Crunchy homemade granola is easy to make, delicious, and far cheaper than any granola you’ll find at the store! Made with almonds, honey, and vanilla extract, this vanilla almond granola is bound to be a breakfast favorite. Use on top of yogurt, mix with milk for a granola cereal, or eat by handful whenever the craving strikes!
This homemade vanilla granola recipe is also easy to customize with your favorite mix-ins, like dried fruit, chocolate chips, or another kind of nut. Making granola at home has saved my family a lot of money over the last year, and it’s easy to make a large batch and save some for later in the freezer.
When my husband tried this recipe for the first time, he said, “This is way better than Trader Joe’s vanilla almond granola!” So if you’re looking to make a homemade version of Trader Joe’s vanilla almond granola, you’re in the right place!
Ingredients for Vanilla Almond Granola
Homemade granola is incredibly easy to make and customize. This is my favorite base recipe, and you are more than welcome to add in dried fruit or chocolate chips to make this recipe your own.
- Honey. This is a great binding agent to hold the granola clusters together. If you would like to make this granola vegan, substitute with maple syrup or agave nectar.
- Brown sugar. Along with honey, brown sugar gives the vanilla almond granola a light sweetness.
- Salted butter. Butter helps the granola crisp up while baking and lends a subtle buttery flavor.
- Almonds. I prefer natural almonds so I can control the saltiness and chop them up into bite-sized pieces. You can also use roasted sliced almonds if that’s more convenient for you.
- Rolled oats. Old-fashioned or rolled oats have the perfect texture for homemade granola.
- Vanilla and almond extracts. Both increase the flavors of vanilla almond granola.
- Salt. Just a pinch enhances all the flavors.
Quick Tips to Make Homemade Vanilla Almond Granola
I never knew how easy it was to make granola at home until last year. Since then, I think I’ve only purchased one box of a seasonal granola because it’s so easily and inexpensive to make at home! All you do is melt butter, honey, and sugar together; stir in your oats and almonds; and bake for half an hour on low heat. It can’t get any easier than this!
Chopping the Almonds
I prefer to chop my own almonds rather than using pre-sliced almonds for two reasons: Whole almonds are generally cheaper than sliced almonds, and I like the variety of home-cut pieces. You are more than welcome to do whatever is most convenient for you.
If using whole almonds, roughly chop them with a chef’s knife on a large cutting board.
Melting the Butter, Honey, and Brown Sugar
This buttery syrup made from butter, honey, and brown sugar is what coats the oat pieces and helps them crisp while baking. Combine all three in a pot, then stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar has fully dissolved in the butter, about five minutes.
This may take a few extra minutes if the butter is still in stick form and wasn’t cut to smaller pieces (totally fine; I do that, too, when I’m not photographing recipes).
We’ll stir the oats directly into this pot, so use a larger one than you think you’d need!
Stirring in the Almonds and Oats
Add the almonds and oats to the buttery syrup, then stir together with a strong spatula. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pot thoroughly to ensure the oats are all evenly coated.
As you can see from the images below, a medium pot is just large enough to stir everything together, but a large pot would have been better to prevent stray oats on my stovetop.
Baking Vanilla Almond Granola
Granola bakes best when spread out thinly on parchment paper covering a baking sheet. While baking, granola can start to stick to the pan, so using parchment paper is highly recommended.
Tip the granola out of the pot and onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread the granola thinly on the pan. This recipe works best on a half-sheet pan. If you have a smaller oven that can’t fit half-sheet pans, I would recommend splitting the granola onto two pans. Otherwise, it may not dry out properly in the oven.
Bake the vanilla almond granola for 20 to 30 minutes at 300°F/150°C until the edges of the granola are golden brown. If your slab of granola is a little thick, or you want small granola clusters, I recommend stirring the granola once around the 15-minute mark.
Immediately out of the oven, the granola will not be crispy. As the granola cools, though, it will start to harden and crisp up (in about 30 minutes).
Breaking up the Vanilla Almond Granola
After the vanilla almond granola has fully cooled, it’s time to break up the pieces of granola and store.
I break up my granola with my freshly washed hands. You can also use a spoon or spatula to break up the granola, but that can get messy and launch stray oats across the kitchen.
Once cooled, store homemade granola in an airtight container for up to a month at room temperature, or in the freezer for up to six months.
FAQs about Vanilla Almond Granola
It depends on how thinly you spread your granola in the pan and your oven. I spread my granola thinly and my oven heats pretty evenly, so I haven’t found it necessary. If your granola is in a thick layer or your oven has hot spots, it would be best to stir your granola while baking.
Absolutely! Substitute equal amounts of maple syrup or agave nectar for the honey and salted vegan butter or a neutral oil for salted dairy butter.
It’s pretty close! There’s a more distinct butter flavor in my recipe compared to the canola oil in Trader Joe’s, but that used to be my husband’s favorite granola, and now it’s my homemade version.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
For all my vanilla lovers out there, my French vanilla ice cream is the creamiest homemade ice cream you’ll ever have, and it’s packed with vanilla. Top it with some of this vanilla almond granola for a crunch!
Croutons are just granola for salad, right? To add a flavorful crunch to your favorite soups or salads, try my garlic herb croutons!
Dish Cleanup: Piece of Cake
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 vanilla almond granola recipe has a cleanup rating of a 1. There already aren’t many dishes at all for this homemade granola recipe, but you can speed up the cleaning process if you use sliced almonds or almond pieces. I also make my parchment paper lining a little bigger than my pan to ensure nothing gets on it. Then, you’ll only have a couple bowls and a pot to clean.
Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Granola Copycat Recipe
- ¼ cup honey (90 g or 60 ml)
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, firmly packed (72 g)
- 8 Tablespoons salted butter (113 g)
- ¾ cup whole natural almonds (125 g)*
- 3 cups rolled oats (300 g)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add honey, brown sugar, and butter to a medium pot. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spatula, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
- While the mixture over the stove is melting, chop the whole almonds into bite-sized pieces.
- Stir the almond extract, vanilla extract, and salt into the honey mixture.
- Add the chopped almonds and rolled oats to the honey mixture. Stir together until well combined and no dry patches of oats remain.
- Pour the granola out onto the parchment-lined baking sheet, and spread evenly across the pan with a spatula. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the granola is lightly golden brown on the edges. For extra crispy granola, gently stir the granola once halfway through baking.
- Let the granola cool for about 30 minutes, then break into pieces with your hands. Once fully cooled, store in an airtight container.
*You may also use pre-chopped or pre-sliced almonds. Substitute 1⅓ cups or 125 grams of sliced almonds or almond pieces.
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 by baking it on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 300°F/150°C.
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Serving Size:1/3 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 240Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 118mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 3gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g
The nutrition facts are estimated and may vary based on specific ingredients used.
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