8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

 

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Have you ever made homemade granola bars? I did for the first time a few years ago to take with us on a trip to Yellowstone. They were delicious bits of heaven and I’ve been making that same recipe often for years. The other day I got a crazy idea to turn granola bars into one of my giant “# of this thing you should make” recipe posts and now I can’t be stopped! I have literally made granola bars at least three times a week for the last month. They are awesome! They taste delicious, they travel well, they make great little gifts to take over to friends, and they are just plain easy to put together. Need a snack for preschool, after t-ball, or to take in the car to a game? I’ve got you covered.

I’m so excited about these posts because I think there’s a lot of power in giving you a lot of bang for your click. In other words, no matter how you got here, I want to make sure that you don’t go away with out getting some great information/inspiration. If you chose to click over to my blog I want to make your time worthwhile. So far I’ve done 4 Ways to Cook the Perfect Chicken Breast and 9 Staple Salad Dressings You Should Know How to Make (which is going crazy in Pinterest, hooray!), and I have so many fun things planned.

I’m so excited to share this post with you! I have spent so much time (and calories) getting things ready and you are going to love it! If this post speaks to you, you think someone else might like it, or you want to save it for later, by all means share it on your social media platforms. Pin itfacebook it, throw a picture up on Instagram and tag me (#blessthismesseats). All of those things are incredibly helpful to me and the more sharing that happens the more I’m able to turn this hobby into a job that helps my family (and my house building project). There is so much power in your sharing, you literally have no idea how important that is for me.

Thank you! And now enjoy some amazing homemade granola bars from my kitchen to yours.

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Base Granola Bar Recipe
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Makes: 12
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • ½ cup nuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cups total extra mix-ins (about ¼ cup of 3 different ingredients such as dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square baking dish with parchment or foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Place the oats and nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until lightly toasted. Place the nuts and oats in a large bowl.
  3. While the oats are toasting, add the honey, butter, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. When butter mixture is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour this mixture over the oat and nut mixture and stir to combine. Add any extra ingredients (except for chocolate) and stir to combine. Make sure none of the oats are dry.
  4. If you are adding chocolate, wait about 15 minutes for the mixture to cool a bit before adding the chocolate and then stirring to combine.
  5. Place all of the oat mixture in the prepared pan. Use a rubber spatula or the bottom of a greased measuring cup to press the mixture into the pan. Chill the granola bars for at least 2 hours. Lift the bars from the pan using the edges of the foil or parchment and place them on a cutting board. Cut into desired shape/sizes and serve.
Notes
These store very well in the fridge or freezer. You may want to wrap them in a bit of parchment paper before putting them in a container or plastic bag in the fridge so that they don't stick together.

This recipe is adapted from and inspired by What’s Gaby Cooking.

I have made this recipe over a dozen times in the last month and here’s what I’ve found:

  • You can use 1/3 cup honey and 1/4 cup brown sugar in this recipe if you like a stronger honey flavor. The granola bars will be slightly more sticky this way. My kids did not like this ratio, though I thought it was great. The honey flavor was too strong for them.
  • You can replace the brown sugar with honey and gently boil the mixture for about a minutes for these bars (stirring lots, honey burns quickly). The honey flavor was very strong but the bars held together. I didn’t really like the bars like this (too much honey flavor but when I used less they didn’t stick together).
  • You can make the recipe as written and gently boil the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes and the bars will have a little more crunch to them and will be less soft/sticky.
  • I’m 90% sure you could replace the brown sugar with coconut sugar though I haven’t tried it yet.
  • I liked to press my bars down a second time after they chilled for the 2 hours. This really helped them to hold together well.
  • These store super well in the fridge or freezer.
  • If you are going to add chocolate, you’ll want to wait until the hot honey and oat mixture cools a little bit (about 15 minutes) or all the chocolate chips will melt (still tastes great, but doesn’t look as nice).
  • Toasting the nuts and oats is optional but it makes the granola bars taste like cookies. I highly recommend it.
  • You don’t actually have to put the oats/nuts in the bowl. If the pan that you toasted them on is large enough you can just pour the hot honey mixture over the top and carefully stir everything together right on the pan. It’s a little trickier, but I’d rather take a little more time to stir than wash an extra bowl.
  • I feel like these are good after the 2 hour rest but I feel like they are really good after you let them sit overnight (this could be at room temperature if you are short on fridge space…). It gives everything time to blend and the texture improves, just FYI.
  • I tried a batch with coconut oil in place of the butter and it turned out great though they seemed to not hold together as well.

