Cherry Oatmeal Bars with Yogurt Frosting

Cherry Oatmeal Bars Yogurt Frosting |

Hearty oatmeal combined with cherries and almond to make a portable bar for breakfast, snacks or dessert. ~ 

Over the summer, my little girls and I built several fairy houses.

We made some out of shoe boxes using cotton balls for fairy pillows and sardine cans for beds. Other fairy houses were more natural tree bark beds and leaf blankets. Every morning we’d check to see if we caught any fairies – or if the leaf blankets or cotton ball pillows had moved…just a bit…signaling a fairy had slept there that night. We’re certain several fairies found our fairy houses quite comfy.

Cherry Oat Bars with Yogurt Frosting |

But I never caught a Dishes Fairy – her special talent: Doing my dishes while I slept.

See, that’s the thing about cooking at home a lot. Even though I really enjoy cooking, I really, really don’t like doing dishes or cleaning up the kitchen…night after night after night.

But, then again, if I weren’t willing to clean up a little mess, I would never have seen the sheer delight on my kids’ faces the first time I made these snacking bars – or the surprise on my friend’s face when I made it into a cake for her birthday – or imagined the happiness of my girls when they opened their lunchbox to find the frosted bars inside.

Cherry Oatmeal Bars Yogurt Frosting |

Now these snacking bars (or cake, which I call it too!) are perfect because they are totally versatile:

  • Breakfast Bonus: Yes, cake for breakfast! The ingredients: Oatmeal, yogurt, fruit and eggs are actually the same as those in my 5-Minute Breakfast Custard – they’re just in a different order in this recipe!
  • Filling After-School Snack: Whole grain oats + protein-rich dairy = Lots of energy for homework
  • A Sweet (Healthy) Treat for Dessert: Did someone say frosting with sprinkles and a cherry garnish?!

cherry oatmeal bars yogurt frosting |
And for lots more healthy inspiration for Bars & Bites for the lunch box and beyond, check out all the Recipe ReDux recipes for this month’s theme of “Bars & Bites for Brown Bags.”

And just imagine the look on your kids’ face when they find one of these treats in their brown bag – or Tinkerbell lunchbox.

Probably how I will look if I ever do catch that Dishes Fairy.

Cherry Oatmeal Bars with Yogurt Frosting |

Cherry Oatmeal Bars with Yogurt Frosting

Makes About 16 bars


  • 1 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt (can use Greek, but I like regular better - it makes for a fluffier frosting)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Sprinkles, cherries - optional for garnish
  • CAKE
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked), blended in blender to consistency of flour
  • 1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • One 6-ounce container cherry low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup pitted and halved sweet or sour cherries (fresh or frozen, partially thawed if frozen)


  1. Begin frosting about 2 hours before serving cake: Place two paper coffee filter inside a medium-sized colander; place the colander over a bowl. Spread yogurt evenly over filter; cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. To make frosting, pour off drained whey liquid. Scrape the yogurt from coffee filter and place in a clean bowl; add sugar and extracts. Mix well; refrigerate.
  2. To make cake, preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, egg whites, butter, extracts; beat for 2 minutes with an electric mixer. Add to flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon just until mixture is moistened. (Do not overmix.) Gently fold in cherries.
  5. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely. Frost with yogurt frosting; garnish if desired.

What treats do you add to your kids’ lunchboxes? Or your own?

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  1. mm mmm mmm, looks incredible serena! Any kid is lucky to have you making things like this for their lunch box :) I love the way you topped this with yogurt frosting as well. I love making “frosting” out of yogurt!
    xoxo Sarah Grace, Fresh Fit N Healthy.

  2. OH my goodness, Serena! What an adorable idea! Building fairy houses w/your girls – I’m going to keep this one in mind and use it one of these days ;). haha what great use for empty sardine cans! I, too, wish for a dish fairy everyday too. We only go out to eat at most 2 times a week so it’s up to this girl to clean up all the mess. I would love to have cake for breakfast!! And fresh cherries..I’m not ready to say goodbye to you guys just yet.
    Min recently posted..Butternut Squash Red CurryMy Profile

  3. I’ve been all about the cherries lately so I’m excited to try making these!
    Cassie recently posted..Banana and Fig Chocolate Chip MuffinsMy Profile

  4. These looks so good. My son would love these. I’m sure if I make these once they will be a regular after school snack.
    Tanya recently posted..Top 7 Payroll Tips for Business OwnersMy Profile

  5. Love these yummy bars, but I especially love your fairy houses! Such a sweet idea :-) I too {and my hubby since he usually does the after dinner dishes) would love a dishes fairy as well!
    EA-The Spicy RD recently posted..Recipe ReDux Mediterranean Feta & Quinoa Egg MuffinsMy Profile

  6. OOh these look fantastic – and with that frosting it would be hard to exercise portion control!
    Shashi @ runninsrilankan recently posted..Chocolate Bean & Oat Bars {Recipe Redux}My Profile

  7. How cute are these cherry oatmeal bars?? I love the idea of yogurt frosting, and I know I’d love to open up my lunchbox to find one of these (I think I need a retro lunchbox so I can do just that 😉 ). Yay for fairy houses!
    Jessie recently posted..Dark Chocolate Cherry Quinoa Bites {Recipe Redux}My Profile

  8. Alison - Balanced with Allie says:

    Cherries just remind me of my childhood. My grandma always used to make the best cherry pie. I can’t wait to try these and let the memories flood in! =)

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