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Maple Nut Granola, big-clustered goodness

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This granola has been a breakfast staple for me for years. I’ve made more batches of it than I can count.

It has evolved slowly as I’ve figured out how to make it the big-clustered, not-too-sweet, crunchy-but-not-so-hard-it-scrapes-the-roof-of-my-mouth cereal I crave.

Maple Nut Granola strewn across a table, overhead view

There are, if I count correctly, approximately eleventy-billion versions of granola out there.

People add everything from cinnamon to chocolate to shredded coconut, not to mention all the various seeds and dried fruits that get casually tossed in.

It gets sweetened with everything from brown sugar to honey to maple syrup. People play fast and loose with the ratio of oats to nuts and use neutral oils like vegetable oil or canola oil or flavorful ones like olive oil or coconut oil or omit the oil altogether.

It’s one of those foods that’s hard to make wrong.

Maple Nut Granola in a jar, vertical shot

But this maple nut granola version is, I think, something special.

It’s not the cheapest version of granola out there. It relies on a triad of good quality ingredients–maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla bean–for flavor (though you can substitute vanilla extract for the vanilla bean if you’d prefer).

It gets its big clusters from a combination of quick oats and classic rolled oats and a restrained hand when it comes to stirring. I personally love the textural combination of sliced almonds, chopped pecans, and chopped cashews here.

I sometimes add fruit, either dried or fresh, to a bowl of granola along with milk or yogurt just before serving, but I never add fruit before baking because dried fruits have a tendency to get unpleasantly tough and leathery when they spend that long in the oven.

I no longer bother with seeds, which invariably seem to collect at the bottom of the container (I don’t need a bowl of flax seed and oat dust, thank you), and I think that pretty much everything else is extraneous.

Maple Nut Granola in a jar, with a spoon and tea towel in the background, overhead shot

Granola is incredibly easy to make. It’s a simple dump-everything-in-a-mixing-bowl, stir, and bake job. As I said before, it’s hard to screw up, even for a beginner in the kitchen. If you like granola, this one is worth trying.

Yield: 6 cups

Maple Nut Granola with Big Clusters

Maple Nut Granola in a jar, with a spoon and tea towel in the background, overhead shot

This is granola is almost always present in my kitchen. When I run out of it, I don’t quite know what to do for breakfast, so I quickly go out to get the ingredients to make more. Granola is so easy to make, and it’s easy to scale up or down to suit your needs (I usually make a double batch). The real maple syrup is essential to the flavor here. It looks like a lot, but this granola isn’t too sweet. I look for the darker, more flavorful grade B maple syrup when I can find it. The vanilla bean is nice if you have it, but these days I usually make this with vanilla extract and it’s delicious. I discovered that I get better clusters when I use half of the finer quick oats along with the old fashioned rolled oats. If you don’t want to buy two kinds of oats, you can zizz some rolled oats in a food processor to approximate quick oats. Look for unrefined coconut oil, which has more coconut flavor than the refined versions. This is vegan as is and it could be gluten free if you use certified gluten free oats. Because nuts can go rancid, I like to store this granola in the refrigerator to prolong freshness.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews, chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup, I use grade B
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, preferably unrefined
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 250ºF and have a 9×13-inch metal baking pan ready. In a large mixing bowl, add both kinds of oats, the almonds, cashews, pecans, and salt, and stir until mixed.
  2. In a small saucepan, add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla bean (if using) and heat until the coconut oil is melted (this should smell fantastic). Remove from heat, add the vanilla extract (if using) and stir.
  3. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until all of the oats and nuts are moistened. This can take a few minutes of stirring.
  4. Pour the mixture into the 9″ x 13″ pan and spread in a relatively even layer.
  5. Bake for an hour and 15 minutes, never stirring (don't worry! at this low temperature it won't burn), until the oats begin to look golden and the mixture feels mostly dry to the touch. Let cool completely in the pan (it will get crisper as it cools).
  6. Transfer to an airtight container, breaking up any oversized clusters. Serve with milk, yogurt, fruit or just eat by the handful.


This will keep at room temperature for a few weeks or in the refrigerator for at least a month.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/3 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 195Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 5g

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Friday 14th of September 2018

The flavors are tempting me. I hope to try this soon and it is so easy to make!


Friday 14th of September 2018

This is such a great idea for a snack or breakfast!! Looks amazing


Friday 14th of September 2018

This definitely sounds like a special granola. I'm always hoping for those big, delicious clusters when I'm eating granola. The best! And I can just imagine all of those tasty flavors seeping into the milk. Yum!

Allison - Celebrating Sweets

Friday 14th of September 2018

Granola is one of my favorite things to make. I can't wait to try your recipe!


Friday 14th of September 2018

This is giving me the munchies! Nothing beats a good granola and I love everything that you have packed in this!

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