Homemade Lärabars Recipe

I have never been particularly drawn to energy bars and their spooky ingredients lists. But then I discovered the hugely popular Lärabars while in New York, and they won me over quickly.

If you’ve yet to make their acquaintance, here’s what you need to know: Lärabars (I just ignore the umlaut and say “larabar”) are compact but tender energy bars made of ground dates mixed with nuts and other flavorings (spices, dried fruits, coconut, cocoa powder…) but no added sweetener.

They come with a string of honor badges (non-GMO, gluten-free, raw, vegan, the list goes on) and in many different flavors, each with just a few of ingredients, all of them from the normal world we inhabit.

Well, how about homemade Lärabars?

The downside of such simplicity, for the company who sells them* at least, is that it doesn’t take a girl very long to think, “Hey! I could probably just make my own.” And so I did, and never looked back.


I start with Medjool dates, to which I add a mix of nuts, a touch of cardamom, cinnamon, and salt, and for the obligatory chocolate fix, cacao nibs.

The resulting bars are slightly chunkier than the original, full-flavored, chewy with crunchy bits, and absolutely delicious.

Making homemade Lärabars your own

My recipe is completely open to variations and substitutions to emulate your own favorite or come up with your ideal bar. You can check the original flavors on the Lärabar website for inspiration. I hope you’ll report back if you make a winning version!

About the cinnamon I use

I am in love with the fresh cinnamon I order from Cinnamon Hill, a small company that specializes in sourcing and selling the highest-quality, freshest cinnamon from Sri Lanka and Vietnam (ordinary cinnamon usually comes from China or Indonesia). I get whole sticks, and grate them with the beautifully crafted (and highly giftable!) cinnamon grater that Cinnamon Hill has designed. Truly, you don’t know what cinnamon tastes like until you’ve tried freshly harvested, freshly grated, top-grade cinnamon, and it makes an amazing difference in this recipe.

* Lärabars were introduced in 2003 by an independent company based in Denver, but the company was bought over by General Mills in 2008.

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Homemade Lärabars Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Makes 6 to 8 bars.

Homemade Lärabars Recipe


  • 150 grams (5 1/3 ounces) Medjool dates, pitted
  • 100 grams (3 1/2 ounces) mixed nuts (I like Brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews, almonds, hazelnuts...)
  • The seeds from 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I use fresh cinnamon from Cinnamon Hill)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 rounded tablespoon cacao nibs (not chocolate covered)


  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a sturdy blender or food processor. (Read all about my beloved blender.)
  2. Homemade Lärabars
  3. Process in short pulses until the nuts are chopped to small bits and blended with the dates.
  4. Transfer to a bowl and knead lightly until the mixture comes together.
  5. Homemade Lärabars
  6. Grease the bottom and sides of a 23-by-13-cm (9-by-5-inch) loaf pan.
  7. Put the date mixture in the pan and pack it into a smooth, even layer using the back of a spoon.
  8. Homemade Lärabars
  9. Transfer to the fridge to set for at least 2 hours, then slice into 6 to 8 bars, or whatever number of servings you prefer.
  10. The bars will keep in the refrigerator, covered, for a few weeks.

Homemade Lärabars

This post was first published in May 2009 and updated in July 2016.

  • I’ve considered making Larabars, myself (I ignore the umlaut altogether!). Now, it’s so simple to try that I have no excuse not to.

    I adapted the Powerbar recipe on 101 Cookbooks to make my own faux Lunabars. Thanks, Clotilde, for providing the missing link in my healthy snack food repertoire!

  • wow they look and sound mighty gorgeous!

    here’s a lemon coconut version that i like to make;

    Lemon Coconut Bars
    Adapted from Ani Phyo’s recipe

    Makes 12 bars

    1 cup almonds
    1 1/2 cups pitted dates (Medjool, khadrawhi, or other semi-soft date)
    Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
    1/4 teaspoon sea salt
    Zest of 1 lemon
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 cup dried shredded coconut

    In your food processor, chop almonds into small pieces. Use some of this nut powder to “flour” the bottom of a 9 inch square baking pan.

