cookie bars from South Africa with oatmeal and coconut

South African Oatmeal Cookie Bars - Crunchies

These simple, South African oatmeal cookie bars aka crunchies are astonishingly delicious. Enjoy their nutty flavor at breakfast or as a snack.
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine South African
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 24
Author Jas


  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal flakes
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry desiccated coconut
  • 1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 oz. 1 ½ sticks butter
  • 1 tablespoon golden syrup*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, oatmeal, coconut, almonds, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix well.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the butter, molasses, sugars, and salt until completely melted. Stir in baking soda.
  • Pour the butter mixture over the oatmeal mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Press the mixture tightly into a greased 8x8-inch baking pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 10 minutes longer or until golden brown.
  • Cut into bars or diamonds while still warm. Let cool completely before removing from the pan. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.


~ Free Tip ~
  • *If you don't have golden syrup available, try these sweeteners as an alternative: molasses, corn or maple syrup, Agave, or honey.
  • For the crunchier and thinner crunchies, bake in a 9x13 pan.
  • For a healthier version, replace all but 1/4 cup brown sugar with 2-3 mashed bananas and use only 1 stick of butter.