This Gingerbread Granola is deliciously festive and so easy to make that you’ll love to bake it in batches to enjoy – and to gift.
This oil-free granola recipe is now included in Dreena’s Kind Kitchen, since readers have loved it for many years since posting it.
As I mentioned, this granola is very easy to make. You can mix a batch in under ten minutes. However, you will want to prep far more than a batch!
Be prepared to at least double-batch it, even triple-batch. Because it’s irresistibly good to nibble on, and you’ll want to have plenty on hand to nibble on, and also to gift in jars with ribbons. It keeps well in airtight containers in the pantry or fridge.
Now, this healthy granola is wonderful any time of year, but of course, being Gingerbread Granola, it’s so well-suited to the holiday season and is especially wonderful for gifting.
Oil-Free Granola FAQ
No, but it does need some whole foods fat. I have made it without adding whole foods fat with good results, but it’s really best with a small amount of nut butter (this is my favorite) or a seed butter.
This recipe does the trick! It’s a combination of nut butter and brown rice syrup. See this video for more info about using a thick sweetener to create clusters.
It can be. This granola is not sweetened as heavily as commercial granola varieties, and also uses whole food nut butter fats for texture. Storebought granolas typically have added oil and too much sweetener.
Not at all! I love straight-up snacking on this granola. Also try it as a topper for non-dairy yogurt (try this recipe), or as a topping for non-dairy ice cream.
For more, watch my full Tea Time video about this granola recipe:
I hope you enjoy this plant-based granola, and for more gingerbread love, check out my Chocolate Gem Gingerbread, Gingerbread Folks, and Gingery Cookies!
Gingerbread Granola (vegan, oil-free, gluten-free)
- 3 cups rolled oats use certified gluten-free for that option
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped pecans OR 1/4 cup hemp seeds see note
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 3/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp cashew butter or almond butter
- 3 – 4 tbsp pure maple syrup adjust to desired sweetness
- 1/2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or a thick coconut nectar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit optional, can omit, see note
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the oats, pecans or hemp seeds, spices and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, first combine the nut butter with the maple syrup and molasses, stirring to fully blend. Then, add the brown rice syrup, and vanilla to the maple/molasses mixture and stir through. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and stir through until well combined. Transfer mixture to your lined baking sheet and spread out to evenly distribute. Bake for 25-27 minutes, stirring a couple of times throughout baking to ensure the mixture browns evenly. Remove from oven, stir in dried fruit if using, and bake for just another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven again. At this point the granola may not look completely dry. Do not overbake it, as it will dry more as it cools. Let cool completely, and then break up into clusters. Once cool, store in an airtight container. Eat straight, or with non-dairy milk or to top fresh fruit or non-dairy yogurt.
photo credit: Angela MacNeil
This post was originally published in December 2014 and updated for December 2021.
This is amazing! I used agave nectar and date syrup in place of brown rice syrup and while it did not allow for clusters the way brown rice syrup would, it was absolutely delicious. I look forward to trying this again once I have brown rice syrup.
Thanks for the feedback, Stephanie. I’m so happy you loved it, even with the change of sweeteners!
Paula Rothman says
Made this with extra spice, pecans and crystallized ginger and it is delicious
I can’t have that much sweetner. Have you ever tried using applesauce or mashed bananas as then it’s easier to handle on my system. I have made granola with both but depending on day, receipe and me, they turn out different but always attempting new ones. WDYT?
Hi Jude, yes, I have actually tested it out with applesauce, I have a lower-fat/lower-sugar recipe in my diabetes cookbook with Dr. Barnard. The applesauce does yield a softer granola that takes longer to dry out. I don’t sub it fully.
Is there any reason to add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, instead of the other way around? If you add the dry ingredients to the wet, then you only get one bowl sticky!
This is hands down THE BEST granola I’ve ever had.
I made this for Christmas and also gifted some to friends and family – every person loved it and asked for the recipe.
I can’t say enough how much I love that this does not have oil in it! This will be a staple in our house from now on.
I used only maple syrup because I don’t buy brown rice syrup and I don’t like clumpy granola. I used 1/4 cup + 3 tbsp maple syrup total and it was perfect!
Thank you for the note, Emily! Makes me so happy to read that, I’m thrilled you enjoyed the recipe for yourself – and for gifting!
Bev Caddy says
I made gingerbread granola this year. I doubled the recipe as suggested. I also used tahini instead of nut butter, because it’s what I had at home. The fruit & nuts I added were cranberries and slivered almonds. I packaged it in pretty jars for gifts and what didn’t fit, I nibbled on. It’s not overly sweet, which is awesone and it’s quite moreish. It’s definitely on the ‘must make this for Christmas gifts’ next year
Nina Vee says
It’s coming to the end of the school year here in Australia, and Christmas is rudely knocking on the door. I have made this granola numerous times and thought the children’s teachers may appreciate some crunchy lovin’ too.
