This is a popular recipe from from a former personal blog many years ago. The original title is SuperDad Snack Bars because I made these banana oat bars for my dad when he helped us on moving day. I’ve since created a Maple Cinnamon Raisin version, too! And, after making them a bagillion times, I finally remembered to take new, bigger photos. I’m updating this post with those pictures, and other information.
Super Banana Oat Snack Bars are a Hands Down Family Favorite
Bananas and oats have to be my dad’s two favorite foods, but he shies away from baked goodies since in his mind they are all loaded with sugar and refined flours. So I created these whole-grain, naturally-sweetened banana oat bars as a snack to keep us all fueled and happy as we labored away.
My dad (and husband, and grandma (yes, she helped too!) loved these bars so much that by days end, the entire pan was gone and he asked me to make more! In terms of texture, these banana oat bars are like a cross between a snack bar and a snack cake. They aren’t overly sweet, but just sweet enough to call a virtuous treat.
I changed the name, because I didn’t want you to think that these banana oat bars are just for dads; spouses, kids, and moms will enjoy them, too! Plus, they are great for breakfasts on-the-go and lunch box treats. You can adjust the sweetener to taste and modify the add-ins. I’ve even included a cinnamon-raisin option in the recipe.
Reader Raves: Banana Oat Snack Bars
I originally shared this recipe on my old blog, where it received a ton of helpful feedback:
These are delicious! I also made a pumpkin version. Just substituted pumpkin for the banana and added a bit of extra honey and some pumpkin pie spice. YUMMMMMMM!!!! ~ Christi
I made these last night and they are amazing! My two year old and I both LOVED them! Having liked them so much (plus the fact that I love experimenting), I did another variation of them today that was great – I added 1/4 cup of peanut butter instead of the oil, and chocolate protein powder instead of the flour. The banana/chocolate/PB combo was awesome – Not allergen free, but I’m sure even more modifications could be made to make it friendly ? ~ Erin
Just thought I’d come back and say that lately, we’re making these weekly! My son loves them. I reduce the oats to 1 c and added 1/4 c of ground flaxseed. For flour, I use Buckwheat. And I add some Ghiradelli 60% dark chocolate chips ? I bought a bag of the cheap, ripe bananas and mashed them and froze them in pairs. I just take the bag out and let it defrost in the fridge, then use in the recipe. Easy!~ Marie
Special Diet Notes: Banana Oat Bars
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, optionally egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, and vegetarian.
For egg-free banana oat bars, feel free to experiment with your favorite egg replacer (perhaps even increasing the banana by 1/4 cup and adding 1/8 teaspoon baking powder for extra-banana love!). I’ve included one egg-free option in the recipe, which will work best if you are using a wheat-based flour. You can also see my Egg Substitute Guide for more options.
- 1¼ cups quick oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- ¼ cup honey or agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted or softened (or baking oil of your choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup flour (your choice of flour; I ground more gluten-free oats in my spice grinder to a flour consistency)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg (brought to room temperature if using coconut oil) or 1 Ener-G Egg Replacer
- 1 cup mashed, ripe banana (about 3 small or 2 large)
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease an 8 x 8 baking dish.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the oats, agave or honey, oil, and vanilla. Briefly set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Briefly set aside.
- Returning to your mixing bowl, stir in the egg, banana, and coconut, until everything is well combined. Stir in the reserved flour mixture (since I was using oat flour without gluten, I wasn’t worried about over-mixing. Be careful not to overmix if you are using a wheat-based flour).
- The batter will be a little thick. Spread it evenly in your greased baking dish, and pop it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool completely before cutting. Can be stored in the fridge if you like ‘em chilled (I do).
Just made these, added a tablespoon of peanut butter, plus a hand of dark chocolate buds. Absolutely delicious. Will definitely be adding to the must do recipes.
Delicious add-ins! Thanks for sharing this Phil.
I made these and when I want to eat them they’d all been eaten by the kids!! Great recipe, although the quantity did not fill the size tin recommended. Second batch i doubled and used ground almonds instead of flour, almond extract instead of vanilla and added nuts, raisins and seeds with the banana – delicious!!
So glad you enjoyed them Sarah! You can definitely bake in a smaller pan if you like them thicker 🙂
I made these but added a couple teaspoons of cinnamon and a couple grated apples instead of the coconut and they were FANTASTIC! Everyone loved them!
That’s great! Thank you for sharing your modifications Rachel!
What can l sub the coconut with
I’d read the comments for suggestions, a few people have substituted the coconut. You can simply omit it. And here is a version of this recipe without the coconut -> https://www.godairyfree.org/recipes/cinnamon-raisin-banana-oat-bars
These are really great and surprisingly sweet! I added chopped almonds and walnuts.
Glad you enjoyed them Julie! Thanks so much for your feedback 🙂
Turned out amazing! Kids had them for their lunch snack every day for a week and wanted more!!:)
Thanks for the feedback Crystal! I always consider kid votes to be very high praise.
These are yummy! I didn’t have coconut on hand so I added a few sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg instead, and to make it vegan and gluten free I used a chia egg and gf oats and gf all purpose flour. I may add chopped walnuts or pecans next time.
Thanks for sharing your successful modifications Suzanne and glad to hear it worked well for you egg-free, too!
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Just made these. Only change I made was replacing coconut for grated apple, added a little more oats as apple was very moist. They turned out amazing, hoping my toddler likes them too. Will test them out when he wakes from his nap =) (if there’s any left. He he)
Thank you for sharing your modifications Sarah – I hope your little guy liked them, too!
Just wondering how long the bars would keep for? Thanks 🙂
Being completely honest, they’ve never been around longer than 2 days in our house! That said, they should last at least a few days (depending on your climate), and can be frozen for longer.
Thank you very much
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These were delicious and super easy to make. Thanks for a great recipe that I will definitely make again!
Glad you enjoyed Kati!
Do you know if this recipe would work with regular gluten free oats? I’ve never seen gluten free quick oats
Hi Hope, gf quick oats are out there! Rolled oats should work, but will have a chewier result.
You can just pulse your oats in a food processor for a few seconds to break them down some 😉
I was wondering if you know how many calories these are. I’m on a 1200 cal diet and don’t like too many calories on one item for breakfast cause I eat a yogurt in addition to an low cal item.
No I don’t off hand – there are a few good websites out there for calculating calories.
Can anything be substituted for the coconut, or could it be left out without changing the outcome too much?
If I double for a 9×13 pan, do you know bake time?
I think you could omit or use any other add-in including more oats.
These turned out great, replaced the honey with unsweetened apple sauce, Whole wheat plain flour and accidently added 1tsp baking soda, also added 1/4 cup coconut. and 1/4 cup raisins .. Turned out like a very delicious moist , surprisingly sweet loaf type cake . Will definitely make again!
Ps, I also used a chia egg!
Oh, good to know, thank you!
Loved these, such a fabulous texture, and not very sweet at all! I used toasted quinoa flour (can’t stand its taste otherwise!) We added a few chocolate chips. Will definitely make these again Alisa, thank you!
So glad you enjoyed the recipe Tessa. Good to know that quinoa flour works well, too!
I dumped everything in one bowl and mixed with a hand mixer and let it sit for a few minutes. I used extra thick oats and almond flour. Yummy!
Just bookmarked this one, it looks super nutritious and yummy. It is so hard to find good GF recipes that the children truly like. Thank you.
Beautiful, Alisa! I can imagine just how good these are. 🙂 I will make them for sure. 😉
I love this combination of ingredients–a classic! They look super moist, too. 🙂