Homemade Granola Bars – the Winning Recipe

posted by Andrea | 08/1/2011

I’ve been on a mission to find the “perfect” homemade granola bar recipe for the last several months — and you better believe I’ve tried my fair-share of recipes!

And while all of the recipes tasted delicious, I was never really satisfied until last week when I tried yet another new granola bar recipe…

My idea of perfect granola bars:

  • not too sweet — but still sweet enough
  • easy to make with simple ingredients I always have on hand
  • makes at least a 9×13″ pan
  • they stick together very well and can easily be cut into bars
  • ability to customize based on individual taste

I know that sounds picky, but guess what — I found a recipe that meets my rigorous standards! {thanks to Elizabeth — a loyal reader and Facebook fan!}

I just know you’re going to love it too!

Ingredients:

{print this recipe}

  • 1/2 c. honey or corn syrup {I used 1/4 c. of each}
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2 c. quick oats
  • 2 c. Rice Krispy cereal
  • 1/4 c. ground flax seed
  • 1 or 2 T. wheat germ {optional — and I did not add this}
  • 1 c. total of your favorite mix-ins {I used chocolate chips, but you could also mix and match dried fruit, nuts, seeds, etc.}

 

Directions:

In a small sauce pan, mix honey {or corn syrup} and brown sugar.

Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is completely dissolved — stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and quickly stir in peanut butter.

Mix the oats, cereal, flax seed, and optional wheat germ in a large bowl.

Pour honey mixture over dry ingredients — mix well.

Stir in chocolate chips, nuts, fruit, and any other “mix-ins”

 

Press mixture into a 9″ x 13″ pan that has been greased or lined with wax paper. {I find it works best when I put another piece of wax paper on top of the bars and press down with a measuring cup.}

 

Let cool and “firm up” —  kind of like Rice Krispy Bars

Cut into bars and store in an air-tight container. I cut mine into 24 bars that were about 1″ x 4″ {8 rows by 3 rows}. I used a pastry cutter/scraper because it cuts really straight lines — but a long knife would work just fine too.

And since I used chocolate chips, I figured it would be best to store our granola bars in the refrigerator so they don’t melt!

This recipe is seriously THE best granola bar recipe that I’ve tried so far. Probably good enough that I’ll stop looking and just file this one away as my official granola bar recipe!

Thanks Elizabeth for the AWESOME recipe — I’ll be making many more granola bars in the years to come!!!

Visit my virtual recipe box for more simple, delicious, family friendly, recipes!

3.6K+Shares

Filed under: Food

Leave a comment

90 comments

  1. Jennifer

    04/15/2012

    We LOVE this recipe! We have never had any problems with them sticking together…but for those of you who have, perhaps try adding a little extra honey to the recipe. We have tried different variations, right now we are using chocolate Krispy cereal and cinnamon chips.

    [Reply]

  2. Rob

    04/09/2012

    Made these about an hour ago… Fantastic!!! Making another batch now with ONLY… 1 cup Rice Krispy’s and 2 1/2 cups oats and 1/4 cup brown sugar. (still used 1 cup honey) and added 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. used 1/2 cup each of chocolate chips and sunflower seeds. Tastes great in the bowl…

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    So glad you like them! I need to make another batch or two as well!

    [Reply]

  3. Tracy

    04/04/2012

    Made them yesterday and my family loved them. My son even asked for this for his bedtime snack. They are great. Thanks for the recipe!

    [Reply]

  4. Menu 3/4-3-10 | Hardly A Goddess…

    03/25/2012

    […] homemade granola bars (simply organized living […]

  5. Ana Maria S.

    03/23/2012

    I just made these today and I LOVE them!!! I used to make my granola bars similarly with these 5 easy ingredients: organic coconut oil, honey, peanut butter, quick oats, and chocolate chips. Pretty good but not great. These are my new favorite! Thanks so much for the recipe 🙂

    [Reply]

  6. Lisa

    03/23/2012

    Could you tell me how long you think these stay good for? Both in the fridge or out? Thank you!

    [Reply]

    Heather Ratliff Reply:

    I keep them in the freezer for at least 3 weeks. Just let them thaw for a bit before eating.

    [Reply]

  7. Crystal

    03/22/2012

    So excited to try- I’ve been searching this out on Pinterest but am happy you posted one with your outcomes and that you prefer this version over others. Can’t wait!!!

