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Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

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Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

I secretly love awkward situations.

Maybe not right while they’re happening… But when you look back, the awkward moments are the ones that always make for the best stories.

Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars

Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

This past Saturday I was meeting a friend for dinner and arrived early at the restaurant. (I’m always early to everything.) By the time my cell phone buzzed, saying my friend was going to be late, it was already approaching that awkward amount of time sitting alone at a table for two when people start to notice, probably wondering if I’d been stood up.

Or if I had fat hands.

Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Sorry, Friends reference. I couldn’t resist.

Luckily the waiter was really nice, so I wasn’t forced to do that awkward “check your cell phone every 30 seconds to pretend you are busy” thing. At one point during our conversation, it came up that I had a website devoted to desserts, and he was intrigued…

Waiter: “Desserts? Like ice cream and cake?”

Me: “Yes, but healthy desserts.”

Waiter: “So you make granola bars for a living?”

Chocolate Chip Cherry Granola Bars

Yes. Yes I do. :)

Cherry Granola Bars  Cherry Chocolate Granola Bars

Print This Recipe No ratings yet.


  • 1 cup applesauce (240g)
  • 1/2 cup cashew or coconut butter (110g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (6g)
  • packed 3/4 cup dried cherries (100g)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (70g)
  • 1 cup puffed wheat or puffed rice (18g)
  • 1 cup rolled oats (95g)
  • 1/4 tsp plus 1/8 tsp salt
  • pinch pure stevia or 2 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice (decrease applesauce by 2 tbsp if using liquid sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (40g)
  • coconut butter, optional


Preheat oven to 325 F and line a 10-in square baking pan with parchment paper. In a bowl, stir together the applesauce and nut butter until smooth. (If your nut butter is not stir-able, gently heat it until it softens.) Stir in vanilla, then set bowl aside. In a food processor, combine the dried fruit and almonds until they form fine crumbles. Pour into a large mixing bowl and stir together with all remaining dry ingredients (the last 5 ingredients). Add the nut-butter mixture and stir until evenly combined, then smooth into the prepared baking pan and cover with another sheet of parchment paper. Press down VERY firmly. Bake 33 minutes, then allow to cool 10 minutes before slicing into bars. Top each bar with coconut butter if desired, and refrigerate to harden. (Makes 20-22 bars)

*View Granola Bars Nutrition Facts*

cashew butter

More awkwardness: trying to master the iphone selfie talent some people seem to have down so well. It’s surprisingly difficult to hold something in one hand while taking a picture with the other. Not to mention, I felt ridiculously awkward posing with a jar of cashew butter…

Do you like awkward moments? And have you ever been stood up?

Although I’ve not been stood up, I definitely do have some awkward first-date stories! Probably shouldn’t write them here, though, since I never know who might read this post. 😕 Link of the Day:

………500 Healthy Dessert Recipes

Happy National Dessert Day!

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. I love that the waiter automatically assumed that healthy desserts=granola bars. I hope you told him the name of your blog so he can look you up & get an education on what *real* healthy desserts are :).

    I agree, awkward situations are way funnier after the fact. Or when they happen to someone in a tv show or movie. But as for me, during the fact, I’m not a fan!

  2. becauseHeloves! says:

    You should so try carrot-cake baked oatmeal in honor of Halloween! Yes? Pleeeaaaseee! And amazing website, by the way. I’m a recent convert to healthy eating, and this is a blessing! The black-bean brownies and flourless chocolate chip cookies are my favorites. And the brownie-cookies. My mom loves those.
    Anyway, thanks for doing what you do. (:

  3. Petrina S. says:

    These granola bars look great and I have all the ingredients already! I will probably try these today. When I try to click on the nutrition information link, it takes me to the Recipes page, though. Anyone else have this problem?

  4. Tabi says:

    These look delish! For some reason when I click on the nutrition facts it takes me to the healthy dessert recipes page (same as your link of the day)? Might be just my computer acting weird but thought I should let you know!

  5. Denise says:


    Someone just turned me on to your blog and also “Cooking With Mr. C.” on Facebook (also a blog). I’m so excited to look through your blog. Denise

  6. Muskaan says:

    Oh my gosh, I needed a good granola bar recipe!
    I need to sneak food in during classes (hehe) and what a better way than to have granola bars?
    None, I tell you.
    Anyway, I think you accidentally linked the wrong thing to the nutrition facts, because it takes me back to the recipes page.
    Thanks anyway! :)

  7. Emily says:

    AWKWARD MOMENTS!! i love awkward moments! like this one time in third grade when some random kid asked my friend and i what we were going to be for halloween. (we didn’t know him. at all.)
    I just tried your chewy quaker granola bars and they were HEAVEN! so i think i might be making these soon. (chocolate + cherry? yes!!) :)

  8. omg I LOVE awkward moments, but I’m awful at keeping a straight face so I often laugh when inappropriate…

  9. miki says:

    Can’t get to the nutritions. ?????

