Copycat KIND Bars

Copycat KIND Bars are a homemade version of the popular, wholesome, nut-packed energy bars...use your favorite ingredients to make them economically at home!

Copycat KIND Bars with text overlay.


Y'all are familiar with KIND Bars, right? In case you're not, I'm talking about those individually packaged, granola bar-resembling snack bars that you can buy at the grocery store/health food store/convenience store/just about anywhere, but instead of oats they're loaded with nuts. My family is on a mission this year to include more heart- and brain-healthy nuts in our diet, so if you're inclined to do the same, these Copycat KIND Bars will be right up your alley!

Mixture pressed into parchment-lined pan.

Store-bought KIND Bars come in a plethora of flavors, packed with everything from nuts to coconut to dried fruit to chocolate, and I'll admit that some of the varieties are healthier (and some are more candy bar-esque) than others. What I love about the ability to make my own Copycat KIND Bars at home is that *I* get to control the ingredients. I can cram in as many wholesome nuts and seeds as I want, or I can add in a few goodies (dried fruit, chocolate chips) to make them more treat-like.

KIND Bar recipe cut into bars.

As an added bonus, making homemade KIND Bars is more economical than buying them. Those store-bought bars may be tasty, but they're also pricey. Not that nuts are ever inexpensive, but with an initial investment of a few bags of nuts (cheaper still if you buy them in bulk!), you can make pan after pan of Copycat KIND Bars.

These Copycat KIND Bars make a great grab-and-go breakfast or snack. They don't have to be refrigerated and they hold together nicely, just like real KIND Bars. They're loaded with protein and fiber and healthy fats, meaning they'll keep you feeling full for a good while.

Close-up of KIND Bar recipe.

When I first thought about making my own homemade KIND Bars, I did some research and found that there were different ways to accomplish the same end goal. After trying a few different methods and combinations of ingredients, my favorite outcome came from using brown rice syrup.

Brown rice what??? I know. I'd never bought it before either. But it was easy to find at my local Whole Foods and word on the street is that you can also find it on Amazon as well? (I'll drop a link in Tips & Tricks below).

I liked making these Copycat KIND Bars with brown rice syrup because after baking and cooling, they were crunchy and glossy looking, just like store-bought KIND Bars. Brown rice syrup was easy to work with, neutral in flavor, and lightly (not cloyingly) sweet. The flavor of the nuts was still shining right through.

Close-up of stack of KIND Bars.

My family found these bars sweet enough using just the brown rice syrup and some dried fruit. However, if you prefer sweeter bars, you can stir a little honey into the brown rice syrup. Alternatively, you could add some chocolate chips to your nut mixture. If you want to get really fancy, you could even dip or drizzle your Copycat KIND Bars in melted chocolate, like some of the store-bought ones. But for me, that's far too much work...throwing in a few chocolate chips seems way easier. 😉

Aerial view of homemade KIND Bar recipe.

Overall, these Copycat KIND Bars are super easy to customize! Let's break down the ingredients, shall we?

  1. Nuts ~ this recipes calls for 2 cups total. Use your favorite varieties! The pictured Copycat KIND Bars were made with ½ cup unsalted roasted almonds, ½ cup pecan pieces, ½ cup walnut pieces, and ½ cup cashews. You may lightly toast your nuts if you like, but it's totally not necessary.
  2. Puffed Rice ~ I used unsweetened organic brown rice puffs, which I found in the cereal aisle. I think the puffed rice is important in these bars because it keeps them from being too dense and heavy.
  3. Dried Fruit ~ I used apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries, which is why they look almost black in the pics. Sugar-sweetened cranberries have a redder hue. You could also used raisins (regular or golden), dried cherries, chopped dried apricots, or whatever dried fruit is your favorite!
  4. Seeds ~ I made my bars with 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, and 1 tablespoon ground flax meal. Feel free to swap in any seeds you like as long as they total about 4 tablespoons. Seeds are a great way to sneak even more vitamins and nutrients into this recipe, but you can leave them out altogether if you prefer.
  5. Vanilla & Salt ~ For flav-ah! However, if you use salted nuts, feel free to cut back on (or omit) the additional salt from the recipe.
  6. Optional Ingredients ~ Add 1 to 2 tablespoons honey for sweeter bars. Add 2 tablespoons almond butter, peanut butter, or any other nut butter for an extra layer of flavor. Swap in ½ cup packed coconut flakes for ½ cup of the nuts. Stir regular or mini chocolate chips into the mixture. Or dip/drizzle the finished bars in melted chocolate (with a little coconut oil stirred in to help it set).
Aerial view of fruit and nut mixture.

After you make these Copycat KIND Bars once, you'll see that they're easy to customize to your family's preferences. Swap out the ingredients to mimic your favorite store-bought bars, or create your very own flavor combo! After all, isn't the true beauty of a copycat recipe that you can take an original...and make it even better? Enjoy, friends!

Homemade KIND Bars on a plate.

