Being home for the holidays is a perfect time to put your cooking and baking skills to work, bringing all the recipe inspiration ideas you may have to life. Pumpkin spice and peppermint flavored recipes and packaged food items raid the grocery stores and web browser searches during this time of the year. However, when I returned home for the Thanksgiving break, I was met with the horrifying news that both of our ovens broke down. What a better time to have no access to an oven than during the holiday season, characterized by all sorts of seasonal savory and sweet treats. Nonetheless, I was able to use my older sister's oven to create this toasty holiday spice granola, which made the entire kitchen and house smell like a Bath & Body Works Spiced Gingerbread candle (who wouldn't want that!).

This DIY Holiday Spice Granola consists of the familiar flavors of gingerbread, including molasses, ginger, and cinnamon. Sweetened with maple syrup and dried cherries, this granola is gluten free as long as you use gluten-free oats, as well as vegan-friendly. 

Holiday Spice Granola

  • Prep Time:10 mins
  • Cook Time:30 mins
  • Total Time:40 mins
  • Servings:5
  • Easy


  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pecans
  • 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup large unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried cherries
Yasmine McCroden
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350° Fahrenheit and line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.

    Yasmine McCroden
  • Step 2

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger. Stir thoroughly to combine.

    Yasmine McCroden
  • Step 3

    Stir in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Turn the granola out onto your prepared pan and use a large spoon to spread it in an even layer.

    Yasmine McCroden
  • Step 4

    Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and top with coconut flakes. Mix in the coconut and stir up the mixture to make sure the granola cooks evenly. Return the pan to the oven for 10 more minutes.

    Yasmine McCroden
  • Step 5

    In the meantime, roughly chop the dried cherries. After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and fold in the chopped cherries once the granola has cooled down.

    Yasmine McCroden
  • Step 6

    Store the granola in an airtight container. It should stay fresh for 1 to 2 weeks, and longer if kept in the fridge. Enjoy!

    Yasmine McCroden

Although buying granola from the grocery store may be easier, making your own is a fun way to customize the flavors to appeal to your unique tastes and preferences. It is also an exciting activity to do with friends and family, using the resulting batch as a sentimental gift idea stored in a picturesque mason jar. This Holiday Spice Granola is full of my favorite winter-time ingredients—warming spices, dried cherries, pecans and maple syrup—and not to mention irresistibly crunchy. To make things even better, you can control how much of each ingredient goes into the blend, making it as healthily or sinfully delicious as you desire. 

Whether eaten on its own as a quick snack throughout the day, topped over yogurt or smoothie bowls, or mixed in with oatmeal or milk for breakfast, this Do-It-Yourself granola is super flexible and easy to make. Feel free to swap out pecans for other nuts like almonds or walnuts and dried cranberries for cherries to make this granola truly your own. If you have a terminal sweet tooth like I am a victim of, dark or white chocolate chips would go perfectly with this recipe. Sweet yet spicy, crunchy but also chewy—you and all of your family and friends will quickly become addicted to this Pinterest-inspired holiday granola.