There are always new innovations happening in baking, and the latest invention is often a reimagining of a classic dessert. Many dessert bars, for example, take all the luscious flavors of desserts you know and put them in a more compact and easy-to-eat form. This doesn’t mean there aren’t loads of new dessert bar ideas to be found.
There definitely are. In fact, the dessert bar seems to inspire creativity. So, whether you’re looking for a perfect party dessert, a bake sale hit, a fun baking project for a sleepover, or a canvas for your next confectionary creation, dessert bars are where it’s at.
1. Chocolatey Caramely Shortbread Bars
This dessert is everything classic dessert lovers will love. Its primary flavors are chocolate, caramel, and shortbread. You may have to run to the store to pick up chopped pecans and milk chocolate chips, but all the other ingredients are kitchen staples.
This dessert will be ready to eat after about thirty minutes and you’ll have around twenty-two squares.
2. Lucky Charms Bars
Didn’t think Rice Krispie treats could get any better? Well, they can. This dessert bar is basically a Lucky Charms version of Rice Krispie treats studded with white chocolate.
It is super-simple to make and requires only a few ingredients. The making process takes only about 30 minutes and is lots of fun. It’s an ideal group project (did someone say sleepover?) because the stirring can get challenging due to the stickiness of the marshmallows.
These bars take two hours to set before eating (did someone say movie time?). This recipe produces sixteen squares.
3. Cinnamon Roll Cheesecake Bars
Another perk of the dessert bar is emphasized in this recipe: the seamless combination of two different desserts into one delicious treat. Since this recipe requires you to make a crust, cheesecake, and the cinnamon swirl, it does call for a lot of different ingredients, but the fanciest piece of equipment you will need is an electric mixer. These bars will take a little over an hour to make.
This recipe will produce four dozen of them, more than enough to share with your family and friends.
4. Rocky Road Bars
This bar epitomizes why we love the classic rocky road combination so much. The signature flavors of chocolate and marshmallows come through strong but are also complemented by the addition of peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and crisp rice cereal for crunch. The ingredients are extremely simple and, because of that, you can taste every single one.
They only take about twenty minutes to make, but should be refrigerated for two hours before being served. This recipe will produce sixteen bars.
5. Thanksgiving Leftovers Dessert Bars
Thanksgiving feasts are one of the highlights of the year, but after the fateful day, it’s hard to figure out what to do with all your leftovers. Luckily, if you’re looking to put your leftover cranberry sauce to use, I have just the recipe for you. To make the crunchy topping, you may need to run to the grocery store to get some old-fashioned rolled oats and chopped nuts.
While you’re out, grab a pastry blender if you don’t have one, because this recipe requires it. This recipe takes an hour and fifteen minutes to make, and will produce twelve bars.
6. Coconut Dream Bars
These bars feature the classic combination of coconut, caramel, and chocolate that everyone knows and loves! It is basically a big, square, girl scout cookie – but homemade. You might want to run out and get some sweetened coconut and toasted chopped pecans for the topping, but you will probably have the other ingredients on hand.
This will take about an hour to make and will produce twenty-four bars. There is a good chance that, after your first batch, you’ll be revisiting this recipe many times over.
7. Sweet and Creamy Lemon Dessert Bars
This recipe combines the traditional lemon bar and a slice of lemon cheesecake into one delicious dessert. You may need to run to your local grocery store for pecans, cream cheese and, naturally, a lemon. Otherwise, the ingredients and equipment required are things found in most bakers’ kitchens.
This product takes almost four hours to make as the combined cooking and chilling time of the dessert is three hours. After exercising some patience, you can dig into the eighteen bars this recipe produces.
8. Reese’s Cups Dessert Bars
Who do you know who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate? Hopefully no one. This delicious dessert is the baked version of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
You may have to travel to the grocery store to pick up some peanut butter, graham crackers, and chocolate chips, but the trip will be well worth it. This dessert takes about half an hour to make and must chill for two hours before being served. This recipe will produce eighteen squares.
9. Fruity Oatmeal Dessert Bars
These apricot and oatmeal bars are the perfect sweet summer breakfast for sitting out on your patio and enjoying the sunlight. After heading to the grocery store for some oatmeal and apricot preserves, you can whip this dessert up in less than an hour. This recipe requires standard supplies and a pastry blender, and will produce nine squares.
10. Hello Dolly Bars
The famous Hello Dolly bars, also called Magic Bars or Seven Layer Bars, combine the delicious flavors of chocolate, coconut, and nuts in a graham cracker crust. This recipe requires some ingredients you might not have on hand, like sweetened coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and pecans, but the equipment required is pretty standard. This recipe only takes around forty minutes to make and will produce twenty squares.
11. Buttery Coconut Dessert Bars
Instead of blending coconut with other flavors like chocolate or caramel, this recipe finally lets coconut dominate. These bars feature coconut custard and a shortbread base. The coconut layer requires ingredients like sweetened flaked coconut and sweetened condensed milk, but the equipment you will need is minimal and standard.
This recipe takes a little over an hour to make and produces a whopping thirty-six servings.
