Oatmeal Fudge Bars

Yield: 8-12 bars

This recipe has been a favorite since my graduate school roommate, Melinda (Harvey) Shallcross, shared it with me in the early 80s. (I went to graduate school right out of high school–not!) When I became vegan a few years ago, after being vegetarian for a long, long, time, I thought I’d eaten my last Oatmeal Fudge Bar, not so much because the dough had an egg in it–that’s easy to veganize–but because the filling contained condensed milk. However, you may recall that, not too long ago, I experimented with “old-school” 7-Layer Bars by substituting Cream of Coconut for the condensed milk and they were perfect.

In the mood to bake today and with a can of Cream of Coconut in the pantry, I started reviewing my mental recipe files for other favorites formerly made with condensed milk. When I got to these creamy-chewy wonders, I knew they were what I would whip up. Again, the Cream of Coconut was the answer; the bars were as good as I remembered. I promise you, they will be a big hit with whomever you choose to serve them to, including kids. They’re school lunchbox sensations.

Oatmeal Layer

1/2 cup vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (you may use part whole wheat flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (not necessary if your vegan butter is salted)
2 cups oats

Fudge Layer

6 ounces vegan semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (normally, I prefer dark chocolate, but semi-sweet seems to provide a better balance in this recipe)
1 tablespoon vegan butter (I like Earth Balance)
1/3 cup Cream of Coconut (not coconut milk)
1/4 teaspoon salt (not necessary if your vegan butter is salted)

Oil a 9 x 9-inch metal baking pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make oatmeal layer: Cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high. Beat in vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, if using. Beat on low speed, just until combined. Stir in oats until well distributed. Remove one cup and set aside. Pat remainder into an even layer in prepared pan.

Make fudge layer: place all ingredients in small microwave safe bowl. Heat for about 20 seconds or until chocolate is melted and whisk until smooth. (You may heat the mixture in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat if you prefer.) Pour over oatmeal layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle top with reserved oatmeal mixture. Bake 25 minutes or until surface is golden brown. Cool completely and cut into bars. Store leftovers tightly covered. You may refrigerate if you like.

Source: I veganized this recipe from Beth Young via Melinda Harvey Shallcross.

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12 comments

  1. those fudge bars look amazing!!

  2. Okay, true confession: I haven't been eating much lately and so I allowed myself two of them today (though I had small amounts of healthy things too)–yikes. They really are good. I hope you enjoy!

  3. Oh goodness, those look fantastic! Seing all these lovely baked goods is really making my no-baking plan difficult to stick to.
    The cream of coconut is a very useful tidbit. I have several family recipes that call for sweetened condensed milk that I haven't had much luck veganizing. I will definitely give that a try.
    -K

  4. I hear you, K; I generally try not to bake unless I'm taking the finished product somewhere to share with others. But, yesterday, I just couldn't resist, so now I need to think of an occasion to share them lest I consume them all!

    I don't know what made me think of the Cream of Coconut a while back–probably desperation–as I too have found substitute condensed milk recipes on line, none of which did the trick.

    Do share some of those family recipes. 🙂

    ~B

  5. Haha, if I bake, I have to promise myself that I will eat maybe one or two, and the rest goes in the freezer, for when I REALLY want it.

    Anyway, these sound AMAZING!!! They sell condensed soy milk now, but the cream of coconut sounds like a better alternative!

  6. You have more self-control than me–I've been known to eat frozen cookies! I've not found condensed soy milk in our area–Philadelphia is surely a lot more progressive then here in terms of vegan food–but the Coconut Cream works great. However, I'm glad to know the other exists and will keep an eye out. Cheers!

  7. The Voracious Vegan

    You have totally outdone yourself with this! YUMMY! Anything with fudge filling is definitely going to get made in my kitchen. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

  8. There must be a communal chocolate craving occurring among women, as this recipe has garnered quite a few responses. Thanks for yours. You won't be disappointed!

  9. What could you substitute instead of the cream of coconut? My son is not only allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts and treenuts, but coconut also. Any suggestions?

  10. Just found your lovely blog and HAD to stop to comment on these bars! They look fantastic–I am sure I couldn't limit myself to "just" two! 😉 What a great recipe. I'm bookmarking this so I can bake it up for a special occasion. 🙂

  11. Hello Wolfe Pack~
    Gina, a few comments back, said that there is a soy condensed milk on the market. I've not seen it here, but we're not a big metropolitan area, so hopefully it's available where you live. Otherwise, I'm afraid I don't have suggestions that I've actually tried. So sorry. You could probably beat the melted vegan chocolate and vegan butter together with some Silken firm tofu and maybe just a pinch of flour. I make my cheesecakes that way. I'd try just substituting 1/3 cup of the tofu for the Cream of Coconut. The consistency might not be exactly the same, but probably quite close. Good luck. Please let me know if you try it and it works.
    Best,
    ~Betsy

  12. Rikki~
    I just visited YOUR blog and added you to my blogroll. Anyone that's all about "Diet, Dessert and Dogs" is a friend of mine! Seriously, it's a terrific site. I'm so glad we found each other.
    ~Betsy

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