This wholesome family favorite can be prepared in advance and tastes a lot like a cinnamon oatmeal cookie. I typically take a minimalist approach, but the recipe is easy to customize through the addition of raisins, nuts, etc.
Twenty years ago, when baked oatmeal was hardly a blip on anyone’s breakfast radar, a friend gave me a recipe for Amish Baked Oatmeal. It was delicious, but with a stick and a half of butter and more sugar than oats, the recipe wasn’t exactly the breakfast of champions.
I remember thinking it couldn’t be too difficult to give the recipe a makeover of sorts without sacrificing taste. Little did I know at the time that I’d go on to bake countless batches of this now-mainstream breakfast, create a myriad of seasonal and flavor variations, and even win a national recipe contest with it.
Although I have quite a few baked oatmeal recipes on my blog, I stopped posting them for a while because I figured no one wanted to exist on baked oatmeal alone! After receiving emails requesting morning glory, carrot cake, and steel cut versions, I figured it was time to start digging into my backlog of recipes.
The following recipe goes back a ways and is essentially the foundation upon which many of my later baked oatmeal recipes were built. It’s easy to prepare with everyday ingredients and tastes a lot like a cinnamon oatmeal cookie–not a bad way to start the day!
I actually hadn’t made this basic recipe myself in quite a long time, but returned to it in earnest last summer after enjoying similar breakfast parfaits at Prince Street Café and Café One Eight in downtown Lancaster. (If your local and haven’t been or happen to visit Lancaster, you gotta go! Both restaurants have their own special personality and lots of delicious menu offerings.)
When I first dug my spoon into what was, at first glance, a typical yogurt-fruit-granola concoction, the granola seemed to be chewy, almost cakey. It soon occurred to me that what I expected to be granola was actually crumbled baked oatmeal.
Paired with bright red strawberries and creamy vanilla yogurt (both cafés use local Pequea Valley Farms yogurt, which is decadent enough to be dessert), each spoonful was nothing short of sweet bliss and offered a new way to enjoy an old favorite.
All parfait deliciousness aside, you can’t go wrong keeping it simple. A warm piece eaten all by itself is rather divine–sort of like a scrumptious oatmeal cookie.
Baked oatmeal stores well in the refrigerator and can be reheated in the microwave, served room temperature or cold. Some people enjoy it drizzled with milk, others prefer to eat it plain. For a cool option that’s light yet filling, layer chunks of chewy baked oatmeal, parfait-style, with creamy yogurt and sweet summer berries or peaches.
I started making baked oatmeals with the instructions to sit overnight and then bake in the morning. Now I mix the ingredients during the day and bake in the evening. I’ve let this recipe rest for as little as one hour. You need just enough time for the oats to soften, absorb the liquid, and plump up. Who has time to bake first thing in the morning?! : )
If the parfait idea appeals to you, too, you can wing it or follow this simple recipe. Other reader baked oatmeal favorites include Strawberries & Cream Baked Oatmeal and Apple Crisp Baked Oatmeal. For many more seasonal variations, scroll through the breakfast foods category or search “baked oatmeal.”
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 1/4 cups milk (regular, almond, etc.–choose your favorite)
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or other 1 1/2 quart casserole and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add the brown sugar, baking powder, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well–you don’t want any lumps.
Whisk in the melted butter and milk. Add the oats and stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.
At this point, you can cover and refrigerate overnight or as little as one hour. (This gives the oats time to absorb some of the liquid.) When ready to bake, allow the oatmeal to sit at room temperature while the oven preheats to 350 degrees F. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes (give or take a few depending on oven and proportions of selected baking dish) or until just set in the middle.
Serve warm with milk or yogurt, fruit, and/or other favorite oatmeal toppings. Add a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkle of brown sugar if more sweetness is preferred. Baked oatmeal can also be enjoyed cold or at room temperature and may be served like a muffin, with no toppings.
- For breakfast at-the-ready, I have gotten into the habit of baking the oatmeal in the evening and allowing it so sit at room temperature overnight. After breakfast, I cover and refrigerate any leftovers to better maintain freshness. The baked oatmeal will keep for about a week in the refrigerator and may be frozen.
Nutrition Information: Makes 6 Servings. Calories Per Serving using whole milk 350, Total Fat 14 gm, Saturated Fat 6 gm, Cholesterol 88 mg, Sodium 310 mg, Total Carbohydrates 55 gm, Dietary Fiber 4 gm, Protein 9 gm
Nutrition Tips from the Dietitian: If looking to reduce fat and sodium, you may use skim milk, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter for 300 calories per serving, 8 gm total fat, 3 gm saturated fat, 73 mg cholesterol, and 215 mg sodium. (Note: a reduction in butter may cause a slightly dryer end result, so if you try, take care not to overcook. You could also replace it with mashed very ripe banana or unsweetened applesauce.)