No-Stir Clumpalicious Granola

by Kristen on September 12, 2012 · 71 comments

in Breakfast

I am seriously so excited to share this recipe with you. Woohoo!

As you know, I make my own granola on a regular basis, because store-bought granola is ridiculously overpriced. And making granola at home is just not that hard.

My least favorite part of the process, though, is the stirring. Opening the oven frequently lets a lot of heat out, plus even with rimmed baking sheets, I still manage to spill some granola every time.

America’s Test Kitchen recently sent me a super early copy of a new DIY cookbook (The America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook) they’re coming out with, and this granola recipe caught my eye because it promised perfect granola with no stirring.

Count me in!

Not only does this method save time, it also produces granola that is nothing but clumps, and if you’re like me, this will make your heart sing. The granola comes out as one big piece, so you can just break it into whatever size pieces you like.

This granola is perfectly crispy without being heavy. So good.

I didn’t plan this, but when I lined up all my ingredients, I realized almost everything is from Aldi (yep, even the maple syrup!)

In a large bowl, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil.

Next, stir in the oatmeal and chopped almonds. I love coconut in my granola, so I added in some unsweetened flaked coconut.

Now, press the granola mixture into a rimmed baking sheet. (I own and love the Lincoln Wear-Ever┬« Standard Duty Half-Size Sheet Pans.) You can use the back of a spatula to make sure it’s evenly pressed down.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.

I think next time I’ll bake it just a teensy bit less, but that’s a matter of personal preference.

Let the granola cool for about an hour. At this point it should have hardened, and you can break it up into clumps.

The original recipe says you can add 2 cups of dried fruit at this point, but since fresh fruit is still readily available at this time of year, I opted to skip that step. In the winter, I’ll probably add some raisins, craisins, or dried apricots.

Store your granola in an air-tight container.

You can eat this as a breakfast cereal with milk, of course, but it’s also really good sprinkled on top of yogurt.

As with most granolas, there’s some flexibility here. You don’t have to include coconut, you can use nuts other than almonds, and though I haven’t tried it yet, I’m quite sure you could use coconut oil instead of the vegetable oil.

Here’s an image for you pinners!

No-Stir Granola

Printable No-Stir Granola Recipe

1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raw whole almonds, chopped
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups raisins or other dried fruit

Heat oven to 325┬░ F. Grease a rimmed half-sheet baking pan.

Whisk together the maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, salt, and oil. Stir in oats, almonds, and coconut.

Spread the oat mixture into the prepared baking sheet; press evenly to compact granola.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until granola is lightly browned, rotating baking sheet halfway through the baking time.

Remove from the oven and let cool thoroughly. When granola is cool, break into clusters and stir in dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container up to 1 month.


Joshua’s 365 post: Swirled and One of My Favorite Pastimes

Leave a Comment

{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Victoria@Snailpacetransformations September 12, 2012 at 7:24 am

Do you think you could somehow make a peanut butter version out of this? I once got this awesome peanut butter granola that came in clumps like yours, on deep discount at a discount grocery store and loved it, and I have been craving it ever since, but I don’t want to pay the full price for it! I got it for $1 a bag, turns out it sells for almost $4 a bag in the grocery stores. I could switch out the almonds for peanuts I guess that would be step one…not sure how to get the peanut butter in there.


2 Liz September 12, 2012 at 9:08 am

PB would probably get added to the “wet” mixture, though you might need to adjust (dial down) something else to make room for it in the recipe. It might be a matter of reducing the maple syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar slightly. (Syrup because it’s wet, vanilla so it won’t compete with the PB flavor, and brown sugar because PB has some sugar in it already.) Good luck!


3 Liz September 12, 2012 at 9:10 am

Also, it looks like you could buy “Peanut Butter Flavor” from King Arthur Flour company, which could just be easier/quicker than reworking the recipe entirely…


4 Kristen September 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

Ooh, that does sound really super yummy. I agree with Liz about it being added to the wet mixture, but I’m not sure exactly how much you’d need to add. Have you poked around online to see if there are other peanut butter granola recipes? That could give you some idea of the proportions that work.

