Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
This carrot cake baked oatmeal is dense and hearty, with all the flavor of carrot cake in the form of a warm, healthy breakfast. You won’t believe how easy it is to make!
Carrot cake is definitely a thing around Easter and springtime. Is it because bunnies eat carrots? Or because carrots are one of the first crops to be planted and harvested once the ground thaws in the spring? We’re not food historians here, just breakfast lovers, so we’ll let you ponder these questions while we drop this recipe for amaaazing carrot cake baked oatmeal.
Friends, if you love a thick slice of carrot cake with tangy cream cheese frosting, then you’re going to want to make a batch of carrot cake baked oatmeal ASAP. Just like the cake, it’s moist, dense, and flavorful, loaded with lots of cozy spices, crunchy walnuts, and raisins.
While we love banana blueberry baked oatmeal and apple cinnamon baked oatmeal, this carrot cake baked oatmeal is definitely our favorite for Easter brunches and springtime celebrations. (Or even just a casual weekend breakfast—because it’s easy enough for that too.)
About this carrot cake baked oatmeal
So first, let’s talk about baked oatmeal. TikTok has popularized a version of baked oatmeal that’s blended smooth before baking. That is not what you get with this recipe—you get all the texture of the rolled oats, nuts, coconut, and raisins, and we consider that a good thing, similar to our blueberry banana baked oatmeal. It makes this feel like a substantive, filling breakfast that’s also healthy.
“Hold your horses!”, you say. “How can this be healthy with a cream cheese glaze?!”
Well, the glaze is juuust sweetened a bit with honey. There’s no powdered sugar or other sweeteners added, so it’s nothing like the thick, rich frosting usually slathered over the top of carrot cake. You can, of course, skip the glaze if you’d like, but we think it’s the perfect finishing touch for carrot cake baked oatmeal. Or, on the flip side, you can use a more traditional cream cheese glaze with powdered sugar if you like things a bit more on the sweet side.
What you need
- Dry ingredients – Rolled oats, shredded carrot, shredded unsweetened coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg
- Wet ingredients – Egg, milk, walnuts
- Glaze – Cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla extract, honey, milk
- Plus – Raisins for mixing into the carrot cake baked oatmeal and for topping
Pro-tip: If you have time—and if you enjoy going the extra mile when you cook—you can place the raisins in a small bowl and pour spiced rum over the top. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let this sit overnight, or for at least 4 hours. The raisins will be plump and juicy, and infused with spiced rum flavor; because they’re saturated with liquid, they won’t absorb any from the baked oatmeal, making it moister. (This trick works for traditional carrot cake too!)
How to make it
Combine the dry ingredients. Stir together the oats, carrots, coconut, brown sugar, and spices in a mixing bowl.
Finish the oatmeal mixture. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and milk until the egg is beaten and the mixture is smooth. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and stir with a spatula, then fold in the walnuts and raisins. Cover the bowl and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Bake. Near the end of the chilling time, start preheating your oven to 350ºF. Grease a baking dish with butter or cooking spray and pour in the oat mixture.
Dot the top with the reserved raisins, then bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the baked oatmeal is set and just beginning to brown along the edges.
Make the glaze. Stir together the cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey in a small bowl. Once the mixture is smooth, pour in the milk and whisk vigorously until the glaze is pourable and silky. Pour the glaze over the oatmeal just before serving.
Tip: If you’d like your glaze to be thinner, add an extra tablespoon of milk.
Oats have more protein than people think—a dry cup has 13 grams of protein. Add eggs, milk, nuts, and cream cheese, and this carrot cake baked oatmeal packs a decent amount of protein into each serving.
Rolled oats are our favorite for baking. Also known as old-fashioned oats, they give your baked oatmeal a hearty, satisfying texture and, unlike steel cut oats, you don’t need to cook them separately before adding them to the recipe.
How to make this carrot cake baked oatmeal your own
This carrot cake baked oatmeal is pretty dang perfect as-is, but you can put your own spin on it with the ideas below:
- Make it vegan. Use a flax egg or vegan egg substitute in place of the egg, a plant-based milk instead of dairy, and maple syrup or agave in place of the honey. For the cream cheese, you can substitute your favorite plant-based cream cheese, use homemade cashew cream, or try our coconut whipped cream for something different.
- Make it without raisins. Not a raisin fan? They sure are a polarizing ingredient! You can omit the raisins, add more walnuts, or try adding another dried fruit like currants or cranberries.
- Make it nut-free. Swap the walnuts for toasted pepitas and you’ll still get a crunchy texture in your carrot cake baked oatmeal, without the nuts. Or just skip the nuts altogether!
Make Ahead Ideas
You can prepare this carrot cake baked oatmeal the night before and chill it in the refrigerator overnight. Let it sit at room temperature while the oven preheats in the morning.
Cover the leftovers in the baking dish, or transfer them to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Leftovers can be eaten warm or cold. If you prefer your leftovers warm, heat in microwave for 30-60 seconds or until warmed through. Let frozen carrot cake baked oatmeal thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
More oat recipes
Get the Recipe: Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- 2 ¼ cups rolled oats (old fashioned oats)
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- ¾ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¾ cup milk
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- ⅓ cup raisins (more for topping if desired)
For cinnamon cream cheese glaze:
- ½ cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoon milk
- In a bowl combine the oats, carrots, coconut, brown sugar and spices. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the egg milk until incorporated. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones and with the help of a spatula stir.
- Fold in the walnuts and raisins. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking dish and pour the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish. Decorate with more raisins.
- Take to the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until done.
- In a bowl stir together the cream cheese, cinnamon, vanilla and honey until the cream cheese has softened and everything is roughly incorporated.
- Pour in the milk and whisk vigorously until the glaze is pourable and silky.
- Pour over oatmeal immediately before serving.
- Let the batter rest for 30 minutes. That gives the oats some time to soak up some of the liquids, creating a better texture.
- Feel free to skip the raisins if you are not a raisin fan, or omit the nuts if you’d like.
- You can also sub the brown sugar for coconut sugar.
- If you like your glaze to be thinner, add 1 extra tablespoon of milk.
- You can swap the honey in the glaze for maple syrup or for agave.
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