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

 

Here are my 8 variations. You’ll follow the directions in the “master mix” recipe but I have specified what nuts and add-ins to include. The possibilities are endless but here are some of my favorites!

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Blueberry = master mix + almonds + 1/2 cup dried blueberries + 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Notes: I’m obsessed with dried blueberries right now! You can get really tasty ones at Trader Joe’s (they were soft and squishy and did come with added sugar), and I also bought a bag of unsweetened ones from Bob’s Red Mill online and had them mailed to my house. These were very hard but still delicious. In an effort to soften them up a bit I tossed them in the butter mixture on the stove and let them sit in the hot liquid for about 10 minutes which worked fine. You can use traditional shredded sweetened coconut or you can buy shredded unsweetened coconut, both were delicious, though I like the texture of the unsweetened coconut better.

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Dark Chocolate Cherry = master mix + pecans + 1/2 cup dried cherries + 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Notes: The toasted pecans in the granola bars were my favorite. If you are going to use pecans don’t skip the toasting step because it makes them amazing! I have bought dried tart cherries, dried Bing cherries, and dried “sweet” cherries recently. They are all delicious (again I got some at Trader Joe’s and the tart cherries online from Bob’s Red Mill). I liked the tang of the tart cherries the best but any will work really. 8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Tropical = master mix + cashews + 1/2 cup chopped dried fruit (pineapple, mango, and mandrine oranges) + 1/4 cup coconut

I got all of the dried fruit at Trader Joe’s and it was all so delicious. I’m sad my dried pineapple is all gone. You can use traditional shredded sweetened coconut or you can buy unsweetened coconut, both were delicious, though I like the texture of the unsweetened coconut better.

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

White Chocolate Cranberry = master mix + almonds + 1/4 cup dried cranberries + 1/4 cup sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup white chocolate chips

These were classic, traditional, and good. Plus, the red from the cranberries are really pretty.

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Peanut Butter Chocolate = master mix + 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (add this when you add the vanilla and salt and stir well to combine) + 1/2 cup M&M’s + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Notes: Did you even have those “Kudos” bars when you were a kid that were practically an oat candy bar? These taste just like them. I used both natural and traditional peanut butter with success. The addition of a few peanuts would be delicious though I didn’t try it.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel = master mix + 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (add this when you add the vanilla and salt and stir well to combine) + 1/3 cup broken pretzel pieces + 1/4 cup peanut butter chips + 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Notes: these fell apart a little more for me (from adding the pretzels I assume, they must soak up some of the moisture faster than the oats do), you can add an additional 2 tablespoons of butter to the honey mixture to add a little more moisture.

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

 

Spiced Nuts = master mix + 1/2 cup almonds + 1/2 cup pecans + 1/2 cup cashews + 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (add this when you add the vanilla and salt)

Notes: The additional of cinnamon and all those perfectly toasted nuts was awesome.

Sunflower Pecan = master mix + almonds + 1/4 cup sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup candy coated sunflower seeds + 1/4 cup shredded coconut

Notes: The candy coated sunflower seeds are really pretty and I liked using them, but they actually don’t taste all the great (they don’t have any chocolate). After I made and ate these I wanted to go back and add either 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the butter mixture OR some chocolate chips (maybe white chocolate chips?). They needed a little more going on. You can use traditional shredded sweetened coconut or you can buy unsweetened coconut, both were delicious, though I like the texture of the unsweetened coconut better.

 

8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

Which granola bar recipe will you be making first?

Here’s one last combo because it’s my current obsession – the master mix with pecans (toasted, you have to toast the pecans!) with dried blueberries and a little bit of cinnamon thrown in. You guys, it tastes like a berry crisp and I’m not complaining. It’s so good!

