Vegan one-bowl soft-baked orange cranberry oatmeal bars. They’re sweetened with maple syrup and orange juice, and tart from the flavor-packed zest of a navel orange. These plant-based oat bars are also nut-free and gluten-free if you use certified gluten-free oats. Even though oats are naturally gluten-free, they’re prone to contamination due to processing in facilities that also process gluten-containing grains.
How to Make One Bowl Oatmeal Bars
First preheat your oven, then gather all of your ingredients. Start by gently but firmly rolling your orange on the counter, this helps to get more juice out of your citrus. Then zest your orange using a Microplane, you’ll need a teaspoon of loosely packed zest.
Add the zest to the bowl along with your milk, maple syrup, vanilla, and ½ cup fresh orange juice (the juice from about 1 navel orange). If you don’t get the entire ½ cup from 1 orange, you can supplement with more dairy-free milk so you have 1 cup combined of fresh orange juice and milk together. I like to add the oats next and then measure out the rest of the dry ingredients to sit on top of my oats while I finish up.
Since this is a one-bowl dish, it does need to be stirred well to incorporate all of the ingredients.
Then pour your mixture into an 8x8 glass baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top has slightly browned and becomes firm.
More Tips for Making Orange Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
- The parchment paper isn’t required but makes it easy to lift your bars out of the baking dish, cool them, then cut them.
- Use wooden clips to hold the parchment paper in place at the corners of the glass dish (where you fold the parchment paper at the corners to make it fit and sit in the dish) while pouring the oatmeal mixture into the dish. Remove clips before placing them in the oven.
- Mixing acid and dairy-free milk is how you make vegan buttermilk. So if you combined the milk and orange juice in the same liquid measuring cup it may look as if it separated, don’t worry we’re not going to leave it long enough to fully make buttermilk. More of a tip just in case.
- Only zest the bright outside orange color of the orange, not the underneath bitter white pith (pale orange).
Tips for Freezing
- Line a baking tray with parchment paper so the oatmeal bars don’t stick to the tray. Then separate the bars on the tray and freeze until frozen or overnight. Then transfer the bars to a freezer-safe container, now that they’re individually frozen.
- Or just transfer the oatmeal bars to a freezer-safe container, separate layers with a piece of parchment paper to prevent them from freezing together, and make sure on each layer the bars are separated so they don’t freeze together either.
- When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then consume once thawed. I actually prefer them at room temperature or cold from being in the fridge.
Substitutions in Cranberry Oatmeal Bars
- Substitute fresh cranberries for dried ones, the dish will be less sweet and tarter. Cut fresh cranberries in half and quarter the larger ones, add to the mixture in place of the dried cranberries and continue with the rest of the recipe.
- Substitute the raw pumpkin seeds for walnuts or pecans.
More Oat Recipes
- Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal Bars
- Banana Nut Oatmeal Cookies
- No-Bake Cookie Dough Bites
- Apricot Energy Balls
- Carrot Cake Energy Balls
- Blueberry Walnut Baked Oatmeal Cups
- Vegan Baked Oats with Apples
Vegan one-bowl soft-baked orange cranberry oatmeal bars. They’re sweetened with maple syrup and orange juice, and tart from the flavor-packed zest of a navel orange.
- 1 teaspoon orange zest (loosely packed)
- ½ cup fresh orange juice (120 mL) (about 1 large navel orange)
- ½ cup (120 mL) dairy-free milk
- ¼ cup (60 mL) maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (190 g) old fashioned oats (rolled oats)
- ⅓ cup (50 g) dried cranberries
- ¼ cup (40 g) pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
- 2 tablespoons (13 g) ground flax-seed
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 F(180 C).
- Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper for easy removal, better cooling, and cutting.
- Mix the wet ingredients together, then add in the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly so everything is combined well.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish, smooth the oat mixture, and lightly press down making sure it’s even.
- Bake for 30-32 minutes or until the top firms up and has lightly browned. It won’t be completely firm, it should give a little but not be goopy.
- If using parchment paper, cool for about 5 minutes, then lift out the oats bars to a cooling rack. Otherwise, the bars might get soggy on the bottom.
- Then cool completely, cut into 9 squares, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator. They actually taste really good cold!
More tips and in-depth info in the blog post.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: snacks
- Method: oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: soft baked oatmal bars, oatmeal bars vegan, cranberry oatmeal bars vegan