Let me know if you find a recipe, because I would totally make a batch. And if I find a recipe, I’ll be sure to share it here.


5 FrancesVettergreenVisualArtist September 13, 2012 at 1:50 am

Betcha you could replace the oil with any nut butter, maybe use a little more. This is what I did with my clumpy granola recipe, worked fine. This recipe is a little different but looks yummy.


6 Christina September 14, 2012 at 12:42 pm

This is EXACTLY what I would do, and have done in other baking recipes! Works out perfectly, and I’m sure it will with this too. Add in some dried berries, and it’ll be like PB&J granola!


7 KimN September 12, 2012 at 8:00 am

Quick question – What is your method for chopping the almonds (knife, food processor)? The reason I ask is because I’ve been making homemade granola for years as well but have been buying the pre-sliced super thin almonds. However it is pretty pricey in my opinion and turns me off from making it. I’m not crazy about huge chunks of nuts in anything so I never chopped them myself.


8 Kristen September 12, 2012 at 9:24 am

I usually just chop them by hand because I don’t mind having chunks of nuts in my granola. Could you use a food processor to chop them finely?

Or is there maybe a place where you can buy sliced almonds in bulk? Aldi carries them intermittently, so if you have an Aldi near you, you could stock up on the almonds when they have them and then store them in the freezer.


9 Beth September 12, 2012 at 8:07 am

Do you think this recipe would work with Splenda Brown Sugar?


10 Kristen September 12, 2012 at 9:25 am

I’m not sure, since I’ve never used it. Splenda is supposed to be substituted cup for cup, though, right?

You could always just give it a try and find out. :)


11 Sarah September 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

The only problem with Splenda that I see is that the sucralose doesn’t carmelize the way real sugar does. So, it might not clump as well. You still have the maple syrup in there, so that might hold things together ok.


12 Molly September 12, 2012 at 8:16 am

Or butter, because butter makes everything better. :-)


13 Lili@creativesavv September 12, 2012 at 9:19 am

This looks good. And what I like about it is it could be eaten as a snack, without a bowl, perhaps even scored into bars before baking. Thanks for the recipe.


14 Amanda September 12, 2012 at 10:56 am

what a great idea! I love crunchy granola bars!


15 Economiesofkale September 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thanks for the recipe :) I make my own granola too, and it makes me smile every time I go past the bulk bin in the health store which has fancy granola for $29 a kilo. Mine costs about $5 a kilo at most.

I agree with Lili, this would make great bars for packed lunches. I might try it out.


16 Kathy @ Kathy's Chronicles September 12, 2012 at 10:45 am

You must have read my mind. Just this morning I was thinking about fall and wanting to make granola, but I wanted a clumpier version of the kind I usually make. Looks like all the ingredients we love! Yum!


17 Dawn September 12, 2012 at 11:33 am

I really like the sounds of not having to stir the granola while it’s baking. Taste-wise, do you prefer one recipe over the other (the old recipe vs. this new one)? Sometimes the ease of one recipe over the other might make a difference as to which recipe I might prefer, but I’m wondering whether you prefer to eat one more than the other! Or are they equally good that way.


18 Jo@simplybeingmum September 12, 2012 at 11:51 am

Despite loving baking, I’ve never made granola! I must give it a go…
Aldi UK also does maple syrup – and it’s much cheaper than other supermarkets!


19 Jen September 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hmmmm…I like the idea of clumping, but this recipe has more than twice as much sugar for 3 c. of oats as what we currently use. I bet that’s what sticks it together as the sugar melts.


20 Natalia September 12, 2012 at 12:22 pm

Hi Kristen,

This my first comment. I have been enjoying your blog for a while. This recipe looks so good, I would love to fix it right now. I do not have maple syrup at home. Do you think I can use honey instead?


21 andris September 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Hi Kristen,

Real great recipe and i love the way you have laid it all out! Beautiful. Going to try this one out! Thank you,


22 Elizabeth@ReadySetSimplify September 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I’m so excited to try this! I love clumps, too!