    Add remaining ingredients and process some more until well mixed.

    Press into baking pan.

    To serve, chill for a couple hours until firm. Then cut into squares.

    Will keep for six days in the fridge.

    • Sapuente

      I made these but instead of a small rectangular container I pressed it in muffin tin with liners and only filled up about 1/3 full after they were set folded the line around them and wraped in cling wrap

  • Your Lärabars look delicious and healthy. I’ve never seen date paste in Italy but I also never looked for it before. Do you think I can use dried dates with a little bit of water instead, if I don’t find it? Thanks and keep up the great work! Ciao Patty

  • My family absolutely adores Larabars. They will be so excited when they start to have homemade ones. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  • Patty – You can look for date paste in natural food stores and in North African or Middle Eastern shops. If unavailable, yes, you can use dried dates only, but don’t add water: date paste is, on the contrary, dryer than whole dried dates.

  • Erin

    Wow, that looks great. I am going to have to try this. Hmm, I could probably adapt my pan di higo recipe to be more like this. Thanks for getting the gears turning!

  • I’ve never heard of larabars before today. However, after looking at the delicious picture and ingredients they are going on my ‘to bake’ list.
    Thanks for sharing.

  • Kelly

    How wonderful!! I think these bars are delicious and definitely thought about making them at home, but didn’t have the slightlest idea of where to begin. Thanks for the jumping off point! This will be my next project and I’ll be sure to report back with the results. Great idea!

  • Kate

    These look fabulous (as do the previous responder’s lemon coconut bars)! I look forward to trying them myself. I wonder if they’d take well to storage in the freezer…

  • I’ve had a larabar or two but your bars look more tasty and tempting. I’ve thought about making my own bars often, so thank you for shaing this recipe. Dates are a great natural sweetner, too. Can’t wait to play around with this!

  • These look delicious! I can’t wait to make them. Thank you!

  • Wow, these look great – I will definitely give these a try!

  • Wow, date bars are one of my favorite treats, but this takes them to a whole new level!

  • I have to admit I’ve never quite got the idea of energy bars–why not grab a few dates or prunes and some almonds? But your recipe sways me. Put cardamom in something and I’m there!

  • This recipe looks great! I’ve always wanted to make my own, as I eat larabars frequently. They’re especially good for long plane rides.

  • Perfect timing! We were talking just this morning about needing to find a recipe for Larabars. Thanks!

  • I like Larabars and making them at home sounds like a fun project.

  • Katie in Berkeley

    I’ve been making my own Lärabars for a while (calling them “Kätiebars”) and my recipe is a half-pound of nuts, broken up in the food processor, and a pound of dates (or dates + dried cherries) pitted & added to processor. Then the rest of the procedure is the same. This version might work for folks who can’t find date paste.

  • Jen

    I’m a fan of Larabars and adore the idea of making these bars at home and saving on the packaging waste. Fantastic idea!

  • Marissa

    I have been doing this for a few months as I got tired of spending so much on the larabars and clif Nectar bars. My favorite is a mixture of date, pistachio, cardamom, and apricot.

  • I’ve never heard of Larabars before but I have to say that yours look fantastic! Definitely worth giving them a try.

  • Those look gorgeous. I’d given up on energy bars years ago for the reasons you mentioned and have never tasted a real live Lärabar, but this I could really get into. Would make a great snack for the park after school.

  • They look delicious, and are probabkly even better for you than an already-beneficial bar. Yum!

  • Someone just introduced me to larabars, too–and they are good. But I bet yours are better!

  • Wow – just like you I am not that an energy bar addict but this stuff looks absolutely perfect for a delicious and quick breakfast :)

  • Carol

    I made my own granola using oats and raw pumpkin/sunflower seeds and dried fruits and it would be a BAR if I smashed it into the pureed dates- no soy products (as they all have)I just didn’t think of it until I read these recipes!

  • The texture sounds amazing, as does the blend of nuts. I love the idea of cardamom, and I was thinking some lemon zest would also make a nice addition.

