Cream Cheese and Oat Bars

I recently came across this recipe for at least the second time. I found it several months ago in an issue of Taste of the South and added it to my ever-growing stack of recipes to try. This past week, I found it again and felt the overwhelming need to make them as soon as possible.

These bars are a wonderful combination of cream cheese, cashews, apples, and oats. I hesitate to call the bottom layer a crust. It’s far too significant for that. It easily makes up half of the thickness of the bars. I like the use of cashews in the crust. Cashews, to me, are quite neglected in the baking world. They show up every once in a while, but not nearly often enough for my taste.

Cream Cheese and Oat Bars combine oats, apple butter, and cream cheese for a delicious layered dessert. - Bake or Break

On top of all that delicious crust and lovely apple butter, there is the cream cheese layer. It’s like a little layer of cheesecake that’s just the right ratio to make these pretty close to perfection.

By the way, if your local store doesn’t have apple butter, King Arthur has a very nice one that I used in this recipe. Strangely enough, I ordered apple butter from them when I first found this recipe. I can now attest to its shelf life, as it was still in date when I finally got around to using it. For those more industrious, you may want to make your own.

Cream Cheese and Oat Bars combine oats, apple butter, and cream cheese for a delicious layered dessert. - Bake or Break

There is something about these bars that is vaguely reminiscent of fall. I think I generally associate apple desserts with cooler weather. If your summer is anything like mine has been, you are doing some serious jonesing for cooler days. Maybe these can hold you over until the leaves start falling and the temperatures start dropping.

Cream Cheese and Oat Bars

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Cream Cheese and Oat Bars


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats

  • 2 cups chopped cashews

  • 1 & 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided into 1 cup and 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, melted

  • 16 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups prepared apple butter


Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 9″x 13″x 2″ baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine flour, oats, cashews, 1 cup sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Reserve 1 & 1/2 cups of mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Set pan on wire rack to cool.

Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer. When mixture is creamy, add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.

Spread apple butter over cooled crust. Spread cream cheese mixture over apple butter. Top with reserved oat mixture. Bake 35-40 minutes or until cream cheese layer is set. Cool completely before cutting into bars.


Recipe from Taste of the South

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  1. Nan July 31, 2010 Reply

    Those look heavenly! You are right…all the apple and cashew talk makes me think of fall. You can’t go wrong with cashews. I may have to try these myself!

  2. sarah July 31, 2010 Reply

    these look amazing! i adore Taste of the South magazine and have so many of my favorite recipes from them. and i am also definitely ready for some fall weather!

  3. What a perfect bar cookie! I would love to have one right now. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  4. Tara July 31, 2010 Reply

    Those look wonderful! I can almost taste them…

  5. jose manuel July 31, 2010 Reply

    Que verdadera delicia, esto tiene que estar delicioso. Saludos

  6. Joanne July 31, 2010 Reply

    Oh how tasty do THESE look! I know a recipe is a keeper when I come across it multiple times and, not only do I remember it, but I still want to make it. Yum.

  7. Gwyn July 31, 2010 Reply

    These look really, really good!!

  8. deeba August 1, 2010 Reply

    Ooooh look at these; they look luxurious and oh so inviting!

  9. CaSaundra August 1, 2010 Reply

    I agree–cashews should be used a lot more…and of course cream cheese is always a must too 😉

  10. Ahhh these look delicious. I really like cashews – agree that they are underused!

  11. nancy k. August 1, 2010 Reply

    I just bought some cashews yesterday thinking I would hunt for a recipe to usethem in. So happy to see this one pop up on your site. The bars look divine…can’t wait to make them.

  12. Eliana August 1, 2010 Reply

    These look incredible. Glad you gave my favorite nut, the cashew, some love here.

  13. Chrissy August 2, 2010 Reply

    Have you ever tried this recipe by subbing in pumpkin butter for the apple butter? I wonder if you can do a swap with those for something different?

    • jennifer August 3, 2010 Reply

      Chrissy, I am not a fan of pumpkin, but I’m sure that pumpkin butter would work just fine.

  14. Chef Dennis August 2, 2010 Reply

    those bars look so sinfully good! wow….now I’m hungry again….sigh

  15. Tv Food and Drink August 2, 2010 Reply

    Fantastic and a little sinful. Can’t wait to make them (and by “make them” I mean throw them into that pile of recipes I have, just like you!)

  16. Diane Du August 2, 2010 Reply

    This will be perfect for teachers’ luncheons and all those fall get togethers. Chrissy’s suggestion about the pumpkin butter sounds great too! I will definitely have to try both.

  17. vanillasugar August 2, 2010 Reply

    love the flavor combo in these.

  18. Ashley August 3, 2010 Reply

    I love that these bars are half crust, my favourite part!

  19. Bakerman August 4, 2010 Reply

    These were good. Although I have to admit that I don’t like nuts. So I made them less the nuts. They were still really good and tasty though.

