{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

These soft-baked oatmeal squares taste just like the Nature Valley version of cinnamon brown sugar soft-baked oatmeal squares. They are soft with a chewy texture and have a molasses flavored glaze. These bars are made with whole grains and packed with good ingredients.

{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

Because not everyone is obsessed with peanut butter like me. Sometimes I forget this fact. Because, well, peanut butter is kind of a large part of my life. As in, I eat at least 2-3 spoonfuls of it daily. Most of the time there are chocolate chips covering the spoonful, but I will still eat the peanut butter with or without chocolate chips. I am absolutely completely obsessed with peanut butter. And don’t even get me started on combining peanut butter and chocolate.

{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

But, the reality is, not everyone likes it or can even eat it. Funny enough, my mom hates peanut butter and so do two of my sisters. AND my brother is extremely allergic to nuts. So we really never had that much peanut butter growing up. Can I please blame my obsession with this nutty butter on the fact that I was partially deprived of it growing up? Okay. Thank you.

{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

Anyways, I have no idea why I’ve gone on and on about peanut butter, when this recipe, has absolutely none. I guess it is to say, I get it, not everyone likes or can even eat peanut butter. So here is a delicious oatmeal square recipe with NO peanut butter. And if you are as utterly obsessed with peanut butter as I am, come back tomorrow, because I’m sure there will be lots of peanut butter tomorrow. Or the next day. It makes it into a recipe at least once a week ;)

{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal SquaresTo save you from more of my useless rambling and talk of my obsessions, I suppose I should make a few notes about this recipe.

First off, these are delicious. They are soft, chewy, cinnamon-y, and all around pretty healthy. I mean, not the frosting, it’s not that healthy. So feel free to leave off the frosting – they taste great without it. But if you are trying to get an authentic Nature Valley copycat – you’ll want to leave it on. There is a pretty good amount of brown sugar. If you really like your oatmeal sweet, leave it in. If you are used to healthier foods and can do without it, you can cut down a bit on the brown sugar. I’ve gone down to as little as 1/3 cup and I think they still taste great. But the more you reduce the amount, the less true to the version I am copy-catting they will taste. Also feel free to increase the cinnamon amount to your preference. You can taste the mixture before adding the egg and decide if you want more or less. Finally, you are going to think my recipe is wrong. Seriously, when it is all stirred up it is like this thick messy dough like blab. That’s how it is. Be patient and press it evenly into the pan. It will bake into perfection!

{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

4.3 from 3 reviews
{Nature Valley Copycat} Cinnamon Brown Sugar Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 9-12
Ingredients
Bars
  • 1 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (ground up oats)
  • 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (or sub white)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk, or sub another milk
  • 1 large egg
Molasses Frosting
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened (do not melt)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Instructions
For the bars:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with parchment paper. (These will be near impossible to get out if you don't use it)
  2. Combine the oats, oat flour, white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a large bowl. Stir until combined.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the vanilla extract, milk, and large egg. Lightly beat with a fork.
  4. Mix together the dry and wet ingredients until just combined (do not overstir). The mixture will be very thick and wet. Press the mixture into the parchment lined pan. Press until it it evenly spread throughout the pan.
  5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until the center is slightly inflated and the edges are lightly browned.
For the frosting:
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sized bowl starting with only 1 tablespoon of milk. Beat until completely combined. Add extra milk until you reach the desired consistency.
  2. Remove the baked squares and let cool completely before cutting into 9-12 squares.
  3. Once they are cut into squares, place the glaze mixture into a resealable plastic bag.
  4. Cut off the tip of the bag and pipe the glaze on the top of the bars.
  5. Sometimes these bars can be a bit crumbly and you may want to refrigerate them.
  6. Always store these in an airtight container or they will dry out.

More healthy breakfast or snack options:

Nature Valley Copycat - Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

Nature Valley Copycat – Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares

Double Chocolate Healthy No-bake Breakfast Cookies

Double Chocolate Healthy No-bake Breakfast Cookies

No-Bake Cookies

No-Bake Healthy Breakfast Cookies

Overnight Oats

Overnight Peanut Butter Cheesecake Oats 

Comments

  1. says

    I was not deprived of peanut butter as a kid…yet I am still addicted. What’s my excuse? I’m ok with none!
    These bars look fab girl! My hubs LOVES the nature valley version so I love that I can make them and know what’s going in his body! Pinned :D

  2. says

    Love copycat versions of stuff like this!! So fun to try and recreate something you love! Right there with ya eating 2-3 spoonfuls a day…no shame at all. I don’t understand why some people skimp on it and feel bad for eating it! Looking forward to tomorrows post now ;) Thanks for sharing, Chelsea. Have a wonderful Friday!