  • Melanie

    I’ll be in Paris in July so if you’d like me to bring you some Larabars, let me know. Perhaps you’ll be organizing another C&Z readers gettogether :-)


  • EB

    I’m not a huge Larabar fan, but I like the idea of making my own to get them to a tast/texture I do like!

  • Liz

    It’s so funny that you posted this because I JUST had a larabar tonight after my workout, and wondered how easy it would be to make them. Awesome post! Thank you! :D

  • Oh thank you! i’m so excited to make these. May i ask a silly question? Where would I find date paste or can i make it by mashing dates to a pulp?

  • Nerd note: There is HTML for everything. The upturned hat is called a “breve.” The letter you are looking for is officially known as “latin small letter o with breve:” ŏ It can be embedded in HTML as ŏ On a Mac all special characters can be found in the Character Palette (Edit -> Special Characters). In Windows there must be something similar.

  • ohhh, you’re my hero! i love larabars, but they don’t exactly fit into the family budget. plus, i totally agree about the packaging. yuck.

    we’re making these this weekend for sure.

  • These look wonderful! I’ve been making my own granola bars for some time, but never dreamed I could recreate Lara bars! Merci beaucoup!

    I’ll be linking to this in my weekly ‘Fizz Fix’ on 9 May on my blog.

  • Jess

    i’m a regular reader but never commented. made these and they are FANTASTIC. what a delightful blend of flavors…

  • Elana

    I made a kind of edited version of these as I don’t eat nuts (Elanabars)- which turned out nice – good consistancy although much sweeter than anticipated. Next time I think I’ll up the cocoa and look for unsweetened cranberries. This made 4 small bars.

    100g majool dates
    50g Raisins
    50g cranberries (slightly sweetened)
    2 tbsp cocoa powder
    1/2 small banana

  • Adrienne

    I love it, Lara bars are the only bar I eat when I travel. Now I can prepare and make them at home! Thank you, thank you, Clotilde.

  • Clotilde, How did you get so smart? This is genius and a must try for me.

  • This is very interesting!! I have to admit that like you, I am not incredibly turned on by energy bars, but these ones are pretty good–very dense, almost truffle-like in their consistency. The homemade version sounds like a delicious and decadent breakfast to me!

  • I’m not familiar with Larabars, but your version looks so yummy. I’m going to give it a try for my kids this weekend and thank you for sharing.

  • Kim

    Thanks for this recipe! I moved to London from Denver last year and have been missing Larabars but don’t like to buy them at £2 each. Great idea to make them yourself.

  • Werequat Dave

    Date Paste
    * 1 cup pitted Barhi dates
    * 1/2 cup filtered water
    In a food processor, combine the dates and water and process until completely smooth. Use immediately, or store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    [Note from Clotilde: this appears to be drawn from a recipe in Charlie Trotter and Roxanne Klein’s book, Raw.]

  • Larabars are the only kind of bar that seems worth eating, since it doesn’t have a million ingredients and they do taste good. I, also, have thought of making them myself but haven’t done it yet. Thanks for the recipe, making it that much easier for me to make my own!

  • gerdaleigh

    Awesome! I’m so glad to see another person making these themselves. The bars actually freeze really well and turn edible within minutes out of the freezer. I like to add ginger with cinnamon to mine. :)

  • Werequat Dave

    Clotilde, The date paste recipe I posted comes up in several places on the web, I think the one I actually used came from the Epicurious web site, but it’s the same as many other posts I found. Just wanted to get a paste recipe up there, ’cause these bars are yummy:). I’ve never read RAW, but it’s on my list of “to read soonest”:)

  • Anna

    Thanks for this post! I love Larabars and I’m ridiculously excited to discover I can make them. I tried the peanut/date and peanut/date/raisin combinations on Camilla’s website, which were great and cheap and I had all the ingredients on hand. Will definitely be experimenting with other varieties!

  • Anything homemade is a better taste and more healthy. Thank you for supplying a healthier alternative to a great snack already.

  • Marcia

    I plan to make these before my plane trip in a few weeks. Trader Joe’s has the best dried cranberries. I usually buy 4 bags @ $1.99 for 8 oz.

