Maple and Spice Granola

When my children were small, I got in the habit of making granola for them, a big container always graced a prime spot in the larder. With oats and raisins from the bulk section of the health food store, this was a simple and inexpensive cereal to make while on a really tight budget. We could spice it up with whatever we loved or had on hand, and enjoy it in many ways. It remains a standard in my kitchen, and a lovely dish to make for a brunch potluck!

            My grandkids love it as much as their parents did! Our family name for this is Leola Granola after my second granddaughter’s nick-name (who was named after me!).

I’ve made a hundred different versions over the years, swapped out a variety of ingredients, and lessened the fat and sugar. No nuts in my granola now since there are several nut allergies in my family, but even without, this is a delicious recipe, and it is really quick to make. If there are no nut problems in your household, add a cup of walnuts or other favorites by all means! 

Tailored to your own preferences

Here, I’ve used a gluten-free old-fashioned oat, available at the health food store, but you can use any preferred variety. Make this your way. If you don’t like raisins, use just the cranberries. Or, you can add dried cherries, apples, or goji berries, or dehydrated fruits such as raspberries. The kids love chocolate chips added, of course! Fiddle with the proportion as well, make it yours. I doubt I make it exactly the same every time. There are no hard and fast rules in regard to the dried fruit except choose nice plump fruit and add them after the rest of the granola is baked or they will probably burn.

Quick, easy, and delicious

One bowl, one pan, not a lot of time. Don’t turn your back on toasting the coconut, and for the granola itself, use a timer, and keep checking. Problems can crop up quickly if you get distracted elsewhere! Put on some lovely music, sing or hum to yourself, and enjoy the wonderful smells of spice in your home! 

Eat this by itself as a cereal, or top plant or dairy yoghurt with it at breakfast. It is also delicious as a garnish for ice cream desserts, a fruit cup, or packed as a snack in a lunch bag.

Maple and Spice Granola (alias Leola Granola)

  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup dark maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 1 tsp. natural maple extract
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • Fresh nutmeg, about a quarter teaspoon
  • *½ cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
  • ¼ cup minced crystallized ginger (optional)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries, or mix of both
  • 1 cup sliced dried apricots

 Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet.

 In a large bowl, mix together the oil, maple syrup, molasses, and extracts, and mix well. Tip: measure out the oil first, then use the same measure for the syrup and molasses, it will slip right out! Add the oats, salt, and spices, and toss until combined. Place in an even layer on the oiled cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, turn it all over, breaking it up, but not completely if you want chunky nuggets in the final product. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes more, and check. At this point, your house will smell like a spice boat just landed, and you will want to sample the whole thing, but it is not quite ready and you might burn your tongue so restrain yourself. Flip again, and put back in the oven and start checking after just a couple of minutes. You don’t want it to brown too much on the edges, but you do want a little browning, so watch it like a hawk. 

Let it all cool on the sheet, and break up gently into the about the size clumps you want, if any. Once completely cool, put it back in the bowl.

In a large, dry skillet, toast coconut for a few minutes until their flavor is released into the air. The coconut will start to brown around the edges. Remove from the pan, and place in the bowl with the baked oat mixture.

 Mince the ginger. Add it to the bowl along with coconut, raisins and all the dried dried fruits you like (total about 2 ¼ cups including ginger). Mix well!

Store this in an air-tight container. It will keep for a long time, but it will probably be eaten before it goes stale!

*If your coconut is large flakes, you can add it to the oats and bake it. Mine is a finer shred and it burns too easily to bake this long.

A little homemade granola sprinkled on a bed of local (dairy or non-dairy) yoghurt with simmered blueberries is a perfect way to start the day.

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56 Comments Add yours

  1. Sheree says:

    I always make my own granola – so easy, why would you buy it?

    1. I know, and it’s fresh!

      1. Sheree says:


  2. Granola is always healthy and tasty! I am always on the hunt for the variations and this doesnt disappoint.

    1. Thank you so much Smitha! There are so many possibilities!

  3. NativeNM says:

    Great recipe and post. Always looking for something easy to take on our hiking day trips. My husband would surely enjoy this!

    1. And even better with a few dark chocolate chips!

  4. Awesome!!

  5. Great flavors in this granola! I especially like the crystallized ginger addition. So clever! 🙂

    1. Thank you Ronit! I adore ginger in a granola, in all its forms.

  6. Chef Mimi says:

    wonderful! I absolutely love crystallized ginger in granola! Great ingredients. I love the name!

