48 Homemade Breakfast Cereals

I like variety. Sure, sometimes during the week I can get on a kick and eat the same thing every night for dinner (hellooo, lima beans, I’m lookin’ at you), but I also really appreciate mixing it up every now and then.

That’s why a few months ago when I decided I wanted some breakfast cereal, I went to the store and bought about 8 different boxes of the stuff. Each morning needed to have its own flavor — as long as the nutrition facts were acceptable. What? Don’t look at me like that. Sure, I may be the same girl who posted the Coffee Cookie Dough Fudge Cheesecake, but I do try to eat reasonably during the week!

The store-bought cereal was okay. At least, I thought it was okay at the time. But then something happened — I had one of those thunderous BIG IDEAS.

It all started when I was perusing one of my favorite blogs, Not So Humble Pie, and saw her (you’re not going to believe it) S’mores Candy Bar. I know. Insane.

The premise of her post was that she didn’t understand the excitement over this new company that makes customizable candy bars, since it’s so easy to make them at home. Having been excited about the customizable candy bar company, I felt admonished. And inspired.

Because even more than I had been excited about customizable candy bars, I was excited about customizable cereal. There’s this company on the web (I won’t link to them, since I’m about to tell you it’s silly to pay for their product) that allows you to choose all the ingredients you want in your own personal box of cereal — and even lets you pick a name for your new creation! Too fun!

BUT. I realized when I read Mrs. Humble’s candy bar post that it didn’t make any sense to pay for one kind of customized cereal (that was just like going to the grocery store), or even for eight kinds of customized cereal . . . what would really make sense is to make your own fully customizable cereal buffet — one that would allow you to have a different flavor every day if you wanted to!

A dream was born. I scrounged up recipes for homemade granola and nutty bran flakes (I’ll gush about these in a minute). And as if to emphasize that making homemade cereal was indeed my destiny, the folks at Oh! Nuts emailed to ask if I’d like to review some of their products. Uh, YES, NUT PEOPLE, YOU READ MY MIND. Pounds of nuts and dried fruits later, I was in the cereal-makin’ biz.

If you’re about to post a comment calling me a hippie for making my own bran flakes, hold it right there. This recipe is super easy, super cool, and super rewarding. You feel like a superhero (who makes their own cereal?! I MAKE MY OWN CEREAL! I AM CEREAL WOMAN!), you know exactly what healthy ingredients went into said cereal, and — this is the best part — you have bran flakes that don’t taste like a cardboard box. Every time I opened the jar they were stored in, I got a whiff of delicious nuttiness. They had texture! They had taste! Yes!

The granola is the flavor that really carries the cereal, though. I chose a Double Coconut Granola from Opera Girl Cooks that I’d heard a ton about. Once it cooled, it lived up to the hype — buttery, slightly sweet, coconutty, with a hint of salt to really amp it up.

Once you’ve made some flakes and granola, the fun starts. Possible add-ins are endless: dried fruits, fresh fruits, toasted nuts (do make sure to toast them — MUCH more flavor), seeds, chocolate chips, peanut butter or cinnamon chips, candy, marshmallows . . . be creative! Add a little, add a lot.

My favorite bowl was a straight-up combination of all my options: bran flakes, double coconut granola, dried cherries, dried blueberries, cinnamon pecans, and toasted walnuts. If you have just 2 dried fruits and two nut options along with your flakes and granola, you’ll have 48 possible breakfast cereal varieties — that’s a lot of options!

The Oh! Nuts products were a success in terms of taste — the blueberries had a pronounced, wonderful blueberry flavor, and the cinnamon pecans were so addictive that I almost ate my stash before I got my cereal made! The sour cherries did have an odd, slightly fishy flavor (I know, weird), but I still enjoyed eating them. Maybe a flavor compound of the cherries came out that isn’t as pronounced when they’re not dried?

