Baking a batch of Pumpkin Granola will fill your home with aromas reminiscent of fall. This recipe combines pumpkin puree’ and spice with hearty old-fashioned rolled oats, pecans, pepitas, and dried cranberries. It’s lightly sweetened with maple syrup and a touch of brown sugar. Make it with fresh Homemade Pumpkin Puree or the convenience of canned pumpkin puree. A long, slow bake ensures crunchy granola clusters, perfect for snacking or breakfast. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and easily gluten free.
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Highlights of Crunchy Pumpkin Granola
The essence of fall in a satisfying crunchy snack, like my popular Maple Pecan Granola, this homemade pumpkin granola recipe is simple to pull together with a long slow bake to ensure crunchy clusters.
We made a lot of granola at the Bakery because it was a customer favorite and it had a long shelf life. It’s a convenient pantry staple for home bakers because it can hang out in the pantry for about a week, and is ready for snackin’, or quick, ready-made breakfasts.
This Recipe Is:
- Full of Pumpkin Flavor
- Not *Too* Sweet
- Perfect for Snacking or Breakfast
- Freezer Friendly
If you love Pumpkin Recipes, then you’ll enjoy this Crunchy Pumpkin Granola Recipe.
Ingredients You’ll Need
If you’re like me and have a can of pumpkin in the pantry, this is the perfect recipe to whip up for fall. It’s satisfying and so flavorful! Here’s what you’ll need to create a new fall favorite (see recipe card for details):
- Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – the star of granola, rolled oats offer excellent texture and whole-grain goodness. Use gluten-free if needed.
- Raw Pepitas, Raw Sunflower Seeds and Pecans – look for unsalted, hulled (or shelled) in the bulk bins for the best value. Store in the refrigerator or freezer so they stay fresh longer.
- Light Brown Sugar – for a hint of molasses flavor and sweetness.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice – I like homemade because most blended PPS has too much clove for my taste. I’ve included both options on the recipe card.
- Maple Syrup – adds an earthy flavor and natural sweetness. A perfect partner with pumpkin.
- Pumpkin Puree – you can use Homemade Pumpkin Puree (it’s easy to make!) or canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie puree).
- Coconut Oil – this helps create a crispy texture and also helps hold the granola all together. I use unrefined coconut oil, but you can use refined if that’s what you have on hand.
- Vanilla Extract – a must for granola. It adds a hint of flavor.
- Dried Cranberries – opt for apple juice-sweetened cranberries or sugar-sweetened cranberries. You can use unsweetened cranberries for a more tart experience! Look for dried cranberries in the bulk bins for the best value.
At a Glance: How to Make Pumpkin Granola
I first published this recipe in 2014, but have updated the recipe to include step-by-step photos. The recipe is unchanged.
You’ll notice a long, slow bake at a low temperature for this recipe. A low temperature helps dry the granola, ensuring crunchy clusters and a long storage life. Also, don’t be tempted to stir the granola while it’s baking! Allowing the granola to bake undisturbed ensures those big crunchy clusters we all love!
In summary, here’s how to make this crunchy granola recipe (see recipe card for details):
- First – chop half the pecans into smaller bits, and add them to a large mixing bowl the old-fashioned oats, pumpkin seeds (pepitas), sunflower seeds, brown sugar, and pumpkin spice. Mix together and set aside.
- Second – in a small sauce pot, warm the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla until it’s just warm to the touch. Whisk. This loosens the wet ingredients and makes incorporating them easier with the dry ingredients.
- Third – pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Next – transfer the mixture to a large parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet pan and press the mixture into one even layer.
- Last – bake! (do not stir).
Cool completely before gently tossing in dried cranberries. Store at room temperature in a tightly lidded container for about a week.
You’ll notice a long, slow bake at a low temperature for this recipe. A low temperature helps dry the granola out, ensuring crunchy clusters and a long storage life.
How to Freeze Pumpkin Granola
Granoa freezes beautifully. If it’s not going to be enjoyed within a week, freezing will preserve its crunchy texture. Here’s how to do it:
- Allow the granola to cool completely. Break it into chunks and transfer it to a freezer bag or lidded storage container. Freeze for up to two weeks.
- Thaw at room temperature for about an hour before enjoying.
Enjoy as a snack or for breakfast; here are a few ideas:
- As Pumpkin Cereal: Crumble the granola into bite-size pieces and share it with cold milk poured over the top. It’s quite tasty with Homemade Cashew Milk.
- As a Snack: Pack crunchy clusters into individual snack containers for an easy grab-and-go snack.
- Yogurt Parfait: Layer granola, Greek yogurt, or dairy-free yogurt, and dried cranberries in a glass or bowl. Repeat the layers to create a beautiful and tasty parfait.
- Before Baking: Stir the mixture thoroughly, ensuring all the dry ingredients are covered in the wet ingredients.
- During Baking: Do not stir the granola while it’s baking, as this will reduce clustering.
- After Baking: Allow the granola to cool completely before transferring it to a storage container. This also aids in big crunchy clusters!
- Kitchen Tools: I recommend a digital oven thermometer with an air probe and weighing ingredients using a digital kitchen scale for the best outcome (affiliate links).
More Pumpkin Recipes to Try
Crunchy Pumpkin Granola with Cranberries
- 4 cups (385 grams) Old Fashioned Rolled Oats Regular or Gluten Free – not the quick cook variety
- 1/2 cup (75 grams) Pepitas raw, unsalted
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) Sunflower Seeds hulled, raw, unsalted
- 1 1/2 cups (160 grams) Pecans shelled, raw
- 1/3 cup (60 grams) Light Brown Sugar packed
- 1 teaspoon Cinnamon ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Cloves ground
- 1/4 teaspoon Ginger ground
- 1/2 teaspoon Fine Sea Salt
- 3/4 cup (190 grams) Pumpkin Puree' canned or homemade
- 1/2 cup (160 grams) Maple Syrup
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) Coconut Oil melted
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 cup (110 grams) Dried Cranberries sugar or apple juice sweetened*
- Preheat oven to 275 Fahrenheit (135 Celsius). Line large 13×18 inch (33cm x 45cm) sheet pan with parchment paper (do not use a silpat).
- Rough chop half the pecans. Then, transfer all the pecans to a large mixing bowl. To the pecans, add the other dry ingredients: oats, sunflower seeds, pepitas, pecans, brown sugar and spices. Mix. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pot, getnly warm the pumpkin, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract just warm to the touch. Whisk well to incorporate the ingredients.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, mix well, incorporating all the ingredients so that every little oat grain is coated with delicious pumpkin spice mix.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared sheet pan, pushing the granola into the corners. Spread evenly, then using the back of wooden spoon, firmly press the granola into the pan.
- Bake at 275 Fahrenheit (135 Celsius) for 60 minutes. Do not stir. Rotate the pan, and increase the temperature to 300 Fahrenheit (150 Celsius) for 10-20 minutes. The granola will be fragrant and toasty golden brown yet still somewhat soft to the touch. It will firm up as it cools. Don't be tempted to stir if clustering is desired.
- Remove from oven and allow the granola to cool completely in the pan (if you can), about one hour, before gently tossing with cranberries. Handle the granola gently to retain chunky clusters.
- Store in a covered container for about a week.