Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal

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The biggest compliment this seasonal addition of my Overnight Crunchy Top Baked Oatmeal received when I first started making it last year was from my younger son.  He asked, would I make this for breakfast every day?  After a few more bites, he asked if I could bring enough to school for a class snack.  Not that all the kids would ooh and aah, but it was a definite thumbs up  from one of my toughest critics!

I made several noteworthy changes from the original version.  For great flavor, moisture, and a healthy version of cream, I  used coconut milk in lieu of regular milk.  Coconut oil, as opposed to butter or canola oil, reinforced the health benefits and flavor.  (Another perk of cooking with coconut oil is the incredible, aromatic smell which wafts out of the oven.  The tropical fragrance is heavenly.)  Of course, you may certainly substitute the milk and oil of your choice. The recipe is flexible that way.

Of course, I also use strawberries, although I have not entirely eliminated the apple from the original recipe. Actually, I have made this baked oatmeal with the applesauce and the grated apple and with one or the other. Using both will add an extra level of moisture to the baked oatmeal, although my personal preference is to use on or the other. Through experimentation, I have learned that grated apple will replace the applesauce often used to reduce added fat in many baked goods.  I use a sweeter apple, like a Fuji or Honey Crisp, which also allows for a lesser amount of added sweetener.  If using an organic apple, I don’t even bother to peel the skin.  That said, those single serving applesauce cups are easy to have on hand and just the right size.

Occasionally, I bake the oatmeal in a 10-inch springform pan so I can transfer it to a cake platter.  (I put candles in it for a fun birthday “cake” and sometimes pipe letters on it with melted white chocolate!)  Your largest spatula will aid in the transfer of the baked oatmeal from springform pan to serving platter.  Usually, however, I use a 9×9 square pan or a 10-inch cast iron skillet.  If you use a springform pan, allow the oat mixture to soak in your mixing bowl, and then transfer to the pan for baking.  This will reduce the possibility of liquid seeping through the crevices of the pan.  For added insurance, place the pan on a baking sheet or wrap the bottom with a piece of aluminum foil prior to baking.  In the notes section of the recipe, I also provide details on how long to cook for muffins.  These make a great portion-controlled, grab-and-go breakfast.

Serve plain or with milk, warm or room temperature.  Sprinkle with extra berries, chopped macadamias or almonds — however you like to adorn your stovetop oatmeal.  Leftovers keep well stored, covered, in the refrigerator.


Note:  My dear friend Ann of Sumptuous Spoonfuls made her own version of baked oatmeal inspired by this recipe.  Follow this LINK to see her masterpiece!


Strawberries and Cream Baked Oatmeal
This recipe began as a prep-at-night, bake-in-the-morning recipe and it works quite well that way. For a super speedy breakfast, however, I now often prepare the batter during the day, wait several hours, bake and then reheat in the morning. Ideally, I recommend at least 2 hours of soak time, especially if making as muffins. (Update: I've recently baked after 1 hour with good results. Also, in lieu of the broiled topping, I sometimes sprinkle a little coarse sugar on top of each piece.)
  • 1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (I use light; could substitute milk of choice.) See notes
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey (could use maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted (could substitute melted butter, canola, or grapeseed oil)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce or one small apple, grated (may leave skin on)
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1 cup sliced or chopped strawberries, plus a few sliced berries reserved for the top
  • Optional: slivered or sliced almonds for the top–about 1/4 cup
  • 1/4 cup packed (2 ounces) brown sugar
  1. Grease 2-quart round casserole, 9-inch square pan, or 10-inch cast iron skillet.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except the oats and the brown sugar. Stir in oats and combine well. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and spread evenly around. Place the sliced, reserved strawberries on the top and sprinkle with almonds, if desired. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. (See summary above for details on baking sooner.)
  3. In the morning, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Allow the oatmeal to sit on the counter while the oven is preheating. Unwrap oatmeal and bake for about 30 minutes or until just firm in the middle.
  4. Remove from the oven, switch oven setting to broil, and sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Broil oatmeal for one minute, watching very closely, or until the sugar is melted and top is golden.
  • When baking as muffins, I use 1 1/4 cups of the coconut milk instead of the whole can. Refrigerate the uncooked oatmeal in the mixing bowl then transfer 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.
  • One additional note, you may use the 1 1/4 cups amount of coconut milk for the recipe when baking in a standard baking dish, too. My kids love the added moisture of the full can; I like a slightly drier oatmeal and then often add warm milk when serving. It is a small difference based on personal preference, so feel free to experiment.
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    1. Ann

      Thanks, Sarah! I make baked oatmeal a lot because my kids love it, too. You may like the original and pumpkin version also. I have a few different recipes I really must share, too. Hope you like!

