Monday, January 7, 2013

Granola clusters for real!

I know you saw the title of this post and thought to yourself: "Not another granola recipe!"

Just hear me out. There's a reason behind this post (besides the ridiculous amount of overindulging that happened during the holidays).

I have been looking for a baking method that yields clusters of granola as opposed to a loose mix. I tried stirring a lot as the granola bakes, and I tried stirring a little, but none of my methods made truly clumped granola. It was always tasty, but never as clustered as I wanted.

Then, I tried using a smaller rimmed cookie sheet (a quarter sheet pan to be exact), and I patted out and pressed the granola into a thick, dense, even layer from rim to rim. I baked it for 40 minutes straight without stirring. Then I cooled it completely in the pan on a wire rack.

That's it, that's all.


That's all I had to do to get clusters of granola.

I did nothing, basically.

I just patted it tight and baked it for a long time without touching it.

I can finally make perfectly clustered granola, and so I am back on a granola kick. I'm pretty sure daily granola and yogurt is a healthier habit than daily fruitcake (I wish I were exaggerating about the daily fruitcake, but I'm not).

And that is why I had to blog about granola, yet again.
Special thanks to Cooks Illustrated for the baking method.

Granola clusters

Published: January 7th, 2013, Cook time: 40 minutes
    Makes lots
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1 cup nuts (I used pistachios and sliced almonds)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil (or your favorite oil)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed quarter sheet pan with parchment and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the oats and the nuts.
  3. In a 1 cup measuring cup, combine the coconut oil (melted) with the maple syrup, salt, and vanilla, and then pour it over the oat mixture.
  4. Stir the oat mixture to evenly coat all the dry ingredients then pour it out into the prepared sheet pan.
  5. Spread the mixture from rim to rim and compact it/press it flat with a flat-bottomed glass.
  6. Bake for about 40 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.
  7. Cool the granola completely, then break up the granola slab into clusters and transfer to a large container to store.


  1. It's not breakfast time, but would have this granola! I am glad you found how to make it exactly the way you wanted :D

    1. Me too! Thanks for reading and you hope you get to try this granola some day soon.

  2. Well, I'm glad you posted about granola again LOL I will be giving it a try as I've been wanting a clustery and uncluttered granola without all the extra stuff - sounds perfect

    1. Thanks! I simplified the mix and kept the essentials! And, I omitted any dried fruits because I don't always like the texture the dried fruits take on in the oven.

    2. That is why you add the dried fruit after it is baked...but then again you don't want to stir

  3. YES!!! I love my granola in clusters, too! Thanks for the excellent tip!!!

    1. You're welcome! I felt funny blogging about it again, but I was so excited when I made this huge slab of granola that could easily be crumbled.

  4. I'm so glad I stumbled upon your post on Foodgawker! I am a granola fanatic, and my favorite part are the big, crunchy clusters. The last photo with the greek yogurt and raspberry is absolutely gorgeous. I can't wait to try this recipe!

    1. Thanks and I hope you do try it. Please stop by to tell me how you like it when you do!

  5. Great tip, I love clustered granola and will definitely try this out!

  6. I've been making granola like a madwoman lately, and while it's utterly delicious, I do miss the clusters - I've got a pan of your recipe cooling on the counter right now! I'd love to have clumps of granola again - much easier to snack on.

    1. Yay! Please let me know how it turns out (though I'm fairly certain you will love it)!

  7. This is awesome Janice.... I just made a bog batch of granola bars and these will be next... I'm on a granola kick too :)