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Cinnamon Granola

This homemade Cinnamon Granola has been a staple at our family breakfast table for a very long time.

It’s simple, wholesome, and tasty which is just what homemade granola should be. Plus it’s naturally gluten-free!

Cinnamon Granola clusters on a baking sheet.
Look at those crunchy clusters!

Anyone who knows me will know that I love breakfast. Whether it’s mini pancakes, egg white frittata, porridge, sourdough french toast, or this deliciously crispy and crunchy Cinnamon Granola, I never miss breakfast and I love all breakfast food. And when in Rome, I do as the Romans do – eat Maritozzi for breakfast!

This Cinnamon Granola recipe is so simple to put together and will fill your kitchen with the most heavenly smell as it bakes. The combination of warm cinnamon spice, sweet maple syrup, and crunchy clusters of oats and nuts is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. I’m sure your family will be begging for more!

Why you’ll love this recipe:

  • Crunchy – My easy granola recipe holds the secret to seriously crunchy clusters of nuts and oats. You’ll find it so hard to resist snacking on this crispy nutty treat!
  • Easy – In less than 30 minutes you’ll have a perfect batch of Cinnamon Granola cooling on the bench. It’s so easy to put together, that you’ll never want to buy store-bought granola again. 
  • Naturally gluten-free – For my friends cooking gluten-free, this homemade granola recipe is naturally gluten-free and a delicious breakfast option. 
  • Flavorsome – The warming hints of cinnamon and the sweetness of maple syrup make the perfect combination of flavors in this cinnamon granola. Plus a little brown sugar gives this granola recipe a delicious caramel flavor. 

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredients

Labelled ingredients for this recipe viewed from above.
  • Oats – You’ll need old-fashioned oats or rolled oats for this Cinnamon Granola recipe. Be careful not to use quick-cooking oats.   
  • Almonds – Slivered or sliced raw almonds are my preference. Whole almonds, with skin on or off, would also be fine. Chop whole almonds with a knife before adding to the oats.
  • Pecans – Just regular raw pecans. Whole pecans will need to be chopped coarsely with a knife before adding to the oats. 
  • Maple syrup – I prefer using pure maple syrup which is naturally sweet and free from additives. 
  • Olive oil – Light olive oil is my preference, but if you only have extra virgin olive oil on hand, please use that. 
  • Brown sugar – A small amount of light brown sugar gives this Cinnamon Granola the perfect caramelized flavor and sweetness. 
  • Ground cinnamon – This is the hero of this granola recipe, so please ensure your cinnamon isn’t old or expired. You want fresh, fragrant cinnamon. 
  • Salt – A little bit of salt brings out the flavors in this sweet granola.
  • Vanilla extract – Be sure to use vanilla extract and not vanilla essence which is artificially made. 

Instructions

The dry ingredients for homemade granola in a bowl viewed from above.

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Syrup and oil in a glass jug with a small whisk viewed from above.

Whisk together maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla extract in a small jug.

Brown syrupy liquid being poured into old fashioned oats viewed from above.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Homemade granola ingredients being mixed with a spatula.

Stir to combine well.

Brownish oat mixture on a baking sheet pressed by red spatula.

Transfer the mixture onto a large baking sheet and press down with the. Bake in the oven, pressing down after each stir to form the clusters.

Overhead view of homemade granola on a baking sheet.

Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool completely. Once cooled, stir to break the Cinnamon Granola into crunchy clusters. 

Hint: Chop any whole or large nuts coarsely with a knife. A food processor makes the job faster but will grind the nuts too finely. Also, be sure to line the baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper to make cleaning up easier. 

Substitutions

  • Maple syrup – You could easily substitute honey instead. 
  • Olive oil – Substitute another oil of your choice like coconut oil, sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil. 
  • Light Brown Sugar – Dark brown sugar works just as well in this recipe. The caramel flavor will be a little more intense which might be what you’re looking for.

Variations

  • Nutty – If you don’t have almonds and pecans, use any other nuts you have on hand. I love using chopped hazelnuts, walnuts, or macadamias. 
  • Spices – Include other warming spices like ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, or even pumpkin spice. 
  • Wholesome – Add even more goodness to this Cinnamon Granola by adding chia seeds, flaxseeds, or shredded coconut. 
  • Fruity – Dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries or chopped dried apples or apricots can be stirred through after baking.

Equipment

You don’t need fancy equipment here, just a large baking sheet, a large bowl plus the usual kitchen equipment like spoons and knives. Measuring cups and spoons or a set of scales are also important.

Storage

Once the Cinnamon Granola has cooled, store it in an airtight container in the pantry or refrigerator (if it’s humid weather) for two weeks. 

If you are storing the granola for longer, pop the container in the freezer to retain its freshness. You can always refresh the granola in the oven. 

