Holiday Spice Granola

Photography Credit: Sally Vargas

This granola surpasses any you can buy at the store. It also doesn’t take a lot of effort, so making a weekly batch has become routine in our house.

I sometimes keep the granola plain, and other times, I add maple syrup and nuts. This holiday season, I’ve been making it cinnamon, ginger, and cloves for a subtle spiced flavor.

Give it as a gift or keep it all for yourself!

Holiday Spice Granola

This granola won’t hit you over the head with sweetness. You can start your morning off right or happily munch on it for a late night snack, all without fear of a sugar rush.

The spice flavor is also gentle – it’s just enough to give it some holiday cheer. I like this mild rendition, but feel free to increase the spices if you like.

Dried cranberries and apricots add the perfect tart counterpoint to the sweeter oats and give the granola a healthy boost. Last but not least, I add just a hint of salt, just enough to make it addictive.

Holiday Spice GranolaThis granola really does make a terrific gift for the holidays. Pack it up in a Mason jar and tie it with a bow! And if you have guests staying the night, this granola is a special treat to look forward to in the morning.

Either way, you will surely want to have a good supply in your cupboard!

Holiday Spice Granola Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups


  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant; use gluten-free oats, if needed)
  • 2/3 cup flax seeds
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 1 /2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apricots


1 Heat the oven to 350F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper that is about 1 inch larger all around than the baking sheet.

2 Make the syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, salt, and cloves. Stirring occasionally, cook for 2 minutes, or until the syrup is warm and fluid, and the salt dissolves.

Holiday Spice Granola

3 Mix the granola: In a large bowl, combine the oats, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, and chia seeds. Pour the warm syrup over the nuts and grains. Stir to coat them thoroughly. Spread evenly on the baking sheet.

Holiday Spice Granola

4 Bake the granola: Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven. Grasp the corners of the parchment paper and pull them toward the center to mound the granola in a pile. Stir with a large spoon and spread the granola out again in one layer.

Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove and mound the granola in the center again. If it still looks pale in places, give it another stir, spread it back out, and return the pan to the oven to toast for 3 or 4 minutes more. (Total baking time is 20 to 25 minutes.) Leave on the baking sheet to cool completely.

5 Add fruit and store the granola. Scatter the cranberries and apricots over the cooled granola and stir to combine. Transfer the granola to an airtight jar or tin, and store at room temperature for several weeks.

Holiday Spice Granola

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Sally Vargas

Sally Pasley Vargas is a freelance writer and the author of two cookbooks (Food for Friends and The Tao of Cooking, Ten Speed Press). She currently writes the column The Confident Cook for The Boston Globe along with seasonal recipes for the Wednesday Food Section.

More from Sally

Holiday Spice Granola


  1. Janet Campbell

    thank you the granola is fantastic love it

  2. Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today

    I think this is a must after Christmas filled with food and it will make a great present as well.

  3. Sara @ Last Night's Feast

    Great twist on a classic!

  4. Elise Bauer

    Hi Sally, your granola is the BEST! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

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