The BEST Homemade Fig Bars (Easy Recipe with Oatmeal)

4.54 from 69 votes

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This old-fashioned fig bar recipe is fun and easy, using simple ingredients you probably already have. Besides being a great way to clean out your pantry, these homemade fig newtons can be enjoyed anytime.

No wonder these are one of our most popular dessert bar recipes!

A stack of fig bars.
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Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a novice in the kitchen, homemade fig bars are the perfect recipe to add to make today.

So what are you waiting for? Get your apron on, and let’s start baking!

About these

If you’ve tried a taste of our turtle bars, simple apple bars, Oreos cookie brownies, or even our Christmas bar cookies, you’ve probably figured out that I have a bit of a sweet tooth, especially for easy dessert recipes. We are even huge fans of no-bake dessert bars like our no bake cherry cheesecake. It’s the best!

This fig bars recipe uses wholesome ingredients like fresh or dried figs, oatmeal, and other everyday ingredients. You can easily customize them to your taste and have them ready to eat in 40 minutes.

A fig bar with a bite taken out of it.

Whether you’re looking for a sweet breakfast treat, a healthy snack, or a dessert that’s both delicious and nutritious, a fig bar recipe is a perfect choice.

Fig bar ingredients

One of the best things about this recipe for homemade fig bars is the list of simple ingredients. Take a look in your pantry. Right now!

I’ll bet you have most if not all of the things you need to put these together!

A bunch of ingredients for making homemade fig bars.
  • Butter: Softened butter is used for the crust, adding a rich buttery flavor to the bars. Make sure the butter is at room temperature before using it.
  • Sugar: Use this in the crust and filling to add sweetness. Be careful not to add too much sugar, as the dried figs are already quite sweet.
  • Vanilla: Vanilla extract is added to the crust to enhance the flavor. Use pure vanilla extract for the best flavor.
  • Flour: Like many baked things, flour is used in the crust and topping, giving the bars structure. Use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour for a healthier option.
  • Boiling Water: Boiling water is used in the filling to soften the dried figs. Use caution when working with hot liquids.
  • Dried Figs: Dried figs are used in the filling and add a sweet and chewy texture. Look for high-quality dried figs without added sugars or preservatives.
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is used in the topping to add sweetness and a caramel-like flavor. Use light or dark brown sugar, depending on your preference or whatever you have on hand!
  • Quick-Cooking Oats: Quick-cooking oats are used in the topping to add texture and crunch. Look for rolled oats that cook quickly and evenly.
  • Cold Butter: Cold butter is used in the topping to create a crumbly texture. Make sure the butter is very cold before using it, as this will help create the desired texture.
  • Optional Walnuts: Chopped walnuts are added to the topping to provide a nutty flavor and extra crunch. Use toasted walnuts for added depth of flavor, and omit them if you have a nut allergy.

How to make homemade fig bars

(See the full directions in the recipe card below.)

To make this easy dessert, start by gathering all of the ingredients we listed above for you.

A bunch of ingredients in mixing bowls.

Then, grab your mixer, a couple of mixing bowls, some measuring cups, and a baking pan. These are going to be good!

Start with the crust:

Making a crust for dessert bars.
  1. Use a large mixing bowl and combine 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1/4 cup of sugar, and the vanilla, and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.
  2. Then, beat in 1 cup flour, on low speed, until a soft dough forms.
  3. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan.
  4. Bake the crust at 350° for 10 to 15 minutes or until the center is set.

Make the filling:

Pouring a pot of hot water over some figs and spreading them on a crust.
  1. Using a 2-quart saucepan, cook the filling ingredients over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until the figs are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed.
  2. Spread the filling over the crust.

Make the topping and bake:

Making a crust for home for some dessert bars.
  1. In a small bowl, mix ¼ cup flour, the brown sugar and three tablespoons butter, using a pastry blender or fork, until crumbly.
  2. Next, stir in the oatmeal and the optional nuts.
  3. Bake the oatmeal fig bars in a preheated oven at 350°F for 35-40 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown.
  4. Allow the bars to cool before cutting them into squares with a sharp knife.

How to store these

First, be sure they are cooled to room temperature. Then, you can store these homemade fig bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

If you want to freeze them, wrap them in some kitchen wrap, and be sure to get all the air out between the bars and the plastic wrap. Store them in the freezer for up to 3 months before using them.

Substitutions and variations

Like all of our recipes, I always tell our readers to make these your own! Build this homemade fig bars recipe to fit your likes. Here are some easy ways to switch these up.

