Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

I love these oatmeal butterscotch bars because they are:

a) simple.

b) deliciously different from any other bar in my recipe repertoire.

c) amazingly tasty with the magic of butterscotch combined with the wonderful browned butter flavor and light oatmeal texture.

d) utterly irresistible.

Really. These bars were devoured faster than you can say “buttery butterscotch bars” five times fast. They are so light and chewy and yummy that I seriously dare you to eat just one. And if your chocolate-loving heart is screaming “NO!” to the lack of chocolate…don’t fret. These would be out of this world with an additional light drizzle of chocolate on top to make friends with the butterscotch glaze.

Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

Yield: Makes 18-24 bars

Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Glaze:
  • 1/4 cup butterscotch chips
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Line a 9X13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, letting the foil hang over the each short edge by one or two inches. Lightly grease the foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Place the 3/4 cup butterscotch chips in a large bowl. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat and let the butter cook until golden brown in color, about 10 minutes, taking care not to burn. Pour the hot butter over the butterscotch chips and whisk together until melted and smooth. Whisk in the brown sugar until combined. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. STir in the lfour mixture, just until incorporated.
  3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top, spreading the batter evenly to the edges. Bake the bars until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 16-18 minutes.
  4. While the bars bake, place the 1/4 cup butterscotch chips, brown sugar, water and salt in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave the mixture until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes on 50% power. Whisk to combine well.
  5. Drizzle the glaze over the warm bars. Let the bars cool completely in the pan. Remove the bars from the pan using the foil overhang and cut into squares. Serve.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Cook’s Country Cookbook

53 Responses to Oatmeal Butterscotch Bars

  1. Bailey says:

    Hubster is the sweet freak in this house and will usually only eat sweets after 8 pm….until I made this recipe. Removed from oven less than one hour ago and already he’s gone back for 3 pieces. Absolutely delicious!!!! Thx

  2. gale says:

    These were a big hit at school with the teachers and my students! Loved the limited amount of ingredients these require. Was able to make with what I had in my kitchen…I didn’t have dark brown sugar and they were still amazing with light brown sugar. I also had to bake them longer, but only about about 5 mins.

  3. Kedith Blair says:

    Thanks for sharing your recipe I tried them and my family loves them.

  4. […] (Recipe adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe) […]

  5. Mel says:

    Debi – sorry your bars took longer to bake! Hope they still turned out…I’m not sure why you had that issue, maybe oven temp is off somehow?

  6. debi says:

    Still waiting for mine to cook in the middle after 21 minutes. Why do bars go like this so often? What happened?

  7. Cathy says:

    Everytime I make these (3 times and counting) everyone LOVES them! so easy, just hard to wait for them to cool! 🙂

  8. Rachael K says:

    Thanks for responding to my question so fast!! I had a church activity to go to, so since I knew I wouldn’t be at as high of a risk of consuming the whole pan of goodies myself I made these with the full amount of butter. Wow! They taste amazing! They seem a little crumbly, so using less butter would probably make them even more dry. I don’t think this is a recipe I’d want to alter. Thanks so much for your website! I use at least one of your recipes every week!

  9. Mel says:

    Rachael – I’ve only ever made them with the full amount of butter so you’ll have to experiment if you want to cut down on it.

  10. Rachael K says:

    I was getting ready to make this recipe, but noticed it calls for 2 sticks of butter. That seems like too much butter to me… Would I ruin the recipe if I cut back on the butter a little bit? One stick seems reasonable for a batch of cookies or cookie bars, or maybe even a stick and a half. I just know I am going to end up eating most of these myself (I have such a sweet tooth) and I don’t want to think about all that butter and the calories.

  11. Mel says:

    That’s a good question, Jennifer! I’m not sure…but it’s worth a try. I think it has a chance to work – I’m just not sure how the peanut butter chips melt the same way as the butterscotch chips. Let me know if you attempt it!

  12. Jennifer Warren says:

    Mel-hi there, these look awesome…I was wondering if you’ve ever tried or would recommend trying these with peanut butter chips for both the bars and glaze. I’m sure they are delicious with butterscotch but I had an oatmeal/peanut butter bar (that looks similar to your picture actually) a while back and it was unbelieveable. I would love to try to duplicate it. Thoughts?

  13. Valerie says:

    I just made these over the weekend and they were spectacular! (Notice I said ‘were’, they didn’t last very long.)
    Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  14. Lauren S. says:

    Oh also, to the comment above asking about light brown sugar – I read the recipe wrong and used light brown – it was still really tasty. Next time I’ll try with all dark though.

  15. Lauren S. says:

    These were soooo good. I *forgot* my bf does not like butterscotch so I ended up having to eat the ENTIRE pan myself, lol. I don’t like when people change recipes but I threw a handful of sweetened shredded coconut into mine – OMG good. I don’t know how much it added to the deliciousness since I didn’t taste them without coconut – but if anyone wants to add it it does not detract from the recipe at all 😀

  16. tonya says:

    Made these today. I’m in love.

    Also made your cookie dough truffles today. My husband is in love.

  17. Shannon says:

    How do you think these would work with light brown sugar? I’m out of town for the holidays and my parents don’t have any dark….

    • Mel says:

      Shannon – I’d say go for it. If your parents have any molasses, add a tablespoon with the light brown sugar to make up for the lack of dark brown.

  18. Loy says:

    Well, I got sidetracked and didn’t get these made back in May, but I did make them this week. Can I say wonderful, decadent. marvelous. All those things. I am posting a link to these in my Cooking from the Blogs post today. Thanks so much for a great recipe.

  19. Jennifer Smith says:

    These are great!!! No. These are INCREDIBLE. Even when I got distracted by children halfway through the prep process and forgot the egg. Ya, that is how I roll. Had to drizzle chocolate…because nothing leaves my kitchen without it. Thanks Mel…you genius!

