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Wednesday 22 August 2012

Baking for Beginners: Cranberry Cereal Bars

I've got a bit of a thing for condensed milk at the moment - I used it in the white chocolate and pistachio fudge I made last week. You should always be wary of any recipe that only needs a few spoonfuls or 'half a tin'. You'll just end up standing by your fridge with a massive spoon and a guilty look on your face when someone comes into the kitchen.

These cereal bars aren't exactly healthy, but they are tasty. It's a recipe based loosely on an idea from Nigella and a little like a milky flapjack. Just throw in whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit you have in the cupboards and then bake. You could dip on end in chocolate if you fancied it, but make sure it's dark - they're already sweet enough not to feel like a proper breakfast.

Cranberry cereal bars (make around 16 bars)
You'll need:
  • 1 tin condensed milk
  • 250g rolled porridge oats
  • 150g mixed seeds and nuts (if they're not salted, add a pinch of salt when you mix)
  • 150g dried cranberries
  • Dark chocolate, optional
Make it!
  1. Thoroughly grease a baking tray and preheat your oven to 130 degrees.
  2. Warm the condensed milk in a pan. If you can do this without burning the bottom, I'm impressed. Don't worry, as long as you don't incinerate the pan, your mixture will taste perfectly fine.
  3. Stir in the oats, making sure they don't stick to the bottom.
  4. Turn the heat off and mix in everything else, then transfer to your baking tin.
  5. Pop in the oven for 50 minutes.
  6. Leave to cool for 10-15 minutes and then slice into bars or squares (no longer, they'll stick to the pan and harden and you won't get a clean cut).
  7. When cool, dip on end in melted dark chocolate and leave to set.
  8. Serve with cups of tea, or grab on your way out of the house in the morning.


  1. When you compare this to the original Nigella recipe (or "idea" as you call it - available online here: ), this recipe seems more than "based on" and this article should have acknowledged and linked to the source recipe, from which it is barely adapted.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Anon. This recipe was inspired by one in a book and I couldn't remember which one. Nigella certainly isn't the first to mix fruit and condensed milk together! I also don't use dessicated coconut or peanuts, since I hate them. Not really a huge fan of sesame seeds either, unless they're on prawn toast. And she doesn't dip hers in chocolate. So I'd say that this recipe has changed rather a lot.

  2. Hello - thought you might like to know that I have now made this recipe about 6 times with slight adaptations each time (toasting 1/2 the oats before adding to condensed milk, adding ginger, adding a desertspoon of honey, less fruit and some walnuts) and each time has been incredibly yummy! We live in Hong Kong, where butter is really quite pricey, but oats and condensed milk are not....and my husband loves flapjack...and this is virtually there on the home baked sweet oats thank you from the bottom of his tummy! :)


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