This hearty Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal with packed with fresh apples, cinnamon flavor, and healthy rolled oats is the perfect warm and cozy breakfast.
This healthy Baked Apple Oatmeal is easy to make, bursting with apple cinnamon flavor, and perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast or meal prep. It's a breakfast both kids and adults absolutely love.
We are huge fans of baked oatmeal recipes. It's healthy, easy to make, portable, delicious, and extremely versatile. Just look at this Blueberry Baked Oatmeal, Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal, and Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal to get an idea of all the ways it can be made.
But this baked apple cinnamon oatmeal may just be my favorite breakfast recipe. It's almost like a heartier apple crisp since it is packed with super tender, melt-in-your-mouth baked apples.
The secret to making this apple oatmeal really shine is baking the apples first with cinnamon and brown sugar. This changes the game from a typically baked apple oatmeal recipe where the apples are baked with the oats from the start. Giving them a headstart in the oatmeal lets them get juicy and sweet and delicious. Then the oats soak up all that delicious apple and cinnamon flavor. So good!
Here's why we love this recipe!
- Apple crisp for breakfast! All the cozy fall dessert vibes in an easy-to-make breakfast that is just as great for holiday brunches as weekend mornings!
- Meal prep friendly. This breakfast keeps great in the fridge for easy breakfasts all week long.
- Budget-friendly: The recipe has just 10- affordable and easy-to-find ingredients.
- Healthy: Made with apples, whole grain oats, eggs, and hearty healthy walnuts with an option to make it without refined sugar.
Ingredients and Swaps
- Rolled oats: Always make baked oats with rolled oats. Instant oats will get too mushy. Steel-cut oats will not cook through and stay crunchy. If you are gluten-free, make sure to look for gluten-free oats.
- Apples: Almost any apples will work in this recipe. Favorites include Gala, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, and Braeburn.
- Cinnamon: To really kick up the fall flavors, cinnamon is a must1 To further enhance those fall spices you could also add some ground ginger, nutmeg, and/or allspice.
- Egg: The egg helps to bind the recipe. For a vegan option, use a flax egg or chia egg.
- Milk: Any type of nut milk, dairy milk, or non-dairy milk can be used in this recipe. For extra protein, look for milk that is higher in protein like pea milk or high-protein cow's milk.
- Walnuts: The nuts are completely optional, but add a really nice crunch and some healthy fat. Pecans, pumpkin seeds, and almonds are all good choices. You could also swirl in some peanut butter or almond butter.
- Brown sugar: To really mimic the taste of apple crisp, brown sugar is the way to go. However, for an option without refined sugar, honey or maple syrup will work as well.
- Vanilla extract: This is another nod to all those delicious baked apple desserts. The vanilla enhances those cozy flavors.
How do you make baked apple oatmeal?
This baked oatmeal recipe is really easy to make. Check out the step-by-step directions and tips below.
- Bake the apples: Start by combining the chopped apples, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a glass baking dish. It's up to you if you peel the apples or leave the peels intact. If you like, add a squeeze of lemon juice, some ground ginger, or grated nutmeg as well. Bake them at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until they are tender but not falling apart.
- Prepare the oats: While the apples are cooking, make the oatmeal mixture by stirring together the rolled oats, milk, eggs, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt. Fold in the walnuts or any other additions (ideas below).
- Combine oats and apples: Carefully remove the apples from the oven and pour in the oatmeal mixture. For a crispier top, drizzle some melted butter or coconut oil right on top of the oatmeal before returning it to the oven.
- Bake: Bake the apple oatmeal until it is set and lightly browned, about 25-30 minutes. Make sure to let it rest for 10 minutes before serving so the dish can firm up a bit.
- Serve: Serve hot, room temperature, or cold. Add a drizzle of maple syrup, yogurt, whipped cream, peanut butter, toasted nuts, or any other toppings you like. We have been known to eat this at night with vanilla ice cream as well.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
This recipe is basically a blueprint for making delicious baked oatmeal. You can switch up the fruit, add in different nuts and seeds, or change out the spices. Here are some ways we love to customize this recipe.
- Amp up the nutrition: Boost the fiber content in this recipe by adding some flaxseed meal, chia seeds, or hemp hearts.
- Amish-style: Traditional Amish-style baked oatmeal contains apples, raisins, and walnuts. Other dried fruit is delicious as well including dried cranberries, dates, cherries, and figs.
- Kid favorites: Add some chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or caramel chips.
- Try a new fruit: Try making this with sliced pears, bananas, berries, or a combination of fruit. Just adjust the baking time so the fruit gets tender but doesn't fall apart. You could also add extra fruit to this recipe.
Can you freeze baked oatmeal?
There are a few different ways to freeze baked oatmeal depending on how you plan to serve it.
- Freezing before baking: If you are making this for a big breakfast, brunch, or party, prep the whole thing in advance without baking it. Bake the apples and let them cool. Stir in the oatmeal mixture and make sure it is at room temperature. Freeze it right in a large glass baking dish. The night before you plan to serve it, take it out and let it defrost overnight in the fridge. Then bake it at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes or until it is warmed and set.
- Baking then freezing: If you make a large batch of this and find you need to freeze the leftovers, you can do that as well. Pack in a freezer-safe container and then defrost in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through. If you remember, place it in the fridge the night before to defrost. It retains more moisture than when defrosted quickly in the microwave.
- Freezing individual portions: If you want to make individual servings for grab-and-go breakfasts, bake the oatmeal in individual servings using a muffin tin. Simply fill a muffin tin with the oatmeal mixture. Then bake for 15-18 minutes. Once they are cooled, freeze the individual portions. Reheat in the microwave or toaster oven.
Should baked oatmeal be refrigerated?
If you aren't going to finish the oatmeal the morning it is prepared, it is best to refrigerate it so that it stays fresh. It will stay good in the fridge for 3-5 days.
Baked oatmeal can be eaten cold or warmed in the microwave, oven, or toaster oven. If the oatmeal seems dry, just add some milk. You can also top it with yogurt to add moisture.
Can I make baked oatmeal with instant oats?
Although you can make baked oatmeal with instant oats, I wouldn't recommend it. Instant oats cook differently than traditional rolled oats and tend to get mushy when baked. To maintain the texture of the oats, only make baked oatmeal with rolled oats.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making this baked oatmeal recipe.
Baked oatmeal is a very healthy breakfast. Rolled oats are a nutrient dense, whole grain that is high in fiber. The fruit in baked oatmeal has many vitamins, fiber, and nutrients. The milk and eggs in the recipe add protein, nutrients, and healthy fat. Nuts and seeds in baked oatmeal add heart healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and antixodiants.
This baked oatmeal also works baked as muffins. First bake the apples in a larger baking dish. While the apples cook, prepare the oatmeal mixture.
Spray the muffin tin with cooking spray or add liners. Combine the baked apples with the oatmeal mixture and distribute between the muffin tin. Bake fro 15-20 minutes until lightly browned and firm in the center. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before removing them from the tin.
Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
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- 1 lb apples, chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (or honey/maple syrup)
- 1.5 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 cups almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
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- Nutritional Information
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
This recipe can be made without cooking the apples first, although the final apple texture will not be a tender. To do this, mix together the wet ingredients. Add the oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Stir together. The fold in finely chopped raw apples or grated apples. Pour into a prepared baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees .
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