Chewy No-Bake Cinnamon Cranberry Granola Bars(Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free)

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on July 10, 2012

I don’t know how I could have forgotten about these no bake cinnamon cranberry granola bars for so long.  I took these pictures when I was still pregnant intending to post these after my little girl was born when I couldn’t spend any time in the kitchen, but I ended up never posting them.  And now I’m looking down at an almost 3 month old on my lap.  How does that happen?!  Anyways… don’t let the fact that I’ve taken so long to post these deter you from trying them.  They are so simple and so delicious.  And no-bake!  I couldn’t ask for anything better right now 😀

I made this particular batch with a crunchy homemade cereal that I still haven’t perfected enough to share with you.  Maybe once the weather cools down a bit I’ll be able to work on it some more but since it involves the oven I’ll be avoiding it for now.  Since then I’ve used Erewhon cereals, like their crispy brown rice.  I can’t wait to try some more ideas with their cereals.

So yesterday was a crazy catch-up day, that I ended up never catching-up on.  You know those dreams where you’re running and everything keeps getting further away?  That was yesterday for me.  Anyways, I still have things on my list carried over from yesterday so I’m going to quickly post this recipe(which I meant to post yesterday!).  Even though these are pretty sweet, this is one of my favorite simple granola bar recipes, and adaptable too.  I’ve used some walnuts in place of some of the cranberries(in the bars pictured) and of course, chocolate chips would work great, just be careful of them melting when you mix the hot liquid ingredients.  This was originally inspired by and adapted from these No-Bake Chocolate Chip Granola Bars from Lauren’s Latest.

I should mention though that this recipe does not work with maple syrup.  I haven’t tried anything else, but I’m assuming that this particular recipe will only work with honey.  I tried using maple syrup and ended up serving the crumbles  over yogurt.  They were yummy, but definitely not bars.


Chewy Cinnamon Cranberry No-Bake Granola Bars
  • 2 cup old fashioned rolled oats certified gluten free for gluten free bars
  • 1/2 cup crispy cereal such as a crispy rice cereal
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil alternatively, use butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Lightly grease an 8x8 pan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, stir together the oats, crispy cereal and cranberries and set aside.
  3. In a small pot combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, honey and pinch of salt.  Heat the mixture up and stir well to completely dissolve the brown sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and cinnamon.  Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.  

  4. Once completely combined, pour the mixture into the prepared 8x8 pan and press down very well with a spatula(lightly oiled if the mixture is sticking). Cool completely before cutting into 10 bars(if they seem to pull apart while cutting into bars, place in the fridge for 20 minutes before slicing). Wrap individually in paper or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.


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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jordan Elbaum | Prickly Fresh August 25, 2020 at 20:53

I love these to have in my bag with me so I can eat them anywhere!


2 Adriana November 19, 2018 at 04:49

Great recipe. We used cranberries, chocolate chips and pecans. Mine were a bit thinner than yours, but that didn’t matter. They turned out great!


3 Lita Johnson November 19, 2018 at 04:07

A flawlessly perfect recipe!!! Huge hit at our house! love it


4 Shirley Elle April 21, 2015 at 15:17

This recipe looks yummie! 🙂 I will be preparing this healthy goodness next weekend.


5 Susan April 1, 2015 at 14:00

Can I substitute the coconut oil with chia seeds? I’m trying to add protein.


6 Denise August 30, 2014 at 09:36

I just made these for my ‘going back to school’ kiddos. Here’s hoping they look as good once I cut them! the kids are very anxious to try them.


7 Tina July 3, 2013 at 12:21

Success!! I ran the oats in our blender and boiled the mixture for 4min total. I used wax paper and pressed down very hard, then stuck it in the fridge for a few hours. They were not crumbly at all!! I did forget the salt. Oops…but still yummy! Next batch I’ll add choc. chips and almonds. Thanks for this easy recipe!


8 Gini April 16, 2013 at 22:10

I just tried this recipe and it worked out great! If you are having trouble with crumbly bars, try boiling the mixture for a minute or two longer… The hotter the mixture gets, the more firm the bar will be when it cools- similar to making candy or toffee.


