Fudge Nut Layer Bars

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Fudge Nut Layer Bars are a popular dessert bar recipe that my family has been baking for over 50 years!

Fudge Nut Layer Bars

My mom added these Fudge Nut Layer Bars to her holiday baking list before I was even born. They’re not truly a “holiday” bar since they don’t have any festive red and green sprinkles or anything like that, but they’re the perfect addition to a holiday treat platter.  They’re so delicious that they get gobbled up rather quickly.  And they’ve been a favorite holiday bar recipe in our family for as long as I can remember.

how to make Fudge Nut Layer Bars

How to make Fudge Nut Layer Bars:

You’ll be making two layers- a chocolate layer and a crust layer.  The chocolate layer is a combination of chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter, salt, chopped walnuts and vanilla. That’s all melted together and then set aside to cool while you make the dough for the crust.

The crust dough is a buttery oatmeal type of crust. Most of it is pressed into the bottom of your baking pan.  Then the chocolate is spread on top of the bottom crust. Then you’ll take the rest of the crust dough and crumble it on top of the chocolate.  A few more chopped walnuts are sprinkled on top. At this point, it’s ready for baking!

Can the nuts be left out of the recipe?

Yes!  If you’re not a fan of nuts (or if you’re allergic), go ahead and leave them out of the recipe entirely.  I’ve made these bars with and without nuts many times… and they’re just as good both ways.

Fudge Nut Layer Bars

What can you do with leftover sweetened condensed milk?

I have a great solution for what to do with leftover sweetened condensed milk.  If you area coffee drinker, sweetened condensed milk is AMAZING when added to coffee.  It’s even better in my recipe for How to Make Cold Brew Coffee.

Also, leftover sweetened condensed milk will keep in the fridge for about a month– and even longer in the freezer.  Just be sure to transfer it from the can to a safe container for refrigeration (glass or plastic).

Fudge Nut Layer Bars

How do you store fudge nut layer bars?

These bars may be kept in a treat tin at room temperature or in the freezer.  I like to separate layers with parchment or plastic wrap. They freeze well… so that means you can bake them ahead and freeze them, and then take them out of the freezer to defrost as you’re ready to eat them, serve them or gift them. Also noted: frozen bars are pretty delicious too!

Here are a few more recipes for bars that you might like to try:

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Fudge Nut Layer Bars

Top and bottom oatmeal- nut crust with a thick fudge layer in between.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 30 bars
Calories 166kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword fudge bars, fudge nut layer bars, oatmeal fudge bars



  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x9-inch or 11x7-inch pan with nonstick spray.


  • Melt the chocolate chips, sweetened condensed milk, butter and salt in the top of a double boiler or carefully over low heat (or microwave in a glass bowl). Remove from heat and add the 1/2 cup walnuts and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Set aside.


  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate, large bowl, use an electric mixer to cream together the butter and brown sugar. Mix in the egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the sifted dry ingredients and the oats.
  • Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread with the chocolate filling mixture. Crumble the remaining batter over the filling and sprinkle with the walnuts.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool completely and then cut into small bars.



  • This recipe is one that my Mom used to make all the time when I was little. I'm sure she probably got the original recipe from a magazine or from one of the Pillsbury bake-off booklets.


Serving: 1bar | Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 98mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 133IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

stack of Fudge Nut Layer Bars

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Lori Lange of Recipe Girl

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  • Mynda wrote:

    Aloha Lori,
    Are these bars suitable for mailing?
    Mahalo and happy holidays!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Yes! They are quite a sturdy bar, so I’d say they’d do well for mailing!

  • Caroline wrote:

    Just made these, absolutely amazing! I substituted some of the flour out for ground flax seed, and used dark chocolate. Love the recipe! Will be making these for family get together’s! It will crush their chocolate cravings!

  • Shawn wrote:

    OMG! I have been looking for this recipe for years. My Mom use to make these bars. They were my favorite. She did not make them as often as her other treats because they took a little bit more time to make. They are worth it! Thanks for posting it.

  • Wendy wrote:

    I tried this recipe and it was pretty good! I thought the “cookie” layer was just a tiny bit dry, so made it again added 2-3 more tablespoons of butter and more brown sugar for moisture. It was a HUGE hit – thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe!! (Oh, I also doubled the nuts – i used pecans – but I double nuts in most recipes. we are nutty kinda people! ha!!)

  • Anna wrote:

    This looks amazing! Do you know if I can make these using old fashioned oats instead of quick-cooking? What adjustments would you make?

    • RecipeGirl wrote:

      I believe if you sub old-fashioned for quick cooking, the texture will be a bit different… perhaps not as soft and a little on the grainy side. I know it’s a hassle to keep both in your pantry, but I usually do. If you try the old fashioned kind, do let me know how they worked out!