How to Keep Homemade Granola Bars From Falling Apart

By: Bob's Red Mill | April 17 2021

Are you a fan of homemade granola bars? If so, then it's likely you have a few go-to recipes to make whenever the craving hits. Here at Bob's Red Mill, we love granola bars and have a few recipes of our own that we're crazy about. One of the reasons we love granola bars so much is because they're a healthy snack that can be enjoyed almost anywhere. Their grab-and-go nature makes them the perfect snack to place in our bags or pack into a school lunch, making it easy for the entire family to stick to their health goals.

Like everything, there are some cons to making homemade granola bars. Depending on the recipe, granola bars can be quite messy. While it's entirely possible to snack on a granola bar in the car, many of us don't do it for fear of getting crumbs everywhere. If crumbs are keeping you from making homemade granola bars, fear not. The crumbly, fall-apart nature of granola bars can easily be fixed with a few simple tips and tricks. By using the right ingredients and cooking methods, you can create granola bars that stay together the entire time you're eating them. Keep scrolling to discover our top tricks to help make granola bars that are sturdy and flavorful.

#1 Start with Oats

PB&J Oat Bars

Want to make granola bars that don't fall apart? Choose oats as your base. Baking a granola bar recipe that uses high-quality oats is an excellent way to create a nutritious and sturdy snack that's ready to eat. Aside from being loaded with fiber and good-for-you nutrients, oats soak up just about everything they're combined with. When mixed with a binding agent like oil or honey, oats will help round up all of the ingredients in a recipe to turn it into one delicious result.

Searching for a granola bar recipe that uses oats as a base? Make these PB&J Oat Bars.

#2 Use Honey

Breakfast Muesli Bars

While making a granola bar with an oat base is an excellent way to create a sturdy snack, a binding agent must be added to tie all of the ingredients together. Not sure what a binding agent is? Let us explain; A binding agent is an element in a recipe that works to form the ingredients into a cohesive whole. Binding agents provide structure and stability and help you produce a more stable outcome. Using the right binding agent in your granola bar recipe is a crucial part of keeping your bars from falling apart. While there are several different sticky ingredients that you can use, we've found that the binding agent that works the best is honey! When added to your homemade granola bars, honey acts as glue that sticks all the pieces together. Another upside of adding honey to your recipe is that it is a natural sweetener, meaning you won't have to add any artificial sweeteners to your recipe. Because honey can withstand heat and molding, it makes for an excellent addition to homemade granola bars.

For a delicious bar recipe that won't fall apart as soon as you bite into it, make these Breakfast Muesli Bars.

#3 Let Bars Fully Bake

Chocolate Amaranth Protein Bars

One of the biggest culprits of crumbly bars is not letting them bake properly. Whether you choose a recipe that requires your bars to enter the oven or a no-bake recipe in which they need to be refrigerated, make sure you follow all of the steps carefully. Bars that have been over or undercooked are much more likely to crumble upon handling. Additionally, letting your bars bake for the required amount of time allows the ingredients in your recipe to properly secure and the flavors to release. The result? You end up with sturdy and flavorful bars that will stay whole until you're ready to enjoy them.

For a low-mess baked granola bar recipe, try out these Raspberry Oatmeal Bars. Or, if you'd like to ditch the baking part altogether, make these no-bake Chocolate Amaranth Protein Bars.

#4 Consider Adding Chia Seeds

chia granola bars

Now, if you've tried all of the tips above and your bars are still crumbling on contact, there's one thing left to do- try adding chia seeds! Chia seeds are often praised for their binding powers. In fact, they secure ingredients so well that they can even be used as an egg replacer. Adding just a spoonful of chia seeds to your favorite granola bar recipe will make a huge difference in its texture. Plus, it will add a significant boost of fiber, antioxidants, minerals and healthy omega-3 fatty acids without changing the flavor of your bar.

By using the tips and tricks listed above, we're confident that your next granola bar recipe will be a success. Whether you choose to make your bar with oats, honey, chia seeds or all of the above, it's important to remember that this snack is what you make of it. Choose your favorite granola bar recipe from our recipe bank, or get creative and make your own using healthy ingredients like organic rolled cut oats. The possibilities are truly endless! From everyone at Bob's Red Mill, happy baking! 


  1. Leanne
    I made oatmeal cookies and they all crumbled apart. Can I turn them into granola bars and how
    1. Elisabeth Allie
      Elisabeth Allie
      The makeup of oatmeal cookies and granola bars are very different! Perhaps crumble them over yogurt or ice cream?
    2. Liz Dike
      There is a recipe when you buy the big containers of oatmeal. Should be home a lid. It is one of the best recipes I have ever found for oatmeal cookies. It is called vanishing oatmeal cookies and it is absolutely amazing.
  2. Peter
    Great ideas! I'l like to make the sesame chia bars shown in #4, but can't find the recipe.
  3. Drina
    I made homemade soft Granola bars. When I cut them after cooling they fell apart, essentially making just granola. How can I fix it to make them into bars?
    1. Elisabeth Allie
      Elisabeth Allie
      Hi Drina! Please email Customer Service at [email protected].
  4. Cassie P
    For Tip #4 Use Chia Seeds to help bind together ingredients in granola bars, do the chia seeds need to be soaked in water/liquid (to create the chia gel) before mixing in with the other ingredients before forming the bars?
    1. Elisabeth Allie
      Elisabeth Allie
      Soaking the chia seeds will certainly help, especially if you're using a recipe that doesn't contain a lot of liquid.
  5. Rita
    Mine are falling apart but absolutely delicious! I’m taking the good with the bad!

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