Warning: you will crave all things cinnamon while you’re waiting for this granola to be ready to eat. Be prepared.
Taste-wise, while this granola has all the components of an oatmeal cookie, for the four hours it was cooking my entire house smelled like cinnamon rolls.
And when you love to bake, that’s a problem. I kept smelling the cinnamon, looking up scone and muffin recipes, and then realizing the oven was already being used to make the granola. This happened multiple times.
I feel like oatmeal cookies are often found in fond memories that people have of visiting their grandmas. I’m not entirely sure where this association came from for me, as neither of my grandmas were big bakers (with the exception of peanut butter cookies).
As for my mom, she doesn’t like raisins or coconut, so if we ever had oatmeal cookies, they were usually loaded up with chocolate chips or M&M’s.
Now that I’m thinking about it, you could totally do that with this recipe as well. Instead of the raisins and dried cranberries, you could stir in some mini chocolate chips after the granola is fully cooled. Talk about a sweet way to start your morning!
While many of the ingredients here are standard for oatmeal cookies – rolled oats, butter, cinnamon, salt, raisins, walnuts, and coconut flakes – there are a few that are a little less common, particularly the sorghum syrup.
The first time I bought sorghum syrup, I was skeptical that it wasn’t just a fancier version of blackstrap molasses. After all, the packaging is often similar and they both have a deep, dark color with a more viscous consistency than maple syrup.
Flavor-wise, they’re quite different. Molasses is made by extracting sugar cane juice and then boiling to concentrate it. As a result, molasses has a lower sugar content and a bitter taste.
Sorghum syrup, on the other hand, is made from extracting the juices of sorghum cane. It tends to be sweeter and less bitter than molasses, with notes of vanilla and coffee. It’s also slightly thinner than molasses, but still on the thick side for a syrup.
Also similar to molasses, sorghum is rich in minerals, particularly calcium, iron, and potassium, as well as vitamin B6. It also contains small amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamin, all of which are key for bone health.
So, while it’s still a source of sugar, it’s has more nutritional benefits than just using traditional granulated sugar.
Making this recipe is essentially a two-day process. You’ll soak the oats with butter, coconut oil, and buttermilk overnight, and then slowly bake it on low heat the next day.
You’re probably wondering why you’d soak the oats overnight rather than just making and baking it all on the same day.
While rolled oats are an excellent source of fiber, they also contain higher amounts of phytic acid than other whole grains. Though it is not toxic, phytic acid can be difficult to digest and blocks the absorption of many minerals, in particular zinc, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Soaking oats overnight helps to break down the phytic acid, making it easier for your body to digest the oats and absorb the nutrients – which is so cool, at least by dietitian standards.
This recipe goes one step further by including butter and coconut oil in the soaking process. While there aren’t any nutritional reasons for doing this, it does result in a more buttery, richer flavor to the oats that gives them that cookie taste.
While I usually like to eat granola with yogurt (or straight out of the jar), I found this recipe to be delicious with a little milk poured on top. After all, milk with cookies just feels right.Print
Our soaked oatmeal cookie granola tastes like a cookie and smells like cinnamon rolls. This is what breakfast dreams are made of.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup sorghum syrup (or maple syrup)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- In a large mixing bowl, combine rolled oats, coconut oil, melted butter, buttermilk, and water. Stir well to combine and then cover. Let mixture sit on counter for at least 12 hours, or up to 24.
- The next day, preheat oven to 200°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- While oven preheats, place a small pot of water on the stove. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer. Combine honey, sorghum syrup, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract in a metal or glass bowl and place over the boiling water (you can also use a double boiler).
- Stir until honey has melted and ingredients are well-mixed. Remove from heat.
- Pour honey mixture over soaked oats and stir well to combine.
- Pour oat mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread mixture into an even layer.
- Place baking sheet in oven and bake for 4 hours, stirring at least once every hour.
- When there’s only 20 minutes left, add chopped walnuts and stir well. Continue baking for the final 20 minutes, or until light golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Stir in raisins, coconut flakes, and dried cranberries.
- Granola may be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks.
- Category: Granola
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Breakfast
Keywords: oatmeal, granola, breakfast, snack
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Measure out First Few Ingredients, Combine, and Soak Overnight
Measure out the oats, coconut oil, butter, buttermilk, and water.
Combine these ingredients in a large mixing bowl, cover, and let sit overnight at room temperature for at least 12 hours.
If you choose to soak your oats in the refrigerator instead, allow them to come back to temperature for about 30 minutes on the counter before proceeding with the recipe the next day.
Step 2 – Preheat oven and Measure out Remaining Ingredients
Measure out the remaining ingredients listed in the recipe.
Step 3 – Melt Honey and Sorghum Syrup
While the oven preheats, place a small pot of water over the stove. Bring water to a boil over medium high heat. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer.
In a glass or metal bowl, combine honey, sorghum syrup, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
Place bowl over the boiling water and stir constantly, until honey is melted and mixture is well combined. Remove from heat.
Step 4 – Stir Sweeteners into Soaked Oats
Pour the honey mixture into the bowl of soaked oats and stir well to combine.
Step 5 – Bake and Add Walnuts
Spread the oat mixture onto your prepared pan in an even layer. The thinner the layer, the quicker the oats will cook. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 4 hours, stirring at least once every hour.
Note: resist the urge to increase the oven temperature to reduce the cooking time, as it will quickly burn.
When there’s just 20 minutes left, add the chopped walnuts to the baking pan and stir well to combine.
Continue baking until crisp and lightly browned.
Step 6 – Remove from Oven, Cool, and Add Dried Fruit and Coconut
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, right on the baking sheet.
Once cooled, stir in the raisins, dried cranberries, and coconut flakes.
Serve over yogurt, milk, or enjoy on its own. Store in an airtight container for up to 3-4 weeks.
Know When to Add Your Mix-Ins
While granola is relatively simple to make, there are a few key tips for making really good granola. And one of the biggest is knowing when to add your mix-ins.
Since oats are the base, we want them to get nice and crispy, so it’s good to add them in first.
Nuts and seeds can also go in early so that they get toasted and fragrant. However, in recipes like this one where the nuts would be roasting for hours, it’s often better to wait until later in the cooking process so that they get roasted but not burnt.
Coconut flakes are another ingredient that can be added at the beginning, or towards the end, depending on how toasted you want them to be. But they can also be mixed in after cooking to add a chewy texture to your otherwise crispy granola.
Dried fruit should be added after cooking, as it can harden when cooked in the oven.
Looking for even more delicious granola recipes to make at home? Try these delicious options:
- Nutty Cardamom with Dried Apricots
- Coconut Almond Chia
- Sweet and Crunchy Chocolate
- Almond and Sesame Seed
- Pumpkin Spice
What are your favorite granola mix-ins? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below. If you tried this recipe and loved it, show us by giving it a 5-star rating!
Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 4, 2010. Last updated: September 22, 2019 at 12:00 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Kelli McGrane, MS, RD
Kelli McGrane is a Denver-based registered dietitian with a lifelong love of food. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in nutrition science from Boston University. As a registered dietitian, she believes in the importance of food to nourish not only your body, but your soul as well. Nutrition is very personal, and you won’t find any food rules here, other than to simply enjoy what you eat.