Homemade Larabars

Here’s how to make your own homemade larabars with almonds, dates, and all your fave variations—including chocolate, coconut, cashew, cookie dough, lemon, and apple pie. They’re paleo, whole30, cheap, easy, gluten-free, and awesome.

Three homemade Larabars

Why make homemade larabars when you can instead buy them? Well, they’re easy. They’re more economical when you buy your ingredients in bulk. And they’re eminently easy to customize. Although we think the biggest reason these homemade larabars are so darn indispensable is because they taste ridiculously terrific. The recipe that follows is for cherry pie, but we’ve also included variations beneath the recipe for dark chocolate brownie, banana bread, pb&j, cookie dough, apple pie, and more. Or rely on your own imagination. Let us know your loveliest creations in a comment below.–Renee Schettler Rossi

What Type Of Dates Are Best For Homemade Larabars?

Whole dates are best for this homemade Larabars recipe, but if prechopped dates are all that you can find in stores, go ahead and use them. You’ll need to soak prechopped dates separately from any other dried fruit you may use in this recipe because they only need 2 to 3 minutes of soaking. (If they’re left to soak for too long, they’ll begin to disintegrate.) And not to worry if your prechopped dates come coated with oat flour or sugar. The coating will rinse away with the soaking water.

Homemade Larabars

  • Quick Glance
  • (41)
  • 15 M
  • 50 M
  • Makes 6 bars
4.7/5 - 41 reviews
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Ingredients

  • For cherry pie larabars

Directions

Rip off a large piece of parchment paper or plastic wrap, press it into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan, and, if using plastic wrap, slick it with a little oil.

Combine the cherries, dates, and warm water in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until the fruit is soft. (If the dried fruit you’re using is already super soft and moist, you can skip the soaking step.)The exact timing will vary according to the dryness of the fruit.

Drain the fruit, discarding the soaking water. Pat the fruit completely dry with paper towels.

Meanwhile, place the almonds in a food processor and process until finely chopped but not paste-like.

Add the drained fruit, cinnamon, and salt (if using), to the food processor and pulse until the fruit is finely chopped and the larabar mixture begins to stick together and clump against the sides of the bowl and your processor starts hopping on the counter just a little. This could take up to 2 minutes.

Transfer the larabar mixture to the prepared loaf pan. (Alternatively, you can form the mixture into any size or shape you can imagine. Go a little crazy.) Place
 a large piece of parchment paper or wrap slicked with oil atop the bar mixture and use it to spread and flatten the mixture evenly in the pan. (If you have a second loaf pan, you can nestle it inside the first and press the pan down to evenly flatten the mixture.) Leave the paper or wrap in place. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Using the paper or wrap hanging over the edge of the pan, lift the bar mixture from the pan and transfer it to a cutting board. Discard the paper or wrap and cut the rectangle into 6 bars. Tightly wrap each bar in wrap. The bars will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days, in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 3 months (let the frozen bar thaw for 1 hour before attempting to bite into it). Originally published October 7, 2013.

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    Larabar Variations

    • Dark Chocolate Brownie Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw walnuts, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate, 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Apple Pie Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup dried apples, 1/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw pecans or walnuts, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Cashew Cookie Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (optional), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Peanut Cookie Dough Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup 
raw peanuts, 3 tablespoons bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (optional), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional). [Editor’s Note: The use of peanuts makes this version not acceptable on the whole30 plan.]

    • Pecan Pie Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1/4 cup raw almonds, 3/4 cup raw pecans, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Gingerbread Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw pecans, 3/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves.

    • PB & J Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1/2 cup packed dried cherries, 3/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw or roasted peanuts, 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional). [Editor’s Note: The use of peanuts makes this version not acceptable on the whole30 plan.]

    • Cappuccino Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water,
1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1 tablespoon roasted coffee beans, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Tropical Escape Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup dried, unsweetened pineapple, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, and 1 tablespoon finely grated tangerine or orange zest (preferably organic).

    • Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup raisins, 1 cup warm water, 3/4 cup raw cashews, 3/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Blueberry Cobbler Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed dried blueberries, 1/4 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 3/4 cup raw walnuts or raw pecans, 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (preferably organic), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Carrot Cake Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1/2 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup dried, unsweetened pineapple, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw walnuts, 1/4 
cup peeled, shredded carrots, 1/4 cup unsweetened flake or shredded coconut, 2 teaspoons coconut oil, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Apricot Ambrosia Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups dried apricots, 1 cup warm water, 2/3 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Key Lime Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked or shredded coconut, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest (preferably organic), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Lemon Pie Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 1/4 cups packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup raw cashews, 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest (preferably organic), and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Coconut Cream Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup packed, pitted, soft whole dates, 1 cup warm water, 1 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup unsweetened flake or shredded coconut, and 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt (optional).

    • Banana Bread Larabars
    • Prepare the bars according to the above recipe, substituting the following ingredients: 1 cup raw or dry roasted almonds, 1 cup dried bananas, and 1 cup Medjool dates.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    We absolutely love Larabars at our house, so this recipe was really a dream come true. Not only is it healthful, using minimal ingredients that are widely available, but it’s so easy. It only took about 10 minutes to put together. I made the cashew cookie and cappuccino varieties, and they were both outstanding. My husband mentioned he liked them better than the packaged brand. This recipe produces a snack that’s chewy and satisfies a craving for something sweet.

