Healthy Homemade Fruit Cereal Bars – Gluten Free & Vegan

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Cereal Bars-Gluten Free & VEgan

My kids have always loved cereal bars. I never got it…they were too sweet for me.  When we had to go gluten free, the options out there for this breakfast staple were pretty dismal.  Not only were they atrociously expensive, they left more than a little to be desired.  My kids couldn’t even go through a box: I couldn’t blame them.

But now I have something better to give them, and YOU do too!  Meet the quintessential cereal bar with no weird ingredients, wholesome nutrients, and allergen free goodness!

This one took a lot tries to get it right, I hope you think they’re worth it!  Woot woot!!

INGREDIENT NOTE: Make your oat flour by whirring rolled oats in a coffee grinder, it’s easy and works great!

Yield: One 8 x 8 pan

Healthy Homemade Cereal Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan

4.3 from 3 reviews
Healthy Homemade Fruit Cereal Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16
  • Dry:
  • 1 cup gluten free oat flour
  • 1 cup teff flour (or more oat or brown rice flour) If you can do gluten, I imagine spelt, and whole wheat pastry flour would work great!
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup palm sugar (or other granulated sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons chia meal or flax meal
  • Wet:
  • ½ cup apple sauce
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil (or other oil)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • Filling:
  • ¼-1/2 cup favorite jelly (I used my own homemade honey sweetened strawberry jam). If your jelly is very thin like some low sugar jelly's are, it is ok to add a couple of tablespoons of tapioca flour or arrowroot starch to thicken it up!
  • OR:
  • Alternative: Simmer on a stove 12 ounces frozen blueberries (or other favorite frozen fruit), 2 tablespoons sweetener of choice, 3 tablespoons tapioca or arrowroot starch. I also added a few drops of stevia to taste, this will greatly depend on the fruit you are using! Once cooked through and thick, puree with an immersion blender for texture-averse kiddos!
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk the wet ingredients. Pour into the dry mix and blend until a soft dough is formed. You may add a couple tablespoons milk if it is necessary. Divide the dough in half.
  4. Grease an 8 x 8 pan or line with parchment paper.
  5. Place half the dough on a piece of parchment, place another piece of parchment over the top, and roll it out into a rough 8 x 8 square (the dough should be too wet to roll without the parchment on top. I have used plastic wrap, waxed paper, and a Silpat for this job too with success, just be sure you don't try and bake the plastic wrap or waxed paper!) Invert the rolled dough into the pan, pressing and smooshing until the bottom crust is dispersed. Gently remove the parchment. Spread your filling evenly over the bottom crust. Roll out the top crust in the same manner, and flip over onto the top of the filling. Press and smoosh with the parchment in place and then remove when you are happy! I have also just moved pieces of the dough and overlapped pieces as a top great too!
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the center is set.



Healthy Homemade Cereal Bars - Gluten Free & Vegan

This post was shared on Mostly Homemade Mondays, Hearth & Soul, Fat Tuesday, Totally Talented Tuesday, GF Wednesday, Waste Not Want Not, Real Food Wednesdays, Pennywise Platters, GF Fridays, Real Foods Friday, Let’s Get Real, Natural Family Fridays,

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When her third child was born with severe food allergies, Tessa took to the kitchen to figure out how to feed her family well. Always up for a culinary challenge, their journey has taken many twists and turns! Lots of Paleo, and lots of top 8 free. Good food for families, that's what she's about!

Posted in Breakfast, Dessert Tagged with: , ,
76 comments on “Healthy Homemade Fruit Cereal Bars – Gluten Free & Vegan
  1. Alea Milham says:

    Your cereal bars look great! I like the new look of your blog.

  2. Laura says:

    Tessa, You are such a genius in the kitchen. Now these are the kind of cereal bars that kids need to be eating and schools need to be serving! Your site's new look is fantastic!!

