Homemade Granola Bars

These easy to make sweet and salty homemade granola bars are great for school lunches or to enjoy for an afternoon snack with a tall glass of milk.  

Homemade Granola Bars - Mother Thyme

When it comes to granola, I love digging around for the big chunky clusters of granola goodness in the jar.  I often find myself nibbling on granola throughout the day, sometimes too much.  As I’m shoveling granola in my mouth, my mind wanders and before I know it, half the jar is gone. 

Please tell me I’m not the only one that does that. 

I love granola bars because I get everything I enjoy about granola all in one compact bar.  They are great for on the go, to toss in lunches or afternoon snacks.  In the middle of the day granola always seems like a good pick me up.  Some people like them soft and chewy, while others like them hard and crunchy.  I prefer a granola bar that falls right in the middle, not to soft and not to hard.  If you’re like me, these are a granola bar you’ll want to try.

I have played with a variety of flavors and textures, and this always seems to be my favorite combination, a little sweet and salty.  I like to use mini chocolate chips opposed to large chips so they are not overwhelming.  Each bite you get a variety of flavors.  You’ll also find in these chewy dried cranberries, but you could also use dried blueberries or raisins instead.  Chopped walnuts and pretzels are added for a little salty crunch.  My secret to these is using a little yellow cake mix.   It doesn’t give it a cakey taste, it really blends nicely in the mix.  With granola, you can omit or add what you like, the possibilities are endless.   Give this a try and you may just find yourself leaving the store bought ones on the shelf. 

Homemade Granola Bars - Mother Thyme

What you need
Old fashioned rolled oats
Yellow cake mix
Brown Sugar
Mini chocolate chips
Dried cranberries (or blueberries or raisins)
Walnuts (or pecans or almonds)
Vegetable oil
Pure maple syrup
Vanilla extract

Step one:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.  In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients.

Homemade Granola Bars - Mother Thyme

Step two:  In a small bowl mix wet ingredients.

Homemade Granola Bars - Mother Thyme

Step three:  Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until combined.

Homemade Granola Bars - Mother Thyme

Step four:  Press mixture evenly in prepared baking pan.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown, don’t over bake.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting.  Store in an airtight container or cut into individual squares and wrap in saran wrap to grab for on the go.

Homemade Granola Bars - Mother Thyme


Homemade Granola Bars

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 bars 1x


Units Scale
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup pretzels, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/4 dried cranberries (or dried blueberries or raisins)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (pecans or almonds), optional
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix oats, cake mix, pretzels, chocolate chips, cranberries, nuts, sugars, and salt.
  3. In a small bowl stir oil, maple syrup, vanilla and egg until blended. Pour over oat mixture and toss until combined.
  4. Press mixture evenly in prepared baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown, don’t overbake.
  5. Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
  6. Store in an airtight container.

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More granola favorites
Maple-Nut Granola
Peanut Butter Pumpkin Granola
Homemade Granola
Biscoff Granola Balls

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