This carrot cake baked oatmeal is your excuse to have dessert for breakfast! Packed with oats, raisins, and carrots, and sweetened with banana, it’s healthy, and filling, and comes together in minutes!
Carrot cake is one of my favorite cakes. If I could, I’d eat it for every meal.
If you are like me and you absolutely love carrot cake but still try to keep your diet balanced and healthy, then this carrot cake oatmeal bake is about to become one of your go-to breakfast options.
Made with carrots, walnuts, and raisins, and flavored with cinnamon, this easy, baked oatmeal recipe is the most decadent thing to have first thing in the morning.
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- A healthy breakfast that tastes like a cake. Unless you’ve made my breakfast cake or blueberry cake, this oatmeal bake comes pretty darn close.
- Naturally sweetened. There is no added sugar in this recipe. The sweetness of this baked oatmeal comes from bananas and raisins.
- No eggs. This baked oatmeal is also a great way to take a break from eggs for breakfast. It is also suitable for vegans and people allergic to eggs.
Like my blueberry baked oatmeal, this carrot cake version is fabulous to meal prep for busy mornings, and you can enjoy it warm or cold!
This carrot cake baked oats are made with only a few simple ingredients some of which you can swap or leave out completely if you want to.
- Rolled oats. Thanks to their slightly coarse texture, rolled oats provide the best texture for this carrot cake baked oatmeal.
- Bananas. Mashed bananas replace the eggs in baked oatmeal and provide sweetness. The riper the bananas the sweeter the oatmeal. You can swap the mashed bananas with applesauce or pumpkin puree, compensating for the lack of sweetness by using the sweetener of your choice (we often do this with breakfast bars or breakfast cookies).
- Carrots. Shredded.
- Walnuts. You can also use chopped pecans.
- Raisins. For texture and sweetness.
- Tahini. To contribute to the texture of the baked oatmeal. You can use any nut or seed butter of your choice.
- Cinnamon. To give the baked oatmeal a traditional carrot cake flavor.
- White chocolate chips (optional). When I’m feeling fancy, I like to drizzle some melted white chocolate on top.
If you don’t have any nut allergies or don’t have tahini on hand, try using almond butter or sunflower seed butter. They both have a similar texture and mild flavor that lends itself well to baked oats.
How to make carrot cake baked oatmeal
Making this healthy carrot cake baked oatmeal is a lot easier than making a carrot cake…but it tastes just as good.
Step 1 – Prepare the oatmeal batter
Add all ingredients except for the chocolate chips to a mixing bowl and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips and give the batter another mix.
Step 2 – Bake
Transfer the batter to an 8×8-inch baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven preheated to 350F degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
Step 3 – Cool and slice
Once cooked, allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then remove the baked oatmeal from the pan and let it cool on a wire rack.
Drizzle some melted white chocolate chips on top. Slice into bars when the chocolate sets.
- Top with cream cheese frosting. If you are going to enjoy this for dessert, it is a good idea to top this carrot cake oatmeal with healthy cream cheese frosting. Make it by mixing cream cheese with Greek yogurt and the sweetener of your choice. Alternatively, you can make vegan cream cheese frosting using vegan cream cheese.
- Add ground nutmeg and ginger. These two spices create the warmest flavor combination when paired with cinnamon and add depth of flavor to sweet recipes.
- Use instant oats. If all you have in your pantry are instant oats, use them instead of rolled oats for this recipe. Make sure to use an extra tablespoon or two to achieve the needed texture.
- Make it in advance. Make the oatmeal mixture the night before and bake it. Reheat it in the morning when needed. Making the batter in advance and not baking the oats is not a good idea as the oats will soak up all the moisture in the batter.
- Cook it in the microwave. Like microwave brownies, while the oven produces the best results texture-wise, using the microwave to cook this carrot cake oatmeal is also an option. Prepare the batter as instructed. Divide it into two parts and microwave using half-power for 4-5 minutes or until the mixture firms up.
To store. Place leftover baked oatmeal in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
To freeze. Once the oatmeal bake has cooled, place it in a ziplock bag and freeze it for up to 2 months. Defrost in the fridge before eating.
To reheat. Reheat baked oatmeal in the microwave or in the oven until it’s soft and gooey again.
Eggs in baked oats give them a cake-like texture. If you don’t want to use eggs, replace them with mashed banana, applesauce, or pumpkin puree.
Baked oats may turn out soggy if you haven’t baked them long enough. Using instant or quick-cooking oats may also result in soggy baked oats if you have used less oats than needed. Additionally, if you are using milk, don’t let the batter sit for too long to prevent the baked oatmeal from being mushy.
No, you don’t have to soak the oats before baking them even if you are using steel-cut oats. The wet ingredients combined with it will soften them naturally.
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking dish or pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients, except for your chocolate chips, and mix very well, until fully combined.
- Transfer the batter into the lined pan/dish. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, or until it’s loose enough to remove from it. Place on a cooling rack.
- Melt your dairy free white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the baked oatmeal. Allow the chocolate to set for 1-2 minutes, before slicing into bars. Alternatively, if you intend to eat later, allow the baked oatmeal to cool before drizzling with the mock cream cheese frosting.
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