To be honest, including the price of shipping, I probably wouldn’t spend the extra money to buy regular nuts or fruit from Oh! Nuts, but would just head to the grocery store. That being said, for specialty items or rare nuts/fruits/candies, they’re the place to go. The selection is huge, and the products are high quality.

If you, like me, love a big ol’ bowl of hearty, nutty, earthy, crunchy, chewy, flavorful, delicious breakfast cereal — and one that can change with whatever mood you’re in — I hope you’ll make your own personal cereal buffet! Or perhaps fix a cereal buffet in pretty jars as a gift for a friend. Even better, have a breakfast party: set up a cereal buffet for family and friends where each person can make their own cereal combination, perhaps supplemented with juice and muffins on the side. Have fun!

Oh, by the way, I did have to branch out a little in homage to my original inspiration. How about some S’mores Cereal?

Below you’ll find the recipes for granola and nutty bran flakes. I even included nutritional info so you can make healthy breakfast choices! Round up some of your favorite add-ins and place all the components in separate jars for storage. Enjoy!

Homemade Nutty Bran Flakes



Recipe by: Adapted from Mr. Breakfast
Yields: about 3-4 servings (NOTE: Feel free to double this recipe! I wish I had.)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup bran
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup almond flour (or other finely ground nuts)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and add milk and water. Stir to mix well. The resulting mixture will be a very wet “dough” (so wet, you can hardly call it a dough). Cut two sheets of parchment paper to fit two baking sheets, and set one sheet of parchment paper on the counter where you’ll be rolling — you won’t be able to transfer it without this!

Glop half of the “dough” out onto the sheet of parchment paper and flatten it by hand. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the dough and “roll” it out (your rolling pin will almost just be smooshing it out into place) EXTREMELY THIN, almost transparent in some places. It will look like a giant bran flake — super fun!

Remove the plastic wrap and transfer the parchment carefully to a baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, but check often after just 5, because such a thin dough can easily burn. You’re looking for a thin, leathery cracker that is crunchy at the edges. When it’s done, remove it and allow it to cool completely. While it cools, repeat the process with the other half of the dough.

After both giant bran flakes have finished their first bake, reduce the oven temperature to 275 degrees. Tear the first, cooled bran flake into regular bran flake-sized pieces (about 3/4 of an inch), spreading them out on the parchment-covered baking sheet.

Bake at the reduced temperature for 20 minutes, flipping and stirring the flakes around every 5 minutes. Repeat process with the second cooled, giant bran flake. Then allow all bran flakes to cool completely. Store well in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

Nutritional Info: Serving size: about 1/4 of total yield Calories: 146.3, Fat: 5g, Sodium: 185mg, Carbs: 24.5g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 5.5g


Now that I’ve shared my favorites with you, I’m anxious to know: What sort of breakfast cereal would you make for yourself? PiΓ±a colada cereal with toasted coconut and dried pineapple? Cherry crumble cereal with dried cherries and cinnamon granola? A luscious combo of dates, coconut, and chocolate chips?

Double Coconut Granola



Recipe by: Adapted from Opera Girl Cooks
Yields: 3 cups of granola (NOTE: Double if you’d like more for snacking, because you’re gonna love this stuff)

Ingredients:
3 cups rolled oats
1 scant cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup clover honey
1/6 cup virgin coconut oil (half of a 1/3 cup measure)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (I used almond because I was out of vanilla)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
optional: I toasted another 1/2 cup of sweetened shredded coconut to add in for sweetness, but that was before I’d tasted the cooled batch. It’s probably unnecessary.

Directions:
Heat oven to 300 degrees F. Combine oats and shredded coconut in a large bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, cook honey, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until just simmering.

Pour honey mixture over the oat mixture, stirring well with a wooden spoon until fully combined. Spread this mixture out over a large sheet pan, place in oven, and bake for 10 minutes before stirring the granola. Repeat 10 minute baking time, followed by stirring, until granola is well-toasted (takes about 4 cycles, or about 40 minutes).