Helpful Tips, Tricks, & Equipment

  • When making a bar recipe like this, I prefer baking it in a pan with really sharp corners (as opposed to rounded corners) like this one. This results in more evenly shaped bars.
  • When I line a pan with parchment paper, I find that the paper stays in place better if I first grease the pan. So I coat my pan with a little bit of coconut oil and then press the parchment paper down into it. The parchment paper's corners and sides stay put, and I can transfer my nut mixture into the pan without worrying about the paper moving around.
  • Two sides of the parchment need to slightly extend above the top of the pan…but not so high up that they catch fire in the oven!? Then, once the bars are baked and adequately cooled, you can lift the slab from the pan by its parchment paper “sling.”
  • This is the brown rice syrup that I used.  These are the rice puffs that I used.
Copycat KIND Bars Recipe
  • Since brown rice syrup is thick and sticky, it's easier to work with when it's warm. You can pour it into a glass measuring cup and pop in the microwave for about 20 seconds. If you are adding nut butter and/or honey to your homemade KIND Bars, I'd recommend warming those with the brown rice syrup as well and stirring until combined. Just keep in mind that if you add nut butter and honey, your bars will turn out chewier and stickier than if you use only brown rice syrup.
  • If you are adding chocolate chips to your bars, be sure your brown rice syrup isn't too warm or the chocolate chips may get melty. Starting with frozen chocolate chips can help. If your chocolate chips do melt a bit, however, I promise the bars will still taste divine (even if they might not be as pretty). 😉
  • The nut mixture is really sticky after mixing it together. Scraping it into the pan isn't too bad, but pressing it down into an even layer can be tricky. So I decided to use an old Rice Krispies Treat-making trick that prevents melted marshmallow from sticking! Simply wet your hands, then use your wet palms and fingers to press the mixture into the pan.
Copycat KIND Bars ~ a homemade version of the popular, wholesome, nut-packed energy bars...use your favorite ingredients to make them economically at home! |

More Wholesome Snack Bars

Aerial view of two copycat KIND Bars.

Copycat KIND Bars

Copycat KIND Bars are a homemade version of the popular, wholesome, nut-packed energy bars...use your favorite ingredients to make them economically at home!
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10 bars
Calories: 220kcal
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  • 2 cups nuts
  • ½ cup puffed rice
  • ½ cup dried fruit, chopped, if the pieces are large
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons seeds, such as sunflower seeds, chia seeds, ground flax seed, etc.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup brown rice syrup, warmed just enough to pour easily


  • Adjust the oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 325°F. Grease an 8- by 8-inch square pan and line with parchment paper that slightly extends above the top edge of the pan on at least two sides; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the nuts, puffed rice, dried fruit, seeds, and salt until combined. Stir the vanilla into the brown rice syrup and drizzle over the ingredients in the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to stir until all of the ingredients are evenly coated.
  • Scrape the nut mixture into the prepared baking pan. With wet hands, press the mixture into an even layer. Bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then lift the parchment paper sling onto a cooling rack and allow to finish cooling. Once completely cool, cut the slab into 10 bars using a large knife.


Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Made this recipe? I'd love to see on IG!Mention @FiveHeartHome or tag #FiveHeartHome!

Adapted from The Kitchn

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This recipe got me going on making "Unkind Bars." Along the way, my recipe and technique have changed quite a bit, so I thought I'd post my experience to help out. Please use or adapt anything that you find helpful.

    First, I quickly switched to using silicone bar molds, which I ordered from Amazon. They work beautifully, and I've set up the ingredients to make just enough to fill up two sheets of molds. The bars look just like the real thing, and they come out easily. You don't really need to worry about oiling them, but I rub just a little drop of oil into each corner to make sure I don't lose any seedy goodness.

    I order the Torani Puremade (non-GMO) salted caramel syrup, whole brown flaxseeds, Lundberg brown rice syrup, and almond or walnut oil from Amazon. It's MUCH easier than chasing them down somehow locally.

    I buy the nuts at Costco because they have the best price on the largest amounts. Because I eat these bars every day, I go through a lot of them!

    I buy whole brown flaxseeds, store them in the freezer, and crack what I need for each batch. Flaxseeds are tremendously healthy, but their oils go rancid very quickly, so proper storage is key, and it's important not to buy ground flaxseed if you can possibly help it for the same reason. I purchased a small Hamilton Beach coffee/spice grinder from Amazon that I use just to crack the seeds open but not pulverize them. It has worked very well. You can use it to make ground flaxseeds, too, to add to breads, biscuits, or muffins, if you just spin the seeds longer.

    Here's my recipe, in two variations:


    Variation 1: Breakfast bars
    3/4 c almonds
    3/4 c walnuts
    1 c old-fashioned rolled oats
    1 1/4 c Kashi Go Original cereal, or other whole-grain puffed rice cereal
    1/2 c whole flaxseeds
    1/4 c Lundberg organic brown rice syrup
    2 Tblsp Torani Puremade salted caramel syrup

    Variation 2: Nut bars
    2 c almonds
    1 c walnuts
    1 c Kashi GoLean Original cereal, or other whole-grain puffed rice cereal
    6 T whole flaxseeds
    1/4 c Lundberg organic brown rice syrup
    2 Tblsp Torani Puremade salted caramel syrup

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Chop almonds and walnuts and spread them on the baking sheet along with the rolled oats, if using. Brown them in the oven for 10 minutes, or just until golden and fragrant, stirring halfway through if desired.

