Dark Chocolate Granola

A spoon sticks out of a glass jar filled with chocolate granola.

Homemade granola is one of my favorite things to make because it’s easy, delicious, and so much cheaper than buying a bag from the store! This dark chocolate granola is made with cocoa powder, chunks of dark chocolate, and walnuts (or your favorite nut). I never liked walnuts in brownies growing up (just a texture thing), but I love them in this chocolate granola recipe!

The best part about homemade chocolate granola is that it’s incredibly easy to customize to your liking. You can add various mix-ins, like dried fruit, spices, and seeds. Try this chocolate granola with a few handfuls of shredded coconut for a tropical twist! If you like this granola recipe, you’ll also probably like my vanilla almond granola and honey pecan granola recipes.

Chocolatey granola is great on its own, but I also love serving it on top of canned peaches with a dollop of vanilla whipped cream as dessert.

Dark chocolate granola in a glass jar with a small spoon.
With dark chocolate chunks and cocoa powder right in the syrup, this homemade granola feels like an indulgence on top of yogurt, ice cream, and fruit!

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Ingredients for Dark Chocolate Granola

The best part about homemade chocolate granola is that it’s easy to customize! This is my base recipe for chocolate granola with cocoa powder; you’re more than welcome to add in dried fruit, different nuts, or spices to your taste. I’ve made a note of what each ingredient does and common substitutions below if you’d like to make this granola vegan or allergy-friendly.

  • Brown sugar. This helps make the sugar syrup that coats the oats, and I love how the hint of molasses pairs with the cocoa.
  • Honey. This invert sugar works as a binder. Without it, your oats will remain as singular pieces rather than large, crunchy clusters. To make this granola vegan, substitute another invert sugar, like maple syrup or agave nectar.
  • Salted butter. Butter helps the granola crisp up while baking and gives it the best flavor. You can substitute coconut oil, vegan butter, or a neutral oil if you prefer!
  • Cocoa powder. The key to making this granola chocolatey, both cocoa and cacao powder work nicely. Add it to the hot butter and sugar syrup to bloom it properly for a stronger chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla extract. I love adding a splash of vanilla for a well-rounded chocolate flavor.
  • Salt. Just a pinch enhances all the flavors.
  • Rolled oats. Old-fashioned or rolled oats have the perfect texture for homemade granola.
  • Chopped walnuts. I like the combination of chocolate and walnut, but this recipe will work with any of your favorite nuts (almonds, pecans, etc).
  • Dark chocolate. A handful of chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips makes this granola an extra indulgent treat, but feel free to leave this out if you prefer!
Ingredients for dark chocolate granola on a quartz countertop.
Dark chocolate granola is made with just a few simple ingredients like oats, nuts, cocoa powder, and brown sugar!

How to Make Homemade Dark Chocolate Granola

Since I first made vanilla almond granola about two years ago, homemade granola has been one of my favorite recipe experiments. For this chocolatey granola, you simply make a cocoa and sugar syrup on the stove, stir in your oats and nuts, and bake in low heat until crispy. Once cooled, break up the granola into pieces, then enjoy!

You can watch me make this double chocolate granola on my YouTube channel:

Making the Chocolate Syrup

In addition to flavoring the oats, a chocolatey, buttery syrup coats the rolled oats and helps them dry out into granola in the oven. Add the butter, honey, and brown sugar to a medium pot, and stir together over medium heat occasionally until melted.

Depending on how cold your butter is—and the size of your butter pieces—this usually takes about five minutes. Once the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted fully, allow the syrup to continue cooking for another minute until it starts to simmer.

Then, add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir vigorously to combine, until no clumps of cocoa powder remain. Doing this in two steps helps to ensure the cocoa blooms properly, which will give our granola a strong chocolate flavor.

Stirring in the Oats and Walnuts

Add the rolled oats and chopped walnuts to the chocolate syrup, then stir together with a spatula. You’ll want to scrape the bottom and sides of the pot pretty frequently to spread the syrup evenly over the oats.

A large pot will come in handy to prevent oats from spilling out the sides.

Baking Dark Chocolate Granola

Granola bakes best when spread in a thin layer on parchment paper over a baking sheet. I typically prefer to use dark half-sheet pans for my granola recipes, but this time, I used a light-colored/aluminum half-sheet pan. Because the granola is coated in a darker syrup, it tends to bake a little faster than traditional granola. To offset that a little, I used a lighter pan, but you’re welcome to use whatever you have on hand.

If you have a smaller oven that can’t fit half-sheet pans, you’ll want to spread the granola into two separate pans to allow it to bake properly.

Tip the granola out of the pot over your lined baking sheet, then spread the granola thinly over the parchment with a spatula. I spread it all the way to the edges to ensure as thin a layer as possible.

Bake the dark chocolate granola for 15-20 minutes at 300°F/150°C, until the bottom of the granola is just slightly darker than the top. The low temperature is imperative, as higher temperatures will quickly overbake the granola and make it bitter.

The bake time varies depending on the color of your pan, so err on the side of caution. I’ve overbaked this granola a few times, and while it’s still good, it tastes a little bitter.

