Learn how to make the best gingerbread granola with this easy recipe, sweetened with molasses and maple syrup, and flavoured with warm Christmas spices.
It's important to have a recipe for something that makes an easy, homemade holiday gift. My gingerbread granola recipe is it. I've served it at brunches with friends during the holidays, and I've gifted mason jars of the homemade gingerbread granola to my gym instructors (who spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to help me balance out all that butter and sugar I love so much).
What You'll Need to Make This Christmas Granola Recipe
The key to good granola is finding the right balance of sugar, fat, and spices. For this recipe, I sweetened the mix of oats and nuts with a mixture of fancy molasses and maple syrup, and spiced it with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, which are the spices you'd find in a classic recipe for gingerbread people.
If you want your granola to taste like gingerbread, you need to bake it with all the key ingredients that make gingerbread taste like gingerbread. To make this easy recipe, you will need:
- oats, specifically old-fashioned oats, also called large flake oats or rolled oats. Do not use steel-cut oats (too rough and crunchy) or minute oats (too fine and powdery)
- whole shelled nuts because it's the holidays and if there's one time of the year to splurge on fancy whole nuts, it's Christmas! Make sure to use raw and untoasted nuts because the granola bakes for 40 minutes and if you start with toasted nuts, they may burn.
- maple syrup and fancy molasses (also called baking molasses) to give the granola a rich flavour and a stronger molasses taste. Don't use blackstrap molasses in this recipe!
- gingerbread spices, like ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Feel free to make your own mix or buy a gingerbread spice mix from the grocery store. You can substitute pumpkin spice mix in this recipe!
- fun add-ins, specifically dried cranberries and chopped crystallized ginger make this granola mix extra special.
See recipe card for complete list of ingredients and quantities.
Substitutions and Variations
This gingerbread granola recipe isn't overly sweet and it has a good level of gingerbread spices. Feel free to tweak it to make it your own:
- Molasses: replace it with the same volume of honey (like in this soft German gingerbread cookie made with honey!)
- Nuts: use any of your favourite nuts. For a nut-free granola, use pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds instead
- Spices: use any warm spices like cinnamon or ginger, or even a pumpkin spice mix or apple pie spice mix
- Dried cranberries and crystallized ginger: replace them with raisins, chopped pitted dates, or even dried blueberries, dried apples, dried pears, or dried cherries
- Chocolate: white chocolate chunks (or chips), chopped milk, or dark chocolate could work nicely here. Add chocolate after the granola has cooled down completely. We love This flavour combination in these white chocolate ginger cookies too!
Get creative and make sure to choose ingredients that you and your family enjoy!
How to Make Gingerbread Granola
Granola is so easy to make; this recipe makes a big batch within an hour! You can give it out during the holidays as a homemade gift.
Step 1: Melt the coconut oil with the molasses and maple syrup in a small saucepan (image 1). The syrup should be smooth, dark, and thin (image 2).
Step 2: Combine all the dry granola ingredients (oats, nuts, spices, and salt) (image 3) and stir them well using a Danish dough whisk (image 4).
Step 3: pour the warm syrup over the dry granola ingredients (image 5) and stir everything well to ensure all the oats and nuts are evenly coated (image 6).
Step 4: Spread the coated granola on parchment-lined sheet pans (image 7). This is a lot of granola, so you will likely need two half-sheet pans for this recipe. Bake the granola until it is golden brown (image 8).
Step 5: While the granola is cooling, chop the crystallized ginger into small pieces (image 9) and add it to the granola along with dried cranberries (image 10).
This gingerbread granola is a festive take on classic breakfast oats. This would make great edible gifts for Christmas, packed in decorative jars with fancy ribbons and a pretty gift label. I like to serve it with yogurt or milk for holiday breakfasts and brunches!
Stir the granola often when it's in the oven baking to break up any sticky clumps and ensure that all the ingredients are evenly coated in the syrup and separated. This will also encourage a more even bake.
If you prefer your granola to have bigger clusters, don't stir it while baking! Press the coated granola from edge to edge of the sheet pan and then bake it without disturbing it. Then let it cool. The granola will hold together, and then you can break it into big (or small) clusters.
More Baking Recipes with Molasses
If you love the unique taste of molasses, here are a few other recipes to try:
- molasses cookies (a thick cookie rolled in sugar that cracks a little as it bakes)
- ginger cookies
- ginger cookies with white chocolate
- slice-and-bake easy gingerbread cookies
If you tried this gingerbread granola recipe (or any other recipe on my website), please leave a ⭐ star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you!
- 460 grams rolled oats (or large flake oats)
- 140 grams almonds
- 120 grams walnuts
- 100 grams pecans
- 7.5 mL ground cinnamon
- 5 mL ground ginger
- 2.5 mL ground cloves
- 2.5 mL ground nutmeg
- 2.5 mL Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
- 80 mL coconut oil or unsalted butter
- 80 mL pure maple syrup
- 80 mL Fancy molasses
- 60 grams dried cranberries
- 80 grams chopped crystallized ginger
- Preheat the oven to 325 °F (165 °C). Line two large baking sheets (18x13 in) with parchment paper. Set aside
- In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, spices and salt. I like to use a Danish dough whisk to mix granola (you can buy it on Amazon). It works well. Set the mixture aside.
- Meanwhile melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup and molasses in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir well then pour over the oat mixture. Stir to coat all the ingredients with the syrup.
- Transfer the mixture to prepared pans. Spread into an even layer from edge to edge.
- Bake the mixture for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring it every 10 minutes and moving the pans around in the oven.
- Let cool before adding the dried cranberries and candied ginger. Store in a jar.
- This recipe makes almost 9 cups of granola so you can give it out as gifts and keep a little for yourself too!
- Remember that if you want granola clusters, don't stir it as it bakes. On the other hand, if you like a finer granola, stir it often.
- I sweetened this with a combination of baking molasses (also called Fancy molasses or light molasses) and maple syrup, but you could also incorporate honey, or even try with only molasses, depending on the flavour you want your granola to have. Obviously, more molasses will make the taste quite strong.
- Instead of crystallized ginger and dried cranberries, you can try dried apples, raisins, or chopped pitted dates.
- For a nut-free granola, replace the nuts with pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds.
- Do not use minute oats (which are too fine) or steel-cut oats (which are too coarse and hard).