    Meanwhile, pour a small amount of neutral oil, such as walnut or almond oil, into a small bowl. Wearing disposable gloves or a plastic baggie, dip fingers into the bowl and work the oil quickly into the corners of 2 sets of silicone bar molds, 16 bar molds total. (You don’t need to obsess; the mixture doesn’t stick badly.) Spread a small amount of oil evenly across the bottom of a large bowl, oil a silicone spatula, and oil the measuring cup and small bowl that will hold the syrups. (All of this isn't strictly speaking essential, but you'll be grateful you took the time.)

    Place the puffed cereal in the large oiled bowl. Crack the flaxseeds in a spice grinder or coffee grinder and add them to the bowl. Pour in the nut mixture when it is finished browning and stir.

    Warm the syrups for 20 seconds in the microwave in the small oiled bowl. Pour over the other ingredients and stir thoroughly with the oiled spatula to incorporate. Mixture will be crumbly.

    Place the oiled molds onto the parchment-paper-lined baking sheet. Using a 1/3-cup measure and the silicone spatula, press mixture evenly into the molds. Each bar will be approximately 1/3 cup, loosely packed in the 1/3-cup measure.

    Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from oven to a cooling rack. Allow bars to cool for 15 minutes in the molds so that they can solidify. Remove from molds and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before wrapping each bar in a small sheet of parchment paper and storing them in a freezer bag in the pantry. (I keep the parchment wrappings in their freezer bag and reuse them.)

    Nutrition for Unkind Breakfast Bars:
    Calories: 153
    Total Fat: 9 g
    Saturated Fat: 1 g
    Mono Fat: 2 g
    Poly Fat: 2 g
    Sodium: 25 mg
    Potassium: 118 mg
    Total Carbs: 16 g
    Fiber: 4 g
    Sugars: 5 g
    Protein: 5 g

    Nutrition for Unkind Nut Bars:
    Calories: 189
    Total Fat: 14 g
    Saturated Fat: 1 g
    Mono Fat: 6 g
    Poly Fat: 6 g
    Sodium: 22 mg
    Potassium: 192 mg
    Total Carbs: 14 g
    Fiber: 5 g
    Sugars: 5 g
    Protein: 6 g

  2. So are these supposed to set up, or just be a liquid gooey mess, because these are a wet mess. Followed the recipe and baking directions to a T.

    1. Yes, when made per the directions, these bars will harden after setting and cooling, as depicted in the photos. 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    These are sooooo good! I’m making extra batches to have on hand. I added coconut flakes and went with the chocolate chips too. Thanks for creating and sharing 😀

  4. 5 stars
    These were really good. Sweet enough without added honey. Salty enough, could even have stood less salt.
    Will make again. Hardest part is deciding what ingredients I want to use.

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you for posting this! It is saving us a ton of money to make them ourselves and I think they actually taste better than KIND bars. I added more vanilla extract (closer to 1 TBSP) and maple syrup / honey instead of brown rice syrup. In my version, the sweetener caramelizes after 35 minutes in the oven and the bars firm up and are cuttable after an hour on the counter and I keep them refrigerated to keep them firm. (Note: Looks like brown rice syrup has a high glycemic index and arsenic content so I opted against using it.)

    1. 5 stars
      Mine are good but don’t cut nicely and I let them cool for a very long time... Interested with the Honey Maple Syrup Combo do you use the same amount to get the nuts to stick together as the brown rice syrup? Curious...

  6. 5 stars
    Brown rice syrup is not available where I live so I used maple syrup instead. I also subbed the seeds for shredded coconut and used puffed quinoa instead of rice, still turned out super yummy! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I will definitely use it again!

  7. 5 stars
    Thank you SO MUCH FOR THE COPY CAT KIND BARS recipe . I just made them SO GOOD .I know I will be making the often. What a great keeper recipe.

  8. I absolutely LOVE the idea of making my own granola type bars. My husband likes them for breakfast occasionally but the kinds we've seen in the store are too sweet for his taste - they're not supposed to be "candy bar like" for breakfast according to him. Me, I'd eat candy for breakfast but I try to use functioning brain cells to make my decisions for meals! Anyway, I look forward to trying these as soon as I get all the ingredients added to my grocery list. I also use this brand of brown rice syrup and find it has just the right amount of sweetness. Thanks for sharing this recipe and have a nice's probably warm by you but here in the Chicago area, it's still a bit cold and we have about 3-4" of snow on the ground.

    1. Ha, Chris...I could eat candy bars for breakfast as well, but luckily there are equally tasty, healthier options out there like these bars. 😉 I hope they were a hit if you've already had a chance to try them!