Homemade, Chewy – Dark Chocolate, Cherry with Almond Granola Bars

Posted · 60 Comments

Homemade granola bars is another farmers’ market treat that I couldn’t make enough of.  After selling these for a couple of weeks, I was stunned to see people putting in orders and purposefully making a trip to the market just to buy them.


What most people enjoy about my homemade granola bars is that their children love them.

They’re chewy and hold together really well.


By far, the peanut butter chocolate chip was our best seller but next to that was the dark chocolate, cherry with almond granola bar.

Once you see how incredibly easy these are to make I really can’t imagine you ever buying a boxed variety again.  The taste far surpasses anything in a box and you’ll never have to worry about hidden ingredients in your granola bars again.

All you need to do is mix all your ingredients in a bowl.


Pat it down nice and hard in a baking sheet so that it’s about a half inch thick…


… and bake.  Did I mention this was easy?

Most of my ingredients come from Trader Joes. Organic oats, dried cherries, raw slivered almonds, organic brown sugar (feel free to substitute rapadura), and my favorite organic dark chocolate bar…


I chop it up in my food processor where it makes tiny little pieces that coat the mixture giving the entire granola bar a dark and rich flavor.

One thing to note is that the organic brown sugar from Trader Joes has a rich molasses flavor to it which compliments the dark chocolate well.  Unlike any other brown sugar I’ve tasted.

However, now that I can find rapadura at Whole Foods, I’ll be switching to that as it also has that dark earthy flavor I look for. That would make this baby completely naturally sweetened and taste divine.

Homemade, Chewy – Dark Chocolate, Cherry with Almond Granola Bars

Homemade, Chewy – Dark Chocolate, Cherry with Almond Granola Bars

This recipe makes twelve, 1 1/2" x 4" granola bars. Easy to make, homemade chewy, dark chocolate, cherry with almond granola bars.


  • 1 2/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Chocolate Bar, crushed in food processor
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup organic brown sugar


  1. Butter or oil an 8x8 baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Place the mixture onto the prepared baking pan and pat down firmly so that it's 1/2" thick. Tip* Since I use a large baking sheet, I scoot the mixture to one side and cover the exposing edge with a thin piece of foil to prevent it from getting hard in the oven.
  4. Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
  5. Allow to cool before cutting.

The coconut oil gives these bars a hint of coconut flavor. If you’d like more, feel free to add 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes.

Do you make your own granola bars?  Feel free to share your favorite flavors in the comments below.

Other Granola Bar Recipes:

I’m linking this post to the Eat Make Grow blog hop.

60 Responses to "Homemade, Chewy – Dark Chocolate, Cherry with Almond Granola Bars"
  1. Diana, these look fabulous! I can see why people are looking for you at market! I’ll try them for sure.

  2. Paloma says:

    Diana! They look sooo great! I think they’ll make great gifts too! I pinned and tweeted! too good not to share!

  3. Steph says:

    These look & sound so good!! My family loves homemade granola bars–next time I will try these! :)

  4. Darlene says:

    These look great! Could you tell me how many ounces are in that chocolate bar? That way I’ll know how to substitute another chocolate (like morsels). Thanks.

  5. Amy says:

    Wow these look awesome! How do you make the peanut butter ones?

  6. Beckie Robinson says:

    can’t wait to try this, I have been looking for a great granola bar recipe to try!

  7. Mary Ann says:

    Delicioso! What can I replace the cocunut oil with, please?

  8. I’m listening to my canning pot bubble and boil with a fresh batch of your cucumbers with honey and tumeric from last year. (I had about a billion cukes and some fresh tumeric root in the fridge so I Googled and there you were!)

    Poking around the site got me to this recipe, which looks deliciosa! Great photographs too!

    I’m always looking for something to grab and take to the gym or to dance class – an alternative to the super-expensive, super-processed energy bars. These look wonderful — I can’t wait to try them….AFTER I do something with all these CUCUMBERS!!

    Gracias por la gran receta!

  9. Nancy says:

    No wheat here- could I sub in anything else? Ground flax seed or almond flour?

  10. Rachael Resurreccion says:

    Any chance you’ll be posting your peanut butter chocolate chip granola bar recipe? I’ve been looking for a sturdy whole food recipe (not a crumbly mess like what has thus far come out of my kitchen). Thanks!

  11. Jolie Patel says:

    I made these, and they are yummy, but they stuck to the bottom of the pan. When we finally got them out of the pan (as granola not bars) my lucky kids convinced me that it would be an ok breakfast option and ate them in a bowl with milk. No complaints about the taste but I liked the idea of a bar for when we are out and about. Do you line the pan with parchment first?

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Jolie, I’m glad you commented. I forgot to write in the directions to first butter or oil your pan. Yes, it’s definitely necessary to ensure that they don’t stick to the pan. I’ll correct this immediately!

  12. Nicole says:

    Hello! This looks amazing! I have a question. I’m a bit picky with food so I was thinking of leaving out the dried cherries. But would that make the granola bars not sweet enough? Should I add more honey? Or maybe change the dark chocolate for just a sweeter one?

  13. Jen F says:

    I buttered the pan and still wound up with a crumbly mess. Very tasty but not portable as a bar. What am I doing wrong? I even got the specific TJ’s ingredients…

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Jen, huh? Mine turn out so great. Let me see, how well did you butter the pan? What kind of pan are you using? Did you make sure to press the mixture down “very” firmly in the pan? Did you allow the mixture to completely cool before cutting? I’ll try to brainstorm with you if you can answer some of these questions.

