Breakfast Bars With Oats and Coconut Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Michelle Palazzo and Peter Edris

Adapted by Melissa Clark

Breakfast Bars With Oats and Coconut Recipe (1)

Total Time
1 hour, plus cooling and at least 6 hours’ chilling
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A little like granola bars with their combination of oats, seeds, almond butter and dried cherries, these cookies — adapted from the chefs Michelle Palazzo and Peter Edris of Frenchette Bakery — have a soft and chewy texture rather than a crunchy snap. Perfect for a breakfast on the run or an afternoon nibble, they are lightly sweet and decidedly filling. At the bakery, the dough is baked into large, individual cookies, but, in this slightly simpler version, the dough is pressed into a 9-inch pan and baked into bars. (To make cookies, see the note below.) —Melissa Clark

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Yield:18 bars

  • ¾cup/180 milliliters smooth almond butter, at room temperature
  • ½cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  • cup/73 grams light brown sugar
  • 3tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
  • 1large egg, beaten, at room temperature
  • 1egg white, at room temperature
  • ½teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½teaspoon vanilla paste or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1⅔cups/146 grams rolled oats
  • ¾teaspoon baking soda
  • cup/28 grams unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼cup/37 grams dried cherries (or another soft, plump dried fruit)
  • 3tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 2tablespoons shelled sunflower seeds
  • tablespoons flax seeds
  • tablespoons sesame seeds

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (18 servings)

189 calories; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 5 grams monounsaturated fat; 3 grams polyunsaturated fat; 20 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 12 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 98 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Breakfast Bars With Oats and Coconut Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using a handheld mixer and a large bowl, cream almond butter, granulated and brown sugars, and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add egg, egg white, salt and vanilla, and mix until well incorporated, occasionally scraping the side and bottom of bowl, about 1 minute longer.

  2. Step


    Put oats in a small bowl, sift the baking soda over them, and beat into almond butter mixture. With the mixer on low speed, stir in coconut flakes, cherries and seeds until thoroughly mixed. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly against the surface of the dough (still in the bowl) and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days. (This allows the oats to hydrate.)

  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a metal 9-inch square baking pan with butter and line it with parchment paper, leaving about 2 inches to hang over 2 sides of the pan and use as handles later. Grease the parchment paper as well.

  4. Step


    Scrape dough into the prepared baking pan. Lightly grease a large spatula and firmly press the mixture into the pan in an even layer. Bake until the surface is light golden brown and firm, 25 to 30 minutes.

  5. Step


    Transfer to a rack and allow bars to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, use a butter knife or small offset spatula to cut along the inside edges of the pan and release the bars. Using the parchment paper overhang, lift bars out of the pan and place them on a cutting board. Cut into 18 bars. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


  • To make these into cookies rather than bars, drop ¼-cup measures of the dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake until golden at the edges, 10 to 15 minutes.



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Cooking Notes


I have to chuckle when I see recommendations to make a dish healthier by swapping out granulated sugar for maple syrup, agave syrup, honey, and the like. Your body won't know the difference. Sugar is sugar, regardless of the form it takes, and we eat far too much of it. In my experience, you can cut the sugar (in whatever form) in NYTimes recipes by half and they are still plenty sweet.


My experience with baking in general: most dessert recipes are too sweet for our taste. Certain things — where the sugar does not seem to be essential to the chemical reactions inherent in baking — can be made with 1/2 the sugar just omitted with no substitute. This seems to be one of those recipes.


I make a similar recipe frequently and and for sweetener use ~1Tbsp of honey plus 6 dates lightly softened in water then pureed in the food processor. With that extra moisture you might need to cut back on the nut butter a bit, or perhaps add some chia seeds to gel up the dough. The inclusion of vanilla helps it seem sweeter since we associate that flavor with baked treats — I like to also put in some cinnamon and orange zest for a similar affect.


Before I made these, I was looking for a review that said “Perfect! Just as Melissa said to make them.” I didn’t see one, so I am adding mine: “Perfect! Just as Melissa said to make them.”


Any substitutes hear for the sugar? Would love to make these but I’d rather go for something naturally sweet!


Dear Melissa, I love your recipes, flavour combinations etc. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with your metabolism. Neither do I share the self-control to "nibble on a bar all afternoon". I therefore skipped the white sugar all together and ended up with a deliciously sweet but not cloying cookie that I don't regret eating 2 at a time.

Sheila Datt, Integrative Nutrition Coach

Beware the breakfast bar, the protein bar, that serves as a sneaky carrier for too much sugar. I'm sure these are delicious but not suitable for starting your day on a roller coaster ride of blood sugar imbalance. On top of rolled oats which is a refined carb, and close to a cup (!) of refined sugar, this recipe should fall under dessert.For those seeking a low sugar alternative, cut the sugar by half and add in a couple diced dates (remember to remove the pits).


Why not press the fresh dough into the prepared baking pan and THEN refrigerate? Boy, would that be easier. It’s hard to manipulate the chilled dough.


