Crunchy Top Strawberry Baked Oatmeal
Yield: 8-9 servings
This delicious breakfast began as a prep-at-night, bake-in-the-morning recipe, and it works quite well that way. Over the years, however, I've discovered quite a few adjustments that can successfully be made, both in terms of baking method and flexibility of ingredients.

If using coconut oil, it's helpful to bring all of the ingredients to room temperature before mixing so the melted oil doesn't harden upon mixing.


  • 1½ cups (360ml) milk of choice (see notes)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup (80g) pure maple syrup (could use honey)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup (60g) coconut oil, melted (could substitute melted butter or vegetable oil of choice)
  • ½ cup applesauce or one small apple, grated (may leave skin on)
  • 3 cups (270g) old fashioned oats
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup sliced or chopped strawberries (reserve a few slices for the top)
  • ¼ cup (50g) lightly packed brown sugar
  • Optional extras: ½ cup or so of unsweetened shredded coconut and/or chopped nuts of choice; zest from one lemon or lime


  1. Grease a 9-inch square pan or 10-inch ovenproof skillet and set aside. (Alternatively, a 2-quart round casserole dish may be used. These are typically deeper, so the oatmeal will likely take an additional 5 minutes, give or take, to bake. An 8×12 Pyrex also works well, but a 9×13 is too big.) See notes for muffin adjustments. 
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the oats and the brown sugar. Stir in oats and combine well. (If using optional coconut, nuts, or zest add them now.) Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread to evenly distribute. Place the sliced, reserved strawberries on the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for as little as an hour or two, or as long as overnight. (It’s not a deal breaker if you bake immediately, but a rest gives the oats time to absorb the liquid and plump up, which slightly enhances the finished baked oatmeal.)
  3. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 375℉. Allow the oatmeal to sit on the counter while the oven is preheating. Unwrap the oatmeal and bake for 25 minutes, give or take 5 minutes depending on oven and baking dish variances, or until just cooked through the middle. (Tip: start checking for doneness at 20 minutes until you know how long this takes in your oven.)
  4. Remove from the oven, switch the oven setting to broil, and sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the top. Broil the oatmeal for about one minute, watching very closely so as not to burn, or until the sugar is melted and the top is golden.
  5. Serving and storing: The baked oatmeal may be served hot, room temperature, or cold from the fridge. You may eat the oatmeal as is or served with milk, yogurt, additional fruit, and/or nuts. While the oatmeal is delicious fresh from the oven, I often bake it the day before for an at-the-ready breakfast the next morning. The oatmeal will keep for up to a week when tightly covered and refrigerated. Cool completely before refrigerating. The baked oatmeal freezes well, too.


When making muffins, refrigerate the uncooked oatmeal mixture in the mixing bowl, and then transfer it to the muffin tin once the liquid has been absorbed by the oats. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until cooked through. Often, I will top the muffins with a teaspoon of brown sugar, some sliced almonds, and a slice of strawberry prior to baking instead of following the broil step. The recipe yields 8 regular muffins or 6 jumbo.

Which milk is best? I used to make this recipe with a (13.5-ounce) can of coconut milk (I used light) but now typically use almond or 2% milk. They all work with very modest differences in outcome. Feel free to use what you enjoy.

Helpful hint: If I’m making muffins and want to bake them sooner than later, I reduce the milk to 1¼ cups, as it’s difficult to evenly distribute a soupy oat mixture to the muffin tins. This isn’t necessary with the baking dish version, and I do ultimately prefer the recipe with the higher amount of liquid.

A few more things:
For a less sweet topping, you may reduce the brown sugar topping by a tablespoon or two.
Fresh, seasonal strawberries provide the best flavor and natural sweetness, but I have made this oatmeal many times with frozen berries, and it still tastes quite good. In this case, don’t thaw the berries. You will be able to slice them easily with a sharp knife once they have sat at room temperature for just a few minutes.

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