23 Ingrid September 12, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Looks so good! Can’t wait to make it. Adding maple syrup to my Aldi list :)


24 Kaitlin September 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I was at a bookstore a few weeks ago, and picked up a cookbook from ATK and was looking at their granola recipe. I almost bought the cookbook just for that one recipe, but the rational side of my brain took over. I’m so glad you’ve shared this recipe! I love homemade granola, but hate waiting for hours for it to finish!


25 Michelle September 12, 2012 at 4:00 pm

Omgoodness! This looks/sounds delicious! :)

I love my ‘clumps’ when it comes to granola. Thank-you so very much for sharing this recipe. :)


26 Sara September 12, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Wow, that looks so good! Ooooh, you could make little granola bars or make granola sandwiches with some sort of delicious center like peanut butter or something. :) I love Cook’s Illustrated…yum.


27 Katy @ Purposely Frugal September 12, 2012 at 5:40 pm

I really want to try this recipe! I don’t have any maple syrup, but I do have some sorghum, do you think that would work instead?


28 Wendy B September 12, 2012 at 7:11 pm

LOVE the granola recipe. I sure will be trying this out!–thanks so much for sharing.
By the way, what are your initial thoughts on the America’s Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook? I sure love my The Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook & America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook. I’m looking forward to looking through their new cookbooks!


29 Kristen September 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

So far, I really like it. I’ll be trying more recipes and sharing a review in the next few weeks.


30 Wendy B September 13, 2012 at 11:48 am

Sounds great! I’ll be looking forward to it!


31 Kristen LaValley September 12, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Never thought of making bars out of granola. DUH. Great idea. Thank you!


32 AFS September 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm

I’ve never had “clumpy” granola, but it does look good & I love the idea of making granola bars with it. Maple syrup is SOOO expensive here I’ve never purchased it. I wonder how homemade maple syrup (brown sugar, water & mapline) would work.
As for stiring granola I never do. I spread it thin on the baking sheet and put it in the oven at 170 degrees (the lowest my oven goes) It takes a while but when Its golden brown I just let it cool and put it in my storage container. no muss no fuss.


33 Kristen September 13, 2012 at 8:47 am

Yeah, maple syrup is crazy expensive, but at Aldi, it’s not too bad. I’ve wondered if you could use honey instead of maple syrup..I’ll try it one time.


34 Nancy September 12, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I made this today even though it has a lot more sweetner (and oil) than my regular recipe. However, my kids don’t really like that recipe, so I thought maybe they’d go for a sweeter one. I chopped the almonds up into a coarse meal so they wouldn’t be noticeable as almonds (for my picky eaters), same with the coconut. I added about 1/4 cup of flax meal, and used honey instead of the brown sugar. It turned out AWESOME. My son loved the big chunks and was just eating them like cookies. I think it tastes like graham crackers!


35 Michelle September 13, 2012 at 7:55 am

Made this yesterday, so yummy. Nice to have the pieces so you can eat it on its own or in yogurt!! Another great recipe find Kristen, you rock at that!


36 Kristen September 13, 2012 at 8:45 am

Well, that’s mostly because I use so many Cook’s Illustrated recipes. ;) I rarely come across a dud from them.


37 Lauren September 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

Thank you! I have been making granola in the crock pot (still has to be stirred but no spilling!) but this looks LOTS easier!


38 Elaine in Ark September 13, 2012 at 10:53 am

This sounds great, and easy, too!

Do you have any nutritional information on this? I’m “pre-diabetic” and need to watch sugars, carbs, & fats.



39 Elizabeth in CA September 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I made granola this morning and it stuck something fierce! I used a generous amount of coconut oil too. I used half pepitas and half almonds plus coconut. It was so good and I worked off all the calories just getting it out of the pan. ;-)


40 SusieQT December 6, 2012 at 2:01 pm

I finally got around to making this today. Didn’t have maple syrup, so I used honey. Maybe that was a mistake because I just about had to use a chisel to get it off the pan. It came out really greasy too- weird. I followed the recipe to the letter, except for the honey part. Maybe it’s me????


41 Christina December 6, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Oh no!! I’ve substituted honey for maple syrup and it comes out perfectly each time.


42 Stacy September 13, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Yum! I made this today and it is so good. I’ve tried several granola recipes this year and this one is perfect in my opinion. It was crispy when it cooled and so easy to throw together.