You have a million and one options (with 8 solid recipes to start with) and I know at least one of them spoke to you heart (or stomach) today.

Go and make them!


52 comments on “8 Easy Homemade Granola Bar Recipes You Should Try TODAY

  1. These sounds great! I will definitely give some of them a try. Have you ever made the master mix without any nuts in them? Would I just add more oats in their place? My kids school is nut free…

    1. I’d just skip them all together and not worry about adding more oats, the nuts wouldn’t have soaked up any of the moisture really so I don’t think it’d me an issue! Let me know if you try it, I’d love to hear how it works.

    1. Yep, I put it in the notes/bullet points in the post, did you see it? All honey needed to simmer (super low and slow though because honey burns quickly) to cook the sugar just a bit so that it would be a little stickier and stick together. Also, it was very strong in the honey flavor and we didn’t like them very well. If you adore all things honey you might, but if was super strong. If you are looking for a more natural sugar route I’d try coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar!

  2. I’m excited to make this for my child’s preschool, since parents take turns making snack for the kids. I love all the ideas!

  3. My 14-year-old daughter made a batch by herself, and they’re super yummy! She did a 1.5 recipe to go in a 9X13 pan, and those dimensions worked out well. She added roasted almonds and dried cranberries. They hold up really well – thanks!

  4. I only have a microwave, do you know how I might be able to bake the oats and nuts using a microwave? Mine’s a basic microwave (hi, mid, low settings), there is no convection option.

    1. Hmmmm, that’s a great questions. I really don’t have much input for you but I think it would be worth trying a batch on maybe low? Let me know if it works for you!

  5. Just made a batch using pretzels, coconut, almond butter, almonds, pistachios and chocolate drizzled on top after they cooled. SO GOOD! Thanks for the great recipe–I’ve had lots of trouble with bars falling apart on past attempts but these were great.

  6. I’ve made these a couple of times just using a fridge to set them, but I am going for a trip, and I won’t have access to a fridge to store them. I’ve tried keeping them at room temperature before, but they always fall apart. Do you think I can perhaps bake them for a short time to bind the ingredients together, so they’ll hold together at room temperature? Love the recipe by the way – SUPER DELICIOUS!

    1. I do think you could bake them, maybe at 350 for 10 minutes? I think your other option would be to let the sugar mixture come to a light boil for maybe 1 minute. If you cook the sugar a bit on the stove I think they would firm up once cooled too. I’m so glad you like them and I can’t wait to hear about any adjustments you might make.

  7. These were absolutely delicious! Like, amazing! I have tried a couple of other granola bar recipes and these were defintely the best. They tasted great and the texture was perfect. Thanks for all your work to get these just right!

  8. Just made these – turned out great but I made some adjustments:
    No butter, subbed PB. Added 2tlb milk to thin out mix from PB.
    Mix-ins were:
    Oven-dried strawberries and bananas, cornflakes, chocolate chips, mixed (unsalted) nuts.
    I also added cinnamon, and a little pink Himalayan sea salt.
    Delightful! Thanks! I’ll be making these again.

  9. I have been looking for a good granola bar base recipe and this is it. I am feeding the cross country team each weekend when they travel and this recipe is perfect. I added almonds, pecans and walnuts to the base and then add extra flavors beyond that. The kids love them and so does the coach. The kids are now making flavor requests each week! (No nut allergies, obviously…). Thank you so much for the great ideas.

    1. I love that! Thank you so much for sharing. We make them lots and lots for school snacks and team sport stuff too. Thanks for your comment, totally made my day!

  10. I just made these with the M&Ms, chocolate chips, and PB. I had saw that someone 1.5’d the recipe for a 9×13 so I did that. They didn’t cut into nice shapes and the M&Ms all fell off! Now I see that I should have probably doubled it. Do you think that doubling it instead would fix the crumbly not-holding-together issue?

    1. I’d double it for sure. Also, try cooking the the sugar mixture on the stove just a little less, that might help it not crumble too. How did they taste??

