Ultimate Black Forest Granola

A jar of homemade Black Forest Granola with oats, almonds, chocolate chips, and dried cherries

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This is a Variation on a Root Formula, a simplified recipe that shows which ingredients are core and which can be changed to create different flavor combinations or use what you have on hand. See other variations on this easy granola on the Root Formula page.

Life is so much easier when you’ve got the makings of good meals around the kitchen. In our house, making a batch of this easy granola every couple weeks is a worthy investment of time. It produces a large tin that doesn’t stay full for long. On mornings when there’s not time to make breakfast; when people start poking around for a mid-afternoon snack; or when you just need a handful of somethin’ to tide you over, a jar full of homemade granola is miles more satisfying than a piece of toast or bowl of cereal. Below, we give you some suggestions, but what’s awesome about this formula is that you can create your own favorite combination or switch it up with the seasons.

A note on dried fruit in this easy granola

We have been making granola for years and have tried a couple ways of adding dried fruit  – either adding it in halfway through the bake time or adding it to the tin after everything has baked and cooled. But, the problem is that dried fruit runs the spectrum from plump and almost juicy to dried and desiccated depending on the fruit, the brand, and freshness.

Adding dried fruit during baking can result in either super dry dried fruit or stale-textured granola. To make it perfectly crisp with perfectly textured dried fruit, we prefer adding the dried fruit to the bowl just before serving. If you prefer to bake it all together, simply stir in the dried fruit at the 30 minute point when you remove it from the oven to stir it.

Try warming your milk

During the cooler months we often warm our milk (we prefer oat milk) before pouring it over the granola. All the comfort of oatmeal with the satisfying crunch of granola!

Fun toppings

Because this makes for such an easy breakfast, we take the time to set out a few fun toppings and stir-ins to make our bowl a little more interesting:

  • Nut butter
  • Jams
  • Extra roasted nuts or seeds
  • Fresh fruit, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Mixed Berry Sauce
  • Mini chocolate chips

Other easy Granola Variations

This granola is made from a formula so you can refer back to the root formula to experiment with your own flavor combinations. So far, we’ve developed:

Ultimate Trail Mix
Ultimate Pumpkin-Spiced
Granola with Lemon and Coconut

A jar of homemade Black Forest Granola with oats, almonds, chocolate chips, and dried cherries

Black Forest Granola

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 55 mins
Total time: 1 hr 5 mins
Yield: 2 quarts

Recipe Notes


  • 5 cups old-fashioned oats, divided
  • 1 cup whole roasted almonds
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or other neutral oil, such as vegetable
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • Dried cherries for topping


  • Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Measure 4 cups of oats in a large bowl; place remaining 1 cup in a blender or food processor canister and grind to a meal texture. Add ground oats to the large bowl, along with almonds and walnuts. Meanwhile, bring syrup, molasses, oil, water, and salt to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add almond extract and then pour liquid mixture over oat mixture; stir to combine.
  • Turn oat mixture onto a large (18- by 12-inch) rimmed greased baking sheet, shaking pan to evenly spread it; bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and stir the granola. Continue to bake until impressively golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes longer. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Stir in chocolate chips. (Can be stored in an airtight tin or jar up to a month.) When serving, top with the dried cherries.


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