  20. Jannett August 6, 2010 Reply

    oh my…what a perfect combination. :)

  21. Janae Monir August 6, 2010 Reply

    Yum! And I must say, I’m notoriously bad at not cooking/baking in season, and have already made several autumn-type foods this summer. I’ll add this one to the list!

  22. fimère August 8, 2010 Reply

    ils sont trop gourmands ces barres et doivent être drôlement succulents
    bonne journée

  23. Natalie August 9, 2010 Reply

    Mmm these look amazingly good, they look so yummy!!

  24. Suzy August 9, 2010 Reply

    Yum! I totally agree that cashews get sadly neglected too often!

  25. Carmen August 10, 2010 Reply

    Up at 3am feeding my bottomless pit (aka Hudson) and saw this recipe. I’ve been looking for a treat to make for my mom’s birthday next week, and this is perfect- she has an almost unnatural love of cashews! I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  26. oh yum! must make these stat!

  27. oh my sweetness! This might be the last dessert I ever want! It looks absolutely delicious.

  28. Stephanie August 11, 2010 Reply

    Cashews don’t get used nearly enough, in my opinion. What a great recipe!

  29. Stephanie August 11, 2010 Reply

    Love the combination of cashews and oats. These bars look fabulous!

  30. Sherry August 19, 2010 Reply

    Cream cheese and anything is amazing. But these bars look seriously amazing. Like really. I need to be making these!

  31. Ruby August 19, 2010 Reply

    These look so amazing! I plan on making them soon =)

  32. Millie August 21, 2010 Reply

    I just had to come out of hiding and say that I love your blog! I look forward to every post and these just speak to me. Thanks for doing all this!

  33. Alexa @ Sohdalex August 21, 2010 Reply

    These look mouth-watering-ly good! Cream cheese is one of my favorite dessert add-ins 😉

  34. Fallon September 1, 2010 Reply

    As mush as I love chocolate… I always like a good apple dessert. This sounds amazing!!

  35. Fallon September 1, 2010 Reply

    Oh yes and please excuse all my bad spelling errors! Of course I notice them as soon as I hit submit. I think I need a nap. 😉

  36. Eliana September 2, 2010 Reply

    Loving all the different flavors and textures in these bars. They look like a definite must bake.

  37. Meagan September 6, 2010 Reply

    These look and sound delicous! I can’t wait to make them sometime soon!

  38. Carey September 15, 2010 Reply

    I made these last night and brought them into the office today. I’m getting rave reviews! Some have described them as “divine,” “wonderfully rich,” and “superb.” I didn’t have enough apple butter (only 1.5 cups), so I added half a cup apricot preserves to make up for it. I also used regular rolled oats instead of quick oats, and it came out just fine. The texture of these bars are delightful — smooth and creamy on top and thick and chewy on the bottom. Definitely give these a try. You won’t be disappointed. And thank you, Jennifer, for posting this recipe for all of us to enjoy.

  39. Pretty. Good. Food. September 19, 2010 Reply

    Mmm, this sounds so good! Great photos!

  40. Taiski September 29, 2010 Reply

    These were absolutely devine… Will definitely make them again. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us

  41. lori McQuiston October 21, 2010 Reply

    Some of these recipes my mother had. : ))) Thank you for having them. <3 Great great recipes! I am gonna make these … just sound yummy

  42. These are literally making my mouth water. I love cream cheese! I bet you could mix it up and put pecans in the crust and then a pumpkin butter layer. Yummy! Gonna try these real soon. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Alexis November 3, 2010 Reply

    I will have to try these…they look amazing!

  44. Oh, these look incredible! I will definitely add these to my list of new recipes to try! Thanks :)

  45. Athene December 9, 2010 Reply

    Oh My.. one look at these , and I am sold.. I will make these and report back with my findings :)

  46. Misa February 9, 2011 Reply

    Mmm, apple butter, cream cheese…I’m in! I’ll have to try this ASAP

  47. Rhea Dixit December 27, 2011 Reply

    hi…looks good but i don’t like apples in baking and anyway apple butter is not available in part of the world. Blueberry jam instead ? or apricot jam….what do you think ?

    • jennifer December 27, 2011 Reply

      Rhea, I think a jam could work.

  48. dave February 4, 2012 Reply

    Ok – that’s it, these have oats, so we can have them as a main course, correct!
    Great recipe! My secret ingredient in all my deserts calling for vanilla is my Mexican vanilla. It makes it so unbelievable. I buy it direct at
    Keep up the great posts Jennifer!

  49. Gene Cox October 19, 2013 Reply

    I agree, cashews are too often neglected. This gives me a nice recipe to try with cashews. Thanks.

  50. Linda October 19, 2013 Reply

    I was wondering about the pumpkin butter too. Trader Joes has a good one. As well as a honey apple butter. Now I’m wondering how their fig butter would work. I don’t tend to use cashews much because they tend to get rubbery in things. Usually go for macadamia or pistachio. The recipe really looks amazing. Can’t wait to make some!!

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