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. I’ve made before but this time I did cranberry, orange with dates.
      Apple cinnamon raisin, walnut
      And third one was apricot, chia, date

    2. Made the apricot, the oatmeal cookie, and now the blueberry cobbler. Looking forward to my version of the carrot cake, coconut cream, and banana bread, as well as cherry pie. My question is, are the bananas the dried chips? Not seeing any other type at my several stores.

    3. Cathe, did you soak the dried fruit in water? And if so, did you drain the fruit and pat it dry as we instruct? As for what to do now, I suggest you place a strainer or colander or fine sieve over a bowl and dump the mixture on top of it and let it drain for several hours or even overnight. Discard the liquid. I’m hoping the strained solids have a consistency that you can work with. Kindly keep us posted…

    4. cathe, honestly, I’m not sure. Something is wrong, clearly. Pancake batter is very runny. This recipe doesn’t create a runny mixture. Did you substitute anything? Or, perhaps, try to scale up the recipe?

    5. I am in love with Larabar’s Mint Chip Brownie, but dang gone it, it’s expensive even at Wal-Mart’s prices. I am new here, and would love to give your Larabar recipes a try. My favorite flavor is this Mint Chip Brownie. The ingredient list is as follows: Dates, Almonds, Semisweet Chocolate Chips (unsweetened chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla extract), Cashews, Cocoa Powder, Peppermint Oil. Could you kindly come up with a recipe for me to follow? Thanks SO MUCH in advance!

      1. Hi Marian, welcome! I hope you like the site. We don’t come up with custom recipes for readers. The cost is exorbitant, and the time requirement is substantial. But we have logged your request, and if we see a recipe for the mint bars that tests well, we’ll post it. Hope you understand.

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