How to Make Homemade Granola

Granola is the perfect choose-your-own-adventure recipe, and with so many options for flavors and customization, the best way to find your perfect blend is to make your own at home.

You get to choose what add-ins you want: raisins or almonds or walnuts or pumpkin seeds.

You pick the spices: cinnamon or nutmeg or none at all.

The sweetener is up to you.

You can make it clumpy or crunchy.

The best part? You don’t even need a recipe. Just follow these guidelines and get as creative as you want.

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Start with a base
For one batch of granola (on a baking sheet, about 13″ x 18″), use 3 cups of oats. Old-fashioned oats are best here. If you choose to make a double batch, don’t cook the two baking sheets of granola at the same time, or you risk neither of them getting crunchy because you’ve over-crowded the oven.

Choose your add-Ins
This is the fun part! Think about what flavor profile you’re in the mood for, like cranberry-orange or maple-pecan. For one batch of granola, you’ll want about a cup of each add-in (like nuts, dried fruit, and coconut flakes). Aim for a maximum of 3 cups of add-ins, otherwise you risk overwhelming the oats. If you’re using seeds (like flax seeds, sesame seeds, or hemp seeds), use only about 1/2 cup for each batch.

If you’re using dried fruit of any kind, measure it out and set it aside for later. You don’t want to bake the dried fruit, so you’ll add it in after baking. For all the other ingredients, add them along with your oats to a large bowl and mix them together.

Choose your spices
Select spices that will complement your nuts and other ingredients. Cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg are all excellent in granola, but you could experiment with turmeric or ginger or anything else you like. Use about 1/2 teaspoon spice for each batch of granola. Add a sprinkle of fine sea salt, too, as this will help bring out the sweetness. Mix any spices you’re using into your oat mixture and combine thoroughly.

Mix in sweeteners + fats
Now that your dry ingredients are all mixed, you want to add your wet ingredients in the form of sweeteners and fats to bind the granola and give it crunch. For sweeteners, any liquid sweetener will work well: maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar, and honey are all good. You’ll want about 1/2 cup of liquid sweetener for each batch. If you prefer your granola on the sweeter side, you can also add up to 1/2 cup brown sugar (the brown sugar will also melt and help form nice cluster). If you want it less sweet, use less liquid sweetener and leave out the brown sugar.

Then you need something to bind the granola together and make it nice and clumpy. Olive oil and melted coconut oil are my favorite choices here; use 1/2 cup of either one (or a mixture of both). If you like a crisper, clumpier granola, add more oil. If you like your granola really on the clumpy side (think granola clusters), try adding an egg white to your mixture. If you’re looking for a healthier cereal, you can substitute applesauce (or even pumpkin) for the oil. Keep in mind that this is a loose rubric – tweak it as you see fit.

Add your wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir very well to combine.

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Bake it
Pour your bowl of oats onto a baking sheet and spread it in a thin layer. You may or may not need parchment paper to keep it from sticking, but consider using it to make it easier and neater to lift off your finished granola in one sheet and pour it into a jar.

Bake your granola in a 300°F oven for about 45 minutes. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to stir the granola every 15 minutes or so to keep the edges from burning and to ensure that it bakes evenly. Take it out when it is a deep golden brown and allow it to cool completely – it’ll crisp up as it cools.

Once it’s cool to the touch, stir in any dried fruits you want. Cranberries, tart dried cherries, mulberries, and currants are good options, but it’s up to you!

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Once you realize how easy it is to bake your own granola, you’ll be able to create the perfect blend. Bake a batch on Sundays and you’ll have breakfast all week.

And when the holidays roll around, you’ll have the perfect edible gift idea: homemade granola in a glass jar tied with a ribbon. That’s the kind of present we’d like to open.

Love granola? Try some of our favorite versions, like Vermont Maple Granola and Pina Colada Granola.

comments

  1. April

    Really good, I added sunflower seeds, raspberry Jammies, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, honey, coconut oil and an egg white. I’ll be making it again!

