Homemade Clif Bars

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When I made my Healthy Cookie Dough Bites the other day, I thought the flavors would be a great base for Homemade Clif Bars.  So, I set out to create them.  A lot of readers lately have been asking if Clif bars are okay to eat.  I used to but them by the case as well.  I would take them to work in the days when I waited tables on the Las Vegas strip.  Here are the ingredients to the Chocolate Chip Peanut bar that I got off their website:

Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch

Organic Brown Rice Syrup, ClifPro® (Soy Rice Crisps [Soy Protein Isolate, Rice Flour, Barley Malt Extract], Organic Soy Flour, Organic Roasted Soybeans), Organic Rolled Oats, Organic Toasted Oats (Organic Oats, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Ascorbic Acid, Natural Vitamin E [Antioxidant]), Organic Cane Syrup, Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts, Salt), Chocolate Chips (Dried Cane Syrup, Unsweetened Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla Extract), Peanut Flour, Peanuts, ClifCrunch® (Organic Oat Fiber, Apple Fiber, Inulin [Chicory Extract], Psyllium, Organic Milled Flaxseed), Organic Date Paste, Natural Flavors, Sea Salt.

Wow!  That’s a lot of ingredients!  Soy protein isolate is a hidden form of MSG.  There are also “natural flavors” in these.  Those two things alone would make me put these back on the shelf nowadays.  So, moving on to my homemade clif bars.  My homemade clif bar recipe is great because it serves as a good base for you to add whatever kind of flavors you like.


These would go great with a glass of Homemade Almond Milk.

Homemade Clif Bars

Homemade Clif Bars

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Homemade Clif Bars



  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • Grind up the oats and almonds in the food processor.
  • When they have a crumbly consistency, add the dates and coconut.
  • Lastly add the water slowly as you pulse the ingredients together until a batter forms. It will be thick and sticky.
  • Line an 8X8 pan with parchment paper leaving enough paper sticking out on each side so you will be able to lift the whole thing out when done.
  • Working carefully, spread batter evenly out to all the sides.
  • Press mixture down with a spatula to get it firm.
  • Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes.
  • Let cool completely before removing intact.
  • Cut bars with a pizza cutter.

172 thoughts on “Homemade Clif Bars

  1. Would it change the cooking ability, ie. the “make up”, of the bars if you added nut butter? And if you added it, how much could you add before it would make the “dough” too runny? I’m nervous to try it and ruin them, that would be a rather expensive mistake, kwim? Or, if say you added chocolate chips, which my son would like to make them more appealing to him, when would you add them? Love this idea!

    1. Chocolate chips wouldn’t matter at all. The dough is very thick and sticky. Adding maybe 1/4 cup of almond butter should be okay. I would love to hear the results if it works for you. :)

    2. I added a few chocolate chips and also raisins to the homemade cookie dough bites when I made them the other day, and I just used a spatula to mix them in after I had made the “dough” in the food processor. I didn’t want the raisins and chocolate chips to get too ground up. :)

    1. You can probably sub sunflower seeds or just add more oats. Can she do peanuts? They might work too. If you sub something, please let me know how it works so I can tell others in the future.

  2. I added cranberries to one batch. Then I made an apple cinnamon batch with applesauce and lots of cinnamon! I also substituted the almonds for walnuts for one, and used pecans for another. Love these.

  3. Making these now. Do you think you could make a double batch? I’m making a single right now. I am just thinking for my daughter for the whole week. I want to start making all snacks on Sundays.

    1. I am not sure a double batch would fit in a food processor. You can make back to back batches though. I wished I made a second after we tasted how good they were.

  4. Any idea how these would freeze? I like to make multiple batches of foods to freeze for busy days.. and these sound perfect. I just wish my son could bring nut products to school!

  5. I used all oatmeal instead of almonds and they turned out fine.I would use the almonds but the kids school is nut free.I also added a bit of shaved chocolate!

  6. This may be a bit of a stretch, but any suggestions for oat free recipe?? They don’t settle well with us over here! The recipe sounds great though. :)

    1. You might be able to sub oats for more almonds or for sunflower seeds. I have not tried though. If you do, I would love to know the results so I can tell others.

      1. There are flourless cookies that use ground almonds to make the dough, so I think you’re right about increasing the almond measurement, but I think an oat-free cookie might need more of a binding agent (maybe nut butter or honey).