  11. These are so good! I made the peanut butter pretzel ones and I did dried cranberry, coconut and almonds and the last one I was channeling an almond joy and did almonds, cashews, coconut and chocolate ?. So yum!

  12. These were delicious! So easy and I added coconut, peanut butter and raisins! Weird mix I know but I used what I had to test the recipe. Definite winner will be making this all different ways! Love it

  13. These are a perfect on-the-go snack! Plan on making some of these to keep around the house or throw in my gym bag. Can’t wait to try the endless varieties!

  14. How about making these for a vegan friend… if I sub earth balance for butter could I swap the honey for agave or other sweetener? I am not familiar with adjusting for vegan cooking. Thank you!

    1. I’d do coconut oil for the butter and agave or maple syrup for the honey (though the agave is closer in texture to the honey, so maybe try that first!). I’d love to hear how it goes!

  15. These. are. amazing. Period. I have tried countless granola bar recipes and never had any as good as this. No problems with crumbling either and I kept them at room temp. We took them (double batch) on holiday last week and they were supposed to last all week but only lasted about 2 days. I could eat a whole batch myself in one sitting. My problem is that I actually need to make them taste LESS good cuz I couldn’t stop eating them! Kids loved them too. I did a double batch and put them in a high-rimmed cookie sheet. It was perfect. Making more tonight for this weeks lunches–if they make it past Tuesday!

  16. Found your recipe and I’ve made it twice in less than a week and a half. Seriously Yummy! Thank you very much. Once as written and once spicy – with cinnamon, cloves, mace and almonds – from my favorite spice cookie recipe.

      1. Will you mind too much if I keep posting combinations that I make? I have an idea for dried cranberries and a lightly orange flavored yogurt fondant icing, but I want to test it first.
        When I found your blog I had been looking for a couple of years for something to fit my work schedule, but was also yummy. Your base recipe was an answer to my prayers! Can’t thank you enough!!!!!

        1. Orange cranberry is one of my favorite combos (check out my orange cranberry quick bread this fall, it’s amazing). Keep the comments/updates/new ideas coming! I love hearing them. Totally made my day Holly!

  17. These are delicious! Thanks for the recipe. They do get crumbly when they start reaching room temperature, so make sure you take them in a cooler if you’re taking them on the road.

  18. Hi Melissa, It’s Holly and I’ve been testing.

    The Orange-Cranberry worked well. For the Nuts I used slivered Almonds. Under “Extras” I added 1/4 c. wheat germ and 1/2 c. dried cranberries.

    As additional flavor I added about a tablespoon of minced Orange zest.

    The bars got topped off with a 2 cup recipe of yogurt coating (see https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-to-make-yogurt-covered-food/) with 1 teaspoon of Orange Extract (I think 1/2 teaspoon would be enough though). Personally, I think half the coating recipe would be enough for one batch of bars.

    The other test was 1/2 c. Nuts and 1/2 c. Extras were all chopped Walnuts, 1/2 c. wheat germ, 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon and 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg.

    So far, so good! Hope you and the other folks will enjoy these.

    1. You had me a yogurt coating! Thank you so much for taking the time to share these. We have baseball tonight so I think I’ll try a batch of yours for the kids to munch on during the game.

      1. The coating can be sticky if you don’t let it dry WELL. So beware of sticky little fingers! I’ve left the covered/coated bars to “dry” for about 24 hours before serving. I’m not sure if a dehydrator would help to speed the process.

  19. Hope this helps –

    I found just a little crumbling of the bars, so I tried bringing the honey mixture to a boil for about 1-2 minutes in a larger (4 qt.) saucepan and adding the oat mixture into the saucepan. Immediately turning off the heat and mixing well to coat EVERYTHING – while still in the saucepan.

    These bars have been somewhat more stable (for carrying to work in my case).

  20. I can’t wait to make these! What is the best way to store them? I’m hoping to make a batch to eat this coming week and to put into the freezer so I’d love to know how to store them both. Thanks!!

    1. I like to wrap them in a bit of parchment (or place a layer of it in between a layer of bars and then but another layers of bars on top) and keep them in a tubberware with a lid. I live in the desert so everything dries out if you leave it uncovered.

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