Transform pantry staples into this amazing Fig Bars recipe that pack protein, whole grains, and delicious flavor into one bar. These have similar flavor to store bought bars, but with less sweetness and more satisfying nutrients. YUM.

fig bars cut on parchment paper

Fig Bars

Fig bars have long been one of our favorite snacks and while I sometimes buy them at the store, I am slightly obsessed with this homemade version. Made with a simple dried fig filling, these bars are hearty enough to be a meal with a side of fruit, or can be a smaller mini meal or snack—depending on the portion. They taste similar to Fig Newtons, but are a little more filling.

They are made primarily with pantry staples and store so well in the fridge or freezer. Best of all? They have pure fig taste. (And you don’t need an electric mixer or any fancy cooking gear to make them.)

These are one of our favorite make-ahead breakfasts and homemade snacks, for sure!

(You may also like my Breakfast Bars and my Easy Granola Bars.)

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Ingredients You Need

To make this bar recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients so you know what to have on hand.

ingredients for fig bars on countertop
  • Dried figs: I used dried golden figs, but any kind will work including Mission figs and black figs. You’ll want to remove the stems and pack them tightly into the measuring cup. I use dried figs over fresh figs since it’s faster to get the sticky, jam filling ready to add to the recipe.
  • Orange juice: We use this to plump up the dried figs to make them easy to blend. It also adds flavor.
  • Rolled oats: You can start with old fashioned rolled oats or instant oats. You can also use oat flour if that’s what you have.
  • Honey: Honey adds a little sweetness to the crust. You can use maple syrup if you prefer (or for kids under age 1.)
  • Whole-wheat flour: You can use all-purpose or a gluten-free cup for cup flour if you prefer, too.
  • Nut or seed butter: You can use almond, peanut, or sunflower seed butter. (Or 1 egg.)
  • Milk: Dairy or nondairy milk works here so you can use the one that works for your family.
  • Vanilla extract: This adds a nice note of flavor to the batter, so I recommend adding it. You can use pure vanilla or imitation extract.
  • Cinnamon: The flavor combination of the figs and cinnamon is really yummy so I like to add some cinnamon to the batter.
  • Baking powder: This helps the crust rise ever so slightly.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Here’s a look at how to make this recipe so you know what to expect. Scroll down to the end of the post for the full information, including the amounts and the timing.

how to make fig bars step by step in grid of four.
  1. Add the figs to a small saucepan with the orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn off the heat and cover. The figs will absorb most of the liquid.
  2. Transfer the figs to a blender and blend into a thick fig jam.
  3. Mix together the crust ingredients until a thick dough forms It should hold together when pressed between your fingers. Set aside a little of the batter to go on top of the bars.
  4. Place the remaining batter into the bottom of the prepared square pan and press down evenly to cover.
  5. Spread the fig jam on top.
  6. Crumble the remaining dough over the fig jam and press down slightly. Bake.
how to make fig bars step 5 and 6 in grid.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do fig bars need to be refrigerated?

No, they do not need to be refrigerated. I usually store them in the fridge to increase how long they stay fresh though and I would recommend that they go into the fridge after about 3 days so they don’t dry out or get stale before you can eat them all.

Are fig bars healthy?

These fig bars have a mix of nutrients and are very filling. They’re a great option for breakfast or snack.

Which type of figs works best here?

You can use any variety of dried fig. I used golden ones here, which are a pretty light color. The flavor is similar from any of them though. Just remove the stems before you start the recipe.

fig bars cut and placed in plastic container

How to Store

Store this homemade snack bar in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. Or freeze in a zip top freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature or in the fridge. (They freeze really well!)

You can also wrap each bar individually with plastic wrap or parchment paper (seal with tape) to make them easy to pack in a lunch box.

(These are similar to my Breakfast Bars, though with a distinct fig flavor that is delish.)

fig bars cut on parchment paper with hand holding bar

Best Tips for Success

  • If you want them a little softer, serve them at room temperature rather than chilled.
  • Line the pan with parchment paper so the bars are easy to lift out of the pan and slice.
  • You can use almond butter instead of peanut butter.
  • If the base mixture seems crumbly and isn’t holding together well, add a tablespoon or two of water and that should take care of it!
  • Nut-free: Use sunflower seed butter or an egg.
  • Gluten-free: Use gluten free flour blend and certified gluten free rolled oats.
  • You can use instant oats or oat flour. Or grind rolled oats briefly in a food processor or blender.
  • Use store-bought fig jam to save a few steps in these homemade fig bars.

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fig bars cut on parchment paper

Favorite Fig Bars

Transform pantry staples into these amazing Fig Bars that pack protein, whole grains, and delicious flavor into one bar. These have similar flavor to store bought bars, but with less sweetness and more satisfying nutrients. YUM.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 39 minutes
Cuisine American
Course Breakfast
Calories 133kcal
Servings 12

Ingredients

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Instructions

  • Remove the stems from the figs. Add to a small saucepan with the orange juice. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer the figs to a food processor or blender. Add ¼ of the orange juice from the pot. Blend into a thick fig jam.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8×8-inch baking sheet with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhang on two sides so you can easily lift the bars out when they’re cooled.
  • Place the oats into a bowl and mix with the remaining ingredients except the fig jam. You may need to use your hands to get it mixed well. (It should hold together when pressed between your fingers. If it's crumbly add 1-2 tablespoons additional milk.)
  • Set aside ¾ cup of the batter. This will go on top of the bars.
  • Place the remaining batter into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and press down evenly to cover. Spread the fig jam on top.
  • Crumble the remaining dough over the fig jam and press down slightly.
  • Bake for 22-24 minutes, remove from oven, and let cool completely in the pan. When cooled, lift the bars out using the parchment paper and slice into bars.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar, Calories: 133kcal, Carbohydrates: 25g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 1mg, Sodium: 37mg, Potassium: 113mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 9IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Rate in the comments and tag @yummytoddlerfood on IG!

This recipe was first published September 2022.

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Comments

  1. Haven’t tried this recipe yet, but wondering if I can use fresh figs instead? If so, how many/how much?

  2. 5 stars
    I can’t get the crumble to come out like the pictures but these have been a huge hit with my toddler and so much less sugar than the fig bars we get at Costco

  3. 5 stars
    I made these today and they turned out great! Kind of a PB&J flavor, really yummy! I’m hoping to make another batch or two to freeze and have on hand when I’m postpartum in November.

  4. 5 stars
    Looks so great! I love the jam bar bar recipe so I can’t wait to try this one too! Thoughts on whether dates might work in place of figs? Love figs, but I have a bag of dried dates that I can’t seem to get rid of and my kiddo never likes energy balls (which is what I bought the bag of dates to make originally).

    1. I think pitted dates would likely work similarly with a slightly different flavor. I haven’t tried it, but my best guess is that it should.

      1. 5 stars
        Yes I make date bars with medjools and a bit of lemon juice with the water…then blend with an immersion blender. thanks for all your clever ideas.

    1. I think you would do 1 cup diced fresh figs cooked until soft and the juices are mostly evaporated in about 1 cup of the juice. Might take about 20 minutes or so? You basically want to make a jam and have most of the moisture cook out so the bars aren’t soggy. (I haven’t tested that, but that’s my best guess!)