    What I like best is being able to control what goes in the food I eat. I am allergic to a lot of food groups. I will make some, then taste the Larabars. Home made is usually better, but not always cheaper.

  • Bonnie

    I, too, love Larabars for their simple, whole-food ingredients. Thanks for the recipes–can’t wait to try them!

  • I have to thank you for introducing me to the Jocolat Larabars. I too have always shied away from energy bars; as a rule, I don’t like them.

    But these, I rather enjoy! I adore dates, and sometimes, I think I like these bars even better than unadulterated dates, which, while delicious, are sometimes, too intense, too sweet, on their own.

    But the cocoa and the nuts in the bar temper the sweetness of the dates. When I offered a bite to a friend recently, she declared, “It’s like eating smushed up fruit, with a little chocolate.” Not the most appetizing description, but somewhat accurate, I think.

    I have three children, and occasionally, I do not have time to eat lunch, (mon dieu!), and the larabars come in handy on such days, or when I need a quick snack mid afternoon, and again, because I am servicing my children, have no time to sit, let alone prepare something for myself.

    So I’ve developed a serious habit now, and buy them buy the box at Whole Foods. I don’t know how long I can afford to keep this up financially, so soon, I just may be motivated to seek out date paste, the only ingredient in the recipe I do not keep on hand, and try this recipe.

    Thanks, Clotilde!

  • mindy

    I just made them, and I do believe I will be a lifelong addict for this recipe and all it’s possible incarnations! Thanks for the inspiration. =)

  • iheartshoes83

    can you provide the nutritional info please? i need to know how many grams of carbs and protein these have….

  • funny. I read your site all the time and am sure I saw this post and ignored it. today I got a larabar for the first time and it was delicious but I thought “I can make this at home” and googled and your recipe came up…funny that. after I finish the ones I got I’ll be sure to make them at home.

  • Hi,

    These do look lovely. I’d also had success with making all sorts of Larabars at home. I have never found date paste before, so never thought to use it. I just use soft medjool dates– put them in the food processor until they form a ball of paste and then mix in your processed nuts by hand and get the sticky mess all over! A really nice one is simply peanuts and dates with a touch of salt. Delicious! Or try an autumn-themed one of pumpkin seeds, dates, hazelnuts, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. Really wholesome.

  • Amy Floyd

    I had my first larabar about 3 weeks ago and loved it (I don’t really care for food bars, in general). I immediately looked for a recipe and came across your site. It encouraged me to just play around. I threw in some medjool dates (pitted first), some toasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and some coconut into my food processor. Whirled into sticky and then rolled out between 2 sheets of parchment paper. I cut the edges clean (and ate the scraps!), then cut the rest into 4 nice squares. Wrapped in parchment paper and put into the fridge. Now I’m good to go when I have a sweet tooth or need to eat on the run.

  • Hi all,

    Great to see so many bright ideas with the health bars. Here’s one that I make.
    This is a slightly more indulgent version. In keeping with the healthy theme I’ve used organic dark chocolate and raw nuts. You can exchange the chocolate for 3 tablespoons of cocoa, but the chocolate is definitely worth trying.
    They’re a snap to make, relatively cheap and incredibly economical. This mixture makes about 16 – 20 good-sized bars (50g).

    • 500 G PITTED DATES
    • 200 G RAW ALMONDS


    Using a food processor, process the nuts until well-ground (leave a few small lumps in). Pour into a deep mixing bowl.

    Break the chocolate bar into small, even-sized pieces and place in processor bowl and blitz into fairly fine crumbs. Add to nuts and stir with a fork to distribute evenly through the mix. Add sesame seeds if using.

    Process the dates in small batches to a stiff pulp (they will have a fudge-like texture). Add all to the nuts and chocolate.

    Using your hands, knead mix until well combined. (this step is a little messy). Work the mix into a ball and pat into shape.

