Sweet and Crunchy Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars Recipe

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If you love a good chocolate cherry flavor combo, these cherry chocolate granola bars are the snack for you. The combination of crunchy oats, chewy dried cherries, and rich chocolate chips is quite irresistible.

Packed with protein and fiber, these bars make for a great midday snack or on-the-go breakfast. Plus, they’re easy to make and can be customized with your favorite nuts and dried fruits. Whether you’re gluten-free or not, these bars are sure to be a hit with everyone in your family.

Cherry chocolate granola bars on a plate.

Easy Recipe for Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars

As a busy person, I understand the importance of having quick and nutritious snacks on hand. These cherry chocolate chip granola bars are perfect for those busy mornings when I’m rushing like crazy or for those long afternoons when I’m trying not to crash.

They’re made with wholesome ingredients like oats, almonds, and dried cherries, and the mini chocolate chips add just the right amount of sweetness. I love making a batch of these bars as part of my meal prep routine so that I always have a filling and delicious snack to look forward to.

Reasons to Love this Cherry Chocolate Bars Recipe

Easy. This recipe is pretty easy to make when you follow the steps.

Customizable. Tweak and twerk the ingredients to your liking. Use different nuts, seeds, fruits, etc.

Nutritious. Oats, almonds, and dried cherries provide a good source of fiber, protein, and other nutrients.

Portable. These bars are a perfect grab-and-go snack that you can easily take with you to work, school, or even outdoor adventures.

Cost-effective. Making chewy homemade granola bars is typically less expensive than buying boxed bars from the store.

Control. Know all the ingredients going into your bars. Use certified gluten-free oats to make this a gluten-free food. Pick all of the ingredients that work for your family’s food allergies and sensitivities.

Oats, almonds, honey, and other ingredients in bowls.

Chocolate Cherry Bars Ingredients

Here’s what you need to make this easy granola bars recipe. The measurements are in the recipe card below.

  • Rolled old-fashioned oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • Chopped almonds
  • Honey
  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sea salt
  • Dried cherries, chopped
  • Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Chopping nuts on a board.

Chop the almonds and dried cherries into small pieces.

Chopping cherries on a board.

Spread the oats and chopped almonds on the prepared baking sheet and toast them in the oven for 4-5 minutes.

Granola mixture in a pan.

Give them a gentle toss and toast for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl to cool.

Butter, honey, and brown sugar in a pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt.

Stirring melted brown sugar mixture.

Stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then let it simmer for 1-2 minutes.

Pouring melted brown sugar on top of oats.

Pour the butter mixture over the cooled oat and almond mixture, stirring until fully incorporated.

Mixing granola mixture.

Allow the mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes before adding the mini chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries.

Mixing cherries and chips into granola bar mixture.

Gently mix until everything is well combined.

Chocolate cherry granola bar mixture in a pan.

Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper and transfer the mixture into the pan. Use a spatula to press the mixture firmly to create an even layer.

Place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Once set, remove the granola bars from the pan and place them on a flat surface.

Melted chocolate.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining chocolate chips for 1 minute. Transfer the melted chocolate to a sandwich bag and snip off a small corner.

Chocolate drizzle over granola.

Drizzle the chocolate over the granola bars in a zigzag pattern.

Cut granola bars.

Use a sharp knife to slice the granola bars into desired size and enjoy your homemade cherry chocolate granola bars!

Chocolate cherry granola bars stacked on a plate.

What to Serve with these Granola Bars

Fresh fruit. Pair your granola bars with some fresh fruit like sliced apples, bananas, or strawberries. This will add some additional nutrients and fiber to your snack.

Yogurt. A serving of yogurt is a so good with granola bars. The creamy texture of the yogurt is delicious with the crunchy texture of the bars, and the protein in the yogurt will help keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Coffee or tea. These bars are the perfect tea time snack. The combination of the sweet and crunchy granola bars with a warm and comforting drink makes it a cozy break to look forward to.

Recipe Swaps and Variations

Nut-free option: If you’re allergic to nuts, you can substitute the chopped almonds with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds. This will give you a similar crunch and protein boost in your granola bars.