Immediately out of the oven, the granola will not be crispy. However, as the granola cools, it will transform from bendy to crispy as the sugar coating hardens. After about 30 minutes, the granola will have cooled enough to break up into pieces.

Breaking up Dark Chocolate Granola

Once the chocolate granola has cooled completely, it will break into pieces quite easily. If the granola is fully cooled but bends rather than breaks, you may want to put it back in the oven for a few minutes to finish crisping up. (This will also help extend its shelf life!)

If the center of the granola slab is just barely warm, feel free to add the chocolate chunks and put it all in a container to store, but hold off on sealing it until the granola has cooled completely. Waiting to seal the granola will keep the batch crisp rather than soggy.

Store homemade dark chocolate granola in an airtight container, like a large jar or silicone zip-top bag, for up to a month at room temperature or in the freezer for up to six months.

FAQs about Homemade Chocolate Granola

Do I need to stir my granola while it’s in the oven?

It may be helpful for this chocolate granola, as the chocolate syrup makes it a little harder to tell if the granola is done or not, but you don’t have to. If your granola is spread thinly in a pan and your oven heats evenly enough, you won’t need to stir it.

Can this dark chocolate granola be made vegan?

Yes! Substitute an equal amount of an invert sugar like maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey, then substitute a neutral oil or salted vegan butter for dairy butter.

Do mix-ins work well with this granola?

Absolutely, they do! If you want to add seeds or spices, add those before baking, or try adding coconut flakes or dried fruit once the granola has cooled completely.

Does this granola taste like Cocoa Krispies?

Yes, that’s how my husband described it during testing! I loved the flavor with just brown sugar, but it needed a little honey to help the oat clusters stick together. Fortunately, the flavor is very similar to that first batch I made with just brown sugar!

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

As already mentioned in this post, if you liked this chocolate walnut granola recipe, you’ll love my vanilla almond granola and honey pecan granola recipes.

These dark chocolate chunk cookies are my favorite version of the chocolate chip cookie, and they have giant, melty pools of chocolate fresh out of the oven.

Looking for something else chocolatey to pair with this granola for a homemade gift? Try my chocolate pumpkin muffins or chocolate gingerbread cookies for not-too-sweet baked goods.

A closeup of dark chocolate granola with walnuts and dark chocolate chunks.
Just look at those chocolatey clusters of oats and walnuts!

Dish Cleanup: Not Too Bad

I rate my recipe cleanups on a scale of 1 to 5. 1 is only a handful of dishes, and 5 is everything including the kitchen sink.

My dark chocolate granola recipe has a cleanup rating of a 2. There’s one pot and one spatula, along with a cutting board, a knife, and a few measuring cups and bowls. You can avoid the cutting board and knife if you use walnut pieces rather than whole walnuts, but either way, the dishes aren’t bad at all.

If you plan to stir the granola while baking, I recommend using a long piece of parchment paper that overhangs the edges of your baking sheet. That will prevent any granola pieces from escaping, and then you won’t have to wash the pan!

Dishes used to make dark chocolate granola.
With just a cutting board, knife, pot, spatula, and measuring spoons, this dark chocolate granola is easy to make and clean up!

Chocolate Granola with Dark Chocolate Chunks Recipe

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If you make this dark chocolate granola and love it, please don’t forget to rate the recipe five stars.

Yield: about 4 cups

Dark Chocolate Granola

A wooden bowl is filled with dark chocolate granola and chocolate chunks.

Made with cocoa powder and dark chocolate chunks, this dark chocolate granola is easy to make and lasts for up to a month in the pantry!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, firmly packed (75 g)
  • ¼ cup honey (45 g)
  • 8 Tablespoons salted butter (113 g)
  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder (25 g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups rolled oats (300 g)
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts (100 g)*
  • ¼ cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips (40 g)


  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper so that it hangs over the edges slightly.
  2. Add brown sugar, butter, and honey to a medium pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the mixture starts to simmer on the edges, about 5 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, then add the cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir together until no clumps remain.
  4. Add the chopped walnuts and rolled oats to the cocoa mixture. Stir together until the oats are completely covered in the dark syrup.
  5. Pour the granola out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Spread evenly and thinly across the pan with a spatula. Bake for 18-23 minutes, until the bottom of the granola is slightly darker than the top. (It can be hard to tell, but this will be around 15 minutes for darker pans and 20 minutes for lighter pans). For extra crispy granola, gently stir the granola once halfway through baking.
  6. Let the granola cool for about 30 minutes, then break into pieces with your hands. Once fully cooled, add the dark chocolate pieces and store in an airtight container.


*You're welcome to substitute your favorite raw nut here: Almonds, pecans, peanuts, etc, will all work well!

Homemade granola lasts for about a month when stored in an airtight container after it has cooled completely. If placed in an airtight container while just the slightest bit warm, the granola can get soggy and won't last as long.

If you notice your granola sticks together the next day, it may not have dried out enough during baking. You can dry the granola out a little more to improve its shelf life (and re-crisp it!) by baking it on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 300°F/150°C.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1/3 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 289Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 77mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 4gSugar: 15gProtein: 5g

The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.

I’d love to see how your dark chocolate granola turns out: Take a photo and tag me on Instagram @floralapronblog to share with me, or use the hashtag #floralapronbakes.

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