12. Millionaire Bars
You’re going to wish you had a million of these millionaire bars after you taste one. This recipe combines a lot of delicious caramel and chocolate flavors, balanced out by the shortbread crust. Despite having to make three different layers, this recipe requires surprisingly minimal supplies.
These bars do take four hours to make, half of that time being designated for chilling before serving. Once they’re ready, you’ll have twenty servings of one of the best desserts you’ve ever had.
13. Key Lime Pie Bars
This recipe condenses the classic key lime pie into a smaller version but still packs the same sweetness and tang as a standard slice of pie. This recipe requires lots of graham crackers, cream cheese, and, of course, limes. It also requires a food processor and a zester.
This recipe takes about an hour to make and will produce eighteen servings.
14. The Classic Lemon Bar
If you’re looking for a recipe that will have your friends banging down your door for more treats, look no further. Considering how delicious this dessert is, the preparation is fairly easy. Lemon bars are a dessert every baker should have in their repertoire and this recipe makes the process as easy as possible with a top-quality result.
This recipe takes a little over an hour to make and will produce twenty squares.
15. Decadent Cookie Bars
These bars are just like cookies but bigger and thicker! What’s not to love? You can use the standard ingredients and equipment for regular chocolate chip cookies or add some chopped pecans and white chocolate chips to make the cookie a little more interesting.
This recipe takes about forty minutes to make and produces twelve servings. This will be a hit with any group, guaranteed.
16. Chocolate Banana Bread Blondie Bars
I know the title sounds too good to be true! How can so many delicious desserts coexist in one and I’m only just now hearing about it? Forget bringing over banana bread for the holidays, people are going to be asking for these.
None of the ingredients are out of the ordinary. This recipe takes a little under an hour to make and needs to cool for fifteen minutes before serving. This will produce enough servings for the family to enjoy for a couple of days or for you to enjoy for about a week.
17. Chocolate Chip Banana Bars
Sticking with the chocolatey banana theme – a criminally underrated combination, by the way – our next recipe is a spin on the classic banana bar. This recipe puts a little twist on the traditional bar composition by using vanilla Greek yogurt. The yogurt makes the bars fluffier and gives them a more cake-like texture.
These bars only take about thirty minutes to make and this recipe produces sixteen bars.
18. Creamy Banana Bars
Still can’t get enough of bananas? You need to try these amazing banana cream pie bars. This is a no-bake dessert that has three different layers – or four if you count the crust.
Along with Nilla Wafers, this recipe requires cream cheese, cool whip and banana pudding. Just reading the recipe is delicious! These only take about 15 minutes to make, but you will have to wait a few hours for them to set.
19. Cozy Fireside S’mores Bars
You might have thought s’mores couldn’t get any better, but s’mores bars have more of all the things you love about regular s’mores; more chocolate, more marshmallow and more great taste. This recipe is incredibly easy to make, and a perfect activity for kids. It only requires four ingredients: the traditional s’mores ingredients and butter.
And it only has four steps. This recipe takes a little under thirty minutes to make and will produce twenty-four squares.
20. Crunchy Cheesecake Bars
A lot of desserts use pecans as toppings or to add a little extra crunch, but rarely are they allowed to be the stars of the show. This bar combines delicious pecans with cheesecake and it’s heaven. Note: This recipe requires a few things you might have to dash to the store for, like corn syrup and heavy whipping cream.
These bars take a little over five hours to make, including 35 minutes of baking and at least 4 hours of setting. These must be kept refrigerated, but that’s okay because they’re delicious cold!
21. The Ultimate Holiday Dessert Bar
Next Christmas, instead of bringing around a tin of store-bought toffee, bring toffee dessert bars. This recipe combines all the delicious flavors of toffee without the tooth-breaking crunch. It is gooey and chocolatey and has an amazing brown sugar crust.
This recipe takes almost four hours to make, considering the bars must cool for three hours before being ready to serve, but they are well worth the wait. This recipe will produce twelve servings.
22. Mouth Melting Caramel Dessert Bars
If you’re a fan of caramel, this is most definitely the recipe for you. This recipe is almost entirely sugar or something sweet and the end result is so worth the wait. Be careful when sharing these with someone because, once you do, they’ll never stop asking you to make them again.
These bars must be refrigerated in an air-tight container to keep them fresh as long as possible.
23. Mint Chocolate Cookie Bar
Mint and chocolate are already an iconic combination, but when you add Oreos? It doesn’t get much better than that. In this recipe you get the mint flavor from both mint M&Ms and mint chocolate Oreos.
You get lots of green color as an added bonus, making this a fun St. Patrick’s Day recipe. This recipe is pretty simple, uses standard ingredients and equipment, and produces nine to twelve squares.
24. Tropical Vacation Dessert Bar
We’ve seen coconut used in many different ways throughout all these recipes, but we’ve yet to see it used with its most famous counterpart: pineapple! Well, look no further because this recipe is the stuff of your pineapple-coconut dreams. These bars take a little under an hour to make and stay fresh for days.
This recipe produces twenty-four servings.
25. Fruity Summertime Blondies
This recipe enhances the flavor of a traditional blondie with strawberry and lemon, making it the perfect summertime treat. This moist dessert topped with a delicious strawberry glaze is everything you never knew you needed. This recipe only takes forty-five minutes to make and produces twelve servings.