9 Elena January 11, 2013 at 13:31

I have just made the granola bars and they are delicious but even though I used the right ingredients and steps when in came to cut them it crumbled too much and didn’t hold together. What should I do? Please help


10 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 23, 2013 at 11:21

I’m sorry, I know these can be very finicky. Did you try refrigerating them before slicing? That’s the only thing I can think of that might help in the future. Just be sure to really press the mixture down when it’s hot. As for the leftover crumbles, you can enjoy them like granola 🙂


11 Carly Pascoe December 6, 2012 at 22:54

These are great! My first batch as per the recipe. And for variety, instead of 1/4 cup cranberries, I did maybe 1/2 cup of cashews, almonds, cranberries, apricots and sunflower seeds. That was good too. The base of this recipe is great and you can add whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruits that you like!


12 Stephanie August 1, 2012 at 17:17

My family and I absolutely love making no-bake granola bars. We usually make them with peanut butter but I’m trying to find a recipe that has no peanut butter for a change. I’ve tried this recipe about four times now, and every time they are crumbly. I press down as hard as I can, I put them in the refrigerator, etc. Any ideas or tips? I tried decreasing the butter (I used butter, I don’t have coconut oil) but that didn’t help. I have to leave them in the refrigerator and eat them cold, Lol! I let the mixture boil, everything. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong! Someone save me from crumbly granola! 🙂 Although, even crumbly its so delish!


13 Heidi @ Food Doodles August 7, 2012 at 09:27

Aw, I’m so sorry they aren’t working out for you. I’ve heard people having problems with using old fashioned oats – you could try using quick oats or just pulsing old fashioned oats in a food processor until they’re smaller pieces. Other than that I’m not sure what the problem could be 🙁


14 Heather October 30, 2012 at 18:25

I had the same problem, but found it helps if I semi freeze them (rather than just put them in the fridge to cool pop them in the freezer for 15 minutes or so). I’ll try pulsing the oats a bit first when I try it again (in the morning… going to be a class treat and need to make more)


15 Saree Rentals July 18, 2012 at 11:03

perfect to make and share… no one with allergies will be excluded from this one!


16 Beth {local milk} July 17, 2012 at 17:24

I keep procrastinating on making homemade yogurt & granola… I don’t know why because I eat it multiple times a week. This reminds me that it’s not daunting, and I need to get to it & stop buying it from the bulk bins…I’m quite hungry & craving these bars right now!


17 Marie @ Not Enough Cinnamon July 13, 2012 at 15:21

Granola Bars w/ Cinnamon = sounds like the perfect snack for me! I’m going try those with raisins 🙂 Thanks for sharing Heidi!


18 Heather July 11, 2012 at 20:22

Love homemade granola bars, and no bake is even better!

Can’t wait to see your perfected cereal recipe in the future 🙂


19 chinmayie @ love food eat July 11, 2012 at 02:19

Yumm… My granola bar stash is over so it’s time i make a new batch. This looks so good.


20 Casey July 10, 2012 at 13:50

These look so easy and delicious! One question, though: about how long will they keep stored at room temp? Thanks!


21 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 10, 2012 at 16:24

I’m not sure, they’ve never lasted long enough to find out at our house! As long as they’re kept in a fairly cool place I’m sure they’ll last at least a couple weeks.


22 Erin @ Texanerin Baking July 10, 2012 at 13:46

She’s three months already?! Wow.

You made these look SO good. I always have such a problem with granola pictures, so much that I usually give up, but your pictures are great! The maple syrup note is helpful. It sounds like something I would have tried.

Wait a second. I’ve made these! These are the originally Rachel Ray bars. I made them twice with the original recipe and they were amazing. Terribly amazing. I only made half the batch each time and they were gone in a few hours. And I was the only one eating them. 🙁

These are one of the things that are so good they’re banned at my place. No self-control over here. Oh and these don’t work with all honey for anyone wondering. I tried. 🙂


23 Annie @ Naturally Sweet Recipes July 10, 2012 at 10:58

I love recipes like this! These look so yummy! I think no bake stuff is often times way more tasty than baked because they are going to be super moist and soft. I love the cranberries added to this as well. Great recipe!


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