A cake is a must on your birthday and it simply wouldn’t be the holidays without a pie or two, but a dessert bar is a treat that can—and should—be enjoyed whenever you damn well please. (Although it’s worth knowing that these easy-to-make desserts go down particularly well at potlucks and parties.) And the best part? They’re incredible versatile. No matter what type of treat you seek—be it sugar-free, keto-friendly or just ridiculously rich—you’re sure to find a bar that fits the bill in our roundup of best dessert bar recipes.
1. No-Bake Cookie Bars with Chocolate, Cherries and Chia Seeds
Packed with almond butter, oats, sliced almonds, dried fruit, chia seeds and cacao nibs, these tasty bars are practically a health food. And the fact that they require zero time in the oven? Well, that just makes them even sweeter.
2. Apple Crumble Bars
Why fuss with pie crust when you can skip the hassle with a bar that boasts loads of sweet apple flavor and an irresistible crumble topping to boot? And while topping with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce is completely optional, we highly recommend it.
3. Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Bars
A fresh take on the Rice Krispies classic known as the scotcheroo, these no-bake bars boast a pleasant crunch and deep chocolate flavor with a playful salty finish.
4. Banana Pudding Cheesecake Bars
Silky banana cream pudding just met tangy, sweet cheesecake and we think wedding bells are ringing.
5. Strawberry Oatmeal Bars
This sweet and chewy oatmeal cookie sandwich with strawberry filling does double duty as both breakfast bar and dessert.
6. Vegan Lemon Bars
Coconut oil and coconut cream make excellent stand-ins for butter and eggs in this fresh and zesty vegan lemon bar recipe.
7. Snicker Toffee Butter Bars
Sweetened condensed milk, crunchy toffee and everyone’s favorite candy bar join forces to make one seriously indulgent dessert bar. File this one under “crowd pleaser.”
8. Vegan Chocolate Mousse Bars
Attention, vegan friends: These decadent chocolate mousse bars require just four ingredients and 15 minutes of spare time to make, so you should probably keep the recipe on speed dial.
9. Gluten-Free Raspberry Bars
Your sweet tooth is threatening to sabotage your New Year’s resolution. The solution? A healthy vegan and gluten-free treat that combines the satisfying texture of rolled oats with the palate-pleasing power of raspberry preserve.
10. Salted Apple Pie Caramel Blondies
Here, chewy, butterscotch blondies serve as a base for creamy, caramel-drenched apple pie filling and pecan streusel. Go on and ask us if we miss the pie crust.
11. Gluten-Free Cocoa Cranberry Crumble Bars
Vanilla-spiked cranberry jam is a perfect companion for rich dark chocolate cookie crust in this gluten-free winner.
12. Almond Joy Brownies
The rejects of the Halloween candy world make a comeback so sweet it could catch Hollywood’s attention.
13. Balsamic Strawberry Cheesecake Bars with Shortbread
A balsamic vinegar drizzle takes these strawberry cheesecake bars from bake sale delicious to upscale divine.
14. Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Bars
Pumpkin, chocolate and rolled oats combine to make an extra satisfying dessert bar that’s vegan, gluten-free and oh-so delicious.
15. Tahini Scotcheroos
This Midwestern speciality is typically made with peanut butter but here, Coterie member Jesse Larson gives this rich and gooey chocolate treat an allergy-friendly upgrade by using creamy tahini instead. Oh, and did we mention that these guys are gluten-free, too?
16. Pecan Pie Bars
A slab of pecan pie goodness with a shortbread crust so rich, you’d never suspect it was made with a dairy-free substitute for butter.
17. Salted Brown Butter Peanut Butter M&M Cookie Bars
Melty peanut butter M&Ms baked into a butterscotch blondie; needless to say, this one makes dessert dreams come true.
18. Buckeye Crunch Bars
The combination of smooth peanut butter mousse, rich chocolate and salty pretzels in this no-bake treat is giving Reese’s a serious run for its money.
19. Paleo Sweet Potato Bars
These semi-sweet sweet bars with maple almond drizzle promise to satisfy your sweet tooth without weighing you down.
20. Gluten-Free Cherry Oat Bars
Crisp, buttery crumb with a rich cherry pie filling that’ll make you swoon.
21. Strawberry Crumb Bars with Meyer Lemon Glaze
Strawberry jam and Meyer lemon combine to make a super sweet and tangy treat with a flavor profile that’s sure to perk up your palate.
22. Date Bars with Oats and Cinnamon
This dessert bar features naturally sweet dates nestled in a crunchy almond crust—and chances are it will impress anyone you’re sweet on.
23. Blueberry Grapefruit Bars
Grapefruit—an ingenious replacement for lemon—works with blueberries to maintain the perfect balance of tart and sweet.
24. Banana Bars
Whether dished up with a side of Greek yogurt for breakfast or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for dessert, these sweet bars will go down a treat.
25. Keto Coconut Flour Brownies
Moist, rich and fudgy—you’ll never guess these brownies are also fiber-packed and keto-friendly.
26. Vegan Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Silky cashew cream is combined with—wait for it—zucchini to create the authentic texture of this vegan cheesecake bar…and yep, it works.
27. S’more Magic Cookie Bars
Turns out you don’t need to build a campfire to enjoy the magic of buttery graham crackers, toasted marshmallows and chunky chocolate.
28. Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Blondies
Gooey peanut butter, naturally sweet bananas and rich chocolate make for an unbeatable blondie that’s easy to bake and even easier to bite into.
29. Mom’s Rocky Road Cookie Bars
These dense, decadent brownies topped with gooey frosting are best enjoyed once they’ve spent some time chilling in the fridge.
30. Sugar Free Low Carb Coconut Lime Bars
Put the lime in the coconut and eat it all up.
31. Frozen S’more Cookie Bars
Your favorite camping treat has been given a frozen upgrade and it is good.
32. Sugar Free Keto Peppermint Bark
This sugar-free treat boasts a creamy chocolate bottom, white chocolate top and a layer of peppermint candy. Let’s just say it tastes like holiday magic.
33. Mint Chocolate Lush Dessert
Layers of fudgy brownie, creamy chocolate pudding and pillowy mint cream make for one truly luscious dessert.
34. Pumpkin Pecan Custard Pie Bars
For when you’re craving the flavor of pumpkin pie without the hassle of making the crust (i.e., always).
35. Tequila Lime Cheesecake Bars
It’s happy hour all day when you whip up a batch of these margarita-flavored bars.
36. Brown Butter Piña Colada Blondies
Because you like piña coladas (and also eating blondies straight out of the pan).
37. Double Chocolate Brownies with Peanut Butter Chips
These extra fudgy brownies are packed with peanut butter chips and slathered with gooey chocolate. Needless to say, they don’t disappoint.
38. Paleo Cranberry Bliss Bars
Chewy blondie crust, vegan cream cheese frosting and dried cranberries come together to make a dessert you can indulge in without straying from your diet.
39. Confetti White Chocolate Bars
Bite into one of these buttery white chocolate blondies and you’ll be rewarded with a party in your mouth.
40. Cherry Cheesecake Bars
Why eat a regular cheesecake bar when you can have one drenched with cherry pie filling?