Cool the granola on the baking sheet, stirring occasionally. When cooled, you can store granola in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few weeks, or at room temperature for two.

Nutritional Info: Serving size: 70 grams (about 1/2 cup) Calories: 233, Fat: 12g, Sodium: 122mg, Carbs: 32g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 8g, Protein: 4.5g (NOTE: I’d use half a serving if I were combining the granola with bran flakes in my cereal)

Other delicious breakfast ideas floating around the internet right now: Beer Waffles with Cinnamon Cardamom Apples, S’mores Oatmeal, Oatmeal Pancakes, Pecan Sticky Buns, and of course, from yours truly, Carrot Cake Waffles.

Note: I received the above mentioned products from Oh! Nuts free of charge for review.

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109 Comments

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109 responses to “48 Homemade Breakfast Cereals

  1. Oh! This is great! I just tried my hand at making my own granola yesterday…and boy, let me tell you, once you make your own you will never go back! Of course, you probably already knew that. Your blog is great, one of my favorites πŸ™‚

  2. Yum! I’m a cereal fanatic and the idea of making my own is awesome. I love what you did and too cool that you got to review oh nuts! I’ve drooled over their website on more than one occasion.

  3. I never thought of making my own cereal. Your cereal recipe sounds amazing, and looks so pretty too.

  4. How fabulous! S’mores breakfast cereal! That’s one for the books … or the belly!

  5. What a fun read, smiled all the way through nodding vigourously in agreement. Nothing like homemade cereals with all those little extra ‘somethings’.

  6. Julie, you are so clever! I feel a similar sense of accomplishment when I make my own cereal (sadly I haven’t made my own for a few months) and breads too. And Smores cereal? Take that straight to the checkout, I’m sold! πŸ˜›

  7. I used to make my own granola from a Moosewood Restaurant cookbook. My favorite flavor was chocolate cherry: dried cherries and mini chocolate chips.

    I’ll have to try making those bran flakes. Bear eats cold cereal every morning.

    • Julie

      I think someone mentioned the Moosewood Restaurant Cookbook on LJ! Have to go check and make sure I’m not mixed up. Chocolate cherry sounds amazing!

  8. Oh Julie I so love your DIY attitude! Exactly how I feel!

  9. I want to be a cereal woman too. It never occurred to me to make bran flakes, what a fun idea. My daughter might think I went off the deep end though. But I’m sure it’s fabulous.

    • Julie

      I was wondering if the Blogosphere was going to feel like I went off the deep end, Barbara, but they are surprisingly fun and easy to make — and feel like a satisfying accomplishment πŸ™‚

  10. You are fabulous! I love this idea. How many times do I look at cereal boxes and think that I would get one kind if only it also had this in it… or what if this had a little less sugar and a little more bran and protein…

    And I completely love that you made bran flakes, and I am going to make them. I think I would do the bran flakes and dried cherries… and I’m not sure what else yet. I’m kind of on a dried cherry kick.

  11. I love your idea of custom cereal! How practical to have a cereal buffet when there are lots of people in your house and everybody likes something different. I just started making my own granola this summer, but have never made bran flakes. What a great idea!

    • Julie

      This was my first granola, Betty, and it was definitely a good one! Now I’m a believer πŸ˜‰ The bran flakes were so fun to make, too.

  12. Well look at you Cereal Woman making your own bran flakes. How cool is that?

    By the way, those cinnamon pecans sound killer!

  13. Oh my… I am a cereal fiend, but I HATE buying it. The ‘good’ stuff is just soooooooo expensive….

    Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that you are a genius. I can’t wait to try this and start making my own cereal! How awesome!

    I’m thinking cinnamon and honey granola, almonds and… Hmmm.. Maybe it sounds weird, but I think some crisp fresh apples or sliced banana might be good in there, too. Kinda simple, but hey – that’s how I like my breakfast πŸ˜‰

  14. Candice

    I’ve never seen your blog before and I arrived here via foodgawker.
    I really enjoyed reading your post. I make my own granola but have never even considered making my own bran flakes.
    After reading your post I will have to give it a try. It looks amazing!

