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.
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.
I 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.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 8 cups 1x
- Category: Breakfast
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. Recipe yields 8 cups granola.
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 ½ cups raw pecans and/or walnuts
- 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt (if you’re using standard table salt, scale back to ¾ teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ cup melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
- ⅓ cup real maple syrup
- ¼ cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup large, unsweetened coconut flakes* (optional)
- ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries
- ⅓ cup chopped candied ginger
- 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 to combine.
- 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 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with coconut flakes (if using). Stir up the mixture to make sure the granola cooks evenly.
- Return the pan to the oven for 8 to 11 more minutes, or until the granola is lightly golden on top. It will continue to crisp up as it cools.
- Top the granola with the chopped cranberries and candied ginger. Let the granola cool before breaking it into pieces and enjoying.
- Store the granola in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks. Store in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.
Recipe roughly based on master granola maker Megan Gordan’s base granola recipe, via The Kitchn.
Serving suggestions: I like to serve this granola with yogurt or milk and sweet winter fruit, such as broiled grapefruit, orange slices or pomegranate arils.
Nut details: 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.)
*Where to buy coconut flakes: Look for them in the baking section at Whole Foods, health food stores or well-stocked grocery stores. The brands I see most often are “Let’s Do Organic” (green package) and Bob’s Red Mill.
Oh my! I just made these! I’m not sure I can wait for them to cool! I want to eat the entire tray!!! ;)
Your recipe made it all the way to Austria!! I just made your gingerbread Granola and it is very delicious. Thank you so much for this recipe (I hope it will last at least a week, but it will be difficult. Before I put it in the container I already eat a lot of it) . Liebe Grüsse from Austria, Annemarie
I adore this recipe. Thank you so much!
Thank you for sharing your recipe! I made this granola yesterday and really enjoyed eating it for breakfast this morning. My husband loved it too – he added greek yoghurt, which he said complemented the flavours brilliantly. It is satisfying to make a granola that tastes amazing and doesn’t cost a fortune, as it does here in the UK if you want something that doesn’t resemble toasted cardboard! Looks like my Vermont maple syrup stash is going to be severely dented :-)
Hi I’m in the UK too – did you use molasses or a substitution? Molasses isn’t as easy to find here .. thanks
I did use molasses. I have found it in supermarkets but if you cannot it’s generally always available in health food shops including Holland and Barrat.
You could try black treacle or molasses sugar (made by Billingtons) if you can’t find molasses but it might be a bit sweeter. Both are probably sweeter than molasses but could be balanced with a bit of malt extract (I’m pretty sure Sainsbury’s sell this) but the flavour could be very intense! I’m not sure what else would be good for dampening the sweetness. Good luck hunting for ingredients!
Thank you so much for getting back to me with that helpful reply .. I’ll go on the hunt!
Hi. Ocado has molasses :) I just ordered some the other day to make this granola.
This is so good!! I can’t get over how satisfying this recipe is, and the toasted pecans with the candied ginger is just delicious!
Oh my goodness, this is heavenly! Just made a test batch to see if I wanted to give this as a holiday gift and the answer is a huge YES! That is if I don’t eat it all first. Kate, thanks so much for this amazing recipe!
That’s great, Melisa! Thank you for your review.
My daughter and granddaughter have a nut allergy, so I can’t use the pecans (I usually let the squirrels have the pecans off my trees) is there a good substitute for the pecans?
Hi Betty! You can use pepitas. Let me know what you think! My The Very Best Granola is great with just pepitas.
Amazing!! Made last week and it was perfect. I tried a double batch tonight as plan to portion it for xmas gifts. I fear I got distracted and left in oven for a few min too long, or doubling batch wasn’t ideal. It’s a bit less clearly gingerbread flavour than first batch. Any recommendations how to add more flavour? I can’t cook it any more with more molasses/spice. Perhaps just more candied ginger bits. Also might take a couple samples and try adding more dry ginger and cinnamon powder. Maybe see if I can possibly carefully toast the dry spice and mix in. Not sure how uncooked spices will do. it’s still great, just need a bit more oomph.
