One of my favorite snacks are granola bars. They are fairly healthy and packed with energy. But if you want even more control of what is in them then this homemade granola bars recipe is perfect for you!
I love taking them on hikes, camping, and eating them just as a snack during the day or with a banana for breakfast. They are loaded with all kinds of awesome ingredients. And, they are extremely versatile, there are several ingredients that can easily be swapped out with other ingredients.
Homemade granola bars are extremely easy to make at home, if I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
This homemade granola bars recipe includes several ingredients. It may seem like a lot but it is worth it. And you can always leave some out if you like or add different ones. The more the merrier haha.
You will need the following:
- Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats – This is the main ingredient for homemade granola bars and granola bars in general. Don’t use instant or quick oats. Also if you are concerned about gluten, make sure the oats are certified gluten-free.
- Chopped pecans – You could also use walnuts instead.
- Chopped almonds – Or use slivered almonds.
- Coconut oil – Use refined coconut oil or use butter.
- Honey – Or use agave syrup/nectar.
- Maple syrup – Or you can use agave syrup/nectar or double up on the honey.
- Vanilla extract
- Dried cranberries
- Pepitas/Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Mini chocolate chips
*Other ideas include, chopped dried apricots, mango, apple, pineapple, etc.
- Sheet pan
- Silicone mat or parchment paper
- Granola bar pan or 13×9 pan lined with parchment paper
Step 2: How to make homemade granola bars
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 F/176 C. Take a sheet pan and line it with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
Evenly spread out the oats in the pan. Make sure you are using old-fashioned rolled oats and not quick or instant oats. Those just won’t work that well. And of course, if you are concerned about gluten, use certified gluten-free oats.
If the nuts that you bought aren’t already roasted, spread those out as well. But if you bought already roasted nuts, you don’t need to add them. Toasting the oats and nuts enhances their flavor. It isn’t technically necessary, but I don’t ever skip this step.
Place the pan in the oven, middle rack, position, and bake for 15 minutes. At the 7 minute mark, stir them so they toast evenly and then bake the rest of the time. They probably won’t change color too much, maybe very slightly golden brown in color.
While the old-fashioned rolled oats and nuts are toasting, you can make the binder liquid.
In a medium bowl, combine the coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and vanilla extract with a whisk or spatula. If you don’t want to use maple syrup, double up on the honey, or use agave nectar/syrup. Or vice versa if you don’t want to use the honey.
You can swap out the coconut oil with butter as well. Although homemade granola bars are healthier if you leave the butter out and use the coconut oil.
NOTE: If your coconut oil is solid, measure it out and then melt it in the microwave for about 10 seconds or in a pot on the stovetop.
Step 3: Mix it all together
Pour the toasted oats and nuts into a large bowl. Then add the salt, raisins, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and mini chocolate chips. Any of those ingredients are optional. Other ideas to try are chopped-up dried apricots, mango, pineapple, etc. Have fun creating your own combinations of homemade granola bars.
Now pour in most of the binder/syrup. Usually, you will use it all, but if you leave a lot of these optional ingredients out and don’t replace them with others, then you won’t need all of it.
Stir all those ingredients together until everything is well coated.
Now fill up your granola bar pan/candy bar pan and press it down firmly so it packs well. It is important to press and pack it down.
If you have any leftover, which most likely you will if you are using a mold, then just place some parchment paper in a bread pan and put the rest in there, and pack it firmly. The nice thing about using bread pans is they are already the perfect length for homemade granola bars, you only have to make one cut to separate them.
Instead of using a mold, you can use a 13×9 or 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper. You will pack it in there as well. The smaller the pan the thicker the homemade granola bars will be.
The reason why I like the mold is they all turn out exactly the same size and I don’t have to cut them. It is definitely worth picking up a granola bar pan if you are going to make them regularly.
Now bake in the often, same temp, 350 F/176 C for 15 to 20 minutes just until lightly golden brown. This will help bind them all together.
Step 4: Cool, cut, and serve the homemade granola bars
Once the homemade granola bars come out of the oven, allow them to cool completely, for at least a few hours.
If you try and remove them from the mold or cut them while warm, they will just fall apart. So wait a few hours until they are firm and cooled down.
Then you can remove them from the molds or pan. Sometimes you need to tug on the sides of the mold, or just push up from the bottom, they should release easily.
For the granola bars baked in the pan just lift up the parchment paper and the one giant granola bar will come out. Then you can cut it how you want.
This makes 12 to 16 regular-sized granola bars. But you can get more if they are smaller. Enjoy!
How long do homemade granola bars last?
If you store the granola bars in a zip lock bag or an airtight container, they can be stored at room temp for up to a week. If they get too soft, you can just place them in the fridge. Store them in the fridge for a few weeks. You can also freeze them for a few months.
Here are some other recipes you may like:
Homemade Granola Bars
- sheet pan
- Silicone Mat or parchment paper
- Granola bar pan or 13×9 pan lined with parchment paper
- 2 1/2 cups rolled oats/old-fashioned oats. Don’t use instant oats. 200g
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans 65g
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds 65g
- 1/4 cup refined coconut oil or use unsalted butter 52g
- 1/3 cup honey or use agave syrup/nectar 112g
- 1/3 cup maple syrup or use agave syrup/nectar 112g
- 1 tsp vanilla extract 5ml
- 1/4 tsp salt 1g
- 1/2 cup raisins 80g
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries 80g
- 1/4 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds 30g
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 33g
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips 85g
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Add the oats and nuts to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Toast in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir them half way so they toast evenly.
- In a medium bowl mix together the maple syrup, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract.
- Add the toasted oats and nuts to a large bowl. Then add the salt, raisins, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and mini chocolate chips. Mix until combined. Then add in most of the syrup mixture. You may not need it all depending on how many of the ingredients you used. Stir until everything is well coated.
- Fill up each cavity of the granola bar pan/candy bar mold, and pack the granola down nice and tight, and add more as needed then pack. Or use a 13×9 or 9×9 inch pan lined with parchment paper and pour it all in and pack it down tight. Bread pans lined in parchment paper work great too.
- Bake for 15 minutes in the oven. Then remove and allow the granola bars to cool completely for about 2 hours. If you don't, they will probably fall apart on you. After about 30 minutes they can be put in the fridge which will cool them faster.
- Now remove them from the molds and they are ready to eat. Or remove the parchment paper and giant granola bar from the pan and then cut it into granola bar shapes. Enjoy!
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These are delicious and I have made them a few times now – my family loves them…! I have added dried cranberries to mine. My question is, I find them very crumbly – how can I make them so they will hold up better? More peanut butter? Thank you.
Hi Patricia, yeah I used dried cranberries in them as well. Make sure you are measuring the ingredients correctly, they shouldn’t be that crumbly. Are you trying them right after they come out of the oven? They will definitely be crumbly then. They need to sit/set for a few hours. I let them cool for about 30 mins to an hour at room temp, and then put them in the fridge for another hour or so. Also, I don’t use peanut butter in these. You mentioned “more peanut butter” are you sure this is the recipe you were following? haha, because peanut butter isn’t a listed ingredient. You can always try peanut butter, though. I haven’t made these with peanut butter.