  15. theteachercooks

    I do think that I am going to have to try making cereal now. What stunning photographs!

  16. Brilliant! You rock Julie. I love it.

  17. This is amazing, Julie. I Love, Love, Love cereal and sometimes even have it for dinner. I can’t imagine why it never occurred to me before to make my own. Especially knowing exactly what I look for in a cereal (I’m an earthy, crunchy, fruity, nutty cereal girl as well! ;)). Not to mention, the prices of a box of cereal have sky-rocketed so this is definitely a good option to not only get what you want, but save money! Great post! And love you for including nutritional info! πŸ˜‰

    • Julie

      Thanks, Andrea! The prices for the good, hearty cereal really are ridiculous.

      I knew the healthy bloggers would appreciate the nutritional info! πŸ˜‰ Hope you love the cereal!

  18. Carla

    That s’more cereal needs to get in my belly. Now.

  19. theteachercooks

    Thanks so much for the link. I had to read this post three times before I finally found it. I will try to return the favor. I do love your blog. Your photography is the best!

  20. Just found your site via tweet from @steamykitchen- yeah! Love the idea of homemade cereal flakes. I am for sure going to try alkalize this recipe with spelt bran and almond milk. If you like homemade breakfast ideas you might like my last post with cinnamon quinoa. Thanx for the inspiration Julie. I’ll be back:)

  21. What a wonderful idea, Julie, to make your own customizable cereals!!! I buy bran flakes all the time, but no more!! I’m gonna see if I can find some bran at the store so I can make those nutty bran flakes!

    Is the bran that I’m looking for at the store basically just a type of flour?

    I can’t wait to start making my own cereals! I’m so excited!!! Thanks so much again! Cheers! sheila

    • Julie

      Hi Sheila! I found mine with all the specialty flours — it’s Bob’s Red Mill brand “Wheat Bran” and was next to flax meal, almond flour and the like. Hope you love the cereal! πŸ™‚

      • Thanks so much, Julie! I’ll get some on Monday and give it a go as soon as I finish up my pre-packaged granola and bran cereal. Once those are out of the way, I’ll be a do-it-yourself cereal gal like you! πŸ™‚ Thanks again and have a great weekend! πŸ™‚ sheila

  22. Can’t say the thought of making my own cereal has ever crossed my mind, but this looks so do-able! Love the idea of customising your cereal and having such a variety to choose from. And the s’mores one looks super yummo.

  23. I was just musing to myself during my morning drive that cereal is one of the few things that I love to eat that I have no idea how to make from scratch.
    Then today I stumble across this wonderful post. This is definitely going into my to-be-cooked pile. Thanks!

  24. That’s a great idea. Nice to know you can start off your morning without the chemicals/preservatives they put in commercially made.

  25. YOU are a cereal superwoman! And dare I say, a granola genius?! Not only is it a good & fun idea, but it is super cute too! I was pondering my cereal choices and wishing it were possible to diy. And IT IS. Whoop!!

  26. This is a great idea! As I was reading I thought, “This is a great idea for a brunch!” Then you confirmed my thoughts. I’m not sure if I’ll make my own flakes, but I will absolutely do the assortment.

    Thanks for the idea!

    • Julie

      You’re so welcome, Towanda! The flakes are very easy, but if you wanted, you could also buy some plain bran flakes at the store and use those as a base for tons of mix-ins πŸ™‚ Have fun!

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  29. Sue

    You are so innovative! And that S’mores cereal photo of yours…I think I could frame it, hang it on my wall and stare at it all day:) Delicious and gorgeous! Kudos to you!

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  31. Lol you are a mad woman! But an ingenious one indeed!

