Gingerbread Granola

Gingerbread granola

It’s no wonder my dear mom always complained about my messes. “But I just cleaned that!” she’d say with a long sigh. I was a hands-on kid, always coming up with grand schemes for new projects and taking over the kitchen table just before dinner. I was a little tornado who paid no heed to the clean-up required in my aftermath.

Gingerbread granola ingredients

These days, I am just a grown-up version of that little tornado, stretched to 5 feet and 7 inches tall but no less destructive. Just yesterday, in the process of making this granola, I managed to absent-mindedly spill half a bottle of vanilla extract in the kitchen, and thirty minutes later, a half cup of coconut flakes all over the sunroom. At least my assistant helped clean up the latter. I then piled up granola bowl dishes in my sink and promptly sprayed fresh pomegranate juice all over my just-cleaned countertops.

I now understand why my mother always complained that cleaning up after myself could be a full-time job. It’s the truth. Speaking of which, I’m now accepting applications for interns.

oats, nuts, molasses and maple syrupI promised you this granola three whole weeks ago and thought I just might manage to get it to you in time for the weekend. It would be a great way to spend a few minutes of down time on a leisurely Sunday afternoon, and the resulting batch will make plenty for hurried breakfasts during the work week. It’s full of my favorite winter-time ingredients—warming spices, candied ginger, pecans and maple syrup—and irresistibly crisp-ity crunch-ity.

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4.8 from 6 reviews
Gingerbread Granola
Author: 
Recipe type: Breakfast
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Irresistible spiced granola with the flavors of gingerbread, including molasses, ginger and cinnamon. Sweetened with maple syrup and dried cranberries, this granola is gluten free as long as you use gluten-free oats.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1½ cups raw pecans and/or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • ⅓ cup real maple syrup
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries
  • ⅓ cup chopped candied ginger
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  2. Stir in the oil, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Turn the granola out onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with coconut flakes. Mix in the coconut and stir up the mixture to make sure the granola cooks evenly. Return the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes.
  3. In the meantime, roughly chop the dried cranberries and candied ginger. After 10 minutes is up, remove the pan from the oven and add the chopped cranberries and ginger. Stir to combine.
  4. Let the granola cool before enjoying. The granola will continue cooking just a bit in the cooling process, so if it seems a little wet at first, don't worry.
  5. Store the granola in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks. Store in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Notes
  • Recipe roughly based on master granola maker Megan Gordan (of Marge Bakery)'s base granola recipe, via The Kitchn.
  • Yields 5 to 6 cups of granola.
  • I like to serve this granola with yogurt or milk and sweet winter fruit, such as broiled grapefruit, orange slices or pomegranate arils.
  • Look for candied ginger at the bulk section at health food stores.
  • Raw nuts are preferable, but if you want to use pre-roasted nuts in this granola, mix them in after baking the granola. (They are liable to burn if you bake them along with the other ingredients.)

Comments

  1. says

    I’m a sucker for anything with gingerbread in the name. And all of my favorite flavors in a granola, now that sounds perfect. Oh and I too am a mess in the kitchen! In my opinion, all good cooks are ;)

  2. says

    This looks wonderful! I’ve been searching for a good granola recipe – something different and more unique than a lot of the traditional recipes out there. I like the looks of this one!!

  3. says

    I’ll eat gingerbread anything, so I know I’ll be trying this soon. Where there’s ground ginger, there’s always candied ginger close behind for me, so I love that about this recipe, too. Gingerbread is not just for Christmas!

  4. says

    Ohhh yesss! You know I’ve been waiting for this one! :) I’ve been making my own little batches of granola lately but there’s just something so addictive about gingerbread! This one has been pinned! :)

  5. Denise says

    I decided tonight was a good time to try this granola. I have a question tho. In the instructions under step #1, it says to add the oats, nuts, cinnamon, ginger & salt. Then in Step #3, it says to chop the dried fruit and roasted nuts and add them after everything else is cooked.

    Do you add the nuts in step 1 or step 3 ??

  6. says

    LOVE marge granola. Meghan knows her stuff. This looks so tasty, and while I’ve been on the fence with candied ginger, I think I’d like it here. Lovely.

  7. Kay says

    I’m thinking about a little extra ginger (ground) in place of the candied. It’s the only ingredient I don’t have on hand…I think I will try it come back later with my inexpert verdict…

  8. says

    Yuuuuummm. Nothing like warm-spice laden granola in these cool months. Definitely worth the spilled vanilla and coconut sprinklins on the floor.

