Breakfast, snack, dessert… Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola is all of the above! This baked granola is crunchy, bursting with flavor, and so easy to prep. Make-ahead for a super quick on-the-go breakfast with milk or yogurt!
I’m a huge fan of granola. I’m an especially huge fan of granola when it’s perfectly crunchy and tastes like dessert. This recipe fits that criteria spot on!
My twist with this granola is adding some apple juice (or cider, both work) to the mixture along with the oil, sweetener and spices used in most baked granolas. The apple juice sinks in to the oats and gives the granola an additional layer of apple flavor. I’m obsessed!
You might have to put it away because you’ll want to grab a handful every time you walk by! It truly tastes like the delicious crumbly part of an apple crisp.
Total Time: 55 minutes
Prep: Make-Ahead Friendly
What are the ingredients in this Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola?
If you love apples, then most of these ingredients will be no surprise and should be easy to find at the grocery store. You can even skip a couple of the spices if you don’t already have them (no need to buy them especially for this granola!).
Here are the details on each ingredient, along with which ones you can leave out or swap:
- rolled oats – Use plain old fashioned oats. Other kinds of oats are processed differently and will take a different amount of time to cook or won’t make good granola at all.
- ground cinnamon, nutmeg & ginger – This isn’t every spice that goes into an apple pie, but it’s the main three! All of them together add a complex flavor that goes even further than cinnamon by itself. But this granola will still be kickin’ if you don’t have the nutmeg or ginger!
- salt – There’s a lot of sweetness going on in this recipe, so a bit of salt really helps balance it out and bring out all the flavors.
- coconut oil – Using a neutral oil like coconut oil or olive oil is super important in this recipe in order to make the granola actually crispy. Make sure the coconut oil is in a liquid state. In my early test, I wasn’t using enough oil, and the granola wasn’t very crispy!
- maple syrup – This is the sweetener I’m using, but honey or even brown sugar would also work. I love how the maple flavors go with everything else in this recipe, and it makes the best granola.
- apple juice or cider – NOT apple cider vinegar! There’s no vinegar in this recipe, ha! Be sure to use apple cider or apple juice. The beverage you would drink!
- vanilla extract – Adding a bit of vanilla extract helps bring in another apple pie flavor. So delicious!
- dried apples – Any kind of dried apples you like will work here. The goal is for a crisp, real piece of shelf stable apple. I like apple chips, but later I only had freeze-dried apples and those were delicious too.
- chopped pecans – A little bit of nuttiness helps balance out all the sweet flavors and make it taste like you’re eating the yummy part of an apple crisp. You can skip the pecans if you don’t have them.
How do you make this Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola?
The best thing about making homemade granola is how easy it is (like, beginner cooking level easy!). You really do just mix everything together and bake it on a sheet pan.
The trick is using key ingredients like oil and rolled oats, plus cooking for the right time and temp. Add mix-ins like fruit and toasted nuts after baking so they don’t burn. That’s it!
First, mix up the oats with the salt and spices to get them evenly dispersed. Next, pour each of the wet ingredients over the oats. At first, some liquid may gather in the bottom of the bowl, but keep stirring, and the oatmeal will start to absorb it and soon there won’t be any liquid left.
Spread the oatmeal mixture out on a rimmed sheet pan, using a spatula or wooden spoon. While it’s not necessary, I like to line the pan with parchment paper for an easy cleanup.
Get the oatmeal into an even layer and then bake in a 350F degree oven for about 30 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. The granola should look noticeably toasty and browned when it’s done.
After it comes out, don’t touch it for a while. The granola will continue to firm and crisp up as it cools and moisture leaves the oats in the form of steam. Give it about 20 minutes before stirring. This will also help some small clumps form.
After the 20 minutes is up, feel free to add the toasted nuts and dried fruit. Another reason it’s important to wait until the granola cools is for the dried fruit – if you add it while the granola is still steaming, the fruit will absorb some of that moisture and lose its crisp.