    [Reply]

  8. Jennifer

    03/13/2012

    I’ve got these cooling now. So ready to try them. I’ve been paying $2 for 5 bars. Now I’ve used things I always have on hand to make these, which is practically free. No preservetives, loads of omega-3 and fiber. Fast and easy.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Reply:

    Amazing! Couldn’t wait to try one. Fantastic! Tip to get last bit of corn syrup out of the bottle was to nuke it for 15 seconds and it liquified and poured out easily. I got a little distracted with my 18 month old son dancing on the dining room table, my pb honey mixture had gotten set up before i could fully mix it into the oats so I just nuked the whole bowl for 30 seconds to soften it back up. Also I smashed it all down then added chocolate chips and pressed them in so they wouldn’t melt too much. Thank you for the perfect granola bar recipe!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yay — SOOO glad they turned out for you Jennifer!

    [Reply]

    Ramona Reply:

    Hey just wondering what sort of ingredients to add if we want more fiber 🙂 Thanks

    [Reply]

  9. Angela

    03/06/2012

    I wondered if you ever tried cutting back on the brown sugar and how that worked.
    I made them as you said and they look wonderful…still cooling!
    But I’d like to cute the sugar a little for the kids.

    [Reply]

  10. shirley

    03/04/2012

    nice job we r makeing granola bars and its hard with out one of those knives

    [Reply]

  11. Kim

    01/29/2012

    This is the best granola bar recipe I have found! Love the krispies and the ability to tailor the recipe to your taste. I am so tired of the rising prices of food and too sweet granola bars. Thank you soooooooooo much for this! Love it!

    [Reply]

  12. Megan

    01/25/2012

    I was just wondering if you know a calorie count for these!

    [Reply]

    Daniela Reply:

    I was wondering about that too! Also, can you split it up into cals, carbs, protein, and fat? And can you use peanut butter instead of honey?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I did a rough draft of calorie, protein, and sugar count on these. If you make 20 bars, it’s about 4 g protein, 10g. sugar, & 150 calories. This is using wheat germ in the recipe. I’m thinking about taking brown sugar out to cut more sugar out. Hope that helps!

    [Reply]

  13. Oatmeal Stumbles

    01/21/2012

    […] of Simple Organized Living has a homemade granola bar recipe that I’ve been meaning to try as well. Her selling point is that this recipe calls for […]

  14. Christmas is coming!! « The "O" Family

    12/11/2011

    […] also made these homemade granola bars, which were a huge hit! https://andreadekker.com/2011/08/01/homemade-granola-bars-the-winning-recipe/ The girl I got the recipe from adds a little coffee into the recipe as well. They are really […]

  15. Jeni

    12/04/2011

    Just made these – delicious. But, mine crumbled apart as well and I followed the recipe and ingredients almost exactly. To remedy, I heated the dish in the microwave for a minute, then re-pressed them, then popped them in the fridge to cool. When they were cool – actually, cold – they stayed together much better. I will try increasing the honey next time or something. Thanks for the recipe and your very useful site.

    [Reply]

  16. JennO

    11/27/2011

    These are the most wonderful tasting bars ever! Mine didn’t stay together though either so I popped them in the over for five minutes…that resulted in in granola chunks…not quite a bar, but more together than a crumble. lol I will be trying them again to see if next time I can dget a better stick. Thanks!
    JennO

    [Reply]

  17. Julie

    11/16/2011

    Great recipe! Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been wanting to try my own granola bars for a while and couldn’t find a good recipe for the same reasons you had listed! I used your layout except for flax I used chia and I also added cherry flavored craisins. They look fabulous and only broke when I was too rough cutting them. Can’t wait to try them out on my coworkers tomorrow. Would you mind if I shared this with my readers if I link back to you and give you credit?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    you are SO welcome! Glad they turned out — I actually used dried cherries in mine the last time too! yummy!
    And yes, please feel free to share the link to my recipe on your site!!

    [Reply]

  18. Homemade Granola Bars | eat my words

    11/09/2011

    […] based the recipe off of this recipe, which when I read it, thought it won some award. Apparently the blogger was just saying […]

  19. Tammy N.

    11/07/2011

    I made these granola bars today and they are fabulous!! I didn’t find ground flax seed so I just used it as is. I did lightly toast the flax seed, the regular oats (not quick cook) and coconut. We put cranberries, coconut, and white chocolate chips in ours. We did use wheat germ too! DELICIOUS!! I will put more wheat germ and more flax seed next time. Was a little nervous to use too much flax seed since it wasn’t ground, but next time I will use more. BTW, I used almost all honey and just a little bit of corn syrup, but I think the next time I will do all honey. Thanks again for this awesome recipe!