  20. Felicia says:

    I made these when we were having some friends over and loved them! Thanks for the recipe!

  21. jackie says:

    These are to die for. Seriously. I didn’t realize until after I made them that they are an oatmeal scotchie cookie baked into a bar that is so good we ate half the pan while it was still hot . . .out of the pan. With a fork . . .no stopping 🙂 I told my husband he had to make dinner because everytime I walk into the kitchen, I eat more of these things! Thank you for the recipe 🙂

  22. These were a huge hit with my entire family this past weekend. Almost everyone that tried them requested the recipe. Thank you for a great new family favorite!

  23. Cammee says:

    I loooooooove that these don’t have any chocolate! They sound perfect and have placed themselves at the top of my must make list.

  24. Tami says:

    These are divine. Pretty much eating the whole pan myself.

  25. These look like wonderful bars!! Can I feature them on Friday Favs this week?

  26. Elisabeth says:

    These were fabulous! I really enjoyed them.

    I used some whole wheat flour as a substitute for some of the white flour and then cut back a little bit on the oatmeal b/c I only had old-fashioned, not quick cooking oats.

    Do you think coconut would be good in these? Maybe 1/4 cup or so in place of some of the oats?

    Great recipe! Thank you for posting it!

    • Mel says:

      Elisabeth – yes, I think coconut would be awesome in these bars! I’d probably do what you suggested but sub in 1/2 cup coconut but only decrease the oats by 1/4 cup so you still have substance to soak up the liquid.

  27. Jennifer G. says:

    I’m not a fan of butterscotch chips in cookies. It seems to fake tasting and strong. I do love oatmeal though and decided to make these for my kids. Wow, so good and the butterscotch does not have an artificial taste when melted into the other ingredients. Thanks for a great recipe. They are so moist I think they will mail well to my son @ college. We can’t stop eating these!

  28. Jolie says:

    Oh, my, these are so WONDERFULLY AMAZING!! I am have become a believer in your Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies and now these bars–even without chocolate. They are delicious. Scrumptious. I have eaten way too many ( I always share my baking w/neighbors, but not these. No way!)…and I’m going to go eat one more!

  29. Heather says:

    I made these today with Old Fashioned Oats (is that regular??) – anyway, the oats are quite large. They turned out great. I think maybe a bit more ‘delicate’ than they’d be with regular, as they tend to crumble a bit – not as compact looking as yours. They were so delicious! And buttery! Thanks for another great recipe!! (I’ve made 2 of yours this week alone – and both were fabulous!)

  30. Bonny says:

    This might be a stupid question but will this work with margarine?

    • Mel says:

      Bonny – I don’t know because I never use margarine. I’m sure it would substitute fine although I can’t vouch for the difference in flavor or texture. Let me know if you try it!

  31. Erin says:

    Oh yum. I love butterscotch anything!!! Will definitely be making these and soon!!

  32. Annie says:

    I made them last night! They bottoms were very sugary…maybe the rolled oats don’t “soak up” the sugar as quickly. What do I know though…they were SUPER yummy! I sent most of them to work with my hubby but kept a stash for myself. Next time I’ll try them with the quick oats and drizzle some dark chocolate on top as well. Great recipe!! Thanks Mel!

  33. these are THAT great eh? ill take your word for it even though it doesnt have any chocolate 😉

  34. grace says:

    what they need to reach candy bar status is a coating of chocolate between the oaty bit and the tasty glaze. i’d buy it. 🙂

  35. Annie says:

    I am so excited to make these! Do you think the recipe will work with regular (not quick cook) oats? That’s all I have on hand. Yikes!

    • Mel says:

      Annie – yes, these will work with regular oats. The bars will be a bit chewier and less dense but they will probably still work out fine. Let me know if you try them!

  36. Ummm, these sound amazing! Buttery Butterscotch are right up my alley!

  37. Yum! These look fantastic and it’s so nice to be able to say there is OATMEAL in them, makes eating two a little less indulgent!

  38. Loy says:

    Oh. Yum, Yum. I love cookies. My favorite dessert. I am the Cookie Monster’s grandmother. These combine two of my favorites-butterscotch and oatmeal. I have a stash of butterscotch chips in my refrigerator. Too bad I don’t have time to make these before I have to go to work. For sure, on the to-do l for tomorrow.

  39. Tracey says:

    I think I gain weight just from LOOKING at all of the delicious things on your blog!! I just want to eat the pictures they look so fantastic! 🙂

  40. Megan H. says:

    Confession: I have a love affair with all things butterscotch. Its flirting with the line of being a problem… But just flirting. These will be made today for sure. And I don’t know of I’ll share 🙂

  41. Michelle says:

    I think my hubby would love these! His favorite cookies are oatmeal butterscotch (so are my son’s). I’m definitely going to bake this for them soon!
    Thanks for sharing!

  42. These look wonderful! I recently made oatmeal butterscotch cookies and I’m still craving them, these may satisfy that craving. 🙂

  43. I love oatmeal desserts! Something about them makes me feel less guilty about eating 2 (ok 4 or 5) of whatever it is.

  44. My husband will be thrilled with these. He loves all things butterscotch. Thanks!

  45. Nina says:

    These look wonderful! What a great combo of oatmeal & butterscotch–yum! Definitely making these—thanks so much for this!!

  46. Hannah says:

    These make me want to forgo breakfast and skip straight to dessert! Yum…beautiful photos

  47. Kim in MD says:

    Melanie- how did you know I have been craving butterscotch? Seriously, I was at the grocery store yesterday and was standing in the candy aisle trying to find butterscotch hard candy! These bars look like the perfect recipe to satisfy my craving. YUM! Thanks so much!

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