Peanut Butter Granola (With Cocoa & Maple Syrup)

These chocolaty peanut butter granola clusters feel like an indulgent treat. But the delicious chunky granola is gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, and packed with a healthy dose of nuts and seeds.

This homemade peanut butter granola is my most asked-for recipe. The combination of sweet maple syrup with peanut butter and cocoa is utterly delicious. Whenever I take it on a getaway weekend with friends, it disappears on the snack table long before we even reach breakfast.

The easy granola recipe uses simple pantry ingredients. And the crunchy peanut butter granola clusters are so super moreish you won’t believe they’re dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free and refined sugar-free.

Make this healthy peanut butter granola recipe for breakfast or an easy snack for the road.

Plant-based granola never tasted this good!

A bowl of peanut butter granola and banana slices with large peanut butter granola clusters spilling from a mason jar in the background.

Granola ingredients & substitutes

Store-bought granola is chock full of added sugars. But this homemade granola recipe is vegan (dairy-free and without eggs), gluten-free and free from refined sugar. It is pure peanut butter-y goodness!

Once you start making your own granola, you’ll never want the grocery store stuff again!

This easy peanut butter granola recipe is also very flexible. It relies on only a few simple ingredients

  • Rolled oats: Use traditional rolled oats (old-fashioned oats or jumbo oats in some countries) and not quick oats. Confirm on the package that your oats are gluten-free if you need it to be.
  • Sunflower seeds: Sunflower seeds add a pleasing crunch, but you can also use sesame seeds or double up on the cashew nuts.
  • Cashews: I love this granola with cashews – even though the obvious choice would be peanuts. But you can use any nuts you have available. Peanuts or hazelnuts will both work well.
  • Cocoa powder: Standard unsweetened cocoa powder is all you need, but Dutch-process cocoa also works.
  • Salt: I add salt to highlight the chocolate peanut butter flavour and add a slight savoury note. Use ground sea salt or kosher salt. If you worry about over-seasoned granola, reduce the salt in the recipe and sprinkle the finished granola clusters with flaked Maldon salt after tasting. 
  • Aquafaba: This is the cooking water of chickpeas or other pulses. The protein in the aquafaba makes everything clump together in crispy clusters. But you can omit it – you’re granola will be less chunky. Or use a lightly beaten egg white if you don’t need this recipe to remain vegan.
  • Peanut butter: I use smooth natural peanut butter (unsalted, unsweetened and free from stabilisers and preservatives). But if you prefer sweet or crunchy peanut butter, use it. Your peanut butter granola will suit your taste if you stick to your favourite ingredients. You can also try another nut butter, like almond butter.
  • Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup is delicious but expensive. You can use an equal quantity of brown rice syrup or honey if you don’t need to keep things vegan. And if you don’t mind refined sugar, use cheap-and-cheerful golden syrup. Your peanut butter granola will be sweeter for it.
  • Coconut oil: Use melted coconut oil. I use standard organic coconut oil – not the odourless kind. You can also use olive oil or other vegetable oils.
  • Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract contains real vanilla, whereas vanilla essence is artificially flavoured. Vanilla essence is a more affordable version but less intensely vanilla. So double the amount when using essence.

Optional add-ins

This easy peanut butter granola recipe makes crunchy, chunky granola clusters packed with delicious chocolate notes and nutty flavours. 

I don’t enjoy an overly sweet breakfast. So, this healthy granola recipe fits my breakfast needs. 

But there is always room to pack even more flavour into your homemade granola to suit your breakfast needs.

Make this recipe your own, and add some treats to your baked and cooled granola:

  • mini chocolate chips
  • toasted coconut flakes
  • dried fruit

How to use aquafaba in granola

In this recipe, vegan aquafaba replaces the protein-high egg white of more traditional chunky granola recipes like this tahini granola

Two tablespoons of aquafaba are enough to replace one egg white. But since draining a can of legumes produces way more aquafaba, I typically use three to four tablespoons in this vegan granola recipe.

Check the consistency of your aquafaba. It should be thick and similar to that of an egg white. If not, cook the aquafaba until it is thicker. Aquafaba drained from a can of legumes should be ready to use.

Lightly whisk the aquafaba until frothy before mixing it into the peanut butter mixture. 

How to make peanut butter granola clusters

Crunchy granola is best baked low and slow, so preheat your conventional oven to 325 °F (160 °C) – reduce the heat to 300 °F (150 °C) if you have a fan oven.

Combine the peanut butter granola ingredients

Place the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix to distribute the nuts and seeds.

In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients – except the aquafaba (or egg white) – until well combined. You may need to heat the oil mixture for it to combine. 

Whisk the aquafaba (or egg white) in a small bowl until frothy (about three minutes) and add it to the wet ingredients. Whisk everything again.

Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the oat mixture and give it a good stir with a flat spatula. You want to coat the dry ingredients evenly.

Create granola mounds on a prepared baking tray

If you don’t want large granola clusters, skip this section. Simply spread the mix in an even layer on the prepared baking tray. Stir to break apart large chunks throughout baking.

Spoon the granola mix onto the baking sheet in heaps – make 7 to 10 depending on the size of your baking sheet. You want the heaps to be far from each other with enough room to crisp up instead of steam. Use lightly oiled hands or a wooden spoon to compress each granola mound.