  7. Thank you SO much for experimenting with these and sharing! My husband loves Cliff bars and this will allow me to give him non-chocolate options (he’s not a fan for breakfast) that are good for him! Making these this weekend for sure!!!!! Yay! :)

  8. I made your original recipe and the family liked them. I also tried a batch where I substituted chocolate chips for the coconut and added some mint extract. The kids really liked them although I think I used to much mint (1/2 tsp). I’ll try them again with a little less mint and some cocoa powder. Thanks for sharing your recipes!

  9. I made these with your original recipe last night, but snuck in 2 Tbsp flaxseed and they turned out great! My toddler loves them! :)

  10. Looks like a great alternative to cliff bars. I do have a few questions. First, how long do the last outside of the fridge, and if I put some in my backpack for a day hike, are they gonna get all smashed or will they disintegrate? Thanks.

    1. They will not disintegrate, but they may get a bit mushy. Even the regular clif bars do that. I am an avid hiker as well and sometimes I will freeze my bars, knowing when I pull them out on the hike, they will be defrosted. That may be something to do.

  11. Totally agree that cliff bars, granola bars, protein bars, etc. are all packed with too much STUFF. I love how your consciousness led to creating your own! They look great and I’m looking forward to making a batch myself.

    1. I hope you enjoy them. I love how the recipe is so adaptable. I have made several variations and all have come out great.

  12. Wow! So simple and so good.
    I usually buy 2 boxes of Clif bars per month as lunch fillers for my 2 high school kids.
    I doubled your recipe, and after initial blending, added chopped dried apricots, chocolate chips and frozen low bush cranberries.
    My kids raved about them. Their friends put in orders too.
    I tried wrapping them in waxed paper and freezing them en mass. It works perfectly.
    Thanks so much for the website. I’m a fan, can you tell?

  13. Hi, love your site! Do you have any idea how many Weight Watchers points each bar would have? I just joined WW and am trying to find more home-made recipes for items I would normally buy. Thank you!

      1. Hi! I think the only way is if you have nutrition information on them – WW has a calculator on their site – but if you don’t have it, that’s ok : )

    1. I figured the Weight Watchers Points to be 48 for the whole batch. If you made them in an 8X8 pan and cut them 4X4 they come out to 3 Points per bar. I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for a year now and have lost a total of 97 pounds. These bars will be a great addition to my new healthy eating lifestyle.

      1. That’s great! Congrats on the weight loss! I think Weight Watcher’s can be a great program. I just wish their processed food options would be healthier.

  14. Is it possible I could omit the dates and add more coconut or chocolate chips? How much would you suggest?

    1. The dates act as a binder so I am not sure chocolate chips would work. Maybe peanut or almond butter? I am not sure. Just guessing. You could also try another dried fruit if you like.

  15. My first batch is in the oven. I only had 10 dates so I hope that they turn out okay. The batter tasted fine though! Thanks for all of your hard work in creating these recipes. I am making the nutrigrain bars next!

  16. Awesome!!!! My son loves Clif Bars and I love to find recipes and make things myself! Out of curiosity, do you happen to know how much protein is in one of these bars? He’s big on getting protein, and since my kids are vegetarian/vegans, I like to make sure they’re getting enough of what they need. Either way, cannot wait to try these!!

    1. I don’t know, but I imagine it’s a pretty decent amount with the oats and the nuts. Oats are loaded with protein. You could also add a little protein powder or chia seeds for an extra protein boost.

      1. Good point! Thanks! I always forget about adding protein because I can’t have so many of them (no dairy, including whey protein :( )

  17. This is great. I def want to try it but I don’t have a food processor.
    Is there another method of “grinding” the ingredients that would work, you think? Like maybe the blender?! :D

    1. You can try in a blender, but I would advise you soak the dates prior to using them. Also, depending on the blender you have, it could possible burn out the motor.

    2. That’s exactly what I was going to ask, as I don’t have a food processor, either.. hate to go out and buy another kitchen gadget for one recipe..

      1. Hey, I just made the cliff bars, they were great, I don’t have a food processor so I used my magic bullet. I just ground up each ingredient separately and mixed them all together by hand. It works great.

  18. For anyone wondering how to make these without a food processor, I have a method that works pretty well. I ground up the almonds and oats in my blender, and then added the shredded coconut to that. Then I chopped up the dates by hand. It takes a few minutes, but eventually they turn into one big mushy lump. Then I mixed the oats/almonds/coconut in with the dates by hand… I usually press the lump of dates down into the ground up ingredients, fold them in, and then repeat. I added a little water along the way and eventually ended up with a nice gooey lump.