    The recipe works exactly as written. I found that the recipe is very forgiving and that the nuts in each recipe are interchangeable. (I made the cashew cookie recipe with both almond and cashews in it, while I accidentally used only cashews in the cappuccino mixture.) I’d like to play with the recipe and add some pumpkin with pumpkin pie spice to the basic ingredients.

    What a fantastic, healthy, no-cook nut-and-fruit bar recipe! These taste much better than I imagined they would. I mean, they were roll-your-eyes-to-the-back-of-your-head good. My family LOVED them! And it’s amazing how quickly these come together. I’ve already made them twice in one day.

    I make other types of granola bars, but I’d never tried Lara before, so I was excited to try this recipe. I purchased the ingredients in bulk as suggested, and I even stopped by the granola bar section to read the nutrition label on the “real thing.” Sure enough, the ingredients are very basic, just like this recipe. I first made the cherry pie, blueberry cobbler, and pecan pie varieties. Later on in the day I made the cashew version, once I found out it’s my mom’s favorite Lara flavor. And I recently made the banana bread variation as well and it was soooooo good! I dried my own bananas in the oven because I don't have a dehydrator. (I sliced 3 bananas into 1/4-inch rounds, spread the slices out onto greased parchment paper—don't skip this step—and stick them in the oven at 175°F for 2 hours. My yield was 1 cup unsweetened dried bananas that were floral, sweet, and addicting!)

    All the combos are great, making it hard to pick a winner, but if I had to choose, it’d be the blueberry cobbler.

    This is a quick and easy and fun recipe to make. I felt like a kid in the kitchen and my husband was impressed with “my” creativity. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is wrapping the bars!

    My tips are as follows:

    Use very moist dates; it makes a huge difference. I didn’t soak my dried cherries and blueberries, as the dried fruit still felt somewhat soft and I was afraid of too much moisture in the bars. The mixture still came together in the food processor just fine.

    When pressing the mixture into the pan, I placed a piece of parchment paper on the bottom and pressed the mixture down into the shape of the pan, then placed another piece of parchment paper over the top of the mixture and flipped the whole bar over and back into the pan. Then I pressed out the whole length of the uncut bar, making it even and flat on both sides. I did this for all 3 flavors and then just stacked them on top of one another in my loaf pan with the parchment paper separating each flavor. The 3 batches stacked in my loaf pan perfectly, and I popped the whole thing in the fridge covered in plastic wrap.

    The ingredients for these bars can be pricey, especially if making versions with pecans or dried fruit. But they’re delicious and well worth the $$$ and effort.

    This is an excellent recipe, and I’ll be making it often.

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    Comments

    1. The whole point of Larabars is to eat simple, whole food bars with only 4 or 5 ingredients. Adding oil ruins this.

    2. I’m excited to give these a try! I’ve just been introduced to Larabars, and I enjoy making my own homemade foods when possible.

      One question. I really like Key Lime flavor in general, but haven’t tried the Larabar variety because I don’t like coconut. Could I leave that out, or should I substitute something in its place to get the right consistency? Thanks!

      1. Rebecca, if there’s a type of nut you like that you think would pair well with the lime, you could substitute that for the coconut. Or you could leave the coconut out. Let us know how they turn out!

      1. I want to make the Apple Cobbler protein Larabar that has 11g of pea protein. I used your recipe for the apple pie Larabar adding pea protein but it was too dry. Although I added more dates and dried apples the bars were missing the apple taste. What would be the list of ingredients for the apple bar with protein? Thanks!

        1. Vivian, we’ve never tried making the pea protein version, so we can’t really say. According to the larabar website, the ingredients are the same, with almonds swapped in for the walnuts or pecans, and the addition of pea protein. If you found them to be too dry, perhaps try reducing the total amount of almonds and pea protein.

      2. Vivian, can you clarify your question? Are you wondering how the protein content will change in the apple pie version?

    3. LOVE this recipe! Sooo easy!!! I added dried prunes, apricots, and figs in addition to the dates… because I had them and needed to use them up… because I probably won’t make hamentashen this year… I also added coconut flakes and chunky nuts; rolled them and refrigerated overnight. The next day I separated into bar-sized portions, labeled and froze extras to pop-out whenever I wanted a sweet treat! Yummy!!! Thanks 4 this recipe!

      1. Lovely to hear, Great Leader. These are so easy to play around with by adding different flavors as you did. Enjoy!

    4. I’ve made these bars three times and didn’t quite realize why they were such unmitigated disasters until the third time: the water isn’t for the bar itself, but for soaking the dried fruit before adding them to the food processor. The recipe even suggests patting the fruit dry (silly me!).

      So, word of advice to anyone who plan on giving it a go; read carefully. (And maybe put in parentheses next to the cup of water mentioning it’s only for soaking?)

      The third bar turned out much better after I opted not to add any water at all, but I (once again) misread it and kept the food processor going for too long and it became a paste. Delicious, but not the right texture (and rather delicate).

      Five stars for flavor, since all flaws so far has been user error (oops).

      1. Kasey, many, many thanks for sharing your experience so that we can make the recipe wording less confusing and more foolproof! Greatly appreciate you taking the time to write us with this aim in mind. I’m tweaking the recipe according to your suggestion. I GREATLY appreciate this! As for the third batch, well, practice makes perfect, yes?! Looking forward to hearing which recipe on our site you try next…!

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