43 Cindy September 17, 2012 at 10:56 am

Thanks for sharing this recipe. It’s similar to how I make mine. I don’t grease the sheet pan….I use parchment paper and it is so easy to flip out…no cleanup at all. I also buy sliced almonds and whole walnuts at Sam’s Club. The price is excellent and the large packages last several months (and I make granola once a week). Thanks again!


44 Cheri September 17, 2012 at 12:16 pm

This was so delicious, I’m making our second batch today. Came back to see if the peanut butter version was worked out:)


45 Rona September 19, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Granola is a favorite of so many people and many of us, like myself have never made it before. In fact, before reading this article many people probably never thought much about making their own either. This easy recipe will surely keep many of your reader’s smiling. Thanks for the post.


46 Beth Anne @ Thrifty Living September 19, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I just made this yesterday and it is by far the best granola I’ve ever made! (and I’ve used quite a few different recipes) I also used regular syrup since I didn’t have any maple, and added some pumpkin seeds as well. I can’t stop eating it! 3 servings in less than 24 hours :)


47 Glory Lennon September 19, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Yum, except for the maple syrup. Just don’t like that flavor. Is there anything else I could use instead of it?


48 Kristen September 20, 2012 at 7:42 am

I’m guessing that honey could work, but you might want to use a little less, since honey seems sweeter to me than maple syrup.


49 Jasmine September 19, 2012 at 11:24 pm

Thank you so much for posting this! I have made granola for many years, but could never get it very clumpy. My family loved this so much, thank you!!


50 Levi September 20, 2012 at 2:51 pm

I love reading your blog and usually try your recommendations seeing as how they always turn out great! The same with this granola recipe. It is awesome! I used coconut oil instead of regular oil and I spread it thinly on a whole sheet baking pan. It came out thin and yummy and too good to stop eating! I made my first batch yesterday and it’s already gone. Making another batch now and that’s what prompted me to leave a comment. My kid’s love this stuff! I also left out the fruit as fresh fruit is so readily available. (Isn’t that what you said too? lol) Keep up the good work Kristen!


51 Emma September 22, 2012 at 11:37 pm

I decided to try this recipe because my fiance takes granola bars in his lunch every day, and I thought I would just make bars instead of clumpy granola. Well, I just made this and my fiance loves it! I used chocolate chips and raisins instead of almonds and coconut flakes and I also snuck in some wheat germ and flax seeds. Thanks for posting.


52 Kim C September 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I just wanted you to know that the very day you posted this I went into my kitchen and made a batch. I never buy real Maple Syrup because I’m so cheap, um frugal. I used Aunt Jemina’s maple syrup which is imitation and I used pecans instead of almonds. The entire batch was gone that night! We were leaving on vacation two days later and the entire family requested that I make a huge batch to take with us. I made 3 batches to take with us and we ate all of it within 5 days. We’ve been home for a week now and all I’ve heard since we’ve been home is, “When are you making more granola?” So, here I tromp off to the kitchen to make a double batch. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. My daughter even suggested we make a batch and before popping it out of the pan to smear melted chocolate over the top. She thought that would take like the new ones that Nature Valley sells. I think I might try half a pan just as a test for possible Christmas gifts. I think it would be more of a candy that way, but I’m going to try it.
Thanks again!


53 Kristen September 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Yes! It’s SUCH good granola. And don’t you just love that it doesn’t need to be stirred??


54 Markus October 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I just made my third batch of this recipe. The favorite in the house is the one that I substitute 1/2 cup peanut butter added into the wet ingredients instead of the coconut. I have made granola many times before trying this recipe for the simple reason of finding a no stir granola recipe.
I love this recipe and will continue to make this for a long time.

Thank you Kristen!


55 Markus October 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Do you have nutritional facts for this recipe?


56 Kristen October 17, 2012 at 7:45 am

I don’t-I’m sorry. But I’m sure you could find an online tool that will calculate it if you input the ingredients.


57 Hydra November 7, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Mine is baking right now. Can’t wait to eat it. The raw version was yummy, so I’m sure the finished product will be even better. Thank you for sharing the recipe.