Dried fruit: Instead of using dried cherries, you can try using other dried fruits such as raisins, cranberries, or apricots. You can even mix and match different fruits to create your own unique flavor combinations.

Chocolate: If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, you can use milk chocolate or white chocolate chips instead.

Sweetener: If you want to cut down on sugar, you can use maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey. You can also reduce the amount of brown sugar to make the bars less sweet.

Gluten-free option: To make this recipe gluten-free, make sure to use certified gluten-free oats and double-check that all the other ingredients are also gluten-free.

Storage

Store the cherry chocolate granola bars in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. If you want them to last longer, keep them in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep them looking nicer.

To freeze the bars, wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Stacked granola bars with chocolate drizzle.

Recipe Notes and FAQ

Can I make these granola bars vegan?

Yes, you can make these granola bars vegan by using vegan butter and maple syrup or agave nectar instead of honey. You can also use dairy-free chocolate chips for the topping.

Can I use quick oats instead of rolled oats?

While quick oats will work in this recipe, we recommend using rolled oats for the best texture and flavor.

Can I double the recipe to make more granola bars?

Yes, you can double the recipe to make a larger batch of granola bars. Just make sure to use a larger baking sheet and a bigger pan to accommodate the extra mixture.

Can I make these granola bars keto-friendly?

Yes. To make these granola bars low-carb, simply swap out the honey and brown sugar for a keto-friendly sweetener such as erythritol or monk fruit sweetener. You can also use keto chocolate chips or omit them altogether if you prefer. Keep in mind that the texture of the bars may be slightly different due to the change in sweetener. Also watch the macros in the fruit you choose to use.

Yield: 12

Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars

Cherry chocolate granola bars on a plate.

These cherry chocolate granola bars are a delicious and satisfying snack that you can take with you on-the-go. Made with wholesome ingredients like oats, almonds, and dried cherries, they're loaded with fiber, protein, and other nutrients. The addition of mini chocolate chips adds a touch of sweetness and crunch to these bars. They're customizable to your liking and easy to make. Perfect for a quick breakfast, a midday snack, or a post-workout treat.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups rolled old-fashioned oats (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons butter (¼ cup)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ dried cherries, chopped
  • ½ cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Chop the almonds and dried cherries into small pieces.
  3. Spread the oats and chopped almonds on the prepared baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool.
  4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir until the butter melts and the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Pour the butter mixture over the cooled oats and almonds, stirring until fully incorporated.
  6. Let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes, then add the mini chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries. Mix gently.
  7. Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Transfer the mixture to the pan, pressing down firmly to create an even layer.
  8. Freeze for 30 minutes to set.
  9. Melt additional chocolate chips and drizzle over the set granola bars.
  10. Slice into bars and enjoy!

Notes

  • Keep any remaining granola bars in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5-7 days to maintain freshness.
  • If you don't have almonds, feel free to use pecans, walnuts, peanuts, or your preferred nuts in this recipe.
  • Instead of dried cherries, you can use dried cranberries, blueberries, or any other type of dried fruit that you like.
  • For a different twist, try using white chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate in this recipe.
  • If you prefer, you can use maple syrup in place of honey. Just make sure to use either honey or maple syrup, as they help to bind the ingredients together to create a cohesive bar.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 2417mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 1gSugar: 20gProtein: 2g

Nutrition facts are an estimate only.

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Pile of cherry chocolate granola bars on a plate.

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3 Comments

  1. This is not great. Made it the first time as stated, even though I knew for sure 1/4 cup of salt couldn’t be right. Accidentally brought the sugar mixture to a boil. It came together great and cooled to a lovely consistency. Taste was horrid, obviously too much salt. Tried again and didn’t boil it, as recipe didn’t say to. Cooled, and it all fell apart. Waste of time and ingredients. Something needs to be tweaked here.

    1. Hi Kelly, I’m so sorry that happened! I’m going to look into this recipe right away and make any necessary tweaks! So sorry to be the reason for wasted ingredients!

      1. Hi Kelly,
        My goodness, you were totally right about the salt. That was a typo. Good grief, thank you for catching that. 🙁 I have corrected the ingredients and also made the instructions more clear about heating the mixture. I really appreciate you letting me know about this and apologize again for the error.

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