No Bake Granola Cakes

Big changes are happening over on my workouts page and even bigger changes are happening with my marathon training plans.

February has been a challenge for me, I was losing muscle, motivation, and forgetting why I began running in the first place. My passion was slowly exiting.

A couple days ago I decided I needed to switch things up, I needed to ask for help. [Something I dislike doing, but need to realize that it's okay to get a hand with things and let people in]

I sent a message to Angie, a triathlon coach I’d been chatting with back in August and before I knew it I had a new training plan.

First thing I told myself: it’s okay to be nervous and a bit overwhelmed.

Change has always been hard for me, but I just need to believe in myself and keep my end goal in sight.

Second thing I told myself: holy moly, I’m actually going to do this!

Then I had a granola cake. Good nutrients give courage, no?

No Bake Granola Cakes

Vegan, Gluten free, Dairy free

All the granola taste and texture in a convenient cake! These no bake cakes are perfect for after the gym with a plate of carrot sticks, or can double as a unique dessert for a dinner party.


  • 1/2 cup smooth almond butter
  • 2 3 tablespoon brown rice syrup, maple syrup, or honey – if honey is used, the recipe is no longer vegan*
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut + extra for sprinkling
  • 1/3 cup quinoa flakes
  • 3 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch nutmeg

*Note: this recipe can be made sweetener free by removing the brown rice syrup completely and replacing it with extra almond butter. I made a batch with no sweetener and it tasted fantastic!


  1. Combine almond butter, rice syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil in a small sauce pan. Heat on medium low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until drippy/liquidy stirring every minute or so. Be sure it doesn’t burn!
  2. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Pour heated almond butter mixture into nuts and seeds bowl, and stir until all pieces are coated.
  4. Spoon mixture into large muffin liners or muffin tin [the mixture will be very clumpy and you will doubt that it will all hold together, but don't worry... it will!], pressing down firmly on each one and flattening with hands.
  5. Sprinkle with coconut and place in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up.

Nutrition stats [1 granola cake]: calories 189; fat 15g [all good fats!]; saturated fat 5g; carbohydrates 13g; dietary fiber 2g; sugars 5g; protein 4g

Makes 12 cakes.


Are you more in the mood for a cookie? No problem! Add:

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce

To the mixture above.

  1. Form into cookies, sprinkle with coconut and bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes.
  2. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Makes 12 cookies.


When was the last time you were overwhelmed with something?

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Comments | Leave Your Comment

  1. Yum! These look so good and so easy! I bet they can be made into many different flavors…Pumpkin Pie cakes anyone??

  2. I just found your blog and can’t wait to get home and try one of your recipes. These recipes are exactly what my family is looking for!

  3. both of these versions sound great, Leanne! thanks for sharing!

    I have been overwhelmed with a couple of things for the past couple of months… to the point I’m feeling like I’m being tested! :) (Without going into detail, I wrote about it yesterday)

    I’m excited for you and your new training plan! It’s good you recognized what you were going through and instead of scrapping it you sought help! That is definitely not bad, however difficult it may sometimes be! :) Excited to follow along!

    • I’d have to say the raw one was my favorite of the two. I loved your post yesterday, it was so positive and uplifting. Good on you for pushing through, keeping your goals and setting daily intentions!

      I’m really excited for my new plan too! This morning was a bit rough – I feel like I got hit by a car – but I’ll be fine. The best part of working out so hard? Getting to EAT more! Backwards? Maybe… but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. You are starting to clog up my google reader! Do you have any idea how many of your posts I’ve tagged as “keep as unread” so I can try your recipes later? LOVE this one! Keep them coming!

    • Thank you, Laura! I’m so happy I get to share my journey with all of you!

    • The coconut oil allows it to harden a bit better, but if you don’t have it, no worries. You could just add equal amount of almond butter.

  5. I swear I come here and drool every time! your recipes and pics are amazing!! I need to get on the Brown Rice Syrup wagon again and try some amazingly healthy desserts!!! Wow. These are gorg!


