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Chef John's Chocolate Granola

Rated as 4.86 out of 5 Stars

"Don't be deceived by its indulgent, chocolaty flavor--this granola contains less sugar than most. Introducing cocoa into the mix not only makes it delicious, but it also makes it better for you! Possibly... The point is this really tastes great, with a pronounced chocolate flavor, and would make a wonderful treat for chocolate lovers and hippies alike."
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1 h 10 m servings 128
Original recipe yields 14 servings (3 1/2 cups)


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  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
  2. Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, salt, cayenne pepper, and cocoa powder in a bowl. Whisk thoroughly. Add oats and almonds. Toss and smear the mixture together using a spatula until well coated. Spread mixture evenly over a silicone-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Toss granola with a fork, breaking up any clumps to get a finer texture. Continue baking until desired texture is reached, 30 to 60 minutes more. Sprinkle some granola onto a plate; if it clinks, it is ready. Turn off the oven and leave granola inside the oven to dry and cool to room temperature.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • I used Guittard® Cocoa Rouge, a Dutch-process cocoa, which has a lower acidity than regular cocoa.
  • If you want a stickier granola, that will more easily clump together, you can up the brown sugar and maple syrup a bit, as I used the bare minimum in this recipe, but I think it's plenty sweet enough, especially if you're a fan of dark chocolate.
  • Accessorize this as you see fit. Coconut flakes are an obvious choice, as are other usual suspects like dried fruit, any and all nuts, and assorted seeds.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 128 calories; 5.5 18.4 2.8 0 106 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 13
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The first granola I ever made and it was very delicious. Just a bit too sweet for my taste, will reduce the amount of sugar and syrup by a litte next time.

Amazing, and so easy! I made it with dried coconut the first time, and it was an awesome combo. This has become a go-to recipe, and I’m so glad it showed me how easy granola is!

This with vanilla ice cream is outstanding! You’ve done it again chef great job!

I was looking for something akin to Cocoa Krispies and this was pretty close. I didn't use Cayenne. The final result seemed really salty so I might cut that in half next time. 5 stars to the hil...

This granola was good, but it's you want to add fruit, don't mix it in, add it after baking.

Excellent Granola

Brilliant!! I was looking for a recipe similar to the spicy chocolate granola Sprouts used to sell in bulk. This is exactly the same. Very forgiving - my splooshing wasn’t as good as photos- ...

This is an amazing granola recipe. I’m going to try it with almond milk for breakfast. It tastes really good by itself too. It would be great for a yogurt parfait too

I added coconut, flax meal and peanuts, just a bit more cocoa and stevia. A delicious and nutritious recipe!