  32. Hi Julie, I just wanted to let you know that I made some granola this morning and it turned out GREAT!!!! It’s truly the best granola I ever had!!
    If you want to see how I made mine, here’s the link so you can check it out:

    http://kemalandsheila.com/2010/08/how-to-make-homemade-granola/

    By the way, all last night I was literally dreaming all night long of making those bran flakes. I was going to make them this afternoon too but I ran out of time. I’ll definitely make them soon though! I’ll let ya know how they turn out. πŸ™‚ Enjoy the rest of your weekend, sheila

  33. hi Julie, I wanted to let you know I made a double batch of the bran flakes this morning, and it turned out great! I didn’t double the liquids, the baking powder or the sugar though, and the flakes still turned out wonderfully. I added some raisins to them when I was done and they really hit the spot. If you want to see my bran flakes, just click on the link below. πŸ™‚ Thanks again! Cheers! sheila
    http://kemalandsheila.com/2010/09/homemade-nutty-bran-flakes-with-raisins/

  34. Kathryn

    My Bran flake stuck like crazy to the pan after the first time in the oven, and it was a big mess. Any ideas what for next time?

    • Julie

      Hi Kathryn! I’d make sure to roll it on the parchment paper like it says here — I could definitely see that happening! I’m sorry it didn’t work out!

  35. jimvj

    Do you think the dough for the Bran Flakes could be rolled thru a pasta maker?

    • Well, it’d fall apart in the pasta extruder because it’s not your typical “dough” — like for scones or cookies. It’s more like a sort of compacted mush (ha!). Which, though it rules out the pasta extruder, actually makes it VERY VERY easy to roll. I’m not ever a fan of rolling either, but with this, you don’t actually even press down that hard — it’s more “spreading out the mush very thin” than it is ROLLING. I think that’s why the recipe has you start on the paper you’re going to bake it on, because you could never lift this thing. It’s not a cohesive dough-ball.

  36. just came across your site because I googled “homemade breakfast cereal.” Besides granola, I’ve never made my own flakes, yet I hate all the packaging that comes along with b-fast cereals AND hate the prices. I’m going to try to adapt your recipe with oat flour, since I like oat flakes best. Wish me luck! look forward to browsing more of your site. thanks

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  40. Shannon

    My husband always thinks I’m a hippie too. I like to make all those things that the cereal companies make, since they add way too many chemicals and unnecessary things to theirs. For an example, I bought Fiber One the other day, only to discover that it was sweetened with Sucralose. This is the only one in their line of products, sold at my local store, that isn’t sugar sweetened. Already made up my mind that I am not eating Sucralose (what started out as a pesticide recipe) on a regular basis. So….go you hippies! Home-made cereal is awesome!

  41. Hi! This is so wonderful! I’ve been inspired to start making cereal for my kids after watching “Food, Inc” and really having my mind taken for a ride! I just can’t feed my kids food with all those “extras” anymore. Nearly every cereal I saw today at the store listed “sugar” as the SECOND ingredient!! Yuck! I can handle the 2 TBSP your bran flake recipe called for. That’s awesome!

    We have a child with nut allergies though… so… do you have any idea if I could substitute regular flour for the nut flour and still come up with the right end? I would love to know! Thanks!! πŸ™‚

  42. SO glad I found this – I’m just now toying with the thought of making my own cereal, and I never would have even begun to imagine I could make my own bran flakes!! Cannot. Wait. to try this.

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  44. I just found your blog and holy moly my friend, you are AMAZING!!!

    I make my own granola, crackers, kombucha, salad dressings, desserts, etc…but your cereal varieties take the cake!

    πŸ™‚

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  47. RC

    My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures. It looks amazing! I’m definitely going to try these recipes. My husband is undergoing testing for a heart condition and with all the additives that are in foods these days it makes you wonder if all this crap we are eating is really good for you. Also the fact that it is hard enough already to find food and other products we can have in our home because of the ammonia/ammonium allergy in household. You’d be surprised what you’re eating if you just take the time to read all the labels.