    Also, before I worked in professional kitchens I used to be the messiest cook ever too. I always clean as I go and keep everything lined up now, but my mother has NOT let it go. When we cook together, she always jokes about starting her own blog called “I Clean Up The First Mess.”

    • says

      I Clean Up The First Mess, haha! At least your mom has a sense of humor about your messes. Do you think I’ll ever learn to clean as I go? Probably not.

  9. says

    I am so glad to see someone else that’s GOOD at cooking making a disaster in the kitchen! My mom HATED my messes…at least I made it up with good food.
    I definitely want to try this granola!

  10. says

    I love the idea of crystalized ginger and molasses in granola — I’ve never tried either in my renditions to date! And if you ask me: nothing so wrong with a mess, especially when something delicious results from it. (:

  11. Laura@bakinginpyjama says

    I love granola and I love gingerbread. This recipe sounds very nice, I’ve never seen a granola recipe using molasses before. It sounds very intriguing.

  12. says

    Oh how I smiled when I read your post. I’m not the only tornado in the kitchen!!!! Just stumbled on your blog and am so enjoying going through it with my earl grey tea and quiet time home alone this afternoon.

    • says

      Thank you, Janet, it’s nice to hear from fellow kitchen tornados. ;) It’s also ice to hear that you enjoyed reading my blog today. Thank you for visiting!

  13. says

    I just popped over here from Foodgawker where your picture was a standout! This looks like a delicious way to enjoy granola. I’ve always loved molasses…it’s so underused! :)

  14. says

    Gorgeous! I am a bit of a tornado in the kitchen too! Any recipe involving sugar, flour, vanilla, or salt requires lots of clean up. Those are the culprit ingredients that end up all over me and my kitchen floor. I don’t have a dishwasher so I usually procrastinate cleaning up until the pile of stuff in the sink is gigantic.

  15. says

    I make epic messes like that at times and then try to get the boyfriend to clean them up (i.e. I bribe him)…sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t. I could probably get him to if I bartered with this granola! Yum!

  16. says

    As a kid I was like you, clumsy all the time. But these days with age or whatever, I became just the opposite. Absolute control freak :) Love crunchy homemade granola!

  17. says

    I just ate the last of my first batch of homemade granola this morning, and might have to make this one to replace it! Though I may substitute pomegranate molasses for the normal, because I have an unholy love of pomegranate.

  18. Jenna says

    Made this this weekend and it is delicious! Can’t believe I had never made granola before. And I love that this recipe has no sugar!

  19. Kelly says

    This wasn’t as scented as I was expecting…I thought it would be a little stronger in flavour perhaps. I work at a bakery and we’ve been making gingerbread cookies like mad, so I instantly thought it would be that cookie in granola form. So I was a little sad last night, but I had it on my cereal this morning and it was pretty delicious. Plus, the fam and I like the no sugar part… so thank you~!

    • says

      Kelly, I’m sorry to hear that the granola did not meet your expectations. If you want to up the flavor, use a stronger molasses next time and perhaps more spices.

  20. Caroline says

    I made it and the smell was intense and amazing! This is the best granola recipe I’ve found so far. I also used coconut sugar. I used a convection oven to cook it quicker and I found 15 minutes created a slightly burnt flavour due to the molasses sticking on the bottom. That tasted great but for a less burnt taste, I suggest 10 minutes for those who are using that method. Thank you for posting this.

    • says

      Caroline, thank you for commenting! I’m really glad to hear that you loved the granola. Thank you for sharing your convection oven notes, too!

  21. Ashley B. says

    Made a double batch yesterday and not only did the whole house smell like the holidays, but it was difficult to stop myself from eating it all for lunch and dinner. Thank you for the wonderful recipe–it is the perfect holiday treat and a wonderful gift to share!

  22. Katie says

    This granola smelled and tasted amazing in the bowl. Sadly, mine cooked WAYY too quickly!! I checked it after the initial 20 minutes and already had heaps of burnt pieces. :( Overall, it has a bit of a charred flavor. I might try it again at a different temperature.

    • says

      Hey Katie, I’m so sorry to hear about your granola and I’m so sorry for not responding sooner. I’m not sure why your granola cooked too quickly. Sometimes darker pans cook their contents more quickly. Regardless, I hope you’ll give it another shot with a slightly lower temperature and less cooking time. Sorry again that it didn’t turn out well.

  23. Elle says

    Made this granola last week. I was addicted to it and had to constantly restrain myself from gobbling it all down! The flavor combinations were great. In the future, I’ll be making it with a bit less sugar as I don’t like it too sweet. I’m adding this recipe to my binder of favorites!

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