      • Diana Bauman says:

        One more thing, I’m using freshly ground whole wheat flour. If you’re using store bought flour, I would reduce the flour by about 2 tbls. Also, what kind of oats are you using?

        • Nadia says:

          I had the same issue! Buttered the pan, but when i cut the bars up they crumble everywhere. I eat the crumbles because they are still delicious, but I want to make this more of a bar!!! Help!

  14. Stacy says:

    Ditto on the wanting the peanut butter recipe! I’m going to make your dark chocolate cherry ones today! :) xo

  15. lisa says:

    I want the pb recipe too please. Great bar everyone at work loved them

  16. Jenn says:

    How do you store yours? In the first picture it looks like they’re saran wrapped but I wanted to see what the best way to store them individually was.

  17. debbie says:

    I would love to know how many calories are in each bar. (approximately) Thanks.

  18. Andrea Arnold says:

    Diana, this recipe is amazing! Just curious, how much do you sell the granola bars for??

  19. andrea says:

    Hello Diana!! This recipe is amazing!! How much do you sell each bar for? Or bundle?


  20. Jen says:

    These look amazing! :) I was wondering if i can I add flax seed to this and if so how much? Also, did you experiment this recipe with less honey/ sugar? I’d love to reduce that if it won’t hurt the taste so dramatically

  21. Vicki-Lou says:

    Tried these today. Delicious! Although I will say that next time I will wait longer to cut them. I do get impatient when I bake yummy treats!

  22. Katie says:

    I like to soak oats before using them in
    recipes, but I’m not sure that would work with this recipe. Do you have any suggestions for making these with soaked oats?

  23. Tina C says:

    Hi Diana,
    I’m just wondering what’s the difference from pastry flour and regular flour. Would it make a difference if I just used wheat flour? Oh, if I doubled the recipe would it fill the baking sheet?
    Tina C.

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Whole wheat pastry flour is made from soft white wheat berries. So it has less gluten in it but isn’t as dense as whole wheat. You can most certainly use just wheat flour. I’ve done it many times 😀

      • Tina C says:

        Thank you Diana! Because the wheat flour is more dense, do I use less? If I double the recipe will it fill the baking sheet?
        Thank you,

        • Diana Bauman says:

          No, you’ll need to use the same amount and you really won’t even taste it in this recipe. It depends on what size baking sheet you have. I have a large one that I used for selling them at the farmers market. I tripled the batches to fill it. So, it really depends on the size of the baking sheet.

          • Tina C says:

            It’s a half sheet. When I bake brownies I have to double the batch. I’m not sure of the dimensions of the baking sheet. Thank you so much for your help!!! 😀

  24. Tina C says:

    I made these Saturday. They are awesome!!!! I made some substitutions. I used clover honey instead of raw; mini cc’s instead of the chocolate bar; sunflower kernels instead of the almonds; cherry flavored craisins instead of the dried cherries and I added some dried apricots. I will be making them from now on. First time out and I tripled the recipe. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us!!!

  25. Barbara says:

    Hi, Diana

    Does adding a little more coconut oil help make them less crumbly? My first batch was almost just perfect; not my second. Is the coconut oil supposed to be solid but soft? I heated mine up to a liquid before adding. Thanks for sharing!

  26. emily says:

    These look great. I don’t like to use honey because my toddler gets it everywhere and we have a baby. I also don’t like to use sugar. Can either or both of these be substituted with maple syrup? Thanks!

    • Diana Bauman says:

      Of course, give it a try!

      • emily says:

        I will! Also, I am ordering ingredients for this now. Do you use sweetened or unsweetened cherries?

      • emily says:

        Hmmm! I think the honey must make these stick together better than the maple syrup, because mine fell apart. Also I could not find dried cherries that were nut-free, so I had to use apricots and they made it too tart. And… I was impatient and could not wait for my almond order in the mail, so I used sunflower, flax and chia seeds. I think next time I will use raisins for a little more sweetness. Next time I will also press down more; that may have been my issue. Thanks for this recipe. The coconut oil was yum.

  27. lindsey says:

    Will steel cut oats come out eatable? Or do I have to cook them first??

  28. Skyler says:

    These bars look fantastic! but i don’t have any brown sugar at my house right now, is that a essential ingredient? Could i make the granola bars with out it?

  29. Anne says:

    I’ve been using the peanut butter chocolate chip recipe as my base and changing up the ingredients to make my own flavors. So far, the best is cranberry, coconut & almond. Tomorrow I’m trying raisin and pecan.
    I’m using the brownie pan that has the individual squares and allowing them to cool completely. They are nice and chewy.

  30. Heather says:

    These ” bars” taste good but didn’t hold together as a bar. I followed the directions to a T and still mine crumbled. I pushed down on the granola before and even after removing it from the oven. I think the problem with this recipe is that there isn’t enough binding ingredients. I was betting by how loose it was when I blended wet and dry ingredients that it wasn’t going to stick but I trusted the recipe. Now I have to remake because this was for someone as a gift.

  31. Heather says:

    Remaking…will post another comment once second batch is done. Made a few changes. Added more honey. Mixture was thicker. Also warmed up the coconut oil, honey, vanilla mixture.

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