One of the things I miss the most about being dairy-free is caramel. Instead of continuing to feel left out of this deliciously gooey dessert, I decided to create my own dairy-free caramel. I paired it with these dairy-free oatmeal bars to bring out tons of sweetness. They are chewy, sticky, and to die for. 

First make the caramel and then while it cools, make the bars. 

Dairy-Free Caramel

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:10 mins
  • Total Time:15 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Easy


  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup smart balance dairy-free butter
  • 1 Tablespoon coconut cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
coffee, caramel, chocolate, milk, peanut butter
Allison Curley
  • Step 1

    Add all of the ingredients except the coconut cream to a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until thick and sticky (about 1 minute).

    Allison Curley
  • Step 2

    Slowly add in the coconut cream and cook the caramel mixture until it starts to bubble around 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir. Cool for 10 minutes.

    chocolate, cake
    Allison Curley

I improvised a lot on this dairy-free caramel recipe, but it still has the three main characteristics of caramel: creamy, buttery, and sticky. It will be the star ingredient of the dairy-free oatmeal bars. 

Dairy-Free Oatmeal Bars

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:25 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:12
  • Medium


  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips
Allison Curley
  • Step 1

    Add the oats, both sugars, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon to a mixing bowl and mix.

    cereal, wheat, oatmeal, rice, porridge, corn, oat, wheat flake, oatmeal cereal
    Allison Curley
  • Step 2

    Add in the eggs, milk, vanilla, and oil. Pour half of the mixture into a square pan.

    cereal, wheat, bread, sweet
    Allison Curley
  • Step 3

    Get out the caramel and pour it evenly on top of the mixture.

    cake, chocolate, peanut, sweet
    Allison Curley
  • Step 4

    Pour the other half of the plain oatmeal mixture on top of the caramel and add dairy-free chocolate chips on top. Bake for 25 minutes.

    cake, chocolate, banana, bread
    Allison Curley
  • Step 5

    Cool and then cut into squares to serve.

    oatmeal, chocolate, cookie
    Allison Curley

These dairy-free oatmeal bars with chocolate and caramel are some of the best substitution desserts I have ever made. When I bite into the square, there is hardiness from the oatmeal and sweetness from the caramel layer and chocolate topping. 

There is so much flavor to these bars, making it almost unrecognizably dairy-free. Make them for the next time your sweet tooth is acting up and you will not be disappointed.