I made 2 batches today. One with pecans, drued cranberries, and hulled tahini in place of the nut butter. The other with hemp seeds instead, in case there are teachers who can’t have any nuts (like moi).
The kitchen smells amazing. It’s taking all my will power to not snack on the nut free version. And, I shall clearly have to make a wuth crystalised ginger version for the children… as they are going to be seriously cranky when they figure out none of what’s already been made, is for them!
Oh, delightful to read that, thank you Nina… wishing you a beautiful Christmas too!
Finally made this and so glad I did!! I love gingerbread and added a bit more ginger, plus added the crystallized ginger. Yum! Was amazed it turned out so nice and crunchy!! Yay!! Thanks so much for this wonderful, oil-free granola!!
ive never used rice syrup. Can I omit it?
In this recipe it helps the granola hold and become clumpy. Maple syrup doesn’t have the same sticky texture, as much as I love using it as a first choice for sweetening.
Packaging idea for you… I recently mailed cookies to friends for the holidays. I cut holiday-patterned wine bottle gift bags down to about half their usual height, then lined them with parchment paper. Layered cookies with parchment paper. Then folded down the top, stapled, and added a bow!
I just had to come back and let you know I made this recipe just a few weeks ago. I can’t believe I waited a year to make it! It is absolute perfection! It truly made my home smell like the holidays! Thank you xoxo
thanks Tiffany! <3 x
Kathryn Spry says
Is there a substitute for the note butter – my husband is not supposed to have any oils – thiese definitely have some oil – would love to try this recipe !
Hi Kathryn, you can try omitting it and using extra brown rice syrup… However final texture will be quite different, very hard and crunchy. Maybe try reducing the almond butter and then adding a little more brown rice syrup.
Thanks for this recipe! I tested it last year for you – I devoured the whole pan in one sitting :/ it is the best granola recipe! I use coconut butter instead of nut butters and it turns out beautifully. When gifting, I usually have to 3x or 6x the recipe amounts – I have filled tall decorative jars from the dollar store or 1.5L mason jars. I received many comments from those I gave the jars to saying they ate the whole jar in one sitting!
Thank you Sarah!!! So nice to read this. x Yes, I realized after I made it recently that I’d need to triple batch to start gifting. Only special people getting it, haha! Btw, I also recently created a coconut-cardamom granola… nutfree, will try to share soon!
Susan Gray says
Clear party favor bags tied with decorative ribbon or raffia is what I use for lots of homemade goodies (stacked cookies, for example). I think your granola would do nicely packaged this way. Thanks for sharing this granola recipe. I plan on trying it soon and possibly making it for family members–in the clear bags, of course.
Ashley F says
Looks delicious! I love the idea of adding in some crystallized ginger – would definitely add a little kick!
This looks wonderful Dreena. I’m certain I wouldn’t be able to keep it around for long enough to give as a gift!
Cindy Read says
Awesome recipe Dreena,can’t wait to try it!Thank you.
Dreena, this looks fantastic! I can’t wait to make it this holiday season. I made your lemony chickpea lentil soup yesterday and it was so warming and comforting on a very rainy day. Thank you so much! We all enjoyed it! Wishing you and your family lots of love and joy this holiday season. Thank you for creating a beautiful spot in the blog world to share your talent! I truly appreciate all your passion. xoxo
We started baking this weekend too. It’s what makes December so magical.
I betcha your home smelled beautiful when you popped this in the oven. It looks super yummy.
Thanks for sharing 🙂
Dreena I would like to try this but I have a question…after the wet and the dry are mixed in separate bowls do you then mix them together before putting on the lined baking dish? That seems obvious…. but wanted to make sure. I really enjoy your recipes thanks so much for sharing !!
this recipe looks and sounds amazing Dreena! Thanks for sharing it. I really prefer giving homemade gifts, and I’m starting to come up with my list of ideas for this year… perfect timing!
…and I bet your kitchen smells WONDERFUL while this is baking! one of my favorite flavors, I cannot wait to try this!
Thanks Tami! Hope you love it as much as the Almond Zen. 🙂
I have been looking at all my Vegan bloggers pages for a good Granola to give as gifts this year (nothing appealed to me) and boom yours just came up on my feed! This one is perfect & sounds so good! Thanks Dreena! <3
Oh great! So glad it suits your taste, Arlene. I almost forgot to post it – good timing!
It looks fantastic!