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{VIDEO} No-Bake Dessert Granola Bars: Hostess Cupcake, Circus Animal Cookie & Birthday Cake Flavored!

These are the most fun back-to-school snack around. I guarantee these homemade, dessert inspired, granola bars are the most fun flavors you've ever seen. We've got Hostess Cupcake, Circus Animal Cookie & Birthday Cake!  




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These granola bars are so easy to whip together in like ten minutes, with this no-bake recipe. And since it's back to school season I decided to transform my chewy granola bar recipe, into the sweetest, most over-the-top snack flavors ever.


These are the ultimate dream version of the chewy granola bars I used to always have in my lunchbox growing up.  Let's just talk about these flavors... 



Chocolate Hostess Cupcake granola bars with marshmallow filling and that little nostalgic squiggle on top.


Sweet Circus Animal Cookie granola bars, with real cookie pieces inside and a rainbow of sprinkles.



Buttery Birthday Cake granola bars, complete with festive sprinkles and chocolate drizzle on top.



I use a mixture of oats and rice cereal to make these just like the classic chewy granola bars I grew up with, just make sure to use instant or quick-cooking oats and not regular old-fashioned oats or steel cut oats because those will cause the bars to fall apart more easily.




You can use butter instead of coconut oil if you need, but coconut oil melts in the pan and then solidifies again once you pop them into the fridge, so it creates that soft texture and helps hold everything together. To sweeten these up, I like to use brown sugar and honey to keep our granola bars extra chewy.


Since this is a no-bake recipe, make sure you let the sugar mixture boil for 2 minutes (or until it reaches the softball stage on a candy thermometer), so it will harden up enough to hold the granola bars together. Just make sure you don't boil it too long, or it once it's cooled it will harden too much. 



And be sure to pack the granola mixture into the pan nice and tight so your bars hold together well when you take them out of the pan and cut them up.




Easy, chewy, sweet and adorable!




Hostess Cupcake Chewy Granola Bars


Yield: 12 bars


Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats/instant oats (do not use regular old-fashioned or rolled oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (may use butter instead)
  • 1/3 cup brown packed sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (dark or dutch processed)
  • 6 tablespoons honey or agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons marshmallow fluff, for filling
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate or candy melts, melted for squiggle on top


Directions
Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray, for easy removal. 

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, brown sugar, cocoa powder and honey over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly. Add vanilla and salt to slightly cooled sugar mixture and pour over oats/cereal, stirring until fully coated.

Press half of the mixture firmly into the pan using greased hands or silicone spatula. Pipe or spread marshmallow fluff on top and top with remaining granola mixture. Clill about 30 minutes in the freezer or about 2 hours in the fridge, until firm. Remove and top with a squiggle of melted white chocolate. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or individually wrapped, at room temperature.





Circus Animal Cookie Chewy Granola Bars


Yield: 12 bars


Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats/instant oats (do not use regular old-fashioned or rolled oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (may use butter instead)
  • 1/3 cup brown packed sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup chopped circus animal cookies
  • 2 teaspoons nonpareil sprinkles, plus extra for garnish


Directions
Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray, for easy removal. 

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, brown sugar and honey over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly. Add vanilla and salt to slightly cooled sugar mixture and pour over oats/cereal, stirring until fully coated. Mix cookie pieces and sprinkles.

Press the mixture firmly into the pan using greased hands or silicone spatula. Clill about 30 minutes in the freezer or about 2 hours in the fridge, until firm. Remove and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or individually wrapped, at room temperature.





Birthday Cake Chewy Granola Bars


Yield: 12 bars


Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats/instant oats (do not use regular old-fashioned or rolled oats)
  • 1 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (may use butter instead)
  • 1/3 cup brown packed sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon butter flavor extract: http://amzn.to/2v8kmiV
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons rainbow confetti sprinkles, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted for drizzle on top


Directions
Line an 8x8 inch baking pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray, for easy removal. 

In a large bowl, stir oats and rice cereal together; set aside. In a small saucepan, melt coconut oil, brown sugar and honey over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Once bubbling, cook for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly. Add vanilla, butter extract and salt to slightly cooled sugar mixture and pour over oats/cereal, stirring until fully coated. Mix in sprinkles and mini chocolate chips once mixture has cooled slightly, as to not melt the chocolate chips

Press the mixture firmly into the pan using greased hands or silicone spatula. Clill about 30 minutes in the freezer or about 2 hours in the fridge, until firm. Remove and top with a drizzle of melted chocolate. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container or individually wrapped, at room temperature.


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If you love this recipe, you are going to love my Funfetti Soft Pretzels


 ...or my Giant Funfetti Cake Batter Chocolate Chip Cookie!