    • Thank you, Kris! That means so much coming from you, what with your amazing talent at making the best darn cookies I’ve ever seen! Brown rice syrup is a nice change to the yacon and dates I’ve been using lately. I LOVE it on hot rice with cinnamon. Yum!

  6. I know exactly what you mean! I’m a month in to my marathon training and I feel sooo exhausted. I too am trying to kick myself back in to gear and telling myself to think of how I’m gonna feel when I cross that finish line. YOU CAN DO IT!!

    I wish I had some of these yummies to snack on!! That would defnitely get my tummy excited about the 5 miles I have to run tonight :)

    • Your posts with team in training have been fantastic. You’re well on your way, Steph! My sister did team in training last year, it was so amazing to watch her transform, connect with amazing people, and grow! Having yummy snacks waiting for me after a run definitely pushes me to work harder to get it over and done with so I can eat!

  7. Yum! This looks perfect as I love granola and am always looking for a packable/on-the-go snack! Just wondered if you had the calorie/nutrient breakdown on these?

    • Sure thing, Heather! 1 cake: calories 181; fat 14.2g; sodium 5mg; carbohydrates 12g; fiber 3g; sugars 4.3g; protein 4g. To increase the fiber you could add extra flax seed too!

  8. Great post. I trained for a marathon a few years ago but my body could not do it no matter how I tried. I made it to about 18k and then I could not go more. I have had a really touch year with stress and losing my parents so my workout routine has been really low. I am going to start to try to pick it up too and get moving too.

    Your food looks so great. I am going to try these.

    • Oh wow Sasha, I’m really sorry to hear about the struggles you’ve had to go through over the past year. I couldn’t imagine how challenging it was to lose your parents. You sound like you’re very strong willed and in tune with your body, it will be good to get back in the swing of things now that you’re ready. Let me know how you like them! They are a fantastic snack for after the gym. I had one yesterday with 1/2 banana and carrot sticks. Delicious!

  9. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous too… you not only make food that tastes good, but looks amazing as well! Great job!

  10. As always, these look absolutely delish! I also have a hard time asking for help–I try to do everything and be everything and I definitely feel overwhelmed at times! “I just need to believe in myself and keep my end goal in sight.” <–love this!!! :)

  11. Good luck! You’ll get through this!!! This food you’re eating looks tremendously healthy though. Now brownies for you ;)

    • Yes, peanut butter would work perfectly, and so would honey! I can’t wait to hear how you like them.

  12. Just finished my second attempt at these. The first batch was an improvisation as I didn’t have all the ingredients – but the taste was amazing! It didn’t stick together though so was more of a topping than a cake. I just got the quinoa flakes, creamy almond butter, and sunflower seeds so I tried a second batch. This time I ended up with an interesting concoction on the stove – the almond meal separated from the oil and I could not get it to recombine no matter how hard I tried. :-) I persevered and mixed everything together just the same, had to mix with my hands but still it didn’t quite combine. The cakes were cakes though when they came out of the muffin tin and they still taste great. Any tips on how to fix the stove mixture so they look more like yours when done?

    • Hi Christine – did you use almond meal or almond butter? You should be using almond butter on the stove with the rice syrup, vanilla, and coconut oil. You just have to continue stirring until it incorporates. Maybe the almond butter you’re using is too thick? Sometimes the oil floats to the top of the almond butter jar and the tough almonds are at the bottom, you really have to give it a good stir when you get a new jar of nut butters. When all is said and done, you should be left with a tough dough. If that still doesn’t work, try combining the wet ingredients in a good processor instead of stove top. Pulse until incorporated then add to the bowl of nuts + seeds. Good luck!

  13. This looks very good BUT I have to say that if there is no oats in it then it is not Granola Cakes. It should be called Quinoa cakes or Fake granola cakes. I’m surprised no one has pointed that out already. I was unable to find quinoa flakes so I guess I will use oatmeal then it will be Granola.

