Crispy, Crunchy, Clustery Maple-Pecan Granola

I have recently become seriously addicted to muesli. It started with me eating small spoonfuls straight from the jar – I found that by using a small spoon I could a higher dried fruit : oats ratio. This was much to my mum’s annoyance, because I ended up eating basically all the fruit (

Anyway, I eventually found myself eating it like a proper person, in a bowl, with yogurt (which I am also now re-addicted to). I’ve also found that muesli has rekindled my love of oats in a big way.
It made me remember the days when I used to eat that super sweet Quaker Oats granola and maple flavoured crunchy granola bars. Good times.
So it was inevitable that this would happen: my ideal granola was born – crunchy, crispy, clustery; maple-pecan granola. It is to die for.

The funny thing is, this healthier snacky alternative to things like oatmeal cookies, had left unhealthier snack options neglected:

When gathering ingredients to make my granola, I found a sad box of barely eaten ‘cookies and cream’ pop tarts, sitting in the corner of the cupboard alone. I only noticed them there when I was getting out the super awesome, ever popular oats, which were piled up high in the opposite corner of the cupboard. I reached for the bright blue pop tart box, tipped the contents into the bin, and set about making a cosy home for my granola with the now empty box.

And guess what? You can make this granola and a fabulous home for it by up-cycling an old pop tart box too!

You can even have the label for it here
Now we can be granola buddies!

(if you don’t care about making the box, scroll down for the recipe)

1. Carefully disassemble the pop tart box and lay it out on a piece of paper with the printed side facing down.

2. Paint the non-printed side in your desired colour – you don’t have to paint the ‘flavour card’ area. (If it’s quite wet, let it dry a bit, then flip it over and put a few books on top of it so that it will dry flat.)
3. Once dry, Cut out the ‘flavour card’ – this will be the front face of the box where the clear ‘window’ is.

4. Take some wrapping paper or printed paper and cut it out into separate panels which will fit on each face of the box. I like to leave a small margin around the edges for some leeway.

5. Stick the panels of paper onto the printed side of the box with a glue stick, so that it is completely covered. Trim of any excess paper. This is the inside of your box.

6. If you want a crackle effect like I have on two sides of my box, then follow the rest of the steps . If not, skip onto step 10.
7. Paint a generous amount of PVA (elmer’s) glue on the areas where you want a crackle effect, with all the brush strokes going in the same direction.
8. Let the glue dry for 5-10 minutes, when it should still be sticky. Now paint over it, with the same direction of brush strokes as before, using slightly watered down acrylic paint. As it dries, it will crackle.
9. Once completely dry, you can cover up any cracks that you don’t want with more paint.

10. Cut a piece of acetate ( thin, clear, but sturdy plastic) so that it is the size of the front face of your box. Put a thin line of double sided tape, or glue, along the edges of the acetate. Stick it down over the hole where you cut out the ‘flavour card’, on the papered side of the box.

11. Print out the label, cut it out and colour it in however you want (or edit it in photoshop and print it out in colour).

12. Put double sided sticky tape or glue onto the back of the label, and stick it to the front of the acetate window you just stuck in.

13. Fold the box back up, and glue it back together. Let it dry.

You can store the granola literally in the box, or pour it into a small cereal bag and put that into the box so it stays fresher.

Crispy, Crunchy and Clustery; Maple-Pecan Granola

Dry ingredients:
1 cup (2.8 oz / 80g) old fashioned oats
1 cup (2.8 oz / 80g) rolled oats
1 cup (2.8 oz / 80g) malted wheat flakes (or sub with an equal amount of old fashioned oats)
1/3 cup (1.5 oz / 45g) whole wheat flour
2 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp wheat germ
2 tbsp powdered milk
1 tbsp coarse cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fleur de sel

Wet ingredients:
1/4 cup (2 oz / 55g) unsalted butter
1/3 cup (2.5 oz / 70g ) demerara sugar (raw sugar)
1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup / agave syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple extract
1 egg white

1/3 cup (3 oz / 85g) chopped pecans
1 tsp maple syrup / agave syrup

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C), and line a large, rimmed cookie tray with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the sugar and maple/agave syrup and continue cooking over a medium-low heat whilst stirring, for 3 minutes. Take off the heat and stir in the extracts. Pour this mixture gradually into the dry ingredients whilst stirring until all of it is mixed in and all the dry ingredients are coated. Let it cool a bit, then mix in the egg white, until fully combined.

Pour the mixture onto the lined cookie tray and press it down to form a large, compact sheet of granola mixture which covers the entire tray. Put it into the oven, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and break the granola up into about 16 large pieces. Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes. Break each large piece into 3-4 pieces and stir the granola around with a metal spatula. Put it back into the oven for 10 minutes.

Whilst it bakes, stir together the pecans and syrup in a small bowl.

Remove the granola from the oven and break it up into the size you want. Pour on the pecan mixture. Flip and stir it all together with the metal spatula and put back into the oven for a final 5 – 10 minutes.

Let the granola cool on the tray for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a container.

15 thoughts on “Crispy, Crunchy, Clustery Maple-Pecan Granola”

  1. Super cute box idea (I’ve done some other similar ones). The granola sounds great! I’m pinning this!

  2. Russell at Chasing Delicious

    How cute is this! I am loving that box and what a scrumptious granola! I am loving your blog by the way. I’m glad I stumbled across it.

  3. You are amazing! I just came across your blog. Am super impressed with the prettiness + awesome recipes (:

  4. Wow, what a neat way to re-purpose a poptart box, or any small food box for that matter. And I love the granola recipe!

  5. Hi there, I stumbled across your blog a couple of days ago and have completely fallen in love with it! I was just wondering though, where do you get your maple extract from (I also live in London and have had trouble trying to track some down)

    1. thanks Liz! I got the maple extract when I was in America – I’ve never seen it here in the UK. Might be able to order it online?

  6. Hi Izy,

    Amazing that you made your own box, something I love doing, especially with the printable label! Very creative! Just had a couple of questions… old fashioned oats vs rolled oats… when I googled it I wasn’t able to get a clear answer on what the difference was. Also, when I make your delicious recipe I hope to use maple syrup, and I’ve never seen maple extract in the shops I go to, would you be able to substitute for extra vanilla extract? I had to google fleur de sel too! 🙂

    keep up the amazing work, my friend just showed me this blog!


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  9. You are ridiculously awesome, yummy granola (I’m making it tomorrow) and a gorgeous DIY box, high five!

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