LarabarsHomemade Larabars are a great alternative to classic energy bars or protein bars. They are soft, chewy, and definitely dessert-like. Made with just a handful of wholesome ingredients, Larabars are not only raw, but also vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

If there is one snack food I buy in the store, it’s Larabars. I make them at home, too, from time to time, but we go through so many, especially my kids, that it’s hard to keep up.

Fortunately, Larabars are sold everywhere (at least here in Canada). The four original Larabar flavors were Apple Pie, Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Coconut Chew, and Cherry Pie. Currently, there are 30 different flavors, all inspired by popular flavors of cakes, cookies, and ice creams. In addition, there are also Larabar protein bars with plant-based protein, which are denser and a bit drier than the original bars.

My favorite? Definitely the Apple Pie Larabar!

The great thing is that you can easily replicate all the flavors. In this post, I will share recipes for a few of the original Larabars: the Apple Pie, Cherry Pie, and Pecan Pie. But if you want to make any other Larabars at home, simply follow the basic ratio of dried fruit to nuts and then add the mix-ins listed on the Larabar label.

Larabars recipe

Ingredients

Larabars are typically made with just fruit, nuts, and spices. That’s it! These homemade Larabars are no different with the following ingredients:

  • Medjool dates: when choosing dates for your homemade Larabars, I highly recommend fresh dates. Fresh dates, such as Medjool dates, are harvested from the date palm, cleaned, and packaged immediately. This is why you’ll find them in the produce section at the grocery store. They are soft, moist, juicy, and sticky. Dried dates, such as Deglet Noor, are firm and quite dry. If all you have are dried dates, soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes first, so they soften up. Dates are the only binder in this recipe, so they must be moist and sticky; otherwise, the Larabars won’t hold together well.
  • Nuts: you can use any nuts you like to make Larabars at home. Almonds and cashews are the most common for sure, but hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts appear in a few Larabars are well. 
  • Mix-ins: most of the add-ins in Larabars are actually just fruit and nuts, again. The most common ones are apples, bananas, cherries, coconut, pears, pineapple, and raisins. Of course, I cannot also forget chocolate chips and cocoa.
  • Spices and extracts: some bars also contain spices, including allspice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and vanilla.

ingredients for Larabars

How to Make Homemade Larabars

There isn’t much to making Larabars at home. All you need is a powerful food processor and a few minutes. No baking is necessary.

  1. Process the nuts. Store-bought Larabars have a relatively smooth texture. You will bite into a piece of nut here and there, but the bars are not particularly crunchy. To achieve the same texture, add the nuts to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. If you process the nuts with the dates (without pre-chopping them first), they will not break down as much. 
  2. Process the rest of the ingredients. Add the dates, dried fruit, and spices to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. The mixture will be tender and slightly crumbly, but it should be sticky enough to hold together when you press it between your fingers. If it’s too dry, pulse it a little more or add 1 Tbsp./15 ml of coconut oil at a time to help bind everything together.
  3. Shape the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish and press it into a smooth, even layer. You can also roll out the mixture between two pieces of parchment paper and then shape it into a rectangle.
  4. Dehydrate/chill. Store-bought Larabars are dehydrated, which is why they stay firm even at room temperature. If you don’t have a dehydrator, transfer the Larabars to the freezer to firm up, for about 30 minutes. Then remove the “Larabar” from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut it into bars.

how to make Larabars

DIY Larabar Variations

Some of the most common flavors I see in the stores are Banana Bread, Banana Chocolate Chip, Cashew Cookie, Chocolate Chip Brownie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Gingerbread, Peanut Butter Cookie, Pecan Pie, and Pumpkin Pie. You can easily replicate all these flavors at home. Here are a few examples:

  • Banana Bread: 1 cup/145 g almonds, ¾ cup/150 g Medjool dates, ¾ cup/75 g dehydrated banana (not banana chips!).
  • Banana Chocolate Chip: 1 cup/145 g almonds, ¾ cup/150 g Medjool dates, ¾ cup/75 g dehydrated banana (not banana chips!), ¼ cup/56 g mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
  • Cashew Cookie: 1 ½ cups/205.5 g cashews, 1 cup/200 g Medjool dates.
  • Chocolate Chip Brownie: 1 ½ cups/300 g Medjool dates, ¾ cup/109 g almonds, ¼ cup/25 g walnuts, ¼ cup/27 g cocoa powder, ¼ cup/56 g mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, a pinch of sea salt.
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: 1 ½ cups/205.5 g cashews, 1 cup/200 g Medjool dates, ¼ cup/56 g mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 tsp./5 ml vanilla extract, a pinch of sea salt.
  • Peanut Butter Cookie: 1 ½ cups/300 g Medjool dates, 1 cup/146 g roasted peanuts, a pinch of sea salt.

