This recipe for cereal snack clusters is super easy, but it still went through many batches of testing to get the flavors just right. Not that we minded. All 6 batches that I made in one day, were polished off in just a few days. It’s a great way to turn leftover plain cereal into a grab-and-go snack or healthy treat.
Easy Cereal Snack Clusters made with Pantry Leftovers
When my niece lived with us, it was a struggle to get her to eat breakfast before school. It had to be sweet and portable, which previously meant Pop Tarts. Fortunately, these cereal snack clusters became a surprise favorite, and offer a bit more on the nutrition front.
These autumn-inspired cereal snack clusters are indeed sweet, but not overly so. They are spiked with a double-dose of almonds, flaxseeds and a healthy, whole grain gluten-free cereal. We like maple syrup for sweetening in this recipe, but since it can be pricey, I’ve offered some less expensive alternatives that will still result in some delicious cereal clusters.
You can also mix up the nuts and dried fruit that you use. And you can use chia seeds instead of flaxseeds, if that’s what you have on hand. I like to use Uncle Sam Cereal in these – it’s got a good crispy flake and no added sugar – but you can use another low sugar cereal. Basically, this is a great dairy-free recipe for cleaning out your pantry!
Special Diet Notes: Cereal Snack Clusters
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.
For nut-free cereal snack clusters, use your favorite nut-free peanut butter alterntative, like SunButter, and substitute pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, oats, or more cereal for the almonds.
- 4 cups dairy-free whole grain cereal (I use Uncle Sam Cereal; can sub gluten-free, if needed)
- 1⅓ cups almond slices
- ¾ cup maple syrup (see note below for options)
- ¼ cup unsalted almond butter
- 2 tablespoons flaxseeds, finely ground
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup dried cranberries, chopped dried apples, or a combination of both
- Preheat your oven to 250ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together the cereal and almond slices.
- In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, almond butter, ground flaxseed, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.
- Pour the maple mixture over the cereal and almonds, and stir to evenly coat.
- Spread the mixture on your prepared baking sheet, flattening it out, but with the ingredients still touching.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes on the baking sheet.
- Break into clusters and toss with the dried fruit.
Sweetener Option: If maple syrup isn’t within your budget, feel free to substitute your favorite liquid sweetener, such as honey (not vegan), brown rice syrup, agave nectar or date syrup. The flavor will vary, but it will still be tasty.