This healthy Apple Cinnamon Granola features huge crispy clusters of oats flavored with warm cinnamon, spectacular apple pie spice and a sprinkling of dried apple chips. If you love cinnamon and apple cereal, you’ll love this easy granola recipe! It’s delicious, nutritious and perfect for every fall breakfast, dessert and those snacks in between.
Update: This post was originally published in September 2016. I made edits to include more information about cinnamon granola, plus a recipe video to show you *just* how easy this granola recipe is to make at home.
Hi, friends! Is it just me, or are you incredibly excited that the fall season has finally arrived. Full transparency, this corner of the internet is about to be full of apples. And, I mean, we are putting apples in all the things. I’ll try to practice a little self-restraint and limit the baked apple treats to once a week. But, I make zero promises, because apples are super delicious!
So, on to our first apple recipe of the season – apple cinnamon granola!
About this cinnamon granola recipe
If apple pie and cinnamon granola had a baby, and then a stork sprinkled it with more warming cinnamon for good measure, this granola recipe is what would have appeared.
This homemade granola is the end all, be all of fall flavored granolas. BIG statement? Yes, but I back it up completely. (Besides pumpkin spice goods don’t count on this site)
This granola is crunchy yet slightly tender and chewy with ENORMOUS crispy granola clusters, notes of warm cinnamon, hints of spectacular apple pie spice and a sprinkling of dried apple chips.
This cinnamon granola isn’t overly sweet like candy, it is the perfect mix of sweet n’ savory. Just 100% fall-flavored fabulousness up in this granola!
Why this healthy apple cinnamon recipe works!
- Plenty of flavor! Featuring cinnamon, apple pie spice, crunchy nuts and sweet apples, this fall-inspired breakfast is utterly delicious!
- The best texture! This cinnamon granola features an abundance of crispy oat clusters! Plus, there’s plenty of crunchy walnuts and loads of sweet apples.
- Pantry ingredients! You probably have all of the ingredients for this healthy granola recipe laying around your pantry.
- 10 minutes of prep! Just 10 minutes of hands-on preparation.
- Adaptable recipe! You can easily customize this granola recipe my adding in your favorite nuts, dried fruits and mix-in’s, like cinnamon chips. Yum!
- On-the-go snacking! Keep your apple granola crisp by storing it in individual, resealable bags which are perfect for grab-and-go breakfasts and after-school snacks.
- Versatile! You can eat granola plain as a snack, serve it with milk like cinnamon and apple cereal, spoon it over yogurt, or mix it with fresh fruit.
- Nutritious! This cinnamon and apple cereal granola packs a nutritious punch, including fiber, protein, essential Omega-3’s, vitamin C and heart-healthy nutrients.
- Stores beautifully! Homemade apple granola keeps well for up to a month, making it perfect for holiday gift giving.
Ingredients for cinnamon and cereal
- Oats: You’ll need 4 cups of old-fashioned oats, also known as rolled oats.
- Nuts: A combination of walnuts and pecans adds delicious nutty flavor and tons of yummy crunchy texture.
- Substitution: You can swap in any nuts you love, such as almonds or peanuts.
- Apple Sauce: Applesauce helps to bind the granola so it forms big clumps more easily.
- Sweetener: A mixture of honey, light brown sugar and pure maple syrup lends a trifecta of comforting, inviting sweetness.
- Substitution: If you only want to use two sweeteners, you can swap out the honey for more pure maple syrup and vice versa.
- Oil: Coconut oil is the secret ingredient to make granola crispy and utterly delicious. You will need to make sure your oil is in a liquid state before using in this cinnamon granola recipe.
- Substitution: You can use any neutral oil to make granola. Avocado oil or extra-virgin olive oil will lend a slightly savory flavor to your cereal, while vegetable and canola oil are both flavorless. Please use accordingly.
- Spices: A combination of apple pie spice, cinnamon and kosher salt all provide cozy flavor.
- Apple Chips: I like to toss a bag of apple chips into my granola for that *true* apple flavor.
Healthy apple cinnamon variations
- Gluten-free granola: To make gluten-free granola, be sure to use certified gluten-free oats.
- Nut-free granola: Swap out the nuts for seeds, such as pepitas or sunflower seeds.
- Chocolate cinnamon granola: For a chocolate lover’s snack delight, throw in some chocolate chips or chunks.
- Vanilla or maple cinnamon granola: For extra flavor, add a few splashes of pure vanilla extract or maple extract to the wet ingredients.
How to make cinnamon and apple cereal granola?
This homemade cinnamon granola is so simple to make! This recipe only requires a handful of ingredients and 15 minutes of hands on preparation.
- Gather and measure your ingredients: Collecting all your granola ingredients and measure.
- Combine wet ingredients and seasonings: In a large bowl, whisk together the apple sauce, sweeteners, oil and spices.
- Add dry ingredients: Next, toss the old fashioned oats and both nuts into the bowl. Stir well to thoroughly combine.
- Bake: Then, transfer the raw granola mixture to a sheet pan, arranging it in an even layer. Finally, bake the granola with cinnamon, stirring once halfway through.