    Line a large pastry board with glad-bake to avoid sticking.
    Turn mixture onto the board, press to flatten and then roll with a rolling pin into a flat, roughly rectangular shape approx a4 sheet size. It should be about 1 to 1.5 cm thick. Trim sides level and set trimmings aside.

    With a sharp knife, cut the mix in half lengthways. Cut each half into eight even-sized bars. Place bars onto a baking tray and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour until very firm (the chocolate will firm the mixture as it chills.

    Repeat with trimmings, rolling into a smaller rectangle and cut into similar-sized bars until all used.

    When bars are firm enough to handle, wrap each in cling wrap and then foil or coloured foil wrap. Seal and label if desired.

    • Peggy Cimorelli

      Oh my, I JUST LOVE UR IDEA, with the rolling pin, as apposed to other options, but I guess what ever is easier for each person, & still achieve the same results in the end… <3

  • I was so pleased to stumble across this recipe today! My fiance always arrives home late from work starving because he doesn’t snack in the afternoon and I am trying to turn him onto larabars. Making them at home is so much more economical than dropping $20 a week on them at Whole Foods.

    Thank you!

  • I really liked this recipe! My bars were a bit crumbly so I think I needed to soak my date paste. Otherwise, it was a very tasty treat!

    I posted about it here.

  • I have been following your blog for a quite a while. I recently tried my first Nakd Bar in the UK (I understand these are very similar to Larabars, all natural ingredients and usually based on a mix of nuts and dates) and had the same idea of recreating these at home. Very helpfully, Nakd Bars stated % values for their ingredients so it was even easier to work out what ratio of nuts and dates to use and the results were simply delicious.

    I know in your post (albeit over a year old already) you asked about other flavour ideas. As I am a massive fan of anything chocolate-orange flavoured, my latest creation involved the grated zest of 1 orange and ca. 2 tablespoon of organic dark chocolate drops (I put the grated orange zest into my food processor at the same time as the dates and nuts and added the chocolate drops once I had reached the desired consistency). Oh, and another thing, I have noticed that pulsing the dates with the nuts at the same time makes for clean fingers and perfect consistency (once I can see the nuts are chopped to fairly small chunks, the dates have usually been processed into a nice paste, I can add my chocolate chips or anything else I would like to add and then put everything between two sheets of parchment paper and roll it out to desired thickness).

    Seriously though, try the chocolate orange version.

    Also, for anyone needing convincing on these bars, adding a good 5 grams of Valrhona Cocoa Powder per 100 grams of nuts and dates and processing the whole mixture a tad longer (though not too long, otherwise the oils from the nuts start seeping out) creates really fudge chocolatey bars … now add a sprinkling of fleur de sel to the mix and hmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

    x Sophia

    • Thanks for these great suggestions, Sophia!

    • Peggy Cimorelli

      Hi, I agree with you as well, anything choc & orange is at the top of my list.

  • Levana

    These larabars are shockingly good — even better if you can possibly forget them (difficult!) in your fridge for three days. That way, the cocoa powder and spices have a chance to truly permeate these delicious bars. Would that they were more than just six!

    Honestly, I didn’t really expect much more than an upgraded energy bar, but I certainly never expected to sink my teeth into such a sublime confection. My husband, who is half French and possesses a nicely developed palate, is in love with them.

    I confess that I wanted a touch more than a hint of cinnamon, and next time I will add just a few more cardamom seeds. The nut combination I used in my first batch was: cashews, almonds, and hazelnuts — all of which I toasted in the oven first. Toasted almonds and (dark) chocolate are heaven in my book. This second time, I overcame my laziness / impatience and shelled some pistachios to add to the mix. And I will force myself to wait for three days to taste the result.

    This is my first post on C&Z, but have your books, have seen you on American TV and have been reading your blog and cooking your recipes for some years now. Yes, you are one of my rock stars. And I’ve been remiss in waiting so very long to connect with the author of my much-loved, well-used, ingredient-splattered copy of Chocolate & Zucchini: Daily Adventures in a Parisian Kitchen. Who knows, maybe we’ll meet some day.

    • So glad you liked them, Levana, and I agree with you that they get better with age. And thanks for the kind words!

