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).
I made a batch my husband loved them I will definitely be trying it out again with different things can’t wait to do pumpkin in the fall.
That’s wonderful! Definitely delicious with pumpkin! I’d add just a smidge more sweetener with pumpkin, but I have a sweet tooth, haha.
I have made these twice so far, the first time I used oat flour and the second time whole wheat flour; both times they turned out delicious! I love that I can adjust the recipe with what I have on hand (I sub coconut for chocolate chips and walnuts and add a bit of cinnamon). I also put the bananas and the egg in the blender so it’s smooth before I add it to the mixing bowl to avoid having thick chunks of banana.
Next time I would love to try using almond flour, would 1/4 cup be ok or how much do you suggest?
Thanks again for this awesome recipe!
Hmm, almond flour has more moisture and is a bit heavier. I’m not quite sure what amount would work best without testing. I think it could work, and I might try 1/4 cup to start but I don’t want to guarantee that will work perfectly!
My 2 year old helped me make these yesterday. They are super tasty! I discovered I was out of vanilla, so I substituted a teaspoon of cinnamon. I would describe them as a stodgier banana bread (I’m guessing that’s courtesy of the oats). I actually really like the texture. I’m breastfeeding, and my baby has a milk protein intolerance, so these are the perfect treat because oats also help with milk supply. Thank you!
Glad you are enjoying the recipe Jess!
Wow! This recipe is amazing. My dad has ulcerative colitis and a sweet tooth so he’s always on the hunt for something naturally sweet. I made this recipe with cocoa powder instead of flour and emitted the baking powder.
The resulting product is like a spongy, chocolatey flapjack with the sweetness of the banana in every bite. I can see I’m going to be baking a lot of these! Thank you so much.
I clicked five stars ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ But only four are showing sorry x
I’m glad a version of this is loved by your dad too!
I made these for my daughter (who won’t eat anything unhealthy) and my nephew (who won’t eat anything healthy) . I switched the oats for oat bran 1:1, and when I finished baking them, I melted some white chocolate buds, mixed with icing sugar and spread a very thin layer across the top, then melted dark chocolate buds and did fine squiggles on top just by dipping a chopstick in the melted chocolate and slowly waving it above the slice. When the chocolate set, I cut into smaller slices, it made 16 and both fussy eaters were happy with it.
That icing sounds wonderful! I’m happy it satisfied all picky taste buds.
These were yum. I added self raising flour to make it more cake like. Put less honey and they turned out great. My 18 month old who very fussy enjoyed them. Next time I’ll add grated apple and cinnamon
Brilliant idea! Thanks for sharing this Jin.
Wow just made these – they are absolutely delicious! My wee guy has CMPA and is also allergic to anything Soya related so you can imagine the nightmare as soya flour is bumper into everything these days. These will be a lovely little treat for him thank you!
I’m so glad you both enjoyed them Karen!
What should I replace flour with ?? I want to go gluteal free and dairy free
The recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. You can use wheat flour, but the bars in the photo are made with oat flour. See the ingredients with notes. You can use another gluten-free grain flour if preferred. Just don’t swap in almond flour or coconut flour – those don’t work 1:1.
Hi can you freeze these?
Yes, they freeze well. I individually wrap them.
Wow, wow, wow! This tastes AMAZING. I used chickpea flour instead of regular flour, an egg substitute and maple syrup instead of honey to match my dietary needs. I also crumbled a loving earth creamy coconut mylk chocolate bar over the top before I popped it in the oven to be a little extra. I am definitely saving this recipe and it will be a lunch box go-to for university. Thank you!
Wow, I’m so glad it worked well with all of these changes and thank you for sharing your modifications Danielle!
Va I use coconut flour on this recipe?
Coconut flour does not swap 1:1 for other flours in recipes – it’s too dry and sucks up a lot of moisture. If you were to use coconut flour, then you would need to make quite a few other modifications to the recipe to make it work.