Need an easy recipe for homemade baked chewy granola bars that don't fall apart and stay moist? Here it is- a recipe that takes just minutes and is healthier and tastier than anything you can buy!
Granola bars. The store shelves are FULL of so many different kinds. There are the bars we all knew from years ago - the crispy flat bars that came two to a package. Then the barrage of chewy granola bars hit the shelves which seemed to up the sugar content - some are so close to a candy bar that they are coated in chocolate!
Even so, the term "granola bar" still has a healthy association, doesn't it? And now of course you can find a whole section of "healthy" bars that may be all nuts, all grain, only sweetened with dates, and so on. Though most still have long ingredient lists, questionable flavors, and are really expensive ($4 for one bar!?).
But granola bars are still one of the best ways to have a quality on-the-go snack or meal replacement, especially when you can control the ingredients. So I began a quest to create a recipe that would stay moist and chewy, but not fall apart.
After trying what seemed like a million granola bar recipes, I came up with not one, but two that were just about perfect. A quick chewy no-bake granola bar and this hearty baked chewy granola bar.
Why two granola bar recipes? I like to make this baked bar when I want a nutritionally dense, hearty bar that's great to take hiking and camping. It's also the one I make when I don't have crispy rice cereal and granola to make the chewy no-bake bars. When I do have the ingredients and need a quick bar, it's great to have the no-bake option.
Which isn't to say these baked bars are a second choice option - we LOVE them! They are just sweet enough (using either honey or maple syrup), have great flavor, and are full of possible variations. I feel great feeding these to my family!
Even though they are baked, they are still chewy and these bars seem to stay fresher longer at room temperature than the no-bake variety, a plus for vacations. But they do take a little bit longer to make, so I find myself going to the no-bake variety if I have all the ingredients and limited time.
All this is to say - I like having two go-to recipes for granola bars where I know the ingredients and can change them up with different flavors and add-ins. I hope you'll try both and let me know if you also like the versatility of having two recipes!
Baked Chewy Granola Bars
Wondering how easy it is to make your own baked granola bars? About as easy as mixing together a batch of bar cookies! Start by creaming butter, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix to combine. You can choose your ingredients to equal 1 cup of add-ins. When I use chocolate chips, I decrease it to just 1/3 cup and use mini chocolate chips - 1/2 cup just seemed too much. I list some of our favorite combos in the full recipe.
Cool about 10 minutes on a rack before scoring into bars while in the pan and then let them cool completely. I like to cut these into long bars to resemble granola bars, either 16 or 20, but they are pretty big - and nutritionally dense - so you may want to cut them into smaller bars.
When my kids were younger, I always wrapped these individually in parchment or in baggies to keep in the snack basket for easy grabbing. Now I simply keep them in an airtight container in the freezer because we eat them less often and freezing them means they are fresh whenever we want them.
I like to grab one to keep in my purse for long days in town running errands and they're perfect in a backpack for a day of kayaking or hiking.
If you've got these waiting, there's never a need for questionable store-bought bars, no matter how "natural" they proclaim to be. It's so nice knowing exactly what is in what you're eating, isn't there?
Easy Baked Chewy Granola Bars
- 1/2 cup butter*
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or use all butter or more coconut oil, if you prefer- just equal 3/4 c. total fat
- 1 cup honey or a mix of 1/2 cup honey + 1/2 cup maple syrup, or all maple syrup
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4-1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
- 1/4 cup flax seed meal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup TOTAL add-ins - some favorite flavor combos are:
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips** + 1/2 cup sunflower seeds whole flaxseeds, or hemp seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries + 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1/2 cup raisins + 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- Line a 13" x 9" pan with parchment (or grease lightly) and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- Combine the butter, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla in a large bowl and cream together well. Add the oats, flour, flax meal, and baking soda and mix well. Stir in the add-ins.
- Transfer to prepared pan and firmly press mixture evenly.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the edges are just browning. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then score into bars (18 - cut 6 x 3 - for traditional bar size or 16 or 20 long and narrow bars) before letting cool completely in the pan.
- Remove from pan, cutting through bars as needed and store in air tight containers or baggies in the fridge or freezer. These are good at room temperature, too (which is nice for vacations and hikes), but I usually stick them in the freezer for longer storage - they freeze great!
More Easy Snacks You May Like:
This recipe is one of AOC's "Pantry Basics," which are things that we normally use and have in our pantries that we mostly buy from the store, not realizing (like me...) how easy they are (and better for you, and cheaper) to make at home! See more pantry basics here.
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