Cereal Bars

DF VG

These no bake cereal bars are the perfect combo of chewy and crunchy. They hold together well so they’re portable and make a delicious, healthy whole-grain snack! 

Like trail mix in bar form, these cereal bars are packed with nutrient-dense superfood seeds, cereal with whole grain and dried fruit. They’re held together with a blend of almond butter and honey so they’re nutty, sweet and perfectly chewy with a little crunch from the cereal.

Cereal bars on a plate.

Plus, they’re so quick and easy to make. I’ve already made two batches in the past couple of weeks and I can easily see them becoming a weekly staple around here. Isaac loves snacking on them while out and about and they’ve quickly become a daily afternoon snack for me.

Are Cereal Bars Healthy?

It’s fair to say that not all cereal bars are healthy… there are some store-bought versions that are basically candy. But my version is definitely healthy! They’re packed with fiber, healthy fats and protein thanks to the seeds, oats and nut butter. These bars are only sweetened with honey so they’re much healthier than cereal bars you’d find in the grocery store that are typically loaded with added sugars and oil.

Cereal bars stacked on a plate.

Why I Love Whole Grains

With the paleo and grain-free food trends, I think grains have gotten a bad reputation but it’s important to remember that whole grains (like oats, rice, corn, sorghum, spelt, wheat, rye, barley, etc) are whole, real foods and unless you have an allergy or intolerance, they’re really good for you.

Whole grains provide key nutrients in our diets like vitamins, minerals and fiber. Studies also show that eating more whole grains may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases like heart disease. And it’s crazy because 95% of Americans do not get enough whole grain in their diet! When you make these bars you’re packing in a good amount. Now that is something you can feel good about.

Ingredients for cereal bars laid out on a marble surface with labels.

Here’s What You Need

  • Cheerios – I like using original Cheerios as a base for these bars. You could also use a flavored variety like honey nut or pumpkin spice (check out these pumpkin spice cereal bars) for more flavor!
  • old fashioned oats – my fave brand of oats is Bob’s Red Mill. They have a gluten-free oats if needed too!  
  • unsweetened coconut flakes – just look for unsweetened coconut (without any added sugar).
  • dried cranberries – try to find unsweetened berries if you can or cranberries that are only sweetened with fruit juice. Goji berries, dried cherries, raisins, dates, figs or dried blueberries would all make for good alternatives to the dried cranberries if needed.
  • seeds – I use a combination of pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds and chia seeds.
  • almond butter – natural creamy almond butter works best! Make sure it doesn’t have any added ingredients and is just almonds and salt. You can also use peanut butter, cashew butter or sunflower seed butter.
  • honey – this is the natural sweetener I like to use for these bars because it’s sticky and keeps the bars together. I don’t think maple syrup will hold the bars together as well.
  • vanilla extract – a flavor enhancer.
  • salt – salt helps all of the flavors come together.
Side by side photos of a mixing bowl with ingredients to make cereal bars, before and after the mixture is combined.
Cereal bars in a square dish.

How to Make Cereal Bars

Start by mixing all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan, heat the almond butter and honey over low-medium heat. Stir frequently to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn. The longer you heat, the harder the final cereal bar will be! If your mixture comes to a boil you will have a pretty firm cereal bar. When the mixture is smooth, remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract and sea salt.

Pour the liquid mixture over the cereal mixture and toss to coat everything.

Line a baking dish with parchment paper and pour the mixture into the lined pan. Press down firmly with a spatula or your hands. This step is key! You want to really pack these bars into the pan. If you don’t, your bars might not stick together.

After the bars are fully pressed into the pan, place the pan in the freezer for 30 minutes to set. Remove from the freezer, cut into bars or squares and enjoy!

How to Store Leftovers

These bars store really well! Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. If you store them in the freezer, I recommend letting them thaw in the refrigerator before enjoying them.

Hand holding a cereal bar.

