Chocolate Cereal Breakfast Bars

Make your own chewy energy/granola bars with a not-too-sweet chocolate flavor with hints of coconut and almond.

8 breakfast bars

Chocolate Cereal Breakfast Bars – Better, Cheaper, and Way More Personal

When we were moving in, before the kitchen was set up, Michele and I would have a box of granola bars around for emergency snacking purposes, and while they served the purpose, every time I ate one I couldn't help feeling guilty since they're never great, often disappointing, and always expensive.

What added to this culinary self-loathing is the fact that I know just how fast, easy and inexpensive this kind of thing is to make at home, which is what I'm happily sharing here. I'm still okay with the occasional store-bought bar, especially if it keeps you out of the fast food drive-through, but these really are superior in every way.

This isn't really a specific recipe, but rather a simple method that allows you to create customized breakfast bars, energy bars, power bars, sports bars, or whatever you decide to call them. Pretty much any ready-to-eat breakfast grain or cereal can work here, along with all you favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. No matter what goes in yours, I really do hope you give these a try soon. Enjoy!


  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats

  • 1 cup puffed brown rice cereal

  • ½ cup chopped raw almonds

  • cup shredded coconut

  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • tiny pinch cayenne pepper

  • cup packed brown sugar

  • ½ cup maple syrup

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 tablespoon water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8x8 pan with butter and line with parchment paper.

  2. Combine rolled oats, puffed brown rice cereal, almonds, coconut, cocoa powder, salt, and cayenne in a bowl.

  3. Combine brown sugar, maple syrup, vegetable oil, and water in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir, and let the mixture boil for 1 minute.

  4. Pour sugar mixture over the dry ingredients in the bowl and mix thoroughly. Transfer to the prepared pan, and smooth out the top, pressing lightly with a spatula.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. While still hot, use a spatula to score the pan into 8 portions. Let cool to room temperature before breaking into bars. You can also not score, and simply let cool, then cut with a knife.

    Chocolate Cereal Breakfast Bar on plate
    Chef John

Cook's Note:

Any and all ready-to-eat cereal grains, or packaged breakfast cereals can be used here along with any types of dried fruit, nuts, and/or seeds.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

264 Calories
12g Fat
38g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 264
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Sodium 247mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 38g 14%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 5g
Potassium 226mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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