Overnight Crunchy Top Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

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I love oatmeal. I eat it almost every morning. Old-fashioned or steel cut oats, baked oatmeal or boiled, it’s all good. I have experimented with countless baked oatmeal recipes and this is a hands-down winner with everyone in my family.

When Smart Balance–a company that makes butters, oils, peanut butter, and other products aimed at avoiding trans fats naturally and reducing saturated fats, total fat and cholesterol–asked me to participate in a national recipe contest, I thought, “NO WAY!”  Heck, I was only playing around with a business Facebook page when I started The Fountain Avenue Kitchen.  I thought I checked all the boxes to keep the page private.  I mean, people didn’t really care what I was cooking, right?  Well, as you have figured out, I am not very tech-savvy and I accidentally made that page public.  (My husband informed me when he noticed I had two “likes!”)  So, I decided I would go with it and see what happened.

The thought of a national contest where people voted for me seemed crazy.  I mean, how would I ever get votes when I hate to ask anyone for anything??  When I learned that the winner would receive TWO trips for two to Canyon Ranch Hotel & Resort  in Miami Beach, Florida–one to keep and one to give away–I reconsidered.  I mean, the chances of winning are slim, but if I do, I get to give away a trip!  How fun would that be?  (Not to worry, you wouldn’t have to go with me!)

Then I thought about my recipes.  My baked oatmeals have been well received and they are healthy and delicious.  Though I have made my baked oatmeals with everything from butter to coconut oil, canola and grape seed oil, my original recipe calls for butter.  So, incorporating Smart Balance’s butter was a natural fit.  It felt authentic.  When I first cooked with this product, no one could tell a difference.  Now, I felt as though I could participate in the contest and, win or lose, feel good about it.  After all, if I convert a few people into baked-oatmeal eaters in the process, I will be happy.  That would be like winning!

My favorite part of this recipe is the little bit of sweet crunch on top.  Through much experimentation, I have created an oatmeal that is not mushy like stovetop oatmeal but can be cut and is the slightest bit cake-like.  I wanted an oatmeal that was healthy, whole grain, wheat-free, slightly sweet, and could be eaten like a muffin or topped with milk and any desired toppings.  I hope you approve!  Oh, and I would be thrilled if you voted for  my recipe!

UPDATE:  WE WON!!!!!  Click HERE to see the prize giveaway and thank you to all who voted.  Maybe we can do this again sometime!  

Thanks to Donovan Witmer for taking over the photography for me on this recipe!

This recipe was shared with Recipes for My Boys Thursday’s Treasures, week 54 and Sunflower Supper Club’s Weekend Potluck #38.

Overnight Crunchy Top Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
I am always experimenting with and tweaking my recipes and baked oatmeal is no exception! Recently, I began adding two tablespoons of steel cut oats to the batter. The recipe is delicious without, but if you have these oats on hand and like a bit more "texture" to your food, you could give it a try!

Yields 6-8 servings.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  2. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup or honey
  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  6. 1/4 cup melted Smart Balance Original Buttery Spread (butter or coconut oil may be substituted)
  7. 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (keep a pack of the individual serving cups on hand--they are the perfect size)
  8. 1 small apple, grated (fine to leave skin on)
  9. 1 1/4 cups milk (I use non-fat, any kind would work)
  10. 3 cups old-fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free oats if necessary)
  11. 1/3 cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the oats and brown sugar in a large bowl. Add oats and mix well.
  2. Transfer mixture to a buttered baking dish. (You may use a 9-inch pie plate or an 9-inch square pan--or really any 2-quart baking dish--depending on how thick you would like your oatmeal. A 10-inch cast iron skillet works well, too.) Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  3. When ready to bake, let the baking dish sit on the counter while the oven pre-heats to 375 degrees. Uncover the oatmeal and bake for 27-30 minutes or until just firm in the center. Remove oatmeal from oven, set oven to broil, and sprinkle brown sugar over top of oatmeal. Broil for a minute, watching very closely, or until the topping is melted and lightly browned.
  4. May serve with warmed milk, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans, and sliced bananas, if desired. My kids eat it plain, like a muffin; I load it up. Cover and store leftovers in the refrigerator. May reheat gently in the microwave.
Notes
  1. You may also make the baked oatmeal as muffins. When doing this, I refrigerate the uncooked oatmeal in the mixing bowl then transfer to the muffin tin once the liquid has been absorbed by the oats. I get 8 regular muffins or 6 jumbo and bake for approximately 20 minutes. (Because of the wider proportions of my jumbo tin, those muffins bake in the same amount of time as the muffins baked in my regular tin. Just peek a little early until you know the exact time for your oven.)
  2. If you use melted butter or coconut oil in this recipe, it is helpful to have the ingredients come to room temperature before mixing, That way, the butter or oil will not re-harden when it comes into contact with the cold ingredients.
The Fountain Avenue Kitchen http://fountainavenuekitchen.com/
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Comments

  1. Heidi Stadel

    This is great! So close to my ultimate favorite by Judy Carson. Have you ever tried a little nutmeg? Thanks for creating the recipe! I think Judy would smile.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thanks, Heidi! That is the ultimate compliment! I love nutmeg and occasionally use it in the pumpkin version. I should really use it more often: )

      Reply
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    1. Ann

      Thank you for the comment, Rhonda! I love the health factor as well as the ease. The fact that it tastes great and the kids love it is the best part!

