add a handful of additional chocolate chips on top of the dough in the pan if desired). Place into the preheated oven. Bake for 25-30minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the middle is just starting to brown (it may look barely tan) and isn’t jiggly when you gently move the pan.
Step 9: Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares.
Possible Dietary Restrictions?
This oatmeal cookie bars recipe is vegetarian as written. One simple swap and you can make these into gluten free oatmeal cookie bars too!
- To make this into a gluten free chocolate chip cookie bar recipe, replace the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe with a one-to-one gluten free flour alternative.
- If serving to someone with celiac disease, be sure to purchase certified gluten-free rolled oats! It would also be wise to verify the chocolate chunks you use are noted to be ‘gluten free’ on the package.
For best results, do not overbake your cookie bars! To ensure they remain nice and chewy, remove them from the oven once the edges are golden brown and the middle is just starting to brown (it may look barely tan). The bars will continue to bake a bit after you take them out of the oven.
Select the correct kind of oats. Old fashioned oats, also known as rolled oats, hold their shape well making them a popular choice for cookies and baked goods. You can also use quick-cook oats if desired. Using quick-cook oats will result in a softer texture vs. using old-fashioned oats which result in a chewier texture. Instant oats are not recommend for baking.
How to Store
Store leftover cookie bars at room temperature for up to 5 days. Cooled cookie bars in their original baking pan covered tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Alternatively, place cut cookie bars into an airtight container (separating layers with wax paper).
You can also freeze cookie bars. Ensure cookie bars are completely cool prior to freezing. Cut and store baked cookie bars in a large freezer bag or air-tight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Separate layers of cookie bars with parchment paper (this helps prevent them from sticking together). When ready to enjoy, thaw cookie bars in the refrigerator or on the counter at room temperature.
A glass 9×13 baking pan is what you’ll need to bake these delicious chocolate chip oatmeal cookie bars.
Cookies and cookie bars with quick-cook oats will result in a softer texture vs. old-fashioned oats which result in a chewier texture.
Adding oatmeal to cookies is a great way to add whole grains into your baked goods. Oats are high in fiber, are rich in antioxidants, and a good source of plant-based protein. So, depending on your health needs, you could say that oatmeal cookies are healthier than chocolate chip cookies…but remember, you’re still enjoying a cookie. And “healthy” is relative to each individual and their personal health needs.
Love This Recipe? You May Also Enjoy
📖 Chewy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
- 1 C salted butter
- 1 C brown sugar (light or dark)
- ½ C granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1.5 C all-purpose flour
- 2 C old-fashioned oats (aka rolled oats)
- 1 C chocolate chips + a handful to top with (semi-sweet, milk chocolate, or a combination of both)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray and set aside (alternatively line it with parchment paper if preferred).
- In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl), add the softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Cream together on medium speed using the paddle attachment (or a wooden spoon if stirring by hand) until combined and fluffy. The mixture may be a little grainy because of the sugar.
- Add in the remaining wet ingredients (the eggs and vanilla extract) and mix until combined.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients (the salt, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and flour) into the bowl and mix until combined.
- Gently stir in the rolled oats until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Gently press the dough into an even layer in the prepared 9×13 pan. Option to add a handful of additional chocolate chips on top of the dough in the pan if desired.
- Bake for 25-30minutes, until the edges are golden brown and the middle is just starting to brown (it may look barely tan) and isn't jiggly when you gently move the pan.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely (about 1 hour) before cutting into squares.