No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars


Growing up, Honey Nut Cheerios were a pantry and breakfast table staple.

I recently bought an economy-sized box that was on sale and needed to make something with them or else we were going to be eating them until Christmas.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

These fast, easy, bars cost just a fraction of storebought bars to make, they’re healthier, and they’ve got fun, bright colors.

In the past I’ve used Golden Grahams, Special K, Chex, Rice Krispies and  many others in recipes, but never the classic O’s until these.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

I have many other microwave and no-bake granola bar recipes. See the Related Recipes below. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars (no-bake, vegan, GF) are my favorites for something that has the texture of a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar and are a cinch to make, while still staying in the healthy realm.

I wanted these to be a snack bar or breakfast bar, on the healthier side, while branching out from recipes I’ve already made or tried.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

Normally I use corn syrup in my microwave bars because it’s cheap, and it makes an excellent glue to bind ingredients. Very little can escape it’s tacky grip.

However, for these I used honey to play up the honey flavor from the cereal. I will be honest, honey does not make as good of a glue as corn syrup. If I were to remake them, I’d use corn syrup.

At room temperature, the bars do get soft and loose, and you’ll need to store them in the fridge.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

I stirred in raisins for extra texture, flavor, fiber, chewiness, and oomph. I know some people don’t like raisins, so feel free to omit them or use dried cranberries, apricots, or another dried fruit.

The recipe is very flexible and you could also stir in honey-roasted peanuts, sliced almonds, or a handful of your favorite trail mix.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

I topped them with chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. If you have a Trader Joe’s in your area, don’t buy them unless you have really good self-control. They’re crunchy, chocolaty, and one step away from eating chocolate candy-coated sprinkles. So good.

They give a fun, bright pop of color to otherwise boring brown bars, and since I knew I was putting these in my 6 year old’s lunch box, I wanted them to be cheery. If you can’t find them in your area, no biggie. Just use another small seed, nut, or omit.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

Between the honey, cereal, raisins, and chocolate-covered seeds, the are were on the sweet side. A sprinkling of Kosher salt cuts that and plays up the salty-and-sweet aspect.

I wish the Cheerios I ate as a kid were this fun to look at.

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars - Fast, easy breakfast/snack bars at averiecooks.com

No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars

These fast, easy, bars cost just a fraction of storebought bars to make, they’re healthier, and they’ve got fun, bright colors. They’re a texture lover’s dream between the cereal, dried fruit, and chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Use what you have on hand and enjoy. Almsot any dried fruit, nut, or seed can be substituted. The bars are perfect for quickie breakfast or snacks on the go.

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Ingredients:

1/4 cup creamy unsalted butter (half of one stick)
1/4 cup honey (light-colored corn syrup may be substituted and will keep the bars firmer at room temp than using honey)
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups Honey Nut Cheerios (or similar storebrand cereal; plain Cheerios may be substituted for a less sweet bar)
1 cup raisins, optional (1 cup  honey-roasted peanuts, 1 cup chopped almonds, or 1 cup trail mix may be substituted)
about 1/2 cup chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, optional (I used Trader Joe’s)
pinch sea salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling, optional

Directions:

  1. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil leaving overhang, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter, honey, brown sugar, and heat on high power for 1 minute to melt.
  3. Stop to stir. Mixture will be on the granular side, this is okay.
  4. Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir
  5. Return bowl to microwave and heat for 1 more minute on high power. Stop to stir. On this third and final burst, mixture will become quite bubbly and foamy; use caution when removing from micro because this is boiling hot caramel and can cause burns.
  6. Stir in the vanilla using caution because mixture could bubble up.
  7. Stir in the cereal.
  8. Stir in the optional raisins (or nuts).
  9. Turn mixture out into prepared pan, packing it down firmly with a spatula and smoothing the top.
  10. Optionally, sprinkle evenly with sunflower seeds and salt (the salt cuts some of the sweetness and I recommend it).
  11. Cover pan with a sheet of foil (to prevent fridge smells), and place pan in fridge to set up for at least 2 to 3 hours, or overnight, or until bars are completely set before lifting out with foil overhang, slicing, and serving.
  12. Bars will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. I recommend storing them in the fridge rather than room temp because they soften and get loose.
Only Eats

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No-Bake Samoas Cookie Granola Bars (vegan, GF) - Healthy granola bars that taste like Samoas Cookies. Easy recipe at averiecooks.com

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Are you a Cheerios or cereal fun?

83 comments on “No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bars”

  1. Those sunflower seeds are brightening up my feedly! Seriously cheery snack bars! Lately, in the evenings before bed, I like to eat a mug full of Honey Nut Cheerios – no milk. (They make for great munching – I’m basically a toddler.) I suppose these snack bars would be a a more elegant evening treat. And I probably wouldn’t find Cheerios all over the place in the morning…

    • I am glad your feedly has been brightened! :)

      And you’re up and you’re a bedtime eater/snacker. Oh that’s why we get along so well. ME TOO! Cereal is great, just behind popcorn sprayed down with coconut oil which is what I am about to make now :)

  2. I’m a cereal nut. I love it partly because there are sooooo many types. And I don’t have a crunchy over soggy preference-the ideal bowl has a little of each:)

  3. I used to buy the variety packs of cereal for my stepdaughter when she was your daughter’s age–Cheerios were usually in there. These bars are so bright and colorful with the candy coated sunflower seeds. I have seen tubes of them at a couple of different dept. stores and at a specialty cake/candy making supply store. I have resisted buying them because I know they would probably go down easier than M&M’s!