  3. If only Laura…we'd have kiddos in a world of better sahpe to be their best…..sigh…in a dream world (at least mine!)

  4. Danielle says:

    These look delicious!

  5. Amber says:


    I don't know what to look at first, these bars or the site upgrade. Oh my goodness. Just beautiful. Eye candy – all of it! Great job Tessa!!


  6. eva says:

    Made these and they are delish!!! Even the hubs thought they tasted like the store bought version!!!

  7. Rox says:

    New to your page and this is the first thing I saw, yum! Looks amazing, can't wait to give them a try!

  8. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

  9. This looks fantastic! I am bookmarking this to totally make in the weekend. Thanks! =]

  10. I like the new look of your blog! It's lovely – and so are these wonderful cereal bars. I agree, the store bought ones are way too sweet, and your homemade version sounds delicious!

  11. Marissa says:

    Just made these today – I'm the only gluten-free one in my family, but everyone loves them! For the filling I just cooked down frozen strawberries and raspberries with some arrowroot powder. I'm trying not to eat the whole pan!

  12. Thanks you for telling me Marissa! What a fabulous idea to just cook down some whole fruit, I will try that next time!

  13. KatrinkaJane says:

    We're not a gluten-free house, but I'd love to try this recipe! Can I use regular whole wheat flour, or do I need to get special pastry flour or whatnot?


  14. I would use a mixture of oat flour and all-purpose, or all whole wheat pastry flour! Good luck!

  15. Aimee says:

    I just made these and they turned out great. Instead of brown rice flour I used King Arthur GF multipurpose flour mix. I was surprised and how good the batter tasted. I made the filling myself and even though it was a little runny it turned out fine once I baked it, I wish I had used more filling! Next time I will use some stuff to make jelly and put lots of it in there. really good recipe!
    *note, I sprayed my fingers with pam spray and i was able to mash out the dough fine with my fingers. getting it into the pan from the parchment paper didn’t work, it flopped over but it was easy to press it into the pan and for the top crust it looked better but I still had to do some fixing. next time I will cut the dough in squares and put it over the top.

    • Thank you for taking the time to comment Aimee! I think I will be changing the recipe to include more filling…it kind of depends on the jelly….regular ole jelly is super sweet, so a little can work….but I love people’s idea of using a quick homemade jelly! So glad you like them…a favorite here too!

  16. Wow those look wonderful. These would be great to travel with this summer. Love that you took this idea and made a healthy version. Bravo. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.

  17. Janel says:

    YUM! I’ve been spending a fortune on organic cereal bars for my kids that really weren’t that tasty. Homemade is so much better! Only problem now is I can’t keep out em :)

    • I get it Janel…the one drawback to making all these healthier goodies..having yummy snacks around to gobble up all the time! So glad you like them, I appreciate you commenting and letting me know!

  18. Andrea says:

    These look great!! I can’t wait to try these for school snacks! How long do they stay fresh in the fridge?

  19. Jennie says:

    Looks great! How necessary is the flax/chia? Any recommended substitutions? My daughter is allergic to all seeds. Thanks!

  20. Jennie says:

    BTW, do you have any ideas for a yogurt based filling (egg free)?

  21. Audrey says:

    I have been looking for a recipe that was like some of the bars I had while in England. These sound really close. I am going to add diced dried bing cherries to the dough and leave out the jam. Another option that sounds good to me is to use fig jam. Thanks for the recipe.

  22. Nichole M. says:

    If I wanted to omit oil do you have any recommendations for substitues??

    • sure, applesauce or prune puree Nichole!

      • kristin says:

        hi. i’m new to your site, but i’m loving it so far. these bars look awesome, and i really think my kids will love them. i am a homemade kind of girl. i love to try new things and make things myself. we just found out my daughter can’t have wehat and dairy, or peanut and tree nuts. i’ve always wanted to make cereal bars for them instead of buying them, and now i actually need to. we can’t use the coconut oil. i saw that you said applesauce, how much should i use instead of the oil? i’m very excited to make these. i’m gonna get all the ingredients tonight and start testing tomorrow!