    Reply
  2. Allison Page

    I’m so making granola tomorrow! I saw one of your granola recipes calls for dry milk, but it’s not mentioned in the article about making your own. What is the purpose for it? More protein?

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      Yes, Allison, more protein and vitamin D. If you’re allergic to milk, feel free to leave it out. Enjoy! PJH

  3. Barbara

    I use a variation of the recipe from “Cheap. Fast. Good!” by the Desperation Dinners writers: http://www.kitchenscoop.com/recipes/granola . No coconut, no wheat germ, no fruit; use only 1 cup nuts; add 2 cups of All-Bran and 1 cup of bran flakes. I highly recommend using parchment paper. It doesn’t require extra oil on the pan and eliminates sticking. Plus, you can save the paper for reuse (I can usually get 3 batches of granola on my papers before I have to toss them). I hook the parchment to the pans with medium binder clips. (Can you tell I make granola every week? Yum!)

    Reply
  4. Jane1

    Does fat serve any other purpose than clumping? I would just as soon not have the clumps and have less fat. Can I skip fats and/or applesauce?
    We like our granola really simple. This looks like a great beginning to the recipe I have been looking for. Thanks

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Fat helps with the browning, and to crisp the dry ingredients. It also adds to the flavor and mouthfeel. Reduce it if you’d like, but don’t remove it entirely. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    2. Cari

      There are no sugar added apple sauces out there, or you can make your own (super easy). Apples don’t have fat, so it would truly be just a way to brown.

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The bars have much more sugar and oil in proportion to the dry ingredients. Check out this recipe for bars here bit.ly/1F1H6yn Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

  5. sue

    I wanted to make cereal granola without the oil and had a hard time finding one. But finally I did.
    this recipe uses 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup honey. mix the honey with 2 Tbsp water to boil and add vanilla and 1/l4 tsp baking soda. Mix with 4 cups of oats and added goodies. bake 300 for 45 mins stirring. This doesn’t clump so it is good for cereal.

    Reply
    1. Donna Darrell

      I never add fats. Just 6 cups mixed raw nuts & oats with 3/4 cup pure maple syrup ; bake 25-35 minutes at 350 (stirring once). Add salt, and dried fruit while cooling (coconut optional). Delicious!

  6. Louise

    I seldom see two delicious uses for granola mentioned–on ice cream and on hot oatmeal. It adds crunchy, sweet deliciousness to both. Another thing, i don’t add milk to my hot oatmeal, which I make with steel cut oats, but whipped topping, such as Cool Whip or one of its competitors. I highly recommend both of these combinations.

    Reply
    1. CJ

      Cool Whip ingredients are mainly water, oil and corn syrup. Now adding real whipped cream I could enjoy but not Cool Whip. Seems a waste of good homemade granola.

  7. RobynB

    If you want to add nuts, would you add them with the dry ingredients and bake for the full time? I’m wondering if they would get too dark?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Toast the nuts separately at 300 until they are fragrant, and toss at the end with the finished granola and fruit. Happy baking! Laurie@KAF

    2. BevT

      I add the nuts right in at dry ingredients and bake the full time. I chop walnuts and almonds fairly large pieces and also add raw pumpkin seeds. All toast up just fine with the oats/oil/sweetener mixture.

  8. Benjamin Gee

    I know there are variations, but can’t you list a basic recipe that shows the sugar, carb contents? It is important to many people when choosing recipes.

    Reply
  9. Kate

    Should the egg white be beaten in any particular way, or just added without much beating? I love making homemade granola, but haven’t yet been able to get the big clusters that I love in store-bought versions, so I’m excited to try the egg white!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      The whites won’t need much mixing, just enough to froth the whites and make it easier to mix into the grains. Jon@KAF

    1. MaryJane Robbins

      We use granola in our Breakfast Cookies quite often at our house, Meg. Try adding about 1/2 cup, well crushed to your recipe. ~ MJ