  3. says

    These bars look fabulous — so soft and chewy-looking! And I would never ever leave that frosting off of ‘em. ;) It just completes them. I’m pretty sure my family would gobble these bars down in minutes if I made them for them. Which I totally plan to do. ;) pinned.

  4. says

    These look awesome! I bought some storebought oatmeal squares (of a brand that I will not disclose), and they were so bad that I kept them around only as emergency food supplies! These, I’m sure, are far superior, and I’m excited to make some as an easy breakfast-to-go option :)

  5. says

    So, I saw these (Nature Valley) in the supermarket and didn’t pick them up because I said “I have to make Chelsea’s recipe” and I don’t want a million unnecessary preservatives. They look divine! This weekend for sure :).

  6. says

    These look amazing!! However, I will wait for tomorrow because I AM utterly obsessed with peanut butter!!! ;)

  7. says

    Well, I can’t REALLY understand people who don’t like peanut butter…but I can understand cinnamon and brown sugar love because those are my next two favorites! These sound amazing!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      Aww thanks Alyssa! So glad you found it and I hope you love it if you get the chance to try it!

  8. says

    I love cinnamon these are my kind of bars, I’m afraid if I’d make them I’d eat the entire batch lol. I co-host Sweet and Savoury Sunday and would love for you to link up with us. Have a great week!

  9. says

    Yum, I love this NV copycat version – I totally eat spoonfuls of PB everyday and could probably eat one of these bars everyday too – they look awesome! Pinning :)

  10. Jennifer says

    I’ve been eating the nature valley bars slathered with almond butter lately (amazing, and I’m sure just as good with peanut butter) and am looking for a healthier alternative that I can doctor up with some nut and flax seed. I think I found a winner! Thanks!

  11. loriann says

    I’m so excited by this find and am about to make them!
    I had a baby New Year’s Day and I pretty much lived off the nv bars for the first few weeks! They were yummy and easy while I was sleep deprived!
    Six months later I still love them and oats are good for breastfeeding so I have a valid excuse to eat them all myself!
    I don’t have parchment paper though….:(

  12. says

    Yum! I just ate a Nature Valley soft baked oatmeal square and thought ..hmm, this is good, but I bet a home made one is better! So I’ll look forward to trying your recipe :-)

    Monica.

  13. Mikea says

    I just saw a commercial and googled this. Me and the kids will make them tomorrow! I dont have parchment paper though. If i made them in paper cupcake liners do you think they would be okay? I also have silicone liners. Would that be better?

    • Mikea says

      I tried these right after having my son. I baked them in cupcake liners and froze them with the icing on top. I pulled one out in the morning and defrosted for 1 min. I have 2 toddlers and a newborn so these were great for a quick grab breakfast. They were yummy but i am a textural person. So next time i will use quick oats for the whole oats in the recipe and keep the ground oats old fashion. The icing is awesome and worth any additional calories! I plan to pipe it inside the bars next time and putting it on top. I ended up eating the extra with crackers. So yummy. I dont usually like raisins in baked goods but think it would be yummy in this. Thanks for the recipe! Trying to give 5 stars but the site will only let me give 4

      • chelseamessyapron says

        Love your ideas (especially raisins yum!) to change this in the future and so glad you liked the glaze! Thanks so much for your comment and review :)

  14. Taylor says

    These look amazing, but when I was making them I totally left out the cinnamon because it wasn’t on the instructions :(

  15. ashley says

    This is awesome! I’ve been looking for peanut butter/nut free snacks like this for my son. He starts kindergarten in a few days, and his school is 100% nut free :( Can’t wait to try these! But I don’t have oat flour….can I simply grind up more oats?!

  16. DeLancey says

    Made these tonight! (Found you by googling “soft oatmeal bar”)
    LOVED the flavor of the bar. I think next time I will either put them in a bigger pan (maybe a 9×13) or cook them longer – they were a bit underdone (which I didn’t discover until they were very cool). Also, the icing was VERY gritty. I think next time I’ll just do a powdered sugar/milk glaze. But thanks for the recipe! I’ll tweak it to my liking by adding raisins/craisins/nuts next time. Mmm!

    • chelseamessyapron says

      SO glad to hear you liked the flavor!! And sorry to hear they were a bit underdone – ovens cook so differently! One thing you could try is sticking a toothpick in the center next time and if it comes out clean it’s done, if not leave it in for a little longer. But changing pan sizes sounds like a great plan too!! Yes, the icing is definitely very gritty because of all of the brown sugar :) I was trying to mimic the nature valley ones which I think are pretty gritty too :) Love your ideas for adding some different mix-ins – the crasins sound awesome! Thanks again for your comment and review :)

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