  14. These look yummy, once I get the ingredients in our local market, im going to start making a batch of these.

  15. I had my first attempt at these last night. As Christine mentioned above – they didn’t really stick together. I might have to increase the quantity of the “stovetop” ingredients, and try this again :) I got a few out of the batch – and the rest was just crumbly. The few that I did make, however, tasted great! I made them in mini muffin tins, and froze them to have at hand for snacks. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Interesting, I’ve made this recipe multiple times and I’ve had no issues. The batter is VERY clumpy, but you just have to push it down into the cups and freeze. I’ll have to give it another go and see what I can update.

  16. Delicious, thanks!

    PS I used dried pomegranate and blueberries instead of raisins. Was very good

    • I’ve never had dried pomegranate, I bet it’s delicious!

  17. I had tagged this recipie ages ago having seen it on foodgawker. Just got around to making it with the kids this afternoon. They came out great! I subbed oats for the quinoa flakes and used sunbutter instead of almond butter because that is what I had on hand. They hardened up just fine. Thank you for this recipie! We will have healthy, yummy snacks tomorrow.

  18. These look sooo delicious, and even better that they’re no bake. :D
    Only problem is, almonds make me unable to breathe. :( Anything I can use to replace the almond butter?

    • Oh no, we definitely don’t want you to stop breathing! I’ve tried the recipe with roasted cashew butter and it was just as delicious. Peanut butter would be great too!

  19. I made them yesterday, but replaced the Almond Butter with unhulled Tahini to up the calcium for me.
    They are SO yummy, thanks for the recipe :)
    Next time I will use Molasses instead of Maple for sweetening to add more minerals and nutrients.

  20. Love this recipe! As mom of a baby girl it’s difficult to cook, this is so easy to do and seems delicious! :-)

  21. These sound so yummy and I want to make them right away. Do you think I could substitute rolled oats for the quinoa flakes? I wouldn’t even know where to find these in our local grocery stores.

    • Heck ya you can, I’ve done that swap a bunch of times and they still turn out great!

  22. Hi Leanne,

    I made these this morning. Mine did clump together; but, I am having a hard time getting them out of the muffin tin intact. Was I supposed to ‘grease’ the muffin tin? Do you release them from the tin while frozen? Any suggestions would be welcome.

    The broken one I tasted was delish! Thanks for a great recipe!


    • Hi Carin – you can grease the muffin tin, or as I explain in the recipe – use muffin liners. Another option is to roll the mixture into balls and freeze that way, or use a silicon muffin tray instead. Hope that helps!

  23. Thanks for a speedy reply, Leanne. What I ended up doing was putting the muffin tray back in the freezer. After a half hour, they came out–no problem. I like your idea of rolling them into balls; I might try that next time. Anyway, since this was the most popular recipe of 2011, I had to try it…I know now why it has been so popular! Thanks for all your fantastic recipes– you are my Martha Stewart!

    • Oh good, I’m glad! Now I know for next time when I’m asked something similar. Thanks for sharing, and for all your nice comments. So happy to hear you like my recipes :)

  24. This recipe looks delicious! I’m just wondering how you stored these and for low long. Are these something I could keep frozen? I would love if I could make a batch and have them last more than a few days!

    • Thanks, Sarah! Yes, you can freeze them. You could try wrapping them individually, I always find that keep things fresher. And they should be good for a couple of months!

  25. I am overwhelmed in a daily basis! LOL! But I find comfort, peace, joy, and happiness in cooking, enjoying good food, and sharing it with friends and family. I’m all about the happy, especially when over-whelmed! Look for twinkles, follow the winks, find your happy. ;)

  26. These look delicious and as a busy mother and thing that is simple to make and healthy is perfect for me and my family.

  27. Holy cow these are amazing! I was out of almond butter, so I used peanut butter. So good! I also used a mixture of nuts such as cashews and pecans. Great job! I love your work!

  28. I found your site a few weeks ago and have been making a few of your recipes a week. I made these last night and they are so yummy!!!! Only problem is, I don’t see how I can just eat one at a time. :-)

    I bagged up two for hubby to take to work this morning, and he just emailed me saying, “Those non-bake things you gave me are amazing.”

    • Wow, so awesome! Haha those cakes don’t last long in our house, either. I’m so very happy that you and your hubby liked them! Have a great weekend, Kim.

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