  19. I just made these and they I so yummy! I can’t believe how easy and delicious they are! Thanks for the great recipes :)

  20. So, I don’t have a food processor. Can I achieve the desired results using a blender? Thanks for posting this recipe!

    1. You can try, but it might burn out your blender. If you soak the dates in water for 10 minutes, it might make them easier to blend.

  21. These look great! I’m thinking about making some of these bars for my up coming camping trip. Would you happen to know how long these last without refrigeration? Thanks!

  22. Hi Melissa – my daughter is a health conscious 14 who stays slim for ballet, so we cut out sugar and fats from our diet years ago – I’ve always fed my kids home made, baked from scratch food but your recipes have totally re-invented the way we cook! Allegra (14 year old) gets home from school to try out a new recipe every day…I admit our favourites are your larabars and clif bars! They don’t last long in our house. Thanks for all your hard work and beautifully healthy recipes. So far the recipes have been fool-proof and so easy to follow – Allegra made her own Nutella over the weekend, and some other delicious morsels. So from Australia..THANKS AGAIN! :)

  23. Just wondering if you know how many calories, how many grams of protein, etc. each bar has. I know there is a way to figure it out but just wondered if you may already know. I can’t wait to try these.

      1. I do a lot of nutrition calculating because I watch what I eat. The best site I’ve found for that is nutritiondata.self.com. When I compare that site’s analysis with caloriecount, nutrition data comes bout making more sense. Input is not as easy as for calorie count, but you get more accurate results.

  24. Soy is not a source of MSG, rather it contains glutamic acid – an amino acid that is a constituent of all proteins in your body. You are confusing two things here.
    If you’re really concerned about your health you might want to think twice before getting your next tattoo. You are considered high-risk for blood-borne disease, such as hepatitis C.

      1. That is a most interesting article. I was thinking that MSG in soy was strange, but I now understand. I avoid MGS but am undecided about soy, because I don’t use it that often. I’ll have to study that article more, since it mentions that balsamic vinegar can trigger MSG reactions. Balsamic vinegar is something I love and use all the time.

          1. I didn’t read the whole thing carefully, but balsamic vinegar is in the far right column. I’ve been thinking about the MSG issue ever since looking at that article, and my thought is that if glutamic acid is part of all proteins, then maybe the problem with MSG lies in that specific chemical combination, perhaps? I certainly don’t have problems with things like balsamic vinegar, and I think the issues surrounding soy are about its effects on hormones, especially when related to certain cancers. I think the bottom line has to be moderation, unless we are certain that a particular food has a negative effect on us. I think that we are all smart to avoid MSG, though.

          2. Yes I agree that moderation is key. I don’t eat processed soy anymore, but I do enjoy fermented soy products like tofu and tempeh on occasion. I do always make sure they are non GMO verified though.

  25. I’m not supposed to eat oats, do you know something else that could be substituted for that ingredient in this recipe and others?

    I’m new to your site and love your recipe ideas – looking forward to making some of them!

  26. Hello, I am a 16 year old Cross Country runner and I was thinking of making these as a substitute for cliff bars. However, I have had problems with cramping or an acid like feeling in my stomach. That could be due to when I am eating but I want to make sure I’m not eating anything that could hinder my performance. Do you have any suggestions for things I should add or remove to help me feel better on long runs?

  27. I tried this out today, I don’t have a food processer so I used my blender and it turned out good, taste is great. But the color didn’t turn out as dark as yours, could it be that I haven’t used as many dates as listed?

    1. That could be it. Not sure. The color also could have depended on the lighting I had when I shot the photo. As long as they taste good, I wouldn’t worry about it. :)

  28. Yummy … it looks delicious! I’ve made one today similar to this one, but no oats … gonna try next time this recipe!

  29. Looks awesome! Sort of like the home made Larabars but I like the oats addition. I too will have to sub a seed for the nuts (allergy house). But I will pin these for sure! Thanks for re-sharing them on FB!

    1. It’s totally fine. I replaced the original photo with the brown bar photo. When I made the brown bars, I added cocoa powder and peppermint extract. I guess I forgot about that until now. lol.

      1. I just tasted them, they are fantastic. I will use a few more dates next time and I accidently used 1 cup of coconut. Very yummy. thanks for the info on the other bars. I want to make them next.

  30. Made these as directed. They are too dry and crumbly. Suggestions to make them more sticky and possibly a bit sweeter like the cliff bars?

