Honey Oat Bars for #SundaySupper

Honey Oat Bars | Magnolia DaysThere were usually no surprises at lunch. Opening the lunchbox at elementary school gave a familiar assortment. A sandwich made of brown bread, butter, salami, and cheese was the main feature. A small bag of Fritos were beside the sandwich. Underneath the chips was a Little Debbie snack; usually an oatmeal cream pie, Star Crunch, or Nutty Bar. To wash it all down was a thermos filled with Coca-Cola. It was rare to have a homemade treat such as one of these Honey Oat Bars.

One day at lunch did have a surprise. The thermos rattled as I picked it up out of the lunchbox. It was a different rattle than the sound of a few remaining ice cubes. I opened the thermos to find the glass on the inside had shattered. Yes, back then they were made with glass. It did a great job of keeping beverages hot or cold although somewhat fragile. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to have their beverage filled with shards of glass. Lunchboxes and thermoses these days are so different. They are much safer and are different shapes and sizes other than that old metal box.

Honey Oat Bars | Magnolia DaysHoney Oat Bars are a great treat. They can be enjoyed as a dessert or snack. Honey gives the bars a light sweetness. Butterscotch chips makes these bars reminiscent of oatmeal scotchie cookies. You can substitute chocolate chips or dried fruit for the butterscotch to change up the flavor.

Do you pack meals for yourself or your family? I haven’t had to since becoming a Domestic Goddess. I did for many years while working in an office. It is much healthier and less expensive than going out for lunch. Be sure to scroll down and see more lunchbox recipes by Sunday Supper bloggers. Also check out my Basic White Bread and Homemade Wheat Bread that are great for sandwiches. Fill your lunchbox with lots of good food and remember to include a treat like Honey Oat Bars.

Honey Oat Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Yield: Makes 27 bars
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1½ cups quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup butterscotch chips*
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir in the oats.
  3. Beat butter, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy using a hand mixer on high speed.
  4. Add flour/oat mixture and stir or beat on low speed to combine.
  5. Stir in butterscotch chips.
  6. Press evenly in an ungreased 13- X 9-inch baking pan.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until light golden brown.
  8. Cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into bars.
*You can substitue chocolate chips or dried fruit for the butterscotch chips.

Recipe adapted from one in the Pillsbury Classics Cookbooks 1990 November Edition.

Want more recipes for packing lunchbox meals? Take a look at these by talented Sunday Supper bloggers:

Sandwiches, Wraps and Entrees:

Munchies, Salads and Sides:

Sweet Treats:

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  1. says

    Your honey oat bars look like they are packed with wholesome good-for-you-ness, Renee. Thank you for the recipe.

    Appreciate, too, that someone else remembers thermoses that were made with glass =)

  2. says

    Yeah, we never had any homemade goodies in our lunches, either…but I would have loved to have found one of your honey oats bars in mine! Heck, I’d love to find a batch on my kitchen counter!!

    PS…thanks for your help this week :)

  3. says

    These look like the perfect snack food anytime, Renee! It would probably throw healthy out the window but I think these would be great with both butterscotch and semi-sweet chocolate chips. :)

    Your mother or whomever packed your lunch was way more generous than mine. We only got Coke on a special packed lunch day, like for a field trip. Otherwise, it was milk or go get a drink from the water fountain! And the rare Ding Dong was my favorite treat.

    • says

      The combo of butterscotch and chocolate chips sounds like a great idea to me. I never had a Ding Dong until I was in my 20’s. My parents must not have liked them and always went with the Little Debbie treats.

  4. says

    These sound perfect for a school lunch and I’m glad there’s no peanut butter in them! Cinnamon, honey, and butterscotch sounds awesome together. I might just bake a batch today for my first week of school!

    • says

      I actually thought about some type of peanut butter bar but decided against it. I’m glad I did which is odd because of how much I love peanut butter. I really do like the simplicity of these.

  5. says

    I love reading about your school lunch so sweet and what great disappointment to have your thermos broken :(

    Your Honey Oat Bars sound {and look} out of this world, Renee.

    • says

      It’s crazy how I remember that day so well. It was way back in elementary school. Of all the things to remember it had to be a busted thermos.

  6. Diana @EatMoveShine says

    These are fantastic, Renee! Love that they are nut-fee, and wow, butterscotch chips are a favorite. What a lovely post!

  7. says

    So nice to see a bar recipe that is good for us, yet still satisfying the sweet tooth with the addition of honey!!! Thank you for visiting my blog today Renee!


  8. says

    I am not shocked that you remember exactly what was in your lunchbox…

    I remember the low moments…mostly stale bread and olive loaf. My mother was a depression era child, there was no such thing as stale bread being thrown away.

    I packed my 2 kid’s lunches every day for 20 years, from pre-k through high school. I packed my last one this May. Now they pack their own…for work. wow….

    • says

      Stale bread and olive loaf – I can imagine that one being a low moment. This year will be so different for you with both kids gone off to college. I’m sure they will wish you were there to make there lunches.

  9. says

    Mmm…Little Debbie Nutty Bars are the best….well they were the best until I saw these Honey Oat Bars, of course :) I have been looking for something to make using butterscotch chips. These are perfect!

  10. says

    My father still longs for those glass thermos, Aladdin! He worshipped them, and took the trouble of bringing them from trips to the US since they were not available here. I can’t believe I never made this type of bars! I’m pinning this one Renee, I’m such an oat and honey fan!

    • says

      I’m not sure if they still sell glass Thermos here. Perhaps at antique shops or thrift stores. Thanks for pinning and I hope you make and enjoy the bars.

  11. says

    Looks like the perfect treats in any lunch box!!My kids would really love these for sure Renee and I cannot wait to make it for them :) Healthy and so delicious!

  12. says

    Oh the weird things I used to get in my lunch bag as a kid! Somedays my mom would boil chicken drumsticks and potatoes for lunch (we didn’t have containers that kept food warm so it’d be cold and the fat on the drumsticks would congeal). I ate many consecutive peanut butter and jam sandwiches. Or my mom would buy a dozen giant muffins from the supermarket and we’d eat them for days. I’d gladly have your honey oat bars in my lunch bag, Renee. These look delicious!

    • says

      You certainly had some unique lunches Nancy. I’ve never heard of the boiled chicken drumsticks one. Very interesting. At least now you can make your own lunches and whatever treats to go with them too.


  1. […] Apricot dip with fresh fruit is great for an after school snack. It certainly was my mid-afternoon snack after taking the photos. I almost devoured half of what you see on the platter. The dip is creamy from Greek yogurt, sweetened with apricot preserves, and given some extra flavor and texture with coconut and walnuts. Pecans would work nicely too. Oh, and another great back to school snack is Honey Oat Bars. […]

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