Coconut Oatmeal Bars

Granola bars have been on my to-bake list for what seems like ages. My husband eats one of the store-bought variety almost every morning for breakfast and often reminds me that he’d like a homemade version. Yesterday I sought out to make them a reality, but somehow I got sidetracked and made these Coconut Oatmeal Bars instead. Not quite cookie, and not quite granola bar, they’re deliciously somewhere in between.

Coconut Oatmeal Bars

The cookbook I found the original recipe in called them a “dressed up granola bar”, which is what enticed me in the first place. But after looking more closely at the recipe, they essentially seemed to be mere blondies, and so I made a few adjustments to help me pretend they’re healthy enough for breakfast. I¬†substituted some of the all-purpose for whole wheat flour and cut back on both the sugar and the butter. And I don’t feel that the final product hurt any because of it. They’re still plenty sweet and delicious.

Coconut Oatmeal Bars

These bars are a sweet treat, to be sure. I’m not going to try to tell you it’s not. But it is one that, in my opinion, you can feel a little better about. Even baby John couldn’t resist stealing one off the table as I took these photographs, and I happily let him enjoy it.

Coconut Oatmeal Bars

Toasting coconut

This is a simple tip, but helpful. The most important thing to remember when toasting coconut (and almost everything else) is to watch it closely. It can go from toasted to burned in a matter of seconds.

I usually toast coconut on the same temperature at which my final baked good (cookies, bars, etc.) will be baked, usually 350 or 375 degrees F. 400 degrees F and higher is probably too high. I have also toasted coconut with a broiler, though that requires a closer watch and more frequent stirring.

Coconut Oatmeal Bars

Coconut Oatmeal Bars
Chewy bars packed with oats and toasted coconut. A perfect treat for any time of day.
Yield: Makes 16 small or 8 large bars
  • ½ cup (56 grams) sweetened shredded coconut
  • ¾ cup (85 grams grams) whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup (60 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (160 grams) brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) salt
  • 10 tablespoons (141 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (100 grams) old-fashioned rolled oats
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread coconut on a sheet pan and toast in the oven in 2 minute intervals, stirring to make sure it browns evenly and watching closely to see it doesn't burn. Let cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and brown sugar together on medium high speed until light and creamy. Add the flours and salt and mix until combined and comes together in large clumps. Mixture will be crumbly. Add oats and toasted coconut and mix until incorporated.
  3. Press dough into a buttered 8-inch square baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool completely before slicing.
  4. Store bars in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
Recipe very loosely based on a recipe from The Gourmet Cookbook.

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27 Responses to Coconut Oatmeal Bars

  1. I love home made granola bars…they are so much better than store bought ones. Coconut is one of my favorite flavors and I love how you incorporated it in these bars!!!

  2. What a cute baby!!! …and these bars look delicious too!

  3. Nina Tekwani says:

    Cannot wait for my sore throat and strep to be gone so I can make (and enjoy) these! They look absolutely delicious! John looks so cute enjoying one! Precious!

  4. We love homemade granola bars and toasted coconut is a favorite of mine! Can’t wait to give these a try!

  5. Liz says:

    I’m a big fan of oatmeal in my baking so these are right up my alley! Love the pictures of baby John stealing one! Cute :)

  6. Wow, these look amazing Annalise! New fan here from Pinterest.

  7. I want to plop down right next to him and dig in! Smart kid you have there. He obviously knows how to recognize the good stuff :)

  8. Holy yum and I can’t believe how big your baby is! I think these might have to happen tomorrow but would you mind if added some dark chocolate in or on it :) I have a terrible need of chocolate right now!

  9. I love both coconut and oatmeal in baked goods. These look so delicious, I’ll definitely have to try!

  10. These oatmeal bars look so tempting! No wonder your baby boy grabbed one.

  11. Sues says:

    What a great idea! These look like perfection!

  12. Oh, these look and sound so good. Who can blame John for snagging one for himself?!

  13. Jessica says:

    I can not wait to make these! I would run out to the store right now to get the ingredients I don’t have on hand… but its pouring outside! My husband and I are in love with all things granola. Stumbled on your blog while looking for a recipe for homemade granola and I’m more than happy that I did! Your blog is absolutely amazing!

    • Annalise says:

      Thank you! I hope you enjoy the coconut oatmeal bars!

      • Jessica says:

        Planning on making these today finally! But I was just wondering… Would it hurt the recepie at all if I added more oats? Like a cup and a half instead of just the cup that it asks for?

      • Annalise says:

        Adding more dry ingredients would make the overall bar more dry and crumbly. If you want to add more oats you’ll probably need to adjust some other ingredients as well. Since I haven’t tried it I couldn’t tell you exactly how much.

  14. Annie says:

    These are in the oven right now, and they smell divine. Thanks so much for a great recipe that actually used items I had in my pantry! I love baking during my toddler’s naptime – she’ll love having one when she wakes up! Pinning it and telling my baking pals on Facebook to drop by for the recipe :)

  15. Cathy says:

    Happened upon this recipe a moment ago while in search of recipes for homemade granola. Was thinking of making this for my grandpa, but he doesn’t use butter. Is there a substitute you know of in place of that?

  16. Theresa says:

    I’m going to try coconut oil as a butter substitute for a vegan friendly bar.

    • Annalise says:

      Please come back and let us know how the substitution works out. I’m sure the extra coconut flavor will be great!

  17. Priya says:

    These are baking in the oven right now. I added some ground flax seed and chopped dried apricots! Can’t wait for breakfast tomorrow.

  18. Manee says:

    I wanted to eat something sweet but at least a tiny bit ‘healthy’ so tried out this recipe. Could barely wait for it to cool. Simple to make and yummy! I think a hint of cinnamon would be nice and, for a less healthy version, some chocolate chips would be tasty. Next time I’ll add some ground flax. Thanks for the recipe.

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