More Snack Bar Recipes to Try

The Most Popular No Bake Recipes

No Bake Cereal Bars

4 from 50 votes
The perfect combo of chewy and crunchy. These squares hold together well so they’re portable and make a delicious, healthy whole-grain snack!
Cereal bars on a plate.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups Cheerios
  • ½ cup old fashioned rolled oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or goji berries
  • ¼ cup pepitas, aka pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ Tablespoon chia seeds
  • ½ cup natural creamy almond butter
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions
 

  • Line a square baking dish with parchment paper.
  • Place Cheerios, oats, coconut flakes, dried cranberries, pepitas, sunflower seeds and chia seeds in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
    Cereal, dried cranberries, seeds and coconut in a glass mixing bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, heat almond butter and honey over low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla and sea salt.
  • Pour over the cereal mixture and gently toss to coat everything.
    Cereal bar mixture in a mixing bowl with a spoon.
  • Pour into lined pan and press mixture down firmly with a spatula or your hands.
    Cereal bars in a square dish.
  • Place bars in the freezer for about 30 minutes to setup. Remove from freezer, cut into bars or squares and serve.
  • Store leftover bars in a sealed container in the refrigerator. They should last about 1 week.

Video

Notes

  • Mix-ins: Feel free to customize these bars by changing up the mix-ins. You can easily swap the cranberries for another dried fruit like raisins and the seeds can easily be swapped too!

Nutrition

Serving: 1bar Calories: 129kcal Carbohydrates: 15g Protein: 3g Fat: 7g Saturated Fat: 1g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g Monounsaturated Fat: 1g Sodium: 71mg Potassium: 110mg Fiber: 3g Sugar: 9g
Course: Breakfast/Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cereal bars

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Recipe Rating




    45 comments
    1. Susan B.
      October 31, 2021 AT 2:09 pm

      5 stars
      These were a big hit with my daughter! I used dried cherries and I added a few Lily’s chocolate chips which were a yummy touch. Next time I would wait to add the chocolate chips until the very end when the almond butter honey mixture has been tempered a bit (it was a bit of a melted mess 🙂 ). Will definitely be making these again!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        November 1, 2021 AT 12:07 pm

        So trilled to hear you enjoyed these cereal bars, Susan! Thanks so much for trying them out and coming back to leave a review. I really appreciate it!

    2. Niki C
      October 25, 2021 AT 8:27 am

      5 stars
      My daughter and I loved these. We made them for her to snack on at her swim meet. Perfect combo of healthy carbs and protein!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 25, 2021 AT 10:57 am

        Oh yay! So thrilled to hear these cereal bars were a hit, Niki. Thanks so much for trying them out and coming back to leave a review and star rating. It means so much to me!

    3. Ronnie Schmeltzer
      October 23, 2021 AT 6:35 pm

      5 stars
      Always a great find with your recipes! This one did not disappoint. I didn’t have all the seeds or coconut but they were still so good.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 25, 2021 AT 11:05 am

        Yay! Happy to hear you enjoyed the cereal bars, Ronnie. Thanks for the review!

    4. Cyndee Rasmussen
      October 21, 2021 AT 9:14 am

      Hello! I made this recipe as written (with the only sweetened ingredients being the Cheerios and the honey) and found it incredibly sweet – nearly inedible. What suggestions can you make to reduce/replace the amount of honey? Looking forward to your reply. Thanks and have a great day!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 22, 2021 AT 2:33 pm

        Oh no! So sorry to hear that. Where your Cheerios sweetened? You could try to reduce the amount of honey, but that’s what helps the bars stick together so I wouldn’t reduce the honey by too much.

    5. Brenda Fleming
      October 13, 2021 AT 3:29 pm

      5 stars
      These were easy to make and they are SO good! I’m going to try and make these more frequently and not buy bars at the store so often. Thank you!

      1. Debbie Hoffman
        November 16, 2021 AT 4:42 pm

        5 stars
        Love this! Nothing I would think about changing. Thanks for this!

        1. Brittany Mullins
          November 18, 2021 AT 10:40 am

          Yay!! So happy to hear this, Debbie. Thanks for the review. I really appreciate it!

      2. Brittany Mullins
        October 14, 2021 AT 12:10 pm

        Woo!! Happy to hear these cereal bars were a hit, Brenda! Thanks so much for the review and star rating. It means so much to me!

Parchment paper lined with protein balls.

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