    [Reply]

  20. Faith @ Artistic31Mama

    10/07/2011

    This recipe has always worked for me and I’ve made them about a million times! (Okay maybe not quite a million). Just make sure that when you heat up your corn syrup and brown sugar that the mixture turns clear when you stir it together. That signifies that the brown sugar has dissolved. I heat mine in the microwave instead of the stove top. I made a quadruple batch for a party I’m hosting this evening. I took them to a party at church a few weeks ago and they were a huge hit. 🙂

    [Reply]

    Heather Ratliff Reply:

    Thanks for clarifying how long to cook the corn syrup and brown sugar. I made them today and wasn’t sure. They turned out great anyway!

    [Reply]

  21. Melanie

    10/06/2011

    Yummy! My girls loved them. My only problem was they tended to fall apart! Did i not cook the honey and sugar enough? Any suggestions? Thanks!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hmmm…that’s really strange because out of ALL the recipes I tried, this was the one the really stuck together amazingly. I’m not sure what you may have done “wrong” — could you have possibly measured wrong {like not enough honey or karo syrup?} I’ve made several batches of these and have never had any issues with them falling apart.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help.

    [Reply]

    Annie Reply:

    Melanie, I had the same problem the first two batches I made. It was more like granola crumble than bar. I’ve started to increase the sugary “glue” by half so I’m making a batch and a half. This has worked much better. Maybe this will help you.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the tip Annie — but that is just SO weird that your bars don’t stay together! Are you using quick oats? I’m not sure if that could make a difference or not, but that’s what I use. Our bars stay together so well… which is why I posted this as the “Winning recipe” because so many others just crumbled on me.

    Anyway, at least they taste really great 🙂

    [Reply]

  22. Annette W

    10/05/2011

    Have you actually froze them yet? They sound great!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yup, I just pulled another batch from the freezer this morning and they taste great. We’ve been eating them “from the freezer” for over a month now and they taste just as good as they did fresh.

    I’m sure your family will love these!!

    [Reply]

  23. Shiann

    10/01/2011

    This is very yummy! It reminds me a bit of the peanut butter rice krispie treats I made over and over and over after my cooking class the summer of my 5th grade year!

    I used chocolate chips and dried cranberries as the added stir in. I gave a preview bite to my one year old and he started following me around like a hungry puppy!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Shiann — glad these granola bars are a hit with your family! I just tried some with dried cherries — and they were SOOOOOO good. Maybe I’ll try cranberries next!

    [Reply]

  24. Lisa Palomba

    09/27/2011

    Delicious!!! I made these tonight – didn’t have honey, flaxseed, or wheat germ in the house and only about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips – still perfect!! I plan on trying mini M&Ms later this week.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for sharing lisa — and let me know how the M&M’s taste!!
    I am surprised that the bars still turned out without using honey — did you substitute another “sticky substance” instead?

    [Reply]

    Lisa Palomba Reply:

    I used only the corn syrup. Update since last night – when I got up this morning almost all the bars were gone! Silly me, I thought everyone was asleep all night 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ok, that makes sense. I thought you just did without the honey and still only used part of the corn syrup. If it worked for you I was going to try it… but I’ll stick to the “original recipe” for now!!! Glad your family loved the granola bars!

    [Reply]

  25. Cathy

    08/23/2011

    How long can you store these granola bars? I am looking to make up some for some long time storage but wasn’t sure what the “shelf life” of these would be? Would you have to keep them in the freezer to store them or just vaccuum sealed? Thanks for the recipe – I can’t wait to try them!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Cathy, I’m honestly not sure what the exact shelf life would be because we eat them so quickly — even when I make double batches!

    I would definitely store them in the freezer {preferably a manual defrost freezer} if you’re planning to keep them longer than a few weeks. I would feel comfortable keeping them in our freezer for several months if they were in an air tight container.

    [Reply]

  26. Annie Van Goor

    08/05/2011

    This recipe looks great! I’ve tried quite a few as well and haven’t made granola bars at all in a while. I’m ready to try this one. Thanks for passing it on.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Annie, nice to hear from you again — and yes, you should definitely try these granola bars. I’ve already make a second batch and they are almost gone now too!!

    [Reply]

  27. Elena

    08/04/2011

    Hi Andrea, just wanted to let you know that I made these tonight, with the help of my 5 year old daughter:) They are delicious! My husband said, “you nailed them”….LOL.

