This baked oatmeal is perfect for breakfast. It’s naturally gluten free, hearty, and delicious. Serve it plain or with fruit!
What is Baked Oatmeal?
Baked oatmeal is a sweet breakfast bake or casserole made with mainly oats (of all types), eggs, sugar, milk, and oil or butter. As a healthier alternative or because of dietary restrictions, it is sometimes made without refined sugar, dairy, or eggs.
The thing I really love about baked oatmeal is how filling it is and that’s something that most breakfast meals aren’t. Not only does it satisfy my sweet tooth, it also keeps me from snacking before lunch.
What does Baked Oatmeal taste like?
This one in particular tastes similar to an oatmeal cookie in bar form; it’s soft and chewy, slightly crisp on the outside, moist, flavorful, and perfectly spiced.
The edge slices are my favorite!
Baked Oatmeal vs. Cooked Oatmeal
- The consistency of baked oatmeal ranges from that of a thick soft cookie to bread pudding. Cooked oatmeal has a porridge consistency; thick, creamy, and “gloppy”.
- Baked oatmeal usually contains eggs or egg replacements, butter or oil and baking powder, whereas cooked oatmeal does not.
- Although cooked oatmeal is quicker to make it requires constant attention while cooking otherwise it burns. Baked oatmeal on the other hand has more of a hands-free approach. After mixing all of the ingredients together and pouring the batter into the pan, all that’s left to do is bake and wait.
Basic Baked Oats
This is a base recipe for small batch baked oatmeal that is so simple and easy to make, requires only 6 minutes prep, and is completely adaptable.
Add-ins & Variations
Baked oatmeal tastes great plain but there are many different ways that you can make it to suit your tastes. Here are some yummy ideas for how to eat it, how to serve it, and what to top it with.
- Top with Fruit or Yogurt
Not only does this look pretty and appetizing, it also makes for a more well-rounded breakfast. Some fruits typically used as toppings are apples, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches, pears, and cherries.
- Drizzle with Maple Syrup or Honey
Simple but perfect for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.
- Omit the Spices and Add Chocolate Chips
I know kids would love this one! It would make for a tasty snack or breakfast to go.
- Cinnamon Apple Flavor
Add 1 or 2 finely chopped apples.
- Banana Flavor
Add 1 or 2 sliced bananas.
- Mixed Berry Flavor
Mix in your favorite berries, fresh or frozen.
Baked Oatmeal with Quick Oats
This recipe calls for quick oats (not to be confused with instant); they’re thinner and smaller than regular oats, absorb liquid quicker, and therefore cook faster.
Why is there baking powder in baked oatmeal?
Since baking powder is a leavening agent it lightens the texture and increases the volume by expanding the batter during baking so that the end product isn’t too dense.
Why oil? Why is there no butter?
Most baked oatmeal recipes call for butter for flavor and moisture. I’ve tried this recipe with both and the version with oil is definitely the best. In this case the butter doesn’t really provide much flavor, the brown sugar does that. The oil provides the perfect amount of moisture and tenderness.
You can use vegetable oil or melted coconut oil. Other types of flavorless oils will work too.
Can I use white sugar instead of brown?
I don’t recommend using white sugar for this recipe because the brown sugar plays a big role in the flavor and texture here. You’d most likely get a different outcome, but if you do try it let me know how it turns out in the comments below.
Should I use a glass pan or a metal one?
I always use a metal pan but you can use either one. If you decide to use a glass pan you may need to bake for a couple minutes longer.
Can I use an 8×8 inch pan?
Yes, you can. You’d just have to bake for a little longer and it will be slightly thicker.
How to tell when Baked Oatmeal is done:
The top should be firm to the touch and the center should be fully baked through (not wet). You can use a toothpick to check for doneness. Also, the edges will be slightly darker brown than the top and will most likely be pulled away from the pan.
Can Baked Oatmeal be made the night before?
I don’t recommend making it the night before but you can prepare it by mixing together all of the dry ingredients then incorporating the wet ingredients in the morning.
The reason why you shouldn’t make it ahead is because the oats will soak up all of the liquid resulting in a much softer and soggier end result, especially if using quick oats.
How long does Baked Oatmeal last? Can it be left out overnight?
You can leave it out overnight. I do all the time! It lasts for about 24 hours at room temperature. After that, I strongly suggest refrigerating to prevent it from spoiling.
If properly stored it should last for 4 – 5 days.
How do you store Baked Oatmeal? Does Baked Oatmeal need to be refrigerated?
Cover leftovers tightly with foil or plastic wrap, or place them in a resealable plastic bag.
I like to leave them in the pan they were baked in and simply cover it tightly with foil.
Basic Baked Oatmeal Recipe
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- 2 cups quick oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1 cup milk, dairy or nondairy
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Spray a 9x9 inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, or grease with oil, or line with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl mix together all of the dry ingredients until evenly combined.
- Incorporate the wet ingredients; stir in the milk and vanilla extract then beat in the eggs and oil.
- Pour batter into the baking pan in an even layer.
- Bake for 24 – 25 minutes until the top is dry and firm to the touch.
- Cool in pan 15 minutes before slicing. Oatmeal will fall apart if sliced while too hot.
- Best served warm, immediately after cooling.
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