Hi! I’m sorry you didn’t have perfect results. Did you add equal amount of spice when you increased it? Make sure to give it enough space on the pan so it cooks well too.
Your recipe made it all the way to Austria!! I just made your gingerbread Granola and it is delicious. Thank you for this recipe. Liebe Grüsse from Austria
Is there a way to form these into granola bars?
Hi Telly, I would recommend my granola bar recipes instead.
I have made this granola and have given it away as gifts for two years now! It’s definitely a favorite! Thank you so much!
You’re welcome, Molly!
Thank you so much for this recipe. It made it all the way to Austria. Because my husband do not like walnuts I used sunflower seeds and flaxseed. It is delicious, I have to keep myself from not eat everything at once. Liebe Gruesse from Austria.
This granola is insanely addictive. I’m never eating store-bought again! Thank you!
That’s great to hear, Alexandra! I appreciate your review.
Hello! I am excited to try this recipe. Has anyone tried this with unsulphured blackstrap molasses? A couple of cookie recipes I’ve found have cautioned against it…wondering if it would work for this granola?!
Thanks for sharing your experience.
This granola is fabulous !
Thank you! I’m happy you enjoyed it, Margaret.
I made this recipe. It will now be my go-to favourite for granola. Yum.
That’s great, Julie! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you for this delicious recipe Kate. It was my first attempt at a granola recipe and it is delicious! I have since tried a few others but always circle back to yours as my tried and true “base recipe”, swapping out various nuts or mixing and matching. I also discovered I prefer a crunchier texture so have tended to bake this batch for 40 min, of course adding more delicate items toward the end as you have indicated. The spices, ginger and molasses are all perfect quantities for a party on my tastebuds! Anyone who has as the luck of tasting this Gingerbread Granola (before hubby and I devour it all) is in love! I will make this many, many more times!
You’re welcome, Marci! Thank you for sharing. Try my The Very Best Granola too if you haven’t!
I just made this granola and can’t wait to have some for breakfast in the morning. It smells great!
I’m glad you love it!
Hi are the nuts supposed to be baked in along with the granola or left out raw here? I tried the other granola recipe from your blog – but it turned out slightly overdone probably due to heat – I used 180C for 15 mins once – and again after stirring. The nuts especially were slightly burnt…any ideas on how to know when granola gets fully done? Thanks!
Hi! Yes, you want the nuts included as well. It sounds like you need to decrease your time so it isn’t overdone.
Ive been making this gronola for three years now. My favorite!
Just made one batch and 2nd is in the oven. I made the first with honey instead of maple syrup (I’m a beekeeper and I have lots). The second is with maple syrup and I think I like that better as far as gingerbread taste goes. I’ll save honey for other granola recipes b/c now I’m hooked.
I just made this with an extra cup of oats and no nuts due to dietary restrictions. We didn’t have dried cranberries so I tossed in some dark chocolate covered dried cherries. The smell while baking was heavenly and the taste is delicious and not overly sweet. We had some local dark maple syrup and that helped put this over the edge! Great recipe and will definitely make again!
Delicious! I like my granola to have a fair amount of nuts in it so I decreased the oats to 3 cups and upped the nuts to 2 ½ so the proportions were consistent but kept everything else the same. It smelled so good coming out of the oven I didn’t even wait for it to fully cool before having it with some greek yogurt.
I can never run out of your Gingerbread Granola otherwise my husband complains and our guests at our B&B in Italy also agree! I use black treacle and honey instead of maple syrup, all served with homemade yoghurt and seasonal fruits. Delicious.
I make a lot of granola and this has been my very favorite one! The candied ginger gives such a nice little burst of unusual flavor! And the molasses is great for texture and taste. Thank you for this recipe!
This is so delicious and perfect for holiday brunch. I used the coconut flakes as suggested, and my family absolutely loved it with the cranberries and candied ginger. It went so well served with yogurt and fresh berries. A big hit!
Yum !! First time making it .
I will definitely make it again and again!
I didn’t have any coconut in the house so made it without.
But I really love it without it
I plan to sprinkle some in my Greek yogurt and fresh fruit in the morning adding a bit of crunch! Yum !