        • Hi kristin! The good news is that you were already homemade kind of girl…for people who have to transition from buying everything to making everything, it can be a tough transition! Why can’t you use coconut oil? It is not a tree nut…so just curious. You can also replace with any light-tasting oil you prefer (I like LIGHT olive oil), but any vegetable oil would work too. If you go the applesauce route, then use 1:1 ratio for the trade! I am here to help…it can be a bumpy road in the beginning as you get used to cooking with new ingredients that behave differently, but you can do it and the pay-offs are worth it!

  23. Christine says:

    We recently went vegan and my kids love the cereal bars in the mornings so I was a little concerned about what to do, but my mom found this recipe and it was FANTASTIC. We ALL love them! We had to tweak it a little bit (difference in elevation perhaps?), but they are really great. I just wanted to leave you a comment and tell you how much I appreciated all the hard work you put in to perfecting this recipe and then sharing it with us so that I can reap the benefits! Thank you =)

    • and thank YOU Christine for taking the time to let me know! it’s comments that keep us bloggers fueled and affirmed! we adore this recipe too…I have been experimenting with different filling lately for fun….most recently a pumpkin butter filling!

  24. Jennie says:

    I’m thinking about using the dough for the base of pumpkin pie. Have you ever tried that? Just curious….Thanks.


  25. Aleisha says:

    I just came across this recipe and it looks fantastic. I would like to make them without the sugar tho. Is the sugar totally necessary or could i use something else like coconut??

    • Hey Aleisha! You could replace up to half with stevia…use some applesauce in place of some if the oil…it is up to you and your tastes! Adding coconut would be fine too. I think the recipe would work without the sugar, just never tested it that way!

  26. Nicole says:

    This recipe is AMAZING. It is a lot of work, but well worth it. I was tired of buying gluten free fruit bars for my kids – they are expensive, aren’t organic (main ingredient probably being GMO corn), and quite frankly they don’t taste good at all. This recipe rocks my world. I changed it up a bit; I doubled the recipe, and used ground pumpkin seeds and a bit of coconut flour instead of the teff flour. Yum, yum, yum yum. Thank you!

  27. Dana says:

    Hi I’m hoping to make these tomorrow, but I have two quick questions. 1) Can I maybe use another egg-replacer in this recipes besides the flax and chia seeds? I can’t have either, but I can have xanthan gum or I also have Ener-g egg replacer. I was thinking about just using the Ener-g egg replacer, but I’m not sure how much would be equivalent to 2 tablespoons of flax or chia seeds. Or even with the xanthan gum, I’m not sure what the appropriate equivalent amount would be. 2) I have a huge bag of Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free quick cooking oats. Can I grind these to make oat flour even though they aren’t rolled oats? Hopefully you can help me figure out these substitutions and what not. Thanks!

    • Hi Dana! I would use couple teaspoons of egg replacer….or a 1/2 teaspoon of gum. The applesauce is a great binder…so those may not even be necessary!

      Quick oats are always a great option too….they grind down into the same thing!

  28. Little Sis says:

    These look scrumptious. Always looking for a new reasonable lunchbox treat and my little ones have gotten a little bored with mine. :-) These look like a nice alternative. Thanks!

  29. Adrienne says:

    Amazing – thanks! Won’t show these to my boys—yet. :).

  30. I SO appreciate all your hard work. These look great!
    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)

    Thanks for linking back to the Gluten Free Fridays post!

    Cindy from

  31. When I saw this on Healthy 2Day Wednesday I was like, “hmmm… I bet this is one of Tessa’s recipes!”
    You always have such delicious-looking baked stuff. Thanks for sharing!
    Pinning this one. I prefer cereal bars to regular granola bars… this might be what I’ve been looking for!

