Flipping through my timeworn recipe box is like a fun walk down memory lane. The site of my grandmother’s distinctive penmanship, hand-written notes from old friends, and recipes that I made for special occasions all take me back to a different time and place. As the archives on my blog continue to grow—at last check there were 717 published recipes!—I take similar pleasure in reading through and cooking the old ones. Usually there’s a bad photo to laugh at, too!
As the years pass by, taste buds change, new products become available, and I like to think that years of practice makes us all a little better. As I’ve made the following baked oatmeal recipe over the years, I’ve made modest adjustments to the original and recently took a moment to take a better picture. For old time’s sake, I am leaving the old photo. Don’t judge. 😂
In my original post I mentioned that I could eat meal this for dessert. It’s a bit like a blueberry cobbler, although the early version was sweeter thanks to the use of sweetened coconut and a quarter cup of brown sugar sprinkled on top. Feel free to continue using that method if you prefer the added sweetness.
On the other hand, if you want to dial the added sugar back even further, rest assured that a drizzle of maple syrup of sprinkle of brown sugar upon serving will make up for too drastic a reduction.
At one point I completely omitted the brown sugar on top, and I thought it was not quite sweet enough. My recommendation when reducing the sugar is to reduce more heavily from the base recipe and leave the sprinkle on top where you’ll taste it first. My kids are on board with the following level of sweetness, in case that adds any helpful insight!
While the original recipe was written using a 9×13 baking dish, I’ve made this in just about every pan size over the years, down to a 9-inch square (pictured directly below–this is also a slivered almond, no-sugar-on-top version). Personal preference as to thickness ultimately dictates here. Lately I’ve been settling on an 8×11 pan. I’ve included a variety of options and corresponding baking times in the updated recipe.
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered or sliced almonds, divided use
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut, divided use (I use unsweetened; could use sweetened if preferred)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1/3 cup maple syrup (may use honey)
- 2 cups your choice of milk
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons melted coconut oil (may use melted butter)*
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups blueberries (may use one 10-ounce bag frozen; if using frozen, do not thaw)
- 2-3 packed tablespoons brown sugar
- Optional: 1 large banana, peeled and sliced into coins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and lightly grease an 8 x 11-inch or similar size (2 to 2-1/2 quart) baking dish.**
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, 1/4 cup of the coconut, 1/4 cup of the almonds, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, milk, egg, coconut oil or butter, and vanilla.
- If using the optional banana, lay the slices over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Then sprinkle half of the berries over the bottom of the baking dish. Cover the fruit evenly with the dry oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Scatter the remaining blueberries, coconut, and almonds over the top. Finally, sprinkle the brown sugar over all.
- Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the oat mixture has just set in the center. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.
- This may be eaten immediately or made ahead and reheated. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.
- *When using melted coconut oil or butter, it is helpful if the cold ingredients have come to room temperature prior to mixing so that the oil or butter doesn’t re-harden once stirred in. If this happens, you may slowly heat in the microwave until the liquid mixture is just warm enough to soften the butter or coconut oil.
- **I have made this oatmeal in pan sizes ranging from 9x13 to 9x9 and they all work well. In my oven, baking time for a 9x9 pan is 35 minutes, a 9x13 pan is 25 minutes, and an 8x11 pan is right about 30 minutes. Choose your pan size based on what you have and how thick you think you might like your pieces--and then check a few minutes early until you know how long the oatmeal takes in your oven.