  • For a healthier option, you can use whole-wheat flour instead of all-purpose flour.
  • You can also use coconut oil instead of butter for a vegan option.
  • Instead of brown sugar, you can use maple syrup as a natural sweetener.
  • Add some fresh orange zest or lemon zest for a bright and delicious citrus flavor.

What makes these better?

There are 101 reasons why these homemade fig bars are better than anything you can buy in grocery stores. Call me old-fashioned (I’m fine with that), but for starters, I think it’s nice to know the source of your food!

A pan of fig bars.

Here are a few other reasons you need to make this recipe for homemade fig bars.

  • Freshness: Homemade fig bars are made from scratch using fresh ingredients. This makes them taste fresher and more flavorful than store-bought ones.
  • Customization: With homemade fig bars, you have the flexibility to customize the filling and the dough to your liking. You can use different types of figs or add other fruits, nuts, or spices to the filling, and you can experiment with different types of flour and sweeteners for the dough.
  • Healthier: Homemade fig bars can be made with healthier ingredients, such as whole wheat flour, honey, or maple syrup, which makes them a healthier snack option than store-bought ones that often contain high amounts of sugar, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
  • These are Less Expensive: Homemade fig bars can be more cost-effective than store-bought ones, especially if you buy the ingredients in bulk or use ingredients already in your pantry.
  • Satisfaction: Making your fig bars from scratch can be a satisfying and rewarding experience. It can also be a fun activity to do with family and friends. (Especially kids; we should know!)
A fig bar with a bite taken out of it.

Common questions

Are figs good for you?

Figs are a great source of several important nutrients. They are high in fiber, which helps promote digestive health and can also help lower cholesterol levels.

Figs also contain several vitamins and minerals, including potassium, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K.

Plus, figs are a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect your body against damage from harmful molecules called free radicals.

Can I use fig preserves or jam instead of making my own filling?

Yes. You can use store-bought fig preserves or fig jam to save time. Spread the preserves or jam a thin layer over the crust before adding the topping.

Can I make these fig bars ahead of time?

Yes, you can make these bars ahead of time and store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.

Can I use a food processor instead of a stand mixer or electric mixer?

You betchya. You can use a food processor to mix the crust ingredients. Just pulse the ingredients until a soft dough forms.

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Homemade Fig Bars Recipe

4.54 from 69 votes
This fig dessert is one of the best fig recipes you can make at home! From Betty Crocker.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients 

for the crust

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

for the filling

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup dried figs, chopped

for the topping

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray 9-inch square pan with cooking spray.
  • In small bowl, beat 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer until well blended.
  • On low speed, beat in 1 cup flour until soft dough forms.
  • Press dough in bottom of pan and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until center is set.
  • Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan, cook filling ingredients over medium-high heat 5 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until figs are tender and most of liquid is absorbed.
  • Spread over crust.
  • In small bowl, mix 1/4 cup flour, the brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter, using pastry blender or fork, until crumbly.
  • Stir in oats and walnuts. Sprinkle over filling.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes longer or until edges are bubbly and topping is light golden brown.
  • Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  • For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4 rows.

Video

Notes

A quarter cup of chopped pecan pieces, toasted may be substituted for the walnuts.
As with any dessert recipe, nut may be complete omitted with these bars.

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 21mg, Sodium: 74mg, Potassium: 91mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 260IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 27mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Holiday
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
Updated from original recipe from December 10, 2014

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Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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63 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My husband absolutely loves these! I make them a lot for him. Thank you for sharing this recipe. 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟

  2. 5 stars
    I finally found my childhood favorite treat! My mother made these when I was growing up and sadly I neve
    r got around to obtaining her recipe. This one is even better! I used old fashioned oats because that’s all I had. Turned out marvelous!!

  3. This is a good recipe. I doubled the filling. Next time I may triple. Using fresh figs, for two cups I still should have used 1/2 cup of water. Kept the sugar the same. I baked my crust for 25 minutes; it came out quite crumbly. Also, the crust needs salt if using unsalted butter. Will work on it because our fig trees are flourishing!

  4. 5 stars
    My husband came home with a small basket of fresh mission figs. I love fig Newtons but I found your recipe even more appealing. I did have over 2 cups of chopped fresh figs to play with and I decided to throwing in some chopped medjool dates in with less water as well. I let it cook down and then blended it to a less chunky paste. Honesty, the filling almost did not make it to assembly, it was so good! Fast forward an hour later…these are my new found fig favorites! Thanks for sharing!