    I made some minor changes:
    I added 1 T of wheat bran as I didn’t have wheat germ.
    I also used the Whole Foods 365 organic Brown Rice Crisps instead of the other Rice Krispy cereal.
    I used 1/2 cup of honey….skipped the corn syrup.

    Thanks again for a delicious and healthy snack!!!

    [Reply]

  28. Faith @ Artistic31Mama

    08/04/2011

    I picked up the ingredients last night and made a batch. They are soo easy to make and ABSOLUTELY delicious. EXACTLY what I was looking for. Thank you so much for sharing. I even posted another link on my blog to this. 🙂 This is going to be the snack for my kids today and they’re going to really enjoy it. I see this making it’s way into my older son’s lunchbox when he starts kindergarten at the end of this month. 🙂

    [Reply]

  29. Elena

    08/03/2011

    These look delicious, Andrea! I’ll be making these for my family this week. Love reading your website…thanks for your great posts;)

    [Reply]

  30. LogoVida

    08/03/2011

    This looks like a winner. I have some flax seed that I got in the health food section of the grocery store. I’ve been wanting to try it as an egg substitute. Now I have something really yummy to use it in. Love the waxed paper idea. Now I know how to deal with that Rice Krispie bar mess. Thanks!

    [Reply]

  31. Faith @ Artistic31Mama

    08/03/2011

    I was just thinking that I needed to find a good granola bar recipe after falling in love with your homemade granola recipe. You must have read my mind!! 🙂 This looks so yummy!! I am going to go out and get the ingredients tonight. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yay — so glad you like my granola recipe too! I’m sure you and your family will love these granola bars — they are SOOO delicious!

    [Reply]

  32. Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify

    08/02/2011

    I can’t wait to try these! Thanks for doing all of work of trying out different recipes for us!

    [Reply]

  33. Barb

    08/02/2011

    I just wanted to let you know that when I clicked on the print recipe link it told me document did not exist.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Barb — that is so weird because the link works perfectly fine for me {and I even tried it in different web browsers too}. I’ll have to look into this more.

    [Reply]

  34. Heather Ratliff

    08/01/2011

    Are these more like Nature Valley granola bars (crunchy) or Quaker granola bars (chewy)? I have a good recipe from King Arthur Flour, but yours seems a bit easier since it doesn’t bake.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Heather — these granola bars taste almost exactly like the Quaker Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip granola bars… but better {of course!} they are very chewy, but still easily stick together in bars. And yes, they are SUPER easy!

    [Reply]

    Heather Ratliff Reply:

    Woohoo! I can’t wait to try them!

    [Reply]

    Heather Ratliff Reply:

    I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for this awesome recipe! I made them this morning and they are so good and easy! I loved how the chocolate got all melty from the hot SunButter/brown sugar/corn syrup mixture. Yummy!!

    [Reply]

  35. Kristen @ Joyfullythriving

    08/01/2011

    These look delicious, Andrea! I’ve been on the lookout for a granola bar recipe too, but so many of them require special ingredients. This is going on my “to bake” board on Pinterest! 🙂 Thanks for sharing your recipe! Oh, and I would mix in chocolate chips, too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kristen! It took me awhile to find the “right” recipe — so hopefully you’ll love it too 🙂

    [Reply]

  36. Stacey

    08/01/2011

    These look awesome! Definitely going to give them a try. I love using old-fashioned oats for most of my recipes…I wonder if it would work for these since they’re not really being “cooked”?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Stacey!
    I actually wondering about using quick oats vs. old-fashioned myself {because the original recipe didn’t call for a specific type} however, I decided that since they aren’t ever “cooked” that I should use quick oats. The recipe turned out great for me — but you wouldn’t be losing much if you tried and failed. Let me know if you succeed with old-fashioned oats 🙂

    [Reply]

  37. Cassie

    08/01/2011

    Yummm! I’m sooo going to have to make these! =D

    [Reply]

  38. Monette

    08/01/2011

    I will definitely make these bec. I am tired of store bought granola bars! I think walmart might have the flax seed in the vitamins aisle.

    [Reply]

  39. Rachel

    08/01/2011

    I have almost all the ingredients to try these…except where is the best place to get ground flax seed? Can you get it at Meijer or is it better to try a place like Harvest Health?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Rachel, I just get my ground flax seed from Meijer, but yes, you can also get it from Harvest Health. Meijer might actually be cheaper though {and more convenient!}

    [Reply]