Fig Newtons for Grown Ups (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

So let’s be real. We all know Fig Newtons are children’s food. I know, I know, you’ve deluded yourself for the past 20, 30, 40, whatever-sum years into thinking that they’re the healthy cookie because, come on! there’s fruit! But… let’s be real. We all know they’re children’s food.

A close up of a stack of homemade vegan and gluten-free fig newton like cookies.

So I made you some real-deal, adult approved, figgy breakfast bars with an oatmeal-banana crust. Wooo-wee. Fig Newtons just got a little more complex. To make it even better, they’re gluten-free and vegan. Who doesn’t love a good vegan cookie recipe?

And to put the cherry fig on top? We made the jam filling, too! Hello guilt-free breakfast!

Close up of stack of breakfast cookie bars made with figs, oats, oat-flour, and flax seed.

I’ve said in the past I’m not all that into figs. Well, I kind of lied. Because when you put figs in these bars, I could eat them all day. Breakfast, morning snacks, post-lunch, dessert – I’ll take ’em all.

A close up of a stainless steel measuring cup full of dried oats.

There’s just something about how they aren’t too sweet, but still so delicious, that makes me want to eat them all day and not feel bad about it.

Oblique and top down view of stack of healthy vegan and gluten-free fig breakfast bars on a white, ceramic plate.

Looking for more fig pairing and recipe suggestions? Try them in jam. Or how about in Moroccan inspired stew? Maybe in salad? Or how about in a sweet tart with a ricotta filling, or in a popsicle along with banana.

Oblique view of a stack of healthy homemade fig newton-like breakfast cookie bars made with whole ingredients.

And figs always go well with a good cheese such prosciutto, blue, Parmesan, or Gruyere and various goat cheeses (try this super tasty Fig and Gruyere Grilled Cheese recipe).

Top down view of a batch of homemade breakfast bars made with figs, bananas, whole oats, and flax seeds.

I admit, these tasty sweet fruits may be growing on me bit by bit. What about you?

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A close up of a stack of nutritious gluten-free and vegan breakfast bars that are made with whole ingredients and are similar to fig newtons.

Fig Newtons for Grown Ups (Vegan & Gluten-Free)

  • Author: Raquel Smith



The healthy, grown-up alternative to fig newtons. A super easy recipe that is both gluten-free and vegan. Guilt-free bars that are amazing any time of day!



1 cup oat flour*
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp ground flax seed + 5 Tbsp water
1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil
2 bananas
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup Easy Homemade Fig Jam


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9×9″ baking pan and set aside.
  2. Combine the flours, starch, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. Combine the flax and water in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Melt the coconut oil in a large bowl, then add the bananas and mash with a fork. Take a whisk and stir vigorously until the coconut is fully mixed into the bananas and the mixture becomes creamy (almost like you whipped butter and sugar, just more liquid-y [is that a word??]). Add the maple syrup, vanilla, and the flax mixture and stir well.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture until no lumps remain. Add the oats and mix in using a large spoon.
  5. Add about half the batter to your well-greased pan and spread it out evenly on the bottom. Add the jam (find the recipe here or you can purchase it from the store) and spread this out on top of the batter without mixing it in (you may need a bit more than a half cup). Carefully dollop the remaining batter all around on top of the jam. Use the back of a spoon or your fingers to spread the batter out over the jam. This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but a bit of patience and hard work will pay off!
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until it just begins to brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting. Enjoy!


– You can buy oat flour in the bulk aisle at many health food stores, or you can make your own by grinding rolled oats in a food processor or a powerful blender until they reach a flour-like consistency. Or you can also buy a home flour mill if you get into grinding specialty flours.

Do you have any good tips on eating this special fruit? Let us know in the comments below!

And for more fruit-filled cookie recipes, try some of these:

Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published October 27, 2014. Last updated November 15th, 2018.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Raquel Smith

Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now merged into Foodal).

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