I don't understand the hand-wringing about the sugar in this recipe -- if you think the processed sugar is too much, decrease it or substitute something else. That said, having made these last night, we think they're perfect as is, easy and delicious.

Little buddy

Grind your flax seeds


I veganized this, because we are, and adjusted for what I had on hand.1/4 C almond butter1/2 C peanut butter3 Tbsp vegan butter1/2 org white sugar1 ripened banana1 flax egg (1 T grnd flax seed + 3 T H2O, set 5 m)1/2 tsp salt2 tsp vanilla extract1-2/3 C Montana Wheat GF oats3/4 tsp baking powder1/4 C raisins1/8 C chia seeds1/4 C sunflower seeds1/4 pumpkin seedsFollowed rest of recipe.It turned out a beautiful golden brown. Cooling right now. Hubby can’t wait.


I have diabetes and my partner usually replaces white sugar with monk fruit and brown sugar with coconut sugar, i believe they're each a 1:1 replacement.


For me this is too much sugar - especially in the morning, & especially for children. I would think it could be cut substantially and still have a complex, tasty breakfast bar. Has anyone tried that? I do love Melissa, but I always have to reduce her sugar & fat proportions.


Certainly cut the sugar if you want, but one of these bars contains only 1/18th of the total amount of sugar, or any of ingredients


It's only a third cup of coconut. I would just add more oats or fruit instead.


These are delicious and a keeper! I did halve the white sugar. As to baking, after 25min they were nowhere near done, but had to pop out. Turned oven off. Back after 20min. Not done, but more evenly browned. Oven on again. 10 min later not quite done, but again needed to pop out (school morning!). Turned oven off again. Back after 20min Came out perfect! Evenly cooked. Maybe will try a longer slower cook than the recipe says. The cookie version could be good - the drier side bits are the best!


Next time I might add two whole eggs - these were not altogether structurally sound for me! Though I do think that my rolled oats are on the thicker side which may have contributed.

Breakfast bars

If I make again, consider adding the amount of sugar indicated or at least more than 1/3 cup of each.

Lucy dierks

Used crunchy peanut butter and allulose brown and white sugars. Did not rest the dough for 6 hours. Baked right away and it's good-- made 28 round cookies. Also used kodiak high protein oats. tasted great.

Julia Broxholm

We also dislike overly sweet baked goods and found that 1/2 cup brown sugar was plenty sweet. I also followed suggestions to increase the nut butter to 200 grams and use two whole eggs - both excellent ideas. The only seeds I had were poppy seeds, so I added toasted, chopped pecans, and dried cranberries instead of cherries. Delicious! Just what I was looking for in a breakfast bar/snack cake.


This bars were incredible and exactly what I was looking for…to be honest I adjusted the recipe to fit what I wanted. A hearty “healthish” treat. Added:-1/4 c AP flour -3 bananas -Omitted white sugar and added 2 tbs of extra brown sugar -1/4 c millet -1/2 dark chocolate-1 c apricots-1/2 c prunes-cinnamonDid I wait 6 hours before baking? No I didn’t have the patience. Did I dramatically alter the recipe. Yes. But it turned out exactly how I wanted. Great base recipe to build off of.


Delicious as written and filling. Next time, I’ll add more dried cherries and might try coconut oil in place of butter for flavor.


I take these on long runs for a delicious, soft alternative to prepackaged energy bars. They are always a hit when I share them! Next time I’ll replace some of the poppy seeds with chia.


I'm not sure what happened. I chilled for 6 hours, cooked the recipe as written, but baked for 35 minutes total. It looked crispy and golden brown on top. When I cut into it, after letting it cool completely, it broke apart into delicious 'gravel'. A few held their bar shape - mostly the corner pieces. Ingredient swaps were subbing 1/2 cup date paste for the granulated sugar & used hemp seeds instead of poppy seeds. Maybe the date paste made it too moist? Still super tasty.


subbed peanut butter for almond butter, chia seeds for flax, and prunes for cherries and it was still lovely! Also quartered the sugar because why make it so sweet lol


Use 7x11 aluminum pan - fine

Jen P.

I've made this numerous times and just realized I never let the dough chill for 6 hours. IMHO it doesn't matter. They're still delicious. I like to add chocolate chips and sliced almonds too.


I made these into muffins and they turned out great! I'm not a big fan of sweet breakfasts so I halved the sugar and felt they were just sweet enough. Next time I think I will grind up half of the oats so they bind better and don't crumble as much while eating.


Delicious! I cut out the brown sugar, used crunchy peanut butter, added 2 really ripe bananas, threw in some sliced almonds and left them in the fridge overnight in a Pyrex dish so I wouldn’t need to transfer before baking. Let them sit out for about half an hour before popping them into the oven for 35 mins. Came out really soft. Definitely making them again!


Good. Used cranberries and peanut butter. Instead of white and brown sugar used scant 1/2 turbinado sugar. Used ground flax seed. Also put in pan prior to refrigeration.


Fabulous recipe - made as written.

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Breakfast Bars With Oats and Coconut Recipe (2024)
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