How to Store Homemade Larabars

  • Storing at room temperature: transfer the Larabars to an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for up to 1 week. (If you are not dehydrating the Larabars, I recommend storing them in the fridge or the freezer).
  • Refrigerating: transfer the Larabars to an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 1 month.
  • Freezing: transfer the Larabars to an airtight container, separating each layer with a piece of parchment paper so the bars don’t stick together, and freeze them for up to 3 months.

homemade Larabars

More Energy Bars Recipes

Snack bars are something I always have on hand, whether it’s Larabars, Cliff bars, KIND bars, or any other type of energy bar. If you’re looking for more homemade energy bars, here are a few ideas:

  • KIND bars: these copycat KIND bars pack a ton of flavor and a lot of interesting textures –  snappiness on the top, chewiness on the bottom, and a lot of crunch in between. 
  • Muesli bars: these muesli bars are similar to granola bars but only mildly sweet and with a softer, chewier texture.
  • Cereal bars: if cereal bars are your go-to for running out the door, you’ll love this homemade version – caramel-y sweet, chewy, and slightly crunchy.

If you try any of these recipes, please, leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

Larabars
5 from 1 vote

Homemade Larabars

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Freeze time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Yield: 6 bars
Homemade Larabars are a great alternative to classic energy bars or protein bars. They are soft, chewy, and definitely dessert-like.

Ingredients
 

Apple Pie Larabars

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, , pitted
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup dried apples
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Cherry Pie Larabars

Pecan Pie Larabars

Instructions
 

Apple Pie Larabars

  • Process the nuts. Add the almonds to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the almonds are coarsely ground. Add the walnuts and pulse a few times until the walnuts are just chopped.
  • Process the dried fruit. Add the dates, dried apples, raisins, and cinnamon to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. Be careful not to over-process the ingredients, or the Larabars will turn out too sticky and greasy (as the nuts start turning into nut butter).
  • Shape the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish and press it into a smooth, even layer. You can also roll out the mixture between two pieces of parchment paper and then shape it into a rectangle.
  • Dehydrate/chill. Dehydrate the Larabars at 115°F/46°C until dry to the touch, for a couple of hours. If you don't have a dehydrator, transfer the Larabars to the freezer to firm up, for about 30 minutes. Then remove the "Larabar" from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut it into bars.
  • Store. Leftover (dehydrated) Larabars keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Leftover (chilled) Larabars keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper so the bars don't stick together, for up to 3 months.

Cherry Pie Larabars

  • Process the almonds. Add the almonds to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the nuts are coarsely ground. Be careful not to over-process the nuts.
  • Process the dried fruit. Add the dates and dried cherries to the food processor and process until all the ingredients begin to stick together. Be careful not to over-process the ingredients, or the Larabars will turn out too sticky and greasy (as the nuts start turning into nut butter).
  • Shape the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish and press it into a smooth, even layer. You can also roll out the mixture between two pieces of parchment paper and then shape it into a rectangle.
  • Dehydrate/chill. Dehydrate the Larabars at 115°F/46°C until dry to the touch, for a couple of hours. If you don't have a dehydrator, transfer the Larabars to the freezer to firm up, for about 30 minutes. Then remove the "Larabar" from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut it into bars.
  • Store. Leftover (dehydrated) Larabars keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Leftover (chilled) Larabars keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper so the bars don't stick together, for up to 3 months.

Pecan Pie Larabars

  • Process the nuts. Add the almonds to a food processor bowl fitted with an S blade and process until the almonds are coarsely ground. Add the pecans and pulse a few times until the pecans are just chopped.
  • Process the dates. Add the dates to the food processor and process until well combined. Be careful not to over-process the ingredients, or the Larabars will turn out too sticky and greasy (as the nuts start turning into nut butter).
  • Shape the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish and press it into a smooth, even layer. You can also roll out the mixture between two pieces of parchment paper and then shape it into a rectangle.
  • Dehydrate/chill. Dehydrate the Larabars at 115°F/46°C until dry to the touch, for a couple of hours. If you don't have a dehydrator, transfer the Larabars to the freezer to firm up, for about 30 minutes. Then remove the "Larabar" from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut it into bars.
  • Store. Leftover (dehydrated) Larabars keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. Leftover (chilled) Larabars keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container, separating each layer with parchment paper so the bars don't stick together, for up to 3 months.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keywords: energy bars, Larabars, Larabars recipe