    Thank you for being a cereal woman!! Keep up the yummy goodness!

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  49. Lorrina Klaszus

    Thank you, thank you , thank you. You so rock my world right now. I love it. You inspire women from all walks and make them want to make life better for them and there families. Thank you again.

    Lorrina

  50. Valerie

    Wow! I’m so glad I found your blog! I’ve been looking for a recipe to make bran flakes for ages! We have many different food allergies and diet restrictions at our house and I have been looking for a way to customize things without spending a ton. I am dying to alter your recipes to make them gluten free. My kids will love having more variety to our cereal options! Thank you!!

  51. Kali

    Thanks for shedding light on the simplicity of making cereal! I’m the mom standing in the cereal isle for half an hour looking for a box of cereal that isn’t full of preservatives and ingredients that I can’t pronounce! I’m a working mom so cereal is usually the breakfast of choice! Now I can have peace of mind knowing exactly what I’m giving my kids! Thank you again : o )

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  53. Sarah

    I can’t wait to try the bran flakes! I make granola all the time to add to my oatmeal. πŸ™‚

    As for the cherries, do they have canola oil on them? I know raisins often have a bit of oil added (I’m assuming it keeps them from sticking together). I find that canola oil has a bit of an unpleasant, fishy taste sometimes.

  54. This is fantastic! I love cereal but it’s so expensive so have been looking up ways to make my own. I have one question though, how long will the bran and granola be good for? I’d like to make as large of a batch as I can and store it.
    Thanks for sharing this πŸ™‚

  55. Thank you so much for this recipe!!! We gave up packaged/processed foods a year ago, and enjoy much better health but miss cereal. I’ve been getting used to making so much from scratch, but hadn’t tried cereal until lately. My first couple recipes weren’t a big hit, but this one is LOVED by my whole family. Even my husband, the pickiest of the lot, says he’s in heaven because he can feel like he’s eating Wheaties again. Thank you!

  56. Wow, this is what I love about blogs! I am so happy I’ve found your blog — my hubby is an extremely zealous cereal lover and eater of all kinds of cereal and in search for more and more!! I’m going to surprise him with your recipe! Thank you!

  57. Holly

    Thank you soooo much! I thought I was the only one crazy enough to want to make cereal at home. I’ve been making granola for years but I’ve never been able to find a recipe for good old regular flake cereal. Love it! I’d still love to find a recipe for some “golden graham”-ish cereal for those unhealthy cravings. Maybe I could make a similar goop with graham crumbs and then I could make s’mores cereal!

  58. REALLY love this project of making homemade cereals! Where are there more?
    I personally favor the granola, though I have honestly taken to eating granolas strictly for dessert. Regarding this coconut granola, which does sound great, I would recommend using raw, unpasteurized honey, for added minerals/nutrients, and a low glycemic index, which makes a difference if you use if for snacking!
    thanks!

  59. Anyone known any Gluten free flake type cereal recipes.
    I love Arrow Head Mills Organic Maple Buckwheat flakes, BUT not the $4.99 a box. I’m trying to make them myself with Buckwheat flour as a replacement four the other flours and or oats in some recipes that I’ve found here and on line. I would appreciate any help.
    Neil

  60. alia

    Try using maple syrup instead of sugar! I just made these tonight because I’m a huge fan of the Maple Pecan Nature’s Path cereal, and they turned out *so well*.

  61. Polly Golliher

    Thank you so much For pursuing this dream and for posting it. I have been hunting for good cereal recipes for gluten free people like myself, this has given me the basics to make magic. So thanks again. I am using the basics of your bran flakes without the bran o wheat and making a vanilla coconut almond flake. Made with desiccated coconut instead of bran, and corn meal instead of whole wheat flour. Adding 1 tbls vanilla to the milk. What comes out is a beautiful cereal.

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