      Reply
  5. Mary Lou Keller

    I plan to make some this weekend, especially since it is going to be much colder.. I voted for your recipe too.. 🙂

    Reply
  6. Mary Lou Keller

    Relish Ann! Hubby loved as well. Going to try the pumpkin one next time.

    Going to make roasted tomato soup for this evening and I’m going to add some roasted red peppers. I have them under broiler as I’m typing.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I might just surprise you with a visit, Mary Lou!!! Thank you for letting me know and I love your idea to add roasted red peppers to the soup. I bet it will be divine!

      Reply
  7. Mary Lou Keller

    I have a lot of people asking for your recipe.. so I will share it as well as your wonderful website.

    Reply
  8. Mary Lou Keller

    just noticed something in the photo you have above. Your kitchen towel, I think I have same ones. From Williams Sonoma? leave it to me to notice that .

    Reply
  9. barbara

    If you win, I’ll meet you there! hahahha! You made me laugh when you wrote, “Don’t worry, you don’t have to go with me.” lol I think if you should win, we should throw a Party!!! Good luck. Looks like you have a chance too! Great recipe! Smiles, Barbara Giacometti/ Sundayatthegiacomettis~

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I will gladly meet you there, Barbara! Wouldn’t that be fun?? As for the party, I think that is another brilliant idea! I have my work cut out for me and I appreciate all the support! Thank you!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      Yes. Use the same amount. I have often made my baked oatmeals with coconut oil and it works great! It does help to bring all your ingredients to room temperature so that the coconut does not re-harden when you add it to the mixture. Enjoy!!

      Reply
      1. LuAnn

        Hi…is the 1/4 cup of coconut oil mentioned replacing the smart balance original buttery spread in this recipe?

        Thanks!

        Reply
        1. Ann

          Hi LuAnn,
          I have used butter, coconut oil, canola and grape seed oil in this recipe, all with great results. When Smart Balance asked me to try their products, I used their buttery spread for the first time, and it worked very well. You may use whatever you prefer or have on hand. I hope you enjoy this recipe and some of the other varieties as well!

          Reply
  10. Mary Lou Keller

    Ha! You know I remembered you mentioning that in another recipe, and when I added the cold milk I noticed the coconut oil lumped up.

    I baked this morning and it was great! I am going to test my oven though. It is gas and doesn’t seem to be hot enough.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I have a gas cook top and an electric oven. It will be interesting to see what the test reveals. Perhaps it will be as simple as adjusting your temperature up by 25 degrees or so.

      Reply
  11. Rila Hackett

    Oh Ann… Congratulations! This recipe is most deserving of an award — Hurray! And… coincidentally… I just made the Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal this week (finished up the last piece today). All of us Hacketts are thrilled for you and with you!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you so much, Rila! The best part of this contest is hearing the feedback people who have cooked and enjoyed the recipe and, of course, having such good friends who are happy along with me–like you! It truly means a lot!

      Reply
  12. lee rowan

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I’m not very tech savey but thanks to Jack I got the news. Hooray. Canyon ranch not bad.
    Have you figured out yet how to send your blog if we don’t do face book?
    Lee

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Lee,
      Thank you!!! I am excited about Canyon Ranch! As for the blog, you can subscribe to the RSS feed by clicking on one of the four boxes at he top of the page–the one to the right of the P. That will allow you to see new posts by clicking on a link from the page where you get your emails. Let me know if you have trouble. By the way, your name came up this morning and John asked when Aunt Lee is planning on coming for a visit. So……???
      xoxo

      Reply
  13. Peg

    So excited for you as the national winner of this contest, Ann !!!
    Voting for you was easy because of all your delicious recipes and wonderful website.
    You are so good at responding to people with your comments/advice and that cannot be easy…takes a lot of time!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Thank you very much! Your thoughtful comments are most appreciated. You know the inspiration behind this…she would have responded, too: ) xoxo

      Reply
  14. Cutco Alex

    Congrats again!! Even though I’m not a regular in the kitchen, I promise to make this recipe when I get home for thanksgiving break from school – it sounds great! Hope the knives are cutting well with no accidents! I will be back in Lancaster County this Saturday, November 10th to exchange the white for the black so let me know what time might work best! Thanks again

    Reply
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    1. Ann

      I hope you enjoy, Erica! Also, if you look through the breakfast category on the righthand side of the page, you will find more baked oatmeal recipes. We are big fans here!

      Reply
  16. lindsay

    Ooooo I am so happy for you!!! Congratulations!! I do not like oatmeal, but I am totally trying this, because it looks fantastic, and I think it may just change my mind.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      As a non-oatmeal liker, if you make, you will have to let me know! Take a photo and I will even share on my page with your assessment: ) Thanks for the great comment, Lindsay!

