homemade chocolate brownie clif bars

Thanks to Sister for the below post, and for making these delicious Clif-inspired bars! They were absolutely delicious!


The first time I ever had a Clif bar was about 1 year ago. I instantly feel in love with these snack items! My absolute favorite flavors were Chocolate Brownie, Banana Bread and Carrot Cake. I used to eat about 3-4 Clif bars a week because they were just THAT good! But then, I started to have problems eating gluten… and oddly it was actually Clif bars that first started giving me problems… So I had to shed a few tears and say my good byes to these most delicious treats.

Last year when I was in the heat of my Clif bar eating, I tried making a homemade version to save some money ($1-$1.25/bar). The recipes I could find online used peanut butter so I gave that a shot. While this recipe did create a tasty granola bar, well, it wasn’t really a Clif bar per se… And I think this was because no flavor of Clif bars have peanut butter in them?

Well, I have been missing these bars so much lately that I finally decided it was time to try making them again. I looked and looked online to see if I could find other types of recipes for these bars but they all ended up coming back to that original recipe that I knew didn’t create a totally authentic version of the Clif bar. After some searching and calculating, I ended up coming up with a bar that uses many of the ingredients used in the Clif bar with a few modifications to make them nutritionally compatible to a store bought bar.

A regular Chocolate Brownie Clif bar has 230 calories, 4.5g fat, 5g fiber and 9g protein. My version came out with 248 calories, 7.2g fat, 2.5g fiber and 8.8g protein. Not totally there but pretty darn close!

While these still don’t quite emulate the gooeyness of regular Clif bars, the FLAVOR was almost spot on, if not even just a little bit tastier! But the one thing these have over store bought Clif bars is the fact that they are GLUTEN FREE! Yeah! Now, if only Clif would start making their versions gluten free…

Chocolate Brownie Clif Bars

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 ¼ cup brown rice cereal
  • 2 T flax
  • 2 T cocoa powder
  • 1 T chocolate chips
  • 2 scoops protein powder
  • ¼ c brown rice syrup
  • ¼ c date paste (pour 2/3 cup hot water over a cup of pitted medjool dates. Let them soak for about an hour, and then blend them well using a Vitamix or food processor)
  • 2 T coconut butter
  1. Line 8” baking pan with wax paper and lightly sprayed with cooking spray or wiped with coconut butter.
  2. Once pan is prepped, mix first 6 ingredients in medium sized bowl. Bring brown rice syrup, date paste and coconut butter to a boil.
  3. Once hot, pour hot liquids over dry ingredient and stir well.
  4. Spread mixture in prepared pan and allow to cool completely. Cut into 6 squares.

Note: I used Whey protein powder for the protein powder which is not sweetened but was vanilla
flavored. If you use different protein powder, you might need to work with the flavor a bit to make
them sweet enough/not too sweet.

16 thoughts on “homemade chocolate brownie clif bars

  1. Pingback: My Friend Clif. | Better off Barefoot

  2. I love Cliff bars! Thankfully, I don’t have any issues with my tummy, but this is a great recipe! 🙂 Of course anything that has chocolate in it is a winner. 🙂

  3. Pingback: WIAW: Veggie Edition | Better off Barefoot

  4. I am so excited to try this recipe. I love Clif bars too- and have been making a copycat recipe for a few years now. I’m tired of the nut butters the recipe calls for overshadowing the other flavors in/of the bars— no matter what flavor combination I choose. They just always taste predominantly like almond or cashew or peanuts or whichever. It’s disappointing when there are so many “flavors” to make– why bother when they always just taste like nut butter in the end!? I hope this is a winner as I am eager to try making one of their newer flavors, coconut chocolate chip. Yum! Thank you!

    • This base was really close to the chocolate brownie clif bar… we still need to do come experimenting with other flavors but it was definitely not another nut butter granola bar! Coconut chocolate chip sounds like a great flavor to try… might have to try to make that one soon :). Let me know if you have success with the recipe and what flavor(s) you try!

  5. HI,

    What brand/type of brown rice cereal do you use? I have tried making these a few times and they just become a crumbled mess. I thinking I am using the wrong brown rice cereal? My daughter loves them even though they are a crumbled mess which makes me happy because she is addicted to do the Kidz Cliff bars and I wanted to subsitute it with something a little healthier


    • Hi Leslie – I think the brand is Erewhon and it’s the crispy brown rice type. If that’s what you’re using, you could always try decreasing the amount used or increasing the liquid to make it stick together. Sorry they’re not turning out for you!

      • Thanks Kelsey.

        They are turning out for me because my daughter is eating them – so that is success in my book. Sorry about my post – I just realize it sounds kind of negative and I didn’t mean it to be. I knew I was messing something up because I look at the pictures you posted and I look at what I make and there is a difference. I am almost certain I am using the wrong kind of brown rice cereal. I am going to look for the brand you suggested. I want to try to get it right because I think they will be so good – if my daughter likes them when I can’t make them right – I can’t image how much she will like them when I get it right.

        Thanks for the awesome recipe.

  6. Dear Kelsey.

    I am a complete idiot. I was using brown rice cereal (like you find in the baby isle). I did not read the recipe right – Crisp brown rice cereal (like rice crispy) – not baby food cereal. I get it now!! Duh…

    I look forward to making them correct this time! I have a feeling my daughter is going to love it!

    Thanks again for the great recipe!

  7. Flax seeds? Brown or golden?

    Quaker oats? Don’t they have to be cooked in order to be digestible?

    Anyway, it looks delicious and I’m sure we’ll try it.

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