    1. Ann

      Thanks for the thoughtful comments, Joan and Allison. The way my boys eat this, I could make a double batch several times a week: ) The advance prep does make the morning routine easier!

  1. Javelin Warrior

    I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), but please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure to be following your creations…

    1. Ann

      Thank you for asking and you are most welcome to share! I will pop over to check out the other recipes!

  2. Stacie Skelly

    Oh my word! I have tried several of your baked oatmeals and loved them all, however got some strawberries at market over the weekend and decided to try this one for something new. I mixed it up this afternoon with the intention of baking tomorrow, however decided to bake it tonight and then couldn’t wait to taste! Again, oh my word! Definitely my favorite! Love, love, love! I keep going back through the kitchen to snitch another bite.

    1. Ann

      Hi Stacie! You sound like me! I can never wait and am always stealing bites: ) I am thrilled you loved this one. Coincidently, my younger son just asked for it so I might need to get some of those strawberries, too!

  3. Stacie

    Meck’s had really nice ones! FYI, my husband and oldest son, (who actually prefers his baked oatmeal plain), both loved this version as well. Kind of bummed, because that means it’s going to go fast!

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    1. Ann

      Thanks so much for the great comment, Emma, and welcome! So glad to find another oatmeal fan. If you like this recipe, I have quite a few variations you may enjoy, too!

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  7. Triina

    I’ve never baked oatmeal before. Can I use quick rolled oats instead of old fashioned oats? Is there a difference?

    1. Ann

      Quick and old fashioned (also called 5 minute) oats are the same nutritionally speaking, but the old fashioned oats are a thicker cut. They are, therefore, a bit sturdier and will create a better texture in the baked oatmeal. If you use quick oats, the end result would probably taste good but not have quite the same texture. I hope this help, Triina!

  8. Amie

    My boys go through several of your baked oatmeals every week. I have to get the huge bags of oats from Costco to keep up with the demand for the oatmeal and granola. It’s only going to get worse as the get older 🙂

  9. Lois

    Ann …………Awesome. Got up this morning and baked it before we went to church. Will spread this recipe to friends and family. Big thank you again!

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  11. Becky

    I’ve made your apple version of this baked oatmeal many, many times and love it. But I had to comment and let you know how delicious this version is! I made it for the first time this morning, and my son gobbled it up and asked for more. Thank you!

    1. Ann

      Thank you for the great comment, Becky! Although the apple version was my first and original favorite, there are now many other versions that we enjoy as much. This one happens to be my younger son’s favorite!

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  13. shasta

    I am anxious to try this for my family. Would you mind sharing what brand of oats you use? Thank you!

    1. Ann

      Hi Shasta,
      I have used a variety of different brands, all with good results. Typically, however, I use Bob’s Red Mill or oats available in bulk at one local store. They key for this recipe is choosing the type labeled as rolled or old fashioned oats, which are the kind that cook in 5 minutes (as opposed to quick, instant, or steel cut oats). Hope that helps!

  14. KC

    Made 2 batches, one for home one for my dear brother. Also put coconut on top. Everyone loves this and we will make again and again. Thank you!

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  16. Rila

    We went strawberry picking the other day and figured it was the perfect timing to make this recipe. We loved it! Thanks for a great recipe!

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  18. Thrift at Home

    One of my friends just recommended this recipe to me and it looks so good. However, I have only frozen strawberries right now. . . what are your thoughts on using those in this recipe? I froze some strawberries last summer because we weren’t going through them quickly enough and now I don’t know what to do with them (other than smoothies).

    1. Ann Post author

      I’ve made this with frozen strawberries, partially thawed, and it worked beautifully. Hope you enjoy!