  • Beth

    Whaou! My daughter *loves* Larabars – she can’t have soy because of its interference with her hormones, as if puberty weren’t bad enough on its own!!! Larabars the only soy-free bar we’ve found, but they are pricey and she loveslovesloves new recipes, so we’ll be making a batch of these this weekend! Many thanks!!!

  • Psuke

    Perfect! I’ve been wanting to make my own energy bars, but all the recipes have sugar and/or butter or something to make it all stick together. These look like an excellent alternative!

  • Ny

    I love your recipes. I need a breakfast bar w/o nuts or oatmeal due to food allergies. Do you know of anything? Thanks!

    • Katharina

      Use the same recipe and just use various seeds – sunflower seeds, pumpkin, amaranth, sesame, etc. I have a recipe for a baked seed bar….I have to find it!

  • sarah

    I stumbled across this trying to find a substitute for organix date bars for my son (£1.99 for 5 bars!!) I will give these a go, thanks.

  • Gymgirl

    I ordered some customized energy bars online earlier this year. They used almond paste and cocoa nibs in my recipe. Is almond paste a viable substitute in the Larabars? Or, are they made specifically with date paste?

    • I’ve never tried it with almond paste, but it’s worth a try!

  • JUST whipped these little guys up! I did them with turkish apricots, roasted almonds and cinnamon. Can’t wait to see how they turn out! I have a great recipe for raw date and coco truffles you’d love. Check it out on my blog, Foodiewithalife.com


  • Tried a chocolate cherry version of these – SO delicious. I was winging the quantities but it was something close to 3/4 c dates (9 dates), 1/2 c raw cashews, two small handfuls dried cherries, two tablespoons cacao nibs, and one tablespoon chia seeds. Next time I’ll measure by weight so it’s easier to do again.

    • That sounds wonderful, Lisa, thanks for sharing!

  • Those go straight to my to do list for this summer, thanks! :-)

    • I hope you report back when you try them!

  • Masboyzz Boyzz
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  • Masboyzz Boyzz
  • Stella_L

    hi Clotilde, do you think dates/date paste could be substituted with dried figs, soaked and then blended?

    • Absolutely! It would come together in quite the same way, but note that the texture would be grainy from the tiny fig seeds. I don’t think it would bother me, but you should know to expect it!

  • Nehal McGregor

    Lovely recipe! This takes me back to my childhood when grandma made nut bars with dates and dried figs as a base and loads of roasted nuts. She never used chocolate. I cannot wait to try these.

    • Wow, your grandmother was really ahead of her time! Where was this?

      • Nehal Mc

        This was in India.

        I just made this recipe for some vegan friends of ours, serving it as a dessert with some freshly ground pink pepper corns and a dusting of raw cocoa + some almond vegan ice cream. It was very well received. Thanks again.

  • HKinsler

    So I realize this in an old feed…..I like to make these and roll them into balls for easy transport and portioning for me and the child. Hard working kitchen tools make all the difference in being able to cook at home.

    • You’re right, the same mixture can be rolled into energy balls! I find the bars easier to transport myself as they’re less prone to getting squooshed. The balls can be rolled in grated coconut to make lovely little truffles as well.

  • Mark singsank

    Testing, testing

  • Mark singsank

    Sorry, about testing. Soon in america the processed food will have to list not only added sweeteners but sugar content of ingredients like your dates(fructose).

    • That’s so interesting, thank you Mark. Do you have a link to a source for that information? (As an aside, I would start by displaying the percentage of daily recommended sugar intake on those nutrition facts…)

      • Mark singsank

        I’ll watch for FDA update or any other source. Your quick on the reply!

  • Susan Foulds

    Thank you for this inspiration. I love Larabars as do my grown sons and my husband. Because I live in a rural area they are not available except by mail. Costco sells them for a reasonable price but the neares costco is an 8-10 hr drive. I will be putting these in recipe rotation immediately. I really look forward to your emails and always find your recipes delicious and easy to make.

    • Thank you so much, Susan. I hope you like the bars. Do report back on the variations you try!

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