A healthier version of the classic biscuit treat, these oaty chocolate orange bars are full of the flavours of a Jaffa Cake but have less added sugar and more nutritious ingredients. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
I was inspired to make this healthier version of Jaffa Cakes by the Great British Bake Off 2016.
What are Jaffa cakes?
Jaffa cakes are traditionally little sponge cakes topped with orange jelly and chocolate. Many of the contestants on the show didn't do a great job at recreating them - they are definitely trickier than they look!
Having gone through many different options in my head, I took the bold move at 6am today when up with my toddler, to do something that wasn't a cake at all.
How are my chocolate orange bars different?
These chocolate Jaffa oat bars are full of chocolate orange flavours, but are a healthier option.
There is no refined sugar in the oaty base at all, so if you had a very young child you could just make this part. As a treat though, I don't mind my toddler having a little bit of chocolate and he certainly enjoyed these a lot.
Predictably I did have to change his t-shirt afterwards though as it was so chocolatey! It's so hot here at the moment and 30 degrees plus heat and chocolate treats don't mix well. Thank goodness for washing machines.
These bars are also dairy free and vegan - just be sure to buy vegan chocolate.
If you like these you might also like my vegan vanilla fairy cakes.
Pin Oaty Jaffa Cake Bars for later:
Make these Jaffa Cake inspired oaty chocolate orange bars
If you have made this recipe I would love it if you’d leave a comment and rating below. Thank you!
Oaty chocolate orange bars
For the bars
- 120 g oats
- 50 g chopped nuts I used hazelnuts
- 100 g dates chopped. If your dates are dry you might want to soak them in hot water first.*
- Juice and zest of one orange
- 35ml sunflower oil
For the topping
- 3 tbsp orange marmalade
- 100 g dark chocolate vegan if preferred
To make the bars
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C fan/200°C/gas mark 6. Grease a 20cm square cake tin and line with baking paper.
- Place 120g oats, 50g chopped nuts, 100g chopped dates, zest and juice of an orange orange and 35ml sunflower oil into a food processor and pulse until well combined.
- Spread smoothly over the base of the tin and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until firm and golden brown.
- Remove and allow to cool completely.
To make the topping
- Melt 100g dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave.
- While the chocolate is melting spread 3 tablespoon orange marmalade over the top of the oat cake.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the top, allow to cool slightly then pop in the fridge to set. If you want to avoid the chocolate cracking remove the cake from the fridge after half an hour or so and cut into squares or bars. Return to the fridge to finish setting.
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Ooh these sound so good but so much healthier! Will be making these I think 🙂 I made proper jaffa cakes and found them a pain!
Lol, thanks Stacey! Let me know what you think X
Lucy - BakingQueen74
They look great Mandy, and so healthy too. Great for lunch boxes. Mine are a bit similar but a lot less healthy, hehe!
Thanks Lucy - off to check yours out now X
I love this healthier take on the jaffa cake challenge. I'd been hoping to join in with the Bake Off Bake Along this year but I can't justify testing (and asking) that many baked recipes. I think I'm going to have to pick and choose which ones to try out. Who's your early pick as a winner? Based on episode 1 I'm backing Selasi.
I'd say Selasi as well but you really never know do you! I'm hoping to bake along every week but with a healthy twist - we'll see how it goes!! X
What a lovely idea, love the sound of these
Thanks Louise - they were lovely X
The oat bars look fab, it's a great idea.
I'm saving this recipe because I think the girls would love these in their lunchboxes 🙂
Let me know what they think!
Angela / Only Crumbs Remain
I have to agree Mandy that GBBO is one of those 'must watch' series. I love the sound of your healthier jaffa cakes,I imagine they tasted absolutely delicious....and your toddler isn't the only one to get chocolate down his clothes - I did the same when I made my GBBO bake yesterday!Angela x
Thanks Angela - it was nice to have a healthier treat to enjoy! Looking forward to seeing your bake X
These look great, I love that they are a healthier alternative too xx
Thanks Emma - they were delicious and really had a Jaffa cake flavour despite being a bit healthier
Ooh, they look amazing, and much more up my street than the jaffa cakes they baked on the show this week. I'd love to give these a go.
Would love to hear what you think!
Sarah James @ Tales From The Kitchen Shed
Wow, you are quick off the mark Mandy. I love the idea of a Jaffa flapjack, I bet they're delicious x
They were really good, thanks Sarah!
ooooh Mandy these sound lovely and a chocolate orange flapjack sounds amazing! love that its a healthier take on the bake off. thank you for linking up 🙂 x
They are delicious, thanks Jenny - a real hit in our house!
I love these! I was just thinking...wouldn't it be great if there was a healthy bake week on the Bake Off...such a fab idea to make a healthy flapjack version. Quite jealous that I didn't think of this idea first, actually! 🙂 Definitely pinning these!! Eb x
A healthy week would be a great idea! They did a free from week last year with a sugar free one didn't they, it'll be interesting to see what they do this time around X
What a great variation I do like the sound of these.
And such dedication 6 am start I salute you 😉
Thanks - the 6am start was not my choice!!!