      Reply
    1. Ann

      None! Seriously though…I actually don’t calculate nutritional content at this point although various people have mentioned using online apps including caloriecount.about.com and myfitnesspal.com. I hope that helps, and I am so glad you enjoyed!

      Reply
  17. Kim

    I am currently preggo and I CRAVE oatmeal. I came across this recipe tonight, just threw it together and absolutely can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and throw it in the oven. No sleeping in for me tomorrow. Thanks so much, hope it tastes as great as it smells!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Kim,
      I hope you love it! This recipe is my most basic, original version. If you like this one, I have quite a few varieties that you might also enjoy. I am a huge oatmeal fan, too…thanks for the great comment!

      Reply
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  19. Kate

    Hi Ann, you mentioned that we could substitue the melted Smart Balance Original Buttery Spread with butter, coconut oil, or canola oil. Same measurement?

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Good question and, yes, use the same quarter cup measurement for all of them. I have used each one of them and they all produce a great result!

      Reply
  20. Rachel

    Made this with half the honey and just a sprinkle of brown sugar and a coarse sugar on top. Also, pureed two cooked apples and mixed in since my one picky eater won’t do cooked apples yet. Anyway, both of my kids loved this. The oatmeal isn’t slimy or gooey at all and this is delicious for a breakfast treat and snack!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I am thrilled you and your kids enjoyed this recipe, Rachel, and think your adaptations sound perfect! Thank you for the feedback. By the way, I have several other variations listed in the breakfast category–strawberries and cream being my picky eater’s favorite–if you think any of these may appeal to your kids!

      Reply
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  22. Kainat

    you mentioned 1 teaspoon vanilla, is this vanilla essence or powder? Moreover how to make an unsweetened applesauce? As I cook occasionally so i do not know much about cooking.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Kainat,
      I use vanilla extract in liquid form in this recipe, but you could use what you have or even omit. To make it easy, you can purchase individual serving sizes of the unsweetened applesauce and keep them on hand for baking. They are the perfect size. Alternatively, you could use an extra grated apple or even use sweetened applesauce if that is what you have on hand.

      Reply
  23. Trudy

    Your baked oatmeal was hit. My teenage son described it as “delectable” and I have plenty of leftovers to keep him happy throughout the week. An added advantage for me was the use of whey. He is lactose intolerant so I make yogurt with Lactaid milk and hate pouring the whey down the drain.

    Keep up with great recipes!

    Trudy

    Reply
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  25. Dace

    Please let me know how many servings this recipe makes! It sounds great and I would like to try it this summer for a summer camp breakfast.

    Reply
    1. Ann

      This recipe yields six generous servings or eight regular portions. I think this would be a delightful recipe for summer camp. I hope you–and the campers–enjoy!

      Reply
  26. Lesley Kieffer

    Since I live in a tropical part of the world where apples aren’t always available or they are expensive, could i substitute the apples for mangoes? papaya? banana? Ideas? I luv your recipe, sounds amazing!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      Hi Lesley,
      I have made many variations of this recipe, and it is quite forgiving. I think you could experiment with all of those fruits and have delicious results. You can look through my the other baked oatmeal recipes in the Breakfast category and get more ideas, but do feel free to experiment…and let me know how you make out!

      Reply
  27. Sara

    I almost cried when I couldn’t find this recipe after my laptop battery ran too low! I was stranded with 10 beautifully baked muffins that my awesome husband had finished one morning when I had to go to work before topping them with the brown sugar and chopped walnuts. …of course the one time my history doesn’t keep track of the site…I finally found it 🙂 and I love this recipe sooo much that I was compelled to leave a note here (which I never do). We are not required to eliminate anything from our diets in our home, but we are conscious of what is in our food. I had apples and no flour and ran across this website and the recipe and thought well if it sucks, no big deal it’s only 1 cup of my apples, not the whole bag like most recipes. SERIOUSLY LOVE THIS RECIPE <3 I hope everyone and their families love it as much as ours!!!!! Thank you sooo much!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      You seriously just made my day, Sara! I love your message and am so glad you found me…and re-found me! I hope you enjoy many batches of these and maybe try out one of my other baked oatmeal varieties or some of the other recipes I have shared here. Have a great night!
      🙂

      Reply
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  34. char

    hi, do you think this would work with a flax egg substitution? I would love to try it for my son, but he has an egg allergy. Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Ann

      I think it would work well, Char. I haven’t tried it myself with a flax egg substitute but have with a substitute called “neat” which is a combination of ground chia seeds and garbanzo beans. If that product is available where you live, I highly recommend. You could also find it online. If you do try the recipe with either substitute, I’d love to know how you make out!

      Reply
      1. char

        thanks for taking the time to respond. i tried it and it did work! most importantly, i had a happy customer 😉 i appreciate you sharing the recipe and encouraging me to try it with the flax egg.

        Reply