  10. Judy

    If you use unsalted butter as the fat, could you brown it first or would that make it too dark after the added baking time? Love the browned butter flavor, but don’t want to burn it. So glad to have come across this recipe!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Judy, we think using browned butter in this recipe would be simply delicious! The final product will likely be darker than if you just used regular butter, but if that brown, caramelized flavor is what you are looking for, give it a try and see what you think! You should not need to make any other adjustments to this recipe. Happy granola making! Kye@KAF

  11. Celine

    Hello,
    Love the recipe. For how long can I keep this in a Masson jar? (shelf time)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Celine, you can store the granola in a tightly closed container at room temperature for several weeks, or you can freeze for extended storage (3-6 months). Happy granola-making! Kye@KAF

  12. Judy

    Thank you for your response! Will be making this in the next few days using the browned butter. Will let you know how it turns out! J

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      You’re very welcome, Judy! Please do let us know how it turns out. Barb@KAF

  13. Judy

    Hi, I did make the granola using the browned butter and the flavor is wonderful. Also used the egg white as suggested, also the dry milk. It turned out clumpy, crisp and delicious! It holds up well in milk without getting soggy. I am on a low sodium diet and 1/2 cup of this wonderful stuff with 1/4 cup of milk only has 21.25mg of sodium. Of course, it contains fat & carbs, so no overdoing it, but 1/2 cup fills me up. Thanks again for this great recipe.

    Reply
  14. artistelaine

    Thank you for this post-my first batch is in the oven now! I have become very fond of “snacking” on yogurt combined with granola and am fed up with trying to find a decent tasting granola and then paying the outrageous prices for it! And that’s saying nothing about all those mystery ingredients that most contain. I will probably have to “fine-tune” it a bit to make it exactly to my taste, but I’m excited to try this out and I have almost everything for it in the pantry at all times.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Rachel, I’m guessing this might make your granola a bit more streusel-like in texture. Barb@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Beverly, the mixture of fats and sweeteners that coats the oats keeps the granola nice and crunchy, even when it’s added to milk. The key is making sure the granola is baked for long enough so the sugars caramelize. Of course, if the granola sits in milk for long enough, it will start becoming soft, but throughout the course of a normal bowl of granola, it should keep its crunch. Happy baking! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Feel free to make up the amount of coconut flakes with other chopped nuts that you enjoy. Using a mixture is a nice way to add a delicious depth of flavor! Kye@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Feel free to add 1/4 cup of peanut butter to the fat and sweetener; it sometimes helps to warm up the mixture slightly in order to get everything to mix together easily. Enjoy! Kye@KAF

  15. Jeff

    I like a clumpy granola for snacking. All the photos show a loose granola. Are there any suggestions for “Clumping” this recipe?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Jeff, the amount of fat in the recipe largely dictates how “clumpy” or “loose” the granola is. Embedded in the text between the photos, you’ll find this little nugget: “If you like a crisper, clumpier granola, add more oil. If you like your granola really on the clumpy side (think granola clusters), try adding an egg white to your mixture.” Mollie@KAF

  16. Maureen

    I’ve been making homemade granola for years. I got my original recipe from a LaLeche book, which is similar to the above. I heat oil and honey to add to the mixture. I also add raw cashews and almonds and oat bran. In the morning, I add some to my steel cut oatmeal along with fresh blueberries, my favorite breakfast along with fresh squeezed orange juice.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel

      At the beginning, Alice — that way it becomes nicely browned and toasty as the granola bakes. PJH

  17. Shawn K

    Any reviewers or your staff made this recipe in the dehydrator? Would love to hear especially about the use of egg white in the recipe.

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      While we haven’t experimented with making this in a dehydrator, we think you’ll be more pleased with the results of using an oven as it helps the granola to brown and caramelize. We have tried adding an egg white to the mixture, which helps produce clusters and comes highly recommended. If you love clumps and clusters, give it a try next time! Kye@KAF

  18. Delphine

    Does anyone know how long you can safely store granola with the egg whites mixed in.? I made rather a large batch on Sunday ! Thinking not more than a week in an airtight container like cake ?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      To be on the safe side, Delphine, simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Then there’s no need to worry about how long it will last. Mollie@KAF

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