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Breakfast Bars

by . Featured in NIGELLA EXPRESS
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Introduction

I am addicted to these, and so is everyone I give them to. Although they're quick to throw together, they do take nearly an hour to bake, so what I suggest is, make a batch at the weekend and then you will have the oaty, chewy bars ready and waiting for those days when you have to snatch breakfast on the hoof.

Mind you, they are just like milk and cereal in bar form, so there's nothing to stop you nibbling at one with your morning coffee at home every day. If you are not a morning person, believe me, they will make your life easier.

They also store well; indeed, they seem to get better and better. So just stash a tin with them and remove as and when you want.

I am addicted to these, and so is everyone I give them to. Although they're quick to throw together, they do take nearly an hour to bake, so what I suggest is, make a batch at the weekend and then you will have the oaty, chewy bars ready and waiting for those days when you have to snatch breakfast on the hoof.

Mind you, they are just like milk and cereal in bar form, so there's nothing to stop you nibbling at one with your morning coffee at home every day. If you are not a morning person, believe me, they will make your life easier.

They also store well; indeed, they seem to get better and better. So just stash a tin with them and remove as and when you want.

Breakfast Bars
Photo by Lis Parsons

Ingredients

Makes: 16 bars

Metric Cups
  • 1 x 397 grams can condensed milk
  • 250 grams rolled oats (not instant)
  • 75 grams shredded coconut
  • 100 grams dried cranberries
  • 125 grams mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  • 125 grams natural unsalted peanuts
  • 1 x 14 ounces can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2½ cups quick-cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame)
  • 1 cup natural unsalted peanuts

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark ½/250ºF, and oil a 23 x 33 x 4cm / 9 x 13 inch baking tin, or use a throwaway foil one.
  2. Warm the condensed milk in a large pan.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients and then add the warmed condensed milk, using a rubber or wooden spatula to fold and distribute.
  4. Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with the spatula or, better still, your hands (wearing disposable vinyl gloves to stop you sticking), to even the surface.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and, after about 15 minutes, cut into four across, and four down to make 16 chunky bars. Let cool completely.
  1. Preheat the oven to 130°C/gas mark ½/250ºF, and oil a 23 x 33 x 4cm / 9 x 13 inch baking tin, or use a throwaway foil one.
  2. Warm the sweetened condensed milk in a large pan.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together all the other ingredients and then add the warmed sweetened condensed milk, using a rubber or wooden spatula to fold and distribute.
  4. Spread the mixture into the tin and press down with the spatula or, better still, your hands (wearing disposable vinyl gloves to stop you sticking), to even the surface.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, then remove from the oven and, after about 15 minutes, cut into four across, and four down to make 16 chunky bars. Let cool completely.

Tell us what you think

What 19 Others have said

  • I have made these twice and they are simply delicious! Always try to work smart so warmed the condensed milk for 90 seconds in microwave then just mixed all other ingredients into bowl. I take out after 1hrs cooking and cut into 15/18 squares then separate slightly and shape to give a professional look. ut back in oven for further 15 mins to crisp up edges. Have encounterd one problem tho and it's a nice one... One is never enough! They store well if you have the willpower to put the lid on tightly!

    Posted by Jane_Guy on 25th October 2016
  • As I runner I have found normal snack bars are a waste of time. I've used this recipe and everyone loves them.. To save time and cost now all I do is buy a bag of Museli or Granola and mix it in with the condensed milk and I have found these are a great source of energy on long runs if they last long enough to make it out of the house ????

    Posted by Cosmickev on 23rd October 2015
  • I have just take them out of the oven. I used hazelnuts and lot of berries, bluberries blackberries, cranberries, goji berry and i covered everything with melted chocolate. I think it is a little too much sweet, but never mind, we will be on diet from next Monday.;) Thanks Nigella!

    Posted by chrisoula on 14th October 2015
  • Just made these and only had sesame seeds so used them and gorgeoussssssss captial G. Can you freeze these is what i would like to know as could prepare them and make in big batches. Thank you.

    Posted by pomadaqueen on 16th February 2013
  • I made these according to the recipe and loved them. Then after reading about everyone's variations I tried these using dried cherries for the fruit, almonds for the nuts, and cocoa nibs and toasted buckwheat in place of the seeds, which I loved even more! These are so tasty and so easy there's really no reason not to experiment with your favourite ingredients!

    Posted by vinomancy on 30th March 2015
  • Hi from Australia :) These breakfast bars are a blank canvas really ....... I love dried blueberries and macadamias, so I'm going to try that combination for the fruit and nuts instead. Love your shows ! Stay cool ......

    Posted by home.art.fusionista on 2nd June 2014
  • I made these for my husband and they came out perfect I have played around with the ingredients - added flaked almonds apricots raisins and glacé cherries. This one is a winner everytime even for a novice cook. Thaks Nigella

    Posted by Thiru on 6th April 2014
  • I like the simplicity of these bars. I replaced the peanuts with unsalted soya nuts so I could send them to school. I replaced the condensed milk with evaporated milk to reduce sugar, but then promptly added a handful of chocolate chips. they were very moist, so might need the condensed milk to make them crispy. They were happily eaten by all regardless.

    Posted by Lora_G on 27th January 2014
  • Greetings from Greece! I've tried this recipe twice with a few alterations and I must say that they were impeccable. Keep up the good work Nigella, I'm looking forward to more delicious and healthy recipes of yours : )

    Posted by tia_ on 18th January 2014
  • It seems to me, Nigella, that adding a granolla to this, like a nice organic hemp one) would be better than just "oats". That's how I'll do this. I'm a bit leery of straight condensed milk, so will do coconut milk or almond milk and then a 1/4 cup of almond butter. No reason not to make these Vegan. I'm not a Vegan, but you don't have to put milk in these to make them full of protein. almond butter is great stuff. Only thing I might add to this? local honey, I think 1/4 cup.

    Posted by beekeeperjoy on 6th October 2013
  • I made this and everyone at work raved about them. I left out the coconut and peanuts for my friends who had allergies. They are so easy and delicious. Unfortunately, they don't last very long.

    Posted by Martyso on 15th September 2013
  • I've just made these for the first and they are fab, not too sweet. I used dried apricots as not a fan of cranberries, and mixed nuts instead of peanuts. As someone who doesn't like breakfast until about 9.30am these will be great to take to work to have with a cup of coffee.

    Posted by cherrypie61 on 20th January 2013
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