Mix it all up and that’s it! You can store this homemade granola for up to a week before it will start to get stale. Enjoy it with fresh fruit and yogurt or milk.
Best tips for making homemade granola:
Here are some of my best tips for making homemade granola:
- The recipe is very forgiving but it is important not to skip the oil or change the amount – this is what makes the granola crispy.
- Don’t touch the granola when it comes out of the oven. It will continue to crisp up as it cools. This also helps small clumps form.
- Don’t skip the salt. This balances all the sweet ingredients and adds a delicious depth of flavor.
- Be sure to use rolled oats. Any other kind of oats will be processed differently and won’t work for this granola.
How do you make granola with bigger clumps?
If you like bigger clumps of granola, here are two tips:
- Stir the granola once early on, and then don’t stir it again until it’s completely baked and cooled. Handle the granola gently and you should get delicious clusters and clumps.
- Try adding a whipped egg white to the recipe. I also do this in my Super Clumpy Snack Mix Granola recipe. Like above, don’t stir the granola after it has come out of the oven until it’s completely cool. The egg white helps bind the clusters of oats into stable clumps.
Can I use a different kind of oats?
I recommend sticking with rolled oats, also known as old fashioned oats for this recipe.
What should you serve with this granola?
This granola is perfect with yogurt and fresh fruit, or even just with milk as a breakfast cereal. Usually, I enjoy it most often by itself as a snack.
How do you meal prep this granola?
This is a super simple recipe to meal prep – it sort of just meal preps itself! I like to make this recipe and then keep it stored in wide mouth mason jars on the counter or in the pantry. Then during the week, I can grab some for breakfast or a snack as needed. Easy!
How to store Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola:
The best way to store your Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola is in an airtight container with lid. I usually just keep it stored in mason jars on the counter. But you can also use any kind of sealable container, like a Stasher bag.
Try to enjoy the granola within 7 days or so, otherwise it will start to go stale.
How to freeze Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola:
It is definitely okay to freeze homemade granola (or any leftover granola for that matter). The granola may lose a bit of the crispness and change texture a bit, but other than that, it’s totally fine.
Place the granola in a freezer safe storage bag style container, or one where you can get as much air out as possible. Make sure it’s completely sealed and labeled. Enjoy within 6 months for best quality. To thaw, leave it out on the counter overnight.
Breakfast, snack, dessert… Homemade Apple Pie Spiced Granola is all of the above! This baked granola is crunchy, bursting with flavor, and so easy to make. Make-ahead for super quick on-the-go breakfast with milk or yogurt!
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt)
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted into liquid)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup apple juice or cider
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple chips or dried apples
- 2/3 cup chopped pecans
- Mix ingredients: Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rolled oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt together. If your pecans are untoasted, add those too, otherwise add them at the end so they don’t burn. Next, add the wet ingredients to the bowl: melted coconut oil, maple syrup, apple juice, and vanilla. Stir the oatmeal mixture until all the oats are saturated and no more liquid remains at the bottom of the bowl.
- Bake then cool: Line a rimmed baking sheet pan with parchment paper for easy clean up, then spread the oat mixture on the pan in an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, stirring halfway through to ensure even cooking. Take the granola out of the oven when it appears golden brown and toasty. When it comes out of the oven, leave it alone for several minutes while it cools and crisps.
- Add nuts & fruit: Once the granola has cooled for at least 20 minutes, add the toasted pecans and dried apples. Apple chips are my favorite, but any style of dried or freeze-dried apple (pictured) will work. Mix together and then transfer the mixture into storage containers with lids. I used two pint and a half sized mason jars.
- Serve & store: Serve after the granola has cooled completely. Enjoy as a snack or part of a meal with milk or yogurt and fresh fruit. Store in sealed containers on the counter for up to 7 days.
- Serving Size: 3/4 cup
- Calories: 347
- Fat: 22g
- Carbohydrates: 38g
- Protein: 5g