Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal | Will Cook For Friends

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal, I’d like you to meet my friends. I know we haven’t been seeing each other all that long, but it’s time you get to know them, because they’ve been asking about you and I just can’t keep your sweet deliciousness a secret any longer.

Seriously, though, I think I’ve fallen in love with this oatmeal. It is exactly what I want in the morning — the perfect level of sweetness (sweet, but not too sweet), while still being healthy and filling. A balance that can be hard to get just right. Plus, it scores bonus points for being super easy to make, which is a must in my book for any breakfast.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal | Will Cook For Friends

It might sound like a pain in the butt to bake your breakfast, but I promise you it is the easiest thing there is. You literally mix everything together in a bowl, dump it into a baking dish, set a timer, and forget it. In the words of Ina Garten, how easy is that? It would be perfect for serving a crowd (think brunch, or when you have family in town), and while it’s in the oven you can be making other things, hopping in the shower, or, you know, going back to bed (just don’t forget to set that timer!).

Even without company over, this baked oatmeal works just as well. I’ve been making big batches for just The Husband and I on the weekends, and the leftovers become breakfast for the rest of the week. (Confession time: nothing makes me feel like I’m winning at life more than having breakfast ready for the whole week. Except maybe when my bra and underwear match, which always makes me feel like I have my life together.)

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal | Will Cook For Friends

Actually, while I’m at it, here’s another confession: earlier this year, The Husband was laid off from his job. I know I never mentioned it here, but honestly, I didn’t really know what to say about it. It was a bit of a shock initially, but in the end it was for the best, because he was able to enjoy a few months of free time. Plus, we got to spend literally every waking moment together. (Okay, so maybe it was a blessing and a curse.)

Just last week, that free time came to an end, and he started work at a new job. All I can say is, holy waking up early, batman! We had both gotten so used to sleeping in and doing things on our own time (since I work from home, I kind of adopted his schedule), and adjusting back to the whole 9-5 thing was a major shock to the system. Thankfully, this oatmeal saved us both from a bad case of the mid-morning hangries, and has made waking up early a whole lot easier.

Thanks, Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal. You’re awesome.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal | Will Cook For Friends

The best part about this oatmeal, though? (But wait, there’s more!) It doubles as dessert. Yeah, you read that right. When it’s piping hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a dollop of fresh whipped cream, or a drizzle of honey or maple syrup? Oh yes! Dessert tonight, breakfast tomorrow. That’s my kind of dish!


5.0 from 2 reviews
Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This oatmeal is the perfect balance of sweet and healthy, and is great for serving breakfast to a crowd. It also makes amazing leftovers, and can even double as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream. (And, it can easily be made vegan and gluten-free!)
Serves: 8 servings
  • 3 cups rolled oats (or certified gluten-free oats)
  • 6 TBSP light brown sugar, plus 1 TBSP
  • 2 tsp. Cinnamon (we like to use rounded tsp, but you can use more or less, to taste)
  • ¼ tsp. ground ginger
  • ⅛th cloves
  • ½ tsp. fine grain sea salt
  • 1½ cups milk (or dairy free substitute)
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 TBSP butter, melted (or coconut oil)
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (if gluten-free, be sure to use gluten-free extract)
  • 2 small apples, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • Optional: 1 cup walnuts, pecans, raisins, or other mix-ins
  • 1-2 apples, thinly sliced, for garnishing the top
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except 1 TBSP brown sugar, and the sliced apples. Dump the mixture into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange the sliced apples on top, and sprinkle with the remaining TBSP brown sugar.
  3. Bake on the center rack for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples are crisp-tender.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool for ten minutes before serving. Serve as is, or with a drizzle of maple syrup or honey, OR make it dessert with a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream.
  5. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, and can be re-warmed in a toaster oven or microwave before serving.
Can be easily made vegan / gluten-free by swapping coconut oil for the butter, dairy-free milk for the cows milk, and gluten-free rolled oats. (If you're cooking for someone who is gluten intolerant or has a serious allergy, be sure to use gluten-free vanilla extract, too.)

I love to make this oatmeal on the weekends, and have breakfast (or dessert!) ready for the rest of the week. If you'd prefer to make a smaller batch, you can easily halve the recipe and bake it in an 8x8 inch baking dish for 35-40 minutes, and it'll be just as great!


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9 Responses to Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal

  1. movita beaucoup December 1, 2015 at 5:52 am #

    Thank goodness for tasty breakfasts, matching underwear sets, and new jobs! So glad to hear your hubby is back at it!

    • Willow Arlen December 1, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

      Thanks, Rachel! We’re both glad he’s working again, but this whole waking up in the morning thing has got to stop. :)

  2. Adina December 3, 2015 at 4:13 am #

    I have never had baked oatmeal, but it definitely sounds like something I would love. I will keep it in mind.

    • Willow Arlen December 3, 2015 at 11:14 am #

      It’s definitely worth trying, Adina! It takes a bit more time in the oven than on the stove, but if you’re making a big batch it is absolutely worth it.

  3. Wan December 6, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    I didn’t even know baking oatmeal was an option. This looks great! The end result looks almost cake-like or something.

    • Willow Arlen December 7, 2015 at 9:52 am #

      You should definitely try it, Wan! It’s my favorite way to eat oatmeal!

  4. Devon December 15, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

    I found this recipe and couldn’t wait to make it for dinner! The only problem, we only had the instant maypo oatmeal oats. So we decided to improvise and and currently baking it as I write (although every five minutes I go up and stare inside the oven as though I can see inside the pan)
    I’ll leave an update as to how it comes out. Wish me luck!!

    • Willow Arlen December 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm #

      Good luck! I’ve never tried it with instant oats, so I’m curious to hear how it goes!


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