My new addiction right here....these. Omg, I literally moaned eating these bars. I'm so excited to share this recipe. These are super soft, chewy, almost like a soft cookie. They have a warm cinnamon flavor and scent and the perfect touch of molasses. Can you believe it's been 5 posts and a month and a half since I last posted a new sweet treat on the blog....gasp?! I'm pretty proud of myself for that, hahaha. I'm trying to post a little less desserts this year. Don't worry, I will still be making them of course, just not quite as often. I don't know if I would call this straight up, dessert, as it's a granola bar, not exactly screaming "dessert"! However, it does have sweetener in it, so I wouldn't exactly call it a salad, either.
I created these for a reader who requested a granola bar that could be easy to make and also be nut-free. Well, I already have a delicious granola bar on the blog, my Almond Pulp Chocolate Chip Bars, which are a big reader favorite and my Cinnamon Roll Breakfast Bars, which are my favorite.
Enter these Vegan Nut-Free Cinnamon Molasses Granola Bars. My favorite flavor of all-time is cinnamon. The more, the better. I added a good dose of molasses to further enhance that cinnamon flavor and also give great binding quality to the bars. I used white rice flour in these as well, typically not in a granola bar, but instead of oat flour, the white rice flour gives better structure. These have a wonderful, chewy texture to them.
Instead of almond butter, I used sunbutter. I originally tried a version of coconut butter and tahini, but it didn't work that well. It didn't help them to hold as well, and the tahini was too strong in my opinion.
These sunbutter granola bars are a wonderful butter-free, dairy-free and nut-free option, so most people can enjoy them. These bars are made with wholesome ingredients and all without any added oils or refined sugars. Super delicious with a homemade latte too, I might add. These are great for snacks or a quick on-the-go breakfast.
I can't wait to hear what you all think of these Nut-Free Cinnamon Molasses Granola Bars! As always, it's super important to me when I work so hard in the kitchen creating these recipes for you all, to hear your feedback below in the comments. It's the best thing ever! Be sure to drop me a line and rate the recipe! If you are on Instagram, tag me #thevegan8 with your pic as well, I'd love to see them. Many of you also tag me often on Facebook, so keep that up too! 🙂
Nut-Free Cinnamon Molasses Granola Bars
- 2 cups 200g gluten-free rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
- 3/4 cup 120g white rice flour (brown will not work or hold as well)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons 9g ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon 3g fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup 135g unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup 237g sunbutter (or almond butter if you don't need it nut-free)
- 1/2 cup 160g pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup 80g regular unsulphured molasses, not blackstrap, it's TOO strong
- 1 tablespoon 15g vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line an 8x8 metal square pan with parchment paper, going in both directions, for easy release later.
- To a large bowl, add the oats, rice flour, cinnamon, salt and stir well.
- Add the applesauce, sunbutter, syrup and molasses to a small sauce pan over the stove. Whisk until it is smooth. Now turn the heat to medium. Once it comes to a simmer around the edges, whisk continually for about 1-2 minutes, scraping along the edges. You are only wanting to do this just so it slightly thickens and by heating the mixture, it will become much more sticky and assist in the bars binding well. 2 minutes is enough.
- Remove from the heat and add the vanilla and whisk in. Immediately pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and stir really well with a spoon until it comes together and gets really sticky, about a couple of minutes. You want to spend a couple of minutes stirring underneath and around, making sure to get all the rice flour. Spread the mixture into your prepared pan with the back of your spoon or by dragging a rubber spatula across, making sure the top is flat and the corners are even too.
- Bake for 35 minutes, when it is very golden brown and the top is firm and shiny. Remove and you must let the bars cool a full hour before cutting. They will firm up a TON while cooling, so don't get all impatient and ruin them by cutting them while still hot! Trust me, ok? After the hour is up, lift out the bars with the parchment paper and carefully slice them into bars with a really sharp knife, making sure to cut all the way through each bar, so they don't tear when you lift them. Take a bite and tell me below how incredible they are right?! I'll be eager to hear your feedback.
- Store at room temperature and they will remain firm, but soft. Yummy either way. I like to wrap each bar individually in plastic wrap to conceal the freshness.