Cereal “Clusters” Recipe – Grain Free Vanilla Nut Granola

I developed this cereal clusters recipe for my son who needs a grain free, gluten free version. We love this vanilla nut granola!

You’ve searched the Googles for “cereal clusters recipe” and here you are. Or, you are a loyal reader and you’ve eaten a bowl of cereal and wished it had more of those honey-nut-vanilla clusters. Either way, you are in for a treat!

Cereal Clusters Recipe - bowl with blueberries and milk - Grain Free vanilla granolaThis vanilla nut granola became labeled as the “clusters-from-the-box” by my son. Just this week he took a container full as a “snack” to Disney.

Here is the kicker: he doesn’t like nuts! How crazy is that?! Nuts! Yup. As far as he knows, these are cereal clusters and not nuts. My husband and his sister tried to tell him that these were nuts and he said: “These are not nuts. I don’t like nuts.” Can you believe that?

Cereal Clusters Recipe - bowl with blueberries - Paleo Grain Free vanilla granola

As far as I know… this is ONLY nuts! I eat them over my bowl of strawberries and cream or in a bowl with milk instead of cereal. Since going grain free, I  miss the occasional “crunch” from a bowl of cereal… but these are delicious and satisfying.

what is there not to love?

Of course, I’m not the only fan… Baby G also is. They are perfectly sweet and delicious with the right amount of crunch. This isn’t like every other granola recipe out there… once you make this you’ll be a convert for life!

Cereal Clusters Recipe - bowl with blueberries - Paleo Grain Free vanilla granola

Instead of having some fruit topping my cereal, I know top my fruit with my “cereal.” I like this a lot better. Wether you serve this with blueberries or strawberries, the delicious factor is all there.

Cereal Clusters Recipe - bowl with blueberries - Paleo Grain Free vanilla granola

I can’t take all the credit for this recipe. I used this recipe from Against all Grain’s cookbook and changed it to my desired sweetness and nut preference (I found hers to be delicious but a little too sweet and I like my nut mix a little different). Thank you Danielle for having awesome recipes I can build on!

Cereal Clusters Recipe - bowl with blueberries - Paleo Grain Free vanilla granola

5.0 from 6 reviews
Vanilla Nut Granola Recipe - The "clusters" in your cereal
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4-5 cups
Adapted from Agains all Grain
  • 1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw walnuts
  • ½ cup cashews*
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup honey or pure maple syrup, melted
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
3/4 teaspoon sea salt (plus 1 teaspoon for soaking water)
Optional add ins (up to 1 cup):
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 cup raisins
  • ½ cup dried blueberries
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
The day before:
  1. In a large bowl, place all nuts plus 1 teaspoon of salt, fully cover with water and set aside. Soak 12hours (overnight), changing the water once before baking, about halfway through.
The day of:
  1. Drain your nuts into a colander, and give them a rinse. Place them on a few layers or paper towels or kitchen towels to absorb remaining water.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200F.
  3. Place your nuts in the bowl of your food processor, pulsing a few times to chop them into small pieces. If you turn on your food processor and let the nuts go!, you'll have nut flour. Pulse until you have them chopped into small pieces.
  4. In a large bowl, add coconut oil, cinnamon, honey or maple syrup, vanilla, sea salt. Stir to combine.
  5. Place finely chopped nuts into your bowl, add ground flax, and mix well using a spatula until everything is covered in cinnamon vanilla goodness. Add unsweetened coconut now (if using) and stir to combine.
  6. Next, spread nutty mix onto two lined (with parchment or silicone mats) baking trays. Place in preheated oven and swap the trays every hour, mixing the nuts around to get nuts evenly dehydrated. If you put all of your nuts into one tray, expect dehydrating time to take 45min-1hour longer.
  7. After 3hours of dehydrating/baking, remove from oven, check your crunch level and either place in there for another 30 minutes or remove. The nuts need to be fully dehydrated and they will also crunch as they cool. Once you are happy with your crunch level, remove from oven.
  8. If you want to add dried fruit, this is the time. Stir in dried fruit of choice, then let cool completely before storing in an airtight container for 2-3 weeks.
Note regarding nuts: any nut combination will work. More pecans, no pecans, more almonds, less almonds, no cashews... whatever you have in your pantry. Make sure you measure between 3½ - 4 cups of nuts total.



  1. Marie says

    I’m assuming the cranberries are dried cranberries? You might want to note that…

    Also, there’s an asterick after the cashews, but I don’t see anywhere that the astrerick is explained? Unless that’s your note about the nut mix.

    Anyway – that’s for the recipe! I’m due in a couple weeks and this would be a great “pantry” item to have on hand for some quick and easy, highly nutritous, food.

    Oh, one last thing – have you ever tried it in the dehydrator rather than the oven? Your “dehydrating/baking” phrase made me think of that.

