Gluten and Dairy Free Oat Bars [Starbucks Copycat]

Starbucks-like oat bars

By Julie Prescesky of Love it. Learn it. Make it.

One busy afternoon I had promised my son we’d stop by a Starbucks for an oat bar, and wouldn’t you know, we ran out of time!  I just couldn’t make it happen. To quell his disappointment—and, to be frank, my mommy guilt—I searched online for something resembling what Starbucks offered. I came across a post delivering just what I needed.

It saved the day, actually, and we haven’t had a Starbucks oat bar since. Over the last several months I’ve made these countless times, altering it along the way to suit my family’s needs. (We have mild dairy and gluten intolerances and try to avoid corn syrup.)  After many attempts and surveying of my kids and their friends, this is what I came up with (and it’s always been a tremendous hit, by the way).

GF and Dairy free oat bars

Gluten and Dairy Free Oat Bars

Oats aren’t guaranteed gluten free, but you can find GF varieties, like this one. And you lovely people with perfectly functioning digestive tracts, don’t be fooled by the GF/DF title, these suckers are good— - like, “Mmm, pass me another” good.

Recipe: (I try to use organic ingredients when I can)
4 cups oats
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
½ cup coconut oil (about 65g or 2.3oz) or go ahead and use butter, you non DFers
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
1 tsp vanilla


Blended oats in Blendtec

Put 2 cups of the oats in your blender and pulse until fine. It only takes me about a 4-second pulse to accomplish this in my Blendtec.  Mix the ground oats with the remaining 2 cups of oats in a medium sized bowl. Add salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Combine the remaining ingredients, except the vanilla, in a small sauce pan and heat to a boil. Let boil for approximately 2 minutes and 15 seconds. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour liquid mixture into the oats mixture and stir until combined.

Press into a greased 7x13 glass dish or other pan of a similar size. Refrigerate for ½ hour to firm up, then cut and enjoy! For a more decadent treat, make a dairy free chocolate topping by melting the following ingredients in a saucepan: (You can also throw caution to the wind and just melt chocolate chips!)

Oat bars_Starbucks copycat

Chocolate topping ingredients: 
¼ cup coconut oil
1-2 tbsp honey 2 tbsp cocoa powder

Spread over top of the pressed oats and refrigerate for ½ hour.

Give some to your children and friends, and hide the rest for yourself. They won’t last long. Not a bad way to eat oats!  And yes, we do eat them at breakfast time on occasion.   Julie is a homeschooling mother of three. She is also an illustrator, graphic designer, writer, maker and other such things. You can learn more about Julie on either of her sites: Design in Karnation and Love it. Learn it. Make it.


  • Jeena

    A year later still our top treat! I have started to blend nuts into the oat bar and tastes good!

  • jeena

    To die for!!!!!!

  • Julie

    Jenny! It has been such a hit here. I make it every week for the kids in our homeschool group. They gobble it up every time. Thank you so much for posting it in the first place. :)

  • Jenny

    So glad to hear that you and your family have enjoyed this recipe and happy to see that you’ve made your own modifications. :)

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