Recipe Idea: Oat Fudge Bars

Having the most frugal grocery budget in the world isn’t going to help you and if you can’t put together at least a few healthy, tasty, and cheap eats! Every month, The Outlier Model features a cheap recipe idea, along with the cost breakdown.

Got a Starbucks habit?  I sure do.  And nothing makes me happier than a yummy oat fudge bar to go with my coffee.  There’s fudge… there’s oats… more fudge… Really, what’s there not to like?  Well, the price for one thing.  At $1.95 a bar, that’s a steep cost to pay to get your sugar fix.  Here’s a slightly healthier homemade recipe for oat fudge bars that is pretty comparable to the squares of goodness that you can get at Starbucks.

Oat Fudge Bars

  • 1 cup butter or margarine ($3.29) 
  • 2 cups brown sugar ($0.75)
  • 2 eggs ($0.40)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (< $0.10)
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour ($0.12 a cup based on ~40 cups per 11lb bag at $4.99)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (< $0.05)
  • 3 cups quick-cooking rolled oats ($2 for a 1kg bag, less in bulk)
  • 1 (14 ounces) can sweetened condensed milk ($2.99)
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate ($2)

Set aside about 2 tablespoons of butter. Beat the remaining butter with mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. If you don’t have a mixture, you’ll need to let the butter soften and then mix it vigorously with a fork and knife for about half an hour.  Then, add brown sugar and beat until well mixed. Next, add your eggs and vanilla and mix that well.  Meanwhile, In another large bowl stir together flour, baking soda, and oats. Slowly add the dry mix to your beaten mix and set it aside.


In a medium saucepan combine the reserved butter, the sweetened condensed milk, and the chocolate. Melt this mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally. When it’s done, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.


Then, take your oat mixture and press about two-thirds of it into the bottom of an ungreased 15x10x1-inch baking pan. It doesn’t need to be done evenly and in fact, having natural grooves and ridges will give your bars an authentic look.  Spread the chocolate mixture over the oat mixture. Finally, using your fingers, dot the remaining oat mixture over the chocolate.


When that’s settled, bake the tray in a 350F degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Make sure you check on it frequently, as the bottom will tend to burn if you leave it in the oven for too long!  When it’s finished, take it out of the oven and let it sit for about 15 minutes.  When the chocolate has solidified, you can then cut it into bars and finish cooling the individual bars on a wire rack.

Servings: 36 bars

Cost per serving: 25 cents a bar, give or take

Frugal hack: It’s pretty frugal.  Consider using this recipe when you need to bring items to an office party or meeting!  It’s quick to make and literally costs cents per person.

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