    • They do go down way easier than M&Ms. Paula they are SO GOOD. Knowing you, you would love them. They’re a blessing and a curse. Buy at your own risk :) 2 tbsp is on par with the stats of 2 tbsp of nut butter and they go down 10x faster than nut butter…

  4. Love me some honey nut cheerios. Takes me right back to childhood!

  5. These would be the perfect mid-morning mid-afternoon snack! I cannot wait to try these!

  6. These are making me so nostalgic! Honey Nut Cheerios were one of my favorites (those and the frosted O’s of course), and I love the bright sunflower seeds. I want a pan for my “grown up” snack time :)

  7. LOVE how colorful these are with the chocolate covered sunflower seeds! And I mean, come on, how can you go wrong with honey nut cheerios… You just can’t :)

  8. Oh love the idea of the honey to compliment the honey in the cereal. Jason has this thing for cheerios (honey nut or plain). I bet I’d score cereal bar points with these :-) I’m thinking my niece and nephew would love them too.

    • If he’s a Cheerios fan already, he will love them! Honey is a great flavor complement despite it being not a great glue/binder, but it tastes great. And your niece and nephew would definitely call you auntie of the year :)

  9. The colors on these are so fun! I love those sunflower seeds! I actually bought a huge box of cheerios a month ago with granola bars in mind, but they have yet to be made. This makes me really want to revisit my idea! These are perfect for healthy snacking, but they are still sweet enough to fill the sweets craving too! Love that! Awesome recipe, Averie! Pinned!

    • They turned out to be really sweet actually. The sugar, honey, honey nut cheerios (plain would be just fine!), raisins, plenty of sweetness :) And the seeds, love them. Not surprised you do as well!

      And I bought that big box with these in mind and for years I’ve wanted to make crispy treats with marshmallows and cheerios but went with these instead. Thanks for pinning!

  10. All the colors in these are so pretty! Even though the honey isn’t the best glue, I bet it tastes great!

  11. AHHH!!! Those seeds are so cute! These like healthy LCMs (cereal bar we have in Aus) Those seeds must taste delicious!

    I always wondered why people did not think of cheerios in a snack bars sooner, SO much more flavourful than rice bubbles and who can resist those little os?

    • SO much more flavourful than rice bubbles <---never heard them called bubbles. Love that! And yes, so true. Way more flavorful. They're a little 'bulkier' than the rice bubbles so the binder/glue is more of a consideration and I'd probably use corn syrup next time but the honey was adequate. And yes the seeds are SO GOOD. Dangerously good. One step away from eating sprinkles and I love them.

  12. They look so colorful and delicious and they remind me of my childhood!

    M.

  13. How cute!!! These would be great for Easter because of the colors!

  14. Look great! Do you know the calorie count?

  15. Oh.my.gosh. I LOVE honey nut cheerios and have been wanting to put them in some sort of cereal bar for forever! I love your addition of sunflower seeds (they make it so fun!) and how easy this is. This is my dream cereal bar (and I’ve made some of your peanut butter chocolate rice krispy ones and they were incredible) Thanks Averie! Cannot wait to try!

    • Ok if you make these, I would strongly recommend corn syrup if you’re used to my other bars b/c otherwise these will seem super soft to you. Glad you’re loving the others and thanks for trying them!

  16. Ooooh these take me back to childhood snacks in such a good way. Thanks for the nostalgia Averie!

  17. Averie, these are so gorgeous! I’m trying to read but the images are bomb barding my eyeballs with all of this awesomeness!
    I love your tip on how you use the corn syrup when you go the microwave route. Already pinned!

    • Thanks for pinning and yes about the corn syrup. When I use it, I get the occasional ‘ it’s so unhealthy’ or ‘can I use honey instead’ to which I’d reply, “don’t care” and ” use at your own risk” LOL

  18. The colors from those sunflower seeds are just amazing on these bars!!

  19. I love your no bake bars, Averie, and these look so fun and delicious! Pinning.

  20. These are so colourful. I love it

  21. I’m dying over these. love the colours is so beautiful to eat.

  22. These happy bars just brightened up my Thursday! The coloured sunflower seeds are like healthy funfetti. :)

  23. I loved HOney Nut CHeerios growing up! They were my favorite of the “healthy” cereals, anyway. When I got to college, I alternated between those and Frosted Mini Wheats for morning cereal, and the sugary PB Cap’n Crunch/Lucky Charms for my lunch and dinner cereal. There were many days I’d eat cereal for every meal. Many.

    These look delicious and the colors!?! PERFECT.

    • We are twins, right down to our college eating habits. I used to do tons and tons of cold cereal. For breakfast, lunch, dinner, and post-bar. Along with Triscuits with PB on top. I lived on that for like…10 years? H.S., college, early 20s :)

      There were many days I’d eat cereal for every meal. Many. <--- I also think that's growing up where we did with Pillsbury, Betty Crocker, and Gen Mills HQ's being right there. Cereal is just so...rampant! Maybe that's why I make so many cereal bars. lol

  24. What a fun treat! Great recipe Averie, they look fantastic :)

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