Homemade Cereal Bars (Delicious, Kid-Friendly Lunch Idea)

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Homemade Cereal Bars Recipe: Easy, Kid-Friendly, Delicious!

Homemade Cereal Bars Recipe

I’ve been sharing fun, kid-friendly recipes for school lunches this week. In case you missed them, make sure to check out my Alphabet Soup and Mini Calzone recipes too!

I recently stumbled on this recipe for homemade cereal bars at Yummy Mummy Kitchen. Unfortunately, I think I’m not half the cook this blogger is because the first attempt of my bars turned out less than pretty (you’ll see what I mean in a minute). But I love her idea and incorporated some of her alternate ideas as well as some of my own modifications to create a recipe that is easy to pull together for even the novice home cook and budget-friendly.


  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (hey – I got to use my homemade version!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1-2 tbsp milk (any kind)
  • jam of your choice (for filling)
  • raw turbinado sugar (optional)

There are two basic parts to this recipe: creating the dough, and adding the filling. The Yummy Mummy version has you creating both from scratch, but observe what happened when I tried this:

fillingWhile it tasted AMAZING, the filling I wound up with was way too thin and made a huge, gooey, purple-y mess that spurted outside of my cereal bars. At some point while I was prepping my blueberry filling I realized I was basically making jam. Hence today I’m going to just encourage you – grab your favorite jar of jam for this recipe! It can even be something you canned yourself. I think you’ll be happier with the result!


Start by making your dough in your food processor. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, oats, and cinnamon. Pulse until blended. In a small dish, whisk the egg with the honey, vanilla, and butter. Then, add it to the mixture in the food processor. Finally, add a little bit of milk (about 1 tablespoon at a time) until the mixture binds up, as pictured in the final photo above right.

Instead of taking the whole shebang out of the processor, I decided to make one cereal bar at a time. I found this was infinitely easier and less frustrating than trying to create a perfect rectangle and cutting it into strips.

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I found 2 tablespoons of the dough per bar was generally great. Flatten it out with a rolling pin gently into a rectangle and add a little bit of the jam filling. I had lemon curd on hand, so that’s what I used. I think raspberry, strawberry or pumpkin butter would also be awesome! Make sure to not put the filling too close to the edge, lest it leak out during the baking process.

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Press the dough gently over the filling. I sealed mine using the back end of a fork, all the way around. I found that this was pretty effective in keeping the thing together during baking and preventing the filling from oozing. Even so, you don’t want too think of a filling (observe the blueberry goo at above left!).

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Just before baking, you can press some sugar crystals into the top of the dough if you want. I had sucanat, so that’s what I used. About 15 minutes or so should on a lined or lightly-sprayed pan should do the trick for these puppies.

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My recipe made a total of 8 bars. I like buying the oats and flour in bulk to keep the price down, which you can definitely find at in the Nutrition Center of your Fred Meyer store. I also love that this recipe makes use of ingredients you likely already have in your pantry and fridge, too!

My son gave these two thumbs up and I think they’d be a fun addition to a child’s lunchbox – perhaps with some fresh fruit, cheese, meat or hard boiled egg. What do you think?

In case you missed them – make sure to check out the ideas I shared for Alphabet Soup and Mini Calzones this week, too!

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post from Fred Meyer. They additionally provided me with a gift card for the purposes of this post. For information on how this blog makes (and does not make) money, please see my Disclosure Policy.

4 thoughts on “Homemade Cereal Bars (Delicious, Kid-Friendly Lunch Idea)”

  1. When I think of Instant Oats, I think of the little single-serve packages. Is that correct? Or do you mean the quick-cooking, 1-minute oats? That seems more likely. Thanks!

    • You could use either – I used the quick- cooking kind found in bulk. I suppose instant would work as well. Perhaps I’ve been a bit confusing with my language – sorry! Basically, I just wouldn’t use the kinds that require longer cook times.

  2. I made a batch of these on Saturday with my moms homemade strawberry jam. The kids loved them so much that my boys both wanted to make more on Sunday. So I made a batch with each of them.

    I just wish I could get the dough to roll out a little thinner but they are yummy even as is.

    One thing I found helpful was to fork press the seam then flip it over and do it again on the other side. They stay together a bit better that way.

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