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Crunchy Gluten-free Granola Bars


Amazingly crunchy, these gluten-free granola bars are sweet, delicious and filling. These homemade granola bars make a quick breakfast or healthy snack on the go and are a great way to begin the day! Totally gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan too.


Units Scale


  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat oven to 350F (175C).
  2. Grease Baking Tray: Grease a large rectangular baking tray with vegan butter or nonstick cooking spray (and line tray with parchment paper or a silpat).
  3. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, place the puffed rice cereal, chopped cashew nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, diced apples, and ground cinnamon. Mix well until ingredients are homogeneously distributed.
  4. Add Wet Ingredients: Whisk melted vegan butter and maple syrup together, then pour over the dry ingredients. Mix well until dry ingredients are fully-coated with the vegan butter-maple syrup mixture.
  5. Transfer Granola Mixture to Baking Tray: Transfer the granola mixture into the previously greased baking tray, and spread it out until the granola mixture covers the entire surface area. Use the back of a slotted spoon to press the mixture down and compact it as evenly as possible.
  6. Bake Until Golden: Bake the granola mixture in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.
  7. Press Granola: Straight after removing the baking tray from the oven, use the back of a spoon to compact the mixture even further.
  8. Cool Completely Before Slicing: Let granola mixture cool completely (wait 30 to 40 minutes) before cutting with a sharp knife into bars of your liking.


Puffed Rice Cereal: I like using puffed rice for a crunchy effect, but you can also use other types of crunchy gluten-free cereal (such as puffed quinoa) if you prefer.

Cashews: I used unsalted raw cashews, but you may also use unsalted roasted cashews if you prefer. Alternatively, you can also use other types of unsalted nuts (such as almonds, walnuts, peanuts, pistachios, macadamias, etc.).

Sesame Seeds: I used white sesame seeds, but feel free to go ahead and use a mix of multi-colored sesame seeds if you prefer.

Sunflower Seeds: I like adding unsalted sunflower seeds, but you may substitute it with a mix of other seeds (such as pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds, etc.).

Apples: Apples add a nice sweetness to these granola bars, but this recipe will turn out just as well with pears or quinces too.

Cinnamon: A touch of ground cinnamon always adds a beautiful flavor to these gluten-free granola bars, so I highly recommend including it. Alternatively, you may substitute it with pumpkin pie spice if you prefer.

Vegan Butter: I used vegan butter to keep this recipe dairy-free and vegan, but you may go ahead and use coconut oil if you prefer (for baking, I recommend using refined coconut oil (which has a neutral flavor), as opposed to extra virgin coconut oil (which has a more pronounced taste and flavor). Alternatively, if you are not lactose-intolerant, feel free to use normal butter or ghee instead.

Maple Syrup: I used maple syrup as a natural sweetener and to keep the recipe vegan. You may also use agave nectar if you prefer. Alternatively, if you are not vegan, feel free to use honey instead. If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend using Lakanto maple-flavored syrup (a maple syrup substitute that is low glycemic index).

Storing: To store, place these gluten-free homemade granola bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

This recipe was originally posted in 2015, but has since been republished to include clearer step-by-step instructions, as well as recipe notes and substitutions.

  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Western

Keywords: gluten-free granola bars

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