Pumpkin Granola

I found a recipe a couple of weeks ago for Pumpkin Granola that sounded amazing.  Oats and brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree and applesauce and maple syrup and pecans…Oh goodness, I really wanted to make that granola!  I could taste it in my mind with all of its earthy, spicy wonderfulness.

So, I made it today.

It was terrible.

I couldn’t find a single redeeming thing about its taste.  Oh wait.  The pecans got beautifully toasted.

It’s sitting in a plastic bag on the bottom shelf of my pantry because I didn’t have the heart to toss out something with a cup and a half of pecans in it.

Sigh.  Maybe I can add enough brown sugar to it in my cereal bowl to salvage it.  For the sake of the pecans.

I kept going back to the pan and taking nibbles of that granola trying to convince myself that it was good.  After 5 hours I remained unconvinced.  Then I got irritated.  I looked up my tried and true granola recipe and stared at it for a while trying to think of some way I could use it as a base to make the pumpkin granola that really wanted to be born.  I took some ingredients out of the recipe and added in other ingredients.  Then before I baked it,  I took a little taste and adjusted the spices once more.

It feels good to say that I am pleased with the end product.  This granola is lower in fat than my regular granola because pumpkin puree replaces some of the oil.  Nutmeg and cloves join cinnamon on the spice parade, giving the suggestion of Autumn.  Dark brown sugar replaces the light brown sugar, adding depth to the sweetness with a hint of molasses.  And the pecans…I do love toasted pecans.

The picture shows the granola with dried cranberries as a topping because that is what I had on hand.  I’m thinking that dried apricots might work really well, too.  Or maybe some apple bits.  Of course raisins are always welcome at the party, too.

Pumpkin Granola
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
Printable Recipe

  • 5 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup canola oil (Don’t use olive oil)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg


  1. Preheat oven to 325-degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, and chopped pecans.  Set aside
  4. In a medium size bowl, mix together the dark brown sugar, pumpkin puree, honey, canola oil, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg until smooth.
  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Distribute the granola evenly in the parchment lined baking pan.
  7. Bake in the 325-degree oven for 15 minutes.  Stir with a wide turner.  Bake another 15 minutes.  Stir again.  Bake for another 15 minutes.  Remove pan from oven and test the granola by taking a few pieces out of the pan and blowing on them to cool them.  Taste.  If the granola seems too soft, put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow granola to cool in the pan.  Store in a plastic food storage bag or other airtight container.  Serve with dried fruit as desired.
  8. Note: Do not add the dried fruit until you are ready to serve the granola.  Otherwise, the fruit will become hard as the granola draws the moisture out of it and the granola will become softer.  Not a good plan.

All photos and written content Copyright 2010.


  1. says

    Terri–Why didn’t you ever tell me you have a cooking blog?? I love it! I just discovered it today, when I saw a comment you had left on Our Best Bites. Looking at your sidebar, I see we follow many of the same sites. And I just have to say, I think I may have made the same version of Pumpkin Granola that you first tried. We finished it off (because there are 8 of us) but I was disappointed, too! I’m going to make your version right away!

  2. says

    Ohhhh…wellll…ummm…I wanted to tell you. I almost stopped you at Church last Sunday to talk to you about it and to get your advice. You are such an amazing cook and recipe maker-upper that I chickened out. Thanks for the compliment. This cooking blog stuff is harder than I thought!

    As for that other pumpkin granola, we probably did try the same one. I felt so let down by it. Anyway, let me know what you think about my recipe. I’d love any advice or ideas that you can give me.

    By the way, I have given my extended family your recipes for the Cafe Rio knock-offs and they LOVE them. We had the rice and the pork at a family reunion a couple of years ago and they were a huge hit! I have wantd to post them here, but that meant I would have had to get your permission which meant that I would have had to tell you that I had a cooking blog.

    When I left that comment on Our Best Bites I didn’t even consider that someone might actually read it and KNOW me! hahahahaha…I am so niave.

  3. n82 says

    Hi Terri,

    I am excited to try to make this granola! Which one would you say is your favorite, this one or the other granola recipe on your blog?

  4. says

    Truthfully? It’s hard to say. The other granola is great year round, plus it has more fiber. This Pumpkin Granola has a definite Holiday feel to it because of the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. One of my daughters said that it reminded her of eggnog, as both she and her husband were munching away on it a couple of nights ago. I have been snacking on it while driving home from work at night and the flavors make me feel kind of happy. Maybe it’s because subconsciously I am reminded of Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  5. says

    I just made my second double batch of this granola for the month. The first batch disappeared too quickly and I need more on hand for our company we’ll have this week. This is a great recipe, Terri!

  6. says

    Thanks, Mirien! I’m thrilled that you like this recipe. I remember that we talked about pumpkin granola last year and were both disappointed in the recipes that we had tried. I’m so happy that this one is working well for you. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment.

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