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Hi Marie! thanks for the notes. Yes, the cranberries are dried (i made a note, thanks!). the Cashews * is addressed in the notes section. Most people don’t keep cashews in their pantry…unlike me! yes, I’ve tried it in the dehydrator. Divide your nuts in a few trays (2-3 for mine) lined with parchment paper (so the nuts don’t fall) and dehydrate for 24-26 hours in the nuts/granola setting.

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Hi Renita! Thank you for catching that. I’ve corrected the recipe. You soak them overnight and change the water once. I usually soak them sometime in the afternoon, change the water before I go to bed and bake them in the morning.

      • Elizabeth says

        Thanks I’m skeptical if I can make it right but will try! I’m new to baking.
        I made the zesty pasta bake tonight for my family. Everyone loved it! I added a little spinach. And had steamed broccoli as a side. Yum!

        • Laura Fuentes says

          Adding spinach is such a great idea!! ok, this recipe is practically fool proof. just keep an eye on it. and yes, soaking the nuts is essential. :) Enjoy!

  2. says

    Would you have an approximate calorie count & recommended serving size?
    As a diabetic with Celiac & chronic knee & back pain, I have to be really careful. I have a lot of weight to lose besides.
    Thanks! I love your suggestions and ideas!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Hi Cyn, these are not low calorie. The nuts don’t have high carbohydrate count but the sweet glaze that makes them into clusters does. I would cut the sweeteners in half for you and then plug all ingredients into one of those websites that calculate them.

  3. says

    Thank you for your quick reply & for the plethora of info you provide. I mix raw local honey with cinnamon in a therapeutic ratio, 1t of cinnamon to 1T of honey. This is beneficial for diabetics & does not mess with my blood sugars in a negative way. I will try using that with this recipe.
    I heat the honey, then add in the cinnamon until smooth, then pour into a jar. It’s also the only way I can drink green tea(don’t care for it plain)
    Thanks again for your information! Have a blessed Resurrection celebration!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      sounds like a delicious alternative and a great way of drinking green tea (i’m not a big fan). you have a blessed day as well Cyn!

  4. kelly says

    Hi Laura. I’m not grain free, so could I add oats to this? I eat a fair amount of nuts, so I’d like to balance it out. Thanks!! :-)

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Hi Kelly! Yes, you can add oats to the nuts in the bowl prior to adding the wet mixture. 1 1/2 cups max. :)

  5. Kelly says

    hi Laura! Back again with a quick question. I see your little one eating this. My 15 month old won’t choke? Do you soften in milk of choice first, like cereal? That’s what it looks like in the picture. Thanks so much !!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Kelly, I can’t advise regarding your little one. This little guy is around 16-18mo here… but he’s also grown up eating these. I’d go with a little caution…. also, when you process these in the food processor, make them finer/smaller at first.

  6. says

    Thank you SO much for this recipe… It’s delicious. I LOVE it! … I used pecans, hazelnuts, cashews and almonds and it’s so tasty (ten items better than any shop bought!). I’m not meant to eat honey so I’m going to make it again but sub the honey with a combination or coconut sugar, xylitol and stevia. I’ll let you know how it get on.

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Emma, awesome!I’m thrilled you love the recipe. If you want to use coconut sugar, place it in a small sauce pan over medium heat with the coconut oil and stir, slowly until melted. Otherwise, it won’t stick to the nuts. Alternatively, you can use maple syrup instead of the honey.

      • says

        Thanks Laura, I will try the coconut sugar melted. I have so many intolerances and maple syrup is one of them! I can’t wait to try it again but with coconut sugar, the last batch was so yummy I ate it all within 2 days haha! Xx

  7. says

    Hi Laura,
    Just to let you know the coconut sugar was a success! Yay! I added 4 drops of liquid stevia too and it still tastes sweet – not as sweet as the honey butt still so tasty that I know it won’t last long haha!

    • Laura Fuentes says

      Awesome!! good to know it worked. I just bought a bunch of coconut sugar so that’s what I’ll try it with as well!

  8. Rebecca says

    What is your nuts are soaked and dehydrated already? I typically buy in bulk and then dehydrate right away so I can use them as needed. Should I still soak them or just process and add sweetener and bake?

    • Laura Fuentes says

      I buy my nuts in bulk. I soak them overnight for this recipe and then create the granola. If you’ve already presoaked and dehydrated, you just head over to the combining with the mixture step and put them in the oven. they might take half the time to make into a granola.

  9. Cassie says

    Made this today and it’s really great! My Husband came home and said “Hmm smells like Cinnamon?” And then tried it and said “It’s a little nutty.” Lol! Well there are plenty of nuts in there, I think he was expecting some oats! Very tasty–thank you so much for the recipe!

  10. Carin says

    This is one of THE BEST granola-like recipes I have ever made. I just wish I had doubled — or triple — the recipe! Thank you.

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