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.
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.)
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.
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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- 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.
- Bake on the center rack for 45-50 minutes, or until the apples are crisp-tender.
- 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.
- 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.
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!