  10. Great recipe! I will be trying this for sure!

    FYI – giveaway at my blog!
    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  11. Dianne says:

    Katie when I click on your nutrition facts it takes me to your healthy desserts. I would really like to see the nutrition facts please. Thank you.

    1. Emily says:

      22 bars, using stevia/Jif cashew butter:
      about 80 calories, 4 g fat

      1. Emily says:

        Sorry. That should be about100 cal.

  12. I’m usually the late one, so I avoid situations like that. I feel bad for my on-time friends though.

  13. Erica says:

    These look amazing. Can’t wait to make them. The nutrition link doesn’t link to the nutrtional value but instead goes to a listing of desserts. Can you fix that so I know the nutrition on these bars. Thx so much.

  14. Yum, dried cherries! A favorite of mine, especially when paired with chocolate!

  15. Ari says:

    Love the selfie! :) I’ve never been good at them either!

    And those bars sound like the perfect on the go treat!

  16. Gretchen says:

    Do you bake them with the parchment on top? I am assuming you just use it to push down the top and then remove it, but it never says to remove…

  17. Josephine says:

    But that selfie is so cute! :) You did master it. And give me a granola bar please?

  18. Susan says:

    To answer your questions: no I don’t like awkward moments, and yes I have been stood up. It was a very long time ago, probably more than 26 years ago. The only thing I remember about it is that it made me extremely anxious.

    In your ‘selfie’ I like that the jar and your one hand are so much larger than than the rest of you…

    I like the sound of this recipe. I would probably add some protein powder, because I do that to everything – because I want higher protein levels than most people.

  19. Belle says:

    Hahaha, that’s funny!

    I think I’m of that apparently bizarre and strange group of people that really, truly, honestly doesn’t care what other people think and so sitting alone hasn’t ever bothered me. Weird, huh? My husband doesn’t believe me but it’s true. I do not care what other people think (except a few close friends/family whose opinions I respect), now that’s not to say that I do not value manners and respect and courtesy! I DO! Treat others the way you wish to be treated!

    Anyhow…. keep up the chocolate covered yumminess! You rock girl and keep your head up 😉 don’t let anyone make you feel uncomfortable for being the awesome you that you are!

  20. Lark says:

    These look very tasty, cherries are great for reducing inflammation, so I’m always looking for good ways to incorporate them into my diet. You are so creative!
    Awkward moment: At church camp, a large, brown moth dropped from a tree into the square-necked bodice of my dress and began flapping wildly. I was 14 years old and was being escorted by my first date to an evening service. He and his three older brothers who witnessed this scene fell down on the ground laughing. I had to reach into my dress to remove the traumatized moth. I was unable to speak for the rest of the evening.

  21. LC says:

    After you posted these on Facebook, I made them. However, I didn’t have puffed wheat or rice, so I used KAMUT. I think it’s a type of puffed grain. I also only had Earth’s Best cinnamon applesauce, so I used that and added melted chocolate chips on top instead of coconut butter. I wasn’t sure how soft or hard they were suppose to turn out, so I baked them a little longer. They are pretty soft still. And the bottom lines, they’re delicious. They’re incredibly satisfying and filling. So thank you! I love your blog. You helped me start baking regularly and from scratch.

    But I was curious, is there something else I can put instead of cherries? My 4 year old didn’t like the cherries. :(

    1. They are supposed to be soft… I really like your idea to use kamut. For the cherries, any dried fruit will do. Try raisins?

    2. Rachel says:

      I haven’t baked them yet, but I just used dried cranberries in mine.

  22. These look absolutely amazing!! I have all ingredients on hand…even the coconut butter! I have been wondering what to do with my delicious coconut butter and I think these bars are the answer!!! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Thank you! I’ve been on the lookout for another granola bar recipe and this one looks so yummy!!! Can’t wait to try it!

  24. Pipsa says:

    That cashew butter jar looks gigantic! But it’s only 500g, must be some kind of illusion? The nutrition facts link doesn’t lead to the nutrition page, btw! I am so tempted to try out these bars, they look like a proper treat!