- Enjoy: Voila – Homemade and healthy apple granola with cinnamon!
Tips for making apple granola, crisp!
- Nuts: The classic granola recipe below calls for walnut and pecans, but you can use whatever nut(s) you love! Just make sure you are only roughly chopping the nuts. I use a zip-closure bag and a mallet, but you can use a cutting board and a knife. Just be careful if you use a food processor, you don’t want to over-process them into dust!
- Coconut Oil: While you can substitute canola oil, I highly recommend you don’t. You can’t taste the coconut AT ALL; however, it does help make this apple granola crisp and beautifully clustery. For the best results, I recommend using coconut oil.
- Honey: Speaking of clusters, this apple granola recipe calls for 1/3 cup of honey. You can cut the honey down to 3 tablespoons; however you won’t end up with huge clusters of granola. For the best results, I recommend using all the honey.
- Cooling: Allowing the cinnamon granola to cool after baking is essential! Please heed my warning: when you remove the granola from the oven it will still feel a bit wet. Don’t worry, it will harden and turn beautifully crunchy after cools on the pan. DO NOT stir the granola while it’s cooling or you will prevent the large clusters from forming.
- Apple Chips: You can find apple chips in the chip or nut isle of your grocery store. I found mine located with the specialty nuts and fruit chips. If you can’t find them or don’t want to use them, you can either make your own or you can just leave them out.
How to eat granola with cinnamon?
There possible uses for granola are honestly limitless! Here are some delicious ways to use homemade cinnamon granola:
- Use it as a breakfast topping for Greek yogurt, chia puddings and overnight oats.
- Use it as a smoothie topping for a smoothie bowl and protein shakes.
- Use it as a substitute for cereal and pour milk over the top.
- Make an apple crisp yogurt parfait with layers of vanilla Greek yogurt, cinnamon granola, fresh diced apples and caramel sauce.
- Add crunchy texture to your plain oatmeal by mixing in some apple granola crisp.
- Layer granola with yogurt and fresh fruit to create a breakfast parfait.
- Add it to pancake batter for crispy texture and apple cinnamon flavor.
- Toss your apple granola with toasted nuts and dried fruits to create a homemade trail mix.
- Add granola to baked goods, such as muffins, or bake it into homemade breads.
- Swap out the croutons and opt for granola to add crunch to your favorite fall salads.
- Use it as dessert topping for baked apples or fruit crisps.
The above are just a few ways to use this cinnamon and apple cereal! Honestly, granola is so versatile – it’s so more than just a quick snack on the go!
How long does apple granola keep?
After baking, you should allow the cinnamon granola to cool completely on the pan before transferring to an airtight storage container or mason jar. Granola will keep at room temperature for up to 1 week.
If you are looking for long term storage, granola also freezes well! Store it in a freezer-safe airtight bag and place it in the freezer for up to 2 months. (Tip: If you are wanting to freeze your granola, make sure you leave out the any dried fruit chips or chewy dried fruits!)
This healthy apple cinnamon granola recipe is more than just a snack. It makes the perfect nutritious meal to both start and end your day! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get the kitchen and bake your fall granola dreams come true.
Until next week friends, cheers. To apples in everything!
More recipes using oats!
Homemade Cinnamon Apple Granola recipe and video tutorial👇
- 2 Mixing Bowls
- 1 Sheet pan
- 1/3 Cup Honey (SEE NOTES)
- ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- 2 TBS Pure Maple Syrup
- ¼ Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
- ¾ Cup Coconut Oil - melted (SEE NOTES)
- 1 TBS Apple Pie Spice
- ½ tsp EACH: Cinnamon and Kosher Salt
- 4 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- ¾ Cups Walnuts - chopped
- ½ Cup Pecans – chopped
- 1 Cup Dried Apple Chips
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients + spices: In a small bowl whisk together the honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, apple sauce, oil, apple pie spice, cinnamon and salt.
- Combine dry ingredients: In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the oats with the walnuts and pecans.
- Pour wet over dry: Pour the wet mixture over the oats. Stir well to thoroughly coat and combine all the ingredients.
- Bake: Transfer the wet granola to a large baking sheet, arranging it in an even, thin layer. (Tip: Use two pans if necessary. You want overlap so clumps form; however you don't want to over-crowd the pan.) Bake in the oven for 1 hour, stirring once halfway through, or until granola is toasted and golden brown.
- Cool: Remove from oven and DO NOT stir. The granola will still feel wet. Allow the it to cool on the counter for 15-20 minutes. Add in the apple chips and toss to combine.
- Use or Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
- Honey: You can reduce the honey to as little as 3 TBS, but the granola will not be as clustery.
- Oil: You can use a neutral oil, like canola oil, instead of the coconut oil. However, the granola will not be as clustery.
- Apple Chips: Optional ingredient; however, really delicious addition! You can either leave apple chips whole or crush them, depending on preference.
- Cinnamon Chips: This is something I just started adding this year and it's SO good! Make sure the granola is completely cool before adding them in.
- Freezing: You can freeze the granola for up to 2 months.
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