Top tip

Overhead view of homemade granola on a baking sheet.
  • Combine all the ingredients very well to ensure that all the oats and nuts are coated in the maple syrup/oil mixture.
  • If you prefer, you can reduce or leave the light brown sugar out entirely. However, compared to most store-bought granolas, the quantity of sugar in this Cinnamon Granola is not a lot and adds a delicious caramel flavor.
  • If you substitute ingredients, generally try to keep the ratio of wet to dry ingredients the same. 
  • When baking your homemade granola, use your nose to guide you and check the granola visually. If it looks like it is browning too quickly, lower the temperature. If it still seems damp, toast it a little more.

FAQ

What ingredient makes granola stick together?

Several ingredients make granola stick together, but in my Cinnamon Granola, I use a combination of maple syrup and brown sugar. Together, the two ingredients become the glue to bind the dry ingredients together.

This, in addition to pressing the granola down using the back of a spoon after each stir, forms delicious crunchy clusters in your homemade granola. 

Is homemade granola good for you?

My homemade granola is better for you than store-bought granola because, like everything homemade, you can control what you put in it. My recipe for Cinnamon Granola only includes a little sugar, but you can reduce it or leave it out entirely. It also includes good fats in the form of olive oil and nuts. 

Should you eat granola with milk or yogurt?

You can eat my Cinnamon Granola with anything you like! I like my granola with a combination of yogurt and a dash of milk. But you could also serve it with stewed fruits, on ice cream, or as part of a dessert. 

Serving Suggestions

Grey bowl filled with toasted granola, white yogurt and berries.

There are so many ways to enjoy this Cinnamon Granola! Eat it out of your hand for a snack.

Cinnamon Granola is excellent served in small containers for your children’s lunch boxes, served with thick Greek yogurt, or eaten out of your hand as a snack.

Do you love the taste of nuts in baking? You should try my moist Pistachio Muffins or Brutti ma Buoni.

Made this recipe?
Please let me know if you liked it by leaving a ★★★★★ star rating and a review below. And remember to subscribe to my newsletter – it’s free!

Cinnamon Granola clusters on a baking sheet.

Granola with Cinnamon

This homemade granola is the ideal combination of spicy cinnamon, sweet maple syrup, and crunchy clusters of oats and nuts. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser and naturally gluten free!
5 from 38 votes
Print Pin Review
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings:24 servings
Author: Marcellina

Ingredients

  • 5 cups (415 grams) old-fashioned oats also known as rolled oats
  • 1 cup (100 grams) sliced/slivered almonds
  • 1 cup (110 grams) coarsely chopped pecans
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar or dark brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • ½ cup maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325ºF/160ºC. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper.
  • Place old-fashioned oats (rolled oats), almonds, pecans, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
  • In a small bowl or jug, mix maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla extract.
  • Pour over the oat mixture.
  • Stir to combine all ingredients.
  • Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet and press down with the back of a spoon or spatula.
  • Bake in oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes and pressing down after each stir.
  • The granola should be golden brown when cooked. Take it out of the oven to cool but don’t stir until completely cold. The maple syrup and brown sugar will solidify as the granola cools creating lots of crunchy clumps.
  • Store in an airtight container. See notes for long storage.

Notes

Tips for Success
  • Mix the ingredients thoroughly.
  • Reduce the sugar if you prefer a less sweet granola.
  • Keep the ratio of dry to wet ingredients the same when substituting ingredients.
  • Ovens vary so use you nose and eyes as a guide. The cinnamon granola will smell toasty when it’s done and look well browned. If it looks like it needs more time, leave it in the oven a little longer.
Storage
Store in a sealed container for two weeks at cool room temperature. If  the weather is warm, keep the container in the fridge.
I usually put half of the batch into a sealed container or a ziplock bag and pop into the freezer to keep it fresh while we eat the first half of the batch. 
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 68kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 0.01g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 0.1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

This updated and improved recipe was first published on Marcellina in Cucina on January 9, 2018.

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8 Comments

  1. I love the granola and the terrific photos. I have a 35 mm but am still learning, years and years later. Sometimes it’s just easier to use my iphone!

  2. Terrific recipe! Love granola, and yours looks so good. Congrats on the new camera! You chose a good one (I actually shoot with a Nikon D5100). Tips? Get the DX 35mm lens — it’s a good one (although the kit zoom is pretty darn good). If you use Lightroom, try shooting tethered — it makes a huge difference. Slows down your photography a lot, but for me, at least, that’s a good thing!

    1. Thank you John! I have been toying with the decision of which prime lens to get. I know a lot of food photographers recommend a 50mm. In the camera store I was shown a 35mm so got quite confused. You have helped me make that decision. I have read about shooting tethered. I must look into it. Your tips are very much appreciated!

  3. I love homemade granola too and this looks so wholesome and delicious. Congratulations on your new camera too! Lovely photos on this post 🙂

    1. Oh Lorraine, I had decided on this camera before I saw your article on the mirrorless Olympus which sounds amazing! This Nikon is such a step up to what I have been using. Thank you for your kind comments xx