Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Granola
A super crunchy and flavorful pumpkin spiced granola, sweetened with maple syrup, a touch of brown sugar, and loaded with fall goodies like pecans, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds.
This recipe is dedicated to all of you pumpkin lovers out there. I know there are many of you! Hopefully you’ve made these by now… right?!
There is nothing like cozying up on the couch late at night, watching The Office DVDs, in fuzzy slippers, and munching on a bowl of pumpkin granola. Does pumpkin beer pair well with pumpkin granola? Umm… don’t answer that.
I have always been a big fan of making granola at home. Not only is it extremely cheap, but homemade granola is really really (really!) easy. And you have complete control over the ingredients. A lot of the “healthy” and overpriced granolas I see on store shelves have even more sugar than a candy bar. I’d rather save my sugar intake for a double fudge brownie, thank you very much.
This super crunchy granola recipe is quite robust in flavor and is lightly sweetened with pure maple syrup and a touch of brown sugar. I fill the granola with fall favorites like cinnamon, dried cranberries, pumpkin puree, and pumpkin seeds. I snuck some quinoa in there for added texture (I’m a texture freak, are you?) and threw in some unsweetened coconut. The coconut gets all toasty and flavorful. Totally divine.
I tested this granola without the brown sugar and let me tell ya – I did not like it at all. Completely bland pumpkin. There is only 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar total in this recipe, which isn’t much divided over 5 cups. The little brown sugar used will lightly caramlize over the oats. Do not use regular white sugar, it will not incorporate well or add any flavor. Do not leave out the coconut oil; this healthy fat keeps the granola from turning into a horrible sticky mess and adds crunch and richness to every cluster. You may use vegetable oil or melted butter instead. I use two egg whites in the granola to add crunch, without adding many calories. If you prefer liquid egg whites, use about 4 Tablespoons. If you don’t wish to add egg whites, use about 2 extra tablespoons coconut oil.
The extra little goodies inside the granola? They’re so easy and you can swap any of them out (well, except for the pumpkin of course).
The wonderful thing about this recipe, and many of my other granola recipes, is that you can mix and match your add-ins to what you like and what you have on hand. I loathe taking extra trips to the grocery store (I already go almost everyday!), so use what you can and make this granola truly your own.
Here are some suggested substitutes and add-ins:
- If you don’t like unsweetened coconut, simply leave it out.
- Not a fan of dried cranberries? Use dried cherries, raisins, chopped dried apples, or leave them out completely.
- Can’t find pumpkin seeds? Add some pecans, dried cranberries, or skip them.
- Add chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips to the granola as you let it cool after it bakes.
- Use honey, agave, or brown rice syrup instead of maple syrup.
- Use vegetable oil instead of the coconut oil.
- Feel free to leave out the quinoa.
- Add 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder with the wet ingredients for chocolate pumpkin granola. 😉
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about quinoa granola since I made Apple Spice Quinoa Granola last month. I couldn’t leave out this fiber-packed, gluten free whole grain. Quinoa gives each granola cluster of my pumpkin granola a little crunch, but again – feel free to leave it out. The #1 reason I love adding quinoa to granola? It looks like white sprinkles.
Each bite of the granola tastes like pure spiced pumpkin. You will taste slight notes of brown sugar and maple syrup, but most of what you’ll be enjoying is pure, slightly sweetened spiced pumpkin. It’s October in a bowl. ♥
Kevin does not like pumpkin (I know!), so the granola was gobbled up by yours truly. I munched on it every single day until it was all gone. And I still was not sick of it, even up until the last crumb. There are so many goodies packed inside. So much to love! And the variations are endless. Try it in a bowl with milk, sprinkled over Greek yogurt (it goes exceptionally well with honey Greek yogurt) or munch on it handful by handful.
I’m going to treat myself and add butterscotch chips to my next batch of pumpkin granola. Sounds dee-lish, right?
Make sure you have all of your measuring cups out. You’ll need each one!
Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make. ♥
Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Granola
A super crunchy and flavorful pumpkin spiced granola, sweetened with maple syrup, a touch of brown sugar, and loaded with fall goodies like pecans, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Be sure to read the text of the post for substitution options. Granola is naturally gluten free if using certified GF oats.
- 3 and 3/4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut
- 2/3 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
- 3 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar (or light brown)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 325F degrees. Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, quinoa, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites for about 1 minute. Whisk in the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened.
- Spread onto two baking sheets and bake each batch for 40 minutes, making sure to stir the granola every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.
- Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheets. This will help it get crunchier. Pour into a large bowl and add the dried cranberries.
- Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks. Granola will lose its crunch overtime because of the pumpkin.
*Be sure to read the text of the post for substitution options. There's a substitution for everything besides the oats, brown sugar, oil, and pumpkin puree. *Instead of pumpkin pie spice, use 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice.
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How adorable is this colorful leaf placemat? I bought it from Pier 1 a couple weeks ago.
After you bake this granola, try my Apple Spice Quinoa Granola next!