    1. Pipsa says:

      Oh, now it did work… strange! The two last times I tried I ended up in the “500 healthy dessert recipes” page, even though I’m sure I didn’t click that lower link but the nutrition facts link…

  25. Stunning pics…as always! (And as always, I’m jealous!! lol!).

  26. Valerie says:

    I don’t like awkward moments because it just makes the whole situation feel weird and uncomfortable. I don’t recall ever being stood up. The granola bars look great and I can’t wait to make these myself.

  27. Jess says:

    I can definitely relate–my Parisian friends are ALWAYS late, and I used to be on time whenever we would go out. After a few waits alone at bars (more than an hour on multiple occasions), I finally learned my lesson about being “too” on time!

  28. Amanda says:

    Hi Katie! I love your blog and all the creative alternatives that you give. Thank you for all your posts! (And i LOVE LOVE cashew butter! yummmmmm)

    Unrelated question i thought you may know the answer to: gelatin. What can i sub for it? While i’m not vegan, the ingredients in gelatin kinda gross me out. Is there a substitute that is available in grocery stores? (pectin? tapioca??) I’m trying to make a panna cotta :)
    thanks so much!

  29. Lyndsey says:

    Hi Katie! :)

    I know you are a big oatmeal fan (I am, too!) and I was wondering if you knew that October 29th is National Oatmeal Day? Maybe you could post a new oatmeal recipe on that day…or maybe something else fun that has to do with oatmeal. Just a thought!

    Thank you for your wonderful blog!!

    1. I didn’t… thanks for the heads up! If I remember, I will try to post an oatmeal recipe that day :)

  30. I LOVE FRIENDS and I LOVE AWKWARD MOMENTS and I AM ALWAYS EARLY to EVERYTHING!! HA AH! It sounds like you and I would be best friends, LOL!

  31. Haha I can’t believe you LIKE awkward situations!!! But I agree, they usually make the best stories. Btw I’m curious – I’ve been reading for a while and see that you typically use Artisana Coconut products. I recently reviewed and have a giveaway going for another brand, but I’ve never tried Artisana. Thoughts?

    1. Aside from homemade, Artisana is the only brand of coconut butter I’ve tried as well.

  32. Madison says:

    I just wanted to say that you are really gorgeous. Just you holding that jar of cashew butter is a gorgeous picture

  33. great story. and great recipe. i’m intrigued, not driven away by awkwardness.

  34. These look incredible! You had me at “Chocolate chip cherry.”

  35. I’ve been telling myself I should try making my own bars for a while now, and this recipe sounds exactly like what I’ve been looking for. I can’t wait to try it out! I also wanted to let you know that I liked the recipe so much, I featured it on my blog’s Weekend Wrap-Up. I’ve included the link below in case you’re interested.

    1. Thank you so much for including me!

  36. Stacia says:

    These look amazing! Totally giving them a try ASAP!

  37. Kayt says:

    These are in the oven! The batter tasted delicious, so I hope they cook well! Thanks Katie for another delicious, healthy recipe!!!!!

  38. JenniLoryn says:

    Baking these up right now! They smelled delicious even before I put them in the oven so I’m excited. Hope my three little ones love this :)

  39. EVELYN PARSONS says:

    I just love your blog. Being diabetic, these recipes are the bomb. Now I can have dessert without worrying about my blood sugar going sky-high. I still have to watch what I eat, just can enjoy it more, thanks to your blog.

  40. Rich says:

    I absolutely love your desserts. I am gluten free, sugar free, so quite a Godsend. I have problems finding dried cherries without sugar added. And even though I do have quite a kitchen, what in the world is coconut butter? I have coconut oil…thanks again.

    1. Jules says:

      I’ve had luck finding unsweetened dried cherries at Whole Foods, if that helps! :)

  41. Marissa says:

    You should do a healthy KIND bar (fruit and nut type not granola)! I love them and I’ve found copycat recipes but all of them are really high in sugar.

    These bars look excellent!

  42. Grace says:

    made these yesterday with cranberries and raisins and cashew butter! amazing decadent texture, great recipe as always katie!

  43. Sarah says:

    I love the sound of this recipe, with my own adjustments for my almond allergy (peanut butter and chopped peanuts), but frankly I don’t like dried fruit of any type – cherries, raisins, cranberries, blueberries etc. Could I make these by completely omitting that ingredient or what else could I substitute for the dried fruit?