Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars

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Baking pan with a sliced batch of Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Oatmeal raisin cookies are John’s favorite cookie, hence the reason I baked them what seemed like every other week when we first got married. Sure, we tied the knot and all, but I still had to make sure the man’s sweet tooth was satisfied. After all, there’s a lot of dessert out there in the world and I want to ensure that he only oogles at my goodies, if you catch my drift.

Measuring cup of raisins and stack of homemade Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars

I’ve wanted to infuse the flavor of chai into cookies for a while now and thought this the perfect time since the weather is cooling down, the leaves are starting to turn, and I’ve officially started craving hot tea every single day. And so, a chai infusion it was.

Mixing oats into batter for our Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars recipe

To mock the flavor of chai* in these bars, I simply added all of the spices you’d find in traditional chai tea: cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger – some of the loveliest spices around if you ask me. And the result was a hearty dessert bar with all of the flavor and texture of a traditional oatmeal raisin cookie but with a punch of chai spice in each bite. Oh man, these are a total win.

*Learn about the fascinating origins of chai here!

Stack of Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars alongside a pan with the rest of the batch
Stacked squares of our Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars for a hearty dessert
Stack of Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars on a stand

Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars

Oatmeal raisin cookie bars infused with the flavor of spiced chai tea.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
Glass baking dish of sliced Chai-Spiced Oatmeal Raisin Bars
4.54 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 12 (bars)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Indian-Inspired, Vegetarian
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (softened)
  • 1/2 heaping cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp cloves (or sub pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup jumbo mixed raisins

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 C).
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth.
  • Carefully pour flour, salt and baking soda into a sifter and sift over wet ingredients. Add spices and stir. Then add oats and raisins and stir once more.
  • Chill the dough for 5-10 minutes. Then scrape into a buttered, lightly floured OR parchment lined 8×8 metal or glass dish and flatten until smooth (adjust number/size of pan if altering batch size).
  • Bake for about 25-28 minutes or until nice and golden brown on top and the sides pull away from the pan.
  • Let cool in the pan and then slice and serve. Store covered or in baggies to keep fresh.

Notes

*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 12 servings)

Serving: 1 bars Calories: 181 Carbohydrates: 23 g Protein: 2.9 g Fat: 8 g Saturated Fat: 5 g Fiber: 1.5 g Sugar: 9 g
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  1. Carly says

    These have been dubbed the best oatmeal raisin cookie bars by the fam. Had to add a little extra flour because the dough was too sticky, but they turned out fantastic!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you and your family enjoy them, Carly! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Nicole says

    These are so yummy! I just ate a piece warm and my place smells amazing. I didn’t have whole wheat pastry flour and so subbed regular white all-purpose flour. I also didn’t have cloves and so subbed pumpkin pie spice, and subbed extra pumpkin pie spice for the cardamom which I also don’t have kicking around at the moment. They’re great and I’m sure they’ll be even better and maybe chewy when they’re fully cooled and set. Thank you for the recipe, baking is a way to stay sane in these strange times.

  3. Pamela J Spears-Bradford says

    Can I use egg replacer instead of eggs? Or flax seed meal and water or the equivalent of your vegan eggs in place of chicken in this recipe?

  4. Suzanne says

    Made the recipe again, doubled 24 pieces. for the third time in just over a month. Friends enjoyed and asked for more. I subbed 3/4 cup canola for butter, added nutmeg/ginger/five-spice/cardomom for cloves, 3 small eggs for two large, molassas sugar for brown, white flour for wheat, instant oats for rolled. Used Goji berries and rasins, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds for added texture and colour. Yum! I will be making them often.

  5. Suzanne Johnson says

    Adapted well to the ingredients I could pull together in Wuhan, China. Subbed butter for oil and nutmeg for cloves, 3 small eggs for two large, molassas sugar for brown, white flour for wheat, baking powder x3 for soda. Trusting it will work for the bake sale tomorrow. Thanks for the variable recipe amounts I doubled the batch easily. I will make them again.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the lovely review, Suzanne. We are so glad you were able to use this recipe as a guide! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

  6. Peggy says

    I made these last night and loved them. I made a couple changes but the spices and flavor were superb! I am trying to use less fat, so I substituted 1/4 c Melt vegan buttery stick and 1/4 c applesauce for the butter. I didn’t have raisins so I substituted dried cranberries. I also added 1/4 c unsweetened coconut shreds.
    I will be making these often!

  7. Emma says

    Hi! Thanks for this gorgeous-looking recipe!! I wanted to make it for fall on the go snacks (it’s September but a girl can dream, eh?) Instead of all butter, I did two tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon earth balance vegan margarine, and 3 tbsp. apple sauce for a lighter twist. I also did 1/4 heaping cup of brown sugar, added more vanilla and ginger. Since the mixture seemed a bit dry, I combined vanilla, 1 mashed spotted banana (it was small) and pumpkin pie spice to a bowl and then added to the oat batter for a more moist feel. (I would say you could do the same with a 1/4 cup pumpkin, but as I’ve never tried, don’t take my word for it).
    I also sautéed diced apple with vanilla, allspice and cinnamon on high for five minutes and then added on top of the raw oatmeal batter and then baked for the suggested time (around 30 min @ 350, I think?)
    For a nice little glaze, I combined 1/4 cup sunbutter (unsweetened) with a tbsp. each of vanilla and coconut milk, as well as honey. I then drizzled this glaze on top of my cooled oatmeal bars.
    Thanks for this amazing recipe, and I hope my suggestions are helpful to your readers!!