    1. Really? I have received a lot of compliments on the recipe. If you want them sweeter, you can add more sweetener. I was trying to keep them healthy by just using dates as a sweetener. You could have added more water to the mixture or even a small amount of oil.

  31. These were so easy to make and they are delicious!

    I have tried a few of your recipes on the site and they all have been great. I look forward to trying more. :)


  32. Just made these tonight using my Vitamix. They turned out perfect! I’d love to have the cocoa/mint recipe too (how much of each). Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Awesome! Good to know it can be done in the Vitamix. I added about 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. You may need to add a tiny bit of water if the batter seems a little dry. I loved the chocolate mint combo!

  33. Great recipe! I made this earlier today, and they came out delicious. I think next time I might do half almonds and half peanuts (I’m a peanut butter fanatic), but this is definitely a keeper. And so simple! Thanks for posting it!!!

  34. These were fantastic! Do you have your variations listed out someplace? I noticed the peppermint extract/cocoa powder and something about peanut butter in the comments. I’d love to try more versions!! These are an absolute hit with the hubs and I (we like them WAY better than clif bars).

    1. Awesome! For the cocoa peppermint bar, I just added about 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp peppermint extract. Worked great! I have not tried them with peanut butter yet, but I am sure it could be done. This recipe is very adaptable.

  35. I’ve been trying to find alternatives to pre made gells and bars when I am running long distances (2 hr +) when my body needs easily digestible fuels. Most products have cane sugar, maltodextrin, etc…
    I’m going to try these out. Dates have a lot of natural sugars, and the nuts should add some fat and protein for the longer distances too. It just depends how well I can digest and run I guess.

  36. Hi,

    We aren’t big fans of dates. Do you have a substitute for these because it seems like you use them in just about all of your bars…

    Loving the pumpkin and peanut butter bars, though!


  37. These sound great. I love the idea of cliff bars but ya, not a fan of soy protein. Making them this way though how much protein is in them? I like bars with protein for hiking and such. Maybe this was already addressed in another comment, I did not read through them all.

    1. Thanks Tammy! I don’t know the exact protein amount, but I think it’s probably decent considering the nuts and oats. If you wanted to add more protein, you could throw in some chia seeds or hemp seeds.

  38. I made these tonight with the intention of a snack for my three kids tomorrow, but I just had to try one -awesome! I LOVE LOVE LOVE your recipes, fantastic to find great tasting natural based foods, so important. Thank you.

    1. Awesome! I’m so glad you enjoyed them Melanie! I love that this recipe is so versatile. You can create so many flavors.

  39. Melissa I have these in the oven right now they smell delicious. My adult son loves the the blueberry Cliff Bars but has a hard time finding them. I saw this recipe I had to try it, so I substituted 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries for a couple of the dates and added a tbsp of cinnamin, he is going to love them!

  40. These are SOOO yummy! I made a couple changes due to having diff ingredients in my house, added chia seeds too.. SOOO good! Perfect for after my 1/2 marathon snack

  41. These are delicious! My whole family loves them. Super easy and filling. Love that there is no added sugar but they are still sweet.

  42. I added a couple plops (1/3 – 1/2 cup?) of natural unsalted peanut butter and some chocolate chips (about the same?) because I love the peanut butter chocolate chip Clif bars. The batter without the chips tasted just like my memory of the Clif bars.

    They are in the oven right now and I can’t wait!

      1. yum! The chocolate chips have not cooled completely yet, but they taste just like the Clif bars, without any questionable ingredients.

        Thanks so much!

  43. I made these today and they turned out so good! I used raw peanuts in place of the almonds since I can’t have tree nuts and I added in 3 Tbsp cocoa power. I will definitely make them again. I think I’ll add in some chocolate chips for a double chocolate next time and maybe some peanut butter to get more of a PB and chocolate flavor. They taste very similar to your chocolate Larabar the way I made them (I made those before I stopped tree nuts).

  44. Do you think a blender would work ok instead of a food processor to mix the bars? Also is this the bar that is featured in the picture on the left of your homepage? They look delicious and I can’t wait to make them.

  45. Made these (but with cashews as that’s what I had a ton of) & they are amazing. Perfect alternative to a protein shake for breakfast on way to work. Thanks!

      1. Holy Smokes! No WONDER this are so good. Here’s the macronutrient breakdown for 8 bars per the recipe:
        356.5 calories
        16.5 g fat
        2.6 sat
        .3 poly
        .3 mono
        1.5 g sodium
        582.8 g potassium
        51.7 carbs
        7.9 fiber
        35.5 sugar
        8.3 protein

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