    1. The crystallized ginger is my favorite part!

  7. I love granola, and this looks delicious.

  8. BERNADETTE says:

    I wouldn’t be able to keep this tasty dish on my counter because I would eat the whole container full in a matter of days.

    1. Funny you said that. I had mine on the counter and was nibbling at it. My niece came by, and I packed up half of it for her to take gone!

  9. Love granola and the ingredients used in your recipe make it special.

    1. Thank you Jovian!

  10. Fantastic idea! i also always making it by myself. This industrial “read made version” are with too much sugar. Very interesting for me, in the Anglo-American area you are all using cinnamon. Here its used only in winter season, around Christmas. :-)) Thank you, Diane! Have a nice rest of the week! xx Michael

    1. Thank you! I agree that the granolas that are ready made have way too much sugar, and they are always stale! We use cinnamon all year, one of our favorite spices, in savory as well as sweet!

  11. Lovely! Will definitely try it out. We love healthy eats. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    1. I hope you enjoy it!

  12. Gail says:

    I look forward to my morning yogurt sprinkled with granola on top. Definitely a winning combination. 👏

    1. It’s a great way to start the day, especially if blueberries are involved…

      1. Gail says:

        I seem to always have blueberries on hand. 🍃🫐

  13. terrie gura says:

    All those spices surely give your granola some special pizzazz! I feel healthier just thinking about it. 🙂

    1. Thanks Terrie! It does liven it up!

  14. Helen says:

    What a special snack to make with your grandkids! I’m sure they treasured those memories very much

    1. Thank you Helen! They love cooking with me as well as eating the results!

  15. We love granola! Will definitely give this one a try!

    1. It’s a great thing to have on hand! Hope you enjoy!

  16. Ally Bean says:

    I haven’t made granola in years. We used to love it, but the recipe I had was more complicated than yours. I’m saving this one and will try it soon. Thanks.

    1. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  17. I was thinking that I should make my own granola too and I think I’ve found the perfect recipe 😉😋

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

  18. Averyl says:

    This looks beautiful. Do you have any tips for making a soft granola? I can’t eat it often because I have TMJ and my jaw aches afterward! When I make or buy granola it never softens if I leave it in milk. If I cook it it may as well be oatmeal…

    1. I hear you! I do not like biting into a large, hard clump of granola that threatens to break a tooth! This granola is pretty soft, just make sure to get nice plump dried fruits. Over-baking can turn the granola hard, and it needs to cool completely before storing. Mine is stored right now in a zip-lock bag and is pretty soft.

  19. It sounds delicious and the name is adorable!

  20. NancyC says:

    This granola looks so yummy! Homemade is the best! 🙂

    1. Thank you Nancy! It is so flavorful, and fresh!

  21. Your grandchildren must love enjoying as much as their parents.

    1. They do! Thanks Karen.💕

  22. I must try this recipe, Dorothy. I am a fan of granola.

  23. Rekha Unni says:

    So healthy and looks delicious

    1. Thank you! It is really tasty, and makes great gifts too.

  24. Lorin Black says:

    Looks delicious! I regularly make my own granola, using (usually) fine coconut. I bake it at 325 for 35 minutes and don’t have any problems with the coconut burning (as long as I keep it towards the middle of the oven- too close to the heat and it sometimes does get a little dark around the edges).

    1. Good tip! Thank you Lorin.

  25. cakefiles says:

    I love making my own granola, especially on days when I have lunch with some yoghurt and I really want something extra delicious! I will try yours now!

    1. Thank you! I hope you like it as much as I do. My favorite breakfast is a bowl of blueberries with yoghurt and a sprinkle of this!

      1. cakefiles says:


  26. I think there are so many ways to make granola. I miss making it since my oven died. It may very well be the first thing I make with my new stove arrives! I like the idea of toasting the coconut. I will definitely try that.

    1. I know, it’s so versatile. You can make it different every time and not duplicate or get tired of it. Good luck with your oven!

  27. Leah says:

    I am so excited to make this, Dorothy! This is going on my Fall To Do List and will make this for my friends as well! Thank you!

    1. Thank you! Your friends will love you even more!!!!

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