Make these homemade easy cereal bars as a quick and healthy breakfast or snack recipe the whole family will love!
The best part? You only need 3 ingredients for the recipe!
Seriously, these portable chewy cereal bars could not be easier to make from scratch and can be customized for unlimited delicious flavor ideas.
Pack the wholesome bars into a school lunch box, take them for breakfast on the go, or grab one as a fiber packed afternoon healthy snack. It’s always a good time to eat these cereal bars, with no bowl or spoon required!
Also try this Chocolate Mug Cake
Above, watch the step-by-step cereal bar recipe video
Homemade cereal bar flavors
Chocolate cereal bars: Add one fourth cup of cocoa powder and two and a half teaspoons of pure vanilla extract. Dip finished bars in melted chocolate.
Nutella snack bars: Make the chocolate version of the recipe above, and substitute an equal amount of store bought or Homemade Nutella for the nut butter.
Cookie dough bars: Use cashew butter, and add half a cup of mini chocolate chips and two teaspoons of pure vanilla extract before stirring everything together.
Strawberry cereal bars: Stir a third cup of freeze dried strawberries in with the cereal. Drizzle the bars with melted Coconut Butter or white chocolate chips if desired.
Peanut butter cereal bars: Use smooth or crunchy peanut butter, and stir in an optional third cup of crushed peanuts or peanut butter chips as well.
Marshmallow bars: Cut up half a cup of mini marshmallows or vegan mini marshmallows. Stir these into the mix with the cereal.
Other cereal bar flavors you can make include snickerdoodle, birthday cake batter, frosted lemon, caramel, chocolate peppermint, raspberry, or pumpkin pie. Or try Oreo cookies and cream, vanilla bean, maple and brown sugar, crispy coconut, or s’mores.
As you can see, the flavor possibilities are endless!
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The best cereal bar ingredients
Here’s what you need to make the easy breakfast recipe: dry cereal of choice, liquid sweetener, nut or seed butter, and optional salt and protein powder.
Agave, honey, or brown rice syrup all do well in this recipe. Use the agave or brown rice syrup options instead of honey if serving the bars to vegan guests.
Pure maple syrup is a thinner sweetener. It can still work if you add more peanut butter to make up the difference in thickness so the bars will still hold together.
Feel free to use your favorite nut butter. I like peanut butter cereal bars, but almond butter, cashew butter, macadamia butter, or nut free sunbutter also work.
*For a low calorie option, you can technically cut the nut butter back to half a cup if desired. The bars will be fine if you store them in the freezer but are much more delicate and will not hold together as well at room temperature.
What type of cereal do you use for 3 ingredient cereal bars?
Choose a cereal with small flakes or shapes, such as Cheerios, Fruit Loops, or Rice Krispies. Vegans should look for natural brand alternatives to Kellogg’s or General Mills cereals, which often contain Vitamin D3.
Bars made with Cheerios, or a similar shape cereal, will have around 160 calories each.
I have not tried Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Golden Grahams, Frosted Flakes, Special K, Cocoa Puffs, Trix, Fruity Pebbles, Lucky Charms, or their vegan counterparts.
If you experiment with any cereal not mentioned above, or with a grain free keto cereal, report back and let us know your results!
How to make breakfast cereal bars
Start by lining an eight inch pan with wax paper or parchment paper.
If your nut butter is not already soft and easily stir-able, gently heat it in the microwave or on the stovetop until it can be stirred easily.
Stir all of the cereal bar ingredients in a large mixing bowl until evenly mixed. Transfer the cereal mix to the prepared pan. Place a second sheet of parchment paper over the top, and press the mixture evenly into the pan.
(Be sure to press the mixture down very hard, because this keeps the cereal bars from falling apart after cutting them later.)
Remove the second sheet of parchment if you wish. Refrigerate or freeze the homemade cereal bars until firm enough to slice into bars.
Cover leftovers, and store either in the refrigerator or on the countertop in a cool, dry place. Leftover bars can also be frozen.
How to make milk and cereal bars
If you grew up as a fan of those packaged grab-and-go milk and cereal bars, here are three ways you can achieve a similar look and flavor at home.
The first option is to pour half a cup of melted coconut butter or white chocolate chips over the top of the bars before slicing. Chill to set the coating.
For a healthier milk and cereal bar coating, stir two thirds cup of Greek yogurt with two tablespoons of melted coconut oil or butter and three cups of powdered sugar or powdered erythritol. Let it sit until thick, then spread over the pan and chill.
- 3 cups cereal of choice
- 2/3 cup peanut butter or nut butter of choice
- 1/2 cup agave, honey, or brown rice syrup
- optional 1/2 tsp salt
- optional 3 tbsp protein powder
*Be sure to check out all the cereal bar flavor ideas listed above!Line an 8-inch pan with wax or parchment paper (or double the recipe for a 9×13-inch pan). If needed, gently warm nut butter until easily stirrable. Stir all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the cereal mixture into the pan. Place a second sheet of parchment over top, and press the cereal down firmly into the pan. Press down very firmly, because this keeps the cereal bars from falling apart after cutting later. Freeze for a half hour or until firm enough to slice into bars. Cover leftovers. Store in the refrigerator or freezer or on the counter in a cool, dry place.View Nutrition Facts