November 28, 2022

kathleengkane

Be Inspired By Food

Crunchy Pumpkin Spice Granola – Sally’s Baking Addiction

This is super crunchy, cluster-filled pumpkin spice granola, a seasonal favorite filled with fall goodies including pecans, dried cranberries, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin seeds (pepitas). Adding egg whites to the wet ingredients results in super crunchy clusters. The granola is lightly sweetened and healthy; plus, it’s gluten free if using certified GF oats.

close-up photo of pumpkin spice granola with pecans and dried cranberries.

In between all the pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pie during the fall season, it’s wonderfully refreshing to have a pumpkin spice treat that’s on the healthier side. I make this pumpkin spice granola all the time, swapping in different add-ins and goodies. You’ll appreciate that the recipe is super customizable, so if you don’t like nuts or cranberries, for example, you can easily substitute.

Here’s Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Spice Granola:

  • Quick & easy to make.
  • Good-for-you wholesome ingredients.
  • Crunchy! Yes, this granola is crunchy and STAYS crunchy.
  • Texture-packed and ready for your favorite add-ins.
  • Big clusters, aka the best part of granola.
  • Delicious with homemade pumpkin pie spice.
  • Lightly sweetened with maple syrup and a touch of brown sugar.
pink spoon picking up pumpkin granola filled with pecans, dried cranberries, and pepitas.

This recipe has lived on my website since 2013 and it’s consistently a cozy autumnal favorite! It’s by far the crunchiest, most flavorful pumpkin granola I’ve tried, and I tested many variations to figure out the best ratio of ingredients. Have you tried it before?

Key Ingredients to Use & Why

  • Oats: Old-fashioned whole rolled oats are key in this recipe, making up the bulk of the dry ingredients. I don’t recommend quick or instant oats here—you need whole.
  • Egg Whites: Egg whites work as a binder in this recipe, holding the big granola clusters together before, during, and after baking. You need 2 large egg whites, or if you’re using carton egg whites from the store, about 4 Tablespoons is plenty. Do not leave out the egg whites.
  • Pumpkin: Canned pumpkin puree is ideal here. You won’t use the entire can, only 1/2 cup, so check out all of these recipes that use leftover pumpkin to get through the rest of your can.
  • Coconut Oil: Do not leave this out! The fat keeps granola from turning into a mushy mess and adds crunch and richness to every cluster. You can use vegetable oil or melted butter instead if needed.
  • Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup adds flavor and sweetness and you’ll appreciate that most of the sugar in this recipe is unrefined. Use honey or brown rice syrup instead if desired.
  • Brown Sugar: I tested this granola without the brown sugar and, sadly, it wasn’t very tasty—completely bland pumpkin. There’s only 3 Tablespoons of brown sugar total, which isn’t much divided over about 5+ cups of granola. The brown sugar will lightly caramelize over the oats. If you prefer, you can use coconut sugar instead.

Not a fan of pumpkin? You might enjoy this maple almond cranberry granola instead.

many measured ingredients on marble counter including maple syrup, pumpin, oats, pepitas, egg whites, pecans, coconut, and more.

Add-Ins & Extras

The wonderful thing about this recipe, and many of my other granola recipes, is that you can mix and match your add-ins based on what you like and/or what you have on hand.

Here are some suggested substitutes and add-ins:

  • If you don’t like unsweetened coconut, simply leave it out.
  • Not a fan of dried cranberries? Use dried cherries, raisins, chopped dried apples, or leave them out completely.
  • Can’t find pumpkin seeds, aka pepitas? Add more pecans or skip them completely.
  • Add chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or butterscotch chips to the granola as it cools.
  • Add 2 Tablespoons of unsweetened natural or dutch-process cocoa powder with the wet ingredients for chocolate pumpkin granola.

Mix the dry ingredients together, including the oats, spices, and some add-ins. Separately, mix the wet ingredients together and then pour over the dry ingredients:

pouring pumpkin liquid wet ingredients on bowl of oats, pumpkin seeds, and pecans.
pumpkin oat mixture in glass bowl and shown again spread on a lined baking sheet.

Note: Add the dried cranberries AFTER baking; otherwise they will burn.

Success Tip: Don’t Crowd the Baking Sheet

Before baking, the pumpkin granola mixture is very wet. In order for it to bake properly and become crunchy, you must give the granola some breathing room on the lined baking sheet. My #1 piece of advice is to divide the granola mixture between 2 lined baking sheets. Spread it out into an even layer, with plenty of room. This lets the oven’s heat reach every single cluster, to crisp it up.

Stir the granola often as it bakes because this helps prevent it from over-cooking or burning.

pumpkin spice granola spread on lined baking sheet.

Each bite of the granola tastes like lightly sweetened spiced pumpkin with toasted pecans and chewy dried cranberries. There are so many ways to enjoy this! Cereal-style with milk, spooned over yogurt or a smoothie bowl (like this pumpkin protein smoothie!), layered parfait-style with chopped apples and yogurt, or enjoy plain as a take-along snack.

You could even use this as the crunchy topping on soft, maple vanilla baked pears. Delicious!

pink bowl of pumpkin spice granola clusters.

Some Other Healthy Fall Recipes

Print

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Description

A super crunchy and flavorful pumpkin spiced granola, sweetened with maple syrup, a touch of brown sugar, and loaded with fall goodies like pecans, dried cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. Be sure to read the text of the post for substitution options. Granola is naturally gluten free if using certified GF oats.



  1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line two large baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir the oats, coconut, pepitas, pecans, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt together until combined. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg whites for about 1 minute. Then whisk in the melted coconut oil, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined. Pour over dry ingredients and mix until everything is moistened.
  4. Spread mixture out onto prepared baking sheets and bake each batch for 40 minutes, making sure to stir the granola every 10–15 minutes to prevent burning.
  5. Allow granola to cool for 20 minutes on the baking sheets. Granola gets crunchier as it cools. Pour into a large bowl and stir in the dried cranberries.
  6. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. Granola will lose its crunch over time because of the wet pumpkin.


Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Granola is the perfect recipe to make ahead because it stays fresh for so long. Store this in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
  2. Substitutions: Be sure to read the text of the post for substitution options.
  3. Add Uncooked Quinoa: You can add 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa to this recipe and I often do for extra crunch! Mix in with the dry ingredients (the oat mixture).
  4. Pumpkin Pie Spice: You can find pumpkin pie spice in the baking aisle of most grocery stores, or make your own homemade pumpkin pie spice. If you don’t have either and want to use individual spices, use 1/4 teaspoon each: ground ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, and ground allspice. This is in addition to the 2 teaspoons of cinnamon—you will still add that.

Keywords: pumpkin spice granola