58 Mom of 4 November 8, 2012 at 9:32 am

This recipe looks almost identical to what I make each week, except I don’t use any brown sugar, just 2/3 cup of honey or maple syrup instead. I also throw in a cup of ground flax seed and 1/2 – 1 cup of wheat germ, and my kids don’t even notice it’s there! Mine doesn’t clump quite as firmly as your’s, but it’s pretty clumpy nonetheless, and very yummy. Wonderful next to your homemade yogurt recipe! Thanks for sharing!


59 Sarah November 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm

My new favorite granola recipe. I’ll be trying this with peanut butter next time, it turned out AMAZING!


60 Christina December 4, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Can I just say…I’ve made this MANY times now. I have it memorized. There is no way ON EARTH this would last up to 1 month! I have a hard time making it last up to 24 hours in my house!! Thank you SO MUCH. Enjoy, everyone!


61 Kristen December 4, 2012 at 7:04 pm

I know just how you feel…it’s the best granola e v e r. ;)


62 Mary December 9, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I really want to make this and normally we do put nuts in all of our granola but my youngest has just been diagnosed with a nut allergy(to include coconut). If I omit the almonds, do I need to add something in it’s place or can I do it without? I was thinking if i needed to add something that I would do sunflower seeds or even sesame.
Thank you so much!


63 Ingrid December 10, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I make our own granola but my husband loves the clumpy kind and I could never figure out how to make it like that. He will be so excited to see this on the counter!


64 Rebecca Kipe December 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm

I adore this recipe…i make it every week! I reposted it on my blog at I use half honey and half dark corn syrup and it is WONDERFUL. I also use coconut oil and I add flaxseed and reduce the brown sugar by half. I always make a double batch and I eat it every morning as cereal :)


65 jackie Brown May 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

This is so similar to my version. It caught my eye because I’ve never tried peaches; looks yum. I prep mine just the same and do not grease pan, but use silpat mat and make 2 pans at a time, which is 14 cups! I most often bake 15 minutes and leave over night w/o stirring and it makes big clumps as well. I like the addition of the whole almonds, that looks hearty. Here’s mine to check out:


66 Diane C May 23, 2013 at 5:13 pm

Finally made this recipe! It looked so good that I immediately made another batch so I could bake both pans at once and not have to wash utensils twice. I confess I used Agave syrup instead of Maple syrup. I use Agave on my husband’s oatmeal every morning. Last time I was at Winco, I found a great deal on a GALLON of it. I was wondering what I was going to do with it all. I see a LOT of granola in our future… It’s still cooling, so I don’t know if the Agave will have any effect on the clumpiness. I do know that it smells so good I had to sit down at the computer to distract myself!

Side Note, particularly to KimN: I make dozens of batches of toffee for Christmas gifts. I used to buy the whole almonds at Costco. Chopping and toasting was the most tedious part of the process. I discovered that Winco sells chopped almonds for about 50-60 cents more per pound. Worth. Every. Extra. Penny. They are not toasted, but they do not have the “raw” taste of whole almonds, which lets me skip toasting them altogether. Hey, maybe those extra pennies are frugal after all. I still had some left over from last December, so I used them in today’s maiden batch of granola. Win-win!


67 Heidi May 30, 2013 at 10:46 am

This is in the oven right now, and it smells so good! Thank you for a fantastic recipe. Stirring granola is one reason why I don’t make it more often, so this recipe is much appreciated!


68 Amanda October 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm

Thanks for this recipe! It is by far my favorite homemade granola I’ve tried. I used 1/4 cup honey instead of the brown sugar and butter and coconut oil in place of the vegetable oil. Thanks again!


69 Karen November 29, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Do you think you could substitute coconut oil for the vegetable oil?


70 Kristen November 30, 2013 at 9:31 am

Yep! I do it regularly.


71 Tiffany October 3, 2014 at 3:02 pm

Totally yummy! Used honey in place of the maple syrup and reduced brown sugar by half, still very sweet! Oh…used the cocoa roast almonds, too! Delicious! As a previous poster mentioned I’m using this with chocolate on top as Christmas gifts! If the worst part is chopping nuts the recipe is easy!


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