  32. Looks delicious, Tessa. Would love for you to share at my linky party going on right now.

    Thanks, Nichi – The Mandatory Mooch

  33. I agree, commercial cereal bars are often far too sweet. I really like your homemade version. They sound really delicious and satisfying. Thank you for sharing this recipe with the Hearth and Soul hop.

  34. Miz Helen says:

    I just love homemade cereal bars and this recipe looks wonderful. Hope you have a fabulous week and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  35. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back tomorrow when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  36. I am loving all the gluten free recipes you share. We’ve gone 100% wheat/gluten free and so I appreciate gluten free recipes that are this yummy sounding!

    Thank you for linking up to Wildcrafting Wednesday over at Real Food Real Frugal!

  37. Anjanette says:

    These look GREAT! Pinning for later! I think I’ll try apple butter in place of either/both apple sauce and jelly. It’s what I have on hand.

  38. Barbara says:

    Darn it! I am using a brand new computer and printer, cannot get this to print!!!

  39. michaela says:

    Tried these today with sugarless jam from our local Amish store…need to add more next time.
    Very yummy, thanks for the recipe.
    Do you have your honey sweetened jam recipe?

    • I can’t remember which jam recipe I used Michaela, maybe one from Whole Life Nutrition blog. I sometimes add more jelly totally depends on which jelly (and how sweet it is) that I am using. Thanks for letting me know!

  40. Elinor says:

    I can’t deal with oats (heart attack symptoms!) too scary to try them. So just wondering what to replace it with and how much. Would like for like with a gluten free flour be fine. If I went a coconut flour route I guess I would need less? Need to wait now to get home to test it!

  41. Robin says:

    Found your site on Pinterest. Have made your cereal bars twice now with oat and brown rice flour. My daughter loves them. The recipe is quick and easy. Had wanted them for a quick breakfast idea for when we are running late but they don’t see to last long. Thank you.

  42. Kristina says:


    I was just curious if you know if these freeze well? And for a kiddo who can’t tolerate oats at all – including gluten free oats, would a different kind of gluten free flour work? I haven’t made that determination yet with my kiddo, but just in case thought I’d ask. Thanks!

  43. Rozelyn says:

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. My

  44. Rozelyn says:

    Thanks for sharing the recipe. I’m sure my kids will enjoy this.
    Rozelyn recently posted…MoPweeze Gluten Free, Vegan Cupcakes GiveawayMy Profile

  45. Marla says:

    Sounds like a wonderful,tasty, and healthy snack. I can see why your kids would love this. Thanks for sharing on Real Food Fridays. Pinned & twitted
    Marla recently posted…Real Food Fridays #73 – Healthy Lifestyle the Organic WayMy Profile

  46. These would make great snacks for the kids! I don’t use oat flour, but I think a mixture of sweet rice and either brown rice or corn flour would work well in it’s place.

    Thanks for sharing at Waste Not Want Not Wednesday!
    Elise recently posted…How To Earn SwagbucksMy Profile

  47. swathi says:

    Looks delicious thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop. pinning.
    swathi recently posted…Bat Bot /Moroccan Bread and a Book ReviewMy Profile

  48. Jamie Racutt says:

    I just made these tonight and they’re super delicious! I used millet and buckwheat flour. It was a little gooey to spread, but not too bad. We’ll definitely be enjoying these often!

    • Great Jamie!! We make them all the time to still…and yes, the dough IS sticky…but it keeps the end results very moist!

      • Jamie Racutt says:

        Makes sense! I’m new to gluten free flours so I wasn’t sure how the dough might have been different from using different flours than suggested. Thanks for the awesome recipe <3

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Welcome, I am happy you are here!

My name is Tessa, and I have learned to cook without almost all major allergens! I have a focus on making family foods as healthy as possible. Real food is my obsession. Gluten free, casein free, vegan, Paleo, sugar free: I have a little of something for anyone with restrictions., Take a peek, you're sure to find something delicious, and if you need any help, I am always willing to help you tweak things to YOUR tastes and dietary needs!

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