  8. Britt says

    Hi, I was wondering if aquafaba could substitute the egg? I love the sound of this recipe, and I’ve been searching for a baked oatmeal breakfast recipe.

    Thank you in advance!
    -Britt

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We haven’t tried it, but think it could work! If you give it a try, let us know how it goes!

  9. A Kitchen Advisor says

    What a healthy and light oatmeal bar recipe. I really love it. With a minimum of ingredient you created a masterpiece. Your twist with CHAI-SPICE is an excellent addition to this pastry.

    Recently I made Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

    There are only 2 tablespoons of wheat flour in my recipe. I think it is possible to transform it into a healthier version with Almond flour. Also Butter could be easily replaced with Vegetable Oil.

    Cooking is all about experimenting and enjoying what you do.

    Thank you again for your inspiring recipe. Next time I will try to make my Oatmeal Cookies with a chai infusion.

    Happy cooking!!!

  10. Sabrina says

    I know this is an old recipe but this would be awesome if you could veganize something like this!! I love having oatmeal for breakfast and would love an alternative that I could take to go (that’s not just overnight oats!!)

  11. Gail says

    Hi – I was wondering if I could substitute craisins for the jumbo raisins? Your recipe looks delicious – but no raisins on hand and it’s raining cats ? and dogs ? today! Or maybe chopped dates? ? Thanks, Gail

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hmm its worth a try! I think dates would work best but am not sure about the craisins!

  12. Gail Steinke says

    Hi – I was wondering if I could substitute craisins for the jumbo raisins? Your recipe looks delicious – but no raisins on hand and it’s raining cats ? and dogs ? today! ? Thanks, Gail

  13. Stephanie says

    So I tried making these a few months ago with a gf flour blend and I loved the spices, but they were horribly dry. I tried again today using the same flour blend, coconut oil instead of butter/earth balance and 1/4 cup homemade applesauce. So good! Much like a spice cake, and very easy. I’d imagine they’d be great with a basic powdered sugar glaze.

  14. Kristin says

    Yum! I couldn’t even let these cool before trying them and they are great! I used a flax egg and vegan butter and your DIY gluten free flour blend so I ended up cooking them a little longer, but they turned out great. I think next time I’ll decrease the sugar a little to make them a little more breakfast and a little less dessert so these can become an everyday kinda indulgence.

  15. Vivi says

    To make this vegan, what are the ingredients that need to be replaced? I have an idea but I want to be a 100% certain!

  16. Suzy Friot says

    I had to try my hand at these bars because I love chai spice :) Mine didn’t come out chewy, more crumbly in the way of an oat muffin, and I prefer more spice in my spiced oatmeal cookies. Next time I am going to try doubling the spice and perhaps adding molassas for more moisture :) Very good with a hot cup of chai tea with my mother-in-law.

  17. Jennifer says

    I didn’t have any eggs but found this recipe and had a massive craving, so I used ground flaxseed(linseed meal) and water (chilled in the fridge for 15minutes) as a binding agent and ground up some almonds and fresh ginger. Super-duper tasty. Thanks!

  18. Alanna says

    Thank you so much for this recipe! I made the bars yesterday for my aforementioned cousin; they were such a hit, that I’ve been instructed to make a double batch right away! They are absolutely heavenly – perfectly spiced, and just the right amount of sweetness. I used whole spelt flour in place of the whole wheat, added dried cranberries to the mix, used a level 1/2 cup of unrefined cane sugar in place of brown, and traded the quantities of cardamom and cinnamon since I’m a cardamom junkie. Simply delicious, thanks again!
    PS. Love your blog!

  19. Zan says

    I’ve made these bars four times in the past month and a half. This morning I wanted to make them but found I only had white flour and half a cup of oats. Not wanting to go out, I replaced one cup of oats with some ancient grains granola I had lying around and the results were first-rate! At least that granola (which doesn’t have nuts, fruit, or particularly large chunks in it) did NOT alter the texture of the bars at all or make them crunchy. They still have a smooth, fluffy texture (a little fluffier because of the white flour) and now include a helping of quinoa, spelt, and kamut.

    • shakti says

      Oh yes!
      I wonder if it would be possible to always give the gf alternative with the recipe as some of us are just longing for these and miss out or do disasters tring to work an alternative.
      It would make the whole thing change from so good to wonderfully sublime.

  20. Alanna says

    These look awesome! Love chai, cardamom, and oats. Planning to bake these for my cousin who just had a baby and needs easy, healthy snacks to eat throughout the day. Thanks!

  21. Jennnifer says

    These sound yummy! I hope I don’t sound too foolish but would the pumpkin pie spice be a sub for JUST the cloves or for all 4 spices?

  22. Monica Vasquez says

    Love this site, your right there are a lot of flavors out there and I need to make sure my honey bunny eating homemade. And what’s more homemade then chai oatmeal bars.

  23. Tina @foodfortina says

    Yum :) thanks for sharing this lovely and nice recipe! I really like your creativity in combining chai and oatmeal bars/slices/cookies :)

  24. Chelsea@Ahintofhealthy says

    I love your recipes! I just tried your chocolate-chip oatmeal pancakes the other day and LOVED them! I can’t wait to try these out :)