Steel Cut Apple Baked Oatmeal
Yield: 6 servings
Steel cut oats add satisfying texture to this flavorful baked oatmeal that is prepared in advance and can be reheated for easy breakfasts throughout the week. For a pretty presentation, I strategically place a few colorful bits of apple and some pecan pieces on top before covering and refrigerating.


  • 1½ – 1¾ cups small diced Honeycrisp, Gala, Fuji or other sweet baking apple*
  • ½ cup (65g) chopped pecans, walnuts, slivered almonds, or a mix**
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries or raisins, optional
  • 1 cup (176g) steel cut oats (rolled oats will not work as a substitute in this recipe)
  • 2 cups (480ml) milk of choice
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (120g) shredded apple or applesauce*
  • ¼ cup (80g) pure maple syrup***
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) melted butter (or coconut, avocado, or oil of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) vanilla
  • 1¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (optional but a lovely extra; if using pre-ground, use ¼ teaspoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Lightly grease a 9-inch square or 8×10-inch baking dish. (You may use a similar size baking dish of any shape, although a 9×13-inch is too big).
  2. Scatter the apples evenly over the bottom of the dish, followed by the nuts, optional dried cranberries or raisins, and finally the steel cut oats. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, shredded apple or applesauce, maple syrup, butter, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, optional nutmeg, and salt until fully incorporated. (It’s ok if the butter forms small clumps.)
  4. Pour the milk mixture evenly over the apple/oat mixture. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (Make ahead tip: Alternatively, you may prep early in the day, refrigerate for at least 8 hours, and then bake. Cool completely, cover, refrigerate, and warm in the morning.)
  5. When ready to bake, place the baking dish on the counter to take the chill off while the oven preheats to 350℉. Uncover the baking dish and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until the mixture is set in the middle. Check a few minutes early and add a few minutes, as needed, based on oven and dimensions of baking dish. The oats will be tender but still slightly chewy. You may slice or scoop the oatmeal into bowls and enjoy as is or with additional milk or a dollop of yogurt.


*Depending on apple size, you’ll need 2 to 3 for the diced and shredded apple. I keep the skin on; you could peel if preferred. The grated or shredded apple adds more natural sweetness and binding properties. Use a box or hand-held grater, or substitute applesauce if you don’t have a grater.

**Toasting the nuts will add a hint of extra flavor, but I’ve also skipped this step many times and the oatmeal is still delicious. I’ve also mixed in pepitas (pumpkin seeds), which I do prefer roasted or toasted.

***I enjoy the flavor of maple syrup, although brown sugar, honey, agave, or another sweetener of choice may be used in its place.

Can I make this recipe with no added sweetener? Those who enjoy less sweetness can successfully make this recipe with less or no maple syrup. I aim for broad appeal where sweetness is concerned, and ¼ cup has been the most widely preferred amount. I enjoy this oatmeal with as little as 2T maple syrup, although my personal preference is 3T. I recommend adding an additional tablespoon of grated apple or applesauce for each tablespoon of syrup removed.

Want to vary the recipe? This recipe is flexible and forgiving, so you could use a combination of apples and blueberries or bananas, dried cherries or chopped dates instead of cranberries, mashed overripe banana or pumpkin instead of the grated apple or applesauce, or any combination of these fruits. You could add a ½ teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg or pumpkin pie spice. Short of these basic swaps, simply make changes incrementally so you don’t throw off the dry-to-liquid ratio.

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