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Oats and dried fruit bars

Updated: Fri, 15 January, 2021

Homemade oatmeal and dried fruit bars are perfect for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack when it's just too early for lunch. So much better than the shop bought cereal or granola bars.

fruit and nut granola bars

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”

“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh.

A A Milne

So indeed, what's for breakfast?

You can have a scrambled egg. Boring, I know, but it's good for weight watching if you have no bread just egg, the strict way.

You can have cereal out of the packet or, infinitely better, homemade granola.

Or my favourite combo of soft fruit mashed up with a fork and a good dollop of fromage frais or yoghurt and a drizzle of honey.

You can have a hipster smoothie which is free of everything that tastes of something. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, a full fry-up which is naughty.

homemade cereal and fruit bars

Breakfast bars

You can also have a breakfast bar, bought from Pret a Manger or the train station on your way to work. It a/ is tasty, b/ makes you feel good about yourself (healthy! cereal! seeds!) and c/ it is the easiest thing to tear open a packet and feel like you're eating a Mars bar in the morning.

But as pretty much everything with minor exceptions (erm... Coca Cola?), homemade stuff trumps shop-bought. And it's stupidly easy to whip up a tray of cereal bars made with oats, nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

These oat bars are delicious little things, so nice that you can’t have just ONE for breakfast. In fact, as I tell myself, one would simply not be enough to keep me going until lunch, so I usually have three.

oats and dried fruit bars

How to make cereal bars

I've found the recipe in Good Food magazine and tweaked it a little, adding seeds and nuts.

It is not much more complicated to make them than to mix your own muesli bowl. All the dry ingredients go into a large bowl. To that you add all the liquid ones and it's not even necessary to mix them together beforehand. Just stir in one after another, the melted butter, the golden syrup, eggs and orange essence.

Then pack the mix into a tin - I line it with parchment because I'm too lazy to wash it up - and slip into the oven. They are ready when the surface of the mix is set.

mix for cereal bars

Can you make vegan bars?

Of course you can: just replace the butter with either dairy free butter or with coconut oil.

They will be a little more crumbly in that version so you might want to add a teaspoon more flour to the mix.

What fruit and nut mix to use?

The store cupboard is your oyster. You can use only raisins and be boring like that, or clear out said cupboard of whatever nearly empty bags of fruit you want to get rid of.

I sometimes pack them with the dried fruit I like the least because I know the bars will taste divine anyway regardless of the specific contents. They are magic like that.

Likewise with nuts and seeds: use whatever you have, whatever you like or whatever you like not so much. It will work.

granola bars before cutting

More cereal recipes

Homemade granola is the best. This one is crunchy clusters of banana-flavoured oats and nuts, with cinnamon and nutmeg spicing.

When you want it dairy-free, or just because you fancy a change from milk, try coconut porridge made with coconut milk and toasted raw coconut flakes.

Toasted crunchy oats with summer fruit compote, topped with Greek yoghurt, are perfect for breakfast.

More breakfast bar recipes

Flapjacks are the ultimate in breakfast bars, chewy, squidgy and a little crunchy around the edges. Orange and ginger? Or maybe you'd prefer lemon and blueberry?

Here's something a little different: rice flake bars lightly sweetened with maple syrup and a lick of apricot jam.

A riff on St Louis gooey butter cake, traditionally eaten there for breakfast: gooey butter cake bars with raisins and almonds.

oat and dried fruit bars

Oats and dried fruit bars

Servings: 16-18 barsTime: 30 minutes
Rating: (9 reviews)


  • 150g (1 cup plus 2 tbsp.) plain flour
  • 112 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g (134 cup) jumbo porridge oats
  • 150g (34 cup) brown or muscovado sugar
  • 150g (1 cup) mixed dried fruit (cranberries, blueberries, raisins, sultanas, chopped up apricots or figs)
  • 100g (34 cup) mixed seeds and nuts (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flaked almonds, chopped pistachio or hazelnuts)
  • 150g (10 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 tbsp. golden syrup or honey
  • 2 medium eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp orange extract (optional)


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/400F/gas 4. Line a 20x30cm baking tray with parchment.

2. Mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sugar, oats, dried fruit and seeds in a large bowl, then add all the liquid ingredients. Mix well.

3. Spoon into the tin and spread evenly with a spatula.

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the surface is well set.

5. Cool in the tin, then cut into 16-18 bars, cutting more or less generously depending on how hungry you are.

6. Keep in an airtight tin. They’ll keep well for at least a week (although they never last that long in my house).

Originally published: Tue, 9 September, 2014

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Your comments

Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Su - I'm happy to hear it, but also very envious of your beach lifestyle. I could take it without the bars!
6 days ago
Su Harman
This recipe is so versatile.Now retired & living in Cyprus we spend almost every day on the beach & I shall be making these bars many times as they are a perfect snack for the beach & being full of healthy nuts & dried fruits fits the Mediterranean style of eating very well.Simply perfect????Thank you.
8 days ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Petula - they are quite flexible, whatever fruit and nut you have in the cupboard. Thank you!
22 days ago
Petula Kempsford
@Not known
A lovely recipe. I have made these a few time now and keep adding different bits to them. They taste great, thanks.
22 days ago
Jorge Delgado
Made these to eat during Ramadan to eat as the prophet did while traveling for work. They were excellent and traveled well. Didn’t crumble to much.
22 days ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Polly - and I thank you for a nice comment! Very happy you liked them.
4 months ago
Hi - Made this recipe today and Good Results! I was worried that 400 degrees was too high, but it was perfect at 25 minutes. I used dried cranberries and dates, walnuts and almond slices. Thanks for a nice recipe!
4 months ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Yvonne - so good to hear it!
2 years ago
Perfectly delicious every time. Thanks for sharing
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Vicky - thank you, and well done the little one!
2 years ago
Made with almost 2 year old son ‘helping’ they’re yummy
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Sandra - so pleased to hear it!
2 years ago
Sandra Lakin allen
Amazing healthy breakfast bars. My husband absolutely munched down half the pan!
2 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi John - great, I'm delighted!
3 years ago
John Siddons
I made your oats and dried fruit bars yesterday. Really impressed with your recipe we enjoyed eating them I will be making them again. Reluctantly sharing them with family. Regards, John
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
John - that's non-fan, but they bake just as well in a fan oven, at 160C.
3 years ago
John Siddons
oven temp 180c is the a fan oven temp or a non fan oven temp. thank you for your advice Re; vegan version. Regards, John.
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi John - I think the best substitutes will be either a mashed banana or about 100g vegan yoghurt. Hope this helps!
3 years ago
John Siddons
Im going to make this bar for the first time. one member of the family is vegan. so, to make a vegan version replace the butter with dairy free butter, no problem. what do i replace the eggs with baking powder or S.R. Flour.
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Yvonne - happy to hear that!
3 years ago
Oh wow! I'll be making these again for sure, thanks for sharing ??
3 years ago
Anna @ CuisineFiend
Hi Helen - I'm so glad you like them!
4 years ago
Helen Pitt
I've just made these, they are easy peasy to put together and absolutely delicious.
4 years ago

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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