I learned this trick from Anna Jones’ malted chocolate buckwheat granola recipe in A Modern Way to Cook (Amazon affiliate link).

Bake the aquafaba granola clusters

Place the baking tray on the middle rack of your preheated oven and bake the granola for 30 minutes. Rotate the baking tray after 20 minutes if your oven cooks unevenly.

The less crowded your baking tray (or sheet pan), the quicker your granola will cook. So keep an eye on the granola – especially towards the end. If you double the recipe, use two baking trays or one larger tray if your oven allows.

Take the pan from the oven and gently flip the granola mounds – try to preserve some chunky clusters. But it’s OK if some of them fall apart. 

Move any darker clumps of granola on the edges to the middle of the tray. Bake for ten minutes more and remove from the oven. The granola should be close to done now.

Turn off the oven and return the granola for five to ten minutes. Since the cocoa in this mix is already dark in colour, you need to keep a close eye on the granola towards the end of the cooking time and trust your sense of smell to identify if the granola is at risk of burning.

To test, place a small chunk of granola on the counter. It should crisp up in a few minutes when it’s fully cooked.

Top down view of a glass jar filled with clusters of chunky peanut butter granola in a glass jar.

How to store homemade granola

Let the peanut butter granola cool to room temperature. You can sneak a bite to test for doneness (and deliciousness). If you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to resist! 

The granola will continue to crisp up as it cools.

You can use your hands to break the chunks into smaller granola clusters. I prefer my peanut butter granola with large chunky clusters.

Store your homemade peanut butter granola at room temperature in an airtight container for up to a month. The granola should remain crispy if cooked all the way. 

How to eat peanut butter granola

I serve the chocolate peanut butter granola with coconut yoghurt (or greek yoghurt), sliced bananas and an extra cheeky drizzle of pure maple syrup. 

That’s if I don’t finish the whole jar while snacking. It really is that good!

You can also serve it with almond milk for a quick-and-easy healthy breakfast.

Close-up of a chocolate peanut butter granola bowl with sliced banana.

Frequently asked questions

How do you get homemade granola to stick together?

Add liquid protein like egg white or aquafaba. The protein acts as a glue to bind the ingredients together. Lightly whisk the egg white or aquafaba and fold it into the granola mixture until well combined.

What is vegan granola made of?

Vegan granola uses aquafaba (instead of egg white) to clump ingredients together. Typical granola ingredients are rolled oats, nuts and seeds. But this recipe also contains peanut butter, coconut oil and cocoa with maple syrup as the sweetener.

Chunky vegan peanut butter granola in a glass jar on a light background viewed from above.

Peanut Butter Granola Recipe

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5 from 8 votes
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This peanut butter granola with cocoa and maple syrup feels like an indulgent treat. But the delicious granola clusters are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free, and packed with a healthy dose of nuts and seeds.
Recipe byAdri
Servings: 8 half-cup servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients
 

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups traditional rolled oats, gluten-free oats if required
  • cup sunflower seeds
  • cup raw cashew nuts
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground sea salt

Wet ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons aquafaba, or 1 egg white
  • ¼ cup smooth natural peanut butter, unsalted and unsweetened
  • cup maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Instructions

  • Heat the oven to 325 °F and line the rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl and mix.
  • Place the aquafaba (or egg white) in a small bowl and whip until frothy (about three minutes).
  • Place the remaining wet ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and whisk until very well combined. The oil should be fully incorporated into the mixture. Whisk in the aquafaba (or egg white).
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the oats mixture. Stir thoroughly to combine.
  • Spoon the granola mix onto the baking sheet. If you like your granola extra chunky, use lightly oiled hands to gently press large chunks of granola together and place them on the parchment paper to form mounds. Make 7 to 10 mounds depending on the size of your baking sheet. Things might get messy, but it's worth it!
  • Place the baking tray on the middle rack in the preheated oven. Bake it for 30 minutes. Rotate the tray halfway through if your oven cooks unevenly.
  • Take the pan from the oven and gently flip the granola mounds with a rubber spatula. Try to preserve some chunky clusters and move any darker clumps of granola on the edges to the middle of the tray. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Stir in the same gentle flipping motion.
  • Turn off the oven and return the granola to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes. Since the cocoa in this mix is already dark in colour, you need to keep a close eye on the granola towards the end and trust your sense of smell to identify if the granola is at risk of burning.
  • Remove the baking tray and set it aside to cool down to room temperature.
  • Store the peanut butter granola clusters in a sealed container at room temperature for one month.

Notes

  • I use a conventional oven. If you use a fan oven, reduce the oven temperature.
  • The less crowded your baking sheet, the quicker your granola will crisp up. So, keep an eye on the granola, especially towards the end of cooking. If you double the recipe, use two baking trays or one larger baking sheet if your oven allows.
  • You can omit the aquafaba (or egg white), but the granola will be less chunky. 
  • For less chunky yet crunchy granola, break up the clusters every time you stir.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 332 kcal Carbohydrates: 31 g Protein: 9 g Fat: 21 g Saturated Fat: 7 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7 g Sodium: 40 mg Potassium: 311 mg Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 10 g Vitamin A: 6 IU Vitamin C: 0.2 mg Calcium: 43 mg Iron: 2 mg

2 Comments

    1. That warms my heart, Sarah! So happy that this healthy treat could be part of your special day preparations. ❤️❤️❤️

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